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

NAVAL EVENTS, NOVEMBER 1940 (Part 1 of 2)
Friday 1st Thursday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Nelson, battleship (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge)

on to NOVEMBER 1940, Part 2

 

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

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

 


Background Events - September-December 1940

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


 

 

1940

 

Friday, 1 November  

 

Destroyer BULLDOG arrived at Greenock at 0930 for convoy WS.4A escort.

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Convoy WS.4A departed the Clyde and Liverpool. This convoy was composed of troopships WARWICK CASTLE (20,445grt), STIRLING CASTLE (25,550grt), SCYTHIA (19,761grt), DUNEDIN STAR (11,168grt), HIGHLAND MONARCH (14,137grt), PORT WYNDHAM (8580grt), CLAN LAMONT (7262grt), CLAN CHATTAN (7262grt) and steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), MARTAND (8000grt), DELIUS (6065grt), ABOSSO (11,330grt), DUCHESS OF RICHMOND (20,022grt), ALMANZORA (15,551grt), AKAROA (15,130grt), MALANCHA (8124grt). The convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser CORNWALL and armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN and given local escort by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyers OTTAWA, SKEENA, SAGUENAY, BEAGLE, BULLDOG, HESPERUS which departed Greenock at 0200/2nd. The convoy was also given local escort by destroyers HURRICANE, HARVESTER, GARLAND which departed Liverpool.

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Destroyer EXMOOR departed the Tyne at 0845 for Rosyth, but was delayed at Rosyth due to mining of the port. She departed Rosyth at 1700/2nd and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0715/3rd.

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Destroyer QUORN departed Scapa Flow at 1030 for Lerwick to escort British troopship ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt) to Aberdeen.

 

Upon arrival at Aberdeen at 1130/2nd, destroyer QUORN proceeded to Rosyth and continued her passage to Sheerness to join the Nore Command.

______

 

Sloop BLACK SWAN, arriving with convoy FN.323, was mined in the Firth of Forth. No one was killed.

 

The sloop was towed to Rosyth, then to Dundee for repairs completed in mid April.

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Patrol sloop PINTAIL, escorting convoy FS.323 with destroyers WATCHMAN and VERDUN, was badly damaged by German bombing in the Thames Estuary. Her commanding officer Lt Cdr T. H. Hill-Walker, Sub Lt E. C. Hopkins RNVR, eight ratings were killed. Three ratings were wounded.

 

Sloop PINTAIL was under repair at London until mid February.

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Convoy FS.325 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Southend on 3November.

 

Convoy FN.326 was cancelled.

______

 

U.124 sank British steamer EMPIRE BISON (5612grt), a straggler from convoy HX.82, in 59‑30N, 17‑40W.

 

Thirty crew and a naval gunner were lost on the steamer.

______

 

British steamer LETCHWORTH (1317grt), in convoy FS.22, was sunk by German bombing one cable west by north of Oaze Buoy and one cable south, southwest of Mouse Light Vessel.

 

One crewman was killed on the British steamer.

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Minesweeping trawler TILBURYNESS (279grt, T/Skipper W. S. Hawes RNR) was sunk by German bombing near East Oaze Buoy in the Thames Estuary.

 

Ten ratings were lost. Anti-aircraft ship ROYAL EAGLE and tug SALVO rescued the survivors.

 

Auxiliary anti-aircraft ship ROYAL EAGLE (T/Lt Cdr E. F. A. Farrow RNR) shot down a bomber during these air raids in the Thames Estuary.

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British drifter TORBAY II (83grt) was sunk by German bombing off Downs.

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Dutch steamer SANTA LUCIA (379grt) was sunk on a mine 3.6 miles 44 from Pile Light, Belfast.

 

Four crew were lost on the Dutch steamer.

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Norwegian steamer HUNDVAAG (690grt) was sunk on a mine one to two cables west of No. 1 Buoy (former S. Goodwin Lightship).

 

One crewman was lost on the Norwegian steamer.

 

This mine was laid by German torpedo boats 29/30 October in minefield designated "ALFRED. "

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Convoy HX.85 departed Halifax at 1430 escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol vessels FRENCH and ELK.

 

At 1745, FRENCH departed the convoy and ASSINIBOINE departed the convoy at 1730/2nd.

 

Convoy BHX.85 departed Bermuda on 30 October escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA. The convoy rendezvoused with HX.85 on the 4th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser RAJPUTANA. With the attack by German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER on convoy HX.84, convoy HX.85 was diverted to Sydney CB, where itarrived on the 9th.

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Light cruiser AJAX, which departed Alexandria on 30 October, landed troops of the 2nd Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment at Suda Bay on the 1st.

 

Light cruiser AJAX was near missed by Italian bombing on the 1st.

 

Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN examined Navarin Bay.

 

As the force departed Suda Bay on the 2nd, light cruiser AJAX and anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY were taken under Italian bombing. Light cruiser AJAX was again near missed.

 

The ships arrived at Alexandria on the 4th.

______

 

The US Atlantic Fleet was redesignated the Patrol Force, United States Fleet.

 

This designation remained until 1 February 1941 when the old name US Atlantic Fleet was revived.

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Convoy SLS.54 departed Freetown and arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

 

 

Saturday, 2 November

 

U.31 was sunk by destroyer ANTELOPE, escorting convoy OB.237, northwest of Ireland in 56‑26N, 10‑18W.

 

Destroyer ANTELOPE was damaged alongside U.31 while boarding her.

 

Five officers and thirty eight ratings were taken prisoner from the German submarine. Two ratings were lost.

 

Destroyer ACHATES was also in the escort of convoy OB.237.

 

Destroyer ANTELOPE proceeded to Greenock for repairs. On 7 December, she was moved to Glasgow to complete repairs completed on 24 December.

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Convoy OB.238 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CASTLETON, VANQUISHER, VISCOUNT, WHITEHALL and corvette FLEUR DE LYS. The escort was detached on the 5th.

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Convoy FN.324 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 4th.

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Convoy FN.325 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 4th.

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British minefield BS.44 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyers INTREPID and ICARUS.

 

Following the minelay, destroyer INTREPID was damaged on a mine off Hartlepool. Both INTREPID's engines were damaged.

 

Destroyer INTREPID was repaired at Hartlepool in seven weeks.

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Destroyer CAMPBELTOWN, while on trials after refitting at Devonport, was damaged in a collision with Norwegian steamer RISOY (793grt).

 

Destroyer CAMPBELTOWN was repaired at Liverpool completing on the 24th.

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Armed merchant cruiser RANPURA was damaged by fire.

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Destroyer DOUGLAS departed Scapa Flow at 1830 to search for a boat containing four men in 58-34N, 1-32W.

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500/3rd with twelve survivors from minesweeping trawler WARDOUR (335grt) mined on 31 October.

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Destroyers MASHONA and KEPPEL departed Scapa Flow at 0030 to meet armed merchant cruiser LETITIA and troopships EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and ANTONIA on passage from Iceland to the Clyde.

 

All ships safely arrived in the Clyde at 0815/3rd.

______

 

Destroyer VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1715 after escorting Armed merchant cruiser COMORIN to her Northern Patrol Station.

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After being delayed by engine room defects, Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0040 to escort convoy EN.17 from the vicinity of Aberdeen to Pentland Firth.

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Submarine TAKU (Lt J. F. B. Brown) attacked German tanker GEDANIA (8923grt) fifty miles off the Loire in 46-54N, 3-50W, without success.

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Submarine TIGRIS unsuccessfully attacked Italian submrine VENIERO off the Gironde.

______

 

 

British tugs LEA (168grt) and DEANBROOK (149grt) were sunk on mines in the Tilbury Basin.

 

Six crew were lost on tug LEA. The entire crew of tug DEANBROOK was lost.

 

Both tugs were raised for scrap.

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Minesweeping trawler RINOVA (429grt, Chief Skipper T. Fraser RNR) was sunk on a mine off Falmouth, 2.9 miles 154.5, from St Anthony Light.

 

Fourteen ratings were lost in the trawler.

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British drifter GOODWILL (28grt) was sunk on a mine in the Firth of Forth.

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Battleship WARSPITE, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, other units of the Mediterranean Fleet arrived at Alexandria after supporting initial Crete landings.

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Submarine TETRARCH unsuccessfully attacked a steamer off Benghasi.

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Destroyer KIMBERLEY was attacked unsuccessfully by Italian bombers in 14‑14N, 42‑47E.

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Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Lagos on patrol.

 

 

Sunday, 3 November

 

Light cruiser DESPATCH, escorted by destroyers VENOMOUS, VESPER, WINDSOR, which had departed Sheerness on the 1st and picked up DESPATCH at Portsmouth, arrived in the Clyde.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1000 to cover convoy WN.29 from Pentland Firth to Methil.

 

Convoy WN.29 was under German air attack from 1821 to 1930.

 

British steamer KILDALE (3877grt) was sunk by German bombing in 57‑45N, 01‑45W from the convoy.

 

Two crew were lost on the British steamer.

 

British steamer EROS (5888grt) was damaged by German bombing in 57‑48N, 01‑54W from the convoy.

 

On her arrival at Methil, cruiser CURACOA proceeded to Rosyth to boiler clean.

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Destroyers MASHONA and KEPPEL departed the Clyde at 1345 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700/4th.

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Submarine STURGEON sank Danish steamer SIGRUN (1337grt) in 58-59N, 10-21E in Oslofjord.

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Britsh convoy FN.326 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 5th.

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Convoy FS.327 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers QUORN, WALLACE, WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 5th.

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British steamer WINDSOR CASTLE (19, 141grt) was damaged by German bombing in 54‑12N, 13‑18W.

 

The steamer was escorted to the Clyde by destroyer BULLDOG.

 

Destroyer BULLDOG departed the Clyde on the 4th for Liverpool, arriving at 2100/4th.

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British steamer CAIRNGORM (394grt) was damaged on a mine in Bristol Channel.

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Belgian fishing vessel VAN DER WEYDEN (132grt) four and a half cables 262 from No. 4 Buoy, Milford Haven.

