Background Events - January-May 1941
Cape Matapan, Battles for Greece & Crete,
Capture of U.110, Enigma codes, Loss of 'Hood',
sinking of 'Bismarck'
Thursday, 1 May
Heavy cruiser LONDON arrived at Scapa Flow after escorting convoy SL.71.
Destroyers BEDOUIN and ANTELOPE departed Scapa Flow at 2345 to investigate a submarine contact
reported in Preswick Bay.
No contact was made and the destroyers arrived back
at Scapa Flow at 0800/2nd.
Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 1900 to join the Plymouth Command.
Destroyer SIKH departed at 2200/11th.
The 4th Destroyer Flotilla ships were replaced in
the Home Fleet by the destroyers of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla.
Destroyer IMPULSIVE, escorting steamer AMSTERDAM, departed Aberdeen for Lerwick at 0200 and arrived at 1520.
At 0035/3rd, the destroyer and steamer departed
Lerwick for the return to Aberdeen.
At 0500, steamer ARCHANGEL from Kirkwall join
company off Duncansby Head. Off Aberdeen, the destroyer parted company and returned to
Scapa Flow, arriving at 1830.
Australian destroyer NESTOR departed Greenock at 1330 to rejoin the 7th Destroyer Flotilla operating with the Home
Fleet, and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/2nd.
P/T/Midshipman (A) J. A. David RNVR, was killed
when his Albacore of 767 Squadron from Arbroath crashed near Glen Cova.
Minesweeping trawler JEAN FREDERIC (329grt) with a
Dutch crew, and escorting a convoy, was sunk by German bombing off Start Point. T/Sub Lt R. G. Madders RNVR was lost.
Balloon barrage vessel SATURNUS (200grt)
with a Dutch crew was declared a constructive total loss after damage.
U.552 sank British steamer NERISSA (5583grt) in
Eighty three crew and one hundred and twenty four
passengers were lost on the steamer. Twenty three crew and fifty one
passengers were rescued.
Among the passengers lost were Lt Cdr R. A. F.
Nicholl-Cadell Rtd, Paymaster Cdr F. R. W. Nixon RCN, sub Lt B. Harvey RCN, and Sub Lt E. G. Robbins RCN, en route to Canada.
U.103 sank British steamer SAMSO (1494grt) at
8-35N, 16-17W. One crewman was lost on the steamer.
British steamer SEA FISHER (2950grt) was damaged on a mine in 55-34N,
The steamer was beached by tugs. She was refloated
and arrived at Middlesborough on the 5th.
Destroyer FAULKNOR with Dutch submarine O.21
departed Gibraltar for exercises.
Former Italian steamer POLINICE (1373grt) under
Control was sunk by German bombing at Malta.
The steamer was later salved.
Anti-submarine trawler LOCH OSKAIG (534grt)
captured French steamer CAP CANTIN
At 0430/2nd, Battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers
FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FURY, FORESTER, and FORTUNE departed Gibraltar to ensure the French would not attempt to
recapture the steamer.
Destroyer FORESIGHT took over escort of the steamer
and the anti-submarine trawler returned to patrol.
Destroyers JAGUAR and JUNO attacked a submarine contact in 32-59N, 27-52E.
A premature explosion of a depth charge on
destroyer JUNO killed Gunner (T) S. C. Parker, which died of
wounds on the 2nd, and four ratings and eleven men were wounded.
The ship sustained minor damage only.
Submarine TRUANT arrived at Malta from patrol. Owing to the danger from night
minelaying, she was sailed at 2000 for Gibraltar.
Sub Lt R. D. B. Hopkins, on loan to the RAF in a
Beaufighter of 525 Squadron, was taken prisoner by the French after the
aircraft crashed between Speval and Gibraltar.
Italian light cruisers EUGENIO DI SAVOIA, DUCA
D'AOSTA, and ATTENDOLO and destroyers PIGAFETTA, ZENO, DA MOSTO, DA VERAZZANO,
DA RECCO, and PESSAGNO laid mines north of Tripoli.
German steamer LARRISA (1819grt) was sunk on a mine
in the Gulf of Volos.
Italian steamer SERDICA (1533grt) was sunk by
British bombing at Benghazi.
When a direction finding bearing indicated an
Italian submarine in 35-00N, 15-30W, Corvettes FLEUR DE LYS, SPIRAE, and
COREOPSIS departed Gibraltar to search.
On the 4th, the corvettes attacked a firm contact
110 miles 280° Cape Spartel.
Corvettes JONQUIL, GERANIUM, and AZALEA were
ordered to join in the search.
Ocean boarding vessel CAVINA captured Italian
tanker SANGRO (6466grt), which departed Teneriffe on 21 April for France, on
the 1st in 44-36N, 30-20W. The vessel turned the tanker over to Ocean
boarding vessel CAMITO for the voyage to Gibraltar.
Corvettes HEATHER and ORCHIS were ordered to meet
and escort the two ships to Gibraltar.
U.97 sank ocean boarding vessel CAMITO (6833grt,
A/Cdr A. A. Barnet RNR) and the tanker on the 6th in 50-42N, 21-20W.
