Naval History Homepage and Site Search

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

NAVAL EVENTS, MARCH 1941 (Part 1 of 2)
Saturday 1st Friday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Belfast, light cruiser in Kola Inlet with Walrus (Navy Photos/Alan for S Vallely,  click to enlarge)

on to MARCH 1941, 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 - January-May 1941

Battle of Cape Matapan, Battles for Greece & Crete, Capture of U.110, Enigma codes, Loss of 'Hood', sinking of 'Bismarck'


 

 

1941

 

Saturday, 1 March

 

Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1130 to cover convoy WN.91 from Pentland Firth. The convoy was attacked by German aircraft from 1935 and 2014.

 

Steamer FORTHBANK (5057grt) was damaged by German bombing in convoy WN.91 in 57-53N, 1-57W. Four crew were lost. She arrived at Invergordon on the 3rd, and on 13th, left under tow for Leith. The steamer went ashore on the 15th, but was refloated and arrived at Leith on the 17th.

 

Steamer PENNINGTON COURT (6098grt) in convoy WN.91 was also damaged by the German bombing, but was able to continue.

 

Tanker ATHELTEMPLAR (8949grt) was damaged by German bombing in convoy EN.79 in 57-04N, 1-50W.

Destroyer ERIDGE departed Rosyth at 1800 for Scapa Flow and en route, was diverted to assist the damaged tanker. Burnt out, she arrived in tow of ERIDGE and minesweeper SPEEDWELL at Methil Roads on the 3rd. ERIDGE arrived at Scapa Flow for working up exercises on the 3rd.

 

CURACOA transferred to convoy EN.79 off Buchan Ness at 2300/1st to cover this convoy to Pentland Firth.

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Destroyer QUANTOCK departed Scapa Flow at 1800 to meet steamer BEN MY CHREE and escort her to Kirkwall.

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Minesweeping trawler ST DONATS (349grt, T/Skipper F. L. A. Atkinson RNR) was lost in a collision off the Humber with destroyer COTSWOLD, which had departed Rosyth on 28 February. The destroyer was repaired at Chatham from 4 to 31 March.

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U.552 sank tanker CADILLAC (12,062grt) from convoy HX.109 in 59-44N, 11-16W. Thirty three crew and two gunners were lost.

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Dutch tanker ROTULA (7981grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 52-15N, 5-33W. Sixteen crew were killed and the wreck was sunk by a British trawler.

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Steamer EMPIRE SIMBA (5691grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52-21N, 5-23W, and abandoned with engine room and stokehold flooded. She was towed to Liverpool on the 4th.

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Light cruiser ARETHUSA arrived at Gibraltar.

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Destroyer FIREDRAKE ran aground on the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean east of Gibraltar, in 36-28N, 4-45W, and was under repair at Gibraltar from 1 March to 24 April. She was sent to Portsmouth for repairs, departed on 24 April and arrived at Portsmouth on 1 May. FIREDRAKE departed immediately for Chatham arriving on 2 May. Repairs were completed on 27 June.

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Ocean boarding vessel REGISTAN departed Gibraltar for Western Patrol.

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A supply convoy for the Afrika Korps departed Naples with steamers AMSTERDAM (8673grt), CASTELLON (2086grt), RUHR (5954grt), and MARITZA (2910grt), escorted by torpedo boats CLIO, PEGASO, and ORIONE. The convoy arrived without event at Tripoli on the 3rd. The return convoy was steamers ALICANTE (2140grt), ARCTURUS (2596grt), WACHTFELS (8467grt), and LEVERKUSEN (7386grt) escorted by destroyer VIVALDI and torpedo boats PROCIONE, ORSA, and CALLIOPE which also passed uneventfully, arriving at Naples on the 3rd.

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Minesweeping drifter PLOUGHBOY was severely damaged by the explosion of three mines close aboard at Malta. One rating was missing and nine were wounded. The drifter was beached.

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Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, escorted by destroyers JUNO and GRIFFIN, had arrived at Suez on 23 February, but was unable to enter the Suez Canal due to mining. They were sent to Port Sudan to await reopening of the Canal. On 1 March, her aircraft, based ashore, attacked Massawa.

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Greek submarine PAPANICOLIS made an unsuccessful torpedo attack off Saseno.

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Italian submarine GUGLIEMOTTI departed Massawa on the 3rd, and with submarines ARCHIMEDE and GALILEO FERRARIS, which departed Massawa about the same time, refuelled from German tanker NORDMARK on 16 and 17 April.  GUGLIEMOTTI was the first Italian submarine from Massawa to arrive at Bordeaux on 6 May after 64 days at sea.

 

Italian submarine PERLA departed Massawa during the night of 1/2 March, and refuelled from German raider ATLANTIS on the 29th. She was the last Italian submarine from Massawa to arrive, after 80 days at sea, on 20 May 1941.

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Heavy cruiser CORNWALL intercepted Vichy French steamer VILLE DE MAJUNGA (4972grt) in 34-08S, 10-18E. The steamer was taken to Capetown.

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Convoy HX.112 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser RANPURA and corvettes BITTERSWEET and FENNEL. The corvettes were detached later that day.

 

Convoy BHX.112 departed Bermuda on 27 February escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.112 on the 4th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

On 5 March, heavy cruiser NORFOLK joined the escort. The armed merchant cruiser and the heavy cruiser were detached on the 14th. Destroyers SARDONYX, SCMITAR, VANOC, VICEROY, and WALKER, corvette BLUEBELL, and anti-submarine trawler SYRINGA joined on the 15th. Destroyer VICEROY was detached later that day. On 16 March, destroyer VOLUNTEER joined. Corvette BLUEBELL and trawler SYRINGA were detached on the 18th and destroyers SARDONYX, SCIMITAR, and WALKER on the 19th. Destroyers VANOC and VOLUNTEER were detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 20th.

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Convoy SL.67 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CILICIA to 19 March, corvette ASPHODEL to 11 March, and anti-submarine trawlers KELT, SPANIARD, and TURCOMAN locally.

 

Due to German activity in the area, from 3 March battleship MALAYA to 10 March and destroyers FAULKNOR and FORESTER to 11 March escorted the convoy. Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN joined the convoy on the 10th and continued to 19 March.

 

Light cruiser KENYA escorted the convoy from 19 to 21 March.

 

Destroyers HAVELOCK to 24 March, HESPERUS, HURRICANE, MANSFIELD, and SALISBURY to 26 March, VERITY to 24 March, VETERAN to 25 March, and WOLSEY to 26 March, corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA to 26 March, and catapult ship PEGASUS to 26 March joined the convoy on the 21st.

 

On the 22nd, destroyers CHELSEA and DOUGLAS joined to 24 March. Corvette BEGONIA joined on the 23rd to 26 March. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

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US Support Force, Atlantic Fleet was formed:

 

Destroyer Tender PRAIRE (Flagship Rear Admiral A L Bristol Jr)

 

Destroyer Squadron 7 (Captain J L Kauffman) - PLUNKETT

Division 13 - NIBLACK (DD.13), BENSON, GLEAVES, MAYO

Division 14 - MADISON (DD.14), LANSDALE, HILARY P JONES, CHARLES F HUGHES

 

Destroyer Squadron 30 (Captain M Y Cohen) - DALLAS

Division 60 - ELLIS (DD60), BERNADOU, COLE, DUPONT

Division 61- GREER (DD.61), TARBELL, UPSHUR, LEA

 

Destroyer Squadron 31 (Captain W D.Baker) - MACLEISH

Division 62 - BAINBRIDGE (DD62) OVERTON, STURTIVANT, REUBEN JAMES

Division 63 - MCCORMICK (DD.63), BROOME, SIMPSON, TRUXTON

 

 

Sunday, 2 March

 

Destroyer COSSACK departed Southampton for Scapa Flow on completion of refitting.

 

On 3 March, the destroyer was damaged by a mine exploding close aboard 300 SW point of the Isle of Man. The destroyer spent no time out of service.

 

Destroyer COSSACK arrived at Scapa Flow at noon on the 4th.

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Convoy OB.293 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, and WOLVERINE, and corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA. Destroyer BEVERLEY joined the escort on the 4th. The escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 7th.

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Australian destroyer NESTOR arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130 to carry out working up exercises.

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Minesweeper KELLETT was damaged in a collision with armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD (655grt) off Peterhead.

 

The minesweeper was repaired in the Humber from 10 March to 9 April.

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U.95 sank British steamer PACIFIC (6034grt) from convoy HX.109 180 miles WSW of Sydero Island, Faroes.

 

One crewman was rescued.

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U.147 sank Norwegian steamer AUGVALD (4811grt) from convoy HX.109, 150 miles northwest of Loch Ewe.

 

One crewman was rescued.

