Background Events - January-May 1941
Cape Matapan, Battles for Greece & Crete,
Capture of U.110, Enigma codes, Loss of 'Hood',
sinking of 'Bismarck'
Tuesday, 1 April
German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER returned to
Kiel after sinking 17 ships for 113,233 tons in the
North and South Atlantic and in the Indian Oceans.
Commander in Chief Home Fleet transferred his flag
from battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH to battleship KING GEORGE V.
Destroyer QUORN in the Nore Command was damaged by
two near misses of German bombing, but only sustained superficial damage.
Destroyers ANTHONY, NESTOR and anti-submarine trawlers of the 10th Anti-Submarine Striking Force departed
convoy HX.115 at daylight and proceeded to Scapa Flow. The destroyers arrived later on the 1st.
A submarine was sighted ten miles 305° from Dunnet
Head by heavy cruiser LONDON.
Destroyers WHADDON and QUANTOCK departed Scapa Flow at 2015 to hunt for her, and anti-submarine whalers SOUTHERN
SHORE (328grt), SOUTHERN FLOWER (328grt) and SPOSA (316grt) were also
despatched. At 2330, the destroyers were instructed to abandon
the search and proceed to Rosyth. At 0030/2nd, they were ordered to search for
a downed aircrew in 58-40N, 4-28W. At 0645, but lacking success, they
proceeded towards Rosyth. The airmen were sighted
off Whitten Head at 0800, but before the destroyers arrived, they were rescued by
an RAF launch. The destroyers were able to continue to Methil and
join Rosyth Command.
German bombing attacked convoy HXM.114 off Smalls.
British tanker SAN CONRADO (7982grt) was badly damaged by German
bombing 13 miles 325° from Smalls.
The tanker was taken in tow. When taken under
attack again by German bombing, the tow was cut.
The tanker sank on the 2nd.
Norwegian tanker HIDLEFJORD (7639grt) was sunk by
German bombing twenty miles northwest of Smalls.
Twenty nine crew were missing.
British tanker ADELLAN (7984grt) was damaged by
German bombing seven cables from Sea Buoy, Milford Haven.
The tanker was brought to Milford Haven. After the
cargo was discharged, the tanker proceeded to Newport for repairs.
British tanker CHESAPEAKE (8955grt) was attacked by German bombers fifteen
miles north of the Smalls.
The tanker was attacked again later that day ten
miles southwest of St Goven's Head and badly damaged by German bombing.
The tanker anchored in Walton
on the 3rd.
Norwegian tanker KAIA KNUDSEN (9063grt) was damaged
by German bombing twenty miles north, northwest of Smalls.
The tanker was towed to Milford Haven.
On an anti-submarine search, an Albacore of 828
Squadron force landed at A'Mhouine, Whiten Head, Sutherland. Lt Cdr L. A.
Cubitt, sub Lt M. G. Goodger RNVR, and Petty Officer D. E. Polmeer were all
Lt A. A. Pettigrew, in a Blenheim of RAF 55
Squadron from Maraua, Libya, detached from 826 Squadron, was killed when his
aircraft failed to return from a reconnaisance mission off Libya.
Swedish steamer LIDINGO (5842grt) was damaged on a
mine west of Falsterbo.
The steamer was beached and was later towed to
Battlecruiser RENOWN and aircraft carrier ARK
ROYAL, joined by destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, and FORTUNE which departed Gibraltar on 31 March, arrived at Gibraltar after escort duties.
Destroyers NAPIER and NIZAM departed Gibraltar escorting British liner HIGHLAND MONARCH
(14,139grt) for Freetown where they arrived on the 8th.
All three ships departed Freetown on the 8th and arrived at St Helena on the 12th.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH arrived at Gibraltar after being relieved in convoy WS.7.
Destroyers HIGHLANDER, VELOX, and WRESTLER departed
Gibraltar to meet battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier
FURIOUS, and troopship NARKUNDA arriving from Freetown and escort them toGibraltar.
On the 3rd, the ships arrived at Gibraltar.
From 1 to 4 April, German tanker NORDMARK took on
fuel and stores from German tanker ILL (7603grt) at sea.
Convoy ANF.24 of six British ships departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers NUBIAN and HEREWARD and corvette
Netlayer PROTECTOR sailed in this convoy with Fleet
Air Arm torpedoes for Piraeus
and nets for Suda Bay.
Also in this convoy was British steamer NORTHERN
PRINCE (10,917grt) that should have arrived in the EXCESS convoy. However,
after she ran aground at Gibraltar and missed the convoy, the steamer was sent around
the Cape to Alexandria.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA joined the convoy from convoy ASF.22 at 0700/3rd, and arrived at Piraeus on the 4th.
Convoy AG.10 of one British ship and supply ship
BRECONSHIRE departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers ILEX, HAVOCK, and HOTSPUR.
Supply ship BRECONSHIRE carried troops to be
disembarked at Lemnos and Mitylene.
The convoy was joined by anti-aircraft cruiser
CARLISLE at 0630/2nd from Suda Bay,
and arrived at Piraeus on the 3rd.
On the convoy's arrival at Piraeus, supply ship BRECONSHIRE and destroyers HAVOCK and
HOTSPUR proceeded to Mudros to disembark troops.
Convoy ASF.22 of seven British ships departed Piraeus escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyers HASTY, DEFENDER, and VAMPIRE.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA was detached to convoy ANF.24 south of Kithera, and arrived at Alexandria on the 4th.
Convoy AS.23 of one British and six Greek ships
departed Piraeus escorted by destroyers VOYAGER and WRYNECK and
Leaving Piraeus, destroyer WRYNECK attacked a submarine contact in
and arrived at Alexandria on the 4th and Port Said on the 5th.
Italian troop convoy of troopships ESPERIA
(11,398grt), CONTE ROSSO (17,879grt), MARCO POLO (13,098grt), and VICTORIA
(13,098grt) escorted by destroyers TARIGO, EURO, and BALENO and torpedo boats
POLLUCE and PARTENOPE departed Naples, and arrived at Tripoli on the 2nd.
Convoy BS.22 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. Destroyer KIMBERLEY joined on the 3rd, destroyer KINGSTON on the 5th and light cruiser CALEDON on the 6th. Destroyer KINGSTON was detached on the 7th and destroyer KIMBERLEY on the 8th. The convoy was dispersed on the 9th.
Destroyer KANDAHAR intercepted German steamer BERTRAM RICKMERS
(4188grt), which departed Massawa on 29 March, in the Red Sea.
The German steamer scuttled herself near
German steamer LICHTENFELS (7566grt) departed
Massawa. The steamer is unable to evade British patrols and is forced to
return to Massawa.
German steamers HERMONTHIS (4833grt) and MUENCHEN
(5619grt) departed Callao at 1930 on 31 March.
Steamer MUENCHEN (5619grt) scuttled herself when
intercepted by Armed merchant cruiser PRINCE HENRY at 11-18S, 79-09W.
Steamer HERMONTHIS (4833grt) scuttled herself when
intercepted by Canadian armed merchant cruiser PRINCE HENRY at 12-13S,
The wreck was scuttled by Peruvian cruiser
ALMIRANTE GRAU off Callao, Peru.
German steamers in western South American ports
Steamer CERIGO (1120grt) was scuttled at Guayaquil.
The steamer was later salved by Ecuador for use as 24 DE MAYO.
Steamer EISENBACH (4323grt) was scuttled at
(6310grt) was scuttled at Paita, Peru.
Steamers LEIPZIG (5898grt) and MONSERRATE (5578grt) were scuttled
at Callao when they were unable to leave port. A Peruvian
warship turned the steamers back when they attempted to leave harbour.
Wednesday, 2 April
Battleship KING GEORGE V, heavy cruiser LONDON,
light cruiser DIDO, destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, MATABELE, and MASHONA
departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to relieve battlecruiser HOOD and light cruisers
NIGERIA and FIJI on the OG/HG.route.
Light cruiser FIJI was ordered to Gibraltar to join temporarily Force H
The destroyers were detached to Londonderry on the 6th to refuel, arriving at 0600/6th. They
sailed again on the 7th and rejoined at 0937 on the 8th.
On the 8th at 2000, the ships left patrol and
battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers SOMALI and MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1730/10th.
Destroyer MATABELE was detached at 0600/10th and
proceeded to Barrow for refitting, calling at Belfast to refuel en route.
Destroyer BEDOUIN was detached at 1547 on the 10th
to investigate a burning ship west of Flannan
Island. The destroyer was unable to locate the ship and arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 12th.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH with destroyers
INGLEFIELD, ESKIMO, and ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at 1701.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD and ECLIPSE on the 6th were
detached to Reykjavik, arriving at 0600/7th, and operated under Flag Officer
Iceland to screen cruisers in and out of Reykjavik. Destroyer ESKIMO returned
to Scapa Flow.
Destroyer ESKIMO was ordered to return to Scapa Flow.
The battleship continued to Halifax to escort convoy TC.10 due to depart on the 10th.
Convoy OB.305 departed liverpool, escorted by
corvette ABELIA and anti-submarine trawler ROWAN. The trawler was detached
the next day. On the 3rd, destroyers BROKE, DOUGLAS, ROXBOROUGH, SALISBURY, and VICEROY, corvette ANCHUSA, and anti-submarine trawlers ST
ELSTAN, ST KENAN, and ST ZENO joined the convoy. The escort was detached on
the 6th when the convoy dispersed.
Destroyer ERIDGE departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to meet steamer AMSTERDAM off the entrance to Aberdeen and escort her to Lerwick.
The ships arrived at Lerwick at 0800/3rd and
departed at 2000 that day to return to Aberdeen.
Destroyer ERIDGE arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1600/4th after this duty.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0945 to meet convoy WN.7 n the Pentland Firth and remain in company until dark.
The ship arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0430/3rd.
Minelayer PLOVER laid minefield ZME.27 in the Irish Sea. The minelayer laid minefields ZME.28 on the 5th,
ZME.29 on the 16th, ZME.30/18th, and ZME.31 on the 21st.
Minefield ZME.31 completed the series.
Minesweeping trawlers CRAMOND
ISLAND (180grt, P/T/Skipper E. C. Garnett
RNR) and FORTUNA (259grt, T/Skipper W. T. M. Charlton
RNR) were sunk by German bombing five miles 120° from
St Abb's Head.
Trawler FORTUNA was proceeding to the assistance of
trawler CRAMOND ISLAND when sunk. The entire crew, Charlton and fourteen ratings, of trawler
FORTUNA were lost. Two bodies washed ashore at Berwick on the 5th. Two
ratings were killed and three ratings died of wounds on trawler
U.46 made attacks on convoy SC.26.