A/Sub Lt (E) R. H. Barclay RNVR, Lt D. M. Brown
RNR, T/Sub Lt C. B. Fisher RNVR, A/Sub Lt (E) R. H.
Lewis RNVR, T/Sub Lt G. V. Townley RNR, T/Sub Lt (E) E. Williams RNR, and twenty two ratings were lost on the ocean
CAMITO's prise crew on SANGRO and all but four of
SANGRO's crew were lost.
Only two of CAMITO's ship's company were lost. The
rest were picked up by corvette ORCHIS.
Ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN captured French
three masted schooner MARTIN PECHEUR (350grt).
The ship sank as a result of a fire on the 10th in
37-07N, 8-34W. The prise crew made their way to Gibraltar in one of the ship's boats.
Friday, 2 May
Ex-US Coast Guard cutter/escort ship LULWORTH (Lt
Cdr C. Gwinner (emcgy), built in the US, was commissioned at New York with crew from battleship RESOLUTION under repair.
Convoy OB.318 departed Liverpool by destroyers CAMPBELTOWN and NEWMARKET, sloop ROCHESTER, corvettes MARYGOLD, NASTURTIUM, and PRIMROSE, and
anti-submarine trawler ANGLE. Destroyer WESTCOTT and corvettes AURICULA and
DIANTHUS joined on the 3rd. The destroyers, which joined on the 2nd, and the
trawler were detached on the 7th. On the 7th, destroyers AMAZON, BROADWAY,
and BULLDOG, corvettes AUBRETIA, HOLLYHOCK, and NIGELLA, armed merchant
cruiser RANPURA, and anti-submarine trawlers DANEMAN and ST APOLLO joined the
escort. On the 8th, destroyer WESTCOTT, sloop ROCHESTER, and corvettes AURICULA, DIANTHUS, MARIGOLD,
NASTURUTIUM, and PRIMROSE were detached; the corvettes to join HX.123. The
remainder of the escort was detached on the 10th when the convoy was
Minesweeping trawler ALBERIC (286grt, T/Lt R M
Johnson RNVR) was sunk in an accidental collision with destroyer ST ALBANS in
T/Sub Lt C. S. Whitehead RNVR, and twelve ratings
were lost on the trawler.
The destroyer proceeded to Southampton at 0400/9th for repairs to her bows, completing on
Armed yacht NYULA (48grt, T/Lt W. H. F. Kelly RNVR)
was sunk in a collision off the Tyne.
U.201 sank British tanker CAPULET (8190grt), which
had been torpedoed and abandoned on 28 April, in 60N, 16W.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) S. W. Everett RNVR, was killed when
his Swordfish of 828 Squadron from Hatston crashed into the sea.
German auxiliary anti-submarine trawler Vp 808
(trawler REICHSPRASIDENT VOR HINDENBURG: 321grt) was sunk by British bombing
northwest of Borkum.
Harbour was closed due to mining, but was reopened at 1730.
JAGUAR, IMPERIAL, and HASTY sailed after Alexandria
Harbour reopened to relieve destroyers STUART, VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA,
and WATERHEN escorting the Battle Fleet.
The Australian destroyers arrived at Alexandria that evening.
Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER departed Port Said
late on the 2nd to embark troops at Mersa Matruh and transport them to
JERSEY (Lt Cdr A.
F. Burnell-Nugent) entering Grand Harbour, Malta, was sunk on a mine.
Lt (E) M. G. Gardner and Surgeon Lt D. Lorimer
RNVR, and thirty three ratings were killed. Two officers and forty six
ratings were wounded.
Because there were no minesweepers available, light
cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyers KIPLING and KASHMIR were sent to Gibraltar.
Destroyers KELLY, JACKAL, and KELVIN had already
entered the harbour and remained with repairing destroyer JANUS.
On the 3rd, light cruiser GLOUCESTER exploded a mine in her paravane at 0224. She was
attacked by Italian bombers and hit on the stern by a bomb which did not
explode at 1325. Neither incident caused significant damage to the cruiser
which was docked briefly to correct the damage on her arrival at Gibraltar.
Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyers KIPLING and KASHMIR arrived at Gibraltar on the 4th.
Gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Derna.
British steamer PARRACOMBE (4702grt), carrying
crated twenty one Hurricanes and other stores brought from England in convoy
OG.59 for Malta, was sunk 9½ miles 62°
Cape Bon on a mine. This movement had been designated Operation TEMPLE.
Eighteen crew were interned in Bizerte.
Greek steamer VIRGINIA (2041grt) arrived at Tobruk
After unloading, the steamer departed during the
night of 2/3 May, escorted by anti-submarine trawler WOLBOROUGH.
Despite air attacks in Tobruk
Harbour on the 2nd and at sea on the 3rd, the steamer was not damaged.
Destroyer FOXHOUND arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.
Destroyer VIDETTE arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown escorting British steamer NYHOLT.
Saturday, 3 May
Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed Scapa Flow to relieve heavy cruiser EXETER and light cruiser NIGERIA on Iceland Faroes Channel patrol.
Heavy cruiser EXETER proceeded to Hvalfjord.