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British steamer CASTLEHILL (690grt) was sunk by German aircraft east of Mine Head.

 

One crewman was rescued.

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Dutch steamer SIMALOER (6533grt) was sunk by German bombing in 56-40N, 10-46W.

 

Two crew were killed.

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Light cruiser ORION returned to Alexandria from Port Said following the removal of her catapult to allow fitting of additional close range anti-aircraft guns.

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Convoy ANF.16, escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyers VAMPIRE and HOTSPUR, arrived at Piraeus.

 

Destroyer VAMPIRE was taken in hand at Piraeus for docking and boiler cleaning.

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Lt W. L. Le C Barnes of 806 Squadron at Malta was killed when accidently shot while on duty.

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Ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN departed Gibraltar on Western Patrol.

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New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER, coming from convoy US.9 escort, and Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA, which had refuelled in the Seychilles on 26 February, rendezvoused 100 miles east of Addu for joint operations in the Indian Ocean.

 

 

Monday, 3 March

 

Destroyer WHADDON arrived at Scapa Flow at 1430 from the Clyde to carry out working up exercises.

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Destroyer BRILLIANT arrived at Portsmouth at 1000 to refit prior to transfer to the Western Approaches.

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Motor gun boat MGB 12 was mined off Milford Haven.

 

The gunboat sank in tow on the 6th.

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Destroyer BURNHAM, which departed Aultbrea on the 2nd, was damaged in a collision alongside destroyer MALCOLM, which departed Aultbrea on the 3rd, in the North West Approaches.

 

Destroyer BURNHAM was repaired at Liverpool completing on 27 April.

 

Destroyer MALCOLM was repaired at Liverpool completing on 7 April.

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British mine destructor ship CORFIELD was damaged in a collision with British steamer CORMEAD (2848grt) in the Thames Estuary.

 

The mine destructor ship was repaired at Blackwall from 5 to 14 March.

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Patrol trawler COBBERS (275grt, T/Skipper L. Turner RNR) was sunk by German bombing off Lowestoft.

 

Four crew were rescued. Turner and eight ratings were killed and two ratings were missing.

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Auxiliary yacht TINY (5grt) was sunk by German bombing at South Dock, Sutherland.

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British steamer PORT TOWNSVILLE (8661grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 52-05N, 5-24W.

 

Two passengers were lost.

 

The steamer sank on the 4th.

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Battleship WARSPITE, aircraft carrier EAGLE, and five destroyers departed Alexandria for gunnery and flying exercises.

 

Following the exercises, destroyer STUART proceeded to Port Said for escort duty in convoy AN.17.

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British steamer KNIGHT OF MALTA (1553grt), which had departed Alexandria on the 1st escorted by anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN MAID with troops for Tobruk, ran aground during the night of 2/3 March two miles 273 from Ras Azzaz.

 

There were no casualties.

 

Destroyer WRYNECK was sent to assist to assess the possibility of salvage.

 

The cargo was salved. Salvage of the ship was abandoned after bombing attacks on corvette PEONY and tug ST ISSEY on the 10th.

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Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL with destroyers FORTUNE and DUNCAN departed Gibraltar for flying exercises and returned later that day.

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Submarine PANDORA departed Gibraltar and carried out lookout exercises and anti-submarine exercises with the convoy HG.55 before the convoy sailed.

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Convoy HG.55 departed Gibraltar, escorted by sloop SCARBOROUGH, destroyer WRESTLER, submarine PANDORA, and corvettes COREOPSIS, GENTIAN, and JONQUIL.

 

Destroyer WRESTLER was detached on the 6th. Corvettes GENTIAN and JONQUIL on the 10th and corvette COREOPSIS on the 14th.

 

On 14 March, submarine PANDORA joined convoy OG.55.

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA joined the convoy on the 15th and escorted it through the day before continuing to Scapa Flow. Destroyers AMBUSCADE and BULLDOG and corvette HEARTSEASE joined the convoy on the 17th. On 18 March, corvettes ARABIS, MALLOW, and VIOLET and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd.

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A supply convoy for the Afrika Korps departed Naples with steamers AEGINA (2447grt), ADANA (4205grt), ARTA (2452grt), and SABAUDIA (1590grt) escorted by destroyers TARIGO and FRECCIA and torpedo boat CASTOR. The convoy arrived without event at Tripoli on the 6th.

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Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.

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New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Wellington with convoy AP.14. The convoy was escorted to 300 miles southeast of Chatham Island.

 

The cruiser left the convoy on the 5th and returned to New Zealand.

 

 

Tuesday, 4 March

 

Operation CLAYMORE, a raid on the Lofotens, was carried out.

 

Submarine SUNFISH acted as a beacon for landing craft.

 

Destroyer SOMALI (Captain Caslon, D.6) remained at sea.

 

Landing ship QUEEN EMMA escorted by destroyers BEDOUIN and TARTAR proceeded to Svolvaer.

 

Landing ship PRINCESS BEATRIX escorted by destroyers ESKIMO and LEGION proceeded to Stamsund.

 

German steamers EILENAU (1404grt), BERNHARD SCHULTE (1058grt), and FELIX HEUMANN (2468grt) were sunk by demolition charges near Solaer.

 

Destroyer TARTAR sank German steamers HAMBURG (5470grt) and PASAJES (1996grt).

 

German steamer GUMBRINNEN (1381grt) was sunk by with demolition charges by the Army landing party.

 

Norwegian steamer MIRA (1152grt) was sunk by destroyer BEDOUIN.

 

Norwegian fishing vessel MYRLAND (321grt) joined the British force and proceeded to the Faroes, arriving on the 7th.

 

The destroyers and landing ships returned to Scapa Flow on the 6th at 1300 without damage. They returned with 314 Norwegian volunteers, 213 German prisoners, and twelve Quislings.

 

Battleships NELSON and KING GEORGE V, light cruisers EDINBURGH and NIGERIA, and destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO, ECLIPSE, MAORI, and PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/6th.

 

At 2100/6th, troopships QUEEN EMMA and PRINCESS BEATRIX with destroyer LEGION departed Scapa Flow for Greenock.

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Destroyer ARROW departed Scapa Flow at 0830 to meet steamer BEN MY CHREE off Aberdeen at 1630 and escort her to Thorshavn.

 

The ships arrived at Thorshavn on the 5th.

 

After this duty, destroyer ARROW arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1300/7th.

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Destroyer ELECTRA departed the Humber at 1030/completion of repairs. The destroyer proceeded to Aberdeen where she rendezvoused with steamer AMSTERDAM at 0600/5th.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA escorted the steamer to Lerwick. At 2000/6th, both ships departed to return to Aberdeen.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA arrived back at Scapa Flow after this duty at 1600/7th.

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Minelayer PLOVER laid minefield ZME.21 in the Irish Sea. The minelaying continued on the 6th with ZME.22, ZME.23 on the 14th, ZME.24 on the 20th, ZME.25/26th, and ZME.26 on the 30th laid by minelayer PLOVER

 

The series continued in April, completing on 21 April.

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British steamer ANONITY (303grt) was sunk on a mine at one and a half miles southeast of Skegness Pier.

 

Four crew were lost of a six man crew.

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British steamer RUTH II (321grt) was damaged on a mine two cables NNE of Bar Light Vessel.

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British trawler EAST COAST (192grt) was damaged by German bombing off Fastnet.

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British steamer ANGLIAN COAST (594grt) was damaged on a mine two cables 75 from Bar Light Vessel.

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British pilot carrier LYNDIS KITWOOD (20grt) was damaged on a mine off Skegness.

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British cruisers ORION, AJAX, PERTH, and GLOUCESTER departed Suda Bay with troops for Piraeus.

 

The troops were disembarked at Piraeus on the 5th.

 

The cruisers then operate in the Aegean with four destroyers to cover other troop convoys.

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Convoy AN.17 of four steamers (British CITY OF NORWICH (6726grt) and ARABISTAN (5874grt), two others) departed Alexandria escorted destroyer HEREWARD and from Port Said escorted by destroyer STUART.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Alexandria on the 5th and joined the convoy at daylight on the 7th.

 

This convoy carried the first LUSTRE Force. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 8th.

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Convoy AN.16 of British steamer ALAVI (3566grt) arrived at Piraeus during the forenoon with destroyer GREYHOUND.

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Convoy AS.16 of four British, fourteen Greek, and one other ship departed Pireaus escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyers GREYHOUND and HAVOCK.

 

Light cruisers AJAX and PERTH departed Piraeus to cover the passage of convoy AS.16 and then proceeded to Alexandria, via the west of Crete.

 

Convoy AS.16 arrived at Alexandria on the 7th. The Port Said units arrived on the 8th.

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British troopship ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt), escorted by destroyer HOTSPUR, arrived at Suda Bay from Piraeus.

