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

NAVAL EVENTS, APRIL 1941 (Part 1 of 2)
Tuesday 1st – Monday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Ivanhoe, destroyer (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to APRIL 1941, Part 2

 

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

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

 


Background Events - January-May 1941

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


 

 

1941

 

           

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.

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Commander in Chief Home Fleet transferred his flag from battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH to battleship KING GEORGE V.

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Destroyer QUORN in the Nore Command was damaged by two near misses of German bombing, but only sustained superficial damage.

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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.

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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.

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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 Bay 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.

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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 injured.

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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.

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Swedish steamer LIDINGO (5842grt) was damaged on a mine west of Falsterbo.

 

The steamer was beached and was later towed to Malmo.

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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.

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Light cruiser EDINBURGH arrived at Gibraltar after being relieved in convoy WS.7.

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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.

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From 1 to 4 April, German tanker NORDMARK took on fuel and stores from German tanker ILL (7603grt) at sea.

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Convoy ANF.24 of six British ships departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers NUBIAN and HEREWARD and corvette HYACINTH.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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Convoy AS.23 of one British and six Greek ships departed Piraeus escorted by destroyers VOYAGER and WRYNECK and sloop GRIMSBY.

 

Leaving Piraeus, destroyer WRYNECK attacked a submarine contact in Phleva Bay, and arrived at Alexandria on the 4th and Port Said on the 5th.

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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.

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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.

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Destroyer KANDAHAR intercepted German steamer BERTRAM RICKMERS (4188grt), which departed Massawa on 29 March, in the Red Sea.

 

The German steamer scuttled herself near Gondurmiat.

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German steamer LICHTENFELS (7566grt) departed Massawa. The steamer is unable to evade British patrols and is forced to return to Massawa.

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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, 80-10W.

 

The wreck was scuttled by Peruvian cruiser ALMIRANTE GRAU off Callao, Peru.

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German steamers in western South American ports scuttled themselves.

 

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 Puntarenas.

 

Steamer FRIESLAND (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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 CRAMOND ISLAND.

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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.

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British steamer BEAVERDALE (9957grt) was sunk by U.48 in 60-50N, 29-19W.

 

Twenty crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer.

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British steamer FERMAIN (759grt) was sunk by German bombing in 50-35N, 00-52E. The entire crew was rescued.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Convoy AS.23 was attacked by German bombers in the Aegean.

 

British steamer HOMEFIELD (5324grt) and Greek steamer COULOURAS XENOS (4914grt) were sunk by German bombing off Gavdo Island.

 

Steamer HOMEFIELD was later scuttled by destroyer NUBIAN of the convoy ANF.24 escort. Her survivors were taken off by destroyer VOYAGER.

 

Greek steamer TETI (2747grt) was damaged by near misses of German bombing off Gavdo Island.

 

Steamer TETI was able to proceed to Crete.

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British steamer DEVIS (6054grt) in convoy ANF.24 was damaged by German bombing off Gavdo Island.

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Corvette HYACINTH in the convoy ANF.24 escort attacked a submarine contact 170 miles south of Scarpanto.

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Yugoslavian steamers KARADJORDJE (1293grt) and PRESTOLONASLEDNIK PETAR (1726grt) were sunk by mining off Sibenik.

 

The crews of both steamers were rescued.

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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 bombard Port Sudan.

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Italian steamers GIUSEPPE MAZZINI (7669grt) and URANIA (7099grt) were sunk by British bombing near Dalac Island.

 

The steamers were later salved by the British.

 

 

Thursday, 3 April

 

Light cruiser NIGERIA joined convoy HG.57 at sea.

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Light cruiser DIDO departed Scapa Flow for anti-aircraft duties at Loch Ewe.

 

The cruiser departed on the 7th with convoy OG.58.

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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 the 9th.

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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 0800/4th.

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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.

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Submarine UNDAUNTED departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar where she arrived on the 13th.

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River mouth patrol boat BAHRAM (72grt, 2nd Hand J. N. Crawford) was sunk in mining in North Channel, Spurn.

 

Crawford and seven other ratings were lost. There was only one survivor.

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Mine destructor ship BUSHWOOD was damaged in a collision in Bristol Channel.

 

The ship was repaired at Cardiff from 29 April to 7 May.

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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 58-12N, 27-40W.

 

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.

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British steamer CAIRNIE (250grt) was sunk by German bombing six to eight miles south by west of Tod Head. The entire crew were rescued.

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British steamer GREENAWN (784grt) was lost to unknown cause in the North Sea, near Montrose.