Light cruiser NIGERIA arrived at Scapa Flow on the 5th.
Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers ECHO, ACTIVE, ANTHONY, and ACHATES were ordered to
return to Scapa Flow.
The ships called at Reykjavik to refuel destroyers. Destroyer ECHO was detached and arrived at Hvalfjord at 2350.
The HOOD group departed Iceland at 1800/4th and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1300/6th.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 0715
to cover convoy EC.14 from May Island.
Firth on the 4th, the
ship was detached from the duty and returned to Scapa Flow arriving at 0700.
In a German bombing raid on Portsmouth during the night of 3/4 May, light cruiser SIRIUS
under construction was damaged by a bomb which went through her.
Minelayer ADVENTURE, under repair,was damaged by
splinters from German bombing at Liverpool during
the night of 3/4 May.
The cruiser's repair was unaffected.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by patrol sloops
SHELDRAKE and KITTIWAKE, laid minefield BS.55 off the east coast of England.
Paddle minesweepers SNAEFELL and THAMES QUEEN
accompanied the minelay.
Light cruiser DELHI arrived at New York to refit.
Refit was completed on 12 January 1942.
German tanker NORDMARK replenished U.105 and U.107
U.103 sank British steamer WRAY
CASTLE (4253grt) in 6-48N, 13-55W. One crewman was lost on the steamer.
U.95 sank Norwegian steamer TARANGER (4873grt) in
61-07N, 25-20W. Two crew were lost.
In German bombing on Liverpool.
British steamer CORBET (468grt) was sunk on a mine
two cables 248° from Herculaneum Dock entrance, Liverpool.
Eight crew were lost. One was rescued from the
British sailing barge BARNACLE (138grt), tug BONITA
(65grt) in Waterloo Dock, motor barge EMILY BURTON (58grt), sailing barge
PIKE (168grt), sailing barge LING (164grt), steam barge WALTON (82grt) at
Huskisson Branch No. 3 Dock, sailing barge SILVERDALE (176grt) at Canada
Dock, motor vessel IVY P. (79grt) at Langton Branch Dock, flats GROSENOR,
ROVER, BRILL (106grt), DACE (143grt), LUCE (143grt) at Canada Dock, MUS
(81grt), RAY (91grt), ROACH (108grt), launch SURVEYOR No. 3
(7grt), barges LONGENDALE (177grt), ELLESPORT (55grt), ORRELL at Alexandra
Dock No. 3, and PIKE, and Norwegian steamer BRA-KAR (3778grt)were sunk by
German bombing at Liverpool.
There were no casualties on tug BONITA.
Steamer MALAKAND (7649grt) carried ammunition. A partially
deflated barrage balloon fell on deck and caught fire. The ship was abandoned
at 0030/4th and blew up about 0730. One crewman from steamer MALAKAND was
Steamer ELSTREE GRANGE (6598grt), steamer DOMINO
(1453grt) at Canada Dock, steamer EUROPA (10,224grt), and barge ELLESPORT
were lost when steamer MALAKAND exploded. Steamer TACOMA STAR (7924grt) was sunk, but was later salved.
There were no casualties on steamer DOMINO. One
crewman was lost on the steamer TACOMA STAR.
Flat LUCE was lost when she caught fire from the
explosion of steamer BRA-KAR and sailing barge OYSTER.
British steamers AUSTRALIA STAR (12,614grt) and CANTAL (3178grt)were damaged by
German bombing at Liverpool. One crewman was lost on the steamer CANTAL.
During the night of 3/4 May, British steamer
BARONESE (8663grt), British steamer LOBOS (6479grt), Tug WAPITI (208grt),
British steamer MAHOUT (7921grt), British tanker SAN FABIAN (13,031grt) at Stanlow, Liverpool, steamer
SILVERSANDAL (6770grt), British steamer BUSIRIS (943grt), British sailing
barge LIMPET (164grt), British sailing barge OYSTER (133grt), British sailing
barge GLITTO (166grt), and British sailing barge CLAM (159grt), Greek steamer
KADIN (3582grt), and Dutch steamer SALLAND (6447grt) were damaged at
Liverpool by German bombing.
Damage to steamer MAHOUT caused by explosion of
Tanker SAN FABIAN was repaired at Mobile.
Steamer SILVERSANDAL was set afire by the MALAKAND
explosion. One crewman was killed on the steamer. One crewman was killed on
Norwegian steamer SALLAND.
British steamer ROYSTON (2722grt) was badly damaged
by German bombing 270° from 62C Buoy, Humber.
The steamer was taken in tow and sank on the 5th in
Norwegian steamer SITONA (1143grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing in 53-12N, 1-11E. The entire crew was rescued.
The steamer sank on the 4th.
Norwegian steamer TRAJAN (1347grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 53-10N, 1-13E. The entire crew was rescued.
Light vessel SIRIUS (176grt) was sunk on a mine at
Albert Dock, Liverpool.
Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT, aircraft carrier
FORMIDABLE, and destroyers ILEX, KANDAHAR,
JAGUAR, GREYHOUND, HASTY, and IMPERIAL arrived at Alexandria.