 

The troopship, after unloading stores and Fleet Air Arm personnel, embarked the ABSTENTION Commando Unit.

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Submarine UTMOST arrived at Malta after an operation in the Gulf of Hammamet.

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Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Gibraltar and was docked for repairs after convoy SL.65 duties.

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Norwegian tanker KETTY BROVIG (7031grt), captured by German raider ATLANTIS on 2 February 1941, was sighted by an Australian cruiser seaplane.

 

The tanker scuttled herself when she was intercepted by cruiser CANBERRA.

 

German supply ship COBURG (7400grt), company with the tanker, was pursued by the heavy cruiser's Walrus aircraft. The Walrus landed alongside the steamer. The British pilot boarded the steamer and some ship's papers were captured.

 

German ship COBURG scuttled herself at 8-40S, 61-25E before the heavy cruiser arrived on the scene.

 

New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER had departed heavy cruiser CANBERRA earlier on the 4th, but returned to assist in rescue of the survivors from the German ships.

 

Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA and New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Mauritius on the 8th with the crews of the German ships.

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Convoy BS.18 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. Destroyer KINGSTON and sloop YARRA joined on the 8th. The convoy was dispersed on the 12th.

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Convoy BM.4 departed Karachi on the 4th with steamers TALMA (10,000grt) and VARELA (4651grt), escorted by armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR from 4 March to 12 March. Further units departed Bombay on the 8th with steamers EGRA (5108grt), SANTHIA (7754grt), EL MADINA (3962grt), FELIX ROUSSEL (17, 083grt), NEURALIA (9182grt), RAJULA (8478grt), and ROHNA (8602grt) and joined the convoy.

 

Light cruiser EMERALD escorted the convoy from 12 to 15 March. Light cruiser DAUNTLESS escorted the convoy from 13 to 16 March. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 16th.

 

Steamers BAHADUR, JAPAYAMUNA, and JALADUTA departed Bombay on the 7th for Penang, independently, carrying lorries, petrol, ordnance, and stores. The convoy arrived at Penang on the 18th. All but TALMA departed on the 24th, escorted by armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR and light cruiser DURBAN. The convoy arrived at Singapore on the 26th.

 

 

Wednesday, 5 March

 

Destroyer LIDDESDALE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0100 from Rosyth to carry out working up exercises.

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Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA. and steamer STRATHMORE (23, 428grt) departed the Clyde for Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers OTTAWA, ASSINIBOINE, VANSITTART, and CHURCHILL.

 

The aircraft carrier was carrying aircraft to Takoradi to be delivered on the 22nd in operation SUMMER.

 

The aircraft carrier, light cruiser DRAGON, and destroyers DUNCAN and FOXHOUND departed Freetown on the 18th.

 

The aircraft carrier arrived at Takoradi on the 22nd, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON, which landed passengers and to refuel the destroyers. Light cruiser DRAGON then proceeded to Lagos to refuel.

 

The aircraft carrier and the destroyers arrived back at Freetown on the 25th.

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Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0900 and join convoy EN.81 off Aberdeen at 1600.

 

The ship remained with the convoy until midnight. The ship arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730/6th.

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Convoy OB.294 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WANDERER, WITCH, MONTGOMERY, and VIVIEN and corvettes NASTURTIUM, PERIWINKLE, and PRIMROSE.

 

When the convoy was dispersed on the 9th, the escorts proceeded to join convoy SL.66.

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Tug SILVERSTONE (58grt) was sunk on a mine three miles above Rochester Bridge, Medway.

 

Tug SILVERSTONE was towing barges ROCKSTONE (96grt), SANDSTONE (96grt), STONECURB (96grt), and CESTONE (96grt).

 

Barges ROCKSTONE and SANDSTONE were lost with the tug.

 

The entire crew on the tug were lost.

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U.95 sank Swedish steamer MURJEK (5070grt) in the North Atlantic.

 

There were no survivors on the steamer.

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German torpedo boats ILTIS and JAGUAR laid minefield AUGBURG off Eastbourne.

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German steamer STOLZENFELS (7512grt) was sunk by war cause near Schiermonnikoog.

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After reports of shipping at sea, Submarines UPRIGHT and UTMOST departed Malta for patrol on the Tripoli convoy routes. Submarine TRUANT departed for a coastal patrol in the Gulf of Sirte.

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Submarine TRIUMPH sank Italian steamers MARZAMEMI (958grt) and COLOMBO LO FARO (897grt) in 37-54N, 15-46E off Calabria.

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Convoy ANF.17 of six British and two other ships departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers ILEX, HERO, and HASTY.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA joined the convoy at noon on the 6th. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 8th with destroyer HERO. Cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyers ILEX and HASTY left the convoy to arrive at Suda Bay during the morning of 8 March.

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Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, escorted by destroyers JUNO and GRIFFIN, departed Port Sudan for Suez.

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An Italian convoy of steamers CASTELLON (2086grt), RUHR (5954grt), and MARITZA (2910grt) departed Tripoli escorted by Italian armed merchant cruiser RAMB III and torpedo boats ORIONE and PEGASO. The convoy arrived at Naples on the 7th.

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Lt D. M. Cheeke DSC, Lt (A) R. S. Illingworth, and Leading Airman G. Mitchell of 700 Squadron from heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE were killed when their Walrus crashed into a hillside at Port Victoria in the Seychilles.

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Light cruiser MAURITIUS arrived at Freetown with convoy WS.6B.

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Convoy HX.113 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser ALANIA and corvettes BITTERSWEET and FENNEL.

 

Convoy BHX.113 departed Bermuda on the 3rd escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser PRINCE DAVID. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.113 on the 8th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN joined on the 15th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 16th. The battleship was detached on the 16th. On 17 March, destroyers KEPPEL, LINCOLN, SABRE, VENOMOUS, and WOOLSTON, corvette SUNFLOWER, and anti-submarine trawler WELLARD joined the escort. Trawler WELLARD was detached on the 19th and the escort, less the two corvettes which had departed at the start, on the 20th. The two corvettes were detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 21st.

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Ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN captured French trawler BIJOU BIHON (112grt) in 32-59N, 12-19W and sent her to Gibraltar.

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Convoy BN.18 departed Aden, escorted by sloop YARRA. Destroyer KINGSTON joined for escort during 8 March. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 11th.

 

 

Thursday, 6 March

 

Destroyer ACTIVE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1630 from Greenock to join the Home Fleet.

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Minesweeping trawler KERYADO (252grt, Chief Skipper H. C. Gue RNR) was sunk on a mine eight miles south of Newhaven.

 

Nine ratings were lost on the trawler.

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British barge QUEEN WASP (196grt) and echo sounding boat MOUSE were lost in Falmouth Inner Harbour while attempting to recover a mine.

 

P/T/Sub Lt R. B. Sutherland RNVR, and five ratings from VERNON were killed in the explosion. Four men were wounded.

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Tug SUN VII (202grt) was sunk on a mine 1-2 miles 60 from North Knob Buoy, Barrow Deep.

 

Five crew were lost.

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Norwegian tanker MEXICO (3017grt) was sunk on a mine in 51-53N, 1-37E.

 

Ten crew were lost and twenty three were rescued.

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British steamer EILIAN HILL (781grt) was damaged on a mine off Nell's Point, Barry Island.

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German minelayers BRUMMER, COBRA, and KONIGIN LUISE, escorted by the 5th Minesweeper Flotilla, laid mines forty five miles east of the Outer Skerries in minefield WOLLEN during the night of 6/7 March.

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Battlecruiser RENOWN with destroyers FORTUNE, DUNCAN, and VELOX departed Gibraltar to conduct exercises. They were joined at sea by destroyers FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, and FOXHOUND.

 

The ships arrived back at Gibraltar on the 7th.

_____

 

Italian submarine ANFITRITE was sunk at 0715 by destroyer GREYHOUND in Kaso Strait, in 34-55N, 23-45E.

 

The Commanding Officer and thirty eight prisoners were rescued.

 

Destroyer GREYHOUND was escorting convoy AS.16 with destroyer HAVOCK at this time.

_____

 

Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT and destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JAGUAR, HOTSPUR, VOYAGER, and WATERHEN departed Alexandria at 0700/6th to carry out gunnery exercises. The force, designated Force A, then proceed to the west of Crete to operate from Suda Bay in support of the LUSTRE operations.

 

Troops were embarked on heavy cruiser YORK and light cruisers BONAVENTURE and GLOUCESTER which sailed at noon as convoy AG.1.

 

British steamers CLAN MACAULEY (10,492grt) and CINGALESE PRINCE (8474grt), loaded with tanks, departed Alexandria as convoy AG.2, escorted by destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, and WRYNECK, for Piraeus.

 

Convoy AG.1 arrived at Piraeus on the 7th and the troops and cargo were disembarked. Convoy AG.2 arrived at Piraeus on the 8th and the cargo was safely disembarked.

