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

NAVAL EVENTS, April 1941 (Part 2 of 2)
Tuesday 15th - Wednesday 30th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Cleopatra, AA cruiser (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, MAY 1941

 

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

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

 


Background Events - January-May 1941

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


 

 

1941

 

Tuesday, 15 April

 

Light cruiser EDINBURGH, which had been on escort duties since 25 March, arrived at Scapa Flow after convoy SL.69 duties.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 17th.

 

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.

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Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyer HASTY departed Alexandria.

 

These ships bombarded Italian motor transport at Capuzzo and Bardia early on the 16th.

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Destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria for Tobruk to carry out a special raiding operation with gunboat LADYBIRD during the night of 16/17 April.

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Gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Gazala.

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The destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, MOHAWK, and NUBIAN departed Malta at 1800 for a shipping sweep off Kerkenah Bank.

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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.

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British steamers GOALPARA (5314grt) and QUILOA (7765grt) was sunk by German bombing in Eleusis Bay, Piraeus.

 

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.

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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 May.

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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.

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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 of war.

 

 

Wednesday, 16 April

 

Light cruiser NAIAD arrived at Scapa Flow after refitting in the Tyne.

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Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, under repair at Belfast, was damaged by German bombing.

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Destroyer SOMALI departed Scapa Flow to join steamers AMSTERDAM and ARCHANGEL off 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 1500/18th.

 

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.

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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 dispersed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Norwegian steamer FAVORIT (2826grt) was sunk by German bombing in 60-06N, 8-31W. The entire crew were rescued.

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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.

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German tanker NORDMARK replenished Italian submarines ARCHIMEDE, GUGLIEMOTTI, and FERRARIS at sea on 16 and 17 April

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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 TARIGO.

 

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 gunfire.

 

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).

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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 17th.

 

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 raided Bardia.

 

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.

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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.

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Destroyer HERO, operating in the Piraeus - Suda Bay 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 patrol.

 

Escorting destroyer FEARLESS was fired upon from Algeciras, but was not damaged.

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Swedish steamer SIR ERNEST CASSELL (7739grt) was sunk by German raider THOR in 32N, 35W. The entire crew was taken as prisoners of war.

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Armed boarding vessel CHAKLA was grounded in a storm at Suda Bay. She was towed off by netlayer PROTECTOR.

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Greek steamer MEMAS (4359grt) was sunk by German bombing at Chalkis.

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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 0900/19th.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to join convoy WN.15 and escort it to Methil.

 

They arrived at Methil at 1400/18th.

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Heavy cruiser LONDON and aircraft carrier ARGUS departed the Clyde for Gibraltar.

 

The aircraft carrier carried aircraft for Operation DUNLOP.

 

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.

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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 missing.

 

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.

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U.123 sank Swedish steamer VENEZUELA (6991grt) in 53N, 18W. The entire crew was lost.

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Destroyer KINGSTON, the last of the three K destroyers from the Red Sea, arrived at Alexandria to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Greek steamer DAMASKINI (1196grt) was sunk by German bombing in Oreos Channel, north of Euboea Island.

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Greek steamer PETRAKIS NOMIKOS (7020grt) was badly damaged by German bombing at Piraeus.

 

The steamer was beached and bombed again on the 23rd.

 

Steamer PETRAKIS NOMIKOS was later salved by the Germans for their use.

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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.

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Submarine PANDORA arrived at Gibraltar escorting British oiler CAIRNDALE.

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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.

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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.

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Light cruiser MANCHESTER arrived at Scapa Flow at 0552 after refitting in the Tyne.

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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 dispersed.

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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.

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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 20 August.

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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.

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Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by patrol sloops GUILLEMOTT and KITTIWAKE, laid mines in minefield BS.54 off the east coast of England.

 

Minesweepers SNAEFELL and THAMES QUEEN accompanied the ships on the minelay.

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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.

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Free French submarine MINERVE attacked unsuccessfully a German steamer two miles southwest of Tungenes.

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Naval drifter YOUNG ERNIE (88grt, T/Skipper R. Milligan RNR) was sunk in a collision in the Tyne.

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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.

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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 19th.

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German fishing vessel GUIDO MOHRING (289grt) was sunk by a torpedo near Port Ley.

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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 Bay 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 steamers CITY OF LINCOLN (8039grt), CLAN FERGUSON (7347grt), CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), and PERTHSHIRE (10,496grt) in convoy ME.7.

 

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 WARSPITE.

 

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 flares.

 

Italian torpedo boat PARTENOPE and six freighters were damaged in the bombardment.

 

Battleship VALIANT detonated a mine. She sustained slight damage.

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 at 0700.

 

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 Bay.

 

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.

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After delivering convoy AN.27 at Suda Bay, Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers ISIS and VAMPIRE continued to Pireaus to escort convoy AS.26.

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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.

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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 Bay.

 

Greek steamers FOKION (1158grt) and LEON (968grt) were sunk by German bombing near Psara, Euboea Island.

