Background Events - January-May 1941
Cape Matapan, Battles for Greece & Crete,
Capture of U.110, Enigma codes, Loss of 'Hood',
sinking of 'Bismarck'
Tuesday, 15 April
Light cruiser EDINBURGH, which had been on escort
duties since 25 March, arrived at Scapa Flow after
convoy SL.69 duties.
Destroyer ACHATES departed Greenock at 0840 for Scapa
Flow. En route at 1400,
the destroyer was diverted to Loch Alsh where she arrived at 0015/16th.
The destroyer departed Loch Alsh at 1245/16th and
arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100.
Destroyer TARTAR departed Scapa Flow at 1945 for Rosyth, escorting depot ship GREENWICH.
Both ships arrived at Methil at 1900/16th. The destroyer
stood by to provide Anti-aircraft protection.
Destroyer TARTAR arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1600/17th.
Destroyer BATH departed Sheerness at 1146 for Scapa Flow for working up.
During the night, the destroyer was involved in a
collision with an unknown merchant ship five miles north of No.20 Buoy and
was diverted to the Tyne for repairs, arriving at 0720/16th.
Repairs were completed at Hebburn on 19 May.
Italian submarine TAZZOLI sank British steamer AURILLAC
(4733grt) in 37-09N, 18-42W. One crewman was lost on the steamer.
Ocean boarding vessel CAMITO located wreckage, but
did not locate any survivors.
Tug AQUILA (59grt)
sunk by German bombing in Alexandra Dock, Hull.
Convoy OG.59 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers BEAGLE, COLUMBIA, and ST FRANCIS, sloop SANDWICH, corvettes HEATHER, HEPATICA, ORCHIS, TRILLIUM, and WINDFLOWER.
Corvettes COLUMBINE and GARDENIA joined on the
The destroyers and the earlier corvettes were detached
on the 20th.
On the 24th, Dutch submarine O.24 joined the convoy
escort and on the 28th, Anti-submarine trawler ST WISTAN.
The corvettes were detached before the convoy
arrived at Gibraltar and arrived the day after the convoy, and arrived
at Gibraltar on the 28th, escorted by anti-submarine trawler ST
WISTAN and submarine O.24. Sloop SANDWICH, which
was separated in bad weather, arrived later.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyer HASTY departed Alexandria.
These ships bombarded Italian motor transport at
Capuzzo and Bardia early on the 16th.
Destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria for Tobruk to carry out a special raiding
operation with gunboat LADYBIRD during the night of 16/17 April.
Gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Gazala.
The destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN
departed Malta at 1800 for a shipping sweep off Kerkenah Bank.
Destroyer GREYHOUND joined the Inshore Squadron.
During the night of 15/16 April, the destroyer
joined destroyer VENDETTA for a sweep along the Cyrenaican coast.
British steamers GOALPARA (5314grt) and QUILOA
(7765grt) was sunk by German bombing in Eleusis
The ships were beached and the crews from both
ships were rescued.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH departed Gibraltar for Freetown, escorted by destroyers VELOX, WRESTLER, and FURY.
Convoy HG.59 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes GENTIAN,
GERANIUM, and JONQUIL, and Dutch submarine O.24.
Included in this convoy was French ship PLM 13, which was captured on 18 February.
On the 22nd, corvetes GENTIAN and JONQUIL were
detached, on the 23rd, corvette GERANIUM and submarine O.24.
Destroyers KEPPEL and SABRE, corvette KINGCUP, and
anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA, NORTHERN DAWN, and WELLARD joined the
convoy on the 27th, and arrived at Liverpool on 1
French submarines ACTEON, FRESNEL, and HENRI
POINCARE, which departed Toulon on the 10th and Oran on the 14th, passed
Gibraltar en route to Casablanca, where they arrived on the 16th, escorted by
torpedo boat LA BATAILLEUSE.
Italian steamers LUCIANA (3329grt) and STAMPALIA
(1228grt) were sunk by British air bombing at Valona.
Sub Lt (A) W. C. Sarra and A/Sub Lt (A) J. Bowker
of 815 Squadron, operating from Paramythia, were shot down and made prisoners
Wednesday, 16 April
Light cruiser NAIAD arrived at Scapa Flow after refitting in the Tyne.
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, under repair at Belfast, was damaged by German bombing.
Destroyer SOMALI departed Scapa Flow to join steamers AMSTERDAM and
Aberdeen at 2130 and escort them to Lerwick and Scapa Flow, respectively.
The destroyer and steamer AMSTERDAM arrived at Lerwick at 1050/17th. They departed
again at 2000 for Aberdeen.
Destroyer ANTHONY departed Scapa Flow at 0030/18th to relieve destroyer SOMALI.
Destroyer SOMALI arrived back at Scapa Flow at
Destroyer ANTHONY parted company with the steamer
off Aberdeen at 0730 and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1500.
Destroyer ARROW departed Scapa Flow at 2000/18th to escort steamer ARCHANGEL to Aberdeen.
The steamer was detached off Aberdeen and destroyer ARROW arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1200/19th.
Convoy OB.311 departed liverpool, escorted by
anti-submarine NORTHERN SPRAY. The convoy was joined on the 17th by corvette
MALLOW and on the 18th by corvette VIOLET and minesweepers NIGER and SPEEDWELL. Destroyers MALCOLM, SCIMITAR, and
WATCHMAN joined on the 19th. Corvette MALLOW and the trawler was detached on
the 20th. On the 22nd, destroyer SCIMITAR and the minesweepers were detached.
The remainder of the escorte was detached on the 25th when the convoy
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil and
joined convoy EC.7 off May Island.
the ship arrived at Scapa Flow at 0500/17th after this duty.
British steamer SWEDRU (5379grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing in 55-21N, 12-50W.
Seventeen crew and seven passengers were lost.
The steamer was sunk by HM ship on the 19th.
British steamers ANGELESEA ROSE (1151grt) and AMIENS (1548grt) and Norwegian steamer BOLETTE (1167grt)
were sunk by German bombing in 50-25N, 5-35W.
There were no casualties on either British steamer.
Eight crew were missing on the Norwegian steamer.
Norwegian steamer FAVORIT (2826grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 60-06N, 8-31W. The entire crew were rescued.
British trawler KING ATHELSTAN (159grt) was damaged
by German bombing three miles off Ballinskelligs.
The trawler was beached with hull damage. She was
temporarily repaired and was able to proceed under her own steam.
German tanker NORDMARK replenished Italian
submarines ARCHIMEDE, GUGLIEMOTTI, and FERRARIS at sea on 16 and 17 April
A German Afrika Korps supply convoy of German
steamers ANDANA (4205grt), AEGINA (2447grt), ARTA (2452grt), and ISERLOHN
(3704grt) and Italian steamer SABAUDIA (1590grt) departed Naples escorted by
destroyers LAMPO, TARIGO, and BALENO on the 13th.
The British 14th Destroyer Flotilla sighted this
convoy off Kerkenah at 0158 on the 16th and attacked at 0210.
The entire convoy and all three destroyers were
sunk in 34-53N, 9-50E.
Destroyer MOHAWK was torpedoed by Italian destroyer
Lt Cdr (E) J. R. de M. Warren, sub Lt P. J. Hartcup, and thirty nine ratings
were lost on destroyer MOHAWK. Cdr Eaton and one hundred and sixty crew were
rescued. Destroyer NUBIAN picked up survivors from the water. Destroyer
JERVIS took two men from destroyer MOHAWK's fo'c'sle.
Destroyer was scuttled by destroyer JANUS with
Italian destroyers VIVALDI and DA NOLI arrived and
picked up survivors.
When the threat of continued attack by British
units arose, light cruiser BANDE NERE and other units (BARBIANO and DI
GUISSANO ??) departed Palermo
to cover rescue operations.
Over the next seven days, destroyers VIVALDI, DA
NOLI, MALOCELLO, and DARDO, torpedo boats CIGNO, CLIO, CENTAURO, MISSORI,
PAPA, PERSEO, and PARTENOPE, hospital ships ARNO and GIUSEPPE ORLANDO, and
rescue aircraft rescued 1248 troops (3000 had been aboard the ships).
British troopships GLENGYLE and GLENEARN departed
Alexandria at 0300/16th escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser
CARLISLE and destroyers STUART, WRYNECK, and VOYAGER for a raid by special
troops on Bardia.
Submarine TRIUMPH had sailed on the 15th to act as
a beacon for the operation.
After dark, Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE departed this force to join convoy AN.27.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Alexandria on the 16th to join the force at daylight on the
This operation was to be conducted during the night
of 16/17 April, but was cancelled due to bad weather.
During the night of 19/20 April, British commandoes
The raid was successful, but sixty seven men lost
their way and were left behind. The remainder of the force were embarked and
returned to Alexandria.
Destroyer DECOY and gunboat LADYBIRD departed
Tobruk at 1630 for a raid by special troops on Marakeb.
The raid was carried out during the night of 16/17,
but was unsuccessful.
Destroyer DECOY ran aground, but was gotten off
without serious damage.
Both ships returned to Alexandria.
Destroyer HERO, operating in the Piraeus - Suda
area, was ordered to Kotor to embark the Yugoslavian King and Government and
the British Minister.
However, the sailing was cancelled since it was
unknown if Kotor was still in allied hands.
Battlecruiser RENOWN and aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL
arrived at Gibraltar from Bay of Biscay
Escorting destroyer FEARLESS was fired upon from
Algeciras, but was not damaged.
Swedish steamer SIR ERNEST CASSELL (7739grt) was
sunk by German raider THOR in 32N, 35W. The entire crew was taken as
prisoners of war.
Armed boarding vessel CHAKLA was grounded in a
storm at Suda Bay.
She was towed off by netlayer PROTECTOR.
Greek steamer MEMAS (4359grt) was sunk by German bombing
Convoy HX.121 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA and corvettes CHAMBLY, COLLINGWOOD, and ORILLIA. The corvettes were detached later that day.
Battleship REVENGE joined the convoy on the 19th and was detached on the
23rd. Destroyers INGLEFIELD, MALCOLM, MAORI, and WATCHMAN and corvette VIOLET
joined the convoy on the 25th. Destroyers MAORI and WATCHMAN and corvette
VIOLET were detached later that day. Destroyers INGLEFIELD and MALCOLM were
detached on the 28th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 27th.
Destroyers DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, and ROXBOROUGH, corvettes GLADIOLUS, LOBELIA, and
VERONICA, and anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN, ST KENAN, ST ZENO, and
VIZALMA joined on the 28th. Corvette ABELIA joined on the 29th. On the 30th,
destroyers DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, and ROXBOROUGH, corvette VERONIA, and the
anti-submarine trawlers were detached. Corvette GLADIOLUS was detached on 1
May and corvette ABELIA on 2 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 May.
Thursday, 17 April
Destroyer ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at 1700 to refit at Devonport, arriving at
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to join convoy WN.15 and escort it to
They arrived at Methil at 1400/18th.
Heavy cruiser LONDON and aircraft carrier ARGUS departed the Clyde for Gibraltar.
The aircraft carrier carried aircraft for Operation
Aircraft carrier ARGUS was joined on the 22nd by
light cruiser SHEFFIELD and destroyers FAULKNOR and WRESTLER, which had
departed Gibraltar on the 20th.
The heavy cruiser then joined convoy SL.71 and
arrived back at Scapa Flow on 1 May.
The German 2nd MTB Flotilla with S.41, S.42, S.43, S.55, and S.104
made a sortie against Convoy FS 464 off Great Yarmouth.
British steamer EFFRA (1446grt) was sunk by a
German S-boat near Cross Sand Light Vessel in 52-44N, 1-58E. Two crew were
Dutch steamer NEREUS (1298grt) was sunk by a German
S-boat two miles south of No. 5 Buoy, Great Yarmouth.
The crew was rescued.
British steamer ETHEL RADCLIFFE (5673grt) was
damaged by German S-boat near No. 6 Buoy off Great Yarmouth.
There were no casualties on the steamer. The
steamer was towed to Yarmouth
by anti-submarine trawler SAPPHIRE (421grt).
The steamer was sunk on 16 May by German bombing.
The German S-boats were later engaged by British
MGB.60, MGB.59, and MGB.64 which had sailed in Operation QE at 1915/16th.
British steamer MONTALTO (623grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Rochester. The entire crew was rescued.
U.123 sank Swedish steamer VENEZUELA (6991grt) in 53N, 18W. The entire crew was lost.
Destroyer KINGSTON, the last of the three K destroyers from the Red Sea, arrived at Alexandria to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet.
Destroyer GREYHOUND and Australian destroyer
VOYAGER carried out a sweep westwards from Tolmeita.
Italian barque ROMAGNA (195grt), carrying bombs and fuel for Derna was sunk.
Submarine TRUANT, on a reconnaissance mission off
the Cyrenaican coast, sank Italian ammunition barque VANNA (279grt) with
bombs and fuel for Derna with gunfire off Appolonia.
Submarine TRUANT attacked German steamer SAMOS (2576grt) one mile west of Benghasi.
The attack was unsuccessful, but the steamer was
sunk on a magnetic mine on the 19th.