 

The cruisers of AG.1 departed Piraeus the same day and returned as convoy GA.1, arriving at Alexandria on the 8th.

 

Convoy AG.2 arrived at Piraeus on the 8th.

_____

 

Convoys AN.17 and AS.16 were attacked by Italian bombing south of the Kaso Straits.

 

No damage was done, but the destroyers used from thirty to fifty per cent of their ammunition repelling the attacks.

_____

 

Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH arrived at Alexandria from the Aegean.

_____

 

Corvette SALVIA departed Tobruk to return with defects to Alexandria.

 

 

Friday, 7 March

 

Heavy cruiser LONDON, escorted by destroyer MATABELE, which had set off from Scapa Flow earlier in the day, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500 after refitting.

 

Destroyer MASHONA, which departed Hartlepool at 0035, had also been detailed to escort the cruiser LONDON, but did not make contact. The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1600.

_____

 

Light cruiser DIDO parted company with convoy SL.65 and arrived in the Clyde.

 

The cruiser sustained structural damage from heavy weather during this duty.

 

Cruiser DIDO was repaired in the Clyde and departed on the 22nd for Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for Greenock on completion of working up exercises.

 

The destroyer arrived at Greenock at 1000/8th.

_____

 

Motor torpedo boat MTB.28 was lost by fire at Portsmouth.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE made an unsuccessful torpedo attack against a German submarine in 57-50N, 19-50W.

_____

 

Convoy OG.55 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers ACHATES, BOREAS, and RAMSAY, sloops EGRET and WESTON, corvettes, AZALEA, FLEUR DE LYS, HEATHER, PICOTEE, and SNOWDROP, anti-submarine trawlers ARAB, AYRSHIRE, KINGSTON CHRYSOLITE, and LADY MADELEINE.

 

Trawler KINGSTON CHRYSOLITE joined the convoy on the 7th. Destroyers ACHATES and BOREAS, corvettes HEATHER and SNOWDROP, and the trawlers were detached on the 12th. On 14 March, submarine PANDORA and corvette COREOPSIS joined the convoy. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 21st with destroyer RAMSAY, sloop EGRET, submarine PANDORA, corvettes AZALEA, COREOPSIS, and FLEUR DE LYS, and trawler KINGSTON CHRYSOLITE.

_____

Convoy OB.293 was sighted by U.47.

 

German submarines U.47, U.99, U.70, and U.A attacked the convoy.

 

U.99 torpedoed British whaling vessel TERJE VIKEN (20,638grt) in 60N, 12-50W.

 

The entire crew of the whaling vessel was rescued.

 

The wreck of the whaling vessel was sunk by two Destroyers and one corvette on the 14th.

 

U.70 damaged British steamer DELILIAN (6423grt) in 60-28N, 13-38W.

 

Steamer DELILIAN returned to Glasgow.

 

U.70 damaged Dutch motor tanker MIJDRECHT (7493grt) in 60-31N, 13-52W.

 

The tanker arrived in Rothesay Bay with extensive damage. Tanker MIJDRECHT was temporarily repaired at Govan.

 

U.70 claimed hitting two more ships in the convoy before being lost herself.

 

Submarine U.70 was forced to the surface after an attack by corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELIA and her commanding officer and twenty four men were picked up. Twenty ratings were lost.

 

U.99 sank British tanker ATHELBEACH (6568grt) in 60-30N, 13-30W.

 

Seven crew were lost on tanker ATHELBEACH.

 

Convoy escorts destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY and corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA made further anti-submarine attacks.

 

U.47 was lost at this time, probably to marine accident. All forty eight crew were lost in the submarine.

 

U.A was damaged by destroyer WOLVERINE.

 

On 8 March, U.74 attacked a ship, escorted by two destroyers in the area.

_____

 

U.37 sank Greek steamer MENTOR (3050grt) from dispersed convoy OB.292 in 59-30N, 25W.

 

 

Seven crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

The German 1st MTB Flotilla of S.26, S.27, S.28, S.29, S.39, S.101, and S.102 and 3rd MTB Flotilla of S.31, S.57, S.59, S.60, and S.61 made a sortie against convoys FN.426 and FS.429 off Yarmouth and Cromer during the night of 7/8 March.

 

Convoy FS.429 was escorted by destroyer PYTCHLEY and patrol sloop PUFFIN. Convoy FN.426 was escorted by destroyers VERSATILE, BERKELEY, and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE.

 

Destroyers WORCESTER (D.16, Captain Halsey aboard) and WHITSHED were dispatched to cover both convoys.

 

Before midnight, five steamers were sunk.

 

British steamer DOTTEREL (1385grt) was badly damaged by S.29 off Number 6 Buoy, Southwold.

 

The steamer went ashore in 52-41N, 1-59E. There was no possibility of salvage.

 

Eight crew were lost on the steamer. Lt C. W. C. Checucci and two ratings of patrol sloop SHELDRAKE was lost trying to board the steamer. Nineteen survivors were rescued.

 

Sloop SHELDRAKE was near missed by a torpedo.

 

British steamer KENTON (1047grt) was sunk by S.31 in 52-57N, 1-30W.

 

Four crew were lost on the steamer.

 

British steamer CORDUFF (2345grt) was sunk by S.28 off Number 8 Buoy near Cromer.

 

Fourteen crew were rescued, two taken as prisoner, and seven lost.

 

British steamer BOULDERPOOL (4805grt) was sunk by S.61 in 52-58N, 1-28E, ten miles south of Sheringham Buoy.

 

The crew was rescued.

 

British steamer RYE (1048grt) was sunk by an S.27 off Cromer.

 

The entire crew of twenty two and two gunners were lost.

 

After midnight, two more ships were sunk.

 

British steamer TOGSTON (1547grt) was sunk by S.102, two miles 305 from Smith's Knoll.

 

Eight crew were missing from the steamer.

 

British steamer NORMAN QUEEN (957grt) was sunk byS 102 off S. Haisborough Buoy, east of Cromer.

 

Twelve crew and two gunners were lost on the steamer. One crewman was taken as a prisoner of war.

_____

 

British steamer FLASHLIGHT (934grt) was sunk by German bombing in 53-34N, 00-49E.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Destroyers FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE, and FOXHOUND departed Gibraltar at 2300 to rendezvous with Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, and troopship STRATHMORE and escort them into Gibraltar.

_____

 

Light cruisers ORION and AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH, comprising convoy AG.3, departed Alexandria with 1900 troops for Piraeus arriving at 1000/8th.

 

The cruisers were ordered to remain in the Aegean to cover convoys.

_____

 

Convoy AN.18 of two British, two Greek, and one other ship departed Alexandria and Port Said escorted by destroyer HAVOCK and corvette HYACINTH. The convoy was later joined by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer ILEX. Destroyer GREYHOUND operated in the area of the convoy. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 11th.

_____

 

Greek personnel ships CORINTHIA (3701grt), IONIA (1936grt), HELLAS (2295grt), and MARIE MAERSK (8271grt) departed Piraeus on the 7th as convoy GA.1 1/2, escorted by Greek destroyers SPETSAI and HYDRA. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 10th.

_____

 

German bombing attacks on the Malta shipyard caused additional damage during the night of 7/8 March.

 

British steamer ESSEX (11,063grt) was struck by three bombs and further damaged.

 

Destroyer IMPERIAL was slightly damaged by splinters from the German bombing.

_____

 

Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at Colombo.

 

 

Saturday, 8 March

 

Destroyer MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 0815 for Scrabster to embark the body of the late Air Vice Marshal Breese and provide facilities for a burial at sea.

 

The destroyer arrived back at Scapa Flow later in the day.

_____

 

Destroyer GURKHA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400 from Greenock to carry out working up exercises.

_____

 

Convoy OB.295 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvette HELIOTROPE and anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN DAWN. On 9 March, destroyers ECHO, ELECTRA, INGLEFIELD, SARDONYX, SCIMITAR, and VALOROUS, corvettes ARABIS, MALLOW, and VIOLET, and anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN GEM, and NORTHERN WAVE joined the escort.

_____

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD, ELECTRA, and ECHO departed Scapa Flow at 2200 to join convoy OB.295 at 1440/10th in 58-08N, 5-43W.

 

The destroyers returned to Scapa Flow at 1300/15th.

_____

 

Destroyer BEVERLEY, operating in the Western Approaches, broke down with her port engine inoperative.

 

The destroyer was asssisted by destroyer HARVESTER.

 

Destroyer BEVERLEY proceeded to the Tyne for repairs completed on 31 May.

_____

 

UA torpedoed British steamer DUNAFF HEAD (5258grt) from convoy OB.293 in 60-33N, 18-50W.