British tanker BRITISH RELIANCE (7000grt) was sunk
in 58-21N, 28-30W.
The submarine made another attack on a steamer on
the 2nd. The entire crew of the tanker were rescued.
The attacks continued on the 3rd.
British steamer ALDERPOOL (4313grt) was sunk in
58-21N, 27-59W. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer THIRLBY (4887grt) was torpedoed.
The steamer was damaged by German bombing on the
10th en route to Loch Ewe. Steamer THIRLBY arrived at Loch Ewe on the 11th.
British steamer ATHENIC (5351grt) was damaged by
torpedo. Steamer ATHENIC was assisted by corvette ARBUTUS.
British steamer BEAVERDALE (9957grt) was sunk by
U.48 in 60-50N, 29-19W.
Twenty crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer.
British steamer FERMAIN (759grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 50-35N, 00-52E. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer MELROSE ABBEY (1908grt) was damaged
on a mine in the River Ythan (north of Aberdeen).
The steamer settled onto the river bed. The steamer
was refloated on 26 July and towed to Aberdeen.
British tanker WILD ROSE (873grt) was damaged by
German bombing twelve miles southeast of Tuskar Light House.
The tanker was taken in tow and beached near Rosslare
Harbour. The tanker was later refloated and towed to
Dublin arriving on 4 May.
Battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL (with twelve Hurricanes embarked from
aircraft carrier ARGUS), light cruiser SHEFFIELD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT,
FORTUNE, and FURY departed Gibraltar on Operation WINCH.
On the 3rd, the flyoff of the Hurricanes to Malta was successfully accomplished. The Force arrived
back at Gibraltar on the 4th. Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and
destroyers FAULKNOR and FORTUNE were sent ahead to receive aircraft from
aircraft carrier FURIOUS in Operation TENDER. Four Swordfish, fitted with
ASVs, of 825 Squadron and ten Fulmars of 807 Squadron were transferred to ARK
ROYAL and four Swordfish and nine Skuas of 800 Squadron were transferred to
aircraft carrier FURIOUS. The remainder of Force H arrived at Gibraltar an half hour later.
After the transfer, aircraft carrier FURIOUS,
escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR and FORTUNE, proceeded to join battlecruiser
REPULSE, en route to England.
Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Piraeus to cover convoys ANF.24 and AG.10. They returned to Pireaus on the 5th.
Convoy AS.23 was attacked by German bombers in the
British steamer HOMEFIELD (5324grt) and Greek
steamer COULOURAS XENOS (4914grt) were sunk by German bombing off Gavdo
Steamer HOMEFIELD was later scuttled by destroyer
NUBIAN of the convoy ANF.24 escort. Her survivors were taken off by
Greek steamer TETI (2747grt) was damaged by near
misses of German bombing off Gavdo Island.
Steamer TETI was able to proceed to Crete.
British steamer DEVIS (6054grt) in convoy ANF.24 was damaged by German bombing off Gavdo
Corvette HYACINTH in the convoy ANF.24 escort attacked a submarine contact 170 miles
south of Scarpanto.
Yugoslavian steamers KARADJORDJE (1293grt) and
PRESTOLONASLEDNIK PETAR (1726grt) were sunk by mining off Sibenik.
The crews of both steamers were rescued.
A supply convoy for the Afrika Korps departed Naples with steamers ALICANTE (2140grt), MARITZA (2910grt), SANTA FE (4627grt), PROCIDA (5366grt), and TEMBIEN
(5584grt) escorted by destroyers SAETTA and TURBINE and torpedo boat ORSA for
Tripoli, arriving on the 5th.
Italian destroyers PANTERA, TIGRE, MANIN, BATTISTI, and SAURO departed Massawa to
Italian steamers GIUSEPPE MAZZINI (7669grt) and
URANIA (7099grt) were sunk by British bombing near Dalac
The steamers were later salved by the British.
Thursday, 3 April
Light cruiser NIGERIA joined convoy HG.57 at sea.
Light cruiser DIDO departed Scapa Flow for anti-aircraft duties at Loch Ewe.
The cruiser departed on the 7th with convoy OG.58.
Convoy OB.306 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers ACHATES, BOADICEA, COLUMBIA, and ST FRANCIS, corvettes HEPATICA and
WINDFLOWER, and anti-submarine trawlers ARAB, AYRSHIRE, and LADY MADELEINE.
On the 4th, destroyer BROADWATER joined the escort was detached on the 7th.
Destroyer NIAGARA joined on the 5th and was detached with destroyer
COLUMBIA on the 8th. Destroyer BOADICEA was detached on the
6th. The remainder of the escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0930 to meet convoy WN.8 in the Pentland Firth and escort it to Methil, where they arrived at
German tanker THORN (5436grt), which had been
involved in refuelling ADMIRAL HIPPER on her recent sortie, was sunk by
submarine TIGRIS 100 miles southwest of St Nazaire.
Submarine UNDAUNTED departed Portsmouth for
she arrived on the 13th.
River mouth patrol boat BAHRAM (72grt, 2nd Hand J.
N. Crawford) was sunk in mining in North Channel,
Crawford and seven other ratings were lost. There
was only one survivor.
Mine destructor ship BUSHWOOD was damaged in a
collision in Bristol
The ship was repaired at Cardiff from 29 April to 7 May.
In attacks on Convoy SC.26.
U.73 badly damaged British steamer ATHENIC
(5351grt), which was straggling behind convoy SC.26 with damage, in 58-32N,
20-13W. The entire crew was rescued.
The steamer sank on the 5th.
U.74 sank Belgian steamer INDIER (5409grt) and
Greek steamer LEONIDAS Z. CAMBANIS (4274grt) in 58-12N, 27-40W.
Forty two crew from the Belgian steamer were lost.
Four survivors were landed at Liverpool. Two crew
from the Greek steamer were lost.
U.73 sank British steamer WESTPOOL (5724grt) in
Thirty five crew were lost on the steamer.
Submarine U.73 attacked a second ship at the same
time as steamer WESTPOOL.
U.73 sank British tanker BRITISH VISCOUNT (6895grt)
in 58-15N, 27-30W.
Twenty eight crew were missing. Twenty were rescued
from the tanker.
U.74 damaged Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE
(11,402grt) in 58N, 27W.
U.69 sank Finnish steamer DAPHNE (1939grt) in the
North Atlantic, about 60N, 20W.
British steamer CAIRNIE (250grt) was sunk by German
bombing six to eight miles south by west of Tod Head. The entire crew were
British steamer GREENAWN (784grt) was lost to
unknown cause in the North
Sea, near Montrose.
British steamer GEDDINGTON COURT (6903grt) was damaged by German bombing in 56-25N,
British steamer ASSUAN (499grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 56-42N, 2-26W.
The steamer was beached two miles east of Scurdy Ness.
The steamer was refloated on the 4th and berthed at Montrose.
Italian destroyer BATTISTI, en route to bombard
Port Sudan, broke down and was scuttled by accompanying
Italian destroyers TIGRE, PANTERA, MANIN, and SAURO, in sight of Port Sudan, were attacked by Swordfish of 813 and 824
Squadron from Aircraft carrier EAGLE, based at Port Sudan.
Destroyers MANIN and SAURO were sunk in the air
attacks ten miles off Port Sudan.
Destroyers TIGRE and PANTERA were damaged in air attacks and were
sunk by destroyer KINGSTON.
Italian submarine MICCA attacked two steamers in
34-10N, 25-24E without success.
Convoy ANF.24 was attacked by German bombers off Kithera and
munitions ship NORTHERN PRINCE (10,917grt) was sunk in Antikithera Straits,
in 35-34N, 23-23E.
The cargo she carried was so desperately needed in
Greece that part of her cargo intended for Egypt was not unloaded prior to sailing. The entire crew
Destroyers JANUS and JAGUAR departed Alexandria for Port Said to guard against attack in the Red Sea from the Italian Massawa destroyers.
When word was received that two of the Italian
destroyers were sunk by aircraft carrier EAGLE's aircraft, the destroyers
were returned to Alexandria.
Destroyers GRIFFIN and GREYHOUND on patrol in the Straits of Jubal
continued their duty until 4 April.
On the 4th, destroyers GREYHOUND and GRIFFIN and gunboats LADYBIRD and GNAT were ordered to
return to Alexandria; all arriving on the 5th.
While minesweeping, Minesweeper ABINGDON was
damaged in a German dive bombing attack at Malta.
Convoy HG.58 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop EGRET, corvettes ASPHODEL,
AZALEA, COREOPSIS, and FLEUR DE LYS,Dutch submarine O.21, and anti-submarine
trawler ARCTIC RANGER.
Corvette ASPHODEL was detached on the 5th for Freetown, corvette COREOPSIS on the 9th, corvettes AZALEA
and FLEUR DE LYS on the 10th, and submarine O.21 on the 12th.
Destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, VETERAN, and WOLVERINE
joined the convoy on the 16th. On the 18th, destroyer CHELSEA was detached,
and arrived at Liverpool on the 20th with the sloop and the other three
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Colombo.
The cruiser departed the same day for Madras.
Friday, 4 April
Light cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA arrived at
Scapa Flow at 0044.
Free French sloops SUIPPE and CONQUERANT were sunk
by German bombing at Falmouth.
U.98 sank Norwegian steamer HELLE (2467grt), a straggler
from convoy SC.26, in 59N, 24-30W. The entire crew was rescued.
U.94 sank British steamer HARBLEDOWN (5414grt) from
convoy SC.26 in 58-30N, 23W.
Fourteen crew and two gunners were lost on the
steamer. Lt M. J. P. Walters of DOLPHIN was lost in the steamer.
U.98 sank British steamer WELCOMBE (5122grt) from
convoy SC.26 in 59-09N, 22W.
Twenty crew were lost on the steamer.
U.97 sank British tanker CONUS (8132grt) in 56-14N,
31-19W. The entire crew were lost.
U.124 sank British steamer MARLENE (6507grt) at
Thirteen crew were lost on the steamer.
British steamer SALVUS (4815grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 53-05N, 1-27E. Four crew were lost on the steamer.
British trawler WHITBY (164grt) was sunk by German bombing three miles
south, southeast of Blackwater Light Vessel.
The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer CAPE VERDE (6914grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52-12N,
Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier ARGUS, and
troopship NARKUNDA with destroyers HIGHLANDER, FURY, and VELOX departed Gibraltar for England.
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS departed later, escorted
by destroyers FAULKNOR and FORTUNE, and joined at sea. The destroyers
returned to Gibraltar.
Battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL
and FURIOUS, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORTUNE, and
FORESIGHT departed Gibraltar on Operation PRINCIPAL, an attack on French
Submarines OLYMPUS and OTUS had already put to sea fro
Gibraltar on the 3rd for this operation.