Five British A lighters A.1, A.5, A.6, A.16, and
A.19 of the 1st Tank Landing Craft Flotilla, escorted by sloop AUCKLAND and anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN MAID departed
Alexandria on the 17th and arrived at Tobruk on the 18th.
The A lighters departed Tobruk that evening for
Suda Bay, led by anti-submarine whaler SKUD V. A.1, A.6, A.16, and A.19
arrived on the 21st. A.5 was detached to Nauplia independently.
A sixth lighter A.15 was delayed at Alexandria with mechanical problems, but later proceeded
directly to Suda Bay.
Yugoslav destroyer ZAGREB was scuttled in Cattaro
Harbour at the loss of two of her officers, Porucnik bojnog broda (Lt Cdr)
Milan Spasic and Porucnik bojnog broda (Lt Cdr) Sergej Masera.
German troops captured the damaged destroyer BEOGRAD and undamaged destroyer DUBROVNIK at Cattaro.
German troops also captured the damaged destroyer
LJUBJANA in dock at Sebenico
Harbour. The destroyer had been wrecked in a grounding at
Split on 24 January 1940.
Greek steamer DAMASKINI (1196grt) was sunk by
German bombing in Oreos Channel, north of Euboea
Greek steamer PETRAKIS NOMIKOS (7020grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing at Piraeus.
The steamer was beached and bombed again on the
Steamer PETRAKIS NOMIKOS was later salved by the
Germans for their use.
Egyptian steamer ZAMZAM (8299grt) was sunk by
German raider ATLANTIS at 27-41S, 8-08W.
The crew and passengers, including 138 Americans,
were transferred to German supply ship DRESDEN and landed at St Jean de Ruz.
Submarine PANDORA arrived at Gibraltar escorting British oiler CAIRNDALE.
Destroyers KASHMIR and JACKAL and corvette SPIRAE
arrived at Gibraltar escorting the 3rd Motor Launch Flotilla of ML.121,
ML.129, ML.130, ML.132, ML.134, ML.135, and ML.168.
These ships had departed the UK on the 12th.
Convoy SL.72 departed Freetown escorted by light cruiser DRAGON to 19 April,
destroyers VIDETTE and WISHART for the day only, and corvettes ASPHODEL and
CALENDULA for the day only.
On the 19th, light cruiser FIJI relieved light cruiser DRAGON. Light cruiser FIJI continued with the convoy to 1 May. On the 20th,
armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE joine to 11 May.
Destroyers COLUMBIA to 13 May, KEPPEL to 13 May,
LINCOLN to 13 May, and SABRE to 12 May, sloop FLEETWOOD to 13 May, corvettes
ALISMA to 13 May, DIANELLA to 13 May, and KINGCUP to 13 May, and anti-submarine
trawlers MAN O.WAR to 13 May, ST LOMAN to 13 May, and WELLARD
to 13 May joined the convoy, and arrived at Liverpool on 13 May.
Friday, 18 April
The flag of CS 10 was transferred from light
cruiser KENYA to the accommodation ship DUNLUCE
CASTLE at Scapa Flow.
Light cruiser MANCHESTER arrived at Scapa Flow at 0552 after refitting in the Tyne.
Convoy OB.312 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyer WANDERER, corvettes DIANTHUS, MARIGOLD, NASTURTIUM,PERIWINKLE, and
PRIMROSE, minesweepers BRAMBLEHAZARD, and SPEEDY. Destroyer SCIMITAR,
corvette MALLOW, and anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN WAVE joined on the 23rd. Destroyers INGLEFIELD and
MAORI joined the convoy. On the 24th, all were detached except destroyer
SCIMITAR, corvette MALLOW, and anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN WAVE which were detached on the 25th when the convoy
Destroyer SIKH departed the Tyne at 1825 for Scapa
Flow, but was diverted at
2310 to search for a dingy in 58-15N, 00-30W.
The dingy was not found and destroyer SIKH arrived
at Scapa Flow at 1630/19th.
Destroyers NEWARK and VOLUNTEER collided north of Rathlin
Island in 55-28N, 6-21W.
Both destroyers were seriously damaged. Five
ratings were lost in VOLUNTEER. The destroyers were both repaired at Belfast, destroyer NEWARK completing on 9 August and destroyer VOLUNTEER on
Destroyer WHITSHED and French destroyer LA
MELPOMENE were in a collision off Harwich.
There was no damage to destroyer WHITSHED.
The French destroyer was under repair at the Humber until 20 May.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by patrol sloops
GUILLEMOTT and KITTIWAKE, laid mines in minefield BS.54 off the east coast of
Minesweepers SNAEFELL and THAMES QUEEN accompanied the
ships on the minelay.
Submarine URGE, en route to the Mediterranean, sank Italian blockade runner tanker FRANCO
MARTELLI (10,535grt) in 46-31N, 8-46E, two hundred miles from Belle Isle.
Free French submarine MINERVE attacked unsuccessfully
a German steamer two miles southwest of Tungenes.
Naval drifter YOUNG ERNIE (88grt, T/Skipper R.
Milligan RNR) was sunk in a collision in the Tyne.
British tanker SCOTTISH MUSICIAN (6998grt) was
damaged by German bombing at three miles 205° from St Ann's Head. One crewman and one gunner were lost.
The tanker arrived at Newport on 2 May in tow.
Panamanian steamer CSIKOS (3938grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 55N, 11-46W. Two crew were killed on the steamer.
The steamer arrived at Lough Foyle in tow on the
German fishing vessel GUIDO MOHRING (289grt) was
sunk by a torpedo near Port Ley.
Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria to send supply ship BRECONSHIRE into Malta and bring out empty ships in Operation MD.2 and
bombard Tripoli in MD.3. Battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, and
BARHAM, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, light cruiser PHOEBE, Anti-aircraft
cruiser CALCUTTA, and destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR, KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY, GRIFFIN, HAVOCK,
HEREWARD, and ENCOUNTER departed at 0700. Destroyer DEFENDER fouled the buoy
on departure and joined the Fleet later in the day.
On the 18th, a Fulmar of 803 Squadron was lost when
it crashed during landing. Lt D. C. E. F. Gibson was rescued wounded, but Sub
Lt P. C. B. Ashbrooke was lost.
The force arrived at Suda
at 1200/19th. The destroyers were refuelled. Battleship WARSPITE carried air
compressors, timbers, and equipment to repair the cruiser YORK.
The fleet sailed at 1530/19th.
Light cruiser PERTH and destroyer HOTSPUR departed Alexandria at dusk on the 19th escorting supply ship
BRECONSHIRE to join the Fleet southwest of Kithera at daylight on the 20th.
Cruisers PHOEBE and CALCUTTA were detached during the morning of 19 April to
join a convoy escorted by sloop FLAMINGO departing Athens.
After passing the Kithera Straits, cruisers PHOEBE
and CALCUTTA returned to the Main Fleet and the convoy safely
proceeded to Alexandria.
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, NUBIAN, and DIAMOND
(completed of refitting) departed Malta at dark on the 19th with British
CITY OF LINCOLN (8039grt), CLAN FERGUSON (7347grt),
CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), and PERTHSHIRE (10,496grt) in convoy
Light cruisers ORION, AJAX, GLOUCESTER and destroyers HERO and HASTY rendezvoused with
Cunningham on the 20th.
At noon on the 20th, convoy ME.7 was met by the Main Force. Destroyers NUBIAN
and DIAMOND took the convoy on to Alexandria. Destroyers JERVIS and JANUS joined battleship
The Tripoli bombardment was a substitute for the original plan
of blocking the harbour. At first, old battleship CENTURION, coming round the
Cape from England, was proposed for this purpose to be sunk in the
channel. Later battleship BARHAM and light cruiser CALEDON were proposed. However, all blocking plans were
refused by Cunningham.
At dark on the 20th, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE,
light cruisers ORION, PERTH, and AJAX, and destroyers GRIFFIN, KIMBERLEY,
KINGSTON, and NUBIAN were detached for flying operations.
Lt J. H. Shears and P/T/Sub Lt (A) E. J. H. Dixon
RNVR, of 806 Squadron from aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE were shot down and
lost on the 20th.
Supply ship BRECONSHIRE and destroyer ENCOUNTER
were detached to Malta.
Early on the 21st, Tripoli was bombarded by Naval forces, consisting of
battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, and VALIANT, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, and destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO,
HOTSPUR, JAGUAR, JANUS, JERVIS, and JUNO.
Submarine TRUANT acted as beacon ship. Submarine
TRIUMPH was also at sea in the area.
Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE aircraft dropped
Italian torpedo boat PARTENOPE and six freighters
were damaged in the bombardment.
Battleship VALIANT detonated a mine. She sustained
On the 21st, light cruisers ORION, PERTH, GLOUCESTER, and AJAX were detached at dark to sweep to the northward of
the Battle Fleet.
Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, and JAGUAR were detached to Malta on the 21st, arriving on the 22nd.
Light cruisers ORION, PERTH, GLOUCESTER, and AJAX rejoined the Battle Fleet at daylight on the 22nd.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Bardia, commencing
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER then proceeded to Alexandria to refuel.
Destroyer KANDAHAR joined the Fleet at noon on the 22nd and destroyer GRIFFIN was detached to reinforce convoy ANF.29 after oiling at Suda
At 1600, light cruiser GLOUCESTER was detached to Malta, arriving on the 24th. Light cruiser PERTH joined anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE in the Aegean.
Convoy ME.7 arrived at Alexandria at 0700/22nd. The Fleet arrived at Alexandria at 1030/23rd.
After delivering convoy AN.27 at Suda
Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers ISIS and VAMPIRE continued to
Pireaus to escort convoy AS.26.
Convoy service ship FIONA (2190grt, Cdr A. H. H.
Griffiths, RD RNR) was lost 50 miles 311° from Sidi Barrani Light to
German dive bombing attack.
Griffiths, Lt J. Dorrance RNR, T/Lt W. E. Simkin RNR, P/T/Surgeon Lt A. K. Beardshaw RNVR, and forty
nine ratings were lost on the ship. Lt J. B. Shillitoe RNR, died of wounds on the 23rd.
British steamer BRITISH SCIENCE (7138grt) was sunk
by German bombing in 36-06N, 24-00E, north of the Kithera Channel. The entire
crew was rescued by destroyer HERO which took them to Suda
Greek steamers FOKION (1158grt) and LEON (968grt) were sunk by German bombing near Psara,
Greek steamer CHIOS (1121grt) was sunk by German bombing at
Eretria, near Chalkis.
Greek steamer MOSCHA L. GOULANDRI (5199grt) was
badly damaged by German bombing off Chalkis.
The steamer was beached at Chalkis. She was bombed
again on 20 and 23 April and left a total loss.
British steel flat PUNDUAH sank while in tow of HM
ship at 19-15N, 86-53E.
Destroyer HIGHLANDER departed Gibraltar for Freetown.
Destroyer NAPIER, en route from England to the Mediterranean Fleet, was docked at Capetown
from 18 to 20 April.
An Afrika Korps supply convoy of steamers ALICANTE
(2140grt), MARITZA (2910grt), SANTA FE (4627grt), and PROCIDA (5366grt),
escorted by destroyers AVIERE, GENIERE, CAMICIA NERA, and GRECALE and torpedo
boat PLEIADA departed Naples on the 14th and arrived at Palermo on the 17th
to avoid contact with British forces. The convoy departed Palermo at 0800/18th for Tripoli, arriving on the 20th.
Italian tanker ALBERTO FASSIO (2289grt) departed
Trapani with torpedo boat CLIMENE and joined an Italian convoy
of NICOLO ODERO (6003grt), MADDALENA ODERO (5479grt), and ISARCO (5915grt)
which sailed from Palermo at 2300/18th escorted by torpedo boats LA FARINA,
MOSTO, and CALLIOPE for Tripoli.
Tanker LUISIANO (2552grt) with torpedo boat ORIONE from Marilibia joined the
convoy. The convoy arrived on the 21st.
Both convoys passed without event.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Bahrein and Basra on the 18th where she joined light cruiser EMERALD
which also arrived on that day.
Armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA, corvette
SNAPDRAGON, and gunboat COCKCHAFER were also at Basra.
On the 12th convoy BM.7 departed Karachi with
steamers LANCASHIRE (9557grt), EL MADINA (3962grt), EGRA (5108grt), VAERLA
(4651grt), ROHNA (8602grt), RAJULA (8478grt), BAHADUR (5424grt), JALAVIHAR
(5330grt), RISALDAR (5407grt), and JALADUTA (4966grt), with one Indian
brigade and one artillery group for Malaya, escorted by sloop YARRA, for
Basra. Sloop FALMOUTH and Indian sloop LAWRENCE joined on the 17th off Basra.
On the 19th, the troops from the convoy were landed
at Shatt el Arab.
The cruisers remained there until 22 April.
Saturday, 19 April
British intelligence reported that the German
battleship BISMARCK, two cruisers, and three destroyers had passed the
Skaw. The Admiralty reported this movement at 0117.