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Greek steamer CHIOS (1121grt) was sunk by German bombing at Eretria, near Chalkis.

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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.

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British steel flat PUNDUAH sank while in tow of HM ship at 19-15N, 86-53E.

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Destroyer HIGHLANDER departed Gibraltar for Freetown.

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Destroyer NAPIER, en route from England to the Mediterranean Fleet, was docked at Capetown from 18 to 20 April.

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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.

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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 1600/22nd.

_____

 

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 Bay, 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 Said.

_____

 

Panamanian ship MARGIT (3257grt) was sunk by German bombing at Kalkara Creek, Malta.

_____

 

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 Gibraltar for 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 was lost.

_____

 

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 was lost.

_____

 

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 Suda Bay.

_____

 

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 service.

_____

 

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 Plymouth.

 

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 Falmouth.

_____

 

Tug REGENCY (76grt) was sunk on a mine off Ford's, Dagenham.

 

The tug was also towing three or four barges which also sank.

 

One tug crewman and one lighterman were lost.

 

The tug and one of the barges were later raised and repaired.

_____

 

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 23-50N, 27W.

 

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 Bay on the 24th with steamers Greek THEMONI (5719grt), Dutch ZEALAND (1433grt), British KIRKLAND (1561grt), British RUNO (1858grt), and British ARAYBANK (7258grt).

_____

 

Sloop AUCKLAND arrived at Suda Bay with the five A lighters from Tobruk.

_____

 

Destroyer GREYHOUND was near missed by bombing at Mersa Matruh.

 

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 ran aground.

 

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 wounded.

 

The steamer was sunk later in the month.

 

Hospital ship ELLENIS was later refloated by the Germans.

_____

 

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 February.

_____

 

The flag of CS 10 was transferred from base ship DUNLUCE CASTLE to light cruiser NIGERIA at Scapa Flow.

_____

 

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 minelayers.

 

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 Devonport.

 

The destroyer was not restored to service until February 1942.

_____

 

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 1941.

_____

 

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 Greifswald.

_____

 

Battleship NELSON was docked for refitting at Durban.

_____

 

British hospital ship VITA was badly damaged by German Stuka bombers off Tobruk.

 

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 Aegina.

 

Greek destroyer LEON was badly damaged by German bombing at Suda Bay.

_____

 

Greek torpedo boats THYELLA was sunk in Vouliagmeni Bay and KIOS was sunk by German bombing the Gulf of Athens.

_____

 

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 Island).

_____

 

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 of Corinth.

 

Greek steamer PANCRATION (2171grt) was sunk by German bombing at Milos.

 

Greek hospital ship SOKRATIS (1134grt) was sunk by German bombing at Antikyra, Gulf of Corinth.

 

Greek tanker THEDOL 2 (657grt) was sunk by German bombing at Antikyra, Gulf of Corinth.

 

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 lost.

_____

 

Greek steamer THRAKI (1511grt) was sunk by German bombing near Sombraina, Gulf of Corinth.

_____

 

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 use.

_____

 

Greek steamer SIFNOS (315grt) was sunk by German bombing at Suda Bay.

 

The steamer was salved by the Germans for their use.

_____

 

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 Bay.

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and netlayer PROTECTOR, assisting damaged heavy cruiser YORK, was damaged by near misses of German air bombs at Suda Bay.

 

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 Bay 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 THURLAND CASTLE.

 

Destroyer GRIFFIN joined the convoy at sea.

 

Convoy ANF.29 arrived at Suda Bay on the 25th.

_____

 

Two A lighters departed Alexandria for Suda Bay 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 ashore.

 

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 9 March.

_____

 

Destroyer ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow to rendezvous with steamers AMSTERDAM and ARCHANGEL and escort them to Kirkwall and Scapa Flow, respectively.

 

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 convoy dispersed.

_____

 

Destroyer SALADIN and Polish destroyers PIORUN and GARLAND departed 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 Buchan Ness.

 

Ship ALYNBANK transferred to convoy WN.18 at 0500/24th.

 

The convoy with ship ALYNBANK arrived at Methil at 0800/25th.

_____

 

German heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN was mined in the Baltic during preparations for a sortie with battleship BISMARCK into the Atlantic.

_____

 

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 misses.

_____

 

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 scuttled.

 

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 Salamis.

_____

 

British steamer SANTA CLARA VALLEY (4665grt) was sunk by German bombing in Nauplia Bay. One crewman, one military personnel, and five muleteers were lost on the steamer.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

Submarine TORBAY departed 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 Bay. 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 yacht.

_____

 

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 Bon.

_____

 

Naval tanker BRAMBLELEAF, escorted by destroyers ISIS, HERO, HEREWARD, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria on the 24th and arrived at Suda Bay, 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 Bay.

 

Destroyer DEFENDER from Tobruk joined early on the 25th. The ships arrived at 1800/25th at Suda Bay.