On the 5th, operation PRINCIPAL was cancelled when
it was found that the French battleship was not preparing to leave port.
Submarines OLYMPUS and OTUS departed their patrols off
Oran and proceeded to Malta and
Submarine RORQUAL arrived at Malta after minelaying operations off western Sicily.
Convoy ASF.23 of two British and one Greek ship departed
Piraeus escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers DECOY, HERO, and corvette SALVIA.
Netlayer PROTECTOR sailed in the convoy to repair the boom defences at Suda
and transport motor generators for damaged cruiser YORK. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 7th.
Convoy GA.10 of British steamer CAMERONIA
(16,297grt) and Dutch steamer PENNLAND (16,381grt) escorted by anti-aircraft
cruiser CARLISLE, destroyers ILEX, NUBIAN, and HEREWARD, arrived at
Alexandria on the 6th.
Destroyer NUBIAN and corvette HYACINTH of convoy
ANF.24 attacked a submarine contact off Phleva
Destroyer JANUS departed Alexandria for Port Said for escort duty in convoy AN.25.
Submarine PARTHIAN departed Alexandria for Port Said for docking and repairs.
Australian destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN
departed Alexandria to reinforce the Inshore Squadron.
Italian torpedo boat ACERBI was sunk at Massawa.
German and Italian steamers were scuttled at
German steamer CREFELD (8045grt) was scuttled at
German steamer FRAUENFELS (7487grt) was scuttled at
Massawa. The steamer was salved as EMPIRE NIGER.
German steamer GERA (5155grt) was scuttled at Massawa. The steamer was
salved as EMPIRE INDUS.
German steamer LICHTENFELS (7566grt) was scuttled
German steamer LIEBENFELS (6318grt) was scuttled at
Massawa. The steamer was salved at EMPIRE NILE.
German steamer OLIVA (7885grt) was scuttled at
Italian steamer ADUA (3564grt) was scuttled at
Italian steamer BRENTA (5400grt) was scuttled at
Italian steamer ARABIA (5943grt) was scuttled at Massawa.
Italian steamer ROMOLO GESSI (5148grt) was scuttled
Italian coastal steamer IMPERO (488grt) was scuttled
Italian steamer VESUVIO (5430grt) was scuttled at
Massawa. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer XXIII MARZO (5006grt) was scuttled
Armed merchant cruiser VOLTAIRE (A/Captain J. A. P.
Blackburn DSC) engaged German raider THOR.
Cruiser THOR was hit once by VOLTAIRE, but the British ship was
sunk at 14-30N, 40-30W.
Blackburn, A/Cdr J. T. Templar Rtd, Lt Cdr R.
Mercer RNR, T/Lt W. R. Bevin RNR, T/Cdr (E) J. V. Thompson RNR, T/Lt Cdr (E) J. M. Muir RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) N. A. Burgoyne RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) E. Costelloe RNR, A/Sub Lt (E) H. S. Cross RNVR, T/Paymaster Lt Cdr
J. E. Duckett RNR, T/Paymaster Lt N. Edwards RNR, Paymaster Sub Lt F. H. Price RNR, P/Lt J. H. E. Evans RNR, A/Surgeon Lt C. M. Fisher, MD.RCNVR, sub Lt J. W.
Hoggard RNR, P/Midshipman G. O. Mackenzie RNR, Sixteen officers and one hundred and thirty eight
ratings were taken prisoner of war. T/Lt W. B. Jackson RNR, died of wounds on 5 May.
Lt Cdr H. W. Taggart RNR, T/Lt Cdr W. Davies RNR, A/Sub Lt P. L. Howard RNR, Midshipman B. B. J. Roberts RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) A. E. Downs RNR, P/A/Sub Lt (E) J. F. McLaughlin RNVR, Gunner F.
W. Sutton Rtd and sixty two ratings were lost.
Canadian armed merchant cruiser PRINCE HENRY
reported oil and wreckage on 7 and 9 April at this location, but there was no
information on the armed merchant cruiser. Cruiser VOLTAIRE was reported
missing on 3 May.
Greek torpedo boat PROUSA and Greek steamer
SUSSANNA (932grt) was sunk by German bombing at Corfu.
Mooring vessel BUFFALO (750grt) departed Singapore on the 5th to salvage a Blenheim aircraft of 27
Squadron which had crashed south of Siglap Obelisk. She carried a dockyard
party of nineteen, an officer and a signalman from light cruiser DAUNTLESS,
and twenty five RAF personnel of RAF 151 Maintenance Unit. The vessel struck
a mine in Minefield 3, laid by destroyer STRONGHOLD in March, and was sunk.
Cdr R. R. Airey of light cruiser DAUNTLESS, Lt Cdr
M. B. Thomas of SULTAN, two RAF officers, including Wing Commander Geoffrey
Farnhill, six dockyard officers, six RAF ordinary ratings, and fourteen
Asiatic crew were missing in the blast. Two ratings died of wounds.
One RAF officer, one RN signalman rating from
DAUNTLESS, 10 RAF ordinary ratings, and thirteen Asiatic crew were wounded.
Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA departed Mauritius escorting British steamer TALAMBA, carrying 910
troops. The cruiser escorted the steamer to the Seychilles where 500 more
personnel were embarked.
Light cruiser GLASGOW escorted the steamer from the
Seychilles until rendezvousing with convoy WS.6. The steamer continued on to
the Middle East arriving on the 29th.
American Pacific Fleet units were ordered to the
Atlantic on the 4th. Units involved were battleships IDAHO, MISSISSIPPI, and
NEW MEXICO, aircraft carrier YORKTOWN, light cruisers
PHILADELPHIA, BROOKLYN, SAVANNAH, and NASHVILLE, and destroyers LANG,
STERETT, WILSON, WINSLOW, WAINWRIGHT, STACK, MORRIS, BUCK, and ROE of the 8th Destroyer Squadron and the 9th
Destroyer WARRINGTON departed Pearl
Harbour on the 18th.
Aircraft carrier YORKTOWN departed Pearl Harbour on the 20th with destroyers MAYRANT, TRIPPE,
RHIND, MUSTIN, RUSSELL, and JOUETT.
The carrier arrived at Bermuda on 12 May.
Battleship MISSISSIPPI, light cruiser SAVANNAH, and destroyers WILSON, STERETT, and LANG departed
Pearl Harbour on 19 May and arrived at Guantanamo on 5 June.
Battleship NEW MEXICO and light cruiser NASHVILLE departed Pearl
Harbour on 20 May and arrived at Norfolk on 16 June.
Battleship IDAHO and light cruisers PHILADELPHIA and
Harbour on 22 May for Norfolk,
arriving on 16 June.
Light cruiser SAVANNAH later arrived at Boston on 17 June.
Light cruiser NASHVILLE later arrived at Boston on 19 June.
Light cruiser PHILADELPHIA laterarrived at Boston on 18 June.
From San Diego, destroyers SIMS, ANDERSON, HUGHES, and HAMMANN
departed on 29 May for the Atlantic.
Saturday, 5 April
Light cruisers AURORA and GALATEA departed Scapa Flow at 0720 to support cover minelaying operation
Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC, and MENESTHEUS, escorted by destroyers
COSSACK and ANTHONY, which had departed Scapa Flow at 0900/4th and arrived at Loch Alsh at 1630,
LANCASTER, and ST MARYS, departed Loch Alsh at 1630/5th for minelaying
Minelayer AGAMEMNON was carried a reduced load of
mines due to collision damage with destroyer CASTLETON.
The operation was carried out on the 6th.
Heavy cruisers NORFOLK from the
patrol and SUFFOLK departed Scapa Flow on the
5th provided cover for the operation.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Hvalfjord at 0540/8th.
Light cruisers AURORA and GALATEA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0640/8th. Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK and destroyer COSSACK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0829 on the 8th and destroyer ANTHONY arrived
Battleship RESOLUTION with destroyers PIORUN, GARLAND, LEGION, and LEOPARD departed Greenock for Hvalfjord.
Destroyers ACTIVE and ECHO relieved the battleship escort off Iceland for refuelling.
The battleship proceeded on to Halifax, then Philadelphia for refitting.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0630 to cover convoy WN.9 from the Pentland Firth.
At 1000/6th, the ship transferred to convoy EN.95
and covered her to the north.
After departing convoy EN.95 in Pentland Firth, the ship arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000/7th.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 0630
to meet convoy EC.2 and provide cover to the Pentland Firth.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by patrol sloop
SHELDRAKE and French torpedo boat LA MELPOMENE, laid minefield BS.53 off the
east coast of England.
The Admiralty reported that six German destroyers
passed through the Straits of Dover at about 1900, possibly en route to Brest.
Three of the destroyers were reported entering
Cherbourg at 0720/6th.
This was viewed as a prelude to the sailing of
German warships from Brest.
Destroyers KELLY and KASHMIR departed Plymouth and
rendezvoused with destroyers KELVIN and JACKAL ten miles 130° from Wolf Rock.
No contact was made with the German ships.
Light cruiser FIJI arrived at Gibraltar.
Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE was damaged in a collision with British steamer
LAIRDSWOOD (789grt) in the Irish
Sea in 55-05N, 5-32W.
The destroyer was escorting British steamer
GLENARTNEY (9795grt) to Gibraltar. Destroyer BOREAS relieved her of the escort duty.
repaired at Greenock from 8 April to 18 May. The destroyer departed
Greenock on 22 May.
U.105 sank British steamer ENA DE LARRINGA
(5200grt) in 1-10N, 26W. Five crew were lost on the steamer. Thirty eight
crew were rescued.
U.76 was sunk by destroyer WOLVERINE and sloop
SCARBOROUGH, escorting convoy SC.26, south of Iceland in 58-32N, 20-15W.
Corvette ARBUTUS was also involved in the attack.
The commanding officer, three other officers, and
thirty ratings from the submarine were rescued. One crewman was lost.
British steamer ST CLEMENT (450grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 57-10N, 1-50W. One crewman was missing.
British steamer RATTRAY HEAD (496grt) was sunk by
German bombing eight miles ENE of Aberdeen. Three crew were lost on the steamer.
Convoy AN.25 of five British and one Greek ship
departed Alexandria escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY and destroyers JERVIS and JANUS.
The destroyers carried mines and special stores for
the Fleet Air Arm in Greece, and arrived at Piraeus on the 9th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY then proceeding to Suda
Greek steamer SIFNOS (2290grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Milos.
Sunday, 6 April
The German battleships at Brest were reported to be leaving port on the 6th.
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers ELECTRA,
ESCAPADE, and TARTAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 0815
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers ZULU, MAORI, and
ARROW departed at 1946 that day to be in position 54N, 15-30W at 0800/8th.