 

Five crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

Aircraft from Battleship MALAYA, escorting convoy SL.67 with armed merchant cruiser CILICIA and corvette ASPHODEL, sighted German battlecruisers GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST 350 miles north of Cape Verde Islands. Later the battleship sighted the German ships herself.

 

Destroyer FORESTER patrolling nearby also reported the warships.

 

A Swordfish from MALAYA ran out of fuel on the 8thshadowing the German ships and its crew of Lt G. R. Brown DSC, Sub Lt R. G. Drake, and TAG R. H. George were picked up by Spanish steamer CABO DE BUERNA ESPERANZA and interned in the Spain.

 

Battleship MALAYA and destroyer FAULKNOR joined destroyer FORESTER and proceeded towards the German ships, but no action ensued as the German ships withdrew.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser ARETHUSA, and destroyers VELOX and WRESTLER departed Gibraltar at 2115/7th towards SL.67.

 

Destroyers FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE, and FOXHOUND met battlecruiser REPULSE and aircraft carrier FURIOUS.

 

The battlecruiser and aircraft carrier were placed under the command of Force H

 

Liner STRATHMORE was detached and FEARLESS, FORTUNE, and FORESIGHT escorted her to Gibraltar, arriving on the 10th. Battlecruiser REPULSE and aircraft carrier FURIOUS with destroyer FOXHOUND arrived at Gibraltar on the 10th. Light cruiser ARETHUSA also arrived back at Gibraltar on the 10th.

 

German submarines U.105 and U.124 attacked convoy SL.67 on the 8th.

 

Submarine U.105 sank British steamer HARMODIUS (5229grt) at 20-35N, 20-40W.

 

Eleven crew was lost on the steamer.

 

Submarine U.124 sank British steamer NARDANA (7974grt) at 20-51N, 20-32W.

 

Nineteen crew were lost on the steamer.

 

Submarine U.124 sank British steamer HINDPOOL (4897grt) at 20-51N, 20-32W.

 

Twenty eight crew were lost.

 

Submarine U.124 sank British steamer TIELBANK (5084grt) at 20-51N, 20-32W.

 

Four crew were lost on the British steamer.

 

Submarine U.124 sank British steamer LAHORE (5304grt) at 21-03N, 20-38W.

 

The entire crew were rescued from the steamer.

 

Submarine U.124 also claimed two more ships hit by torpedoes.

 

Destroyers FAULKNOR and FORESTER rescued over three hundred survivors from the sunken merchant steamers. The destroyers arrived at Gibraltar on the 16th.

 

Force H escorted convoy SL.67 until Light cruiser KENYA relieved them on the 19th for the final leg to England.

_____

 

German tanker NORDMARK replenished German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER at sea.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer NURGIS (700grt) was sunk by German bombing seven miles west by north of Lizard.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Dutch steamer PRINS FREDERIK HENDRIK (128grt) was sunk by German bombing in 52-20N, 5-37W.

 

Eight crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

Convoy AS.17 of four British ships departed Piraeus escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY and destroyers STUART and HEREWARD. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy ANF.18 of five British ships departed Alexandria escorted by destroyer GREYHOUND. The convoy joined convoy AN.18 escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer ILEX. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 11th. Convoy ANF.18 with destroyers ILEX, GREYHOUND, and HAVOCK at 0750. Convoy AN.18 with anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer ILEX at 1800.

_____

 

Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT and destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JAGUAR, HOTSPUR, VOYAGER, and WATERHEN departed Suda Bay to cover movements of convoys through Kithera Straits.

 

Destroyer HOTSPUR rescued Lt R. A. Brabner and Lt J. A. Shuttleworth from a Fulmar of 806 Squadron which had force landed in Suda Bay on the 10th.

 

The British ships arrived at Suda Bay late on the 10th.

_____

 

Egyptian steamer STAR OF MEX (1116grt), en route to Tobruk from Alexandria with petrol, ran aground near British steamer KNIGHT OF MALTA off Ras Assaz at 0650.

 

Corvette PEONY was sent to assist the tanker. The corvette was able to tow the tanker off successfully.

 

Steamer STAR OF MEX was sailed to Alexandria for repairs, escorted by anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN ISLE.

_____

 

Minesweeping boat DART was sunk on a mine in the Suez Canal.

 

Two crew were killed and two were seriously wounded.

_____

 

A German supply convoy of steamers ALICANTE (2140grt), ARCTURUS (2596grt), WACHTFELS (8467grt), and RIALTO (6099grt), escorted by destroyers FULMINE, BALENO, and TURBINE, departed Naples for Tripoli, arriving on the 12th without event.

On 12 March, steamers ARCTURUS and WACHTEFELS and destroyers LAMPO and FULMINE departed Tripoli to return to Naples, arriving on 14 February.

 

 

Sunday, 9 March

 

Destroyers ZULU and MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 1630 and destroyer COSSACK departed Scapa Flow at 1800 to rendezvous with the 1st Minelaying Squadron in the Minches for escort duty.

 

1st Minelaying Squadron of minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC, and MENESTHEUS departed Loch Alsh to lay minefield SN.68 B, escorted by destroyer ST MARYS.

 

Light cruisers EDINBURGH and NIGERIA departed Scapa Flow at 2335 the same day to cover. They rendezvoused with the minelayers on the 10th.

 

The mines were laid on the 11th.

 

The ships arrived back on the 12th. Cruisers EDINBURGH arrived at 1919 and NIGERIA at 2105 at Scapa Flow. Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, and ZULU refuelled at Loch Alsh on the 13th.

 

Destroyers COSSACK, ZULU, and MAORI departed Loch Alsh at 0835/14th and joined convoy OB.297 at 1100 in the Minches.

_____

 

Battleships KING GEORGE V and RODNEY escorted by destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, TARTAR, MATABELE, and ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow at 0740 to cover the convoy route.

 

The destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1130/13th.

 

Battleship KING GEORGE V proceeded to Halifax arriving on the 15th. The battleship departed Halifax on the 17th escorting convoy HX.115. She arrived at Scapa Flow on the 31st.

 

Battleship RODNEY escorted convoy HX.114. She then proceeded to Reykjavik to refuel arriving on the 24th. Battleship RODNEY proceeded to Halifax arriving on the 31st.

_____

Destroyers MASHONA and ACTIVE departed Scapa Flow at 0600 to rendezvous with armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA in 61N, 15W and escort her to the Minches.

 

After this duty, both destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1715/11th.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to meet convoy WN.95 in Pentland Firth and provide cover.

 

The ship after this duty transferred to convoy EN.83.

 

 

On arrival in Pentland Firth on the 10th, ship CURACOA transferred to convoy WN.96.

 

Off Aberdeen, the ship parted company and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0330/11th.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler GULFOSS (730grt, T/Skipper A. Hill RNR) was sunk on a mine in the English Channel.

 

T/Sub Lt G. K. Swindells RNVR, and nine ratings were missing on the trawler.

 

Hill was wounded.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawler HATSUSE (295grt, Skipper G. Stewart RNR) was mined 1.2 miles 180 from Penlee Point. She was beached in Cawsand Bay in a sinking condition, salved and taken to Plymouth on the 11th for repair.

_____

 

Greek steamer MARATHON (7296grt) was sunk by German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST at 21N, 25W. The entire crew were taken prisoner.

_____

 

In German bombing attacks on convoys EN.83 and WN.95, British steamer ESMOND (4976grt) was damaged off Buchan Ness in 57-21N, 1-38W. She sustained seven casualties.

_____

 

British steamer SYLVIA BEALE (1040grt) was damaged by German bombing five miles ENE off Dungeness.

_____

 

British cruisers YORK, BONAVENTURE, and GLOUCESTER departed Alexandria at noon as convoy AG.4.

 

The cruisers arrived at Pireaus on the 10th. After disembarkation, the cruisers sailed to arrived at Suda Bay at 0630/11th to take over the Aegean patrol duties.

 

British cruisers ORION and AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH arrived at Suda Bay at 0630/10th for fuel. They sailed that day for Alexandria.

 

Cruisers ORION and PERTH arrived at Alexandria to fit additional anti-aircraft weapons.

 

Cruiser AJAX was detached to Port Said, to arrive at 0630/12th, to have her catapult removed prior to anti-aircraft gun installations.

 

Destroyers NUBIAN and MOHAWK, formerly of convoy AG.2, oiled at Suda Bay and then joined the British Force A west of the Kithera Channel.

_____

 

A German supply convoy of steamers ANKARA (4768grt), KYBFELS (7764grt), MARBURG (7564grt), and REICHENFELS (7744grt) escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, MALOCELLO, FOLGORE, and LAMPO, which departed Naples on the 5th and arrived at Palermo on the 8th, departed Palermo on the 9th.

