Background Events - January-May 1941
Cape Matapan, Battles for Greece & Crete,
Capture of U.110, Enigma codes, Loss of 'Hood',
sinking of 'Bismarck'
Saturday, 15 March
Minesweeper BRITOMART (Lt Cdr J. M. S. Cox DSC) was
damaged by German bombing in Rye Harbour. Cox and Lt P A Block RNR were killed on board. She was escorted to Portsmouth by minesweeper SHARPSHOOTER and repaired there
from 16 March to 29 May.
Monitor MARSHALL SOULT was damaged by German
bombing while berthed in Portsmouth
Harbour, but remained in service.
Convoy HX.112 was escorted by destroyers WALKER,
VANOC, VOLUNTEER, SARDONYX, and SCIMITAR and corvettes BLUEBELL and
German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU
sank British ships from dispersed convoy OB.294, which had departed Liverpool on the 5th and dispersed on the 9th.
Tanker BRITISH STRENGTH (7139grt) was sunk in 42N,
43W by SCHARNHORST.
Two crew were killed on the tanker. The rest were
Tanker SIMNIA (6197grt) in 40-28N, 43-30W was sunk
Three crew were killed. The rest were taken
Tanker SAN CASIMIRO (8046grt) in 39-58N, 43-19W was captured
by GNEISENAU and scuttled on the 20th at position 45-12N, 19-42W.
The Master and the gunners were taken prisoner. The
rest of the crew remained on the tanker. On 20 March, when sighted by British
aircraft and battlecruiser RENOWN, the tanker was scuttled by the German
prize crew. in 45-12N, 19-42W.
Steamer ROYAL CROWN (4388grt) in 42N, 43W by
GNEISENAU. The entire crew were rescued.
Steamer MYSON (4564grt) in 42N, 43W by GNEISENAU.
The entire crew were rescued.
Steamer RIO DORADO (4507grt) in 42N, 43W by GNEISENAU. The entire
crew was lost.
Tanker ATHELFOAM (6554grt) in 42-00N, 43-25W by
SCHARNHORST. One crewman and one gunner were lost, the rest taken prisoner.
Norwegian tanker POLYKARP (6405grt) was captured by
GNEISENAU in 45-40N, 23-26W on the 15th, and reached the German-occupied
Gironde on the 24th.
Norwegian tanker BIANCA (5688grt) was captured by
GNEISENAU on the 15th.
The entire crew was rescued. On 20 March, the
tanker was intercepted by battlecruiser RENOWN in 44-16N, 19-21W. The tanker
was scuttled by the German prise crew.
The attacks continued on the 16th on further ships
of the dispersed convoy OB.294 and two ships of dispersed convoy OB.292 which
had departed Liverpool on 27 February and dispersed 6 March.
Steamer SARDINIAN PRINCE (3491grt) in 44N, 43W by
The entire crew were taken prisoner.
Dutch steamer MANGKAI (8298grt) in 44N, 43W by
SCHARNHORST. Some of the crew were taken prisoner.
Steamer SILVERFIR (4347grt) in 42N, 43W by
SCHARNHORST. One crewman was lost. Rest were taken prisoner of war.
Steamer EMPIRE INDUSTRY (3721grt) of OB.272 in 42N,
43W by GNEISENAU. The entire crew as taken prisoner.
Norwegian steamer GRANLI (1577grt) of OB.292 was
sunk by GNEISENAU 300 miles east of Newfoundland. The entire crew was rescued.
Steamer DEMETERTON (5251grt) in 45-58N, 44-00W by
SCHARNHORST. The entire crew was taken
Independent steamer CHILEAN REEFER (1739grt)
46-13N, 44-45W by GNEISENAU. Seven
crew and two gunners were lost from the steamer. Three crew were taken
prisoner. The rest were rescued by British ships.
Steamer CHILEAN REEFER was able to send off an
SOS which was picked up by Battleship RODNEY.
Battleship RODNEY turned convoy HX.114 over to battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN,
which was in the area in transit, and made for the position of the SOS.
Submarine THUNDERBOLT, which departed Halifax on the 10th, and armed merchant cruiser LACONIA of convoy HX.115 and SC.25 were sent to
departed Halifax on the 11th for Freetown, was also in the area.
After unsuccessful searching, submarine SEVERN proceeded on her voyage to
Battleship RODNEY, escorting convoy HX.114, sighted
battleship GNEISENAU which made off at high speed and no action ensued.
Battleship NELSON, light cruiser NIGERIA, and destroyers BOADICEA, ESCAPADE, and ACTIVE
were dispatched to the south of Iceland to attempt to intercept the German battlecruisers
as they attempted to return home.
On 16 March, destroyer BOADICEA lost a rating
Light cruiser NIGERIA located armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, en route
to Reykjavik on the 16th.
Destroyers BOADICEA, ESCAPADE, and ACTIVE were sent
to Reykjavik at 0900/17th to refuel after destroyers COSSACK,
MAORI, and ZULU rejoined the NELSON group. Destroyer BOADICEA, ESCAPADE, and
ACTIVE rejoined at 1447 on the 18th.
The NELSON group were joined on the 21st by
battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, heavy cruiser LONDON, and destroyers INGLEFIELD, ELECTRA, ARROW, ECHO, ECLIPSE, and ESKIMO which departed Scapa Flow at 0515/19th. Battlecruiser HOOD departed Rosyth
on the 18th and joined this force off Dunnett Head at 0630.
Heavy cruiser LONDON was detached after radio direction finding tests.
Light cruisers NIGERIA of the 10th and EDINBURGH of the 18th Cruiser Squadrons operated to the
south of the Battleships.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers SOMALI,
BEDOUIN, MATABELE, and MASHONA departed Scapa Flow for
1100/20th for escort duty with convoy WS.7.
Destroyer ARROW was detached to Londonderry to refuel on the 21st.
Submarine L 27 departed Portsmouth to attempt to intercept the German ships. Dutch
submarine O.24 and Submarine OBERON departed Rothesay to patrol off Wolf
Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, and ZULU were detached
from the Commander in Chief's force in 59W, 20W to refuel in Reykjavik.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers SOMALI,
BEDOUIN, MATABELE, and MASHONA arrived in the Clyde at 0751 on the 22nd.
Light cruiser NIGERIA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1938 on the 22nd.
Battleship NELSON and destroyers ACTIVE, BOADICEA,
and ESCAPADE arrived at Scapa
Flow at 0031 on the 23rd.
Battlecruiser HOOD, battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, and
destroyers INGLEFIELD, ELECTRA, ESKIMO, and ECHO arrived at Scapa Flow at 0658 on the 23rd.
On 19 March, ocean boarding vessels HILARY and
CORINTHIAN on Western Patrol were ordered to attempt to intercept the
captured whale factory ships as they proceeded to French ports.
Tug WARRIOR (249grt), towing Norwegian tanker
FERNCOURT (9918grt), was damaged on a mine at the entrance to River Cart in
The tug beached at Renfrew. The was later refloated
and taken to Glasgow for repair.
Belgian steamer EMINENT (500grt) was sunk on a mine
in 52-32N, 5-37W.
The entire crew was rescued.
Convoy GA.5 (there was no GA.3 or GA.4) of five
British and three Greek ships departed Pireaus for Alexandria and Port Said escorted by destroyers DECOY and WRYNECK.
Steamer CINGALESE PRINCE departed this convoy on
the 16th and joined anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN MAID for Tobruk to embark
motor transport. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 17th.
British Force A arrived at Suda
to refuel at dawn on the 15th.
Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN rejoined Force A.
Force A departed Suda
later that day.
During the night of 15/16 March, Force A covered
convoys GA.5, ASN 20, and AS.19 passing through Kithera Straits.
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Simonstown.
Tug CHABOOL, manned by Lt J. L. Mumford RNR and crewed by seven ratings from light cruiser
GLASGOW, departed Aden for Berbera. She was never found and all hands
Convoy ZK.1 departed Brisbane with two coastal steamers escorted by armed
merchant cruiser MANOORA. The convoy arrived at Port Moresby and Rabaul.
In April and July to September, three more convoys
Sunday, 16 March
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow after convoy escort duties with convoy HX.112.
Destroyer ANTHONY while under repair at Glasgow was damaged by the near miss of a German bomb.
The destroyer spent no further time out of service.
Convoy OB.298 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers CHELSEA, MANSFILED,
VANITY, VERITY, VETERAN, and WOLSEY, and corvette ARBUTUS. Destroyer VANITY
was detached on the 28th. On 18 March, destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, and HURRICANE joined. The escort was
detached on the 20th when the convoy was dispersed.
Anti-submarine trawler LADY LILIAN (581grt, T/Lt W.
K. Rous RNVR) was sunk by German bombing 150 miles west by south of Bloody
Anti-submarine trawler ANGLE (531grt, P/T/Lt R.
Wolfenden RNR) was damaged by German bombing 150 miles west by
south of Bloody Foreland.
The trawler arrived Belfast in tow on the 22nd.
Corvette AUBRETIA, en route from Greenock to Londonderry, was damaged in a collision with British trawler
The corvette was repaired at Dundee from 21 March and completing on 7 April.
U.110, in three attacks on convoy HX.112, damaged
British tanker ERODONA (6207grt) in 61-20N, 17W.
Thirty two crew and four gunners were lost.
The ship was abandoned. It was towed to Edisvik
near Reykjavik on the 30th. The after end of the tanker was lost.
The ship left Reykjavik in tow in 1942 for Blyth.
U.106 sank Dutch steamer ALMKERK (6810grt) at
The crew was rescued.
U.99 attacked convoy HX.112, escorted by destroyers
WALKER, VANOC, VOLUNTEER, SARDONYX, and SCIMITAR, and corvettes BLUEBELL and
Norwegian tankers FERM (6593grt) and BEDUIN
(8136grt) were sunk by 60-42N, 13-10W.
The entire crew from tanker FERM were rescued by
Four crew from tanker BEDUIN was lost.
On 19 March, the forward position of the tanker was
sunk by gunfire from a trawler in 61-02N, 11-53W. The stern portion was sunk
on the 20th in 61-07N, 10-50W.
British tanker FRANCHE COMTE (9314grt) was damaged
in 61-15N, 12-30W. Corvette BLUEBELL stood by the damaged tanker.
The tanker arrived at Rothesay
on the 21st.
British tanker VENETIA (5728grt) was sunk in 61-00N, 12-36W.
The entire crew of tanker VENETIA were rescued by corvette BLUEBELL.
Canadian steamer J. B. WHITE (7375grt) was sunk in
One crewman was lost and one crewman was missing on
the Canadian steamer.
Submarine U.99 sank Swedish steamer KORSHAMN
(6673grt) from convoy HX.112 on the 17th in 61-09N, 12-20W.
Twenty six crew were lost on the Swedish steamer.
Norwegian steamer ELNA E. (1174grt) was sunk on a
mine eighteen miles southwest of Lundy
One crewman was lost on the steamer.
Submarine PARTHIAN torpedoed Italian steamer
GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO (3141grt) near Palmi in 35-57N, 15-40E.
The submarine claimed hitting a second ship, but
Force A was unsuccessfully attacked by two Italian
torpedo planes at dusk west of Elaphonisos, thirty miles west of Crete.
The Italian bombers reported hitting two large
units, probably battleships.
No ship was hit.
Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE was detached from
the 3rd Cruiser Squadron to arrive at Alexandria at 0600/18th.
Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE departed Alexandria for exercises on 16 and 17 March escorted by destroyers
JUNO, JAGUAR, and HASTY.
Destroyer ILEX joined the aircraft carrier from
The British ships returned to Alexandria on the 17th.
Australian destroyer VOYAGER departed Alexandria escorting British troopship ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) and armed boarding vessel ROSAURA
In air operations in the Atlantic, Sub Lt (A) D. M. Ferguson RNVR, and Sub Lt (A) J. K. M. Watt of 818
Squadron from ARK ROYAL were lost when their Swordfish failed to return from
Light cruisers GLASGOW and CALEDON, destroyers KANDAHAR and KINGSTON, armed boarding vessels CHAKDINA and CHANTALA,
Indian patrol boats NETRAVATI and PARVATI, motor launch ML.109, and two
transports landed troops brought from Aden at Berbera in Operation APPEARANCE.