Destroyer COSSACK departed Londonderry at 1400/9th to join the HOOD group in 50N, 21W at
Destroyer ARROW was detached on the 10th to refuel
at Londonderry. The destroyer departed at 1412 on the 10th to
Destroyers MAORI and ZULU were detached to Londonderry to refuel. They sailed at 0845/12th to rejoin.
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers COSSACK, ZULU,
and MAORI arrived back at Scapa
Flow at 2230/14th.
Destroyer ARROW, which was unable to maintain the speed and had been
detached, arrived at Scapa
Flow at 0630/15th.
Battleship KING GEORGE V departed Gibraltar on the 6th and joined light cruiser KENYA which had departed Greenock.
Destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, MATABELE, and MASHONA
joined the battleship KING GEORGE V group to be in position 50N, 21W at
Heavy cruiser LONDON was ordered to relieve battlecruiser REPULSE
escorting aircraft carriers FURIOUS and ARGUS and British steamer NARKUNDA
(16,632grt) from Gibraltar. The group was to steam along the meridian 23W.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and battlecruiser
REPULSE were to be in position 46N, 21W.
Force H, with battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft
carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruisers FIJI and
SHEFFIELD, and destroyers
FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, and FORESIGHT departed Gibraltar at 0230/6th to operate in Biscay until 16 April to
blockade the German battleships at Brest. The ships were joined at sea by destroyers
HIGHLANDER and FURY, which had been detached from the escort of battlecruiser
Destroyer VELOX on the 4th with battlecruiser
REPULSE arrived back at Gibraltar on the 6th.
Oiler CAIRNDALE and submarine PANDORA were in
On the 8th, these dispositions were cancelled.
Submarines TIGRIS, L.26, SUNFISH, H.50, TUNA, TAKU,
TORBAY, H.34, OBERON, SEALION, H.44, and H.31 and Polish submarine SOKOL
were on patrol in Biscay.
On the 10th, the submarines were dispersed.
Submarines TORBAY and TAKU proceeded to Gibraltar and the rest returned to England.
Battlecruiser REPULSE, on relief by heavy cruiser
LONDON at daylight on the 7th, returned to Gibraltar. Destroyers HIGHLANDER, FURY, FORTUNE, and VELOX
escorted the battlecruiser, arriving on the 12th. They had arrived off Gibraltar on the 11th, but were unable to enter because of
Battleship KING GEORGE V proceeded to Scapa Flow.
Battlecruiser HOOD and light cruiser KENYA to patrol 50N, 21W on the 9th.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH to patrol in vicinity of
45N, 23W. The battleship left her patrol area on the 11th and proceeded to
Convoy OB.308 departed liverpool, escotted by
destroyers CALDWELL, RAMSEY, RIPLEY, and VOLUNTEER, and corvettes HYDRANGEA,
TULIP, and WALLFLOWER. Corvette WALLFLOWER was detached on the 10th. The
escort was detached on the 11th when the convoy dispersed.
Convoy OG.58 departed liverpool escorted by
destroyers BURWELL and WATCHMAN, sloops FLEETWOOD and WELLINGTON, corvettes AMARANTHUS, ARABIS, HELIOTROPE, and
PRIMULA, special service vessel FIDELITY, and anti-submarine trawlers
NORTHERN GEM and NORTHERN SPRAY.
Destroyer MALCOLM joined the escort on the 9th.
The three destroyers, sloop FLEETWOOD, corvettes
ARABIS and HELIOTROPE, and the two trawlers were detached on the 12th.
On the 21st, the convoy arrived at Gibraltar escorted by sloop WELLINGTON, corvette PRIMULA, Dutch submarine O.21, and
special service vessel FIDELITY.
Corvette AMARANTHUS had been detached earlier due
to shortage of supplies and arrived at Gibraltar on the 18th.
Convoy HX.119 departed Halifax Armed merchant
cruiser MONTCLARE. Battleship REVENGE joined the convoy at sea.
British Coastal Command aircraft attacked German
destroyers STEINBRINCK, IHN, and HEINEMANN off Brest.
Destroyer IHN was near missed by bombs.
Destroyer HEINEMANN was missed by two torpedoes.
Armed yacht TORRENT (336grt, former ANNA MARIE, Cdr
M. W. Noel Rtd) was sunk by mining off Falmouth, in 50-05N, 4-57W.
Noel, T/Lt K. Sinclair RNR, T/Lt I. A. D. Wilson RNVR, T/Sub Lt (E) J. E.
Armstrong RNVR, and a number of ratings were lost in the yacht.
Armed merchant cruiser COMORIN (Captain J. I.
Hallet Rtd), carrying military personnel for Freetown and escorting steamer
GLENARTNEY with military stores for Suez, was escorted by destroyer LINCOLN
when she caught fire in the North Atlantic in 54-34N, 21-20W.
Destroyer LINCOLN took off 121 survivors. British
steamer GLENARTNEY (9795grt) rescued 104 survivors.
Destroyer BROKE in the area was called to assist
and rescued 180 survivors. Destroyer BROKE scuttled the cruiser.
Fourteen ratings were lost in the cruiser.
U.94 sank Norwegian tanker LINCOLN ELLSWORTH
(5580grt) in 62-37N, 27-06W. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer DUNSTAN (5149grt) was sunk by
German bombing 59-09N, 8-22W. Two crew were lost on the steamer. Destroyer
BOADICEA rescued the survivors.
Greek steamer NICOLAOU ZOGRAFIA (7156grt) was sunk
by German bombing in 57-10N, 12-30W. The entire crew of thirty one was
rescued by destroyer ESKIMO which took them to Greenock, arriving at 1200/7th.
Destroyer ESKIMO arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1530/8th.
British steamer OLGA S.(2252grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 55-48N, 9-45W. Four crew
British trawler DANELAND (289grt) was sunk by
German bombing thirty miles north by one half mile west of Rathlin O'Birne
Island. The entire crew was rescued.
Faroes trawler NAERABERG (352grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 60-30N, 5-30W. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer GLENFINLAS (7572grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 52-01N, 1-47E.
Eleven crew were killed.
The steamer was towed to Harwich arriving on the
7th. She was repaired in the Tyne.
German battlecruiser GNEISENAU was damaged by a
British torpedo plane at Brest.
Convoy AC 3 of troopship ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) and steamer THURLAND
CASTLE (6372grt) departed Alexandria at for Tobruk escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser
CARLISLE and destroyers DEFENDER and VOYAGER.
Destroyers WATERHEN and VENDETTA sweep ahead of
Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers VOYAGER and DEFENDER arrived back at
Alexandria on the 8th.
British steamer CLAN FRASER (7529grt) of convoy
ANF.24 was damaged by German bombing and set afire in
Piraeus. At 0330/7th, the explosion of her TNT cargo sank the steamer and wrecked the harbour.
Six crew were lost and six were taken prisoner.
Greek tug ELPIS was sunk at Piraeus.
Light cruisers AJAX and PERTH had arrived at Piraeus late on the 5th after screening convoys.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA
was also in the port of Piraeus at the time of the explosion.
Cdr F. Douglas-Watson, of NILE, and Lt R. S. M. Humphrey RNVR, of corvette HYACINTH were killed
ashore by the explosion.
In addition, the corvette's minesweeping equipment
was put out of action by the explosion.
CITY OF ROUBAIX (7108grt), CYPRIAN PRINCE (1988grt), and
PATRIS (1706grt), Greek steamers ACROPOLIS (1393grt), STYLIANI (3256grt), and
EVOIKOS (4792grt), and Greek caique HALCYON were sunk by bombing and the
Greek steamer PETALLI (6565grt) was set afire by
the explosion. She was towed out of the harbour and sunk.
There were no casualties on steamer CITY OF ROUBAIX.
Steamer CYPRIAN PRINCE was beached near Salamis after having been struck by a parachute mine. Four
crew were lost on steamer CYPRIAN PRINCE.
British steamers GOALPARA (5314grt) and CLAN
CUMMING (7264grt) were damaged.
British steamers CINGALESE PRINCE (8474grt), DEVIS
(6054grt), and KATIE MOLLER (3100grt) and Greek steamers AGAILIANI (1656grt)
and CONSTANTINOS LOULOUDIS (4697grt) were damaged by German bombing at Piraeus.
Steamer CINGALESE PRINCE was repaired at Port Said and Bombay. One crewman was killed on steamer DEVIS. Steamer
DEVIS was temporarily repaired at Suez.
Armed yacht SURF (496grt, T/Lt R. W. E. Whitton
RNVR) was sunk by German bombing at Piraeus.
Salvage vessel VIKING (386grt), former Danish, was
sunk by German bombing at Piraeus.
Greek auxiliary GEORGIOS (146grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Akti Alkimo, Piraeus.
The port was largely unusable by this incident.
Cruisers AJAX, PERTH, and CALCUTTA departed Piraeus for Suda
late on the 7th.
Convoy AG.11 of five British ships, including armed
boarding vessel FIONA to be detached en route to Tobruk, departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers MOHAWK and WRYNECK and
Major General Weston, RM, and a reconnaissance
party were embarked in destroyer MOHAWK to prepare for the establishment of a
Mobile Base at Suda Bay.
Two Greek destroyers relieved destroyer MOHAWK on
the 9th for duty with a striking force to be based at Malta.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA joined the convoy at 1000/8th.
On the 9th, the ships were dispersed to Volo, Eleusis, Khalkis, and Stylis as Piraeus
Harbour was stilled closed.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA proceeded to Suda
for fuel and ammunition.
Gunboat GNAT departed Alexandria for Tobruk.
Gunboat LADYBIRD following during the night of 7/8
Greek steamers MAROUSSIO LOGOTHETI (4669grt) and
YIANNIS (4391grt) were seized by Vichy French authorities at Madagascar.
The steamers were renamed DUQUESNE and AMIRAL
PIERRA, respectively, for French use.
Italian steamer ANTONIA C. (5877grt) was scuttled
at Massawa. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer RIVA LIGURE (2136grt) was scuttled
at Massawa. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer NAZARIO SAURO (8150grt) was
scuttled off Dulac Island. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer TRIPOLITANIA (2722grt) was scuttled off Dulac
Island. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer CAPITANO BOTTEGO (2316grt) was
scuttled off Dulac Island. The steamer was later salved.
Convoy BN.24 departed Bombay, escorted by light cruiser COLOMBO. The convoy arrived at Aden on the 13th.