Anti-aircraft cruiser PHOEBE and destroyers HERO,
HOTSPUR, ISIS, HAVOCK, and KIMBERLEY departed Port Said and arrived at Alexandria on the 3rd.
Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER shelled Tobruk during
the night of 3/4 May.
The destroyers then returned to Alexandria.
British steamer ARAYBANK (7258grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing at Suda Bay.
The steamer was bombed again on the 16th and became
a total loss.
Italian torpedo boat CANOPO was sunk by British
bombing at Tripoli.
Italian steamer BIRMANIA (5305grt) was set afire
Italian steamer CITTA D' BARI (3339grt) was lost from the explosion of steamer
Italian coastal steamer GUISSEPPE ORLAND (838grt)
was lost on a mine at Tripoli.
Italian coastal steamer TUGNIN F. (425grt) was sunk
by Submarine TRIUMPH gunfire eleven miles northwest of Mersa Brega.
Ocean boarding vessel HILARY intercepted Italian
tanker RECCO (5595grt), which had departed Teneriffe on 21 April, in 44-37N,
The tanker scuttled herself to avoid capture.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Colombo.
Sunday, 4 May
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed
Scapa Flow for
docking at Rosyth to replace a damaged propeller.
The cruiser departed Rosyth after repairs on the
11th. Departing, the cruiser was involved in a collision with Dutch skoot
SPARTA, but no damage was done to the cruiser.
Destroyers INTREPID and IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow at 0715 for Loch Alsh to escort minelaying operation
The destroyers arrived at 1640.
Destroyer PUNJABI departed Rosyth at 2350 escorting
armed merchant cruiser MORETON BAY
to Cape Wrath.
After this escort, the destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 2030/5th.
Minesweeping trawler BEN GAIRN (234grt, T/Lt R. H. Masurier RNVR) was sunk
by a parachute mine Waveney Dock, Lowestoft.
There were no casualties on the trawler.
Destroyer SOUTHDOWN, which departed Sheerness on
the 3rd was damaged in the North
Sea by the near miss of German
The destroyer's hull was leaking and her steering
motors were temporarily out of action.
Minesweeper SELKIRK was damaged by the near miss of
a German bomb off Roughs Buoy.
The ship was towed to port and was under repair in
the Thames from 15 May to 31 July.
Patrol yacht FRANC TIREUR was also damaged by a
U.38 sank Swedish steamer JAPAN (5230grt) from dispersed convoy OB.310 at 249
miles northwest of Freetown. The entire crew was taken prisoner.
British steamer TREGOR (222grt) was sunk by German
bombing six miles off Trevose Head. The crew of six were rescued.
Belgian steamer MARIE FLORE (545grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 50-41N, 5-05W.
The steamer was beached at Padstow on the 5th.
PNEUMATIC ELEVATOR No. 11 (295grt) was sunk at
Liverpool as a result of the explosion of steamer MALAKAND
Tug BISON (274grt), British steamer TALTHYBIUS
(10,254grt), British steamer BARON INCHCAPE (7005grt), Tug HORNBY (201grt),
Tug ENID BLANCHE (99grt), British hopper barge No. 33 (718grt), barge AID
(209grt), flat JOHN (67grt), and British steamer ROXBURGH
CASTLE (7801grt) were damaged by German bombing at
Steamer BARON INCHCAPE settled onto the seabed. She
was bombed again on the 6th.
Steamer TALTHYBIUS was bombed again on the 8th.
CASTLE was repaired at Birkenhead.
During the night of 4/5 May, British sailing barge
BONGO (46grt) was damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.
Australian sloop YARRA arrived to Basra to quell rebellion.
A few days later, the sloop engaged Iraqi gunboats
and captured them along with some Axis merchantships.
Minesweeper FERMOY was sunk in dock at Malta by German bombing.
Hospital ship KARAPARA (7117grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Tobruk.
The hospital ship arrived at Alexandria on the 6th and continued on to Port Said.
Submarine TAKU made an unsuccessful attack on a
coastal steamer in the Messina Strait.
Italian torpedo boat GIUSEPPE LA FARINA, which had
departed Tripoli on the 3rd for Trapani with tanker LUISIANO (2552grt), was sunk by a mine
An Italian convoy with troopship VICTORIA (13,098grt), ANDREA GRITTI (6338grt), SEBASTIANO
VENIER (6311grt), MARCO FOSCARINI (6342grt), BARBARIGO (5293grt), CALITEA
(4013grt), and ANKARA (4768grt) departed Naples escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI and
MALOCELLO and torpedo boats PEGASO, ORIONE, and CASSIOPEA.
The convoy was covered by light cruisers EUGENIO DI
SAVOIA, DUCA D' AOSTA, and ATTENDOLO and destroyers PIGAFETTA, ZENO, DE RECCO, DA MOSTA, and VERAZZANO.
En route to Tripoli, destroyers PIGAFETTA and ZENO attacked a
The convoy arrived without loss on the 5th.