Corvette ASPHODEL arrived at Gibraltar with two steamers formerly of convoy SL.67.
Corvette DELPHINIUM departed Gibraltar for Freetown en route to Simonstown and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Monday, 17 March
Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON,
and PORT QUEBEC of the 1st Minelaying Squadron, escorted by
destroyers ST MARYS, LANCASTER, CASTLETON, and CHARLESTOWN departed Loch Alsh to lay minefield SN.69.
Light cruisers AURORA and GALATEA departed Scapa Flow on the 17th to cover.
Battleship NELSON, light cruiser NIGERIA, and destroyers BOADICEA, ACTIVE, ESCAPADE,
COSSACK, ZULU, and MAORI operating south of Iceland supported the operation.
The mines were laid on the 19th.
The ships arrived back on the 20th.
Destroyers NESTOR, WHADDON, and ERIDGE departed
Scapa Flow for Rosyth at 2100 to escort battlecruiser HOOD to
The four ships departed Rosyth at 1700/18th for
Pentland Firth, where the battlecruiser joined the battle fleet
at sea and the destroyers were detached to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 19th.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to meet convoy WN.99 in the Pentland Firth providing cover until convoy EN.68 A was met.
At 0500/18th, the ship transferred to convoy EN.68
A and remained with it until its arrival in Pentland Firth.
Ship CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow 1745/18th.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by sloop KITTIWAKE
and French torpedo boat LA MELPOMENE, laid minefield BS.51 off the East coast
Anti-submarine yacht MOLLUSC (597grt, T/Lt N P
Doyle RNR) was sunk by German bombing 2½ miles 115° from
Blyth Port War Signal Station. There
were no casualties.
Convoy OG.56 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes ERICA and
SNAPDRAGON, and anti-submarine trawler ST KENAN.
On 18 March, the convoy was joined by destroyers
BROKE, DOUGLAS, SALADIN, SALISBURY, and VIVIEN and corvette CLARKIA.
Destroyers BROKE, DOUGLAS, SALADIN, SALISBURY, and VIVIEN were detached on the 21st. on the
22nd, corvette CLARKIA and trawler ST KENAN were detached.
OLYMPUS joined the
convoy on the 26th. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 2 April, escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS,
corvettes ERICA and SNAPDRAGON, and submarine OLYMPUS.
U.99 was sunk by HX.112 escort Destroyer WALKER
northwest of the Hebrides in 61-16N, 12-56W.
The commanding officer, two other officer, and
thirty seven ratings were picked up by destroyer WALKER. One officer and two
ratings from the submarine drowned.
U.100 was sunk by HX.112 escort Destroyer VANOC
northwest of the Hebrides in 61N, 12W.
One officer and five ratings were rescued. Thirty
eight crew, including Kptlt. Joachim Schepke, were lost in the submarine.
During the night of 17/18 March, destroyer
CATTISTOCK in convoy FN.33 off Lowestoft
unsuccessfully attacked German motor torpedo boats.
Destroyers VESPER and COTTESMORE were also in the
U.106 made attacks on convoy SL.68.
British steamer ANDALUSIAN (3082grt) was sunk at
The entire crew of the steamer were rescued.
Dutch steamer TAPANOELI (7031grt) was sunk at
The entire crew was rescued.
The submarine attacked two other steamers in the
convoy without success.
British steamer CORMEAD (2848grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 52-20N, 2-00E.
British pilot cutter PIONEER (281grt) was damaged
by German bombing at B 3 Buoy, Thames Estuary.
Norwegian steamer EINAR JARL (1858grt) was sunk on
a mine in 56-17N, 2-18W.
One crewman was lost on the steamer.
Light cruisers PERTH, AJAX, and ORION departed Alexandria carrying troops as convoy AG.6 A to Piraeus.
The cruisers arrived at Piraeus on the 18th.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER was recalled from the Aegean to Alexandria, arriving on the 18th.
Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Alexandria for Haifa for escort duty in convoy MW.6.
Convoy BN.20 departed Aden, escorted by sloop AUCKLAND. Destroyer KINGSTON joined on the 18th. Both escorts were detached on
the 21st. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 25th.
Convoy BM.5 departed Bombay with steamers NEURALIA (9182grt) and DEVONSHIRE (11,275grt), escorted by armed merchant cruiser
HECTOR from 17 to 20 March. Light cruiser EMERALD joined on 20 march and was
detached on the 23rd. Light cruiser DURBAN joined on the 22nd.
Steamers JALAKRISHNA (4991grt) and JAPAPADMA (3035
(tons) departed Bombay on the 16th and proceeded independently with
lorries, petrol, ordnance, and other stores for the personnel in convoy BM.5.
The convoy arrived at Singapore on the 25th.
Convoy HX.115 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA, destroyer ST CROIX, and corvette ORILLIA.
The destroyer and the corvette were detached the next day. Battleship KING
GEORGE V and submarine THUNDERBOLt joined the escort on the 20th and were
detached on the 28th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 28th.
Destroyers READING, SABRE, and VENOMOUS, sloop WELLINGTON, and corvettes ALISMA, DIANELLA, and KINGCUP
joined on the 29th. The escort was detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 April.
American Task Group 9.2 with light cruisers BROOKLYN and SAVANNAH and destroyers CASE, CUMMINGS, SHAW, and TUCKER
arrived at Auckland for a three day goodwill visit.
The American ships sailed on the 20th and arrived
at Tahiti on the 25th. They departed Tahition the 27th and
returned to Pearl Harbour.
Tuesday, 18 March
German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU
refueled at sea three hundred miles northwest of the Azores from tankers ERMLAND and UCKERMARK.
Some four hundred prisoners were transferred to the
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed
Scapa Flow for
The cruiser refueled in Iceland and patrolled in the Denmark Strait with two armed merchant cruisers.
The cruiser returned to refuel at Reykjavik on 27 to 29 March.
Light cruiser ARETHUSA departed Scapa Flow on escort duties.
The cruiser arrived back at 1610/22nd.
Battlecruiser HOOD, refitting at Rosyth since 13
January, departed Rosyth for Scapa
U.105 sank British steamer MEDJERDA (4380grt) from
convoy SL.68 at 17N, 21W.
The German 1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla with
S.26, S.29, S.39, S.55, S.101, and S.102 sortie against British shipping on
the British east coast.
British steamer DAPHNE II (1970grt) was badly
damaged by S.102 in 59 Buoy, off the Humber.
The ship was taken in tow and beached south of
Bull. The ship broke in two and sank.
Italian submarine EMO attacked British steamer CLAN
MACIVER (4500grt) in 58N, 24W.
German steamer BREMEN (51, 731grt) was lost due to an explosion at Bremen.
German steamer WIDAR (5972grt) was sunk by an
aerial torpedo off Borkum.
Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT and destroyers
JERVIS, JANUS, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, GREYHOUND, and HAVOCK arrived at Alexandria at 0530.
Light cruisers BONAVENTURE and GLOUCESTER arrived soon afterwards.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER embarked General Blamey, Commanding the Australian
Corps, and 1087 troops.
The cruiser departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyer HASTY, for Piraeus.
Convoy AG.7 of Armed boarding vessels CHAKLA and
FIONA, supply ship BRECONSHIRE, three Greek, and one other ship departed
Alexandria, escorted by light cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers VOYAGER and WRYNECK.
Troopship ULSTER PRINCE embarked Army personnel at Tobruk and
joined the convoy on the 19th. The convoy arrived at Piraeus late on the 20th.
Convoy AN.21 of seven British, four Greek, and two
other ships departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers DECOY and WATERHEN and corvette HYACINTH.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY joined the convoy from Suda
On the 21st, British tanker MARIE MAERSK (8271grt),
formerly of AG.5 and joined from Suda
was damaged by German bombing off Crete.
Six crew were killed, eight missing, and four were
taken prisoner of war.
Australian destroyer WATERHEN put a party aboard
the ship and got the fire under control.
The tanker was brought into Suda
under her own power by a Royal Navy navigating party, escorted by
anti-submarine trawler AMBER. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 22nd.
Convoy AS.20 of one British, one Greek, and four
other ships departed Piraeus
escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, destroyer VENDETTA, sloop GRIMSBY, and one Greek destroyer.
Destroyer VENDETTA attacked a submarine contact at
1715/18th in 37-29N, 24-05E. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 21st and Port Said on the 22nd.
Armed boarding vessel ROSAURA (1552grt) was sunk on
a mine 146° from Mersa Tobruk. Fourteen crew, including P/T/Surgeon Lt J. F.
Roberts RNVR, five military guards and 59 prisoners of war were lost.
Swordfish of 830 Squadron attacked Tripoli
A Swordfish was shot down and its crew of A/Sub Lt
(A) D. Grant and Leading Airman W. E. J. Thomson were made prisoners of war.
They were repatriated in November 1942.
Three Albacore aircraft from 826 Squadron from
aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE operating ashore torpedoed Italian steamer LABOR
(510grt) and destroyed two lighters at Buerat el Hsur. The steamer was able
to arrive at Tripoli on the 19th.
One Albacore and its crew of Sub Lt J. J. C. Coe
and A/Sub Lt C. P. Bailey were lost.
Convoy BS.20 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. The sloop was detached
the next day. On the 21st, sloop AUCKLAND joined, on the 22nd, light cruiser CAPETOWN; both
were detached on the 25th when sloop PARRAMATTA joined. The convoy was dispersed on the 26th.
Italian torpedo boat ALDEBARAN was sunk by British
bombing at Valona.
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Singapore.
Light cruiser DIOMEDE damaged her port propeller
while passing through the Panama
Wednesday, 19 March
Destroyer LIDDESDALE departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to meet British steamer AMSTERDAM off Aberdeen at 2230 and escort her to Lerwick.
The ships departed Lerwick at 2000/20th. The
destroyer lost touch with the steamer in bad weather during the night and
returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 0830/21st.
Light cruiser KENYA, relieved Force H escorting convoy SL.67.
The light cruiser arrived at Greenock on the 31st.
Convoy OB.299 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer MONTGOMERY. On 20 March,
destroyers CHESTERFIELD, VANITY, and WANDERER, sloop WESTON, and corvettes
NASTURTIUM, PERIWINKLE, and PRIMROSE joined. The escort was detached when the
convoy dispersed on the 24th.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) W. Darbyshire RNVR, and Leading
Airman J. W. J. Howes were killed when their Roc of 760 Squadron crashed near
North Cadbury in air firing practice exercises.
British steamer BENVORLICH (5193grt) was sunk by
German bombing from convoy OB.298 in 54-48N, 13-10W.
Four crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer.
The survivors were rescued by convoy rescue ship ZAMALEK.
U.106 made attacks on convoy SL.68.
Dutch steamer MANDALIKA (7750grt) was sunk at
Three crew were killed on the steamer.
The submarine attacked another steamer on the 19th
Battleship MALAYA, escorting convoy SL.68 with
armed merchant cruiser CANTON and corvettes CALENDULA, MARGUERITE, and
CROCUS, was torpedoed in the bows by U.106 at 2323 on the 20th at 20-02N,
The submarine thought she had torpedoed a merchant
Destroyers FORESIGHT and FORTUNE were ordered to
join the damaged battleship. Destroyers FEARLESS and WRESTLER of the group
intending to join ARK ROYAL and RENOWN were ordered to return to Gibraltar. On the 21st, destroyers FEARLESS and FORTUNE
departed Gibraltar to join, but soon they and destroyers FORESIGHT
and FORTUNE were ordered to return to Gibraltar.
Battleship MALAYA was escorted towards Trinidad by corvette CROCUS, which was detached on the
23rd. The battleship arrived at Trinidad on the
The battleship arrived on 6 April in New York for repairs.