Convoy HX.119A departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser AURANIA and
corvettes CHAMBLY and ORILLIA. The corvettes were detached the next day. On the
8th, battleship REVENGE joined the convoy and travelled with it until 11
April. Heavy cruiser NORFOLK
was with the convoy from 14 to 16 April. The armed merchant cruiser was
detached on the 15th. Destroyers HAVELOCK, HURRICANE, RESTIGOUCHE, and SAGUENAY joined the convoy on the 16th. On the 17th, destroyer VISCOUNT, sloop
SCARBOROUGH and corvettes AURICULA, CAMPANULA, HIBISCUS,
PIMPERNEL, and RHODODENDRON. Destroyer ROCKINGHAM and corvette FREESIA joined
on the 18th and corvette HOLLYHOCK on the 19th. Destroyer SAGUENAY was detached on the 20th, destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and VISCOUNT and
corvettes FREESIA on the 21st. The remainder of the escort was dispersed when
the convoy arrived liverpool on the 22nd.
Convoy HX.119 B departed Halifax, escorted by corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD. The
corvettes were detached the next day. Armed mechant cruiser MONTCLARE was
with the convoy from 13 to 15 April. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd.
At Wellington, Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA lost her Seagull aircraft when the catapult failed
during launching. Lt J. J. Hoath was killed. Petty Officer R. Clark and
Leading Airman G. A. S. Stephenson were seriously injured.
Monday, 7 April
British authorities expected an air raid on Scapa Flow during the night and ships were ordered to sail.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE,
departed Scapa Flow. Destroyer NESTOR, which had departed Scapa Flow for
was recalled and joined the escort.
Also sailing were heavy cruiser EXETER, light cruiser ARETHUSA, and anti-aircraft ships
CURACOA, POZARICA, and SPRINGBANK.
When no raid materialised, the ships returned to
Scapa Flow during the morning of 8 April.
Destroyer NESTOR continued to Greenock, arriving at 1116 on the 9th.
Convoy OB.307 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers KEPPEL and VENOMOUS, corvettes DIANELLA, KINGCUP, and SUNFLOWER,
Anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE, and anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA, MAN O.WAR, and NORTHERN DAWN. Destroyer KEPPEL was
detached on the 11th. The remainder of the escort was detached on the 13th
when the convoy dispersed.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1000 to carry out exercises prior to joining
convoy WN.10 in the Pentland
The convoy was covered to Methil.
Off May Island at 0245/9th, convoy EC.4 was joined.
Ship ALYNBANK arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0030/10th.
Minesweeping trawler ROCHE BONNE (258grt, Chief
Skipper W. R. Settlefield RNR) was
sunk by German bombing eight miles south, southeast of the Lizard.
Settlefield and nine ratings were lost. One rating
died of wounds.
U.124 sank British steamer PORTADOC (1746grt) in
7-17N, 16-53W. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer ELISABETH (945grt) was sunk on a
mine five miles east, southeast of Porthscatho, S. E. Cornwall. Ten crew were
British trawler SYLVIA (213grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 61-27N, 5-48W. One crewman was lost on the trawler.
British steamer KIRNWOOD (3829grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 51-47N, 1-30E.
Greek steamer KYRAPANAGIA II (1012grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Piraeus.
Italian MAS.213 departed Massawa and at 2315 torpedoed light
cruiser CAPETOWN which was bombarding the port in Operation ATMOSPHERE.
The light cruiser's stern was badly damaged. Four
ratings were killed. Destroyers KIMBERLEY and KINGSTON came into the area to assist. The sloop was towed
to Port Sudan by sloop PARRAMATTA and escorted by Indian sloop INDUS, arriving on the 10th.
The cruiser was towed on to Bombay for repair. She arrived on 20 May in tow of tug TAIKOO
and escorted by special service vessel BOTLEA. Repairs were completed in July
Convoy BN.23 departed Suez, escorted by sloop HINDUSTAN. Sloop SHOREHAM joined on the 8th. Sloop HINDUSTAN was detached on the 10th and sloop SHOREHAM on the
11th. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 13th.
Convoy BS.23 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. Sloops HINDUSTAN and SHOREHAM joined on the 11th. Sloops CLIVE and
HINDUSTAN were detached on the 12th. The convoy was
dispersed on the 14th.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Wellington with Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA and light cruiser HOBART escorting two liners to
On the 10th, the New Zealand cruiser departed the convoy and put into Jervis
The U. S. Navy Base at Bermuda was commissioned, Captain Jules James, USN, commanding.
American TG 7.2, which departed the New York Navy
Yard on the 6th, arrived at Bermuda on the 8th with aircraft carrier RANGER (Flagship
of Rear Admiral Arthur B Cook), heavy cruisers TUSCALOOSA, WICHITA, and destroyers KEARNEY and LIVERMORE.
German tanker NORDMARK replenished U.105 and U.106
at sea prior to the submarines proceeding to Rio de Janiero to escort German
steamer LECH (3290grt).
In mid April, submarine U.105 is detached from this
duty and proceeded to Freetown.
Tuesday, 8 April
Destroyer INTREPID, escorted by destroyers
CLEVELAND and FERNIE, laid minefield JO in the English Channel.
Destroyer ICARUS had loaded mines and was due to
sail on this operation, but was held back due to vibration experienced
between fifteen and twenty five knots.
U.107 sank British steamer ESKDENE (3829grt) in
34-43N, 24-21W. The entire crew was rescued.
U.124 sank British steamer TWEED (2697grt) in 7-43N, 15-11W. Three crew were lost on the steamer.
U.107 sank British steamer HELENA MARGARETA
(3316grt) in 33N, 23-52W. Twenty seven crew were lost. Nine crew were
British tanker AHAMO (8621grt) was sunk on a mine
in 53-22N, 00-59E. Fourteen crew were missing.
Dummy aircraft carrier MAMARI (7924grt) was sunk on
4 June when she collided with this wreck in Wold Channel while under attack
by German S-boat.
British steamer CORMARSH (2848grt) was damaged by German
bombing off Sheringham Buoy near 56A Buoy.
The steamer arrived at Hull.
British steamer CHAUCER (5792grt) was damaged by
German bombing near Humber Light Vessel.
The steamer was attacked again on the 9th.
The steamer arrived at Hull on the 9th.
An Afrika Korps supply convoy of steamers
LEVERKUSEN (1273grt), WACHTFELS (8467grt), ARCTURUS (2596grt), CASTELLON
(2086grt), and ERNESTO (7272grt) departed Naples escorted by torpedo boats
PROCIONE, CIGNO, and ORIONE, and arrived at Tripoli on the 10th without
Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Suda
to cover convoys AG.11 and ASF.24.
Convoy ASF.24 of five British ships and supply ship
BRECONSHIRE departed Piraeus
escorted by destroyers HAVOCK and HOTSPUR, and arrived at Alexandria on the 11th.
At sea on the 8th in the eastern Mediterranean were
Convoy AN.25 of nine steamers escorted by
anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY
and destroyers JERVIS and JANUS.
Convoy AG.11 of six steamers escorted by destroyer
MOHAWK, Anti-aircraft ship WRYNECK, and sloop GRIMSBY.
Two Greek destroyers joined convoy AG.11 to replace
Destroyers NUBIAN, HERO, and DEFENDER departed
Alexandria in company.
Destroyers HERO and DEFENDER relieved destroyers
JANUS and JERVIS in convoy AN.25 escort.
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, and MOHAWK were ordered
to Suda Bay.
They arrived on the 9th and joined destroyer NUBIAN there.
Destroyers ENCOUNTER and ISIS arrived at Suez to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
The destroyers and sloop FLAMINGO arrived at Alexandria on the 9th.
Greek steamer EKATERINI COUMANTAROU (7777grt) was
damaged by German bombing at Piraeus.
The steamer was further damaged on 9, 11, and 15
April in bombing.
Mooring vessel MOOR was sunk on a mine 270 yards
211° from Ricasoli Breakwater Light Vessel, Malta.
Armed merchant cruiser BULOLO captured French
steamer FORT DE FRANCE (4279grt), which had departed Martinique on the 1st
for Casablanca,at 27-39N, 28-06W. The steamer was sent towards Gibraltar under armed guard.
French destroyer FOUGUEUX had departed Casablanca on the 7th to escort the steamer into port.
On the 10th, light cruiser PRIMAUGUET and
destroyers ALBATROS, SIMOUN, and FRONDEUR departed Casablanca to intercept the steamer and joined the destroyer
Light cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES and MONTCALM and
destroyers FANTASQUE and TERRIBLE departed Dakar on the 10th to intercept the steamer if it proceeded
Submarines SIDI FERRUCH, AURORE, CASABIANCA, and
ARCHIMEDE departed Casablanca to search.
The steamer was stopped on the 12th by light
cruiser PRIMAUGET and boarded by French destroyer ALBATROS. The steamer taken
to Casablanca, arriving on the 13th. The prise crew was
Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON CHRYSOLITE sighted
these ships on the 12th in 33-36N, 13-14W.
The submarines arrived back at Casablanca on the 14th.
The prize crew was later released and arrived at
Gibraltar on 18 May. On 23 May, the crew left Gibraltar in destroyer HAVELOCK and arrived at Liverpool on 1 June.
Italian minelayer OSTIA was sunk at Massawa by the RAF with all mines
still in her racks.
Italian destroyer escort ORSINI and motor torpedo
boats MAS.204, MAS.206, MAS.210, MAS.213, and MAS.216 were scuttled at Massawa.
Italian steamer COLOMBO (11,760grt) was scuttled at Massawa. The steamer
was later salved.
Italian steamer CLELIA CAMPENELLA (3245grt) was
scuttled at Massawa. The steamer was salved as EMPIRE PRIZE.
Italian tanker GIOVE (5211grt) was scuttled at
Island. The tanker was salved as EMPIRE TROPHY.
Italian steamer PROMETEO (4958grt) was scuttled at
Island. The steamer was later salved.
Italian coastal steamer SOLE (15grt) was scuttled
Italian coastal steamer ARDITA (19grt) was scuttled
Italian coastal steamer SAN GIORGIO (90grt) was scuttled at Massawa.
Italian coastal steamer PIRANO (108grt) was
scuttled at Massawa. The steamer was later salved.
Italian coastal steamer TRIESTE (96grt) was scuttled at Massawa.
Italian coastal steamer MARIO M. (18grt) was lost
in the Red Sea due to unknown cause.
French troopship FELIX ROUSSEL, carying Indian troops,
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS escorted the steamer from
the vicinity of Penang to 10N, 80E. The troopship arrived at Bombay on the 18th.
Wednesday, 9 April
Destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 2350 to search for a German submarine reported
to the westward of the Shetland
The destroyers returned to Scapa Flow at 1900/10th after an unsuccessful search.
Destroyers BRIGHTON and LANCASTER, escorting
minelayer AGAMEMNON, arrived at Scapa Flow at 2130 en route to Rosyth.