Battlecruiser HOOD, light cruiser KENYA, and destroyers COSSACK, ZULU, and MAORI had
departed Scapa Flow at 1700/18th to relieve battleship KING GEORGE V
on Biscay Patrol. They were diverted to support the cruiser patrol in the
Iceland Faroes passage.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK and light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed
Icelandic waters. The heavy cruiser had arrived at Hvalfjord on the 17th
after convoy HX.119 escort.
Heavy cruisers SUFFOLK and EXETER, light cruiser EDINBURGH, and destroyers TARTAR,
ACHATES, INGLEFIELD, ECHO, and ANTHONY at Scapa Flow raised steam and departed Scapa Flow at 0606.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and light cruiser NIGERIA turned north, but returned to their patrol area
when it was realised they could not be in position in time.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and light cruiser NIGERIA met destroyers ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, and MASHONA at
0900/20th in 50N, 21W.
Destroyers BEDOUIN, ARROW, and ESKIMO departed
Scapa Flow at 1600/20th to join battleship KING GEORGE V.
They were to refuel at Londonderry, but they diverted to hunt a submarine in 58-30N,
5-55W. When it was decided the contact was a whale, they were sent to assist
armed boarding vessel NORTHERN SKY attacking a submarine in 58-47N, 7-02W. The search
was discontinued on the 21st and the destroyers arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100 that evening.
Battleship RODNEY and destroyer PIORUN, GARLAND, and SALADIN departed the Clyde.
Battlecruiser REPULSE departed Gibraltar on the 21st and was ordered to the Clyde with all dispatch.
On the 21st, battleship RODNEY and her escorts were
ordered to the Clyde. En route, they were diverted to Scapa Flow where they arrived on the 23rd at 0115.
Destroyer INGLEFIELD joined the battlecruiser HOOD
force at sea.
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers COSSACK,
INGLEFIELD, MAORI, and ZULU arrived at Hvalfjord at 0730/21st to remain at
two hours' notice.
Heavy cruisers SUFFOLK and EXETER and destroyers TARTAR, ACHATES, ECHO, and ANTHONY were ordered to return and arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 21st. Destroyer ANTHONY escorting heavy
cruiser EXETER arrived at 1405. Destroyer TARTAR arrived
independently at 1900. Destroyers ECHO and ACHATES escorting heavy cruiser SUFFOLK arrived at 2000.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers ELECTRA,
ESCAPADE, and MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at
Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth at 0940 after
boiler repairs. The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0600 to cover convoy EC.8 to Pentland Firth.
The ship arrived back at 0900/20th after this duty.
Destroyer WILD SWAN, in drydock at London, was damaged by the near miss of German bombing
during the night of 19/20 April.
The destroyer sustained no additional time out of
service, completing repairs on the 26th.
Destroyer WINCHESTER, also under repair at London, was damaged by near misses.
Submarine SUNFISH, which had departed Portsmouth, collided with netlayer MINSTER (707grt) in convoy
in 51-06N, 01-21E.
The damage was not severe, but opportunity was
taken to conduct a refit while the ship was in port for the repair. The
submarine was in dockyard hands at Tyneside from 24 April to 27 September.
Free French submarine MINERVE sank German auxiliary
minesweeper M.1101 in 58-40N, 4-55E. German tanker TIGER, being escorted by
the minesweeper, was missed.
Minesweeping trawler KOPANES (351grt, T/Lt J. M.
Anderson RNVR) was sunk by German bombing near 20.G Buoy, Coquet Island.
There were no casualties on the trawler.
Armed merchant cruiser LACONIA arrived at Greenock.
British dredger FRAVIS (133grt) was lost on a mine
at Langstone Harbour.
British tanker DESMOULEA (8120grt) departed Suda
in tow of armed boarding vessel CHAKLA and escorted by anti-submarine
trawlers LYDIARD and AMBER.
The tanker and the armed boarding vessel safely
arrived at Port
Panamanian ship MARGIT (3257grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Kalkara
Greek steamer TETI NOMIKOU (1822grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Chalkis.
Destroyers FEARLESS and KASHMIR departed Gibraltar to rendezvous with battlecruiser REPULSE and
escort her to Gibraltar.
Sloop ABERDEEN departed
Halifax with twenty six officers and thirty one ratings
for Coast Guard cutters being commissioned.
The Italian 7th Cruiser Division of light cruisers
EUGENIO DE SAVOIA, DUCA D'AOSTA, MONTECUCCOLI, and ATTENDOLO and destroyers
PIGAFETTA, ZENO, DA MOSTA, DA VERAZZANO, DA RECCO, and PESSAGNO laid 321
mines and 492 explosive floats east of Cape Bon in barrages S.11, S.12, and
S.13 from 19 to 23 April.
The second half of the minefield with 740 mines
were laid on 23/24 April.
Convoy SC.29 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser RANPURA,
corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD, and submarine PORPOISE. The corvettes were
detached that day. Submarine PORPOISE was detached on the 29th. On the 30th,
destroyers BURWELL and SCIMITAR and corvette MALLOW joined the convoy. On 1
May, destroyers MALCOLM and WATCHMAN, corvette VIOLET, and anti-submarine
trawler NORTHERN WAVE joined. The armed merchant cruisers and the
escorts joined on the 30th and 1 May were detached. Destroyers SALADIN,
SKATE, VETERAN, and WATCHMAN, corvette WALLFLOWER, and minesweepers HARRIER,
SEAGULL, and SHARPSHOOTER joined the convoy. The escort was detached when the
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 8 May.
Sunday, 20 April
Battleship RODNEY, arriving with convoy TC.10,
rammed and sank anti-submarine trawler TOPAZE (608grt, Chief Skipper G. R.
Gale RNR) in an accidental collision off the Clyde.
Gale, Skipper J. More RNR, and sixteen ratings were lost on the trawler.
During the night of 20/21 April, destroyers
INTREPID and ICARUS laid minefield HB in the English Channel.
Armed boarding vessel NORTHERN SKY attacked a submarine contact in 58-47N, 7-02W.
Destroyer BEDOUIN, ARROW, and ESKIMO were sent to
investigate a submarine contact reported by aircraft in 58-30N, 5-55W.
However, before arriving, they were sent to assist
armed boarding vessel NORTHERN SKY.
The search was abandoned on the 21st when contact
U.73 sank British steamer EMPIRE ENDURANCE
(8570grt) in 53-05N, 23-14W.
Lost on the steamer were ML.1003 and ML.1037.
Twenty crew and four passengers were rescued, five
by British tanker BRITISH PRIDE (7106grt). Fifty nine crew and one passenger
British spritsail R. S. JACKSON (60grt) was sunk by
German bombing at London.
British barges HARRY and PERCY were sunk by German
bombing at Nash and Miller Moorings, Shadwell, London.
Both barges were raised and broken up.
On 20 and 21 April, German tanker replenished
Italian submarine PERLA, supply ship ALSTERUFER, and armed merchant cruisers
ATLANTIS and KORMORAN at sea.
Convoy AS.26 of fourteen British and eleven Greek
ships departed Athens early on the 20th escorted by anti-aircraft
cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers ISIS and VAMPIRE, and arrived at
Alexandria on the 23rd.
Greek destroyer PSARA was sunk by Italian air
attack off Megara.
Greek destroyer VASILEVS GEORGIOS I was
unsuccessfully scuttled in the floating drydock at Salamis.
Intention to sink the destroyer and drydock in deep
water were cancelled when the dock was damaged in a bombing raid and could
not be moved from its berth.
Minesweeper STOKE, en route to Alexandria, was damaged by a near miss of German bombing.
The damage required two weeks to repair.
British troopship GLENROY ran aground in Boghas
Pass when leaving harbour and could not be refloated until 25 April.
Greek steamer ASSIMINA BAIKA (1344grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Politika, north of Chalkis.
Greek steamer PTEROTI (176grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Chalkis.
Greek steamer MOSCHANTHI (311grt) was sunk by
German bombing near Vostizza.
Greek tanker CHRYSSOROI (379grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Phleva.
Greek steamer ITHAKI (675grt) was sunk by German bombing in
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, and WRESTLER
departed Gibraltar to join aircraft carrier ARGUS and heavy cruiser
LONDON. The light cruiser and destroyers relieved the
heavy cruiser and proceeded with aircraft carier ARGUS to Gibraltar.
Corvette AMARANTHUS departed Gibraltar for Freetown.
Convoy HX.122 departed Halifax, escorted by battleship RAMILLIES, armed merchant
cruiser ALAUNIA, and corvettes CHAMBLY and ORILLIA. The corvettes were detached later that day and
the battleship on the 23rd. Destroyers BROADWAY and BULLDOG, corvettes
AUBRETIA, HOLLYHOCK, NIGELLA, and PICOTEE, and anti-submarine trawlers
DANEMAN and ST APOLLO. This group, less PICOTEE, was detached on the 4th. On
the 4th, destroyers CALDWELL, CHESTERFIELD, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, RAMSEY, and WALKER, corvettes
CANDYTUFT, HONEYSUCKLE, and HYDRANGEA joined. The escort was detached when
the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 8 May.
Monday, 21 April
Heavy cruiser KENT, under repair at Plymouth, was damaged by German bombing.
The cruiser spent no additional time out of
Destroyer BLANKNEY departed Scapa Flow at 1455 for Scapa Flow to work up.
The destroyer arrived at noon on the 22nd.
During the night of 21/22 April, destroyer LEEDS was damaged in a bombing raid on
The destroyer was under repair until December 1941.
British tanker BRITISH RENOWN (6997grt) was damaged
by German bombing three miles southeast of Dartmouth.
The tanker put back to Dartmouth with her engine room flooded. She was repaired at
Tug REGENCY (76grt) was sunk on a mine off Ford's,
The tug was also towing three or four barges which
One tug crewman and one lighterman were lost.
The tug and one of the barges were later raised and
British fishing vessel ALPHA (11grt) was damaged on
a mine in Whittaker Channel, Essex.
British steamer MAIDSTONE (688grt) was damaged by German bombing at Plymouth.
The steamer was repaired at Falmouth.
Italian submarine CAPPELLINI attacked two large liners,
escorted by three destroyers in 54N, 18W without success.
U.107 sank British steamer CALCHAS (10,305grt) at
Thirty crew, one gunner, and one passenger were
lost. Sixty nine crew, four gunners, and eight passengers were rescued.
Convoy AN.29 departed Alexandria and Port Said escorted by destroyers WATERHEN and VENDETTA and
sloop GRIMSBY. Light cruiser PHOEBE operated in the area of the
convoy on the 23rd.
Convoy AN.29 arrived at Suda
on the 24th with steamers Greek THEMONI (5719grt), Dutch ZEALAND (1433grt),
British KIRKLAND (1561grt), British RUNO (1858grt), and British ARAYBANK
Sloop AUCKLAND arrived at Suda
with the five A lighters from Tobruk.
Destroyer GREYHOUND was near missed by bombing at
The destroyer returned to Alexandria, but had no additional time out of service.
Submarine TRUANT attacked Italian tanker PROMETEO
(1080grt) off Tripoli. The torpedoes missed, but the tanker in evading
The tanker was later salvaged.
British steamer BANKURA (3185grt) was badly damaged
by bombing at Tobruk. The entire crew were rescued.
The steamer was subsequently damaged in further
attacks and became a total loss.
British steamer URANIA (1953grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Tobruk.
Greek hospital ship ESPEROS (1461grt), while
anchored off Missolonghi taking on wounded, was sunk by German bombing.
Greek hospital ship ELLENIS (876grt) was damaged by
German bombing near Patras.
The ship was brought to Patras and disembarked the
The steamer was sunk later in the month.
Hospital ship ELLENIS was later refloated by the
Greek steamer IONNA (1192grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Patras.
Greek steamer ARCHON (1364grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Euboea.
Submarine UNDAUNTED arrived at Malta from
Gibraltar to join
the 1st Submarine Flotilla.
British tanker BRITISH LORD (6098grt) in convoy
AS.26 was damaged by German bombing in 34-35N, 23-32E. One crewman was lost.
Australian destroyer VAMPIRE took off the crew.
The tanker taken in tow by sloop AUCKLAND.
On the 24th, netlayer PROTECTOR relieved sloop
AUCKLAND for duty with convoy AG.15. The two ships were
escorted by destroyer VOYAGER.
The tanker and netlayer arrived at Alexandria on the 25th. The tanker went on to Port Said arriving on the 29th. She was later towed to Bombay for repairs.
A German Afrika Korps convoy departed Naples with transports CASTELLON (2086grt), ARCTURUS
(2596grt), LEVERKUSEN (7386grt), and GIULIA (5921grt) escorted by
destroyers STRALE, FOLGORE, TURBINE, and SAETTA.
Distant cover was given the convoy by light
cruisers BANDE NERE and CARDONA and destroyers SCIROCCO and MAESTRALE.
On the 23rd, destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR, JANUS, and
JUNO departed Malta to attack this convoy.
On the 23rd, the destroyers sank Italian armed
motor ship EGEO (3311grt), which departed Benghasi without escort on the 21st
for Tripoli, near the convoy 80 miles 10° from Tripoli, but the convoy itself escaped damage. The convoy
arrived at Tripoli on the 24th.
Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers FEARLESS and
KASHMIR arrived at Gibraltar.
After refuelling, the battlecruiser departed Gibraltar later that day for position 41-00N, 16-30W.
Tuesday, 22 April
Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM arrived at Scapa Flow at 0602 after being away on escort duties since 8
The flag of CS 10 was transferred from base ship
CASTLE to light cruiser NIGERIA at
Convoy OB.313 departed liverpool, escorted by
corvette ALISMA. On the 23rd, destroyers KEPPEL, LINCOLN, SABRE, and
SHERWOOD, sloop FLEETWOOD, corvettes DIANELLA, KINGCUP, and SUNFLOWER, and
anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSE,
NORTHERN DAWN, and WELLARD. On the 27th, the escort, except destroyers
LINCOLN and SHERWOOD and corvettes ALISMA and SUNFLOWER, were detached. The
remaining escort was detached on the 28th when the convoy dispersed.
Destroyers WALPOLE and
ST ALBANS departed
Sheerness at 0950 to work up at Scapa Flow.
The destroyers arrived at 1500/23rd.
Destroyers ACHATES and ANTHONY departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for Loch Alsh, arriving at 2200.
At 0930/23rd, minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE,
MENETHEUS, and PORT QUEBEC, escorted by destroyers ACHATES, ANTHONY,
BRIGHTON, and ST MARYS departed Loch Alsh for minelaying mission SN.71.
The operation was covered by light cruisers KENYA and EDINBURGH from the Iceland - Faroes patrol.
Destroyers COSSACK and ZULU departed Hvalfjord at
0100/25th to carry out an anti-submarine sweep in the line of advance of the
On completion of the sweep, destroyers COSSACK and
ZULU relieved destroyers ANTHONY and ACHATES at 1300 which proceeded to Reykjavik.
British minefield SN.71 was laid on the 26th.
The cruisers, after the minelay, they proceeded to
Scapa Flow arriving on the 29th.
Destroyers COSSACK and ZULU arrived at Scapa Flow at 2130/29th after the duty.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to join convoy WN.17 in the Pentland Firth.
Fog delayed the arrival of the convoy and the ship
arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1830.
Destroyer LEWES was damaged by bombing at
The destroyer was not restored to service until
British steam barge CORONATION OF LEEDS (87grt) was
lost on a mine off Thames Haven.
The crew of three were all lost.
The afterpart of the barge was raised on 5 September
British steamer ANTONIO (5225grt) was damaged by
German bombing off T.2 Buoy, Tyne.
The steamer arrived at Shields on the 23rd in tow.
British steamer CROHAM (391grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Peterhead.
Salvage vessel MISS ELAINE (364grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Plymouth.
The vessel raised on 14 May and repaired at Southampton.
German steamer OBRA (551grt) was sunk on a mine off
Battleship NELSON was docked for refitting at Durban.
British hospital ship VITA was badly damaged by German Stuka bombers off
Australian destroyer WATERHEN attempted to tow the
ship without success.
The destroyer took off 437 patients, six doctors,
six nurses, and 47 sick berth ratings to Alexandria.
Greek destroyer HYDRA, which had recently departed
Piraeus as escort for an Alexandria convoy, was sunk by German bombing off the Island of
Greek destroyer LEON was badly damaged by German bombing at Suda
Greek torpedo boats THYELLA was sunk in Vouliagmeni
and KIOS was sunk by German bombing the Gulf of
From 22 to 25 April, Greek torpedo boats AIGLI,
ALKYONE, ARETHOUSA, and DORIS were sunk in the Gulf of
Athens by German bombing.
Convoy AG.13 with troopship ULSTER PRINCE and commanding landing ships GLENGYLE and
GLENEARN departed Alexandria at noon for Suda Bayescorted by Australian destroyers STUART and VOYAGER.
Convoy AG.13 proceeded directly to the beaches at
Raphtis and Nauplia for Operation DEMON.
Minesweepers ABERDARE, HARROW, and WIDNES, from the East Indies Station, arrived at Alexandria for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.
Greek steamer ATHINAI (968grt) was sunk by German
bombing in Itea Harbour.
Greek steamer AVLIS (223grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Raphina.
Greek steamer AGHIOS MARKOS (4514grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Peristeri (Salamis
Greek steamer FRINTON (1361grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Megalo Lefko.
Greek steamer IOANNIS NOMICOS (637grt) was sunk by
German bombing near Rhion, Gulf
Greek steamer PANCRATION (2171grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Milos.
Greek hospital ship SOKRATIS (1134grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Antikyra, Gulf
Greek tanker THEDOL 2 (657grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Antikyra, Gulf
Greek tanker THEODORA (1054grt) was near missed by
a German bomb at Antikyra, Gulf
of Corinth. This near
miss killed the Master and twelve crew.
The remainder of the crew attempted to move the
tanker away from burning THEDOL 2. However, THEODORA also caught fire and was
Greek steamer THRAKI (1511grt) was sunk by German
bombing near Sombraina, Gulf
Greek steamer THASSOS (1565grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Megara.
Greek steamer TETI (2747grt) was badly damaged by
German bombing in Greek waters.
The steamer was grounded to avoid sinking.
Greek steamer MESSARYA NOMIKOU (985grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Nafpactos.
The steamer was salved by the Germans for their
Greek steamer SIFNOS (315grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Suda Bay.
The steamer was salved by the Germans for their
Greek destroyer VASILISSA OLGA departed Greece with the King of Greece and the government. The
destroyer safely arrived at Suda Bay.
Yugoslav torpedo boats KAJMAKCALAN and DURMITOR
arrived at Suda Bay
after escaping from Yugoslavia, via Navarino
Heavy cruiser YORK and netlayer PROTECTOR, assisting damaged heavy
cruiser YORK, was damaged by near misses of German air bombs at
A lighter A.16 (T/Boatswain E. J. Boisell)
alongside the cruiser was also damaged. The lighter was scuttled on 2 June.
Convoy ANF.29 departed Alexandria for Suda
with Dutch steamer PENNLAND (16,082grt) and British steamers THURLAND
CASTLE (6372grt) and DELANE (6054grt). The convoy was escorted by
anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY
and destroyers WRYNECK and DIAMOND.
Landing ship GLENROY had run aground leaving Alexandria in Boghas
Pass on the 20th. Her beach party was transferred to steamer
Destroyer GRIFFIN joined the convoy at sea.
Convoy ANF.29 arrived at Suda
on the 25th.
Two A lighters departed Alexandria for Suda
escorted by two Anti-submarine trawlers.
Submarine REGENT departed Malta on the 17th for Kotor in hopes of effecting a
rescue of the British Minister to Yugoslavian and British civilians.
Lt D. Lambert was sent ashore to contact the
British Minister, but taken prisoner. He was later exchanged on 11 December
for the Italian officer taken on board REGENT when Lambert had been sent
Departing the area, submarine REGENT was damaged by
a near miss of an air bomb. Lt E. T. Stanley was seriously wounded.
The commanding officer, Lt Cdr H. C. Browne, and a
rating were seriously wounded by machine gun fire from the shore.
The submarine arrived back at Malta on the 27th.
Yugoslavian steamer SERAFIN TOPIC (4294grt) was
interned by Algerian authorities at Oran.
The steamer was renamed COSALLA for Italian use.
French submarines ORPHEE, MEDUSE, and ANTIOPE
departed Casablanca, escorted by minesweeper LA BOUDEUSE.
The ships passed Gibraltar on the 23rd and arrived at Oran on the 24th.
Submarines ORPHEE and MEDUSE were placed in
caretaker status at Oran.
They relieved submarines DIANE and EURYDICE which departed Oran, with submarine ANTIOPE on 10 May and arrived
Toulon on 14 May.
Yugoslavian steamer TOMISLAV (5387grt) was seized
by Italian Marines at Shanghai.
The ship was renamed VENEZIA GIULA for Italian use
and was later transferred to Japan as TEIAN MARU.
Wednesday, 23 April
Battleship RODNEY arrived at Scapa Flow after having been detached on escort duties since
Destroyer ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow to rendezvous with steamers AMSTERDAM and
escort them to Kirkwall and Scapa Flow,
The destroyer arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0745/24th after the escort duty.
Convoy OB.314 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, and ROXBOROUGH, corvettes ABELIA, GLADIOLUS, and
VERONICA, minesweeper NIGELLA, and anti-submarine trawlers NOTTS
COUNTY, ST ELSTAN, ST KENAN, ST ZENO, and VIZALMA. On the 27th, destroyers
AMAZON and CHESTERFIELD joined the convoy and on the 28th, corvettes
HOLLYHOCK and NIGELLA joined. The escorts, except destroyers AMAZON and CHESTERFIELD and corvettes HOLLYHOCK and NIGELLA, were detached
on the 28th. The remainder of the escort was detached on the 30th when the
Destroyer SALADIN and Polish destroyers PIORUN and
Scapa Flow at
0600. The destroyer for Londonderry and the Polish destroyers for Greenock.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0600 and joined convoy WN.17 in the Pentland Firth. The ship later transferred to convoy EC.10 off
Ship ALYNBANK transferred to convoy WN.18 at
The convoy with ship ALYNBANK arrived at Methil at
German heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN was mined in the
Baltic during preparations for a sortie with battleship BISMARCK into the
At Tripoli, corvette GLOXINIA, minesweeper FAREHAM, and anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN
SEA were near missed by German bombing.
Corvette GLOXINIA sustained damage from the near
British A lighters arrived off the Greek coast. A.1
(T/Sub Lt L. D. Peters RNVR) and A.19 (T/Skipper R. S. Cooper RNR, Lt Cdr P. C. Hutton DSC, (emergency), Commander
of the 1st TLC Flotilla aboard) were attacked off Megara by German bombing. A.1 was badly damaged and later
A 6 (T/Sub Lt J. D. Sutton RNVR) off Raphtis was
bombed and strafed, but escaped serious damage.
Greek battleships KILKIS and LEMNOS were sunk by German bombing at
British steamer SANTA CLARA
VALLEY (4665grt) was sunk by German bombing in
One crewman, one military personnel, and five muleteers were lost on the
Greek steamer ASSIMI (722grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Krioneri.
Greek steamer ELVIRA (372grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Chalkis.
Greek tanker KATERINA (2398grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Methana.
Greek steamer KERKYRA (1461grt) was sunk by German
bombing off Punta gun emplacement on Salamis.
Greek steamer KYMA (223grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Patras.
Greek steamers MACEDONIA (1839grt) and NICOLAOS NOMICOS (625grt) were sunk
by German bombing at Trisonia - Spilia, seven miles north of Patras.
Steamer NICOLAOS NOMICOS was refloated and towed to
Piraeus for drydocking. She was scrapped by the Germans.
Greek steamer NICOLAOU GEORGIOS (4108grt) was sunk
by German bombing at Nauplia.
Greek hospital ship POLICOS (875grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Methana.
Greek steamers STATHIS A. (385grt) and HYDRA
(231grt) were sunk by German bombing at Megara.
Greek steamer ATHINA S. (273grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Psathopirgos.
The steamer was subsequently raised.
Greek steamer KRITI (1028grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Antirion.
The steamer was later raised and taken to Italy.
Gibraltar for patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Submarine UNBEATEN departed Gibraltar for Malta.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Basra to Colombo.
En route, the cruiser operated in Raider Hunting Group
V of aircraft carrier EAGLE and heavy cruisers CORNWALL and HAWKINS.
On the 26th, a Swordfish from EAGLE of 813 Squadron
ditched during a search operation. A/Sub Lt (A) J. L. Cullen, P/A/Sub Lt (A)
J. D. Rowland RNVR, and Leading Airman B. K. J. Willis were picked up by
British steamer MATHURA and taken to Aden.
The New Zealand cruiser arrived at Colombo on the 29th.
Thursday, 24 April
Destroyers INGLEFIELD and MAORI departed Hvalfjord
at 0200 and joined convoy HX.120 as an anti-submarine striking force.
The destroyers were to diverted to join convoy
OB.312. They remained with this convoy until departing this convoy at
daybreak on the 25th to join convoy HX.121.
The destroyers parted company with convoy HX.121 at
longitude 8 at 2130/29th and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0945/30th.
Anti-aircraft ship POZARICA departed Scapa Flow at 0500 to join convoy WN.18.
The ship then proceeded to Chatham for alterations.
British steamer DOLIUS (5507grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 56-35N, 2-11W.
The steamer was able to proceed to Leith.
Convoy HG.60 departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyer FIREDRAKE, sloop WELLINGTON, corvettes COREOPSIS, FLEUR DE LYS, and SPIRAEA,
and Dutch submarine O.23.
Destroyer FIREDRAKE was detached on the 28th, the
corvettes on the 30th, and the submarine on 2 May.
On 7 May, the convoy was joined by destroyer
BOADICEA, sloop EGRET, corvettes SNOWFLOWER, TRILLIUM, and WINDFLOWER, and
anti-submarine trawlers ARAB, AYRSHIRE, and LADY MADELEINE. Destroyer NIAGARA joined on 9 May, and arrived at
Liverpool on 12 May.