British steamer CLAN MACNAB (6076grt) was lost in
convoy SL.68 when she collided with Norwegian motor tanker STRIX (Correction thanks to John Staaland)
British steamer NAILSEA MEADOW (4962grt) was
damaged by German bombing at Victoria Dock, London.
Two crew were lost.
The ship was struck by a bomb in the afterpeak
British steamer TOTTENHAM (4762grt) was damaged on
a mine in the Southend Anchorage.
The ship was damaged by a near mine explosion. The
ship was towed to Gravesend on the 20th.
Norwegian steamer LEO (1367grt) was sunk by German
bombing 75 miles NW of the Butt of Lewis. The entire crew was rescued by
Dutch tanker MAMURA (8245grt) was damaged by German
bombing in 54-42N, 13-20W.
The tanker was able to continue to Halifax.
British steamer JUNO (642grt) was damaged by German air attack in
Surrey Commercial Dock.
The steamer was considered a constructive total
During the night of 19/20 March, British steamers
TELESFORA DE LARRINGA (5780grt) and LINDENHALL (5248grt) were damaged in
Victoria Dock, London.
One crewman was killed on the TELESFORA DE
Steamer LINDENHALL caught fire and sank. She was
drydocked at Millwall on 23 April.
German tanker NORDMARK replenished German raider
KORMORAN at 2-52N, 30-58W.
British operation MC.9 began on the 19th.
British steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), CLAN FERGUSON (7347grt),
andPERTHSHIRE (10,496grt) departed Haifa escorted by destroyers HOTSPUR and
GRIFFIN and steamer CITY OF LINCOLN (8039grt) departed Alexandria escorted
by destroyer GREYHOUND as convoy MW.6. The convoy was designated Force C.
T/A/Sub Lt (A) R. C. Kay and Leading Airman D. R.
Stockman were killed when their Fulmar of 805 Squadron from Maleme was shot
down over Suda Bay
on the 19th.
On 20 March, battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, and
VALIANT, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, and destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, JAGUAR, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, ILEX, HERO, and HAVOCK
departed Alexandria as Force A.
Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE joined the convoy
escort on the 20th.
Anti-aircraft cruisers COVENTRY, CALCUTTA, and
destroyer HAVOCK joined Force C on the 21st. The convoy was covered by heavy
cruiser YORK, light cruisers ORION, PERTH, GLOUCESTER, and AJAX and destroyers STUART, HEREWARD, and HASTY,
HEREWARD after refueling at Suda Bay.
This group, designated Force B, rendezvoused with Force A at 1600/21st.
The destroyers of Force B joined Force A.
Exercising following her refitting, destroyer
DEFENDER was damaged by splinters from a near miss of an air bomb off Dellimiara Point, Malta, on the 21st.
Force B rejoined Force A at 0740/22nd.
The fleet parted company with the convoy at
2000/22nd to stay out of the range of German bombers.
A Fulmar of 809 Squadron ditched near the Fleet. Lt
A. J. E. Howey and Leading Airman L. J. Stevens were rescued by destroyer
Anti-aircraft cruisers COVENTRY and
CARLISLE left the
convoy at 2030 and proceeded to Alexandria.
Destroyer DEFENDER departed Malta at 1945 to join Force B.
Force B and destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN covered
Force C from the northward during the night of 22/23 March.
Convoy MW.6 arrived at Malta on the 23rd.
Force B rejoined Force A during the morning of 23
March and destroyer DEFENDER joined shortly thereafter.
Force C and the convoy were attacked by German
bombers at Malta on the 23rd.
British steamers PERTHSHIRE (10,496grt) and CITY OF LINCOLN (8039grt) were damaged.
Light cruiser BONAVENTURE was damaged on her port
bow by splinters from near misses. One rating was killed and seven were
wounded. Destroyer GRIFFIN was damaged by a near miss which holed her forward
fuel oil tanks with no casualties.
Force B and destroyers ILEX and HASTY parted
company with Force A to cover Force C.
The cruisers and destroyers of Force C departed
Malta at 1930.
At 1930, destroyer HEREWARD departed Force B to
join ConvoyAN 22 on the 24th.
Force C and Force B merged at 0730/24th and
proceeded to the Aegean.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyers ILEX
and HASTY arrived at Port Said on the 24th.
Force B covered convoy AN.22 from west of the
Force A arrived back at Alexandria at 2230/24th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE and destroyers
GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR, and HAVOCK from Force C proceeded to
Alexandria, arriving on the 25th. The cruiser carried a
replacement propeller shaft and bracket bearing for cruiser CARLISLE.
Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruiser GLOUCESTER arrived at Suda
during 25 March.
Light cruisers ORION, PERTH, and AJAX and destroyer ILEX remained in the Aegean to cover convoy AN.22 and AS.22 on the 25th.
Greek destroyer AETOS reported being unsuccessfully
attacked by Italian torpedo bombers north of Candia.
Submarines UTMOST and URSULA departed Malta to patrol the east Tunisian coast.
Submarine TRUANT fired torpedoes at a barge at
Buerat el Sun. The torpedoes missed and passed underneath Italian tanker
LABOR (510grt) without doing damage.
Destroyers FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE, and
WRESTLER departed Gibraltar to meet aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and
battlecruiser RENOWN which had been relieved in convoy SL.67 by light cruiser
Submarine OTUS arrived at Gibraltar after departing Portsmouth on the 8th.
The submarine had been refitting at Portsmouth in February completing on the 1st.
Thursday, 20 March
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1515 after damage repair from her April 1940
One turbine was still defective. Full power trial
was completed on the 26th.
Convoy OB.300 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers ACHATES and BOREAS, corvettes
HEATHER, HEPATICA, and PICOTEE, and anti-submarine trawlers ARAB, AYRSHIRE,
and LADY MADELEINE. The escort, less the destroyers, was detached on the
25th. The destroyers were detached on the 26th when the convoy was dispersed.
Auxiliary anti-aircraft ship HELVELLYN (642grt,
T/Lt P. D. Baker RNVR) was sunk by German bombing in the London Docks.
Submarine STURGEON unsuccessfully attacked a
steamer off Obrestad.
The claim she sank Norwegian tanker DRAFN (8205grt)
under German control off Stadlandet is incorrect.
Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE laid
minefield GU in the English
British requisitioned motor fishing vessel DOX (35grt) was by German bombing at Plymouth.
British requisitioned motor fishing vessel GLOAMING
(21grt) was sunk by mining in the vicinity of Burcom Shoal off the Humber.
Naval drifter SOIZIC (72grt) was lost in enemy
Tug SIR BEVOIS (338grt) was sunk by German bombing
at Plymouth. Nine were
lost from a crew of fourteen.
Polish steamer CIESZYN (1386grt) was sunk by German
bombing three miles 55° from Manacle Point. The entire crew was rescued.
British fishing vessel JOAN MARGARET (25grt) was
lost on a mine in the vicinity of Cleeness Lightfloat, River Humber. Five crew were killed.
British trawler BIANCA (174grt) was sunk in the
Irish Sea when she picked up a German aerial torpedo or bomb
in her nets. Five crew were lost.
Hulk MACKAY BENNETT was sunk by German bombing at
Plymouth. It was
refloated on 26 July and docked on 28 July.
Tug ELAN II was sunk by German bombing at Plymouth, and refloated about 1 October 1941.
Tug CHARLIGHT (40grt) was damaged by German bombing
off Le Bas Wharf, Milwall.
British steamer MARI II (1395grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Plymouth.
The ship was sunk. She was refloated on 27 June and
repaired at Plymouth.
Greek submarine TRITON made unsuccessful attacks on
a steamer and a torpedo boat off Valona.
This was possibly German steamer BRUMMER and
torpedo boat ALTAIR.
British tanker SAN CASIMIRO (8046grt) and Norwegian tanker BIANCA
(5688grt), captured by German battlecruiser GNEISENAU on the 15th, were
sighted by Aircraft
carrier ARK ROYAL aircraft.
The tankers were scuttled by the German prise crews
when approached by Battlecruiser RENOWN.
Convoy BN.22 departed Bombay, escorted by armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR. The
escort was detached on the 26th. On 31 March, sloops AUCKLAND and
Sloop FLAMINGO joined on 1 April and light cruiser CAPETOWN and destroyer
KINGSTON on 2 April. Light cruiser CAPETOWN and destroyer
KINGSTON were detached on 3 April, sloops FLAMINGO and
INDUS on 4 April, and sloop AUCKLAND on 7 April when the convoy arrived at Suez.
Convoy SC.26 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser
WORCESTERSHIRE, submarine PORPOISE, and escort ship COBALT. The escort ship
was detached later on the 20th, the submarine on the 29th, and the armed
merchant cruiser on 3 April. On 3 April, destroyers VETERAN and WOLVERINE
joined the convoy. On 4 April, destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, and VIVIEN and
corvette CONVOLULUS joined. This group, which joined on 4 April, was detached
on 5 April and destroyer HAVELOCK
and sloop SCARBOROUGH joined on 5 April. The escort was detached when
the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 8 April.
American heavy cruisers CHICAGO and PORTLAND and destroyers
CLARK, CONYNGHAM, REID, CASSIN, and DOWNES arrived at Sydney, Australia on a
three day goodwill visit. They departed on the 23rd and arrived at Brisbane on the 25th. Departing on the 28th, they arrived
at Suva, Fiji, on 1 April. The American force departed Suva on the 3rd and arrived back at Pearl
Harbour on 10 April.
Friday, 21 March
Aircraft carrier ARGUS, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, depot ship MAIDSTONE, and troopship HIGHLAND MONARCH escorted by
destroyers NAPIER and NIZAM, departed the Clyde for Gibraltar.
The ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th.
Armed merchant cruiser DERBYSHIRE departed the
Clyde carrying troops to Reykjavik. At 0700/22nd, destroyers TARTAR and GURKHA
departed Scapa Flow to meet her 19 miles 270° from Cape Wrath at 1500 and escort her to 17W. The destroyers then detached and carried
out an anti-submarine search before returning to Scapa Flow.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to meet convoy WN.1 in the Pentland Firth and cover it until dark. The ship then covered
At noon on the 22nd, ship CURACOA then transferred to convoy WN.2. On the
23rd, the ship then covered convoy EN.90.
On the 24th, ship CURACOA parted company with
convoy EN.90 in Pentland
Firth and returned to
Scapa Flow arriving at 1130.
Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL in the Bay of Biscay in 48-44N, 18-29W lost an aircraft in an
A Swordfish of the 818 Squadron with A/Sub Lt (A)
P. E. Opdall, P/T/Sub Lt (A) C. R. Hearn RNVR, and Leading Airman B. C. Biggs
crashed on taking off. The depth charges carried by the aircraft exploded
under the ship, but did not cause damage requiring immediate repair.
The crew of the aircraft were lost.
Minesweeping trawler ASAMA (303grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Plymouth.
The trawler was beached at Torpoint.
British steamer LONDON II (1260grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 51-23N, 4-30W.
Four crew were lost on the steamer. The steamer was
abandoned on fire and sank six miles off Mumbles Head.
British steamer MILLISLE (617grt) was sunk by
German bombing two miles east of Helwick L. B. , Bristol Channel.
Nine crew and one gunner were lost on the steamer.
British steamer HALO (2365grt) was damaged on a
mine off Beckton Pier.
Four crew were lost on the steamer.
The steamer sank off Beckton No. 1 Pier. The ship
was refloated and placed ashore at Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.
U.105 made attacks on convoy SL.68.
British steamer CLAN OGILVY (5802grt) was sunk at
Twenty five crew were killed and thirty six were
missing from steamer CLAN OGILVY. Survivors from the steamer were picked up
by Spanish steamer CABO VILLANO (4282grt) and British steamer KING EDGAR
British steamer BENWYVIS (5920grt) was sunk at 20N,
Thirty three crew and one gunner were lost from
steamer BENWYVIS. A cadet, sole survivor of 34 men in a boat, was picked up
by French steamer VILLE DE ROUEN (5083grt) and landed at Madagascar after being in the lifeboat for twenty eight days.