BRIGHTON and the
minelayer departed Scapa
Flow at 1900/10th for
Destroyer LANCASTER departed Scapa Flow at 0900/10th for Iceland.
Anti-aircraft ship CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0730 to provide cover for convoy WN.11 from
Pentland Firth to Methil.
The ship arrived at Rosyth on the 10th after the
escort to May Island for refitting.
Auxiliary minesweeper MARMION (409grt, T/Lt D.
MacFarlane RNR) was sunk by German bombing alongside Harwich
The minesweeper was beached on Harwich Hard on 10
May. The was refloated on 21 May and berthed at Harwich. She eventually was
towed to Tilbury where she was scrapped.
British examination ship D'ARCY COOPER (126grt,
Second Hand D. Noble) was sunk by German bombing at Harwich. Noble and two
other ratings were lost.
U.107 sank British steamer HARPATHIAN (4671grt) in
32-22N, 22-53W. Three crew and one gunner were lost on the steamer.
U.98 sank Dutch steamer PRINS WILLEM II (1304grt),
which was straggling behind convoy HX.117, in 59-50N, 24-25W.
Twelve crew were lost on the steamer.
U.107 sank British tanker DUFFIELD (8516grt) in
The tanker was torpedoed again on the 9th in
Twenty five crew were lost on tanker.
British tanker LUNULA (6363grt) was badly damaged
at Shellhaven jetty in Thames Haven on a mine.
Twenty six crew and two gunners were lost.
The tanker was assessed to be a constructive total
Tug PERSIA (165grt) assisted the steamer to shift berth.
While assisting the steamer, the tug was damaged on
a mine and driven ashore on Blyth Sand.
British fire float QUEEN was sunk by German bombing
during the night of 9/10 April while in dock at Ipswich.
The vessel was raised on the 12th.
British fire floats ALERT and GRETA were badly
damaged by German bombing during the night of 9/10 April at Ipswich.
Both were declared a total loss.
Motor lifeboat JOHN PYEMONT was sunk by German
bombing at Tynemouth when the Tynemouth R. N. L. B. I. boathouse was
British launch FALCON was sunk by German bombing at
British steamer DUDLEY ROSE (1600grt) was sunk by German
bombing 150 miles four miles from Berry Head. The entire crew were rescued.
Norwegian tanker BUESTEN (5187grt) was sunk by
German bombing four miles 150° from Berry Head.
Twenty three crew and five gunners were lost on the
British steamer KYLEGORM (622grt) was damaged by
German bombing at four miles 245° from St Ann's Head.
The steamer was towed to Milford Haven by a tug.
British tanker BRITISH WORKMAN (6994grt) in convoy
EC.4 was damaged by German bombing in 58-31N, 2-40W.
The convoy was being escorted at the time by
anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK and escort vessel GLEANER.
The tanker arrived at Kirkwall on the 10th.
British steamer ABERHILL (1516grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 54-37N, 00-48W.
The steamer arrived at Leith on the 11th.
Norwegian steamer BJORNVIK (812grt) was damaged by
German bombing four miles 150° from Berry Head. One crewman was killed.
The steamer arrived at Dartmouth on the 9th leaking through damage caused by near miss.
A delayed action bomb exploded after the ship arrived at Dartmouth.
British tanker BRITISH STATESMAN (6991grt) was
damaged by German bombing in Barrow Deep off Harwich.
British steamer PANDORIAN (4159grt) was damaged by
German bombing 140 miles fifteen miles from Duncansby Head.
Aircraft carrier EAGLE departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyers DECOY and ENCOUNTER, for
Port Said in preparation to leaving the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.
The aircraft carrier began moving through the Canal
on the 11th.
Gunboats APHIS and GNAT bombarded Bomba during the
nights of 9/10 and 10/11 April.
Italian supply convoy departed Naples with transports ANDREA GRITTI (6338grt),
SEBASTIANO VENIER (6311grt), RIALTO (6099grt), BIRMANIA (5305grt), BARBARIGO (5293grt)
escorted by destroyer DARDO and torpedo boats CLIO, COSENZ, and PAPA, and
arrived at Tripoli on the 11th.
Yugoslav destroyer BEOGRAD was badly damaged by the near misses of German air bombs at Sibenik.
Ocean boarding vessels MALVERNIAN and CAMITO
arrived at Gibraltar from Western Patrol.
Corvettes ERICA and SNAPDRAGON departed Gibraltar for Freetown en route to Simonstown and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Submarine UPHOLDER made two unsuccessful attacks on
shipping off Cape Bon.
In British air operations from Maleme, a Swordfish
of 815 Squadron ditched north of Crete. Sub Lt (A)
A. W. B. Drayson drowned attempting to swim ashore. T/Sub Lt (A) A. Carroll
RNVR, and Leading Airman F. Faulks drifted ashore in a dingy after four days
British steamer CRAFTSMAN (8022grt) was sunk by
German raider KORMORAN at 00-32N, 23-37W.
Six crew were lost and forty three were taken
Convoy SL.71 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CILICIA that day only and corvettes CLEMATIS, CROCUS, CYCLAMEN, and CLEMATIS
to 17 April. On the 10th, light cruiser
MAURITIUS joined the convoy to 23 April.
Light cruiser MAURITIUS was relieved on the 23rd by heavy cruiser LONDON which continued to 29 April.
On the 28th, destroyers LEAMINGTON, LINCOLN, and SHERWOOD and ocean boarding vessel MALVERNIAN
joined the convoy to 4 May. On the 30th, destroyers ROCKINGHAM to 2 May,
VANQUISHER to 5 May, and VISCOUNT to 2 May, sloop LONDONDERRY to 5 May, and
corvettes FREESIA, HIBISCUS, and PIMPERNEL all to 5 May, and anti-submarine
yacht PHILANTE to 5 May joined the convoy, and arrived at Liverpool on 5 May.
Convoy SC.28 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL.
Submarine TALISMAN joined the escort on the 11th. Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN
joined the convoy and was detached on the 20th along with submarine TALISMAN.
The submarine arrived back at Halifax on the 26th. The armed merchant cruiser was
detached on the 21st.
On the 24th, destroyer SCIMITAR, corvettes
DIANTHUS, MALLOW, MARIGOLD, NASTURTIUM, PERIWINKLE, and PRIMROSE, and
minesweepers BRAMBLE, HAZARD, and SPEEDY joined the convoy. The minesweepers
departed that day. On the 26th, corvette MALLOW was detached. Destroyer
WANDERER joined on the 27th. The escort was detached when the convoy arrived
at Liverpool on the 28th.
Thursday, 10 April
Light cruiser NAIAD, under repair in the Tyne, was damaged by the near miss of German bombing causing superficial
splinter damage and some shock damage to her turbine mountings.
The cruiser had no additional time out of service.
Destroyer SOMALI, which had arrived at 1730 from patrol,
began repairs to her boilers alongside depot ship TYNE at Scapa Flow.
Destroyer BROCKLESBY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000 to carry out working up.
The British DS convoy series began with convoy DS.1
of troopships ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt) and ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt)
departing the Clyde, escorted by destroyer ST MARYS. Destroyer LANCASTER
departed Scapa Flow and joined at sea. The convoy arrived at Reykjavik on the 12th.
The return convoy SD.1 departed Iceland on the 14th with the same escorts. The convoy
arrived in the Clyde on the 16th.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers SOMALI and
MASHONA arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1811.
Escorting destroyer MATABELE was detached en route
to refit at Barrow, arriving at 1150/11th.
Battleship RESOLUTION, armed merchant cruiser
DERBYSHIRE, and destroyers PIORUN and GARLAND departed Hvalfjord for Canada.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Hvalfjord to meet convoy HX.119.
Light cruiser AURORA, escorting minelayer
AGAMEMNON, departed Scapa
Flow at 1908 to refit at
Canadian convoy TC.10 of troopships GEORGIC
(27,759grt) and BATORY (14,287grt) departed Halifax.
Battleship RODNEY escorted the convoy for the
Canadian destroyer ST CROIX escorted the convoy on 10 and 11 April.
On the 15th, destroyers HESPERUS, LEGION, and
LEOPARD joined the convoy. Destroyer LEOPARD was detached the next day.
On the 16th, destroyers ACTIVE, ECHO, GARLAND, and PIORUN, departed Iceland on the 14th, joined the convoy.
Destroyers ECHO and ACTIVE arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000/18th, and
arrived at Greenock on the 19th with battleship RODNEY and destroyers
HESPERUS, LEGION, GARLAND, and PIORUN.
U.52 sank Dutch steamer SALEIER (6563grt), from
dispersed convoy OB.306, in 58-04N, 30-48W. The entire crew was rescued by
American destroyer NIBLACK, en route to Iceland. Polish destroyers GARLAND and PIORUN had been hunting for the crew before
returning to Reykjavik.
After rescuing the crew, the American destroyer
attacked a submarine contact.
British steamer THIRLBY (4887grt) was damaged by
German bombing 140 miles north, northwest of Butt of Lewis.
Destroyer BEDOUIN was sent to assist, but could not
locate the steamer.
Anti-submarine trawler LADY MADELEINE (581grt)
escorted tug BRIGAND to assist the steamer.
The steamer arrived at Loch Ewe on the 11th.
British steamer BUSIRIS (943grt) was damaged by
German bombing off Runnelstone, Mounts
Dutch steamer VIRGO (397grt) was damaged by German
bombing five miles northwest of Bar Light Vessel.
The steamer was towed to Liverpool.
German battlecruiser GNEISENAU was struck by four
bombs and was badly damaged at Brest.
Due to the damage of the German battleships,
submarines TORBAY, TAKU, UNBEATEN, UNION, UNDAUNTED, URGE, and CACHALOT were
sent on to the Mediterranean when relieved by the 6th Submarine Flotilla,
transferred from Blyth.
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN of the
14th Destroyer Flotilla departed Suda Bay at 0700 for Malta to conduct
raiding operations on Italian supply lines.
Light cruisers AJAX and PERTH departed Alexandria to cover their passage during the night of 10/11
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN
arrived at Malta at daylight on the 11th.
Light cruisers AJAX and PERTH called at Salamis on the 11th. The cruisers then refuelled at Suda
before returning to patrol in the Aegean to cover
convoys AG.12 and AS.25.
British troopship GLENROY, escorted by destroyers
DECOY and ENCOUNTER, departed Port Said to reembark troops recently landed at Lemnos by British supply ship BRECONSHIRE.
On the 11th, troopship GLENROY and destroyers DECOY
and ENCOUNTER arrived at Alexandria.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY left convoy AS.25 on the 11th to join this force.
Convoy AG.12 of one British ship departed Alexandria escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyer HEREWARD, and sloops FLAMINGO and
AUCKLAND, and arrived at Phaleron
on the 12th.