Yugoslav submarine NEBOJSCA arrived at Suda
The submarine was found to be unserviceable and was never used operationally.
British steamer CAVALLO (2269grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing at Nauplia.
The steamer had been attacked on the 23rd, but not
hit. However, the crew had abandoned the steamer.
The steamer sank on the 25th.
Armed yacht CALANTHE (370grt) was sunk by German
bombing off Milos. Four crewman and a gunner were killed on the
Aircraft carrier ARGUS, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, and WRESTLER
arrived at Gibraltar.
Anti-aircraft cruiser DIDO, minelaying cruiser
ABDIEL, and destroyers KELLY, KIPLING, KELVIN, and JERSEY arrived at Gibraltar from the UK.
Submarine ROVER, alongside heavy cruiser YORK supplying power to the cruiser, was badly damaged
by German bombing in Suda Bay. The submarine was beached.
The cruiser was damaged by the near misses.
The submarine was towed by destroyer GRIFFIN and escorted by netlayer PROTECTOR and
minesweeping trawler MUROTO to Alexandria arriving on the 29th.
The submarine was temporarily repaired at Port Said completing on 6 July. The submarine departed Port Said on 10 July.
She was towed to Singapore for refitting arriving on 31 July.
Submarine ROVER was towed from Singapore on 29 January 1942 to Batavia by destroyer EXPRESS. She was towed from Batavia on 14 February by steamer CITY OF PRETORIA (8049grt) to Trincomalee, arriving on
21 February. The submarine was taken to Bombay for repairs.
The submarine arrived at Bombay on 4 March.
Italian torpedo boat SIMONE SCHIAFFINO was sunk on
an Italian mine off Cape
Naval tanker BRAMBLELEAF, escorted by destroyers
ISIS, HERO, HEREWARD, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria on the 24th and arrived at Suda
arrived very early in the morning on the 26th.
The destroyers joined the Vice Admiral, Light
Forces on cruiser ORION.
Light cruiser ORION and destroyers DECOY, HASTY,
and HAVOCK departed Alexandria for Suda
Destroyer DEFENDER from Tobruk joined early on the
25th. The ships arrived at 1800/25th at Suda
Light cruiser PERTH joined light cruiser PHOEBE at Suda
to patrol Kithera Straits to cover convoy AG.13.
Convoy AG.14 of troopships Dutch COSTA RICA
(8672grt), British CITY OF LINCOLN (8039grt), British DILWARA (11,080grt),
British SALWEEN (7093grt), Egyptian KHEDIVE ISMAEL (7290grt), and Dutch
SLAMAT (11,636grt) departed Alexandria escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser
CARLISLE and destroyers KANDAHAR and KINGSTON.
At 0700/26th, convoy AG.14 arrived in the Aegean.
The convoy did not go into Suda
Convoy AG.15 departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY and VAMPIRE.
Sloop AUCKLAND, after being relieved of the tow of tanker BRITISH
LORD, refuelled at Suda Bay and joined the convoy.
Convoy AG.15 arrived at Suda
at 1300/26th with troopships Greek IONIA (1936grt), Greek CORINTHIA
(3701grt), British ITRIA (6854grt), British COMLIEBANK (5149grt), British
BELRAY (2888grt), and Dutch ELEONORA MAERSK (10,694grt). The convoy was
escorted by destroyer KIMBERLEY and sloop AUCKLAND.
The escort ships joined Vice Admiral, Light Forces
on cruiser ORION.
Destroyer VAMPIRE of this convoy had been detached
en route to aid British steamer SCOTTISH PRINCE (4917grt), bombed on the
26th. Destroyer VAMPIRE relieved destroyer HASTY which had been standing by.
Sloop GRIMSBY also later joined.
Destroyer VAMPIRE, sloop GRIMSBY, and bomb damaged SCOTTISH PRINCE arrived at
0610/27th at Suda Bay.
During the night of 24/25 April in Operation DEMON evacuations
of British troops from Greece began. The ships involved departed Suda
on the 24th.
From Raphtis:Anti-aircraft CALCUTTA, commando ship GLENGYLE, and corvette SALVIA.
Australian light cruiser PERTH
was at Raphtis in a support role and did not embark any troops.
From Nauplia:light cruiser PHOEBE, commando ship
GLENEARN (damaged en route on the 24th by German bombing, but able to
continue), troopship ULSTER PRINCE (grounded at Nauplia. Corvette HYACINTH and
lighter A 5 attempted to tow her clear without success. The troopship was
bombed and set afire on the 25th), destroyers STUART and VOYAGER, and
A total of 13,500 troops were brought off from
Raphtis and Nauplia.
Submarine OTUS was under repair at Gibraltar from 24 April to 12 July for the removed of her
main motor armature.
Greek torpedo boat PERGAMOS was sunk by German
bombing at Salamis.
Greek hospital ship ANDROS (2068grt) was sunk by German bombing off Loutraki,
Gulf of Corinth.
Greek steamer HELLAS (2295grt) was sunk by German bombing at
Greek steamer KEHREA (1968grt) was sunk by German
bombing in the anchorage, Bay of Frangolimano.
Greek steamer KYRIAKI (5528grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Suda Bay.
There were no casualties.
Greek steamer MANNA (238grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Aedipsos.
Greek steamer PETROS (634grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Porto Heli.
The steamer was refloated by the Germans and broken
up at Piraeus.
Greek steamer POPI S. (2083grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Milos Island.
Greek steamer PYLAROS (932grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Galaxeidion.
Greek steamer SPETSAI (379grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Psathopyrgos, Gulf
JUDITH (4810grt) was sunk by German bombing at
Island. The entire crew was rescued.
Date of loss also given as 26 April.
Task Force 3 (Rear Admiral Jones H. Ingram) with
American light cruisers MEMPHIS (Ingram), CINCINNATI, OMAHA, and MILWAUKEE
and destroyers SOMERS (Destroyer Squadron 9:Captain T. A. Symington), JOUETT,
DAVIS, WINSLOW, and MOFFETT sailed from Newport, R. I. , to patrol Trinidad,
Cape San Roque, and Cape Verde Island.
Friday, 25 April
Destroyer BROCKLESBY departed Scapa Flow at 1630 escorting steamers AMSTERDAM from
Kirkwall and ARCHANGEL from Duncansby Head to Aberdeen.
Following the escort, the destroyer arrived back at
Scapa Flow at 0720/26th.
Submarine URGE unsuccessfully attacked shipping in
U.103 sank Norwegian steamer POLYANA (2267grt) from
dispersed convoy OG.58 at 24N, 27W.
There were no survivors.
Norwegian tanker POLARSOL (10,022grt) was damaged
by German bombing 180 miles 130° from Myrdals Jokull Light, Iceland.
The tanker arrived in tow at Kames
on the 30th.
Destroyer NUBIAN and sloop FLAMINGO after repairs
departed Alexandria to join the Vice Admiral, Light Forces on light
Destroyer NUBIAN arrived at Suda
At 1700, Sloop FLAMINGO arrived in Suda
on the 26th.
Light cruiser ORION and destroyers DECOY, HASTY,
HAVOCK, and DEFENDER arrived at Suda
Destroyers DECOY, HASTY, and HAVOCK were sent to
Nauphalia to investigate the situation and discover the fate of troopship
Submarine UPHOLDER sank German troopship ANTONIETTE
LAURO (5428grt) 2½ miles 125° from
Kerkenah in 34-57N, 11-44E.
The troopship was badly damaged and stranded on
Greek destroyers KOUDOURIOTIS and SPETSAI from
Athens, PANTHER, IERAX, SPEHNDONI, and AETOS arrived at
Greek submarines GLAUCOS, KATSONIS, NEREUS,
PAPANICOLIS, and TRITON also escaped to Alexandria.
Submarine GLAUCOS had been under repair at Salamis.
Greek torpedo boats APHIS and NIKI also escaped to
During the night of 25/26 April DEMON continued.
From Megara:Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers DIAMOND, GRIFFIN, and WRYNECK, and troopships THURLAND
CASTLE and PENNLAND.
Troopship PENNLAND was badly damaged en route by
German bombing off Bela Pouli, near San Giorgio Island. Four crew were lost.
Two hundred and forty seven crew and about a hundred troops were rescued by
destroyer GRIFFIN which took them to Suda
Destroyer GRIFFIN scuttled the troopship.
CASTLE was also bombed, but was not seriously damaged.
Australian destroyers WATERHEN and VENDETTA from
convoy AN.29 were sent to support the Megara force. Both these destroyers embarked troops at
In addition, destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, and DECOY
were sent to Megara to carry troops for the lost steamer PENNLAND.
Lighter A.19 embarked troops from the beaches and
carried them to the ships. The lighter was later abandoned and was lost when
she broke down. Hutton returned to Crete in
Anti-aircraft ship COVENTRY.
Destroyer DIAMOND did not embark troops during this
Some 5500 troops were evacuated.
Light cruisers ORION, PHOEBE, and PERTH and destroyer DEFENDER covered these operations.
Greek yacht THRAKI was sunk by German bombing at
Greek steamer SOFIA (1722grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Megara.
Greek steamers ANNA MARIA (128grt) and MARIOUS
(602grt) were sunk by German bombing at Vostizza.
Greek steamer GEORGE A. DRACOULIS (1570grt) was
sunk by German bombing at Chalkis.
Date of loss is also given as 20 April.
Greek steamer THRAKI (982grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Port Kheli.
Greek steamer DIMITRIOS NOMIKOS (1171grt) was sunk
by German bombing at Karystos, Euboea.
The steamer was raised by the Germans and repaired
for their use.
Force H departed Gibraltar on Operations SALIENT and DUNLOP with
battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT,
FURY, and FORTUNE. Accompanying was Force S.of light cruiser DIDO, minelayer
ABDIEL, and destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR, KELVIN,
KIPLING, JERSEY, and JACKAL being sent to Malta.
This movement was the transfer of ships to the
Mediterranean Fleet in Operation SALIENT and a flyoff of aircraft from ARK
ROYAL to Malta in Operation DUNLOP. The flyoff was delayed due to
bad weather until 27 April.
The ships arrived at Malta on the 28th.
Light cruiser DIDO, minelayer ABDIEL, and
destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, JAGUAR, and IMPERIAL (which had just completed
her October 1940 mine damage repair) departed Malta on the 28th escorting BRECONSHIRE to Alexandria.
Destroyer JANUS remained at Malta for repairs.
Destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR, KELVIN, KIPLING, JERSEY, and JACKAL remained at Malta to operate as a striking force with light cruiser
The DIDO force arrived at Alexandria on the 30th.
Light cruiser MAURITIUS arrived at Gibraltar after being relieved by heavy cruiser LONDON of the escort of convoy SL.71.
The light cruiser had on board the crew of a
Wellington bomber which had forced landed at sea in 36-19N, 7-06W. The crew
had been rescued by Spanish steamer NORTE (2825grt) and transferred to the
Ocean boarding vessel MARON captured French fishing
vessel JOSEPH ELISE, which had departed Casablanca for fishing at 27-16N, 14-29W.
A fifteen man armed guard, under the command of
A/Sub Lt P. G. Martin RNR, was placed aboard the vessel which was sent off
The French crew overpowered the British guardon the
26th and the vessel arrived back at Casablanca on the 27th. The guard were interned.
Light cruiser DIOMEDE departed Bermuda to intercept Spanish steamer MARQUES DE COMMILLAS (9922grt), which
had departed New
York on the
24th, carrying the Italian Naval Attache to Washington.
The ship was intercepted and both arrived at Bermuda on the 30th.
The steamer was released on 4 May.
British steamer EMPIRE LIGHT (6828grt) was sunk by
German raider PINGUIN north of the Seychilles.
Convoy HX.123 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser DERBYSHIRE and
corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD. The corvettes were detached later that day.
Battleship RAMILLIES joined the convoy on the 30th and remained until 4 May.
On 6 May, destroyer WOLVERINE and corvette BEGONIA joined the convoy.
Destroyer VERITY joined on 8 May. Destroyers CAMPBELTOWN, CHELSEA, MANSFIELD,
NEWMARKET, andWESTCOTT, sloop ROCHESTER, and corvettes AURICULA, DIANTHUS,
MARIGOLD, NASTURTIUM, and PRIMROSE joined on 9 May. On 9 May, the armed
merchant cruiser, destroyers CHELSEA, MANSFIELD, NEWMARKET, VERITY, and WOLVERINE and corvette BEGONIA
departed the escort. The remaining escorts were detached when the convoy
arrived at Liverpool on 12 May.
Saturday, 26 April
Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed the
Iceland Faroes patrol when relieved by heavy cruiser EXETER and light cruiser NIGERIA.
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed
Scapa Flow with
destroyers ECHO and ACTIVE at 1630 to relieve heavy cruiser NORFOLK on
The ships arrived at Hvalfjord at 0700/28th.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow on the 30th.
Armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA, ALAUNIA, and DERBYSHIRE arrived at Greenock on the 26th.
Destroyer ANTELOPE departed Portsmouth at 2130 to join the Home Fleet, arriving at Scapa Flow at 1300/27th.