 

Eight crew were lost from the vessel. There was only one survivor.

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U.99 sank British steamer CASANARA (5376grt) in 53‑58N, 14‑13W.

 

Nine crew were lost on the British steamer.

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Destroyer ACHATES attacked a submarine contact in 55-07N, 14-45W. Joined by destroyer ACTIVE, there was no definite result.

 

The destroyers proceeded to assist armed merchant cruisers LAURENTIC and PATROCLUS.

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U.99 badly damaged armed merchant cruiser LAURENTIC (Captain E. P. Vivian Rtd), which had departed Liverpool on convoy duty on 18 October, in 54‑09N, 13‑44W.

 

U.99 torpedoed armed merchant cruiser LAURENTIC again some six hours later sinking her.

 

T/Lt Cdr (E) J. Lightfoot RNR, Midshipman C. D. Fisher RNR, forty seven ratings were lost in the armed merchant cruiser.

 

The survivors from steamer CASANARA and fifty two officers and three hundred and sixteen ratings from armed merchant cruiser LAURENTIC were rescued by Armed merchant cruiser PATROCLUS.

 ______

 

Aircraft carrier EAGLE, battleships VALIANT, RAMILLIES, MALAYA, the 7th Cruiser Squadron arrived at Alexandria after supporting initial landings at Crete.

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Light cruiser DRAGON departed Freetown.

 

 

Monday, 4 November

 

Battleships NELSON and RODNEY, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD (CS.15) and BONAVENTURE, destroyers COSSACK (D.4), MAORI, MATABELE, ELECTRA, BRILLIANT departed the Firth of Forth at 1615.

 

Destroyer PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 0630 to join Captain D.4 escorting the Commander in Chief Home Fleet on battleship NELSON in the Firth of Forth.

 

The British force arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/5th.

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Destroyer BULLDOG departed the Clyde for Liverpool arriving at 2100/4th.

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Polish destroyer PIORUN (formerly British NERISSA) was completed. Following working up she operated in the 7th Destroyer Flotilla in the Home Fleet.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0900 to cover convoy WN.30 to the vicinity of Bell Rock.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Rosyth.

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Convoy OB.239 departed Liverpool, but due to the presence of German surface heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER in the North Atlantic, she proceededto Oban and did not sail until 10 November.

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Convoy FN.327 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 6th.

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U.99 badly damaged armed merchant cruiser PATROCLUS (Captain G. C. Wynter Rtd), which had departed Liverpool on 19 October for convoy duties and had picked up the survivors of steamer CASANAREand LAURENTIC, in 53‑43N, 14‑41W.

 

U.99 torpedoed PATROCLUS again five hours later sinking her.

 

Captain Wynter, Lt R. S. Murchie RNR, T/Lt Cdr (E) G. J. Arney RNR, T/Surgeon Lt Cdr J. B. Barr RNVR, T/Lt F. S. Piddocke RNR, T/Lt E. Richardson RNR, T/Paymaster Lt J. Bryant, forty nine ratings were lost on the armed merchant cruiser PATROCLUS.

 

Destroyers ACHATES and HESPERUS picked up the survivors from the three ships; thirty three officers and two hundred and thirty ratings from PATROCLUS.

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Aircraft carrier EAGLE developed defects to her machinery as a result of near misses of Italian air bombing on 12 October.

 

This caused her withdrawal from operation JUDGMENT.

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Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser SYDNEY departed Alexandria to embark troops at Port Said.

 

The cruisers departed on the 5th carrying troops and one heavy anti-aircraft battery.

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Convoy AN.6, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers KINGSTON CRYSTAL (433grt) and KINGSTON CYANITE (433grt), departed Port Said with British tankers ADINDA (3359grt) and BRITISH SERGEANT (5868grt) and five steamers for Greece. Tanker PASS OF BALMAHA (758grt) departed Alexandria and joined this convoy at sea.

 

Both trawlers broke down and destroyer DAINTY departed Alexandria late on the 4th with anti-submarine trawlers KINGSTON CORAL (433grt) and SINDONIS (440grt) to join the convoy. The convoy arrived on the 8th.

 

Destroyer DAINTY later joined the Main Fleet for the MB 8 operation.

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Submarine TETRARCH damaged Italian steamer SNIA AMBA (2534grt) from a convoy off Benghazi.

 

This convoy had departed Tripoli 2 November with SNIA AMBA and PALLADE, escorted by torpedo boat LA FARINA.

 

The submarine claimed damaging steamer PALLADE, as well, but the steamer was not damaged.

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Italian submarine BIANCHI was damaged by destroyer GREYHOUND and a London flying boat near Gibraltar and put into Tangiers for refuge.

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French destroyers MAMELUCK, FLEURET, EPEE, LANSQUENET passed Gibraltar from west to east.

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Light cruiser DIOMEDE departed Tortula.

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Convoy SL.54 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE BAY to 25 November. Armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN joined the convoy on the 22nd to 25 November.

 

On 24 November, destroyers CALDWELL, WALKER, WESTCOTT, corvettes CANDYTUFT, CROCUS, HEARTSEASE, HONEYSUCKLE, French sloop CHEVREUIL joined the convoy. Destroyer CALDWELL was detached with the merchant cruisers on the 25th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

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Convoy BS.8 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. The convoy was joined on the 5th by sloop GRIMSBY. The sloops were detached when the convoy was joined by light cruiser LEANDER, destroyer KINGSTON, slops FLAMINGO and INDUS. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 12th.

 

 

Tuesday,  5 November

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK transferred from convoy WN.30 to convoy EN.19 off the Firth of Forth.

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK escorted convoy EN.19 to Pentland Firth.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO arrived in the Clyde.

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Hunt-class destroyer TYNEDALE was completed. Following working up, she was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Portsmouth Command.

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The British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow at this time were -

 

Battleships NELSON and RODNEY

 

Battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE.

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS at Scapa Flow but due to repair to her rudders and was not available. Her speed was limited to twenty three knots.

 

Light cruiser of the 18th Cruiser Squadron SOUTHAMPTON

 

Anti-aircraft cruisers of the 15th Cruiser Squadron NAIAD, BONAVENTURE, PHOEBE, DIDO (DIDO unfit for sea after structural defects developed at sea in late October).

 

Destroyer of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla under orders of Home Fleet BRILLIANT

 

Destroyer of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla ELECTRA

 

Destroyers of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla COSSACK and MAORI

 

Destroyers of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla SOMALI, MASHONA, MATABELE, PUNJABI, ESKIMO

 

Destroyers of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla KEPPEL and DOUGLAS

 

Destroyer of the 21st Destroyer Flotilla VIMY

Other Home Fleet units were

 

Heavy cruisers of the 1st Cruiser Squadron AUSTRALIA at the Clyde with machinery defects, NORFOLK which arrived in the Tyne in late October to correct structural defects completing on the 8th, SUSSEX and SUFFOLK which were under long repairs to bombing damages.

 

Light cruisers of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron AURORA was detached and at Sheerness, ARETHUSA was repairing minor collision damage in Tyne, GALATEA was repairing mine damage Chatham, PENELOPEunder long repairs for grounding damage sustained in Norway.

 

Light cruisers of the 10th Cruiser Squadron NIGERIA and KENYA working up and FIJI repairing torpedo damage at Greenock.

 

Light cruisers of the 18th Cruiser Squadron MANCHESTER detached and at Humber, NEWCASTLE detached and at Plymouth, EDINBURGH at Scapa Flow working up after long refit, BIRMINGHAM refitting at Liverpool from 27 September to 27 December.

 

Destroyers of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla under repairs ECLIPSE at Scapa Flow, ECHO at Clyde, ESCAPADE at Troon.

 

Destroyers of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla under repair SIKH at Leith, ZULU under repair at Rosyth, FAME at Rosyth aground.

 

Destroyers of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla under repair BEDOUIN at Southampton, ASHANTI at Rosyth aground, TARTAR at Plymouth.

 

Destroyer of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla ANTHONY at Greenock.

 

Destroyers of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla on loan to Home Fleet operating in the Western Approaches BEAGLE and BULLDOG.

 

Destroyer of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla operating in the Western Approaches FEARLESS

 

Destroyers of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla operating in the Western Approaches AMBUSCADE, ARROW, ACTIVE, AMAZON.

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Convoy FS.328 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET. Patrol sloop SHELDRAKE joined on the 6th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th.

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U.99 sank British steamer SCOTTISH MAIDEN (6993grt) from convoy HX.83 in 54‑36N, 14‑23W.

 

Sixteen crew were missing from the British steamer. The survivors from SCOTTISH MAIDEN were rescued by destroyer BEAGLE.

 

Convoy HX.83 was at that time escorted by destroyers ACTIVE, ACHATES, BEAGLE, HESPERUS, HURRICANE, WILD SWAN and corvette PICOTEE.

 

In the counter attack after the sinking of steamer SCOTTISH MAIDEN, destroyer BEAGLE damaged U.123, which was able to return to Lorient.

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British steamer HAIG ROSE (1117grt) was lost in Bristol Channel to unknown agent.

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At 1240, German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER sank British steamer MOPAN (5389grt) in 52‑59N, 32-12W. Steamer MOPAN had departed Kingston, Jamaica, was en route to England.

 

The German battleship rescued the steamer MOPAN's sixty eight survivors.

 

At 1710, German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER attacked Convoy HX.84 of thirty seven ships (Convoy Commodore Rear Admiral H. B. Maltby Rtd on British steamer CORNISH CITY (4952grt) escorted by Armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY.

 

Heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER sank armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY (Captain E. S. F. Fegen (act)) at 2003 in 52-50N, 52-15W, British steamers MAIDAN (7908grt) in 52‑28N, 32‑08W, TREWELLARD (5201grt) in 52‑27N, 32‑09W, KENBANE HEAD (5225grt) in 52‑26N, 32‑34W, BEAVERFORD (10, 042grt) in 52‑26N, 32‑34W, FRESNO CITY (4955grt) in 51‑47N, 33‑29W and damaged tanker SAN DEMETRIO (8073grt) in 52‑48N, 32‑15W, steamer ANDALUSIA (3082grt) and troopship RANGITIKI (16, 984grt).