On the convoy return, the distant force covered a
German convoy to Italy of steamers MARBURG (7564grt), KYBFELS (7764grt),
REICHENFELS (7744grt), MARCO POLO (12,272grt), and RIALTO (6099grt) escorted
by destroyers EURO and FULMINE and torpedo boats PROCIONE, ORSA, CENTAURO,
CIGNO, and PERSEO from Tripoli on the 5th.
The convoy arrived at Palermo on the 7th.
Light cruisers FIJI from convoy SL.72 and NAIAD from convoy WS.8A
arrived at Gibraltar and embarked ammunition for the passage to the
Monday, 5 May
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and seaplane tender
PEGASUS were damaged by German bombing at Belfast.
Neither ship was significantly damaged. The
aircraft carrier was struck by one small bomb, a parachute mine lifted FURIOUS's
stern bodily, and a near miss slightly damaged the port funnel duct. The
seaplane tender required seven days repair.
The next day, aircraft carrier FURIOUS departed
Destroyer VOLUNTEER, under repair and in drydock,
was also damaged by German bombing.
Corvette LA MALOUINE at anchor in Musgrave Channel
was damaged by a near miss.
The corvette was repaired at Belfast in three months.
Corvettes BRYONY and BUTTERCUP were also damaged.
Minelayers AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS, and PORT QUEBEC of the 1st Minelaying Squadron departed
Loch Alsh to lay minefield SN.9A escorted by destroyers INTREPID, IMPULSIVE,
ST MARYS, and BRIGHTON.
Light cruiser KENYA was with the force from the Butt of Lewis.
Light cruisers EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER, and BIRMINGHAM of the 18th Cruiser Squadron departed Scapa Flow on the 5th to cover the minelay which was
accomplished on the 6th.
After the minelaying, the cruisers of the 18th Cruiser
Squadron joined destroyers SOMALI, NESTOR, BEDOUIN, and ESKIMO, which had
departed Scapa Flow at 0815/5th and refuelled at Skaalefjord, for
operation EB. The destroyers departed Skaalefjord at 0730/6th and joined the
cruisers at sea in 62-50N, 5-20W.
Light cruiser NIGERIA arrived at Scapa Flow after Faroes-Iceland patrol.
Destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow to join convoy HX.122 being shadowed by a German
En route, the destroyers were involved in a search
for a submarine contact reported by aircraft. The search was unsuccessful and
the destroyers joined the convoy by dark.
After safely delivering the convoy, the destroyers
met convoy SC.29 on the 6th.
The destroyers were detached from convoy SN.29 at dark
on the 7th and arrived back at Scapa Flow at
noon on the 8th.
Destroyer TARTAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 1845 after boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
Destroyer BROCKLESBY with anti-submarine trawler
HAMLET departed Scapa Flow at 2030 to escort tanker WAR DIWAN to Skaalefjord.
The ships arrived at 2230/6th. At 2330, destroyer
BROCKLESBY, trawler HAMLET, and tanker WAR PINDARI departed Skaalefjord.
Fve miles 270° from Gloup Holm at 2350/7th, the
ships met tanker WAR BHARATA for escort to Scapa Flow.
At 1445/8th, destroyer BROCKLESBY arrived back at
Scapa Flow after this escort duty.
Corvette BEGONIA picked up seventeen survivors from
a sunken merchant ship. She transferred these survivors to destroyer
British boom defence vessel FIDELIA (147grt) was
sunk by German bombing at Lowestoft.
British steamer ST EUNAN (436grt) was damaged by
mining five miles southwest of St Ann's Head.
U.38 sank British steamer QUEEN MAUD (4976grt) in
7-54N, 16-41W. One crewman was lost from the steamer.
British steam barge TRAFFIC (155grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Huskisson Dock, Liverpool.
The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer SILVERSANDAL (6770grt), which had
been slightly damaged by bombing on the 3rd, and British steamer CLAN
MACINNES (4672grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.
British whaler SUMBA (231grt) was damaged by a near miss from German bomb.
The whaler was beached in Sully
Barry Roads. She arrived at Barry for repairs on the 12th.
British steamer FAIR HEAD (1719grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Belfast. Two crew were lost.
Destroyer NEWARK under repair at Belfast was damaged in the bombing.
British steamers SHEPPERTON FERRY (2839grt) and
BRETON (6044grt) and blockship FREDERIKA LENSEN (4283grt) were damaged by
German bombing at Belfast.
BRETON was sunk in dock. She was refloated and repaired.
Destroyer MARKSMAN, under construction at Greenock was lifted off the blocks and severely damaged by German bombing.
The destroyer suffered severe damage to her stern.
The construction of the destroyer, renamed MAHRATTA, was restarted in another
berth on 18 August.
Submarines TRAVELLER and TROOPER, under
construction, at Greenock were damaged by German bombing in the Scotts yard.
Convoy OG.61 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop SCARBOROUGH and anti-submarine trawler MAN O.WAR.
The trawler was detached on the 6th and replaced by
anti-submarine trawler WELLARD, which continued with the convoy until dark.