Destroyers INTREPID and IMPULSIVE departed the
Humber to join the Home Fleet replacing destroyers COSSACK and ZULU, being
transferred to the Plymouth Command.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 1700
and provided cover for convoy EC.11 from May Island to
The ship returned to Scapa Flow after the duty.
Leading Airman A. C. Holley of 14 EFTS Elmdon was killed
when his Tiger Moth crashed in practice forced landing at Knowle FLG, Bristol.
Convoy WS.8 A of steamers HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN
(14,135grt), EMPRESS OF ASIA
(16,909grt), DOMINION MONARCH (27,155grt), REINA DEL PACIFICO (17,702grt), EMPRESS OF RUSSIA
(16,810grt), STRATHAIRD (22,281grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt), NEW ZEALAND STAR (10,740grt), CLAN CAMPBELL (7255grt), CLAN LAMONT
(7250grt), CLAN CHATTAN (7262grt), ABEEKERK (7889grt), ARONDA (4062grt),
EMPIRE SONG (9228grt), and armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE departed
Steamers CLAN CHATTAN, CLAN CAMPBELL, CLAN LAMONT,
EMPIRE SONG, and NEW ZEALAND STAR were detached to Gibraltar on 2 May as the TIGER convoy for the Mediterranean.
Light cruiser NAIAD and destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, and HARVESTER were in the convoy escort
for the voyage to Gibraltar.
Destroyers BEAGLE and ERIDGE escorted the convoy
from 26 April to 30 April when they joined convoy SL.71.
Destroyers OTTAWA, RESTIGOUCHE, SAGUENAY, LEGION, PIORUN, and HURRICANE escorted the convoy from 26 to 29
Battleship RODNEY departed Scapa Flow on the 26th to escort the convoy. The battleship
was relieved by battlecruiser REPULSE from Gibraltar. Battlecruiser REPULSE arrived at Gibraltar with the three H.class destroyers on 5 May.
Light cruiser NAIAD was detached from the convoy
and arrived at Gibraltar on 4 May.
On 2 May, light cruiser MAURITIUS joined the convoy. On 5 May, destroyers DUNCAN and
WISHART joined the convoy and on 6 May, destroyers HIGHLANDER and BOREAS
joined the convoy. On 9 May, the convoy arrived at Freetown with armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA
CASTLE, light cruiser MAURITIUS. the four destroyers.
The convoy departed Freetown on 14 May. The convoy was joined by liner IMPERIAL
STAR (10,733grt) which had proceeded independently to
Freetown from the UK.
Liner HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN did not depart with the
convoy. She sailed on 15 May escorted by armed merchant cruiser CILICIA to overtake the convoy.
The convoy from Freetown was escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER, WISHART,
DUNCAN, and BOREAS from 14 to 16 May. Light cruiser MAURITIUS was with the convoy until relieved by heavy
cruiser HAWKINS on 24 May. Armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA
CASTLE was with the convoy from 24 to 27 May when the convoy arrived at
Troopship STRATHAIRD was detached to Capetown
arriving on 24 May and then proceeded to rejoin the Durban section the next day.
Troopships IMPERIAL STAR, STRATHAIRD, and EMPRESS OF ASIA arrived at Capetown on 24 May.
Heavy cruiser HAWKINS and steamers EMPRESS OF
RUSSIA, ARONDA, SOBIESKI, DOMINION MONARCH, STRATHAIRD, REINA DEL PACIFICO, and ABBEKERK arrived at Durban on 27 May.
Steamers SOBIESKI, ARONDA, STRATHAIRD, EMPRESS OF
RUSSIA, and ABBEKERK departed Durban on 31 May escorted by heavy cruiser HAWKINS. The
steamers arrived at Aden
on 10 June and ships proceeded independently to Suez.
Convoy OG.60 departed liverpool escorted by
destroyers ROCKINGHAM, VANQUISHER, and VISCOUNT, sloops DEPTFORD and LONDONDERRY, corvettes FRESIA, HIBISCUS, PIMPERNEL, and
RHODODENDRON, and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE.
Corvette RHODODENDRON was detached that day. The
remainder of the escorts, less sloop DEPTFORD, were detached on the 30th.
The convoy was joined en route by Dutch submarine
Convoy OG.60 arrived at Gibraltar on 10 May escorted by sloop DEPTFORD and submarine
British steamer MOUNTPARK (4648grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 56-17N, 12-21W.
Six crew were lost on the steamer.
U.110 sank British steamer HENRI MORY (2564grt) 330
miles WNW of Blaskets, near Achill Head.
Twenty six crew and two gunners were lost with the
ship. Four crew were rescued.
Finnish steamer LAPPONIA (1172grt) was damaged by
mining off Aalborg.
The steamer sank, but was later raised and repaired
Submarine UPHOLDER destroyed German cargo ship
ARTA, which had been grounded on Kerkenah Bank since being badly damaged in a
torpedo attack by Captain Mack's destroyers on the 16th.
Light cruiser AJAX departed Alexandria to join Vice Admiral, Light Forces.
Corvettes HYACINTH and SALIVA and minesweeping
trawler MUROTO were withdrawn from Piraeus.
En route to Suda
they swept the approaches to Nauplia.
British steamer SCOTTISH PRINCE (4917grt) was
damaged by German bombing in 36-07N, 24-30E.
The steamer was assisted by Australian destroyer
VAMPIRE and sloop GRIMSBY.
The steamer arrived at Alexandria on 12 May, badly damaged on her starboard side.
Operation DEMON continued during the night of 26/27
Raphina and Raphtis:commando ship GLENGYLE, steamer
SALWEEN, Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, and destroyers NUBIAN, DECOY, and HASTY.
A lighter A.6 ferried troops from the beaches to
Nauplia and Tolon:commando ship GLENEARN,
troopships SLAMAT and KHEDIVE ISMAEL, Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, and destroyers ISIS, HOTSPUR, GRIFFIN, DIAMOND, and HAVOCK.
Commando ship GLENEARN was bombed en route. She was
towed to Kissamo Bay
by destroyer GRIFFIN.
Ship GLENEARN was towed from Kissamo
by sloop GRIMSBY and later netlayer PROTECTOR to Alexandria arriving on 1 May.
To compensate for the loss of the GLENEARN, light
cruisers ORION and PERTH and destroyer STUART were sent at 1700 from Suda
to carry for the commando ship.
Light cruiser PERTH and destroyer STUART proceeded to Tolon.
Light cruiser ORION proceeded to Nauplia. At
Nauplia, light cruiser ORION embarked 300 troops lifted off the beach at
Tolon by destroyer STUART. Midshipman D. F. Swithinbank was unable to return
to cruiser ORION before sailing. He was later able to escape and rejoin
British forces. Midshipman (E) J. O. Wigg was wounded and one rating was
killed and five ratings were missing.
Troopship SLAMAT was late in getting away from
Nauplia in the morning and delayed the convoy's sailing.
Troopship SLAMAT was hit by bombs and wrecked in
37-01N, 23-10E. Destroyer DIAMOND was left behind to rescue survivors.
Destroyers WRYNECK, VENDETTA, and WATERHEN were
sent out to assist the Nauplia group at this time.
Destroyer WRYNECK, sent to assist destroyer
DIAMOND, arrived just as troopship SLAMAT capsized.
Both destroyers DIAMOND (Lt Cdr P. A. Cartwright)
and WRYNECK (Lt Cdr R. H. D. Lane Rtd) were sunk by German bombing later in
the day. Destroyer GRIFFIN picked up twenty seven survivors on the 27th.
Warrant Engineer Waldron, which was wounded, and twenty two other survivors
reached Suda Bay
in a WRYNECK whaler on the 29th. There were no more survivors from the three
ships. Waldron and forty one ratings from destroyer WRYNECK and eight
soldiers survived the loss of the three ships. There were only five survivors
from steamer SLAMAT. Two hundred and sixty three officers and men were lost
in the two destroyers. The entire crew, Cartwright, Lt O. Carr, Lt J. W.
Marshall,Sub Lt M. W. Disney-Roebuck, T/Lt (E) H. C. E. St.
Clair-Miller,A/Gunner (T) J. Shanks,T/Sub Lt C. A. Wood RNVR, P/T/Surgeon Lt
J. M. Watson, MRCS, LRCP, and one hundred and forty one ratings, were lost on
Lane, Lt R. L. Davies, Midshipman P. B. Peck,
P/T/Surgeon Lt G. T. R. Watt, MB, ChB RNVR, sub Lt K. H. Jackson, T/Lt R. O.
Griffiths RNVR, Gunner J. W. McCracken, and one hundred and seven ratings
were lost on destroyer WRYNECK.
Destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN relieved
destroyers ISIS and HOTSPUR which were escorting troopship KHEDIVE ISMAEL.
Destroyers ISIS and HOTSPUR then ran on to Suda
Destroyer HAVOCK carried the Army HQ and also the
Flag Officer Attached Middle East at Nauplia and took them to Monemvasia. The
destroyer was then to escort merchant ship SANTA BARBARA from Monemvasia. However, the steamer was sunk by
bombing before the destroyer arrived.
Kalamata:Troopships CITY OF LONDON, COSTA RICA, and DILWARA, light cruiser
PHOEBE, destroyers HERO, HEREWARD, and DEFENDER, and sloop FLAMINGO.
Destroyer DEFENDER embarked the Yugoslav crown
jewels for transport to Alexandria.
Cruiser PHOEBE and destroyers HERO and HEREWARD returned
Light cruisers ORION and PERTH and destroyer STUART arrived at Suda at 1100 with
4300 men were evacuated from Nauplia. 8300 men were
evacuated from Raphtis and Raphina. 8650 men were evacuated from Kalamata.
Gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Gazala airdrome.
Gunboat APHIS bombarded an enemy column in the
Greek torpedo boat KYDONIA was sunk by German
bombing at Morea.
Greek steamer MAIOTIS (1712grt) was sunk by German
bombing in the Aegean.
The steamer was later salved and taken to Trieste.
Greek steamer MARIA STATHATOU (6303grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Mylos.
Greek steamer ZAKYNTHOS (960grt) was sunk by German
bombing off Monemvasia.
British troopship EMPIRE TROOPER departed Gibraltar, escorted by corvette PRIMULA, for Freetown.
Submarine TAKU departed Gibraltar for patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Gibraltar for Malta, arriving on 4 May.
American aircraft carrier WASP with heavy cruiser
QUINCY and destroyers LIVERMORE and KEARNEY departed Hampton Roads on neutrality patrol. This
patrol concluded at Bermuda on 12 May.
This is the first use of the aircraft carriers on
Sunday, 27 April
Auxiliary fighter catapult ship PATIA (5355grt, Cdr
D. M. B. Baker RD RNR) was sunk by German bombing near 20.G Buoy, Coquet
Baker, T/Lt C. S. Nicholls RNVR, and T/Sub Lt (E)
B. K. Prim RNR, and eighteen ratings were killed on the ship. A
rating died of wounds on the 28th and T/A/Sub Lt W. Kirkham RNVR, died of
wounds on the 29th. Lt F. J. Owen RNR, T/Lt E. L. Riley RNVR, and P/T/Lt B. E. T.
Williams RNR, and thirteen ratings were missing.
T/Lt (E) E. Jones RNR, T/Paymaster Sub Lt J. McDonald RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) E. H. Maddock RNR, and T/Surgeon Lt A. Watt RNVR, were wounded.
Convoy OB.315 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers BULLDOG, CHELSEA,
MANSFIELD, and VERITY and corvette LARKSPUR. On the 29th,
destroyer BULLDOG was detached and minesweepers SEAGULL and SHARPSHOOTER
joined. Destroyer VERITY was detached on 1 May and destroyers CHELSEA and
MANSFIELD on 3 May. The remainder of the escort was detached on 4 May when
the convoy dispersed.
Destroyers SOMALI and BEDOUIN departed Scapa Flow at 1745 to search for a submarine reported by
aircraft in 59-16N, 7-23W.
The destroyers were recalled at 23330 and arrived
back at Scapa Flow at 0500/29th.
Destroyers TARTAR, ESKIMO, and BROCKLESBY departed
Scapa Flow at 2030 for Rosyth.
Destroyer TARTAR was to boiler clean at Rosyth.
Destroyers ESKIMO and BROCKLESBY were to escort minelayer AGAMEMNON from
The two destroyers and the minelayer departed
Rosyth at 1940/29th for Loch Alsh.
Destroyer FARNDALE arrived at Scapa Flow to work up at 1000.
U.552 sank British trawler COMMANDER HORTON
(227grt) in 62N, 16W.
Sloop ROSEMARY was damaged in a collision with
British steamer CARRICKMACROSS (754grt) at Milford Haven.
The sloop was repaired at Milford Haven from 28
April to 6 June.
U.147 sank Norwegian steamer RIMFAKSE (1134grt) in
Eight crew were missing from the steamer. Eight
crew were saved.
U.552 sank British steamer BEACON GRANGE
(10,160grt) in 62-05N, 16-20W. Two crew were missing from the steamer.
Corvette GLADIOLUS and Belgian trawler EDOUARD ANSEELE (351grt) rescued the
British steamer CELTE (943grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 61-20N, 11-00W. The entire crew were rescued.