 

Lt A. H. W. Bartle RNR, Lt Cdr A. W. Driscoll RNR, Midshipman R. J. Owens RNR, Midshipman W. E. Thiselton RNR, T/Lt N. E. Wood RNR, thirty five ratings were killed.

 

Captain Fegen, T/Lt (E) J. W. P. Barry RNR, T/Lt (E) D. H. J. Bigg RNR, T/Cdr (E) J. H. G. Chappell RNR, Surgeon Lt Cdr T. G. Evans, MRCS, LRCP RNVR, T/Sub Lt (E) R. L. Hall RNVR, T/A/Sub Lt (E) G. D. Green RNVR, T/Lt W. Hill RNR, Midshipman C. C. T. Latch RNR, T/Lt Cdr (E) M. A. Leddra RNR, Lt Cdr K. M. Morrison RNR, T/Lt (E) W. Newton RNR, T/Lt Cdr G. L. Roe RNR, Gunner E. R. Stannard, T/Paymaster Lt A. W. Stott RNR, T/Paymaster Lt Cdr W. E. White RNR, ninety seven RN ratings, thirteen RCN ratings were lost on the armed merchant cruiser.

 

T/A/Sub Lt (E) H. M. Pattinson RNVR, nine ratings died of wounds.

 

Six RN ratings and two RCN ratings were wounded.

 

Swedish steamer STUREHOLM (4575grt) rescued sixty five survivors and three bodies from JERVIS BAY. The steamer arrived at Halifax on the 12th. Most of the survivors were transferred to Armed merchant cruiser COMORIN for return to England.

 

British steamer GLOUCESTER CITY, from a dispersed OB.convoy rescued ninety two survivors from the steamers - twenty five survivors from TREWELLARD, twenty three survivors from SAN DEMETRIO, twenty survivors from KENBANE HEAD, and twenty four from FRESNO CITY.

 

On 9 November, Greek steamer MOUNT TAYGETUS (3286grt) rescued a further twelve crew from the FRESNO CITY.

 

On steamer BEAVERFORD, all seventy seven crew were lost. On steamer MAIDAN, all ninety one crew were lost. One crewman was killed on steamer FRESNO CITY. Twenty three crew were lost on steamer KENBANE HEAD. Two crew were killed and fourteen crew were missing on steamer TREWELLARD.

 

Steamer GLOUCESTER CITY arrived at St Johns on the 13th.

 

Convoy SC.10, fourteen ships escorted by Sloop FOLKESTONE, was one hundred miles southeast of HX.84. The convoy was ordered away from the area of the attack.

 

Convoy HX.86 departing Halifax was immediately recalled.

 

Convoy BHX.66 departed Bermuda on the 3rd escorted by armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE, but returned to Bermuda on the 5th.

 

Battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE, anti-aircraft cruisers PHOEBE, NAIAD, BONAVENTURE of the 15th Cruiser Squadron, destroyers ESKIMO, MASHONA, MATABELE, ELECTRA, SOMALI (D.6), PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 2330/5th to German heavy cruiser SCHEER's last position, 52-50N, 32-15W at 2003.

 

Later, battlecruiser HOOD, cruisers PHOEBE and NAIAD, destroyers SOMALI, ESKIMO, PUNJABI proceeded to cover the approaches to Brest and Lorient. Battlecruiser REPULSE, anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE, destroyers MASHONA, MATABELE, ELECTRA continued towards German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER's last position.

 

Battleships RODNEY and NELSON departed Scapa Flow at 0700/6th with light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers COSSACK (D.4), MAORI, BRILLIANT, DOUGLAS, KEPPEL, VIMY to cover the Iceland-Faroes Channel.

 

Battleship RODNEY was sent to escort HX.83 and once she was safe, HX.85 from Halifax.

 

Armed merchant cruisers CHITRAL, which was to the northwest of Iceland, CALIFORNIA and WORCESTERSHIRE, which were to the south of Iceland, departed their stations for the Clyde on the 8th.

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON replaced armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL on her Northern Patrol station.

 

Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE joined the battleship NELSON group at 1400/9th.

 

Submarine TRIDENT was ordered to patrol south of Belle Ile in the approaches to St Nazaire.

 

Submarine USK was ordered to the Brest approaches.

 

Submarine TUNA off Gironde was relieved by submarine TIGRIS.

 

Submarine TUNA then proceeded to position off the Scilly.

 

Submarine TRIUMPH on passage to Gibraltar was ordered to a station in 47-30N, 08-00W.

 

Destroyers CHURCHILL, LUDLOW, LINCOLN, LEWES, recent additions to the Royal Navy compliments of Lend Lease, had departed Halifax on 31 October and refuelled at St Johns on the 3rd before beginning the Atlantic crossing.

 

These destroyers intercepted signals from convoy HX.84 and rushed to its location. However, they never made contact and only sighted one empty life boat.

 

The destroyers went on without incident arriving at Belfast on the 9th.

 

Convoys HX.85 which departed Halifax on the 1st and HX.86 which departed Halifax on the 5th were recalled to Halifax.

 

Destroyer STANLEY, also Lend Lease addition, which had departed Halifax on the 1st and St Johns on the 5th and Canadian destroyer ST FRANCIS, Lend Lease, departed Halifax to aid the convoy and escorted the convoy HX.85 back to Nova Scotia.

 

On 8 November, battleship NELSON, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON, destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, BRILLIANT, DOUGLAS, KEPPEL, VIMY were between Iceland the Faroes.

 

Destroyers DOUGLAS, VIMY, BULLDOG rendezvoused with the Commander in Chief at 1200/9th in 62-46N, 11-58W after refuelling at Skaalefjord.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE, anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE, destroyers MATABELE, MASHONA, ELECTRA were in 52‑45N, 32‑15W.

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA was at the Clyde with turbine problems, probably a broken turbine blade, could not sail until 1749 on the 8th.

 

On 31 October, battlecruiser aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser GLASGOW, destroyers ISIS, DUNCAN, FOXHOUND, liner PASTEUR had departed Greenock to rejoin Force H.

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL arrived at Gibraltar with destroyers VIDETTE and WRESTLER at 1315/6th, cruisers BERWICK and GLASGOW at 1430/same day, the liner and destroyers at 1630 that day.

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived from Azores patrol at Gibraltar at 0600/6th.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers ENCOUNTER, FORESTER, one other departed at 0500/6th to escort convoys HG.46 and SL.53 in 40‑00N, 20‑30W at this time.

 

Flag Officer Force H.transferred his flag to battleship BARHAM and after the arrival of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL on the 6th to her.

 

At 1225/6th in the Atlantic off Cape St Vincent, submarine UTMOST was identified as enemy by destroyer ENCOUNTER.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER rammed submarine UTMOST. UTMOST proceeded to Gibraltar arriving at 0800/7th.

 

Submarine UTMOST departed Gibraltar on the 30th for Malta, arriving on 8 December, was under repair until 2 February.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was escorted to Gibraltar by destroyer FORESTER. They arrived at 0800/7thThe destroyer was repairing until 23 November.

 

On the 11th, Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA relieved the RENOWN group of convoy HG.46 and they arrived back at Gibraltar on the 12th.

On 8 November, battleship RODNEY was in 56‑30N, 28‑30W proceeding towards 45‑20N, 52‑00W to escort convoy HX.85.

 

Battlecruiser HOOD, anti-aircraft cruisers PHOEBE and NAIAD, destroyers ESKIMO, SOMALI, PUNJABI were in 45‑50N, west of 20W.

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS (Captain E. G. N. Rushbrooke), light cruiser DESPATCH, destroyers VESPER, VENOMOUS, WINDSOR, which departed the Clyde on the 7th, were in 53‑00N, 17‑00W.

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS and light cruiser DESPATCH were in 45N, 19‑13W at 1300/11th. Light cruiser DESPATCH went to Gibraltar arriving on the 14th. Destroyers WISHART and WRESTLER departed Gibraltar on the 11th and destroyer VIDETTE departed Gibraltar on the 12th and joined aircraft carrier ARGUS which went north to join heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA escorting convoys HG.46 and SL.53 the convoy brought north by the RENOWN group. Aircraft carrier ARGUS with destroyers WISHART, WRESTLER, VIDETTE arrived at Gibraltar later on the 14th for operation WHITE.

 

Destroyers MAORI, KEPPEL, BRILLIANT departed Skaalefjord at 1600/10th after refuelling.

 

The destroyers joined the Commander in Chief at 1200/11th in 62-46N, 11-58W.

 

On the 10th, Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE anddestroyer MASHONA searched thearea of the HX.84 attack.

 

Destroyers BRILLIANT and VIMY arrived at Skaalefjord at 1300/11th to refuel.

 

Norwegian tanker SOLFONN (9925grt) of convoy HX.84 arrived in the Clyde on the 10th.

 

British tanker ERODONA (6207grt), British steamer ANDALUSIA (3082grt), British steamer CORNISH CITY (4952grt), British tanker JAMES J. MAGUIRE (10525grt), British steamer DANAE II (2660grt), British steamer CASTILIAN (3067grt), British steamer BRIARWOOD (4019grt), Norwegian steamer VAROY (1531grt), British tanker ATHELTEMPLAR (8939grt), British steamer LANCASTER CASTLE (5172grt), British steamer DAN-Y-BRYN (5117grt), British tanker ATHELEMPRESS (8941grt), British tanker OILRELIANCE (5666grt), Norwegian steamer HJALMAR WESEL (1742grt), Belgian steamer EMILE FRANCQUI (5859grt), Belgian steamer PERSIER (5382grt), Swedish steamer DELHI (4571grt), British steamer RANGITIKI (16698grt), Greek steamer ANNA BULGARIS (4603grt), British oiler DELPHINULA (8120grt), British tanker CORDELIA (8190grt), British steamer PACIFIC ENTERPRISE (6736grt), British steamer EMPIRE PENGUIN (6379grt) of convoy HX.84 arrived independently at Clyde, Belfast, Oban, Liverpool on the 12th.