British steamer JHELUM (4038grt) was sunk by 21N, 25W.
Eight crew were killed. The rest were interned at
Convoy AS.21 of three Greek ships departed Piraeus escorted by corvette SALVIA and Greek destroyer
VASILEVS GEORGIOS I and one Greek destroyers. The convoy was attacked in the
Aegean southeast of Gavdo Island by German aircraft.
Greek steamer EMBIRICOS NICOLAOS (3798grt) was sunk
by German bombing from this convoy in 34-30N, 24-45E.
Two crew were lost.
Norwegian tanker SOLHEIM (8070grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing from this convoy in 34-30N, 24-10E.
One crewman was missing from the tanker.
The tanker was abandoned on the 23rd and sank
sometime during the night of 23/24 March.
The survivors from both ships were picked up by the
second Greek destroyer which took them back to Piraeus. The convoy arrived at Alexandria late on the 24th.
Convoy ASF.21 of British BRECONSHIRE, CHAKLA, and two other
British ships, three Greek, and two other steamers departed Piraeus late on the 21st escorted by destroyers VOYAGER
and WRYNECK. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 23rd.
Destroyer KINGSTON departed Port Sudan escorting steamer RATNAGIRI with 300 French troops
for Mersa Taclai, arriving on the 22nd.
Convoy HX.116 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA.
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN was with the convoy from 23 to 31 March. The armed
merchant cruiser was detached on 4 April. On 4 April, destroyers AMBUSCADE,
BULLDOG, and VANQUISHER and corvettes CAMPANULA, FREESIA, HEARTSEASE, and
PIMPERNEL, and anti-submarine trawler ST APOLLO joined. Destroyer WINCHELSEA
joined on 5 April and destroyer WHITEHALL and corvette ORCHIS joined on 6 April. Corvette
ORCHIS was detached on 7 April. The escort was detached when the convoy
arrived at Liverpool on 9 April.
Saturday, 22 March
German battlecruisers GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST
were met at sea by torpedo boats ILTIS and JAGUAR on the 22nd. They arrived in Brest after sinking 22 ships of 115,662grt in the North
and Central Atlantic.
Destroyer BELMONT, which departed Liverpool on the 21st, was damaged in a collision with an
unknown steamer fifteen miles northwest of Chicken Rock, the Isle of Man.
The destroyer was repaired at Liverpool completing on 24 July.
During the night of 22/23 March, destroyers
INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE, escorted by destroyers FERNIE, TYNEDALE, and
CLEVELAND, laid minefield GN in the English Channel.
British tanker AGNITA (3552grt) was sunk by German
raider KORMORAN at 2-30N, 25-00W.
The entire crew was taken prisoner.
British steamer ST FINTAN (495grt) was sunk by
German bombing seven miles north, northwest of Smalls.
The crew of nine were all lost.
Norwegian steamer INGER (1418grt) was damaged by
German bombing ten miles south of Smalls.
The steamer arrived at Plymouth on the 23rd.
British steamer DASHWOOD (2154grt) was damaged by
German bombing in Barrow Deep.
Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING, KASHMIR, and JACKAL, en route from
Gibraltar, to escort damaged battleship MALAYA, were ordered to the area of
Brest in an attempt to intercept the German
No contact was made and the destroyers returned to
Convoy AN.22 of eight British and one Greek ship
departed Alexandria escorted by destroyer VENDETTA and sloop GRIMSBY.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY and destroyer HEREWARD joined the escort on the
24th. The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 25th.
Destroyers FEARLESS, FORESTER, VELOX, and WRESTLER
departed Gibraltar to escort aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and
battlecruiser RENOWN to Gibraltar, where they arrived on the 24th.
Italian battleship VENETO was transferred from Spezia to Naples.
Submarine RORQUAL arrived at Malta to embark mines for an operation northwest of
The submarine departed Malta that evening on the operation.
Tug CHABOOL (58grt) departed Aden on the 15th for Berbera, but never arrived.
The tug was presumed to be sunk.
Sunday, 23 March
Battleship NELSON, light cruiser NIGERIA, and destroyers BOADICEA, ACTIVE, and ESCAPADE
arrived at Scapa Flow at 0100.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and destroyers
INGLEFIELD, ECHO, ELECTRA, and ESKIMO arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700.
Destroyers ARROW and ECLIPSE, which called at Lough
Foyle to refuel, arrived at Scapa
Flow later at 1145 and
Light cruiser DIDO arrived at Scapa Flow after repairs and stiffening.
Convoy OB.301 departed Liverpool, escorted by
destroyers BURWELL, SARDONYX, SCIMITAR, and WATCHMAN, sloop FLEETWOOD,
corvettes ARABIS and MALLOW, and anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN WAVE. The corvettes were detached on the 26th. The
escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 27th.
Destroyer ECHO departed
Scapa Flow at 1700
for Rosyth to clean boilers.
The destroyer arrived at 0800/24th.
Destroyers LIDDESDALE, AVON VALE, and QUANTOCK
departed Scapa Flow at 2030 for Rosyth to meet battleship PRINCE OF
WALES during her passage to the Pentland Firth for
trials and exercises.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by patrol sloop
KITTIWAKE and French torpedo boat LA MELPOMENE, laid minefield BS.52 off the
east coast of England.
Light cruiser KENYA joined convoy HG.56 for support.
Destroyer RICHMOND, which departed Londonderry on the 23rd for Liverpool, was grounded off Benbena Head at Holyhead.
The destroyer received temporary repairs at
Holyhead to 28 March. She was then taken to Southampton for repairs completed 28 May.
Destroyer LEWES was damaged by the near miss of
The destroyer spent no time out of service.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) P. Mittell RNVR, was killed when his
Gladiator of 759 Squadron crashed east of Camelford while returning from
U.110 damaged Norwegian steamer SIREMALM (2468grt)
in 60-35N, 28-25W.
U.97 sank British tanker CHAMA (8077grt) in 49-35N,
The entire crew of the tanker were lost.
British trawler ELMIRA (197grt) was sunk by German bombing in 59-55N,
Ten crew were lost on the trawler. There was one
Italian steamers CARNIA (5451grt), ANNA CAPANO
(1216grt), VESTA (3351grt), and MONSTELLA (5211grt) departed Bari for Durazzo on the 22nd escorted by torpedo boat
Greek submarine TRITON damaged steamer CARNIA in
40-58N, 18-27E, thirty miles northeast of Brindisi in 40-58N, 18-27E.
The submarine unsuccessfully attacked ANNA CAPANO.
A Fulmar of 806 Squadron from aircraft carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS, flying into Maleme, crashed on landing. Sub Lt B. Sinclair and
Naval Airman J. T. Beach were uninjured.
British trawler SAMURAI (221grt) was damaged by
German bombing thirty miles north, northwest of St Kilda.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER captured Vichy French steamer
CHARLES L. D. (5267grt) between Mauritius and Madagascar.
The steamer was taken to Mauritius.
Italian sloop ERITREA and armed merchant cruiser RAMB II arrived at
Convoy SL.69 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ARAWA to 14
April, light cruiser MAURITIUS to 5 April, corvettes CLEMATIS and CYCLAMEN to 29
March, and French sloop COMMANDANT DOMINE to 14 April.
Battlecruiser REPULSE was with the convoy on 27 to
30 March. Armed merchant cruiser BULOLO was with the convoy on 28 and 29
Battlecruiser REPULSE was joined by aircraft
carrier FURIOUS and destroyers DUNCAN and FOXHOUND on the 27th.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH, which departed Gibraltar on 2 April, escorted the convoy from 5 to 14
On 14 April, destroyers ROXBOROUGH and SHERWOOD,
sloop WESTON, and corvettes CLARKIA and GLADIOLUS joined the convoy. On 15
April, destroyers SALADIN and SALISBURY joined. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 16 April.
Monday, 24 March
The Commander in Chief Home Fleet transferred his
flag from battleship NELSON to battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Battleship RODNEY departed convoy HX.114 and
proceeded to Hvalfjord for refueling.
Destroyers COSSACK, ZULU, and MAORI of the 4th Destroyer
Flotilla escorted the battleship to Hvalfjord, arriving at 1645/24th.
Minelayer ABDIEL, escorted by destroyers KIPLING
and KASHMIR, laid minefield GV in the English Channel.
Convoy OB.302 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers READING, SABRE, and VENOMOUS, sloop WELLINGTON, corvettes ALISMA, DIANELLA, and KINGCUP, and
anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA, MAN O.WAR, and NORTHERN DAWN. The convoy dispersed on
Convoy WS.7 departed the Clyde with steamers
DUCHESS OF YORK (20,021grt), VICEROY OF INDIA (19,627grt), ANDES
(25,689grt), GEORGIC (27, 759grt), STIRLING CASTLE (25, 550grt), DENBIGHSHIRE
(9100grt), JOHN VAN OLDENBARNEVELDT (19,429grt), DEMPO (17,024grt), DUCHESS
OF ATHOLL (20,119grt), ORION (23,371grt), STRATHALLAN (23,722grt), OTRANTO
(20,026grt), EMPRESS OF CANADA (21,517grt), STRATHEDEN (23, 722grt), PASTEUR
(29,253grt), WARWICK CASTLE (20,107grt), STRATHNAVER (22,283grt), STRATHMORE
(23,428grt), STRATHAIRD (22,281grt), GLENORCHY (10,000grt), and ORCADES (23,456grt).
Steamers STRATHAIRD collided with STIRLING
CASTLE and returned to the Clyde.
Steamer GEORGIC was detached to Halifax. The convoy was escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA,
VICEROY, ROCKINGHAM, and LEOPARD on 25 and 26 March.
Destroyers LEGION and PIORUN escorted the convoy
from 24 to 26 March.
Destroyer BROADWATER escorted the convoy from 24 to
Light cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers SOMALI,
BEDOUIN, MATABELE, and MASHONA escorted the convoy from 24 March. The
destroyers were detached on the 28th and the light cruiser on the 29th.
Destroyer ST CLAIR escorted the convoy from 25 to
Battleship REVENGE escorted the convoy from 24 to
28 March. When detached, she took liner GEORGIC to Halifax.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO was with the convoy for anti-aircraft protection
on 25 and 26 March.
Battleship NELSON and destroyers ARROW, ECLIPSE,
and ESKIMO departed Scapa
Flow at 1202 on the 24th
to join the convoy south of Oversay Light at noon on the 25th and escort it to Freetown.
Battleship NELSON escorted the convoy from 25 March
to 4 April.
The destroyers were detached at the limit of their
endurance on the 27th in 54N, 21W. The destroyers carried out an
anti-submarine sweep north and south of Rockall returning to Scapa Flow. Destroyers ARROW and ECLIPSE refueled at Londonderry on the 29th en route to Scapa Flow. The destroyers departed Londonderry at 1100/30th and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0400/31st.
Destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, MATABELE, MASHONA, and
ESKIMO arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1430/31st.
On 1 April, destroyers DUNCAN and FOXHOUND joined
the convoy and destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE joined the convoy on 2 April.
The convoy arrived at Freetown
on 4 April with the four destroyers. The convoy departed Freetown on 7 April escorted by battleship NELSON and
destroyers FOXHOUND, DUNCAN, VIDETTE, and WISHART.
Destroyers FOXHOUND and DUNCAN were detached on 8 April. Destroyers VIDETTE and
WISHART were detached on 9 April. Battleship NELSON remained with the convoy until
15 April when she was relieved by light cruiser NEWCASTLE.
Steamers DUCHESS OF YORK, STRATHMORE, STRATHEDEN, ORION, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL,
ANDES, STRATHALLAN, EMPRESS OF CANADA, ORCADES, PASTEUR,
and DEMPO of the convoy arrived at Capetown on 16 April. The Durban section of steamers VICEROY OF INDIA, WARWICK
CASTLE, JOHAN VAN OLDENBARNEDVELDT, DENBIGHSHIRE, STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO,
OTRONTES, and GLENORCHY continued escorted by light cruiser
NEWCASTLE and they arrived on 19 April.