On the 7th, destroyers KEPPEL, LINCOLN, and SABRE,
sloop FLEETWOOD, and corvettes ALISMA, DIANELLA, and KINGCUP joined the
Sloop FLEETWOOD and the corvettes were detached on
the 9th and the destroyers on the 1st.
Dutch submarine O.21 joined the convoy on the 13th
and corvettes AZALEA, GERANIUM, and JONQUIL, which departed Gibraltar on the 13th, on the 14th.
The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 19th, escorted by sloop SCARBOROUGH and submarine O.21.
Part of Convoy WS.8A neared Gibraltar after being escorted from England by battlecruiser REPULSE, anti-aircraft cruiser
NAIAD, and destroyers HAVELOCK,
HESPERUS, and HARVESTER.
This convoy, designated TIGER, was merchant ships
CLAN LAMONT (7250grt), CLAN CHATTAN (7262grt), CLAN CAMPBELL (7255grt), NEW ZEALAND STAR (10,740grt), and EMPIRE SONG (9228grt). Battleship
QUEEN ELIZABETH and destroyers VELOX, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, and FORTUNE
departed Gibraltar at 1600/4th to relieve battlecruiser REPULSE and
the three H.class destroyers which proceeded to Gibraltar, arriving at 1730/5th.
Battleship RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL,
light cruisers FIJI and SHEFFIELD, and destroyers WRESTLER, KASHMIR, and KIPLING met the convoy and the two groups passed
Gibraltar during the night of 5/6 May.
On the 6th, destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FURY,
HARVESTER, HAVELOCK, and HESPERUS departed Gibraltar at 0330 and joined the force. Light cruisers NAIAD
and GLOUCESTER departed at 1320/5th and 0345/6th, respectively.
Battlecruiser REPULSE was left at Gibraltar due to
her inadequate anti-aircraft protection.
Anti-aircraft cruisers CARLISLE and COVENTRY, destroyers DEFENDER, GREYHOUND, and HASTY,
corvette GLOXINIA, and whaler SWONA departed Alexandria on the 5th with the slow Malta convoy MW 7B consisting Norwegian tankers HOEGH
HOOD (9351grt) and SVENOR (7616grt).
Whaler SWONA was to complete fitting LL sweeps at
Destroyer DEFENDER departed with convoy MW 7 B, but
had to return to Alexandria on the 6th with condenser problems.
In Operation MD.4, the Mediterranean Fleet
battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, and VALIANT, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, light
cruisers AJAX, ORION, and PERTH, minelayer ABDIEL, and destroyers JERVIS
(D.14), JUNO, JAGUAR, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NAPIER
(D.7), NIZAM, IMPERIAL, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR, and HAVOCK departed Alexandria on
Fast supply ship BRECONSHIRE also departed Alexandria to refuel destroyers at Malta.
Light cruisers DIDO and PHOEBE, anti-aircraft cruiser
CALCUTTA, and destroyers ILEX, ISIS, HERO, and HEREWARD departed Alexandria
after the Fleet with the fast Malta convoy MW 7 A supply ships British
SETTLER (6000grt), Norwegian THERMOPYLAE (6655grt), Danish AMERIKA
(10,218grt), and Norwegian TALABOT (6798grt), and tug ST ISSEY.
On the 7th, the Mediterranean Fleet destroyers were
refuelled at sea from supply ship BRECONSHIRE.
During the night of 7/8 May, Light cruiser AJAX and destroyers HAVOCK, HOTSPUR, and IMPERIAL
Italian steamers TENACE (1142grt) and CAPITANO
CECCHI (2321grt) were sunk at Benghazi in the bombardment at 3½ miles 299° from Marabutto
Sidi Bu Fachra and 2½ miles 314° from Tre Palme, respectively.
The British ships rejoined the Battle Fleet at
Italian light cruisers DUCA DEGLI ABRUZZI,
GARIBALDI, BANDE NERE, and CADORNA and five destroyers departed Palermo on the 8th. They were reported by British air west
of Trapani on the 8th.
The escorts of both Malta convoys were detached at dark on the 8th before
the convoys arrived at Malta to join the TIGER convoy off Pantelleria. Both
convoys safely arrived at Malta on the 9th following corvette GLOXINIA's
minesweeping of the Channel.
Supply ship BRECONSHIRE and destroyer HOTSPUR,
HAVOCK, and IMPERIAL proceeded to Malta on the 8th, arriving the next day.
Pilot Lt Cdr R. C. Tillard DSC and Observer Lt M.
F. Somerville DSC, in a Fulmar of the 808 Squadron from aircraft carrier ARK
ROYAL was lost on the 8th.
Pilot Lt C. W. R. Peever and Petty Officer Airman
F. Coston in a Fulmar of 803 Squadron, Lt Observer Lt (A) G. B. Davie RNVR,
and Petty Officer Airman W. T. Chatfield in aFulmar of 803 Squadron and Pilot
T/Sub Lt (A) K. H. Smith RNVR, Observer P/T/Sub Lt (A) B. H. Groves RNVR, and
Leading Airman C. F. Norman in an Albacore of 829 Squadron from aircraft
carrier FORMIDABLE were lost on the 8th. A second Albacore was shot down, but
its crew was rescued. Additionally, an Albacore of 826 Squadron, piloted by
Lt Cdr W. H. G. Saint ran out of fuel and ditched astern of battleship BARHAM
which rescued the crew.