 

British tanker SOVAC (6724grt) arrived in the Mersey on the 13th, British steamer TREFUSIS (5299grt) arrived at Rothesay on the 13th, Swedish tanker ST GOBAIN (9959grt) arrived at Liverpool on the 14th, Swedish steamer STUREHOLM (4575grt) arrived at Halifax on the 12th, Norwegian steamer CETUS (2614grt) arrived at Oban on the 13th, Polish steamers PUCK (1065grt) arrived at Greenock on the 13th and MORSKA WOLA (3376grt), which had been straggling from the start, arrived at Oban on the 13th.

 

British tanker SAN DEMETRIO (8073grt) arrived at Rothesay accompanied by British tug SUPERMAN (359grt) and escorted by destroyer ARROW on the 16th.

 

Swedish steamer VINGALAND (2734grt) survived the attack, but was lost after bombing damage of 8 November and a submarine attack on the 9th.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers MATABELE and ELECTRA arrived at Scapa Flow for refuelling at 1100/11th.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE and destroyer MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1120/11th for refuelling.

 

The battlecruiser HOOD, anti-aircraft cruisers PHOEBE and NAIAD, destroyers SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, PUNJABI returned to Scapa Flow at 1400/11th for refuelling.

 

Destroyer ESKIMO with weather damage to her asdic dome and her forecastle deck plates buckled was under repair from repair ship MAIDSTONE at Scapa Flow from 13‑16 November in the floating drydock.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE departed Scapa Flow at 2300/11th to continue to search for survivors. Armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL was also at sea on this duty.

 

The cruiser arrived back on the 19th. The anti-aircraft cruiser was weather damaged and was repaired at Rosyth from 25 November to 4 December.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE was weather damaged and was repaired at the Clyde from 18 November to 14 December.

 

Armed merchant cruiser LETITIA departed the Clyde at 1300/11th to continue Northern Patrol duties.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE, anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD and destroyers SIKH, MATABELE, MASHONA, PUNJABI returned to sea at 1330/12th to continue patrol and cover the Northern Patrol.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers MATABELE, MASHONA, ASHANTI returned to Scapa Flow at 0015/19th.

 

Battleship NELSON with destroyers BEAGLE, MAORI, BULLDOG, KEPPEL arrived at Scapa Flow at 1630/13th.

 

Destroyer KEPPEL began boiler cleaning.

 

Battleship RODNEY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/23rd.

______

 

Submarine STURGEON attacked Norwegian steamer ULY (1200grt) off Lister without success.

______

 

On patrol in the Bay of Biscay, Submarine L.27 was damaged when her bridge was wrecked by depth charges.

 

Submarine L.27 was able to return to Portsmouth on the 7th and was under repair there until 21 January 1941.

______

 

German destroyers JACOBI, ECKHOLDT, IHN, STEINBRINCK, RIEDEL departed Brest to return to Wilhelmshaven for repairs.

 

The destroyers had been involved earlier in an operation in the Bay of Biscay towards Cape Finisterre, but mechanical problems forced cancellation of the sweep.

 

On 7 November, destroyers ECKHOLDT, IHN, STEINBRINCK arrived at Hamburg, Stettin, Hamburg, respectively, for repairs. Destroyers JACOBI and RIEDEL were repaired at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, respectively.

______

 

Convoy MW.3 of British steamers WAIWERA (10, 800grt), DEVIS (6054grt), VOLO (1587grt), RODI (3220grt) and tanker PLUMLEAF (5916grt) departed Alexandria for Malta escorted by anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY, destroyers DIAMOND, VAMPIRE, VOYAGER, WATERHEN, minesweeper ABINGDON.

 

Steamer BRISBANE STAR (11, 076grt), Royal Fleet Auxiliary BRAMBLELEAF (5917grt), armed boarding vessels CHAKLA and FIONA, netlayer PROTECTOR for Suda Bay travelled in company and was dropped off near Crete with anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer VOYAGER.

______

 

Australian light cruiser SYDNEY and Light cruiser AJAX loaded troops, ammunition, stores and departed Port Said for Crete.

 

The cruisers disembarked their charges at Suda Bay and departed Crete. Cruiser SYDNEY departed on the 6th and joined the Mediterranean Fleet at 1700/7th. Cruiser AJAX departed later and joined at 1700/8th.

______

 

Submarine RORQUAL laid mines north of Tripoli in 34-14N, 11-56E.

 

Italian steamer CAFFARO (6476grt) was damaged on this minefield on 27 December.

 

This minefield was extended by submarine RORQUAL on the 9th.

 

Italian torpedo boats CALIPSO and FRATELLI CAIROLI were lost on this minefield on 5 and 23 December, respectively, at Ras Misurata.

 

 

Wednesday, 6 November

 

Destroyers EXMOOR, CLEVELAND, PYTCHLEY departed Scapa Flow at 0815 escorting aircraft carrier FURIOUS to Liverpool.

 

The ships arrived on the 7th.

 

Destroyer CLEVELAND departed Liverpool later on the 7th and proceeded to Portsmouth, arriving at 0900/9th.

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Minesweeper ELGIN was mined near Sunk Light Vessel in 51-50N, 1-35E.

 

Screened by minesweepers NIGER and SPEEDWELL, the minesweeper was towed by minesweeper GOSSAMER to Harwich.

______

 

British minefield BS.45 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyer ICARUS and IMPULSIVE.

______

 

Convoy FN.328 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACEand WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 8th.

______

 

Convoy FS.329 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 8th.

______

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK transferred from convoy EN.19 to WN.31 in Pentland Firth.

 

Convoy was attacked by German bombers off Duncansby Head.

 

British steamer CLAN MACKINLAY (6365grt) in convoy WN.31 was sunk by German bombing in 58‑33N, 02‑53W.

 

Five crew were lost from the British steamer.

 

British steamer HARBOROUGH (5415grt) in convoy WN.31 was damaged by German bombing nine miles 76 from Noss Head. She was taken in tow by tugs BUCCANEER, BANDIT and ABEILLE 21.

______

 

Destroyer BULLDOG departed Liverpool at 1400 for Skaalefjord to refuel from tanker MONTENOL and await orders. She arrived at 0900/8th.

______

 

Canadian destroyer OTTAWA and destroyer HARVESTER aided British steamer MELROSE ABBEY (2473grt) which was being shelled by an Italian submarine southwest of Ireland.

 

The steamer escaped significant damage.

 

Destroyer OTTAWA fired five salvoes at the submarine before the submarine dived. Destroyers OTTAWA and HARVESTER then conducted anti-submarine operations. Latest appraisals indicate the submarine was Italian submarine FAA DI BRUNO which was sunk.

______

 

Submarine STURGEON sank Norwegian steamer DELFINUS (1293grt) off Obrestad Light in 58-34N, 5-37E.

______

 

Submarine CLYDE arrived at Holy Loch. The submarine proceeded on to Devonport, arriving on the 18th.

 

Submarine CLYDE was under repair at Devonport from 22 November to 31 March.

______

 

Submarine UNIQUE departed Portsmouth for patrol off Cherbourg.

 

After patrol, the submarine arrived back at Portsmouth on the 26th for A. S. T. running.

______

 

British steamer NALON (7222grt) was sunk by German bombing in 53‑57N, 15‑03W.

 

The entire crew of the British steamer was rescued.

______

 

British whaler SEVRA (253grt, T/Sub Lt F. B. Richards RNVR) was sunk on a mine five and a half cables 154 from St Anthony Light off Falmouth.

 

There were no casualties on the whaler.

______

 

British trawler GIRL HELEN (63grt) was sunk on a mine 10.75 cables 349 from Tyne North Pier Light.

______

 

Swedish fishing vessel ELLY (52grt) was sunk on a mine twenty miles west of Paternoster.

 

Five crew were lost on the Swedish vessel.

______

 

The Operation COAT, the Mediterranean Fleet with battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS with three of EAGLE's aircraft embarked, destroyers HYPERION, HASTY, HERO, HEREWARD, HAVOCK, ILEX of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla andDECOY and DEFENDER of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria on Operation MB 8. Battleships MALAYA and RAMILLIES and destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria in Operation MB 8. This operation was to meet reinforcements coming from the Western basin.

 

Cruisers YORK and GLOUCESTER also departed Alexandria in this operation.

 

The Fleet also covered the movement of Convoys.

 

Of the Destroyers in the Mediterranean Fleet, only VENDETTA, STUART, IMPERIAL repairing at Malta did not participate in COAT.

______

 

Light cruiser ORION departed Alexandria for Pireaus to consult with the Greek authorities. The cruiser also carried ammunition, bombs, ground crews for 216 Squadron.

 

The cruiser arrived during the morning of 7 November.

______

 

Convoy BS.7 A departed Port Suden, escorted by sloop SHOREHAM. The convoy arrived at Aden on the 11th.

______

 

Gunboat CRICKET departed Singapore escorted by light cruiser CAPETOWN for Penang and Nancowry.

 

On the 10th, the report of the OLE JACOB attack caused gunboat CRICKET to be ordered to Nancowry and light cruiser CAPETOWN set off to search for the German raider.

 

On the 20th, both ships were able to depart Nancowry to return to Penang to await weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal to settle.

 

On 5 December, gunboat TARANTULA and British steamer GURNA (5248grt) departed Singapore escorted by light cruiser DAUNTLESS.

 

These ships arrived at Penang on 7 December and departed the same day with gunboat CRICKET in company.

______

 

Late on the 6th and into 7 November, German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN laid forty mines in Spencer Strait near Melbourne.

 

This concluded minelays by armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN and her auxiliary minelayer PASSAT.

 

Sunk on the 7th on the Bass Strait barrage laid by PASSAT was British steamer CAMBRIDGE (10, 855grt) six miles east of Wilson's Promontory, Bass Strait.

 

One crewman was missing from the British steamer. The survivors were rescued by Australian auxiliary minesweeper ORARA which first attempted to tow CAMBRIDGE, without success.

 

Australian light cruiser ADELAIDE departed Sydney to search for the German raider.