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British steamer GEDDINGTON COURT (6903grt) was damaged by German bombing in 56-25N, 2-13W.

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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.

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Italian destroyer BATTISTI, en route to bombard Port Sudan, broke down and was scuttled by accompanying Italian destroyers.

 

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.

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Italian submarine MICCA attacked two steamers in 34-10N, 25-24E without success.

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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 was rescued.

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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.

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While minesweeping, Minesweeper ABINGDON was damaged in a German dive bombing attack at Malta.

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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 destroyers.

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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.

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Free French sloops SUIPPE and CONQUERANT were sunk by German bombing at Falmouth.

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U.98 sank Norwegian steamer HELLE (2467grt), a straggler from convoy SC.26, in 59N, 24-30W. The entire crew was rescued.

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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.

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U.98 sank British steamer WELCOMBE (5122grt) from convoy SC.26 in 59-09N, 22W.

 

Twenty crew were lost on the steamer.

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U.97 sank British tanker CONUS (8132grt) in 56-14N, 31-19W. The entire crew were lost.

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U.124 sank British steamer MARLENE (6507grt) at 8-15N, 14-19W.

 

Thirteen crew were lost on the steamer.

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British steamer SALVUS (4815grt) was sunk by German bombing in 53-05N, 1-27E. Four crew were lost on the steamer.

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British trawler WHITBY (164grt) was sunk by German bombing three miles south, southeast of Blackwater Light Vessel.  The entire crew was rescued.

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British steamer CAPE VERDE (6914grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52-12N, 5-42W.

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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.

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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 battleship DUNKERQUE.

 

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 Gibraltar, respectively.

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Submarine RORQUAL arrived at Malta after minelaying operations off western Sicily.

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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 Bay and transport motor generators for damaged cruiser YORK. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 7th.

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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.

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Destroyer NUBIAN and corvette HYACINTH of convoy ANF.24 attacked a submarine contact off Phleva Island.

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Destroyer JANUS departed Alexandria for Port Said for escort duty in convoy AN.25.

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Submarine PARTHIAN departed Alexandria for Port Said for docking and repairs.

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Australian destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN departed Alexandria to reinforce the Inshore Squadron.

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Italian torpedo boat ACERBI was sunk at Massawa.

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German and Italian steamers were scuttled at Massawa.

 

German steamer CREFELD (8045grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

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 at Massawa.

 

German steamer LIEBENFELS (6318grt) was scuttled at Massawa. The steamer was salved at EMPIRE NILE.

 

German steamer OLIVA (7885grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian steamer ADUA (3564grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian steamer BRENTA (5400grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian steamer ARABIA (5943grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian steamer ROMOLO GESSI (5148grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian coastal steamer IMPERO (488grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian steamer VESUVIO (5430grt) was scuttled at Massawa. The steamer was later salved.

Italian steamer XXIII MARZO (5006grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

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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 Squadron.

 

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 BROOKLYN departed Pearl 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 SN.8.

 

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 operation SN.8.

 

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 Denmark Strait 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 at 1245.

_____

 

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.

 

Destroyer ASSINIBOINE was 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 Bay.

_____

 

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 for refuelling.

 

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 0800/11th.

 

Destroyer ARROW was detached on the 10th to refuel at Londonderry. The destroyer departed at 1412 on the 10th to rejoin.

 

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 0800/8th.

 

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 REPULSE.

 

Destroyer VELOX on the 4th with battlecruiser REPULSE arrived back at Gibraltar on the 6th.

 

Oiler CAIRNDALE and submarine PANDORA were in 32-30N, 32-30W.

 

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 bad weather.

 

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 Gibraltar.

_____

 

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 were lost.

_____

 

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 this convoy.

 

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.

 

British steamers 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 explosion.

 

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 Bay 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 sloop GRIMSBY.

 

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 Bay for fuel and ammunition.

_____

 

Gunboat GNAT departed Alexandria for Tobruk.

 

Gunboat LADYBIRD following during the night of 7/8 April.

_____

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Greenock earlier, 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 Firth.

 

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 lost.

_____

 

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 1942.

_____

 

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 Australia.

 

On the 10th, the New Zealand cruiser departed the convoy and put into Jervis Bay, NSW.

_____

 

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 rescued.

_____

 

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 event.

_____

 

Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Suda Bay 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 destroyer MOHAWK.

 

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 FOUGUEUX.

 

Light cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES and MONTCALM and destroyers FANTASQUE and TERRIBLE departed Dakar on the 10th to intercept the steamer if it proceeded towards Freetown.

 

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 interned.