The escort remained at Salamis.
Convoy AS.25 of five Greek ships departed Piraeus escorted by destroyer WRYNECK and sloop GRIMSBY.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY sailed to accompany this convoy for the first part
of the voyage, then departed on the 11th to escort troopship GLENROY.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA joined the convoy from Suda
on the 11th.
Damaged oiler PERICLES joined this convoy from
for passage to Alexandria.
Naval tanker PERICLES (8324grt) broke in half in
heavy weather on the 14th in 32-09N, 29-40E.
Sloop GRIMSBY took off the crew and stood by while destroyer
KIMBERLEY was sent to her assistance.
Destroyer KIMBERLEY sank the stern section of the tanker with gunfire,
and arrived at Alexandria on the 14th.
Destroyer WRYNECK escorted the Port Said section.
Destroyer KIMBERLEY and sloop GRIMSBY arrived at Alexandria on the 15th.
Minesweeper ABINGDON was damaged by mining at Malta.
The minesweeper was under repair until June.
British troopship ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) grounded in Great
Pass at Alexandria.
The troopship was gotten off without serious
damage, but docking was required.
Italian supply convoy of steamers BOSFORO (3567grt)
and OGADEN (4553grt) and tankers PERSIANO (2474grt) and SUPERGA (6154grt)
departed Palermo escorted by torpedo boats MISSORI, MONTANARI, and
The convoy was attacked off Cape Bon by submarine UPHOLDER on the 11th but no damage was done.
Submarine TETRARCH sank Italian tanker PERSIANO in
33-29N, 14-01E, thirty miles northeast of Tripoli on the 12th, and arrived at Tripoli at 1500/12th.
Ocean boarding vessel MALVERNIAN departed Gibraltar on Western Patrol.
Italian steamer INDIA (6366grt) was scuttled at Assab. The steamer was
Italian steamer PIAVE (7565grt) was scuttled at
Assab. The steamer was later salved.
Italian steamer SANNIO (9834grt) was scuttled at
Assab. The steamer was later salved.
Italian coastal steamer SCILLIN (57grt) was
scuttled at Assab.
Italian coastal steamer CIRCEO (59grt) was scuttled
Italian coastal steamer DANTE (80grt) was scuttled
Italian coastal steamer SICILIA II (64grt) was
scuttled at Assab.
Convoy HX.120 departed Halifax, escorted by corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD. The
corvettes were detached later that day. Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN and armed
merchant cruiser LACONIA joined the convoy on the 12th. Armed merchant
cruiser CHITRAL joined on the 19th. The battleship was detached on the 20th
and the two armed merchant cruisers were detached on the 21st. Destroyers
BULLDOG and WALKER joined on the 21st and minesweepers NIGER and SPEEDWELL joined on the 22nd. Destroyer
BULLDOG was detached on the 24th. Destroyer WALKER arrived with the convoy at
Liverpool on the 29th.
Friday, 11 April
Heavy cruiser LONDON, aircraft carrier ARGUS, and steamer NARKUNDA
(16,632grt) arrived in the Clyde from
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS which travelled in company
proceeded to Belfast.
Destroyer MANSFIELD with a Norwegian crew departed
Lerwick on the 8th.
She carried commandoes to Hammerfest, near
North Cape, to
destroy a fish oil factory at Oksfjord on 11/12 April.
The destroyer arrived back on the 14th.
Boom defence vessel OTHELLO (201grt, T/Boom Skipper
W. Trench RNR) and boom tender YORKSHIRE BELLE (56grt) were sunk
on a mine at the entrance to the Humber, 3˝
cables 10° Haile Sand Fort.
Trench, T/A/Warrant Engineer J. A. Wakefield, and
nine ratings were lost in OTHELLO. Four ratings were lost in YORKSHIRE.
U.124 sank Greek steamer AEGEON (5285grt) in 6-55N,
15-38W. Four crew were lost on the steamer.
Destroyer GREYHOUND departed Alexandria escorting netlayer PROTECTOR and anti-submarine
trawlers SYVERN and KOS 23 for Suda
and corvette SALVIA and South African minesweeper MUROTO for Piraeus.
The corvette and the South African minesweeper were
to assist corvette HYACINTH in clearing Piraeus harbour.
Both sections arrived on the 14th.
Light cruiser ORION with destroyers STUART, GRIFFIN,
JAGUAR, and HASTY departed Alexandria at 2000 to join light cruisers AJAX and PERTH for an offensive sweep along the Cyrenaican coast
eastwards from Benghazi during the night of 12/13 April in Operation
Gunboats APHIS and GNAT bombarded Bomba during the
night of 10/11 April.
The gunboats bombarded the same district and the
Gazala airdrome during the night of 11/12 April.
Australian destroyers WATERHEN and VENDETTA arrived
at Alexandria at 0400 with British steamer THURLAND
CASTLE (6372grt) carrying captured tanks from Tobruk.
The destroyers departed Alexandria again that day with another supply ship for
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN
arrived at Malta from Suda
They immediately refuelled and sailed to intercept the southbound convoy of
steamers BOSFORO, OGADEN, PERSIANA, and SUPERGA, escorted by torpedo boats
MONTANARI, MISSORI, and PERSEO between Lampione
Island and Kerkenah Bank. They failed to intercept a subsequent message from
submarine UNIQUE which corrected the speed of the convoy. No contact was made
and the destroyers returned to Malta.
During the night of 11/12 April, Greek cruiser
AVEROFF departed the Gulf of Saronikos and proceeded unescorted to Alexandria.
No escorts could be spared for this unit.
Cable ship RETRIEVER (674grt) was sunk by German
bombing one mile 264° from Aliki Rocks, off Phleva Island, Greece.
Eleven crew were lost and six were taken prisoner.
Twenty nine crew were rescued.
Greek hospital ship ATTIKI (2561grt) was sunk by
German bombing in Doro Channel.
Twenty eight crew were missing.
British steamer DRACO (2018grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing at Tobruk and beached.
The steamer was bombed again on the 21st and was a
The gunner was killed, but rest of the crew were
Destroyer BOREAS arrived at Gibraltar with British steamer GLENARTNEY (9795grt).
Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed Colombo on 24 March with two troopships for convoy US.10.
On the 7th, heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA and light cruisers ACHILLES and HOBART departed
Wellington with two liners for Australia to sail in the convoy.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Jervis
N. S. W. with liner QUEEN MARY on the
11th to join convoy US.10 at Sydney.
This convoy was composed of QUEEN MARY (81,235grt), QUEEN ELIZABETH (83,673grt), ILE DE FRANCE (43,450grt), MAURETANIA (35,739grt), and NIEUW AMSTERDAM (36,287grt).
On the 12th, light cruiser ACHILLES and heavy
cruiser AUSTRALIA were detached from the convoy for patrol. They
then proceeded to Sydney to refuel.
The New Zealand light cruiser then returned to New Zealand.
Liner NIEUW AMSTERDAM was detached to Singapore. The troops from this liner were embarked on
troopship AQUITANIA which departed Singapore on the 27th, escorted by light cruiser DANAE.
Troopship AQUITANIA arrived at Colombo on 1 May.
On the 27th, convoy US.10A departed Trincomalee
with liners QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN MARY, escorted as far as Perim by Australian heavy
cruiser CANBERRA, arriving on 1 May, and arrived at Suez on 3 May, escorted by Australian sloop PARRAMATTA.
On 6 May, convoy US.10B departed Colombo for Suez with liners AQUITANIA, ILE DE FRANCE, and
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Madras with a convoy for Singapore.
The convoy was turned over to light cruiser CERES
on the 12th.
The cruiser proceeded to Trincomalee arriving on
the 13th. She proceeded on to Colombo arriving on the 14th.
Convoy BM.6 departed Madras for
steamers TALMA (10,000grt), SANTHIA (7754grt), NEURALIA (9182grt), and DEVONSHIRE (11,275grt), escorted by light cruiser LEANDER to
12 April when light cruiser DANE relieved her.
Steamers JALAPADMA (3935grt) and JALAKRISHNA
(4981grt) departed Madras on the 12th, unescorted, with vehicles and stores
for the units carried in convoy BM.6, and arrived at Penang on the 16th.
Saturday, 12 April
UNBEATEN departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar arriving
on the 21st.
Convoy OB.309 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, VETERAN, and WOLVERINE, armed boarding vessel
MARON, seaplane carrier PEGASUS, sloop DEPTFORD, and corvettes BEGONIA,
CONVOLVULUS, and LARKSPUR. Destroyers CHELSEA and VERITY were detached on the 15th and sloop
DEPTFORD on the 16th. On the 15th, destroyer ROCKINGHAM and corvettes
CAMPANULA and PIMPERNEL joined the escort. Destroyers VETERAN and WOLVERINE
were detached on the 18th. The remainder of the escort was detached on the
19th when the convoy dispersed.
Naval drifter RYPA (31grt), with a Norwegian crew,
was lost in Loch Ewe in heavy weather.
U.124 sank British steamer ST HELENA (4313grt) in 7-50N, 14W. The entire crew was
Belgian steamer ARBEL (901grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 50-06N, 5-46W. Three crew were lost.
Swedish steamer KEXHOLM (3815grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 59-50N, 8-22W. The entire crew was rescued.
British grain elevator CHICAGO was sunk by German bombing at Millwall Dock, London.
British steamer DARTFORD (4093grt) was damaged by German bombing one and a half miles south of
The steamer was towed to port.
Greek steamer NICOLAOS D. L. (5486grt) was sunk by
German raider KORMORAN at 1-54S, 22-12W. The entire crew was taken as
prisoners of war.
Italian submarine TAZZOLI attacked a Destroyer
without success in 45N, 19W.
Anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE arrived at Suez for duty in the Mediterranean Fleet after WS.6A
The light cruiser moved through the Canal in the
Destroyer KIMBERLEY also arrived at Suez on the 12th to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers DECOY and ENCOUNTER, and troopship
GLENROY evacuated Mudros.
The entire battalion of troops, over 1000 tons of
stores, and forty army vehicles were embarked in twelve hours.
The ships departed Mudros at 0645/13th and arrived
at Alexandria on the 15th.
In Operation MBD.3, destroyers STUART, GRIFFIN,
JUNO, and JAGUAR were sweeping off Cyrenaica from Ras
Tayones to Ras et Tin covered by light cruisers ORION, AJAX, and PERTH and
destroyer HASTY during the night of 12/13 April.
This operation was repeated the next night.
Destroyers JUNO and JAGUAR swept from Ras Tayones to Ras Tolmeita.
Destroyers STUART and GRIFFIN
swept from Ras Tolmeita to Ras el Hillal. Destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN
swept from Ras el Hillal to Ras el Tin. The sweep was covered by the same
covering force as the night before.