Light cruiser NEWCASTLE proceeded to Simonstown.
Steamer DEMPO proceeded to Durban from Capetown independently arriving on 20 April.
On 20 April, the other Capetown ships sailed
escorted by heavy cruiser HAWKINS. The Durban ships sailed on 23 April escorted by armed
merchant cruiser CARTHAGE. The two groups rendezvoused on 24 April and the
armed merchant cruiser was detached.
Light cruiser GLASGOW and COLOMBO departed Mombasa and relieved heavy cruiser HAWKINS on 28 April in
At 5N, 50E, steamers DUCHESS OF YORK, WARWICK
CASTLE, STRATHMORE, and JOHAN VAN OLDENBARNEVELDT was detached with light
cruiser COLOMBO as WS.7X. They arrived at Bombay on 5 May.
Convoy WS.7 was dispersed on 3 May and the ships
arrived independently at Suez
on 6 May.
Destroyer MANSFIELD suffered a complete engine room
The destroyer was towed by destroyer SALISBURY to port.
The destroyer returned to service in ten days.
Anti-submarine yacht WILNA (461grt, T/Lt L. W.
Cleverly RNR) was abandoned after damage from German bombing at
Portsmouth, 2400 yards 57° from the Nab.
There were no casualties.
Italian submarine VENIERO sank British steamer
AGNETE MAERSK (2104grt), from dispersed convoy OG.56 in 49N, 22-55W.
The entire crew was lost from the steamer.
U.97 sank Norwegian steamer HORDA (4301grt) in 49N,
U.106 made an attack on a steamer.
For some time it was assumed to have been the
Brazilian steamer SANTA
(2512grt). This ship made an SOS on the
14th from 30-48N, 68-42W after an explosion. U. S. Coast Guard ship BIBB
found some wreckage of the ship, but no survivors. This was not in the area
of U.106's attack.
U.551 was sunk by anti-submarine trawler VISENDA,
operating with the Northern Patrol, south of Iceland in 62-37N, 16-47W.
There were no survivors from the crew of forty five
from the submarine.
Italian steamer NURAGHE (633grt) was lost through
lost in a marine accident off Capo Pali, Valona.
Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN
departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers FORESIGHT, FORTUNE, and
FORESTER, to intercept German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU should
they attempt to leave Brest.
Destroyers FORTUNE and FORESIGHT were detached on
the 25th and destroyer FORESTER was detached on the 26th.
The aircraft carrier and battlecruiser were joined
on the 31st, by destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, and FORTUNE, which departed Gibraltar on the 29th, and Force H arrived back at Gibraltar on 1 April.
Convoy HG.57 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop ROCHESTER, destroyer WRESTLER, corvettes LA MALOUINE and
VERBENA, and Dutch submarine O.23.
Destroyer WRESTLER was detached on the 27th to join
destroyer VELOX to escort light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers NAPIER and
NIZAM, aircraft carrier ARGUS, submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE, and troopship
HIGHLAND MONARCH en route to Gibraltar.
Captured French ships CHANTILLY, OCTANE, and CANTAL were in this convoy. Also in
the convoy was troopship EMPIRE TROOPER, which was ordered to return to Gibraltar because she was carrying too many passengers.
The submarine was detached on 3 April.
Light cruiser NIGERIA joined the convoy on 3 April and continued with it
until 9 April.
On 4 April, corvette LA MALOUINE was detached.
On 6 April, destroyers BROKE, DOUGLAS, ROXBOROUGH, and SALISBURY, corvette ABELIA, and anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN, ST KENAN, ST
ZENO, and VIZALMA joined the escort. These ships were all detached on 9
April. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 11 April escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and VERBENA.
Armed boarding vessel ST DAY was in a collision with Spanish steamer GAYARRE
(3276grt) in the Straits of Gibraltar.
The boarding vessel returned to Gibraltar.
Submarine URSULA unsuccessfully attacked a convoy
off Cape Bon.
Convoy BN.21 departed Aden, escorted by sloop FLAMINGO. Light cruiser
CAPETOWN joined on the 25th. Both escorts were detached on the 27th and the
convoy arrived at Suez on the 31st.
Convoy BS.21 departed Suez, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON. The light cruiser was detached when light cruiser
CAPETOWN and sloop FLAMINGO joined on the 29th. Light cruiser CAPETOWN was detached
on the 30th and sloop SHOREHAM joined. Sloop HINDUSTAN joined on the 31st. The convoy was dispersed on 1
Sloop SHOREHAM intercepted German steamer ODER (8516grt) which had departed Massawa on the 23rd.
The steamer scuttled herself in the Red Sea.
Italian steamer INDIA (6366grt), which departed Massawa at the same
time, arrived at Assab.
Tuesday, 25 March
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, escorted by destroyers QUANTOCK, LIDDESDALE, and
AVON VALE arrived at Scapa
Flow to work up.
Light cruisers GALATEA and AURORA departed Scapa Flow at 0859 to cover the laying of minefield SN.4.
Destroyer MENDIP departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth on completion of working up exercises.
Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK departed Scapa Flow after working up for Greenock.
Armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA departed the Clyde carrying troops to Iceland, escorted by destroyer ANTHONY.
The destroyer arrived at Loch Alsh at 1830/25th.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1100 and met convoy WN.3 in Pentland Firth. The convoy was escorted to Buchan Ness where the
ship transferred to convoy EN.91 at 2130.
The ship transferred to convoy WN.4 in Pentland Firth at 1030 and provided cover until dark. Ship
CURACOA arrived back at Scapa
Flow at 1200/27th.
British steamer ROSSMORE (627grt) was sunk by
German bombing twelve miles northeast of Godrevy
Six crew were lost on the steamer.
British steamer BEAVERBRAE (9956grt) was sunk by
German bombing 60-12N, 09-00W.
The entire crew of eighty six men were rescued by
destroyers TARTAR and GURKHA.
Returning to Scapa Flow, destroyer GURKHA was involved in a collision with
an unknown wooden drifter in Pentland
The drifter sank with no survivors. The destroyer's
bow was badly damaged.
Destroyers TARTAR and GURKHA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0945/26th.
Destroyer GURKHA departed Scapa Flow for repairs at Rosyth at 1530/29th.
British fishing vessel ALASKAN (21grt) was sunk by
a mine in 54-49N, 1-07W.
The crew of five were rescued.
British steamer BRITANNIA (8799grt) was sunk by
German raider THOR in 7-24N, 24-03W.
122 crew and 127 passengers of 203 crew and 281 passengers
were missing on the steamer. Spanish steamer BACHI (3091grt) rescued fifty
one survivors, Spanish steamer CABO DE HORNOS (12,599grt) rescued seventy
seven survivors, and British RARANGA (7956grt) rescued sixty seven survivors.
Thirty three survivors reached Brazil in a lifeboat after twenty three days.
The steamer departed Liverpool on the 11th, carrying a large draft of officers
and ratings en route to the Mediterranean Fleet.
Surgeon Lt I. Mc N. A. Drysdale, MB ChB, en route
to Fleet Air Arm base PHOENIX, T/Sub Lt J. R. Bebbington RNVR, en route to
heavy cruiser YORK, Gunner T. G. Cartwright, en route to heavy
cruiser SHROPSHIRE in the Indian Ocean, T/Electrician Lt K. McI. Dwyer RNVR,
en route to destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH, T/Lt D. W. Gibbon RNR, en route to submarine depot ship MEDWAY, T/Lt P.
H. C. Hardy RNVR, of EXCELLENT, P/T/Sub Lt K. G. Harman, en route to ST
ANGELO, died of wounds on 7 April, P/T/Sub Lt (E) K. J. Kemp RNVR, en route
to light cruiser GLOUCESTER, P/T/Lt F. M. Lyons RNR, en route to supply ship BRECONSHIRE, T/Lt W. R.
Sobey RNVR, en route to base ship NILE, T/Lt (Sp) A. H. Stableford RNVR, of
EXCELLENT, P/T/Lt D. S. Wilkinson RNVR, en route to base ship NILE, Lt Cdr R.
R. Wood, en route to Fleet Air Arm base GREBE, P/T/Surgeon Lt H. Marks RNVR,
en route to light cruiser LIVERPOOL, T/A/Sub Lt (A) S. R. S. N. Gosling RNVR,
en route to Fleet Air Arm base GREBE, Lt Cdr M. E. Welby, en route to base
ship NILE, Lt S. L. J. Bailey, RCNVR, en route to Fleet Air Arm base GREBE, A/Gunner
(T) C. F. Hallas, en route to destroyer GRIFFIN, and T/A/Gunner G. E. D.
Marriott, en route to base ship CANOPUS, were lost.
Boatswain D. G. Brown, en route to battleship
BARHAM, Paymaster Sub Lt H. D. Burge RNVR, en route to battleship WARSPITE,
Lt (E) A. Davidson (ret), of DRAKE, Paymaster Lt J. P. Joisce RNVR, of base
ship ST VINCENT, Boatswain E. O. Keill, en route to repair ship RESOURCE, Sub
Lt J. R. Hume RNVR, en route to light cruiser GLOUCESTER, Sub Lt (A) J. H.
Leach RNVR, en route to Fleet Air Arm base GREBE, Lt A. H. Rowlandson, of
VICTORY, A/Sub Lt A. D. T. Sangster, en route to battleship WARSPITE, Lt R.
J. Tadhunter, en route to sloop BRIDGEWATER in the South Atlantic, Cdr S. H.
Spurgeon, of VICTORY, Lt E. H. Thatcher RNVR, en route to battleship BARHAM,
A/Gunner T. Alfred, en route to base ship NILE, Sub Lt (A) T. H. Blank RNVR,
en route to Fleet Air Arm base GREBE, A/Sub Lt I. S. McIntosh, en route to
submarine depot ship MEDWAY, P/Sub Lt A. L. Soan RNVR, en route to base ship
ST ANGELO, P/Sub Lt (Sp) F. L. West RNVR, en route to Fleet Air Arm base
GREBE, Gunner (T) E. G. Westgarth, en route to battleship VALIANT, and
Warrant Shipfitter W. F. M. Davies, en route to battleship VALIANT were
rescued and interned at Tenerife. These personnel, and others totaling forty
nine men, were released at the end of July 1941.
McIntosh and West received MBE's for their conduct
in the loss of the ship. Rowlandson, Spurgeon, and Tadhunter received
Swedish steamer TROLLEHOLM (5047grt) was sunk by
German raider THOR in the South Atlantic.
The crew was saved and interned.
Dutch steamer ESCAUT (347grt) was damaged by German
bombing twenty four miles southwest of Hartland Point.
The steamer was abandoned and drove ashore near
Bude. She was refloated and taken to Appledore on 7 September.
British steamer CANADOLITE (11,309grt) was captured
by German raider KORMORAN in 3-20N, 23-48W.
Submarine RORQUAL laid mines off Palermo.
Italian tanker VERDE (2423grt) and steamer HELENA
(479grt) from the same convoy were sunk in this minefield on the 26th.
Italian steamer TICINO (1470grt) was sunk in 38-06N, 12-31E north of
Trapani in a torpedo attack by RORQUAL also on the 26th.
Italian torpedo boat CHINOTTO was sunk on this
minefield off Palermo on the 28th.
Convoy AG.8 of supply ship BRECONSHIRE and British
steamer CAMERONIA (16,297grt) departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR, and DEFENDER.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE accompanied this convoy. The convoy arrived at
Piraeus on the 27th.
Convoy AS.22 departed Piraeus with seven British ships and two Greek ships
escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers DECOY and WATERHEN, and corvette HYACINTH.
Destroyers DECOY and WATERHEN were detached from
the escort on the 27th. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 28th.
Submarine ROVER departed Alexandria to patrol off Burat el Sun, Tripoli.
British troopship WAIMARAMA (11,092grt) ran aground
en route from Port
Said to Alexandria.
Tugs ST ISSEY and ROYSTERER were able to refloat
the steamer. However, two to three months repair were require before the
steamer was operational again.