Submarine USK (Lt G. P. Darling) was lost on a
minefield near off Cape Bon.
Darling, Lt D. W. Leggatt, Lt D. A. O'Hare, Lt V.
L. Darbyshire, and the twenty eight ratings of the crew were lost with the
unsuccessfully attacked a steamer off Cape
French steamer SNA.7 was sunk on a mine off Cape Bon.
To relieve congestion in Crete, convoy GA.14 departed Suda Bay
with commando ship GLENGYLE, troopships Egyptian KHEDIVE ISMAEL (7290grt),
British SALWEEN (7063grt), British DILWARA (11,080grt), British CITY OF LONDON (8956grt), and Dutch COSTA RICA
Troopship COSTA RICA was sunk by German bombing north of Crete in 35-54N, 23-49E while this convoy was forming. The entire crew and
all passengers were rescued by light cruiser PHOEBE and destroyers HERO,
HEREWARD, and DEFENDER.
The convoy was escorted by anti-aircraft cruisers
COVENTRY and CALCUTTA, destroyers STUART, VENDETTA, WATERHEN, and
VAMPIRE, and sloop FLAMINGO. Destroyer WRYNECK was supposed to be in this
force, but at this time it was not known she was lost.
Destroyer GRIFFIN was sent north to attempt to locate destroyers
DIAMOND and WRYNECK and found a liferaft carrying one officer and forty eight
Light cruisers PERTH and PHOEBE and destroyers DECOY, HASTY, NUBIAN,
HEREWARD, HERO, and DEFENDER covered the convoy, and arrived at Alexandria on the 29th.
During the night of 27/28 April DEMON continued.
Light cruiser AJAX and destroyers KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY, and HAVOCK, assisted by three Greek caiques,
lifted 4200 troops from Raphina and Raphtis.
Greek steamer EVANGHELOS GEORGIOU (441grt) was sunk
by German bombing at Kithera.
Greek steamer ASTIR (1350grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Kapsalion.
Greek steamer TASSOS (333grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Hermione.
Greek steamer FRAGISCOS (441grt) was sunk by German
bombing in the Greek Archipelago.
Greek steamer HOLLANDIA (1759grt) anchored at
Hermione with engine trouble on the 23rd. She was sunk by German bombing at
Hermione, near Nauplia Bay.
Greek steamer DANAPRIS (2113grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Piraeus.
The steamer was repaired by the Germans for their
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed St Helena.
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Singapore.
Ocean boarding vessel MARON intercepted five French
steamers, escorted by a patrol vessel at 27-07N, 14-40W. The Admiralty
directed that the convoy should be allowed to proceed.
The convoy, escorted by auxiliary patrol vessel
ASPRIANT BRUN, departed Casablanca on the 24th and arrived at
Dakar on 2 May.
Convoy SL.73 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE
for the day only and corvettes CLEMATIS, CROCUS, CYCLAMAN, and MARGUERITE to
Destroyer DUNCAN escorted the convoy from 29 April
to 1 May.
On 3 May, light cruiser DRAGON joined to 6 May.
Destroyers BOADICEA to 25 May, COLUMBIA to 25 May, and ST FRANCIS to 21 May and ocean
boarding vessels HILARY and REGISTAN, both to 25 May joined on 19 May. On 20
May, destroyer ST CLAIR for the day only, sloop EGRET to 25 May, and
corvettes ARROWHEAD, HEPATICA, SNOWBERRY, and SPIKENARD, all to 25 May,
joined, and arrived at Liverpool on 25 May.
Monday, 28 April
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers ECHO, ACTIVE, ACHATES, and ANTHONY departed Hvalfjord
to cover convoys HX.122, escorted by armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, and
SC.29, escorted by armed merchant cruiser RANPURA.
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed Iceland on patrol.
Convoy OB.316 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers WOLVERINE and WOOLSTON and corvette BEGONIA. Destroyer WOOLSTON
was detached on the 29th. On the 30th, destroyers SALADIN and SKATE and
minesweeper HARRIER joined the convoy. Destroyer WOLVERINE and the
minesweeper were detached on 3 May. Destroyers SALADIN, SKATE, and VETERAN
were detached on 4 May. The convoy was dispersed on 5 May and corvette
BEGONIA was detached.
Submarine H.31 and destroyer VENOMOUS collided
during A/S training exercises at Londonderry.
Destroyer VENOMOUS was repaired at Londonderry completed on 18 May.
The submarine received damage to her aft
Destroyers INGLEFIELD and MAORI, which formed a
striking force for convoy HX.121, attacked a submarine contact in 60-10N,
They claimed sinking a submarine.
Destroyers SOMALI and BEDOUIN were sent from Scapa Flow to investigate a submarine contact reported by
aircraft in 59-16N, 7-23W.
Armed trawler CAROLINE (253grt) with a Dutch crew
was sunk on a mine off Milford Haven, 13.6 cables 224° from Great Castle
The minesweeper was sunk with all hands.
Ammunition storage ship
MONCOUSU (1420grt) was sunk by German bombing at Plymouth.
U.65, U.96, and U.552 converged on convoy HX.121.
Corvette GLADIOLUS of the convoy escort sank the
U.65 before she was able to attack. The entire crew of fifty crew were lost
in the submarine.
Submarine U.552 torpedoed British tanker CAPULET
(8190grt) in 60-16N, 16-10W. The tanker was abandoned on fire and was later
sunk by gunfire.
Eight crew and one passenger were lost on the
Submarine U.96 sank British tanker OILFIELD
(8516grt) in 60-05N, 17W.
Forty five crew and two gunners were lost on the
Submarine U.96 sank Norwegian tanker CALEDONIA (9892grt) in 60-03N, 16-10W.
Twelve crew were lost on the tanker.
Submarine U.96 sank British steamer PORT HARDY (8897grt) in 60-14N, 15-20W. One crewman was
British steamer CLAN BUCHANAN (7266grt) was sunk by
German raider PINGUIN in 5-24N, 62-46E. The entire crew were picked up. One
hundred and seven crew were lost when PINGUIN was sunk on 8 May.
British steamer MARIE DAWN (2157grt) was damaged by
German bombing off Sheringham Buoy.
British steamer EMPIRE
STRAIT (2824grt) was damaged by German bombing off Great Yarmouth.
Salvage work on Heavy cruiser YORK was suspended.
During the night of 28/29 April, DEMON continues.
Kithera - sloop AUCKLAND, corvettes HYACINTH and SALVIA embarked 750 RAF
and other personnel.
Monemvasia - light cruiser AJAX and destroyers HAVOCK, HOTSPUR, ISIS, and GRIFFIN lifted 4320 troops, including the units delivered
there by destroyer HAVOCK on the 27th.
Kalamata - light cruisers PERTH and PHOEBE and destroyers NUBIAN, HERO, DEFENDER,
HEREWARD, DECOY, and DEFENDER.
Destroyers KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY, and KANDAHAR were sent to join the Kalamata force to pick up
On arrival at Kalamata, the harbour was reported to
be in enemy hands. Destroyer HERO was sent to investigate and the Main Force
Destroyers HERO, KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR, and KINGSTON did pick up some 450 troops from Kalamata.
Lighter A.15 departed Suda
to assist damaged A.5 (A/BoatswainH. R. Paxton) off Monemvasia. The lighter
had been damaged by German bombing and Lt A. B. Heckstall-Smith RNVR, had
been wounded. The lighter was later sunk.
En route, lighter A.15 was sunk by German bombing
with all hands aboard lost. The officers lost aboard were Lt Cdr P. C. Hutton
DSC, (emergency), Commander of the 1st TLC Flotilla, sub Lt C. H. Whitworth
DSC, T/A/Boatswain C. W. Dennis, and T/A/Boatswain J. Forster.
Greek torpedo boat KYZIKOS was sunk by German
bombing at Salamis.
Greek steamer AIKATERINI (462grt) was sunk by
German bombing off Spetsopoulou.
Greek steamer ELENI CANAVARIOTI (797grt) was sunk
by German bombing.
The survivors were landed at Izmir.
During the night of 28/29 and 29/30 April, Malta was heavily bombed.
Destroyer ENCOUNTER in drydock at Malta was badly damaged in attacks on 29 and 30 April.
On the 29th, a bomb penetrated her forecastle and exploded inside the ship.
The destroyer was further damaged by bombing on 16
Destroyer ENCOUNTER was repaired completing in mid
July and sailed for Gibraltar on 23 July.
Minesweeper FERMOY was damaged beyond repair in
dock at Malta on 29 and 30 April.
Anti-submarine trawler CORAL and minesweeping
drifter TRUSTY STAR were also damaged by bombing.
A Swordfish of 810 Squadron ditched off Gibraltar on take off. Sub Lt R. S. Charlier was picked up
by light cruiser SHEFFIELD, but Leading Airman D. R. B. Evans was lost.
Force H arrived back at Gibraltar after operations DUNLOP and SALIENT.
Destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, and WRESTLER departed
Gibraltar to join battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and escort her
Submarine URGE departed Gibraltar for Malta.
Aircraft carrier HERMES and light cruiser ENTERPRISE were in the Persian Gulf covering the landings at Basra from convoy BP.1 of steamers NEVASA, BANDRA,
ESPERANCE. Steamer WESTERNLAND travelled in this convoy and proceeded on to
Convoy BP.1 departed Bombay on the 21st, escorted by armed merchant cruiser
ANTENOR. Sloop LAWRENCE joined on the 25th and sloop FALMOUTH on the 28th. Sloop LAWRENCE was detached on the 28th when sloop YARRA and
gunboat COCKCHAFER joined. The convoy arrived at Basra on the 29th.
On the 30th, convoy BP.1A of troopships DEVONSHIRE and NEURALIA departed Bombay, escorted by armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA.
Sloop FALMOUTH joined on 3 May. The convoy arrived at Basra on 6 May.
Convoy BP.2 departed Karachi on 6 May with troopships ROHNA, LANCASHIRE, and VARELA, escorted by armed merchant cruiser
KANIMBLA. The convoy arrived at Basra on 10 May.
Convoy BP.3 departed on 9 May from Bombay, escorted by armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR, with
troopships TALMA, RAULA, EKMA, and SANTHIA for Basra and STRATHMORE for Suez and from Karachi, escorted by armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA with
EGRA and EL MADINA for Port Sudan. The convoy arrived at Aden on 15 May.
On 10 May, steamers RISALDAR, BAHADUR, JALAVIHAR,
and JALADUTA departed Bombay,
independently, for Basra.
Convoy BP.4 departed Bombay on 23 May with troopships NEURALIA, DEVONSHIRE, and ISLAMI, escorted by armed merchant cruiser
ANTENOR. Sloop SHOREHAM joined on 23 May. The convoy arrived at Basra on 30 May.
The BP series continued and ended 1941 with BP.29
sailing on 18 December. Armed merchant cruisers ANTENOR or KANIMBLA being the
escorts through BP.11. After BP.16 and through BP.40 in March 1942, the
convoys travelled without escort.
Light cruiser DANAE departed Penang.
Tuesday, 29 April
In German air raids during the night of 29/30
April, light cruiser TRINIDAD under construction at Devonport was hit by a bomb.
There was some damage to offices and cabins.
Auxiliary patrol vessel PESSAC (775grt) was damaged by German bombing at Plymouth.
The ship sank with heavy bottom damage. The vessel
was repaired in 1942.
Lighter C.293 was sunk by German bombing at Plymouth.
Minelayer AGAMEMNON departed Rosyth after repairs
escorted by destroyers ESKIMO and BROCKLESBY for Loch Alsh.
The destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0600 on 1 May after the escort.
Destroyer ARROW departed Scapa Flow at 1100 for Chatham to refitting and arrived at 1530/30th.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 2000 to meet convoy WN.20 in the Pentland Firth and provide escort until meeting convoy EC.13.
The ship meet convoy EC.13 at 0930 on 1 May in
Pentland Firth and escorted it to Methil, arriving at 1030 on 2
U.75 sank British
steamer CITY OF NAGPUR (10,146grt) in 52-30N, 26W.
Fifteen crew and one passenger were lost on the
steamer. Survivors were rescued by destroyer HURRICANE.
British steamer KALUA (722grt) was sunk by German
bombing one half mile north, northeast of T.2 Buoy, mouth of Tyne. The entire crew were rescued.
British steamer PROWESS (207grt) was damaged by
mine off Projector Buoy, Humber.
The German 1st MTB Flotilla of S.26, S.27, S.29, and S.55 sortie
against Convoy EC.13 of fifty seven ships off Cromer.
British steamer AMBROSE FLEMING (1555grt) was sunk
by S.29 in 53-14N, 1-08E. Ten crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer.
Destroyers WORCESTER, EGLINTON, WHITSHED, and
WALLACE engaged the S-boats.
Harbour Launch ML.278 was sunk on a mine at Portsmouth. The entire crew were lost.
British steamer CORGLEN (2822grt) and Norwegian
steamer ASKELADDEN (2498grt) were damaged by German bombing off T.2 Buoy,
Both ships were towed back to port.