 

The light cruiser arrived back at Sydney on the 10th.

 

Sunk on the 8th in 38-51S, 143-39E off Cape Otway on the Bass Strait barrage was American steamer CITY OF RAYVILLE (5883grt).

 

One crewman was missing from the American steamer.

 

Sunk on 5 December was Australian coastal steamer NIMBIN (1052grt) in 33‑15S, 151‑47E.

 

Seven crew were missing from the Australian steamer.

 

 

Thursday,  7 November

 

Light cruisers EDINBURGH and DIDO, the only available Home Fleet units at Scapa Flow, were placed on one hour's notice from 0800 to 1543 after D/F reports placed an enemy surface unit to the southeast of Fair Isle Channel.

______

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK transferred from convoy WN.31 to EN.20 in the vicinity of Aberdeen.

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK escorted convoy EN.20 to Pentland Firth.

______

 

Convoy FS.330 departed Methil. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 9th.

______

 

Submarine SWORDFISH (Lt M. A. Langley) departed Gosport on the 7th to relieve submarine USK on patrol off Ushant.

 

Submarine SWORDFISH struck a mine sinking off Portsmouth and was declared lost on the 16th.

 

Lt Langley, Lt H. A. Stacey, Lt A. F. Fry RNR, Sub Lt M. E. P. Ratcliffe, Warrant Engineer H. T. Selway, the thirty six ratings of the crew were lost with SWORDFISH.

 

The wreck of SWORDFISH was found in 1983 putting to rest many theories as to her loss.

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British steamer HERLAND (2645grt) was sunk on a mine two cables 146 from Nore Light Vessel.

 

Sixteen crew and two naval gunners were lost with the British steamer.

______

 

Free French minesweeping trawler POULMIC (O E Vibert, 350grt) was sunk on a mine near Plymouth.    Eleven crew were missing.  Seven survivors were rescued.

 

______

 

German bombers attacked convoy FS.28 in Barrow Deep.

 

British steamer ASTROLOGER (1673grt) was sunk by German bombing in 51‑32N, 01‑06E.

 

The entire crew of the steamer was rescued.

 

Steamer ASTROLOGER was beached on the 7th, but was wrecked in a gale on the 15th.

 

British steamer DAGO II (1993grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑32N, 01‑09E.

 

British steamer MEDEE (2163grt) was damaged by German bombing 51‑10N, 01‑12E.

 

Sloop EGRET shot down a Ju.88. Sloop EGRET sustained some casualties from a near miss.

______

 

Minesweeping trawler WILLIAM WESNEY (364grt, A/T/Skipper F. J. Farrow RNR) was sunk on a mine off Orfordness, in 51-53-48N, 1-33-36E.

 

One rating was killed and four crew were missing on the British trawler. Two accompanying trawlers and sloop SHELDRAKE rescued the survivors.

______

 

British drifter REED (99grt) was sunk on a mine in the Thames Estuary, in 51-46N, 1-14-05E.

 

T/Skipper G. E. Utting RNR, thirteen ratings were killed on the drifter. T/Lt K. H. Empson RNVR, died of wounds on the 8th.

______

 

German torpedo boats T.1, T.4, T.9, T.10 of the 1st Torpedo Boat Flotilla and T.6, T.7, T.8 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla departed Trondheim to strike at a Convoy between Kinnaird Head and Smith Bank.

 

The force crossed a British minefield forty miles off Kinnaird Head and T.6 was mined and sunk.

 

German torpedo boats T.7 and T.8 rescued the survivors.

 

The German torpedo boat force returned to Trondheim without proceeding further.

______

 

Force H.with aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL. battleship BARHAM, heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruisers SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW, destroyers DUNCAN, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FORESTER, FURY, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, GREYHOUND, ISIS departed Gibraltar on COAT.

 

Force F of Battleship BARHAM, heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser GLASGOW, destroyers GREYHOUND, GALLANT, GRIFFIN carried 2000 troops for Malta, then were to go on to the Mediterranean Fleet for duty. The troops had been brought from the UK in liner PASTEUR.

 

Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, FURY carried 150 troops to Malta and travelled with the BARHAM force. Following the disembarkation of the troops, these destroyers returned to Force H.

 

Italian destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, MALOCELLO were sent to intercept the BARHAM force which was able to reach Malta safely.

______

 

Free French troops on cargo ships FORT LAMY (5234grt), CASAMANCE (5817grt), NEVADA (5693grt) were landed at Libreville.

 

On 8 November, Vichy submarine PONCELET torpedoed Sloop MILFORD at Port Gentil off Libreville, but the torpedo did not explode. The submarine was damaged by sloop MILFORD and the air attack of one of heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE's Walrus.

 

Submarine PONCELET was scuttled at 0‑20S, 8‑50E and her crew was picked up by destroyers FOXHOUND and FORTUNE.

 

On 29 November, sloop MILFORD transferred the PONCELET crew to Light cruiser DELHI.

 

On 9 November, Free French sloops SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and COMMANDANT DOMINE sank Vichy sloop BOUGAINVILLE off Libreville.

 

On the 10th, Libreville fell to Free French forces and on the 11th Port Gentil also fell.

 

The Royal Navy force, which included heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and light cruiser DELHI, played no active role in the Libreville campaign, but did remain off the port to assure that Vichy units from Dakar did not intervene.

 

Vice Admiral J. H. D. Cunningham transferred his flag from heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE to light cruiser NEPTUNE after the Libreville campaign.

 

 

Friday, 8 November

 

Dutch submarine O.22, which departed Dundee on patrol on the 5th, was sunk by German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ.117 (trawler UHLENHORST - 520grt) and UJ.1102 (trawler WESTFALEN - 445grt) off Lindesnes.

 

The last contact the submarine had with her base was at her departure from Dundee.

 

British observer Sub Lt M. R. Jackson and two communications ratings were lost with the Dutch crew.

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Convoy OB.240 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers AMAZON, ARROW, BURZA, sloops ABERDEEN and ROCHESTER, corvettes CROCUS and HEARTEASE. Sloop ROCHESTER was detached later day and destroyers AMAZON and BURZA ON 11 November, sloop ABERDEEN on 12November, the remainder on the 13th.

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Convoy FN.329 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WINCHESTER and EGLINTON and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE. Destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop SHELDRAKE were detached on the 9th. Destroyers CATTISTOCK and WALLACE joined on the 9th.

 

German bombers attacked convoy FN.329 on the 8th.

 

Escort ship/destroyer WINCHESTER (Lt Cdr S. E. Crewe Read) shot down two Ju.87 bombers in air raids on the Thames Estuary.

 

Escort ship/destroyer WINCHESTER struck a mine one mile northeast of Swin Light Vessel and had to anchor to make emergency repairs. While anchored, she was damaged by near misses, but had no casualties.

 

Escort ship/destroyer WINCHESTER was under repair at London until 6 June.

 

Dutch steamer AGAMEMNON (1930grt) was sunk seven cables 222 from Swin Light Vessel.

 

Two crew were lost on the Dutch steamer.

 

British steamer FIREGLOW (1261grt) was damaged by German bombing southwest of Swin Buoy in the Thames Estuary.

 

British steamer EWELL (1350grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑43N, 01‑23E.

 

British steamer CATFORD (1568grt) was damaged by German bombing southwest of Swin Buoy in the Thames Estuary. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 10th.

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Convoy FS.331 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers CATTISTOCK and VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. Destroyer QUORN and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE joined on the 9th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 10th.

______

 

Italian submarine MARCONI was damaged by destroyer HAVELOCK off northwest Ireland in 56‑01N, 17‑50W.

______

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS of 1st Minelaying Squadron, joined by Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE, escorted by destroyers BATH, ST ALBANS, ST MARYS of the 57th Destroyer Division, departed Loch Alsh to lay defensive minefield SN.44 northwest of Ireland.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1240 after escorting convoy EN.20.

 

The anti-aircraft ship departed Scapa Flow at 1530 to cover convoy WN.33 eastbound from Pentland Firth.

______

 

Destroyer BEAGLE departed Liverpool at 0800 for Skaalefjord.

 

The destroyer arrived at 1500/9th. After refuelling, the destroyer stood by to await orders.

______

 

Hunt-class destroyer SOUTHDOWN was completed. She arrived at Scapa Flow for working up on the 17th.

 

Following working up, destroyer SOUTHDOWN was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla operating in the Nore.

______

 

Minesweeper ELGIN was damaged by the explosion of an acoustic mine off Sunk Light Vessel.

 

The minesweeper was repaired at Lowestoft completing on 18 December.

______

 

British steamer EMPIRE DORADO (5595grt) was damaged by German bombing in 55‑07N, 16‑50W.

 

Anti-submarine trawler MAN O'WAR (517grt) assisted the steamer.

______

 

Swedish steamer VINGALAND (2734grt) of convoy HX.84 was damaged by German bombing 55‑41N, 18‑24W.

 

The steamer was sunk on the 9th by Italian submarine MARCONI.

 

Nineteen survivors were picked up by British steamer DANAE II (2660grt).

______

 

British whaler A. N. 2 (221grt) was sunk on a mine off Falmouth, 2950 yards 119 from Pendennis.

______

 

British tug MURIA (192grt) was sunk on a mine off North Foreland, in 51-26-30N, 1-27E.

 

There were no survivors from the tug.

______

 

Late on the 8th, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, escorted by heavy cruiser BERWICK and light cruiser GLASGOW, launched an air raid on the Italian seaplane base at Elmas near Cagliari. This airstrike was given the operation name of CRACK.

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers DUNCAN, ISIS, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND, FORESTER returned to Gibraltar on the 11th.

______

 

French battleship PROVENCE, temporarily repaired of her Mer el Kebir damage, arrived at Toulon escorted by French destroyers EPEE, FLEURET, HARDI, LANSQUENET, MAMELUCK.

 

Destroyer HARDI had arrived at Oran from Casablanca on 25 October. Destroyers EPEE, FLEURET, MAMELUCK, LANSQUENET arrived at Oran on the 5th from Casablanca, passing Gibraltar on the 4th.