Battlecruiser RENOWN had a gun accident on the 8th
which killed six ratings and wounded Sub Lt D. M. Brightman RNVR, and twenty
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH was attacked by one
Italian torpedo plane during the night of 8/9 May and was near missed. Damage
was claimed in this attack on battlecruiser RENOWN.
British steamer EMPIRE SONG (9228grt) of the TIGER
convoy was lost in the Narrows off Malta on the 9th on a mine.
Her crew was picked up by destroyer FORESIGHT,
which was damaged by debris and concussion damage to her machinery from the
exploding steamer and sustained several casualties. Destroyer FORTUNE was
also standing by the steamer and picked up all but A/Gunner (T) A. E. Carter
which was killed from FORESIGHT's whaler which was also sunk in the
Eighteen crew and passengers were lost on the
Steamer NEW ZEALAND STAR (10,740grt) was lightly damaged by mining at the
same time as steamer EMPIRE SONG.
Force H.was relieved at 1515/9th in the Narrows
fifty miles south of Malta of the escort of the convoy by Light cruisers
PHOEBE and DIDO, anti-aircraft cruisers COVENTRY, CALCUTTA, and CARLISLE, and
destroyers ILEX, ISIS, HERO, HEREWARD, GREYHOUND, and HASTY.
Force H.destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FORESIGHT,
FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FEARLESS proceeded into Malta to refuel.
The convoy escort was still composed of battleship
QUEEN ELIZABETH, light cruisers GLOUCESTER, NAIAD, and FIJI.
The Malta destroyer force of destroyers KELLY, JACKAL,
KELVIN, and JANUS had been mined in port since JERSEY's loss on the 2nd. Minesweeping corvette GLOXINIA was able to clear a
channel to allow the destroyers to depart to meet the TIGER convoy on the
Depth charges had been used also to clear a channel
Passing the Narrows, the convoy was left to light cruisers DIDO, NAIAD, and PHOEBE,
anti-aircraft cruisers CARLISLE, CALCUTTA, and COVENTRY, and the destroyers. The rest of the ships joined
the Mediterranean Fleet Main Body.
Italian air reconnaissance reported a cruiser and
four destroyers (destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FEARLESS
returning to rejoin Force H.after refuelling at Malta; destroyer FORESIGHT remained at Malta) proceeding at high speed towards Gibraltar.
Twenty one Italian planes attacked this force on
the 10th and claimed damaging a cruiser. Destroyer FORTUNE was badly damaged
by a near miss. Destroyer FURY escorted the damaged destroyer. On the 11th,
tug ST DAY and four motor launches met destroyer FORTUNE.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD and destroyers HARVESTER and HESPERUS were
detached to escort. They arrived at Gibraltar at 2039
on the 12th.
Destroyer FORTUNE was repaired to complete in
November, including refitting, at Chatham.
At 1700/10th, the British Malta destroyers KELLY,
KIPLING, JACKAL, KASHMIR, and KELVIN were detached from the Battle Fleet to
bombard Benghazi before returning to port.
The bombardment was accomplished.
Destroyers KELVIN, KELLY, KASHMIR, and JACKAL were all near missed by German dive bombing after the
Lt (A) P. S. Touchbourne and Leading Airman C. H.
Thompson of 806 Squadron from FORMIDABLE was killed when their Fulmar crashed
taking off on the 10th.
On the 11th, anti-aircraft cruisers DIDO and CALCUTTA and destroyers JANUS and ISIS were detached from
the Battle Fleet to proceed to Alexandria to refuel.
On the 11th, sub Lt (A) P. D. J. Sparke and Leading
Airman A. S Rush of 806 Squadron from FORMIDABLE were killed when their
Fulmar was lost after colliding with a German bomber.
The DIDO group arrived at Alexandria early on the 12th and departed the same day to
join convoy ANF.30.
Destroyers KELLY, JACKAL, KELVIN, KASHMIR, and KIPLING arrived at Malta during the morning of the 12 May.
The Mediterranean Fleet arrived at Alexandria at 1300 with battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, and VALIANT,
aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD, CARLISLE, and COVENTRY, light cruisers GLOUCESTER, FIJI, and PERTH, and destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR, JUNO, NAPIER, NIZAM, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, ILEX, HERO, HAVOCK, HOTSPUR, HASTY, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL,
KANDAHAR, KINGSTON, and KIMBERLEY.
Force H.of battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier
ARK ROYAL,and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FURY, FEARLESS, and HAVELOCK
arrived at Gibraltar at 1800/12th.
Australian destroyers VOYAGER and WATERHEN departed
Alexandria on a transport mission to Tobruk during the night
of 5/6 May.
The destroyers arrived at 0030/6th and departed at
0400 the same day to continue to Alexandria.
Destroyer VIDETTE departed Gibraltar for refitting in the United Kingdom.