_____

 

Light cruiser PERTH joined light cruiser PHOEBE at Suda Bay 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 Bay.

_____

 

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 Bay 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 Bay 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 corvette HYACINTH.

 

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 Piraeus.

_____

 

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 of Corinth.

_____

 

Greek steamer POINT JUDITH (4810grt) was sunk by German bombing at Kythnos 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 41-36N, 8-46W.

_____

 

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 Bay on the 30th.

_____

 

Destroyer NUBIAN and sloop FLAMINGO after repairs departed Alexandria to join the Vice Admiral, Light Forces on light cruiser ORION.

 

Destroyer NUBIAN arrived at Suda Bay at 0400/26th.

 

At 1700, Sloop FLAMINGO arrived in Suda Bay on the 26th.

_____

 

Light cruiser ORION and destroyers DECOY, HASTY, HAVOCK, and DEFENDER arrived at Suda Bay at 1800.

 

Destroyers DECOY, HASTY, and HAVOCK were sent to Nauphalia to investigate the situation and discover the fate of troopship ULSTER PRINCE.

_____

 

Submarine UPHOLDER sank German troopship ANTONIETTE LAURO (5428grt) 2 miles 125 from Kerkenah in 34-57N, 11-44E.

 

The troopship was badly damaged and stranded on Kerkenah Bay.

_____

 

Greek destroyers KOUDOURIOTIS and SPETSAI from Athens, PANTHER, IERAX, SPEHNDONI, and AETOS arrived at Alexandria.

 

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 Alexandria.

_____

 

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 Bay.

 

Destroyer GRIFFIN scuttled the troopship.

 

Troopship THURLAND 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 Megara.

 

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 lift.

 

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 Myli.

_____

 

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 GLOUCESTER.

 

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 cruiser.

_____

 

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 towards Gibraltar.

 

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 Denmark Strait patrol.

 

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 Pentland Firth.

 

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 the Clyde.

 

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 April.

 

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 Durban.

 

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 O.23.

 

Convoy OG.60 arrived at Gibraltar on 10 May escorted by sloop DEPTFORD and submarine O.23.

_____

 

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 at Aalborg.

_____

 

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 Bay, 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 April.

 

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 the ships.

 

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 Bay 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 Bay 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 destroyer DIAMOND.

 

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 Bay.

 

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 empty.

 

Light cruisers ORION and PERTH and destroyer STUART arrived at Suda at 1100 with 2000 men.

 

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 Halfaya Pass.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

Submarine UNION departed 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 this patrol.

 

 

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 Island.

 

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 Rosyth.

 

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 60-10N, 8-54W.

 

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 survivors.

_____

 

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 submarine.

_____

 

Submarine TORBAY unsuccessfully attacked a steamer off Cape Ferrato.

_____

 

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 (8672grt).

 

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 ratings.

 

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 use.

_____

 

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 BAY for the day only and corvettes CLEMATIS, CROCUS, CYCLAMAN, and MARGUERITE to 6 May.

 

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 hydroplanes.

_____

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD and MAORI, which formed a striking force for convoy HX.121, attacked a submarine contact in 60-10N, 17W.

 

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 Head.

 

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 tanker.

 

Submarine U.96 sank British tanker OILFIELD (8516grt) in 60-05N, 17W.

 

Forty five crew and two gunners were lost on the tanker.

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 lost.

_____

 

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 Yugoslav refugees.

 

On arrival at Kalamata, the harbour was reported to be in enemy hands. Destroyer HERO was sent to investigate and the Main Force retired.

 

Destroyers HERO, KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR, and KINGSTON did pick up some 450 troops from Kalamata.

_____

 

Lighter A.15 departed Suda Bay 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 May.

 

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 to Gibraltar.

_____

 

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 Suez.

 

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 May.

_____

 

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, Tyne.

 

Both ships were towed back to port.

_____

 

Convoy GA.15 departed the Aegean with troopships DELANE 6054grt), THURLAND 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 Bay and joined the aborted Kalamata force cruisers PERTH and PHOEBE and the Monemvasia cruiser AJAX north of Crete. Destroyers 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 German bombing.

 

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 to Heraklion.

_____

 

Convoy service ship CHAKLA (3081grt) was sunk by German bombers inside Tobruk Harbour.

 

Only two ratings were wounded in the sinking of the ship.

_____

 

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 Westgarth.

 

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 Malta.

_____

 

German raider THOR arrived in port after sinking eleven ships for (83,000grt).

 

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 Channel.

 

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 Gibraltar to 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 Espichel.

 

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.

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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.

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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 wounded.

 

The twenty one survivors were picked up by a British warship.

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Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed Singapore with the Australian delegates of the ABDA conference.

 

The cruiser arrived at Sydney on 3 May.

 

 

April, miscellaneous

 

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 1944.

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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.

 
 

on to Naval Events, MAY 1941
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revised 7/4/12
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