 

Italian steamers SEBASTINO VENIER (6311grt) and ANDREA GRITTI (6338grt) which departed Naples on the 6th escorted by torpedo boat ALCIONE, arrived at Palermo on the 8th. The convoy was joined by torpedo boats PALLADE and POLLUCE from Palermo.

 

Both convoys were joined by torpedo boats CLIO and CENTAURO from Tripoli. The German convoy arrived at Tripoli at noon on the 10th and the Italian convoy at 1330/11th.

_____

 

An Italian convoy of steamers TANARO , CAFFARO (6476grt), FENICIA (2584grt), and CAPO VITA (5683grt) escorted by torpedo boat PAPA and armed merchant cruiser DEFFENU, departed Palermo, via Trapani, for Tripoli. When the convoy departed Trapani, it was escorted by merchant cruiser DEFFENU only.

 

Steamer CAFFARO was detached with mechanical problems and returned with steamer TANARO to Trapani.

Submarine UTMOST sank Italian steamer CAPO VITA in 36-09N, 11-07E in the Gulf of Hammanet.

 

Submarine UTMOST made an unsuccessful attack on DEFFENU.

 

Italian steamer FENICIA was sunk by submarine UNIQUE on the 10th in 34-19N, 12-40E, sixty miles southeast of Kerkenah.

_____

 

Convoy GA.2 of empty personnel ships departed Piraeus escorted by destroyers JAGUAR, WRYNECK, and VAMPIRE. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 11th.

_____

 

Two Greek destroyers patrolled between Santorin Island and Kaso Straits during the night of 9/10 March.

_____

 

Destroyer VENDETTA departed Alexandria for Port Said for escort duties in convoy AN.19.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE and destroyers JUNO and GRIFFIN departed Port Said at 1900 for Alexandria, arriving on the 10th.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, which traveled through the Canal with the aircraft carrier, accompanied the ships from Port Said to Alexandria.

 

Sloop GRIMSBY, which also traveled with these ships through the Canal, remained at Port Said for convoy AN.19 duties.

_____

 

French submarine depot ship JULES VERNE, escorted by destroyers ALBATROS and TEMPETE passed Gibraltar westbound on the 9th.

 

Both escort ships had come from Casablanca. Destroyer TEMPETE arrived at Oran with convoy K 28 on the 1st and destroyer ALBATROS with convoy K 29 on the 3rd. The submarine depot ship departed Bizerte on the 4th and arrived at Casablanca on the 10th.

 

 

Monday, 10 March

 

Captain W. N. T. Beckett MVO, DSC, commanding officer of the heavy cruiser EXETER completing repairs at Devonport, died.

 

Captain O. L. Gordon took over command of the cruiser on the 11th.

 

On the 24th, cruiser EXETER departed Devonport to work up at Scapa Flow.

_____

Convoy OB.296 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer VANQUISHER and corvettes CAMPANULA, FREESIA, and PIMPERNEL. The escort was joined on the 11th by destroyers WHITEHALL and WINCHELSEA and on the 12th by destroyer VICEROY. On 13 March, destroyer VICEROY was detached. The three corvettes were detached on the 14th. The remaining three destroyers were detached on the 15th when the convoy was dispersed. destroyer CALDWELL joined on 10 February.

_____

 

Destroyer WORCESTER, escorting convoy FN.428 drove off three German S-boats off the coast of Norfolk.

 

Destroyer SOUTHDOWN, escorting convoy FS.429A drove off German S-boats off Sheringham.

 

There was no damage to either convoy.

_____

 

Submarine H.28 was in a collision with an unknown merchant ship in the Irish Sea.

 

The submarine was repaired at Belfast from 12 March to 14 April.

_____

 

British steamers CORINIA (870grt), SPARTA (708grt), and WATERLAND (1107grt) were sunk on mines in 50-55N, 00-35E.

 

Nine crew and five gunners were lost on steamer CORINIA.

 

Nine crew were missing on steamer SPARTA.

 

Five crew and two gunners were lost on steamer WATERLAND.

_____

 

U.552 sank Icelandic trawler REYKJABORG (687grt) 459 miles southeast of Iceland.

 

Two crew from the trawler were saved.

_____

 

German tanker NORDMARK met German supply ship ALSTERUFER (2704grt) on the 10th. On 11 March, the tanker replenished the supply ship.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer BUR (4343grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52-12N, 5-52W.

 

The ship put into Fishguard during the evening of 10 March in a sinking condition. The ship was beached on Goodwick Sands and later repaired at Barry.

_____

 

Dutch steamer LIBRA (391grt) was damaged by near misses of German bombing in 52-05N, 5-51W.

 

The steamer was towed into Swansea.

_____

 

German minelayers KONIGIN LUISE and COBRA, escorted by the 5th Minesweeping Flotilla, laid minefield PREGEL during the night of 10/11 March extending the Westwall minefield northwards.

_____

 

Damaged Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyers JUNO and GRIFFIN, for Port Said.

 

Due to mining, the transit of the aircraft carrier through the Canal was delayed. The destroyers returned to Alexandria on the 11th.

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS was able to begin her transit of the Canal on the 15th.

 

The aircraft carrier was en route for repairs in the United States. These repairs required eleven months to complete.

_____

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, anddestroyers DUNCAN and FOXHOUND departed Gibraltar to protect the SL.convoy route.

 

They relieved battleship MALAYA of convoy SL.67.

 

Battleship MALAYA and destroyers FAULKNOR and FORESTER then proceeded to Gibraltar.

 

Destroyers VERITY, VETERAN, HESPERUS, HAVELOCK, and HURRICANE from convoy OB.298 joined convoy SL.67.

 

Convoy SL.67 was also soon joined by destroyers DOUGLAS, CHELSEA, WOLSEY, MANSFIELD, SALISBURY, BROKE, and SALADIN.

_____

 

Dutch submarine O.23 arrived at Gibraltar from England.

_____

 

Convoy SC.25 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser LACONIA and submarine THUNDERBOLT. The submarine was detached on the 15th and the armed merchant cruiser on the 24th. On 26 March, destroyers CHESTERFIELD, GARLAND, and OTTAWA, sloop WESTON, and corvettes HEATHER, HEPATICA, and PICOTEE joined the escort. The escorts were detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy BN.19 departed Aden, escorted by sloop AUCKLAND. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 17th.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA and New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Mauritius to patrol 400 miles southeast of Madagascar with armed merchant cruiser CITY OF DURBAN.

 

On 20 March, light cruiser LEANDER left for patrol and returned to Mauritius arriving on the 22nd. She refuelled and departed the same day to patrol a line between Mauritius and Madagascar.

 

 

Tuesday, 11 March

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow following repairs, and arrived at 0730/12th.

_____

 

Destroyer WITHERINGTON was damaged by German bombing while alongside the jetty at Portsmouth.

 

The destroyer was towed to a mud bank and beached. Repair was completed in five and a half months at Portsmouth.

 

In this heavy bombing at Portsmouth during the night of 10/11 March, the following officers of HMS VERNON were killed A/Sub Lt L. Farman, Lt Cdr G. R. Murray, Lt Cdr W. H. Newman (ret), T/Paymaster Sub Lt J. A. Hewlett RNVR, Commissioned Electrician W. J. Gulliford and Lt H. Mould (ret). Lt J. H. Rogers RNVR, also of VERNON, died of injuries from this raid of 15 March.

 

Gunner J. Apps (ret), A/Sub Lt J. A. Stobbs, and Skipper J. Watt RNR, of HMS EXCELLENT were also killed in this air raid.

_____

 

Destroyer TYNEDALE was damaged by near misses German bombing while berthed at Pitch House Jetty at Portsmouth.

 

The destroyer was repaired in nine days.

_____

 

Destroyer SHERWOOD, under repair at Portsmouth, was damaged by a near miss of German bombing.

_____

 

During the night of 10/11 March, Minesweeping trawler REVELLO (230grt, A/T/Lt Cdr L. C. Gilbert RNR) was sunk by German bombing at Portsmouth.

 

T/Lt J. P. Thorpe RNVR, was lost in trawler REVELLO.

 

The trawler was raised and drydocked on 20 August. The ship was repaired and recommissioned.

_____

 

Monitor MARSHALL SOULt and four minesweeping trawlers were damaged by German bombing at Portsmouth.

_____

 

Destroyer CATTISTOCK in the North Sea was damaged by German bombing.

 

 

The damage required five days to repair.

_____

 

German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU refueled at sea from German tankers ERMLAND (6528grt) and UCKERMARK (7021grt).

 

After refueling, the four ships in a line thirty miles apart swept for British shipping.

_____

 

Submarine SEVERN departed Halifax for Freetown, arriving on the 25th for patrol duties.

_____

 

U.106 sank British steamer MEMNON (7506grt) at 20-41N, 21-00W.