Convoy GA.15 departed the Aegean with troopships DELANE 6054grt),
CASTLE (6372grt), COMLIEBANK (5149grt), CORINTHIA (3701grt), ITRIA
(6854grt), and IONIA (1936grt) and oiler BRAMBLELEAF. The convoy was
escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE,
destroyers KANDAHAR and KINGSTON, and sloop AUCKLAND.
The convoy was covered by Vice Admiral, Light
Forces in light cruiser ORION which departed Suda
and joined the aborted Kalamata force cruisers PERTH and PHOEBE and the Monemvasia cruiser AJAX north of
DECOY, DEFENDER, NUBIAN, HASTY, and HEREWARD covered the convoy.
Destroyers HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, ISIS, KIMBERLEY, and HERO were left behind to collect stragglers
from the islands.
Rawlings departed Alexandria with battleships BARHAM and VALIANT, aircraft
carrier FORMIDABLE and destroyers STUART, VENDETTA, VAMPIRE, WATERHEN,
VOYAGER, and GREYHOUND to support the convoy.
Rawlings met Pridham Wipple south of Kaso
Strait on the 30th.
Light cruisers PHOEBE and PERTH and destroyer NUBIAN joined Rawlings and the rest
of the force was sent on to Alexandria, arriving on the 30th.
Rawlings was also joined by destroyer ILEX from
Alexandria and destroyers JUNO and JAGUAR from Malta about this time.
Rawlings contacted convoy GA.15 shortly after and
light cruiser PERTH and destroyer NUBIAN were detached to the convoy
for close support.
Destroyer NUBIAN was damaged by the near miss of
The destroyer spent no time out of service, but
required docking on arrival.
After leaving the convoy, Rawlings then turned
north to support the Melos and Kalamata forces, and arrived at Alexandria on 1 May. Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER continued
on to Port Said with two steamers.
The Mediterranean Fleet arrived at Alexandria on 3 May.
During the night of 29/30 April, DEMON continued.
Destroyers ISIS, KIMBERLEY, and HERO embarked on 16 officers and seventeen
other ranks from Kalamata.
Destroyers HAVOCK and HOTSPUR moved a battalion of
troops from Suda Bay
Convoy service ship CHAKLA (3081grt) was sunk by
German bombers inside Tobruk Harbour.
Only two ratings were wounded in the sinking of the
Greek steamer AETOS (125grt) was sunk by German
bombing in Greek waters.
Greek steamers ELSI (1433grt) and KONISTRA (3537grt) were damaged by
German bombing at Suda Bay. Both were
raised and repaired by the Germans for their use.
Corvettes GARDENIA and COLUMBINE arrived at Gibraltar from the UK after escort duty with convoy OG.59.
Submarine PANDORA departed Gibraltar for patrol off Naples.
Convoy SC.30 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN,
corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD, and submarine THUNDERBOLT. The corvettes
were detached the next day and the submarine on 10 May. On 12 May, destroyer
WATCHMAN, corvette VIOLET, and anti-submarine trawlers ST KENAN, ST ZENO, and
VIZALMA joined the convoy. Corvette ABELIA joined the convoy on 14 May.
Destroyer WATCHMAN was detached on 15 May. Catapult ship ARIGUANI, destroyers
ERIDGE, LEAMINGTON, and ROXBOROUGH, and minesweepers HUSSAR and NIGER joined on 15 May and were detached on 18 May.
Armed merchant cruisers SALOPIAN was detached on 17 May. Destroyer BURWELL
and corvettes ANEMONE and VERONICA joined on 18 May. The remainder of the
escort was detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 May.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Colombo to search for German raider PINGUIN six hundred
miles west of the Maldives.
Wednesday, 30 April
Dutch submarine O.13 arrived at Scapa Flow to act as an anti-submarine training ship.
Destroyers COSSACK and ZULU departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Plymouth to join the Plymouth Command.
Convoy OB.317 departed liverpool, escorted by
destroyers BOADICEA, COLUMBIA,
NIAGARA, and ST CLAIR, sloop EGRET, corvettes HEATHER,
HEPATICA, ORCHIS, SNOWBERRY, TRILLIUM, and WINDFLOWER, and anti-submarine
trawlers AYRSHHIRE, LADY MADELEINE, and ST LOMAN. The escort was detached on
6 May when the convoy was dispersed.
Destroyer IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow at 1930 for Aberdeen to escort the steamer AMSTERDAM for Aberdeen to Lerwick.
The two ships departed Aberdeen at 0200 on 1 May and arrived at 1520 at Lerwick.
On 3 May at 0035, the two ships departed Lerwick
and proceeded to Aberdeen. Steamer ARCHANGEL joined at 0500 off Duncansby
Head. The three ships proceeded to Aberdeen. Delivering the steamers, destroyer IMPULSIVE
returned to Scapa Flow arriving at 1830 on 3 May.
Convoy SA.1 of British steamers EMPIRE CONDOR,
EMPIRE CURLEW, EMPIRE EGRET, and EMPIRE WIDGEON was formed at sea and
escorted by destroyers LEGION, OTTAWA, PIORUN, and RESTIGOUCHE. The convoy arrived in
the Clyde on 3 May.
Sloop ERNE (Lt Cdr HM Darell-Brown) was seriously
damaged by a bombing near miss, while still in her builder's yard at
The sloop was repaired in the Tyne completing on 21 June 1942.
British BANFF class escort ships built in the United States were commissioned with crews from battleship MALAYA, under repair.
Commissioned were escort ships BANFF (Lt Cdr P. S. Evans), CULVER (Lt Cdr R. T.
Gordon-Duff), FISHGUARD (Lt Cdr H. L. Pryse RNR), and HARTLAND (Lt Cdr G. P. Billot RNR).
U.107 sank British steamer LASSELL (7417grt) at
12-55N, 28-56W. Two crew were lost and the rest were rescued.
Twenty five survivors were picked up by steamer
BENVRACKIE which was sunk on 13 May. Fifteen of these survivors were lost in
the second sinking.
Naval minesweeping drifter TRUSTY STAR (96grt) was sunk by German bombing at Malta.
The drifter was later salved and recommissioned at
German raider THOR arrived in port after sinking eleven ships for
The raider was met in Biscay by destroyers IHN,
HEINEMANN, and STEINBRINCK.
On the 30th, destroyers NIZAM and NAPIER arrived at
Aden after duty in convoy WS.7.
The destroyers departed Aden escorting liners QUEEN MARY and QUEEN ELIZABETH which arrived at Suez on 3 May.
Destroyer NAPIER arrived at Port Said on 2 May. Destroyer NIZAM arrived at Suez on 2 May.
The destroyers, which carried LL gear for
minesweepers, arrived at Alexandria on 4 May for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER was damaged by German bombing in the Mediterranean.
The bomb passed through the ship without exploding.
The damage required one day for temporary repairs.
During the night of 30 April/1 May, destroyers
ISIS, KIMBERLEY, and HERO lifted twenty four officers and 176
other ranks from Kalamata.
The destroyers joined light cruiser PHOEBE during
the afternoon of 1 May and proceeded to Alexandria.
Destroyers HOTSPUR and HAVOCK lifted 700 troops
from Milos and returned to Alexandria.
These ships all arrived at Port Said on 2 May to refuel, as Alexandria
Harbour had been closed earlier that day due to a mine being detonated in the
Operation DEMON was completed. Some 50,672 troops
from evacuated from Greece.
A German supply convoy for the Afrika Korps
departed Messina and Augusta with German steamers MARBURG (7564grt),
REICHENFELS (7744grt), KYBFELS (7764grt) and Italian steamers BIRMANIA
(5305grt) and RIALTO(6099grt) escorted by destroyers EURO and FULMINE and
torpedo boats CASTORE, ORIONE, and PROCIONE.
Distant cover was given the convoy by heavy
cruisers TRIESTE and BOLZANO, light cruiser EUGENIO de SAVOIA, and destroyers
ASCARI, CARABINIERE, and GIOBERTI.
Attacks on this convoy on 1 May by submarines and
aircraft are unsuccessful.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyers KELLY,
JACKAL, KELVIN, JERSEY, KIPLING, and KASHMIR departed Malta on 1 May to
intercept, but could not make contact, and arrived safely at Tripoli.
At the same time, a return convoy of German
CASTELLON (2086grt), ARCTURUS (2596grt), LEVERKUSEN (7386grt), and WACHTFELS
(8467grt) and Italian steamer GIULIA (5921grt) escorted by destroyers
FOLGORE, SAETTA, STRALE, and TURBINE departed Tripoli for Naples.
On 1 May, submarine UPHOLDER successfully attacked
this convoy two miles south of Kerkenah and sank steamer ARCTURUS and badly
damaging steamer LEVERKUSEN. Nine hours later, the submarine was able to
return after the destroyer counterattacks and sank steamer LEVERKUSEN four miles southeast of Kerkenah.
The convoy put into Trapani to avoid further attacks. The convoy departed
Trapani on 5 May for Naples.
Gunboat APHIS bombarded Sollum on the 30th.
Gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Gazala on the 30th.
At the end of March, Mexican tankers MINATITLAN (10,000grt), PANUCO (7800grt), and TACONA
(10,000grt), building at Genoa
for Mexico, were seized by Italian authorities.
Panamanian steamer INES (190grt) was taken over by
the Germans in Greece.
The steamer was rammed and cut in two by an
Australian warship in Cretan waters in May.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, escorted by destroyers
FEARLESS, FURY, and WRESTLER, arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown to join Force H
Light cruiser MAURITIUS departed
rendezvous with convoy WS.8 A and escort the convoy to Freetown.
Battlecruiser REPULSE, light cruiser NAIAD, and
destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, and HARVESTER departing the convoy with
steamers CLAN LAMONT, CLAN CHATTAN, CLAN CAMPBELL, EMPIRE SONG, and NEW ZEALAND STAR for Gibraltar for the TIGER operation.
Corvettes GARDENIA and COLUMBINE departed Gibraltar for Freetown.
Armed boarding vessel LOCH OSKAIG captured French
steamer CAP CANTIN, which had departed Bayonne on the 25th for Casablanca, in 38-10N, 10W, twenty five miles from Cape
The steamer was sent to Gibraltar under armed guard and was met by battlecruiser
RENOWN and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FURY, FOESTER, and FORTUNE on 2
May. Battlecruiser RENOWN and the destroyers returned to Gibraltar that evening. Destroyer FORESIGHT was detached to
escort the steamer and both ships arrived at Gibraltar on 3 May.
Convoy HX.124 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA and corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD. The
corvettes were detached later day. Destroyer BROADWAY and corvettes AUBRETIA,
HOLLYHOCK, and NIGELLA joined on 11 May. Destroyers AMAZON, BURWELL, MALCOLM,
SCIMITAR, and WATCHMAN, corvettes HELIOTROPE, MALLOW, and VIOLET, and
anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN GEM, NORTHERN WAVE, NOTTS
COUNTY, and VIZALMA joined on 12 May. Corvettes ANEMONE, CLARKIA, VERBENA,
and VERONICA joined on 14 May. Destroyers BURWELL, MALCOLM, and SCIMITAR,
corvettes AUBRETIA, HELIOTROPE, HOLLYHOCK, MALLOW, NIGELLA, VERBENA, and
VERONICA, and the anti-submarine trawlers were detached on 14 May. The armed
merchant cruiser and destroyer WATCHMAN were detached on 15 May. Destroyers
BURNHAM, ERIDGE, LEAMINGTON, and SALISBURY, minesweepers HUSSAR and NIGER, and catapult ship ARIGUANI joined on 15 May.
Destroyer ROXBOROUGH joined on 18 May and SALADIN on 19 May. Destroyer LEAMINGTON and corvette ANEMONE were detached on 18 May. The
remainder of the escort was detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 May.
Indian patrol ship PARVATI (1548grt, Lt H M S
Choudri RIN) was sunk on a mine in 13-11N, 42-54E.
One warrant officer and fifteen ratings were
missing. The commanding officer, a warrant officer, and twelve ratings were
The twenty one survivors were picked up by a
Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed Singapore with the Australian delegates of the ABDA
The cruiser arrived at Sydney on 3 May.
Greek steamer YPANIS (1459grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Stylis. She was refloated in 1942 and was repairing at Piraeus when she was scuttled on 11 October
The US Central Atlantic Neutrality Patrol was
extended to 30W.
Carrier Division 3 with aircraft carriers RANGER,
WASP, which arrived 12 May from Norfolk, and YORKTOWN, which arrived at
Bermuda from the Pacific on 12 May, heavy cruisers QUINCEY and VINCENNES, and
the 11th Destroyer Squadron (Captain Morton L. Deyo in SAMPSON) with SAMPSON,
EBERLE, GWIN, GRAYSON, MEREDITH, MONSSEN, and ERICCSON. Later escort aircraft
carrier LONG ISLAND was employed.
Heavy cruisers WICHITA and TUSCALOOSA joined on 15 May.
The heavy cruisers were relieved on 15 July by
light cruisers PHILADELPHIA, BROOKLYN, SAVANNAH, and NASHVILLE of Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's
Cruiser Division 8.