British gunboat APHIS and anti-submarine whaler
SOUTHERN SEA departed Alexandria for the Inshore Squadron escorting cable ship
RECORDER to Tobruk.
Late on the 25th, Italian destroyers CRISPI and
SELLA brought explosive motor boats from Leros to Suda
for an attack on Heavy cruiser YORK which arrived at Suda
after duty covering convoy MW.6.
Norwegian steamer HAV (5062grt) departed Piraeus on the 25th and arrived at Alexandria on the 28th.
On the voyage, the steamer was damaged by German
Wednesday, 26 March
Destroyer NESTOR departed Scapa Flow and destroyer ANTHONY departed Loch Alsh to meet
armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA at 1500 nineteen miles west of Cape Wrath and escorted her to Reykjavik.
At 1920/28th, the destroyers departed Reykjavik to join convoy HX.115 and act as an anti-submarine
force until its arrival off the North Minch.
Destroyer MENDIP departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to meet steamer AMSTERDAM off the entrance to Aberdeen.
Owing to bad weather, the escort was cancelled and
destroyer MENDIP returned to Scapa
Flow, arriving at
German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER broke through
the Denmark Strait during the night of 26/27 March.
The cruiser evaded light cruisers FIJI and NIGERIA on patrol there and arrived in the area of Bergen on the 30th.
Heavy cruiser SCHEER anchored at Grimstadfjord on
the 30th and spent the day there before continuing on to Germany.
On 28 March, Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers
TARTAR, ELECTRA, and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 0600 to relieve Force H on the HG/OG convoy
route. Light cruisers FIJI and NIGERIA joined this force at sea before dark on the 28th.
The destroyers were to proceed to the limit of their endurance, then proceed
to Londonderry for refueling.
Destroyers ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, and TARTAR arrived at
Londonderry to refuel on 2 April. At 1830, they sailed to
rejoin the battlecruiser. The destroyers rejoined at 0800 on 4 April in
52-30N, 22W to escort the battlecruiser to Scapa Flow, where they arrived at 0800 on 6 April.
On 29 March, Battleship KING GEORGE V was
approaching Bailey Bank on her return to Scapa Flow after leaving convoy HX.115. She rendezvoused with
destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, and ZULU, which departed Reykjavik at 2100/28th, in 61N, 25W at 0730/29th.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and destroyers
INGLEFIELD and ACTIVE were brought to one hour's notice to steam at Scapa Flow at 0100.
Light cruisers GALATEA, ARETHUSA, AURORA, and DIDO
departed Scapa Flow at 0358 for position 64-00N, 1-00W east of
At noon on the 30th, battleship KING GEORGE V and light cruisers DIDO and
AURORA were ordered to return to Scapa Flow.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers COSSACK,
MAORI, and ZULU arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1500/31st.
Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA patrolled the
northern part of the trawler line in the Iceland Faroes Passage from 31
March. They returned to Scapa
Flow on 4 April.
Heavy cruiser EXETER arrived at Scapa Flow to work up prior to proceeding overseas.
The 1st Minelaying Squadron of minelayers SOUTHERN
PRINCE, AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS, and PORT QUEBEC, escorted by destroyers CHARLESTOWN, LANCASTER, ST MARYS, and CHARLESTOWN departed Loch Alsh to lay minefield SN.4.
Light cruisers GALATEA and AURORA departed Scapa Flow on the 25th to cover the operation.
En route to the minelay, minelayer force was
attacked by German bombing. Minelayer MENESTHEUS was hit by two bombs and
damaged further by a near miss. She was repaired in the Clyde.
The minefield was laid.
Returning from the minelay, escorting destroyer
CASTLETON was in a collision with minelayer AGAMEMNON.
The destroyer was repaired in the Clyde from 2 April to 1 June.
The ships all arrived back on the 27th. Light
cruisers GALATEA and AURORA arrived at Scapa Float at 0649.
Canadian armed yacht OTTER (Lt D. S. Mossman, RCNR)
was sunk by an accidental fire off Halifax Lighthouse.
Lt A. M. Walker, RCNVR, Chief Skipper A. F. Parker,
and seventeen ratings were lost on the yacht. Submarine TALISMAN picked up
four survivors. Eighteen more survivors were picked up by Polish steamer
Cable ship FARADAY (5533grt) was badly damaged by
German bombing three miles 38° from St Anne's Head.
Eight crew were lost on the ship.
The ship sank on the 27th in West
Dale Bay. Nearly all her cargo of cable was salved.
British steamer SOMALI (6809grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing off Blyth.
One crewman was lost on the steamer.
The steamer sank on the 27th one mile east of Snoop
British steamer EMPIRE MERMAID (6381grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing in 58-36N, 10-00W.
Twenty crew and two displaced seamen were lost on
the steamer. Destroyer ACHATES rescued nineteen survivors.
The steamer sank on the 28th in 57-33N, 12-43W.
Norwegian steamer NOLL (1151grt) was damaged by
German bombing eight miles west of Lundy
The steamer was beached at Lundy
Island. Refloated and taken to Swansea arriving on the 29th, escorted by a tug.
British trawler MILLIMUMUL (287grt) was sunk on a
mine in 33-34N, 151-56E near Newcastle, New
Seven crew were missing.
Faroes fishing vessel BEINISVOR (85grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 61-40N, 4-37W.
The crew was landed at Thorshavn.
Finnish steamer CAROLINA THORDEN (3645grt) was
badly damaged by German bombing at entrance to Thorshavn
One passenger was missing. Eight passengers were
taken aboard Swedish steamer VENEZUELA (6991grt) which was later sunk with no survivors.
The steamer was grounded in 60-11N, 7-00W. She was
later refloated, towed to Kirkwall, and later the Tyne. She was ultimately used as a blockship at
British trawler KINGSWAY (211grt) was damaged by
German bombing ten miles east of Bell Rock.
British steamer THE LADY BELLE (331grt) was damaged
by German bombing ten miles south of Grassholm
British steamer BRIER ROSE (503grt) was lost to
unknown cause in the Irish
Heavy cruiser YORK was badly damaged by Italian explosive boats at
0515 in Suda Bay.
Both engine rooms and boiler rooms were flooded.
The cruiser was grounded in four and a half fathoms.
Two ratings in B boiler room were killed and one
officer and four ratings were injured.
At the time of the attack, other ships in Suda Bay
were Light cruiser GLOUCESTER, anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA, destroyer HASTY,
tankers CHERRYLEAF (5934grt), DESMOULEA (8120grt), MARIE MAERSK (8271grt),
PERICLES (8324grt), and DOUMANA, and several small Greek cargo ships.
Norwegian tanker PERICLES, alongside YORK, was also damaged in the attack.
Six Italian crew were picked up in the harbour.
Destroyers ILEX and HASTY hunted off Suda
for the submarine.
Most of the oil was salved from PERICLES. However,
returning to Alexandria, the tanker broke in two as a result of the damage
in heavy weather on 14 April. Both halves were sunk by gunfire thirty miles
northwest of Alexandria.
British steamer BALUCHISTAN (6992grt) was damaged by German bombing in the
British steamer ADIGE (1006grt), formerly Italian, was damaged by bombing at
The steamer was beached in Malzara Creek and later
Italian battleship VENETO departed Naples with destroyers GRANATIERE, FUCILIERE,
BERSAGLIERE, and ALPINO of the 13th Destroyer Division.
Italian heavy cruisers ZARA, FIUME, and POLA of the 1st Cruiser Division departed
Taranto escorted by destroyers GIOBERTI, ALFIERI, ORIANI,
and CARDUCCI of the 9th Destroyer Division.
Italian light cruisers ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI of the
8th Cruiser Division departed Brindisi escorted by destroyers DA RECCO and PESSAGNO of
the 16th Destroyer Division.
Convoy AG.9 of one British, three Greek, and two
other ships departed Alexandria for Piraeus escorted by Greek destroyer VASILEVS GEORGIOS I,
Australian destroyers VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, and WRYNECK.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA joined the convoy on the 28th.
Light cruisers ORION, PERTH, AJAX, and GLOUCESTER refueled in turn at Piraeus on the 26th.
The cruisers and departed Piraeus to support convoys AG.8 and AG.9 on the 27th.
Convoy AG.9 was ordered on the 27th to reverse
course for twelve hours to take it clear of the Italian units. The convoy
arrived at Piraeus on the 29th.
British oiler CAIRNDALE departed Gibraltar escorted
by corvettes FLEUR DE LYS and COREOPSIS for operation PEDESTAL, the refueling
British ships in 32-30N, 32-30W.
Ocean boarding vessel REGISTAN accompanied this
group en route to her Western Patrol station.
Submarine PANDORA departed Gibraltar on the 29th to join the oiler and act as an anti
Operation PEDESTAL was cancelled on 11 April and
oiler CAIRNDALE and submarine PANDORA returned to Gibraltar, arriving on 17 April.
Destroyer VELOX departed Gibraltar to join
destroyer WRESTLER to escort light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers NAPIER and
NIZAM, aircraft carrier ARGUS, submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE, and troopship
HIGHLAND MONARCH to Gibraltar.
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Capetown.
Minelayer KUNG WO laid mines lines of a minefield
Thursday, 27 March
Light cruisers NIGERIA and FIJI departed
Scapa Flow at 1644
for Iceland Faroes passage duty.
The cruisers were diverted on the 28th to join
Anti-aircraft ship POZARICA arrived at Scapa Flow to operate under the orders of Rear Admiral
Destroyers, Home Fleet.
Submarine TRIBUNE departed Halifax escorting convoy HX.117.
The submarine returned to Halifax after this duty on 15 April with engine defects.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) O. F. Wheatley RNVR, and P/T/Sub Lt
(A) R. B. Hodgetts RNVR, of 807 Squadron from aircraft carrier FURIOUS were
taken prisoners by the French when they landed at Dakar after a reconnaissance flight.
Sub Lt P. J. Hoad, in a Whitley of RAF 78 Squadron
from Dishforth, was killed when his aircraft was shot down over the River
British A/Leading Airman G. J. B. Kendall was
killed when his Battle of 1 SFTS Netheravon crashed in fog at Shrewton RLG.
Petty Officer H. J. Craig was also killed in the crash.
British depot ship ALECTO of the 7th Submarine
Flotilla was damaged by the direct hit of a German bomb at the entrance to
the English Channel.
U.98 sank British steamer KORANTON (6695grt) in
British tanker CANADOLITE (11,309grt) was taken in
prize by a German raider in 5N, 33W.
British steamer MEG MERRILIES (642grt) was badly damaged by German
bombing one mile south of St Govan's Light Vessel.
There were no casualties on the steamer.
The ship was taken in tow. After the tow parted on
the 27th, the vessel was abandoned and sank.
British trawler KINCLAVEN (178grt) was sunk to an
unknown cause off the Faroes.
British salvage vessel PALMSTONE (430grt) was
damaged by German bombing two miles southeast of St Govan's Light Vessel.
The vessel was beached at Milford Haven. She was
later towed off and docked at Pembroke.
British trawler FORT
(212grt) was damaged by German bombing in 61-31N, 5-04W.
Dutch steamer ALIOTH (5483grt) was damaged by
mining in 53-36N, 0-24E.
The steamer returned to Hull.
Dutch steamer OUD BEIJERLAND (396grt) was damaged
by German bombing three miles south of St Govan.
The steamer arrived Milford Dock on the 31st.
Convoy OG.57 departed Liverpool escorted by
destroyers CALDWELL, VALOROUS, VOLUNTEER, WALKER, WOLSEY, and WOOLSTON, sloop
ABERDEEN, corvettes BLUEBELL, HYDRANGEA, and TULIP, and anti-submarine
trawler LADY HOGARTH.
All, except sloop ABERDEEN and trawler LADY HOGARTH, were detached on 1
Dutch submarine O.23 joined the convoy on 3 April.
On 11 April, the convoy arrived at Gibraltar with sloop ABERDEEN, trawler LADY HOGARTH, and submarine O.23.