The sweep started at midnight. There were no contacts.
After the sweep, destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN
returned to the Inshore Squadron. Light cruiser PERTH and destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR, STUART, GRIFFIN, and HASTY returned to Alexandria.
En route, destroyers GRIFFIN and STUART were diverted to Sollum to arrive at
daylight on the 14th.
Light cruisers ORION and AJAX remained to the west of Crete to cover convoy movements.
Submarine URSULA unsuccessfully attacked shipping
south of Cape Bon.
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN
departed Malta to intercept southbound convoy of steamers ANKARA, MARBURG,
KIBFELS, REICHENFELS, and GALILEA, escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI,
MALOCOLLO, and DARDO. Torpedo boats CIRCE and MONTANARI joined from Tripoli.
In air attack on this convoy during the night
of12/13 April, A/Sub Lt (A) A. P. Dawson with Leading Airman A. Todd and
Petty Officer Airman C. H. Wines with Leading Airman L. M. Edwards of 830
Squadron from ST ANGELO, were shot down and interned by the French.
The destroyers made no contact and returned to
Battlecruiser REPULSE arrived at Gibraltar,
escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER and FORTUNE. Destroyers FURY and VELOX were
detached off Gibraltar to join arriving battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH. Destroyer
BOREAS departed Gibraltar on the 12th to join the other two destroyers to
escort the battleship.
Light cruiser FIJI arrived at Gibraltar.
Ocean boarding vessel CAMITO departed Gibraltar for Western Patrol.
OLYMPUS arrived at
Malta to reinforce the Mediterranean submarines.
However, she was in such poor condition, she was to
be sailed back to Gibraltar as soon as repairs could be arranged.
British tanker MARIE MAERSK (8271grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Piraeus.
The steamer was later refloated and repaired at
Trieste. She was renamed LUISA for Italian use.
Armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR
CASTLE captured French steamer BANFORA, which had departed
Dakar on the 10th, near Port Etienne.
The steamer arrived at Freetown on the 17th.
Sunday, 13 April
Battleship KING GEORGE V, light cruiser NIGERIA,
and destroyers MASHONA, ELECTRA, and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 0107 for
position 46-30N, 18-10W.
However, bad weather delayed the ships' progress.
The destroyers were detached to Londonderry to refuel at 1045/16th. They sailed at 1100/17th
and rejoined at 0900/20th.
Light cruiser HERMIONE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0919 to work up and join 15th Cruiser Squadron.
Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed Scapa Flow for Siedisfjord. The cruisers then proceeded to
Reykjavik, via Akureyri.
After refuelling at Reykjavik, the cruisers patrolled in the Denmark Strait.
Convoy OB.310 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers AMAZON, BULLDOG, and CHESTERFIELD,corvettes AUBRETIA, HOLLYHOCK, NIGELLA, and
PICOTEE, minesweepers GOSSAMER, HARRIER, and SALAMANDER, and anti-submarine
trawlers DANEMAN and ST APOLLO. The minesweepers and the trawlers were
detached that day. On the 15th, Anti-submarine trawlers BUTTERMERE,
WASTWATER, and WINDERMERE joined the convoy. The escort was detached on the
18th when the convoy dispersed.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD and ECLIPSE departed
Hvalfjord at 0300 to join convoy HX.118 for additional escort.
The destroyers were detached in the Minches.
Destroyer ECLIPSE arrived at 0615/17th and destroyer INGLEFIELD at 0830/17th.
Destroyer ERIDGE departed Scapa Flow at 0600 for Londonderry to join the Western Approaches, following working
The destroyer arrived at Londonderry at 2000.
she arrived on the 22nd.
U.108 sank armed merchant cruiser RAJPUTANA
(16,444grt, Captain F. H. Taylor DSC) in 64-50N, 27-25W.
Destroyers ECHO, GARLAND, ST MARYS, and LANCASTER were sent to assist. Destroyers LEGION and PIORUN
rescued the two hundred and seventy seven survivors and took them to Iceland.
T/Cdr C. T. O. Richardson RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) V. S. H. Andrews RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) W. Mitchell RNR, Lt (E) V. R. Bussereau RCNVR, T/A/Sub Lt (E) G.
Gray RNVR, A/Lt B. G. Johnson RCNVR, and thirty six ratings were lost on the
U.124 sank British steamer CORINTHIC (4823grt) at
8-10N, 14-40W. One crewman was lost on the steamer.
British steamer BARON BELHAVEN (6591grt) was
damaged by German bombing in 51-33N, 5-32W. Four crew were killed on the
The steamer was towed to Milford Haven and later
drydocked at Barry.
Aircraft carrier EAGLE passed through the Suez Canal to return to England.
Anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE and destroyer KANDAHAR arrived at Alexandria for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.
Convoys GA.12 of three British ships and ASF.25 departed Piraeus in company escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyers HEREWARD and DEFENDER, and sloop
Sloop FLAMINGO at Piraeus was retained by the Naval Attache Athens for
anti-aircraft duties at Salamis.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE arrived at Alexandria to refuel on the 15th.
Convoy GA.12 arrived at Alexandria with destroyers HEREWARD and DEFENDER on the 15th.
Destroyer HEREWARD immediately departed with three
ships to join convoy AN.27.
Convoy ASF.25 arrived at Alexandria late on the 15th, escorted by destroyer HEREWARD
and sloop AUCKLAND.
Destroyer ISIS and Australian destroyer VAMPIRE
departed Alexandria for Port Said. They arrived and departed that same day with
troopships GLENEARN and GLENGYLE for Alexandria.
The force arrived safely at Alexandria on the 14th.
Greek destroyer VASILEVS GEORGIOS I (Captain
Mezeviers, S. O. Greek destroyers) was badly damaged by German bombing near
Piraeus in the Saronikos Gulf.
The destroyer was docked at Salamis.
Greek destroyer PSARA was sunk by German bombing in
the Gulf of Athens.
Anti-submarine whaler SKUDD IV was damaged by
German dive bombing at Tobruk.
Trawler MOY towed the trawler into harbour.
steamer CITY OF KARACHI (7140grt) was badly damaged by German
bombing at Volo, Greece.
There were no casualties on the steamer.
On the 14th, the steamer was towed, assisted by
British steamer DESTRO (3553grt) and a Greek destroyer, and beached in a bay
southwest of Volo. Bombed again on the 15th, steamer CITY OF KARACHI was a total loss.
Norwegian steamer BRATTDAL (4968grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing at Volo Bay.
One crewman was killed.
The steamer sank on the 17th after repeated air
Battlecruiser REPULSE departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER and FORTUNE,
for 41-00N, 16-30W.
Light cruiser FIJI departed
Submarines UNDAUNTED, having departed Portsmouth on the 3rd, and TORBAY and TAKU from patrol in the
Bay of Biscay
arrived at Gibraltar.
Monday, 14 April
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0900 to join convoy WN.13 in the Pentland Firth and cover it to Methil, where they arrived at
Submarine URGE departed Portsmouth for
she arrived on the 23rd.
U.52 sank Belgian steamer VILLE DE LIEGE (7430grt)
in 59-50N, 29-30W. Ten crew were rescued.
Gunboat APHIS bombarded Bardia.
Gunboat GNAT bombarded Sollum, supported by
destroyers STUART and GRIFFIN,
which were detached from the light cruiser PERTH force returning to Alexandria.
Gunboat GNAT was attacked by German bombers and
badly damaged. The gunboat was able to proceed under her own power to Mersa
Matruh. One rating was killed.
Gunboat GNAT arrived at Alexandria on the 16th and was sent on to Port Said for repairs.
Destroyers STUART and GRIFFIN arrived at Alexandria on the 15th.
Italian submarine SIRENA attacked two destroyers in
36-07N, 24-15E north, northwest of Cape
Spada without success at 2337.
British steamer CLAN CUMMING (7264grt) was sunk on
a mine in Eleusis Bay,
in 37-49N, 23-38E.
The steamer had been damaged earlier in the day by
Seventy seven crew were taken prisoner. Thirty six
crew were rescued.
British hospital ship VITA (4691grt) was damaged by German bombing off
The ship was attacked by eight German aircraft.
Destroyers WATERHEN and VENDETTA and tug ST ISSEY
was sent to assist the hospital ship.
The hospital ship was returned to Tobruk.
Hospital ship VITA at Tobruk was again attacked and damaged on 21 and
Turkish steamer TRABZON (2485grt) was sunk by German bombing at Laurium
(Daidaro nisos) while en route from Istanbul to Piraeus for repairs.
Convoy AN.27 of four British and six Greek ships
Haifa. A strong wind prevented three of the four ships
in the Alexandria section from sailing.
Destroyers ISIS and VAMPIRE were sailed to
intercept the Port
Haifa section and escort the single ship from Alexandria.
Destroyer HEREWARD, which arrived at Alexandria with convoy GA.12 on the 15th, departed with the
other three ships of AN.27 on the 15th to join the convoy which turned back
to meet them.
Destroyer HEREWARD then joined convoy ASF.25 to return to Alexandria.
On the 16th, when the decision to evacuate Greece was made, four motor transport ships of convoy
AN.27 were ordered to return to Alexandria.
Destroyer HOTSPUR from Alexandria and destroyer VENDETTA from the Inshore Squadron
were ordered to meet these four ships. Destroyer VOYAGER was sent in place of
These four ships and destroyer VOYAGER were
recalled to Alexandria on the 18th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE departed Alexandria and joined convoy AN.27 on the 17th, and arrived
at Suda Bay
on the 18th.
During the night of 14/15 April, Swordfish torpedo
bombers sank Italian steamers LUCIANO (3329grt) and STAMPALIA (1228grt) at
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH arrived at Gibraltar at 0900 and light cruisers SHEFFIELD and DUNEDIN arrived at 0700.
Light cruiser DUNEDIN later that day departed for Freetown.
Submarines TORBAY, TAKU, and UNDAUNTED departed
Gibraltar for Malta.
When submarine TAKU was attacked by an Italian
submarine in 36-14N, 4-14W, submarines TAKU and TORBAY were recalled to Gibraltar.
Australian light cruiser SYDNEY embarked Australian
delegates for the ABDA conference and departed for Singapore, arriving on the 19th.
The light cruiser returned to Australia.
The ABDA conference was held at Singapore from 21 to 27 April.
The conference was presided over by the British
Commander in Chief Far East Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham.
Attending were Commander in Chief China Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton, KCB DSO, Chief
of the General Staff Netherlands East Indies Major General H. ter Poorten,
representatives of Australian, New Zealand, British Indian armed forces, and Captain William
R. Purnell, USN, Admiral Hart's Chief of Staff.