 

Five crew were lost on the steamer. One gunner and three passengers were taken prisoner. Twenty crew were detained but were subsequently released.

_____

 

U.37 damaged Icelandic trawler FRODI (97grt) with gunfire 200 miles southeast of Reykjavik.

 

Five crew were killed. The trawler arrived at Vestmann Island on the 12th. She put back to Reykjavik on the 15th.

_____

 

British steamer TREVETHOE (5257grt), from convoy FS.32, was sunk by S.28 in 52-46N, 1-57E, east of Orfordness during the night of 11/12 March.

 

One gunner was lost on the steamer.

_____

 

British steamer ROYAL STAR (7900grt) was damaged by German bombing at Stonehaven.

_____

 

British trawler ABERDEEN (163grt) was sunk by near misses of German bombing in Cardigan Bay.

 

Eight crew of a ten man crew were lost.

_____

 

During the night of 11/12 March, British steamers CONTRACTOR (6004grt), NOVELIST (6133grt), and MARKHOR (7917grt) and Swedish steamer STELLA (1189grt) were damaged by German bombing at Manchester.

 

Steamer CONTRACTOR was damaged by a near miss.

 

Steamer NOVELIST had direct hit through number 2 hatchway.

 

Steamer MARKHOR sustained a direct hit. She was repaired at Glasgow.

 

Steamer STELLA was sunk at her berth. She was refloated in October 1941 with a broken back. She was repaired and put in service as British steamer RIVER SWIFT.

_____

 

Light cruisers SHEFFIELD and ARETHUSA and destroyers FEARLESS, FORTUNE, and FORESIGHT departed Gibraltar escorting British troopship STRATHMORE (23, 428grt).

 

On 12 March, the three destroyers returned to Gibraltar.

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA was detached on the 15th to support sloop SCARBOROUGH with convoy HG.55.

Destroyers LEGION, BURWELL, BROADWATER, and RIPLEY were sent from Falmouth for escort duty.

 

The first three destroyers joined light cruiser SHEFFIELD, but destroyer RIPLEY did not make contact.

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD was damaged by the explosion of two British mines close aboard off Islay Island at 0552 on the 17th.

 

The damage did not require immediate repair.

 

The force arrived in the Clyde on the 17th at 1315.

_____

 

Convoy HX.114 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL.

 

Convoy BHX.114 departed Bermuda on the 9th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.114 on the 14th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

With the sailing of BHX.114, the Admiralty suspended the sailing of these convoys until BHX.127 on 13 May.

 

Battleship RODNEY was with the convoy on the 15th and battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN on the 16thand 17th. Armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL was detached on the 24th. The convoy was joined by destroyers COLUMBIA, MONTGOMERY, VANITY, and WANDERER, sloop WESTON, corvettes NASTRUTIUM, PERIWINKLE, and PRIMROSE, and anti-submarine trawlers ARAB, AYRSHIRE, and LADY MADELEINE. Destroyers MONTGOMERY and VANITY, sloop WESTON, and the trawlers were detached later on the 24th. The remainder of the escort was dispersed when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy AS.18 with four British and two other ships departed Piraeus escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer HASTY. The convoy was joined by destroyer HERO from Suda Bay.

 

Convoy AS.18 arrived at Alexandria on the 14th.

_____

 

Convoy AN.19 with eight British ships, twelve Greek ships, two other ships departed Alexandria escorted by Greek destroyers SPETSAI and HYDRA. The convoy was joined at daylight on the 13th by Australian destroyer VENDETTA, Sloop GRIMSBY, and the steamers of the convoy originating at Port Said.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Alexandria on the 12th to join the convoy.

 

Cruiser COVENTRY was able to meet the convoy due to bad weather and was forced to take shelter at Suda Bay on the 14th. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 15th.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruisers BONAVENTURE and GLOUCESTER departed Suda Bay late on the 11th to patrol in the Western Aegean.

 

British tanker DESMOULEA (8120grt), torpedoed at the end of January, departed Suda Bay for Piraeus towed by tug IRENE VERENICOS and escorted by destroyer HOTSPUR.

 

On 12 March, destroyer HAVOCK was sent from Piraeus to relieve destroyer HOTSPUR and return with the tanker to Suda Bay, due to poor weather.

_____

 

Greek destroyer SPHENDONI reported an anti-submarine attack six miles south of Cape Thaso at 1930/11th.

_____

 

Greek destroyer PSARA attacked and claimed the sinking of an Italian submarine at 1515/11th, twelve miles 200 from Falconera.

_____

 

British gunboat LADYBIRD departed Alexandria to relieve gunboat GNAT in the Inshore Squadron.

_____

 

Convoy BS.18 A departed Port Sudan, escorted by sloop SHOREHAM. The convoy was dispersed on the 15th.

_____

 

Convoy BS.19 departed Suez. Sloop YARRA joined on the 17th and was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 19th.

 

 

Wednesday, 12 March

 

Light cruiser FIJI arrived at Scapa Flow at 1658 following her repair of the September 1940 torpedo damage.

_____

 

Convoy OB.297 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers COSSACK, KEPPEL, LINCOLN, MAORI, SABRE, SHIKARI, VENOMOUS, WOOLSTON, and ZULU, corvette SUNFLOWER, and anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN DAWN and WELLARD. Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, and ZULU were detached on the 14th. The remainder of the escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 17th.

_____

 

British steamer EMPIRE FROST (7005grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 51-36N, 5-40W.

 

Six crew were lost.

 

The steamer in tow was again attacked on the 13th and sank.

_____

U.37 sank Icelandic trawler PERTRUSEY (91grt) by gunfire south of Iceland.

_____

 

British steamer CAMROUX I (324grt) was damaged on a mine three miles east of Blyth.

 

The steamer was towed to Blyth.

_____

 

British steamer ESSEX LANCE (6625grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51-03N, 1-38E.

 

The steamer was taken in tow and beached on the 13th two miles northwest of Cromer. She was refloated on the 14th and anchored off Immingham Dock on the 18th.

_____

 

Swedish steamer BUENOS AIRES (5646grt) was sunk by German bombing at Liverpool.

 

The engines were removed from the vessel which was used as a supply ship at Scapa Flow.

 

British crane MAMMOTH (1542grt) was sunk in dock by German bombing at Liverpool. The crane was raised during 1941.

 

During the night of 12/13 March, British flat EXCELISOR (122grt) was sunk at the east end of the south side of Trafalgar Branch Dock, liverpool and British steamers CATRINE (5218grt), IMPERIAL STAR (12,427grt), and ELAX (7403grt), and British tankers EL MIRLO (8092grt) and DELPHINULA (8120grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.

 

 

Steamer ELAX's machinery was smashed. She was anchored in the River Mersey and used as a storage ship until a new engine was installed.

 

The bomb which struck steamer IMPERIAL STAR penetrated three decks before exploding.

_____

 

Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT and destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JAGUAR, HOTSPUR, VOYAGER, and WATERHEN departed Suda Bay to cover movements of convoy AG.5.

 

Destroyers ILEX and GREYHOUND joined this force from Piraeus.

 

Destroyer HOTSPUR, relieved of escort of tanker DESMOULEA, and destroyer WATERHEN from Force A were ordered to Piraeus to escort convoy AS.19.

_____

 

Convoy AG.5 of Greek personnel ships CORINTHIA (3701grt), IONIA (1936grt), HELLAS (2295grt), and MARIE MAERSK (8271grt) departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers VAMPIRE and WRYNECK.

 

Destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria at 2100 to overtake the convoy at daylight on the 13th and join the escort.

 

Tanker MARIE MAERSK lost touch with the convoy and proceeded to Suda Bay. The convoy arrived at Piraeus late on the 14th.

_____

 

Italian troop convoy departed Naples with troopships CONTE ROSSO, MARCO POLO, and VICTORIA escorted by destroyers CAMICIA NERA and GENIERE, joined by destroyer FOLGORE from Palermo.

 

Distant cover was provided by heavy cruisers TRIESTE, TRENTO, BOLZANO, destroyers CARABINIERE, CORAZZIERE, and AVIERE, torpedo boat DEZZA, and three MAS boats. The convoy arrived at Tripoli on the 13th.

_____

 

Convoy US.9/2 departed Bombay with Danish steamer AMERIKA (10,218grt), British EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt), WAIRANGI (12,436grt), and WINDSOR CASTLE (19,141grt), Dutch INDRAPOERA (10,825grt), JOHAN DE WITT (10,474grt), and NIEUW ZEELAND (11,069grt), and Turkish minelayer YUZBASHI HAKKI.

 

 

Thursday, 13 March

 

Rear Admiral A. T. B. Curteis CB, was ashore sick at Scapa Flow from 13 to 21 March.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0945 to meet convoy EN.85 off Tod Head and provide cover as far as Cape Wrath.