 

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 Dulac Island. The tanker was salved as EMPIRE TROPHY.

 

Italian steamer PROMETEO (4958grt) was scuttled at Dulac Island. The steamer was later salved.

 

Italian coastal steamer SOLE (15grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

Italian coastal steamer ARDITA (19grt) was scuttled at Massawa.

 

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, departed Singapore.

 

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 Islands.

 

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.

 

Destroyer BRIGHTON and the minelayer departed Scapa Flow at 1900/10th for Rosyth.

 

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 Pier.

 

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 31-13N, 23-24W.

 

The tanker was torpedoed again on the 9th in 31-13N, 23-40W.

 

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 loss.

 

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 bombed.

_____

 

British launch FALCON was sunk by German bombing at Harwich.

_____

 

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 tanker.

_____

 

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 at sea.

_____

 

British steamer CRAFTSMAN (8022grt) was sunk by German raider KORMORAN at 00-32N, 23-37W.

 

Six crew were lost and forty three were taken prisoner.

 

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 the Tyne.

_____

 

Canadian convoy TC.10 of troopships GEORGIC (27,759grt) and BATORY (14,287grt) departed Halifax.

 

Battleship RODNEY escorted the convoy for the entire voyage.

 

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 Bay.

_____

 

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 April.

 

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 Bay 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 Bay 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 Bay on the 11th.

 

Damaged oiler PERICLES joined this convoy from Suda Bay 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 PERSEO.

 

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 later salved.

 

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 at Assab.

 

Italian coastal steamer DANTE (80grt) was scuttled at Assab.

 

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 Gibraltar.

 

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 Bay 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, JUNO, 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 MBD.3.

 

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 Tobruk.

_____

 

Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN arrived at Malta from Suda Bay. 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 total loss.

 

The gunner was killed, but rest of the crew were rescued.

_____

 

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 Bay, 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 MAURETANIA.

_____

 

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 Malaya with 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

 

 Submarine 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 rescued.

_____

 

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 Mumbles Light.

 

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 convoy escort.

 

The light cruiser moved through the Canal in the dark.

 

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.

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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 Malta.

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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.

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Light cruiser FIJI arrived at Gibraltar.

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Ocean boarding vessel CAMITO departed Gibraltar for Western Patrol.

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Submarine 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.

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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.

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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.

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Light cruiser HERMIONE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0919 to work up and join 15th Cruiser Squadron.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Destroyer ERIDGE departed Scapa Flow at 0600 for Londonderry to join the Western Approaches, following working up.

 

The destroyer arrived at Londonderry at 2000.

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Submarine UNION departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar where she arrived on the 22nd.

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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 cruiser.

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U.124 sank British steamer CORINTHIC (4823grt) at 8-10N, 14-40W. One crewman was lost on the steamer.

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British steamer BARON BELHAVEN (6591grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51-33N, 5-32W. Four crew were killed on the steamer.

 

The steamer was towed to Milford Haven and later drydocked at Barry.

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Aircraft carrier EAGLE passed through the Suez Canal to return to England.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE and destroyer KANDAHAR arrived at Alexandria for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.

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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 AUCKLAND.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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Greek destroyer PSARA was sunk by German bombing in the Gulf of Athens.

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Anti-submarine whaler SKUDD IV was damaged by German dive bombing at Tobruk.

 

Trawler MOY towed the trawler into harbour.

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British 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.

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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 attacks.

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Battlecruiser REPULSE departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER and FORTUNE, for 41-00N, 16-30W.

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Light cruiser FIJI departed Gibraltar for Freetown.

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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 1500/15th.

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Submarine URGE departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar where she arrived on the 23rd.

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U.52 sank Belgian steamer VILLE DE LIEGE (7430grt) in 59-50N, 29-30W. Ten crew were rescued.

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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.

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Italian submarine SIRENA attacked two destroyers in 36-07N, 24-15E north, northwest of Cape Spada without success at 2337.

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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 German bombing.

 

Seventy seven crew were taken prisoner. Thirty six crew were rescued.

 

British hospital ship VITA (4691grt) was damaged by German bombing off Tobruk.

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 22 April.

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Turkish steamer TRABZON (2485grt) was sunk by German bombing at Laurium (Daidaro nisos) while en route from Istanbul to Piraeus for repairs.

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Convoy AN.27 of four British and six Greek ships departed Port Said and 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 Said and 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 destroyer VENDETTA.

 

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.

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During the night of 14/15 April, Swordfish torpedo bombers sank Italian steamers LUCIANO (3329grt) and STAMPALIA (1228grt) at Valona.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 
 

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revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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