 

They were met in the local approaches by battleship STRASBOURG, heavy cruisers ALGERIE, DUPLEIX, FOCH, light cruisers GALISSONIERE and MARSEILLAISE, destroyers VOLTA, L'INDOMPTABLE, CASSARD, VAUTOUR, ALBATROS.

 

 

Saturday, 9 November

 

Destroyers EXMOOR and PYTCHLEY departed Liverpool at 0900 escorting British steamer ADDA (7816grt) to the Faroes.

 

The destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1000/13th.

______

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 2300 after escorting convoy WN.33 to the area of Stonehaven.

______

 

Convoy OB.241 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers HURRICANE, VETERAN, WITHERINGTON and corvettes CLEMATIS and PRIMROSE. Destroyer VERITY joined on the 12th and destroyer HURRICANE was detached on the 12th. The remainder of the escort was detached on the 14th.

______

 

Convoy FN.330 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 11th.

______

 

Convoy FS.332 departed Methil, escorted bydestroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 11th.

______

 

Convoy SC.11 departed St Johns at 1200 escorted by Canadian armed yacht ELK and ocean escort, Sloop ENCHANTRESS.

 

Battleship RODNEY covered the convoy on 12 to 15 November. On 21 November, destroyers OTTAWA, SAGUENAY, SKEENA, ST LAURENT joined the convoy. Destroyer ST LAURENT was detached on the 24th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

______

 

German bombers attacked convoys FN.330/FS.331 off Harwich.

 

Escort vessel VANITY was escorting the convoys at that time. There was no damage in the attacks.

______

 

British steamer BALTRADER (1699grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑41N, 01‑18E.

 

Two crew were lost on the British steamer.

 

The mine was laid by German torpedo boats on 29/30 October in minefield "Alfred. "

______

 

British troopship EMPRESS OF JAPAN (26, 032grt) was damaged by German bombing in 53‑54N, 14‑28W.

______

 

British steamer BEAL (504grt) was damaged by a mine off Tees.

______

 

British tanker SHELBRIT II (695grt) was damaged by German bombing alongside Cleveland Wharf, Shoreham.

______

 

Greek trawler VIVI (489grt) was sunk on a mine at Patras.

______

 

Italian submarine MARCONI sank Swedish steamer VINGALAND (2734grt), which had been damaged by bombing on the 8th, in convoy HX.84 in 55‑41N, 18‑24W. Six crew were lost from the Swedish steamer.

______

 

Finnish steamer MINERVA (2039grt) was sunk on a mine off the German North Sea coast.

______

 

Battleship RAMILLIES with destroyers ILEX, HYPERION, HAVOCK were detached with convoy MW.3 for Malta.

 

The cruisers of the 3rd and 7th Cruiser Squadrons were detached to sweep to the northward during the day.

 

A Swordfish of 815 Squadron forced landed near battleship WARSPITE. The crew was picked up by destroyer JERVIS. This crash was later found to be due to contaminated fuel.

______

 

Free French liner PASTEUR departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer WISHART, to return to Liverpool.

______

 

After an unsuccessful attempt to scuttle herself, Vichy French armed merchant cruiser CAP DES PALMES (3081grt) was captured off Libreville by Free French sloop COMMANDANT DOMINE.

______

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS, poising as Armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR, captured Norwegian tanker TEDDY (6750grt) in the Bay of Bengal in 5‑35N, 88‑22E.

 

The thirty two man crew from the Norwegian tanker landed in Japan on 5 December.

______

 

U.65 refuelled at sea from German tanker NORDMARK (7750grt) on 9 and 10 November.

______

 

American steamer CITY OF RAYVILLE was mined in 38-51S, 143-39E off Cape Otway in the field laid by German minelayer PASSAT.

 

Only the third engineer was lost. The rest of the crew, nine officers and thirty crew, escaped in two lifeboats to Apollo Bay.

 

 

Sunday, 10 November

 

Operating in the English Channel, destroyer CATTISTOCK was damaged by splinters from German bombing. Acting Gunner W. J. Yates was wounded. She was repaired in one day.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Rosyth to cover convoy EN.22 from Methil to Pentland Firth.

______

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to cover convoy WN.34 to the vicinity of Stonehaven.

______

 

Convoy OB.239, which had departed Liverpool on the 4th, but was recalled and arrived at Oban, departed Oban on the 10th escorted by corvette LA MALOUINE. The escort was joined on the 11th by destroyers BROKE, MALCOLMand SARDONYX and corvettes ANEMONE and ARABIS. On the 13th, destroyers MALCOLM and SARDONYX were detached and the remainder of the escort of 14 November.

______

 

Convoy FN.331 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 12th.

______

 

Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON ALALITE (550grt, Skipper R. A. Read RNR) was sunk by a mine off Plymouth, 5.7 cables 242 from Plymouth Breakwater Light.

 

Six ratings were lost on the trawler.

______

 

Boom defence vessel MARCELLE (64grt) was sunk on a mine in Bristol Channel, in 51-21-48N, 3-08W.

 

One crewman of a crew of five were lost on the boom defence vessel.

______

 

Convoy HX.86, which had been recalled outside Halifax on the 5th, departed Halifax at 1430 escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and RESTIGOUCHE and auxiliary patrol vessel HUSKY.

 

At 1500/11th, the convoy was turned over to the ocean escort, Armed merchant cruiser VOLTAIRE, which was detached on the 21st.

 

Convoy BHX.87 departed Bermuda on the 8th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser LACONIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.86 on the 13th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached. (n. b. this is the only BHX.convoy to join a dissimilar numbered HX)

 

Destroyers CASTLETON, SARDONYX, VISCOUNT, WHITEHALL and corvettes CYCLAMEN, HIBISCUS, RHODODENDRON joined the convoy. Destroyer WHITEHALL was detached later that day. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

 

______

 

A Swordfish of 819 Squadron crashed shortly after taking off from aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS. Sub Lt D. A. Wise, Sub Lt A. Mardel-Ferreira were rescued by destroyer NUBIAN. This crash was later found to be due to contaminated fuel.

 

A second Swordfish of 819 Squadron also was lost on this date to contaminated fuel. Lt (A) W. D. Morford and Sub Lt (A) R. A. F. Green were rescued.

 

At 0715, the cruisers of the 3rd and 7th Cruiser Squadrons rejoined the Main Fleet.

 

At 0730, destroyers VAMPIRE, VOYAGER, WATERHEN, DAINTY, DIAMOND, HYPERION, ILEX, HAVOCK rejoined the Main Fleet. Destroyers MOHAWK, DEFENDER, JANUS, JUNO, DECOY, HASTY, NUBIAN, JERVIS were then detached to refuel at Malta.

 

Battleship BARHAM, heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser GLASGOW, destroyers GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, GALLANT, FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, FURY joined the Main Fleet at 1015. Destroyers FORTUNE and FURY joined the screen and the rest of the ships proceeded to malta to disembark troops and stores.

 

Convoy ME.3 of steamers MEMNON, LANARKSHIRE, CLAN MACAULEY, CLAN FERGUSON departed Malta at 1330 escorted by battleship RAMILLIES, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER. Monitor TERROR and Australian destroyer VENDETTA departed at 1400.

 

Destroyer MOHAWK rejoined the Main Fleet at 1435 and destroyer HERO was detached at 1450 to Malta.

 

Battleship BARHAM, heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser GLASGOW, destroyers GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, GALLANT departed Malta after landing troops and joined the Mediterranean Fleet at sea.

 

Italian submarine CAPPONI attacked without success Battleship RAMILLIES at forty miles southeast of Malta, in 34-33N, 16-08E.

 

Italian submarine TOPAZIO on the 11th made two attacks on the convoy without success in 34‑32N, 16‑17E.

 

Monitor TERROR proceeded to Suda Bay for duty as a guard ship, arriving on the 13th.

 

Convoy ME.3 arrived Alexandria during the morning of 13 November.

______

 

Convoy AS.5 of eight steamers departed Piraeus for Port Said.

 

On the 11th, armed boarding vessels CHAKLA and FIONA departed Suda Bay and joined this convoy. The convoy arrived at Port Said on the 15th, escorted by destroyer WRYNECK and anti-submarine trawlers VICTORIAN and SINDONIS.

______

 

Gunboat APHIS shelled a suspected Divisional Headquarters at Sidi Barrani during the night of 9/10 November.

______

 

Italian submarine BARBARIGO attacked a destroyer in 54N, 18W without success.

______

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS, still poising as Armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR, captured the Norwegian tanker OLE JACOB (8306grt) in the Bay of Bengal at 06‑29N, 90‑16E.

 

Signals from tanker OLE JACOB caused the dispatch of Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA, Light cruisers CAPETOWN and DURBAN, armed merchant cruiser WESTRALIA, but none made any contact with the German ship.

 

Tanker OLE JACOB was renamed BENNO for German use and was detached on the 16th. She arrived safely at Kobe on 6 December. Later on 19 July 1941, OLE JACOB arrived at Bordeaux.

 

 

Monday, 11 November

 

Destroyer VEGA, escorting convoy FS.332, was mined off Sunk Head Buoy. She was taken in tow by British tug ST MELLONS and taken to Harwich.

 

Destroyer VEGA was taken to the Humber on the 17th for repair. She departed the Humber on 2 July 1941 by British tug STALWART for Sheerness arriving on 3 July.

 

Destroyer VEGA was repairing until 14 November 1942.

______

 

Destroyer SOMALI (D.6) departed Scapa Flow at midnight 11/12 November for boiler cleaning and repairs at Rosyth.

 

The destroyer arrived at Rosyth at 1130/12th.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1030 after escorting convoy EN.22 to Pentland Firth.

______

 

Convoy OB.242 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WANDERER, WARWICK, WILD SWAN and corvettes CYCLAMEN and HIBISCUS. Destroyers WANDERER and WILD SWAN and corvette CYCLAMEN were detached that day. On the 12th, destroyer CLARE joined the convoy and remained with it until 14 November when she was detached with destroyer WARWICK. The corvettes GARDENIA and NASTURTIUM were with the convoy only on the 13th.