Italian battleship VENETO with her destroyers crossed the Straits of Messina
and was joined by heavy cruisers TRIESTE, TRENTO, and BOLZANO of the 3rd Cruiser Division escorted by destroyers
CORAZZIERE, CARABINIERE, and ASCARI of the 12th Destroyer Division.
At 1000, the 1st Cruiser Division and escorts
joined the VENETO force.
At 1100, the 8th Cruiser Division and escorts
joined the VENETO force.
The VENETO force, under the overall command of Admiral
Iachino, was to sail in company until about 2000 which would bring them to the
longitude of Crete. The 1st and 8th Cruiser Divisions, designated
Force Z under Admiral Cattaneo, would go into the Aegean to the longitude of the eastern most end of
Crete arriving about 0800/28th. Then Force Z would return to the
VENETO arriving bout 1500 about ninety miles southwest of
Battleship VENETO and the 3rd Cruiser Division were to go to a point
twenty miles west of Gavdos and if no contact was made by 0800/28th to turn
back on the course.
At 1220, Italian heavy cruiser TRIESTE sighted a British Sunderland seaplane which
sighted and reported Sansonetti's 3rd Cruiser Division.
The 1st and 8th Cruiser Divisions proceeded towards
the Aegean at 1900 and the battleship VENETO and the 3rd Cruiser Division set off towards
Gavdos. However, at 2200, the Supermarina ordered the 1st and 8th Cruiser
Divisions to rejoin the VENETO
force and go no further.
The British Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria in response to the Sutherland sighted of the
Italian 3rd Cruiser Division. Cunningham departed Alexandria at 1900 with battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, and
BARHAM, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK,
NUBIAN, GREYHOUND, and GRIFFIN
of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla and destroyers STUART, HAVOCK, and HOTSPUR of
the 10th Destroyer Flotilla.
Pridham Wipple was at sea in the Aegean covering
convoys AG.8 with light cruisers GLOUCESTER, AJAX, ORION, and PERTH and destroyers HEREWARD and VENDETTA. The force
was joined by destroyers ILEX and HASTY of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla at
The cruisers and destroyer VENDETTA were ordered to
patrol Kithera Channel.
Destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR, and DEFENDER departed Piraeus as Force D.to patrol the Kithera Straits from dawn
on the 28th.
On 29 March, the Kithera Straits patrol was ceased.
Destroyers JUNO and JAGUAR joined the Battle Force. Destroyer
DEFENDER was detached to Suda Bay
for escort duties.
Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE had very little
ammunition, but she did possess radar. The cruiser and destroyers DECOY and WATERHEN
departed Alexandria on the 28th to join the Battle Force.
Anti-aircraft ship CARLISLE was at Suda Bay.
Submarines ROVER and TRIUMPH were on patrol in the
Convoy HX.117 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser RAJPUTANA,
destroyers ST CROIX, corvette COLLINGWOOD and submarine TRIBUNE. The
destroyer and the corvette were detached on the 29th. The submarine was
detached on 6 April. Destroyer NIAGARA joined on
9 April and was detached later that day. On 10 April, destroyers ACHATES,
BOADICEA, COLUMBIA, MONTGOMERY, ST CLAIR, ST FRANCIS, WANDERER and
corvettes MARIGOLD and TRILLIUM. Destroyers ACHATES, BOADICEA, and ST FRANCIS
were detached on 14 April. The remainder of the escort was detached when the
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 15 April.
Friday, 28 March
Destroyer BOADICEA departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for Greenock to join the Western Approaches.
The destroyer arrived at 0700/29th.
Destroyer LIDDESDALE departed Scapa Flow at 1800 to meet steamer AMSTERDAM at 0200 off Aberdeen.
The steamer was escorted to Lerwick, where they
arrived at 1330/29th. The destroyer stood by to escort the steamer on its
return to Aberdeen.
The two ships departed at 2200 for Aberdeen. The ships parted company off Aberdeen at 1000/30th and destroyer LIDDESDALE arrived back
at Scapa Flow at 1600.
Convoy OB.303 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers AMBUSCADE, BULLDOG,
OURAGAN, VANQUISHER, and VETERAN, corvettes AMARANTHUS, CAMPANULA, FREESIA,
HEARTSEASE, and PIMPERNEL, and anti-submarine trawlers NOTTS
COUNTY and ST APOLLO. Corvettes PIMPERNEL was detached later that day and
destroyer OURAGAN on the 30th. Destroyer RESTIGOUCHE joined the escort on 1
April for the day. Destroyers AMBUSCADE and VANQUISHER were detached on 2
April. The escort was detached on 3 April when the convoy was dispersed.
British flying boat depot ship MANELA departed
Greenock at 0919, escorted by Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE, for Sullom Voe.
Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERK departed Greenock at 1000 and joined the escort.
Destroyer AVON VALE departed Scapa Flow at 0900/30th to join depot ship MANELA fifteen
miles west of Cape Wrath at 1400. The destroyer provided escort to Sullom
Destroyer AVON VALE had completed her working up
and was transferred to the Western Approaches.
Destroyers ECHO and ACTIVE departed Scapa Flow at 2100/31st for
Sullom Voe, where they arrived at 0700 on 1 April.
The destroyers departed at 1600 with depot ship
MANELA, Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERK, and Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE for
On arrival at Hvalfjord at 0800 on 5 April, the
Destroyers came under the direction of Flag Officer Iceland to escort cruisers in and out of Hvalfjord.
Destroyer RESTIGOUCHE returned to Greenock after the escort duty.
Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE,
escorted by destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR, KELVIN,
and JACKAL, laid minefield GX in the English Channel.
Submarine CACHALOT, which departed the Clyde on the 21st, laid mines off
Bayonne in minefield FD 32.
Norwegian submarine B.1 was damaged in a collision
with anti-submarine trawler LADY ELSA (518grt) near Campbeltown.
To man escort ships transferred from the United States, battleship RESOLUTION at Portsmouth was ordered to provide 15 officers and 34 ratings
and battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH at Scapa Flow 27
officers and 26 ratings.
In addition, battleship MALAYA, under repair at New York, provided officers and ratings to man these ships.
British steamer OLIVINE (929grt) was lost to
unknown cause in the Irish
Sea or Bristol Channel.
British trawler KESTREL (75grt) was near missed by
German bombing north of North Lundy Light.
The vessel was beached on Lundy
Island on the 29th. Heavy weather pounded the ship and she became a total
British steamer STAFFORDSHIRE (10,683grt) was
damaged by German bombing in 59-30N, 10-18W.
Fourteen crew and fourteen passengers were lost.
The steamer was beached at Loch Ewe on the 29th. On
23 April, the steamer sailed for the Tyne.
Dutch steamer ANTWERPEN (364grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 51-16N, 4-21W.
Three of the crew were lost.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER experienced engine room problems prior to the
battle, but they were corrected before Pridham Wipple engaged Iachino.
Australian destroyer VENDETTA had an engine room
breakdown and was ordered to Alexandria.
Three Albacores and two Swordfish of 829 Squadron
were launched from aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE for an afternoon strike on the
Lt Cdr J. Dalyell-Stead, Lt R. H. Cooke DSC, and
Petty Officer Airman G. L. Blenkhorn of 829 Squadron were lost during an
afternoon strike on the Italian battleship VITTORIO VENETO.
The battleship was hit, but was able to proceed.
An Albacore of 829 Squadron ditched southeast of
Antikithera Island after the torpedo attack. Destroyer
JUNO rescued Sub Lt G. P. C. Williams, Sub Lt G. L.
Davis, and Leading Airman Booth.
Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE launched six Albacores
of 826 Squadron and two Swordfish of 829 Squadron. Two Swordfish of the 815
Squadron joined from Maleme. The aircraft torpedoed that evening heavy
The heavy cruiser was left dead in the water.
Returning to Maleme, one of the Swordfish of 815
Squadron force landed in Suda Bay
and its crew of Lt M. A. Torrens-Spence and Sub Lt P. Winter were rescued.
Battleship VENETO and heavy cruisers TRIESTE, TRENTO, and BOLZANO proceeded to Taranto.
Heavy cruisers ZARA and FIUME with destroyers GIOBERTI, ALFIERI, ORIANI, and CARDUCCI were ordered
to assist heavy cruiser POLA.
Shadowing the Italian Fleet, a Swordfish of 826
Squadron from FORMIDABLE failed to find Maleme on its return and forced
landed in Suda Bay.
Its crew of Sub Lt D. W. Phillips, Sub Lt G. Dormand, and Leading Airman A.
Japp were picked up by trawler MOONSTONE.
The POLA group is detected by British radar. The
group is attacked and all three heavy cruisers and destroyers ALFIERI and
CARDUCCI are sunk by British gunfire. Destroyer ORIANI is damaged. Only
destroyer GIOBERTI escaped damage.
Three thousand men, including Admiral Cattaneo,
Seven Greek destroyers
(QUEEN OLGA, HYDRA, PSARA, KONDOURIOTIS, AETOS, IERAX, LEON, and PANTHER_____*two of these destroyers did not
participate as they arrived in Alexandria on the 23rd on escort duties) proceeded through
the Corinth Canal to await orders to join Cunningham. The order was never sent the they
spent the battle cruising between Cephalania and Zante.
Due to an error in deciphering, the Greek message
stating they were awaiting "orders" was read as awaiting
Fifty five officers and 850 men are rescued by
destroyers and the Greek destroyers.
Italian hospital ship GRADISCA rescued 13 officers
and 147 men later.
Convoy AN.23 of six Greek and seven British
departed Alexandria escorted by destroyer HERO and corvette SALVIA.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY joined convoy AN.23.
Destroyer DECOY joined the convoy on the 29th. The
convoy arrived at Piraeus on 1 April.
A convoy of steamers ADANA (4205grt), SAMOS (2576grt), RUHR (5954grt), GALILEA (8040grt), and HERAKLEA
(1927grt) departed Naples escorted by destroyers FOLGORE, DARDO, and STRALE
Submarine UTMOST off Kerkenah sank German steamer
HERAKLEA and damaged German steamer RUHR twenty two
miles south east of Kuriat.
Steamer RUHR returned to
Trapani with destroyer DARDO and assisted by torpedo boats
CIRCE, SAGITTARIO, and ALCIONE and two MAS boats while the rest of the convoy proceeded to
Tripoli, arriving on the 30th, with steamer GALILEA, which
Submarine UPRIGHT torpedoed and severely damaged
steamer GALILEA on the 31st in 33-38N, 12-40E. The convoy departed Tripoli to
return on 2 April with steamers ANKARA (4768grt), KYBFELS (7764grt), MARBURG
(7564grt), and REICHENFELS (7744grt), and GALILEA (8040grt), escorted by
destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, and MALOCELLO.
The convoy arrived at Naples on 4 April.
Rear Admiral G. W. Hallifax, GMC?? (ret), Director
of the Seaward Defense Force, was killed in an air crash at Capetown.
Saturday, 29 March
Minelayer ABDIEL, escorted by destroyers KELLY,
KASHMIR, KELVIN, and JACKAL, laid mines in minefield GY in the
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1130 to meet convoy WN.5 in the Pentland Firth. She provided cover to this convoy until meeting
convoy EN.93 off Buchan Ness at 2300, continuing with it until Pentland Firth.
Ship CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1430/30th.
British barge EMMA (81grt) was lost and steamer
GRENAA (1262grt) was damaged on mines at Rotherhithe.
There were no casualties on the barge.
The stern was blown off the barge. She was grounded
and considered not repairable.
On steamer GRENAA, four crew were killed and three
crew missing from a nineteen man crew.
Steamer GRENAA was temporarily repaired on the
beach at North Woolwich. She was later drydocked.
British tanker OILTRADER (5550grt) was sunk by
German bombing 52-34N, 2-01E.
The entire crew was rescued.
German tanker NORDMARK replenished U.105 and U.106
U.48 made attacks on convoy HX.115.