 

The ship arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0745/15th.

_____

 

Sloop SCARBOROUGH, escorting convoy HG.55, intercepted Norwegian whalers STAR XIX and STAR XXIV, which had been captured by German raider PINGUIN on 15 January, in the North Atlantic in 45N, 23W as they attempted to return to German waters.

 

Both whalers were scuttled by the German prize crews. The German crews were picked up by sloop SCARBOROUGH.

_____

 

Destroyer WORCESTER off Southwold, escorting convoy FS.34, drove off German S-boats attempting to attack the convoy.

_____

 

British steamer TACOMA CITY (4738grt) was sunk on a mine 2 cables 104 from Rock Ferry Light, Mersey.

 

Four crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

British steamer ULLAPOOL (4891grt) was sunk on a mine off Princess Stage, Mersey.

 

Fourteen crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer.

_____

 

Tug BULLGER (270grt) was sunk on a mine in Druridge Bay, sixteen miles north of the Tyne.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

British steamer NGATIRA (523grt) was damaged on a mine in 51-21N, 3-17W.

 

The steamer was beached with the engine room flooded. She was later refloated and towed to Barry.

_____

 

British steamers WEARWOOD (4597grt), MOUNTSTEWART (1099grt), and MYRMIDON (6278grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.

 

The bomb which struck steamer MOUNTSTEWART exploded in the lower hold.

 

Steamer MYRMIDON was sunk in dock. She was refloated and drydocked on the 27th.

_____

 

British smack TWO BROTHERS (17grt) was sunk by German bombing in Bentick Dock, Kings Lynn.

 

The smack was raised and placed on a mud bank.

_____

 

During the night of 13/14 March, British steamer CLERMISTON (1448grt) was damaged by German bombing in Rothesay Dock at Glasgow.

 

The steamer was sunk. She was refloated in October 1941 and beached in Rames Bay. The steamer was towed to Ardrossan in 1942.

_____

 

During the night of 13/14 May, in German bombing raids on the Clyde, destroyers GOATHLAND and HALDON, under construction, were damaged.

_____

 

During the night of 13/14 March, British steamer TREVARRACK (5270grt) was sunk by German bombing at the Dalmuir Basin, Clyde.

 

Steamer TREVARRACK was refloated at the end of March and repaired.

British collier BELHAVEN (1498grt) was sunk by German bombing at the Clyde during the night of 13/14 March.

_____

 

Dutch steamer PERSEUS (1307grt) was sunk by German bombing twelve miles northwest of Bardsey Island.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer SAMLANES (842grt) was sunk on a mine two miles 180 from The Lizard.

 

The entire crew was lost.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruisers BONAVENTURE and GLOUCESTER arrived at Suda Bay at 0600/13th. Destroyers NUBIAN and MOHAWK, detached from Force A, joined these cruisers at Suda Bay.

 

The British ships departed again later that day to cover convoys through the Kaso Straits.

 

During the night of 13/14 March, the force swept ahead of convoy AS.19 in Kaso Straits. Destroyer NUBIAN reported three Italian S-boats in 35-32N, 26-42E.

 

The S-boats were able to escape.

 

Destroyers NUBIAN and MOHAWK proceeded to Suda Bay to refuel after the sweep.

 

This sweep was covered by Force A.

_____

 

Convoy SL.68 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CANTON to 21 March, light cruiser MAURITIUS to 15 March, corvettes CALENDULA, CROCUS, and MARGUERITE to 20 March, and anti-submarine trawlers KELt and TURCOMAN to 15 March. Destroyer WISHART escorted the convoy on the 15th only.

 

Battleship MALAYA joined on the 15th and departed after being torpedoed on the 21st. The convoy was dispersed due to submarine activity on the 21st and the ships were ordered to Halifax, Bermuda, or Trinidad.

 

 

Friday, 14 March

 

Battleship NELSON, light cruiser NIGERIA, and destroyers BOADICEA, ESCAPADE, and ACTIVE departed Scapa Flow at 1903 to operate south of Iceland.

 

The ships rendezvoused at 0900/15th with destroyers COSSACK, ZULU, and MAORI which were submarine hunting after escorting convoy OB.297.

 

The Tribal destroyers were sent to Reykjavik to refuel on the 16th. The destroyers sailed from Reykjavik at 2245/16th. They rejoined on the 17th at 0800 and destroyers BOADICEA, ACTIVE, and ESCAPADE were detached at 0900 to Reykjavik to refuel.

_____

 

Destroyer PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1715 to escort British steamer WALMER CASTLE (906grt) to the Firth of Forth.

 

After the escort, the destroyer proceeded to Rosyth for refitting, arriving at 1100/15th.

_____

 

Minesweeper FRANKLIN was damaged by four near misses from German bombing in the North Sea.

_____

 

Destroyers HOLDERNESS and VANESSA in convoy FS.35 drove off German S-boats attempting to attack the convoy.

_____

 

Naval drifter JEANNIE LEASK (95grt) was mined in 51-44N, 1-07E.

 

The drifter was beached in Brightlingsea Harbour. She was bombed on the 25th. The drifter was refloated on 13 April and taken to Wivenhoe.

_____

 

Italian submarine EMO sank British steamer WESTERN CHIEF (5759grt), which was straggling behind convoy SC.24, in 58-52N, 21-13W.

 

Twenty two crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

British steamer HERPORT (2633grt) was sunk on a mine in 53-15N, 1-05E.

 

Four crew were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

British steamer STANLEIGH (1802grt) was sunk by German bombing 12 miles 288 from Bar Light Vessel, Mersey.

 

Sixteen crew and the gunner were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

British steamer ARTEMISIA (6507grt) was sunk by German bombing in 52-53N, 1-39E.

 

One crewman and one gunner were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

Tug MINEGARTH (179grt), tanker SCOTTISH CHIEF (7006grt), and steamer EMPIRE SIMBA (5691grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.

 

Tanker SCOTTISH CHIEF was struck by a direct hit. She left Liverpool on 29 April for Manchester.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer TYR (4265grt) was damaged by German bombing off the Humber Light Vessel.

 

The steamer arrived at Immingham on the 15th, assisted by tugs.

_____

 

British steam drifter PEACEFUL STAR (94grt) was sunk by German bombing seventeen miles east, southeast of Rockabill Light House.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Finnish steamer RAINER (2609grt) was sunk by a submarine between Emden and Cuxhaven.

_____

 

Convoy HG.56 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop FOLKESTONE and submarine OLYMPUS with destroyer VELOX and corvettes GERANIUM and VERBENA as local escorts, detached on the 16th.

 

Light cruiser KENYA was with the convoy on the 23rd.

 

The submarine was detached on the 26th to OG.56.

 

On 27 March, destroyers LEGION, SARDONYX, SCIMITAR, WATCHMAN, and BURWELL, Polish destroyer PIORUN, sloop FLEETSTONE, corvettes ARABIS, MALLOW, and VIOLET, and convoy rescue ship ZAAFAREN joined the convoy.

 

French destroyer LEOPARD was also involved in the escort of the convoy in Home Waters.

 

Destroyer BURWELL was detached on the 31st. The convoy arrived at Liverpool with the remaining escort ships on 2 April.

_____

 

Convoy ANF.20 of five British and two other ships departed Alexandria late on the 14th escorted by destroyers STUART and HEREWARD and corvette SALVIA.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Alexandria on the 15th to join the convoy. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 17th.

_____

 

Convoy AS.19 of nine British, two Greek, and one other ship departed Piraeus escorted by destroyers HOTSPUR and WATERHEN and corvette HYACINTH. The convoy was dispersed at 1800/16th.

 

Destroyer HOTSPUR proceeded to Haifa.

 

Destroyer WATERHEN and the fast ships proceeded to Alexandria, arriving on the 17th.

 

Corvette HYACINTH and the slow ships proceeded to Port Said, arriving on the 19th.

_____

 

Australian destroyers VAMPIRE and VOYAGER were ordered to Alexandria from Piraeus and Force A, respectively.

 

The destroyers arrived at Alexandria on the 16th.

_____

 

Submarine OLYMPUS departed Gibraltar was part of the escort for convoy HG.54.

 

The submarine returned to Gibraltar on 2 April in the convoy OG.54 escort.

_____

 

Italian hospital ship PO (7289grt) was sunk at Valona by five Swordfish of 815 Squadron flying from Paramythia.

 

Italian steamer SANTA MARIA (3539grt) was sunk also by 815 Squadron at Valona in this raid. The steamer was later salved and restored to duty.

 

Lt Cdr J. De F Jago, Lt J. A. Caldecott-Smith, and Leading Airman P. N. Beagley in the lead plane were shot down. They were picked up by an Italian MAS boat and made prisoners of war

 
 

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revised 7/4/12
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