______

 

Convoy FN.332 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 14th.

______

 

Convoy FS.333 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers EGLINTON and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived off Southend on the 13th.

______

 

German bombers attacked convoy EN.23/WN 34 at 1352, 1745, 1751, 1802, 1834.

 

Convoy WN.34 was being covered by anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK which also provided cover to convoy EN.23.

 

British steamer TREBARTHA (4597grt) in convoy EN.23 was sunk by German bombing four miles southeast of Aberdeen.

 

Four crew were lost on the British steamer.

 

British steamer CREEMUIR (3997grt) in convoy EN.23 was sunk at 1751 by German bombing ten miles southeast of Aberdeen.

 

Twenty six crew and the naval gunner were lost with the steamer.

 

British steamer HARLAW (1141grt) in convoy WN.34 was damaged by German bombing off Aberdeen.

______

 

British steamer BALMORE (1925grt) was sunk by German bombing in 52‑00N, 17‑00W.

 

The entire crew of the British steamer was lost.

______

 

British steamer SKARV (158grt) was sunk by a mine in Bristol Channel.

______

 

British steamer ARDMORE (1023grt) was lost cause unknown on a voyage from Cork to Fishguard.

______

 

German bombers attacked convoys FN.332 and FS.333.

 

Norwegian steamer RAVNANGER (3371grt) was sunk by German bombing one to one and half miles northeast of No. 20 Buoy, Middlesborough, in Tees Bay.

 

One crewman was lost on the Norwegian steamer.

 

British steamers CORSEA (2764grt), CORDUFF (2345grt), and COLONEL CROMPTON (1495grt) in a convoy were damaged by German bombing in Barrow Deep off Middlesborough.

 

Escorting escort vessel VIVIEN (Lt Cdr F. H. Beattie) shot down one Junkers bomber, sloop LONDONDERRY (Cdr J. S. Dalison) shot down another Junkers bomber, tug ST MELLONS (T/Lt H. L. Forster DSC RNR) shot down a Messerschmidt.

______

 

British steamer PITWINES (932grt) was damaged by German bombing north east of Yarmouth.

______

 

British steamer GRIT (501grt) was damaged by mine two hundred yards southwest, south of Margate Buoy.

______

 

Minesweeping trawler STELLA ORION (417grt, Skipper W. J. Barlow RNR) was lost on a mine in the Thames Estuary, two cables 262 northwest of Shingles Buoy.

 

There were no casualties on the trawler.

______

 

British trawler IWATE (314grt) was damaged by German bombing thirty five miles south by west of Old Head of Kinsale.

______

 

Convoy HX.85, which had originally departed on the 1st and was recalled on the 5th, departed Sydney CB, escorted by Canadian auxiliary patrol vessel ELK. The convoy was given ocean escort by Battleship RODNEY and armed merchant cruiser RAJPUTANA, which were detached on the 21st.

 

On 22 November, destroyers MALCOLM and SABRE and anti-submarine trawlerVIZALMA. The trawler was detached later that day. Corvette HELIOTROPE joined on the 23rd. Corvette CLARKIA joined on the 25th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 25th.

______

 

Destroyers WISHART and WRESTLER departed Gibraltar to rendezvous with aircraft carrier ARGUS and light cruiser DESPATCH arriving from England.

______

 

Destroyers DUNCAN and FORESTER departed Gibraltar to meet battlecruiser RENOWN returning to Gibraltar from escort duties in the Atlantic.

______

 

A Swordfish of 819 Squadron from aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS forced landed near light cruiser GLOUCESTER at 1400. The crew of Sub Lt A. F. Keith, Lt G. R. M. Going, TAG H. Phillips was picked up by GLOUCESTER's whaler and was transferred back to the carrier in the light cruiser's Walrus aircraft. This crash was later found to be due to contaminated fuel.

______

 

FLEET AIR ARM ATTACK ON TARANTO

 

At Taranto on this date were the following units of the Italian Navy.

 

Battleships - LITTORIO, VENETO, CESARE, CAVOUR, DUILO (DORIA was refitting).

 

Heavy cruisers of 1st and 3rd Cruiser Squadrons - ZARA, FIUME, POLA, GORIZIA, BOLZANO, TRENTO, TRIESTE.

 

Light cruisers of 8th Cruiser Squadron - GARIBALDI and ABRUZZI.

 

Destroyer Division 7 - FRECCIA, STRALE, DARDO, SAETTA.

 

Destroyer Division 8 - FOLGORE, BALENO, FULMINE, LAMPO.

 

Destroyer Division 9 - ALFIERI, GIOBERTI, CARDUCCI, ORIANI.

 

Destroyer Division 10 - MAESTRALE, LIBECCIO, GRECALE, SCIROCCO.

 

Destroyer Division 11 - CAMICIA NERA and GENIERE.

 

Destroyer Division 12 - LANCIERE, CARABINIERI, CORAZZIERE, ASCARI.

 

Destroyer Division 13 - GRANATIERE, ALPINO, BERSAGLIERE, FUCLIERE.

 

Destroyer Division 16 - DA RECCO, USODIMARE, PESSAGNO.

 

The Mediterranean Fleet detached at 1800 aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruisers BERWICK and YORK, light cruisers GLOUCESTER and GLASGOW, destroyers HYPERION, HAVOCK, HASTY, ILEX for operation JUDGMENT, the carrier air strike on the Italian Fleet at Taranto.

 

Three aircraft from 813 Squadron, nine from 815 Squadron (Lt Cdr N. W. Williamson), six from 819 Squadron (Lt Cdr J. W. Hale), three from 824 Squadron from Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS attacked the Italian Fleet at anchor in Taranto Harbour.

 

Lt Cdr N. W. Williamson and Lt N. J. Scarlett of 815 Squadron were shot down and taken prisoner. Lt G. W. L. A. Bayly and Lt H. J. Slaughter of the 813 Squadron were killed.

 

Italian battleship CAVOUR was sunk and LITTORIO and DUILO were damaged.

 

Heavy cruiser TRENTO was struck by a dud bomb.

 

Destroyers LIBECCIO and PESSAGNO were damaged by near misses and FULMINE and LANCIERE were attacked but not damaged.

______

 

Light cruisers ORION, AJAX, SYDNEY with destroyers NUBIAN and MOHAWK were detached at 1310 to operate in the Otranto Strait. Twelve miles 315 from Saseno they encountered an Italian convoy of merchant ships ANTONIO LOCATELLI (5691grt), CAPO VADO (4391grt), CATALANI (2429grt), PREMUDA (4427grt) escorted by torpedo boat FABRIZI and armed merchant cruiser RAMB III.

 

All merchant ships were sunk in the engagement by The ships. Torpedo boat FABRIZI was badly damaged by gunfire in an engagement with destroyer MOHAWK.

 

Armed merchant cruiser RAMB III fired nineteen salvoes and then disengaged undamaged.

 

Italian motor torpedo boats north of Valona, Cruiser Squadron 7, consisting of light cruisers ATTENDOLO, EUGENIO, AOSTA, the 15th Destroyer Division from Brindisi, Cruiser Squadron 8, consisting of light cruisers ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI, with the 7th and 8th Destroyer Divisions from Taranto hastened to intercept the British forces in Otranto Straits but was unable to make contact.

______

 

French large destroyers GUEPARD and VALMY arrived at Beirut.

______

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS captured British steamer AUTOMEDON (7528grt) in the Bay of Bengal in 4‑19N, 89‑24W.

 

Seven crew and a naval gunner were lost on the steamer.

 

Seventy five crew, one gunner, twenty one passengers were made prisoners of war.

 

 

Tuesday, 12 November

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1530 after escorting convoy EN.23 to the Pentland Firth.

______

 

Destroyers BRILLIANT and VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200 from the Faroes.

______

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON (on her first duty), escorted by destroyers ST ALBANS, BATH, ST MARYS, laid minefield SN.43.

______

 

Convoy FS.334 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.

______

 

Polish destroyer PIORUN (former British NERISSA) departed Greenock at 1500 to work up at Scapa Flow. She arrived at 1400/13th.

______

 

Destroyers EXMOOR and PYTCHLEY departed Skaalefjord.

 

At 0906, the destroyers were ordered to return to the Faroes and await the arrival of destroyer DOUGLAS to relieve them of the escort of steamer ADDA.

 

On the arrival of destroyer DOUGLAS, they departed and destroyers EXMOOR and PYTCHLEY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000/13th.

______

 

Destroyer ELECTRA departed Scapa Flow at 0900 for Aberdeen.

 

At 1500, the destroyer met British steamer BEN MY CHREE and escorted her to Lerwick arriving at 0540/13th.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA returned to Scapa Flow arriving at 1200/13th.

______

 

 Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE laid mines east of Inishtrahull.

______

 

British steamer ARGUS (661grt) was sunk on a mine three cables 199 from south Oaze Buoy.

 

One gunner was lost on the steamer. Thirty three crew and one gunner were rescued.

______

 

British trawler LORD HALDANE (91grt) was lost in the vicinity of the Bristol Channel to unknown cause.

______

 

A second strike on Taranto by aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS was cancelled at 1800/12th due to weather conditions in the Gulf of Taranto.

 

Battleship MALAYA, light cruiser AJAX, destroyers DAINTY, DIAMOND, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, GALLANT were detached at 1830 to refuel at Suda Bay, arriving at 1000/13th. The force, plus destroyer VENDETTA, departed that afternoon for Alexandria.

 

Heavy cruisers YORK and BERWICK, both short on fuel, were sent directly to Alexandria, arriving on the 13th.

______

 

As a result of the British raid on Taranto, the major warships were sent elsewhere.

 

Italian battleships VENETO, CESARE, DORIA with the 10th and 13th Destroyer Division left Taranto for Naples.

 

Italian heavy cruisers ZARA, FIUME, GORIZIA, POLA with the 9th and 11th Destroyer Divisions left Taranto for Naples.

 

Italian heavy cruiser TRIESTE and the 12th Destroyer Division left Taranto for Messina.