British steamer GERMANIC (5352grt) was sunk in
Five crew were lost on the steamer.
Belgian steamer LIMBOURG (2483grt) was sunk in
There were only two survivors from the Belgian
British tanker ATHELPRINCE (8782grt) was attacked,
but not damaged.
British steamer EASTLEA (4267grt) was sunk in the
British steamer HYLTON (5197grt) was sunk in
The entire crew were rescued.
U.46 sank Swedish steamer LIGURIA (1751grt) from convoy OB.302 in 60N, 29W.
The steamer had sailed in convoy OG.56, but became
a straggler. The steamer later joined convoy OB.302.
Eighteen crew were missing and one died of wounds.
Ten survivors from the steamer were rescued and arrived at Liverpool.
Yugoslavian steamer DUBAC (2880grt) was seized by
Italian authorities on the steamer's arrival at Genoa.
British trawler KIMBERLEY (190grt) was sunk by German bombing near 62D Boy,
twenty two miles southeast of Flamborough Head.
The entire crew of the trawler were rescued.
British trawler EXETER (165grt) was sunk by German bombing five miles
southwest of Ballycotton.
The entire crew of the trawler were lost.
British trawler HORACE E. NUTTEN (209grt) was lost
to a cause unknown in Moray
Norwegian steamer VENI (2982grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 59-11N, 10-11W.
The steamer was repaired at Grangemouth.
Italian battleship VENETO, damaged by a British torpedo plane, arrived at
Lt C. W. R. Peever and Sub Lt A. C. Wallace RNVR,
of 803 Squadron shot down a German Ju.88 near aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE.
Wallace's Fulmar was damaged in the encounter and
landed in the sea. Wallace and Leading Airman F. P. Dooley were picked up by
Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH were detached from the Fleet to cover LUSTRE
convoys in the Aegean.
Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE and destroyers
DECOY and WATERHEN joined the Battle Force.
Cruiser BONAVENTURE was detached to convoy GA.8 to
arrive at daylight on the 30th.
Destroyer DECOY joined convoy AN.23.
Destroyer WATERHEN returned to Alexandria.
Destroyers STUART, GRIFFIN, and HEREWARD were detached to Piraeus and departed later that day with convoy GA.8 of
supply ship BRECONSHIRE and British steamers CAMERONIA (16,287grt). The
convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 31st.
Destroyers DEFENDER and HASTY were sent to Suda
to escort damaged MARIE MAERSK (8271grt) and British steamer DUMANA (8427grt)
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD, aircraft carrier ARGUS,
submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE, troopship HIGHLAND MONARCH, and destroyers
NAPIER, NIZAM, WRESTLER, and VELOX arrived at Gibraltar.
Convoy SL.70 departed Freetown escorted by light cruiser DRAGON to 31 March,
corvette CALENDULA to 4 April, and anti-submarine trawlers KELT and PICT to 4
April. Armed merchant cruiser BULOLO relieved cruiser DRAGON on the 31st and
continued to 19 April.
Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM joined on 5 April and escorted to 20 April. Ocean
boarding vessel MARSDALE joined on the 19th to 23 April.
Destroyers BEAGLE to 23 April, HARVESTER for day
only, ST FRANCIS to 23 April, and WINCHELSEA for day only, corvettes HEATHER,
HEPATICA, ORCHIS, and WINDFLOWER for the day only joined on 20 April. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 23 April.
Light cruiser DANAE arrived at Penang.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Mauritius.
American heavy cruiser VINCENNES arrived Simonstown from Pernambuco, having
departed on the 17th. The cruiser departed the next day for New York with a large gold bullion shipment. The cruiser
arrived in New
York on 16
Sunday, 30 March
Destroyer ECHO arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth on completion of boiler cleaning.
Convoy OB.304 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers CHELSEA, HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, HURRICANE, and VIVIEN sloop SCARBOROUGH, and corvettes ARBUTUS and CONVOLVULUS. Destroyers
VERITY and WOLVERINE joined on 1 April. On 3 April, destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, HURRICANE, VERITY, and VIVIEN were
detached. The remainder of the escort was detached on 4 April when the convoy
After repairs of her collision of 23 December
1940, anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK
departed Rosyth escorting convoy EN.93 A.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730 on 1 April.
Battlecruiser HOOD and light cruisers NIGERIA and FIJI were patrolling the UK to
U.69 sank British steamer COULTARN (3759grt) from
convoy OB.302 in 60-18N, 29-28W.
Three crew were lost on the steamer.
U.124 sank British steamer UMONA (3767grt) ninety
miles southwest of Freetown.
Eighty three crew, two gunners, and fifteen passengers
were lost on the steamer.
British trawler NISUS (210grt) was lost to an
unknown cause in Faroese waters.
The British Mediterranean Fleet arrived at Alexandria after the Battle of Matapan.
Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, and VALIANT, aircraft
carrier FORMIDABLE, light cruisers ORION and GLOUCESTER, and destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, JANUS, JAGUAR, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, GREYHOUND, ILEX,
HOTSPUR, and HAVOCK arrived at Alexandria at 1730/30th.
Submarine RORQUAL sank German steamer LAURA CORRADO
(3645grt) in 38-45N, 12-20E forty miles north of Trapani.
A French convoy of six steamers, escorted by
destroyer SIMOUN, departed Casablanca for Oran.
In Operation RATION, light cruiser SHEFFIELD and
destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FEARLESS, and FORESTER departed Gibraltar to
intercept French convoy K.42 which was comprised of French steamer BANGKOK
(8056grt), thought to be carrying 3000 tons of rubber, AZROU, CAP VARELLA, and SAN DIEGO, escorted by destroyer SIMOUN. The convoy
had departed Casablanca on the 28th for Oran.
Destroyer FEARLESS was unable to board the steamer
when the French ships took cover under the French coastal battery at Nemours.
Returning to Gibraltar, light cruiser SHEFFIELD was damaged by a near miss from French bombing.
The damage from this incident and the mining of 17
March required five days repair.
Destroyer FORESTER was damaged by the bombing.
The destroyer was repaired in four weeks at Gibraltar.
Destroyer HIGHLANDER arrived at Gibraltar for duty with Force H and later in the South Atlantic.
Submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE assumed responsibity for the 8th Submarine
Flotilla at Gibraltar, replacing PIGMY, which was paid off on 1 April.
Convoy SC.27 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN and
destroyers BUXTON and ST
CROIX. The destroyers
were detached the next day and the armed merchant cruiser on 12 April. On 13
April, destroyers KEPPEL and VENOMOUS, corvettes DIANELLA, KINGCUP, and
SUNFLOWER, and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined. Destroyer LINCOLN joined
on 15 April. On 17 April, destroyer KEPPEL and corvette KINGCUP were
detached. The remainder of the escort was detached when the convoy arrived at
Liverpool on 18 April.
Minesweepers ABERDARE and HARROW departed Bombay for Alexandria and duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.
Italian steamer PIAVE (7565grt) departed Massawa
and proceeded to Assab.
Monday, 31 March
Light cruisers DIDO and AURORA arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol in the Faroes-Iceland Channel.
Battleship KING GEORGE V, escorted by destroyers
COSSACK, MAORI, and ZULU, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1416 from escorting convoy HX.115.
Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE,
escorted by destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR, KELVIN,
and JACKAL, laid minefield GZ in the English Channel.
Minesweeping trawler LORD SELBORNE (247grt,
T/Skipper F. Watkinson RNR) was sunk by mining three miles 102° from Spurn
Head Port War Signal Station.
Watkinson, T/Lt J. G. Browne RNR, and fifteen ratings were lost in the trawler.
U.46 sank Swedish tanker CASTOR (8714grt) in
Fifteen crew from the tanker were lost.
British steam drifter HELPMATE (76grt) was lost to
an unknown cause off Newlyn, Cornwall.
British trawler ONTARIO (208grt) was sunk by German bombing in 60-15N,
The entire crew of the trawler were rescued.
British trawler RATTRAY (182grt) was damaged by
German bombing two miles southeast by east of Hook Point.
Yugoslavian steamer UNA (1397grt) was seized by Italian authorities on the
steamer's arrival at Genoa.
Light cruiser BONAVENTURE (Captain H. J. Egerton)
was escorting convoy GA.8 since 30 March with anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers HEREWARD, GRIFFIN, and STUART. The convoy was covered by light
cruisers AJAX and PERTH.
Italian submarine DAGABUR made an attack on light
cruiser BONAVENTURE at 2027 on the 30th.
Italian submarine AMBRA attacked this convoy at
0244 on the 31st and sank light cruiser BONAVENTURE in 33-20N, 26-35E and
missed Australian destroyer STUART.
Cdr E. F. Disbrowe, Lt Cdr C. W. Hope, Lt D. A. C.
Brock, Cdr (E) D. H. Tollenache, Lt (E) R. C. H. D'Oyly, Lt (E) C. W. Russ,
Surgeon Lt Cdr J. W. Oliver, MRCS, LRCP, Surgeon Lt (D) F. P. Ewens, Lt E. G.
Ott RNR, Paymaster Cdr W. S. A. Stapley, Paymaster Lt E.
S. Ellis RNR, Gunner L. H. Wilson, Warrant Shipwright J. J.
Grose, Warrant Engineer J. S. Kanavan, Warrant Engineer R. W. Ley,
T/A/Warrant Electrician W. Widdowson, Captain J. O. G. Hayter, RM, T/Sub Lt
E. R. Gould RNVR, T/Sub Lt D. H. Robb, RCNVR, T/Sub Lt A. Norman RNVR,
T/Electrician Sub Lt A. A. J. Leach RNVR, T/Paymaster Sub Lt G. Williams
RNVR, A/Paymaster Sub Lt D. A. Eden, RCNVR, and 115 ratings were lost on the
Destroyer STUART made anti-submarine attacks.
Destroyers HEREWARD and STUART rescued the 310
survivors from the cruiser. Destroyer HEREWARD arrived at Alexandria with the survivors at 1300.
Destroyers STUART and GRIFFIN arrived with the convoy at Alexandria at 1600.
Destroyer GREYHOUND departed Alexandria and joined destroyer GRIFFIN of the GA.8 escort and proceeded to Port Said.
These destroyers were to be based at Suez to counter the threat of attack by the Italian
destroyers at Massawa.
Gunboats APHIS and GNAT were stationed at Suez on this same duty.
Italian submarine PIER CAPPONI was sunk by
submarine RORQUAL south of Stromboli in 38-42N, 15-12E.
A Swordfish of 815 Squadron from Maleme ditched off
Island. Lt (A) E. D. J. R. L. Whatley and P/Midshipman (A) F. T. C.
Wallington RNVR, were rescued.
Italian destroyers LEON, PANTERA, and TIGRE departed Massawa to bombard the port of
LEON ran aground near Massawa on 1 April and PANTERA
and TIGRE scuttled her with gunfire. The two destroyers then
returned to Massawa.
Italian steamer FELLA (6072grt) was scuttled at
Italian tankers JOLE FASSIO (5169grt) and TROTTIERA
(6205grt) were scuttled at Puerto Cabello. JOLE
FASSIO was later salved by the US as ALCIBIADES.
Convoy HX.118 departed Halifax escorted by armed merchant cruiser WOLFE. On 3
April, battleship RAMILLIES and submarine SURCOUF were with the convoy. The
submarine was detached on 9 April and the battleship on 10 April. On 13
April, destroyers CALDWELL, RAMSEY, RIPLEY, VOLUNTEER, and WALKER and corvettes KINGCUP and TULIP joined the escort.
The corvettes were with the convoy for that day only. The armed merchant
cruiser and destroyer RAMSEY were detached on 14 April. The escort was
detached with the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 18
Through February and March, light cruiser DIOMEDE
and armed merchant cruiser PRINCE HENRY were stationed off Callao, Peru to keep watch on four German merchant ships holed
up in the port. DIOMEDE was called
away on the 16th.
8th Submarine Flotilla was formed at Gibraltar with submarines CLYDE, SEVERN, OSIRIS and the Dutch O.23 and O.24.