 

Also, Italian light cruiser BANDE NERE was transferred from Brindisi to Palermo and light cruisers DI GUISSANO and DIAZ with fourteen destroyers were transferred from Augusta to Palermo.

______

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN arrived back at Gibraltar after a sweep into the Atlantic, escorted by DUNCAN and FORESTER. Flag Officer, Force H, returned his flag to battlecruiser RENOWN on the 13th.

______

 

Armed merchant cruiser CILICIA departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer FOXHOUND as local escort, for the Western Patrol.

______

 

Convoy BN.8B departed Bombay carrying the troops from convoy WS.3.

 

Carrying troops were steamers ROHNA, RAJULA, EGRA, LANCASHIRE, INDRAPOERA, SLAMAT, DILWARA, NEVASA, TAKLIWA, PRESIDENT DOUMIER, CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS.

 

Steamer KHEDIVE ISMAEL carried troops from convoy WS.3 C.

 

Steamers CLAN CAMERON and RHESUS carried stores and ammunition. The convoy was escorted by armed merchant cruisers RANCHI and HECTOR at the start. Cruiser RANCHI was detached on the 15th and cruiser HECTOR was detached on the 16th.

 

Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE joined the convoy on the 16th.

 

At Aden on the 18th, sloop PARRAMATTA joined the convoy escort. The sloop was with the convoy until 21 November.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and sloop FLAMINGO joined the convoy on the 19th and remained until 21 and 20 November, respectively. The convoy arrived at Suez escorted by sloop GRIMSBY on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy SL.55 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser MORETON BAY to 2 December.

 

On 30 November, armed merchant cruiser CILICIA, destroyers ACTIVE, ACHATES, ANTHONY from convoy OB.250, anti-submarine trawler LADY MADELEINE joined.

 

A German air attack on cruiser CILICIA caused no damage on the 30th, but one rating was killed and six wounded by two near misses.

 

On 1 December, when destroyer SAGUENAY was torpedoed in convoy HG.47, destroyers ACHATES and ANTHONY joined HG.47 and were relieved in convoy SL.55 by destroyers VANSITTART and VETERAN from convoy OB.252.

 

On 2 December, all escorts were detached. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 December.

______

 

Convoy BS.8A departed Suez. The convoy was escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and PARRAMATTA until the convoy was dispersed on the 16th.

 

 

Wednesday, 13 November

 

Battleship REVENGE with destroyers GARLAND, OTTAWA, ST LAURENT departed the Clyde and met destoyer HIGLANDER escorting liner LEOPOLDVILLE for Halifax.

 

Destroyer GARLAND in the escort sustained heavy weather damage and lost two crew overboard.

 

The destroyer was repaired at Govan from 17 November, completing on 26 December.

______

 

Light cruiser NEWCASTLE, escorted at first by destroyers KELVIN and JERSEY, departed Plymouth for Force H.

______

 

Convoy OB.243 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers ACHATES and ACTIVE, corvettes ASPHODEL and PICOTEE, anti-submarine trawlers LADY MADELEINE and NORWICH CITY. The corvettes were detached on 17November and the remainder of the escort on the 18th.

______

 

Convoy FN.333 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers GARTH and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 15th.

______

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON laid minefield SN.45 off the northwest coast off Ireland, escorted by destroyers BATH, ST MARYS, ST ALBANS.

______

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS departed the Faroes at 1500 escorting British steamer ADDA (7816grt).

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS and the steamer arrived at Liverpool at 2207 on the 15th.

______

 

Destroyer COSSACK (Captain D.4) departed Scapa Flow at 0130 to raid Jan Mayan Island.

 

Destroyer COSSACK was recalled and she arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2145.

 

The raid was later carried out by anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD.

______

 

Destroyer MASHONA was detached from the battlecruiser REPULSE screen at 1100 to return to Scapa Flow due to buckling of forecastle plates.

 

The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000/14th. At 0015/15th, the destroyer departed Scapa Flow for repairs at Rosyth.

______

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Greenock at 0830 after repairs.

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/14th.

______

 

Destroyer SOUTHDOWN departed Portsmouth at 1730 for Scapa Flow to work up.

 

Due to heavy weather, the destroyer put into Dartmouth for shelter and to effect repairs.

 

The destroyer was able to continue at 1745/14th for Scapa Flow.

______

 

Submarine TIGRIS sank French trawler CHARLES EDMONDE (201grt) sixty miles west of the Gironde in 45-41N, 2-57E.

 

On the 14th, the submarine attacked another trawler 100 miles west of Rochelle, without success.

______

 

U.137 sank British steamer CAPE ST ANDREW (5094grt), which was under tow and escorted by one destroyer, in 55‑14N, 10‑29W.

 

Fourteen crew and a naval gunner were lost on the British steamer.

______

 

British steamer EMPIRE WIND (7459grt) was sunk by German bombing in 53‑48N, 15‑52W.

 

The entire crew were picked up by destroyer ARROW.

______

 

British tanker LEON MARTIN (1951grt) was sunk on a mine 5.2 cables 202 from St Anthony Point, near Falmouth.

 

Sixteen crew were lost on the British tanker.

______

 

Belgian steamer ANVERS (4398grt) in convoy WN.35 was sunk by German bombing four to five miles northeast of Rattray Head, in 57-43N, 1-49W.

 

One crewman was killed on the Belgian steamer.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0830 to cover convoy WN.35 to the Firth of Forth. She was in the escort for this convoy at the time of the attack.

______

 

British tanker BRITISH PRESTIGE (7106grt) was damaged by German bombing off Humber Boom.

______

 

Convoy SC.12 departed at 1200 escorted by ocean escort Sloop LEITH.

 

On 27 November, destroyers VERITY and WITHERINGTON, sloop FOLKESTONE, corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA joined the convoy. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.

______

 

Destroyer DECOY, which had just arrived from escorting convoy ME.3, was bombed by Italian bombers in Alexandria Harbour and suffered heavy damage aft.

 

Sub Lt W. J. Hurst RNVR, P/T/Surgeon Lt J. Gilbertson RNVR, six ratings were killed and three ratings were wounded on the destroyer.

 

Destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria on the 25th for Malta arriving on the 28th for repairs. DECOY was under repair for ten weeks.

 

Destroyer DECOY was replaced in the 10th Flotilla by escort vessel WRYNECK.

 

 

Thursday, 14 November

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA transferred to convoy EN.25 and proceeded with this convoy to Pentland Firth.

______

 

Destroyer WINDSOR arrived at Scapa Flow at 2030 to refuel on passage from the Clyde to Grimsby.

 

Destroyer WINDSOR departed Scapa Flow at 0900/15th.

______

 

British minefield BS.46 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyer ICARUS.

 

Destroyer IMPULSIVE was in dock for vibration problems.

 

After the minelay, minelayer TEVIOTBANK was attacked by German aircraft at 1730/14th. There was no damage.

______

 

Convoy FN.334 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WATCHMAN and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 16th.

______

 

Convoy FS.335 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.

______

 

There was an unsuccessful attempt to refloat Destroyer FAME on the 14th. Heavy swells prevented the successful operation.

 

Another attempt to refloat destroyer FAME on the 16th failed when the pumps failed to control flooding.

______

 

In a British night raid on Berlin, two British naval officers were lost. Thirteen bombers were lost on the raid.

 

P/T/Sub Lt (A) T. A. Neal, in a Whitley of 77 Squadron from Topcliffe, was killed when his aircraft was shot down.

 

A/Sub Lt (A) I. R. Webb, in a Whitley of 58 Squadron from Linton on Ouse, was captured after his plane was shot down, but later died as a prisoner of war.

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British steamer ST CATHERINE (1216grt), en route to join convoy WN.35, was sunk by German bombing one quarter mile south of Outer Buoy, swept channel, Aberdeen.

 

Fourteen crew and one passenger was lost on the steamer.

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British steamer BUOYANT (300grt) was sunk on a mine off Skegness.

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Boom defence vessel RISTANGO (178grt) was lost when she fouled the Medway Boom, Sheerness.

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British drifter SHIPMATES (82grt) was sunk by German bombing in Dover Harbour.

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British drifter THE BOYS (92grt) was lost in heavy weather in the Downs.

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British steamer FAIRY (207grt) was damaged by a mine near Chequer Buoy, off the mouth of the Humber.

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British steamer FISHPOOL (4950grt) was damaged by German bombing 55‑00N, 17‑04W.

 

Steamer FISHPOOL was assisted by Corvette GARDENIA.

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Convoy HX.87 of sixteen steamers departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian destroyers COLUMBIA and ST FRANCIS and auxiliary patrol vessel ELK.

 

At 1700/15th, the local escort turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which was detached on the 26th.

 

Destroyers BROKE and HAVELOCK and corvettes ANEMONEand MALLOW joined on the 26th. These escorts were detached to convoy HX.88 on the 27th. Destroyers WITHERINGTON, HESPERUS, HURRICANE joined on the 27th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.

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Convoy HX.88 departed Halifax at 1505 escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol vessels FRENCH and HUSKY.

 

Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE turned the convoy over to Armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA at 1500/15th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 25th.

 

Convoy BHX.88 departed Bermuda on the 12th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.88 on the 17th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

On 26 November, destroyers SALADIN and SCIMITAR joined the escort. Destroyer BROKE and corvettes ANEMONE, ARABIS, MALLOW joined on the 27th. Destoyer BROKE was detached on the 28th and corvette ARABIS on the 29th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 30th.

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The Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria at 0700 after COATS and JUDGMENT.

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Aircraft carrier ARGUS escorted by destroyers WRESTLER, VIDETTE, WISHART arrived at Gibraltar for operation WHITE.

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A Greek destroyer flotilla under Admiral Kavadias made a sweep through the Otranto Strait and into the Adriatic Sea as far as the island of Sasseno. No contact was made and the Greek force returned to port.

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Egyptian steamer ZAMZAM (8299grt) was damaged by German bombing at Alexandria.

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Norwegian tanker TEDDY (6750grt), which had been captured by German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS on the 8th, was scuttled by the ATLANTIS.

 
 

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

revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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