Australian sloop PARRAMATTA arrived at Suez to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet. However, she
was ordered to remain there temporarily to provide anti-aircraft protection
for liners QUEEN MARY and QUEEN ELIZABETH.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES arrived at Suva with a liner from Auckland.
Tuesday, 6 May
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS arrived at Liverpool. The aircraft carrier had been refitting at Belfast.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) J. V. Eckford RNVR, Leading Airman
G. B. Barrett, and Leading Airman D. Henshall were killed when their Proctor
of 750/752 Squadron crashed off Trinidad.
U.103 sank British steamer SURAT (5529grt) at 8-23N, 15-13W. Three crew were killed
on the steamer.
U.556 sank Faroes fishing trawler EMANUEL (166grt)
with artillery in 62-06N, 8-10W. Three crew were killed.
U.105 sank British steamer OAKDENE (4255grt) in
There were no casualties on the steamer.
U.103 sank British steamer DUNKWA (4752grt) at
Three gunners were lost from the steamer.
British steamer INDUSTRIA (4861grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Liverpool.
The steamer proceeded to Greenock where she was drydocked on the 19th.
Greek steamer MOSCHA D. KYDONIEFS (3874grt) was
damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.
Convoy HG.61 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop SANDWICH, corvettes AZALEA, GERANIUM, and JONQUIL, and Dutch submarine O.21.
The convoy was joined on the 7th by special service
The corvettes were detached on the 12th and the
submarine on the 13th.
Ocean boarding vessel HILARY joined the convoy with
captured Italian tanker GIANNA M. on the 12th and ocean boarding vessel
CAVINA joined on the 14th.
On the 16th, the convoy was joined by destroyers
LEGION, READING, VANQUISHER, and WINCHELSEA, sloop LONDONDERRY, corvettes CAMPANULA, FREESIA, GENTIAN, HIBISCUS,
PIMPERNEL, and RHODODENDRON.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 20th.
Submarine CACHALOT arrived at Gibraltar from Devonport on the 6th.
The submarine departed on the 8th for Malta arriving on the 15th from England with supplies.
After unloading, the submarine departed on the 16th
Submarine TRIUMPH attacked a convoy of German
steamers BROOK (1225grt) and TILLY L. M. RUSS (1600grt) which departed Tripoli on the 5th for Benghazi escorted by Italian torpedo boat CLIMENE off
Buerat, but was unsuccessful.
Submarine TAKU sank Italian steamer CAGLIARI (2322grt)
at 1944, three miles from Fuscaldo, 39-11N,
Submarine TRUANT sank Italian steamer BENGASI (1716grt) three miles 131° from Cavoli.
Lt N. K. Cambell and Lt (A) G. D. Nutt of 830
Squadron from ST ANGELO were shot down and made prisoners of war in a raid on
Petty Officer Airman W. G. T. Welsh died of
injuries on the 7th.
Convoy AN.30 of British steamer LOSSIEBANK
(5627grt),CAPE HORN (5643grt), CITY OF CANTERBURY (8331grt), and RAWNSLEY (4998grt) departed Haifa escorted by sloop GRIMSBY and Port Said escorted by sloop FLAMINGO for Suda
Australian destroyers STUART, VAMPIRE, and WATERHEN
and Sloop AUCKLAND joined the convoy north of Alexandria on the 7th.
The convoy was delayed by engine problems in steamer CITY OF CANTERBURY, then in steamer RAWNSLEY.
On the 7th, destroyer STUART developed defects and
was sent back to Alexandria being relieved by destroyer VOYAGER.
British steamer RAWNSLEY (4998grt) was badly
damaged by German torpedo bombing in 34-59N, 25-46E on the 8th.
The steamer was taken in tow by sloop GRIMSBY and escorted by destroyer WATERHEN.
The steamer was towed to Herapatra
Bad weather prevented the steamer from being towed further on the 10th. The
steamer was anchored at Herapatra Bay
and sloop GRIMSBY returned to Alexandria.
Steamer RAWNSLEY was sunk by German air attack on
the 12th off Herapatra.
Destroyer STUART attacked a submarine contact 28.5
miles 278° from Ras el Tin. She was joined in the attack by anti-submarine
trawler KINGSTON CYANITE and anti-submarine whaler KOS 22.
The convoy arrived at Suda
on the 9th.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) L. M. Herbert RNVR, of 814 Squadron
in aircraft carrier HERMES, was killed when he was struck by a propeller
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Colombo with liners AQUITANIA (44,786grt), ILE DE FRANCE (43,450grt), and MAURETANIA (35,739grt) of convoy US.10B.
The convoy was turned over to Heavy cruiser CANBERRA on the 7th.
The light cruiser then proceeded to patrol.
Convoy HX.125 A departed Halifax escorted by battleship REVENGE, armed merchant
cruiser ASCANIA, and corvettes COBALt and WETASKIWIN. The corvettes were
detached later that day. Escort vessels BANFF, CULVER, FISHGUARD, and HARTLAND joined the convoy
on the 7th. The battleship was detached on the 13th. On the 16th, destroyers
CHELSEA, CHURCHILL, MANSFIELD, VERITY, and WOLVERINE and corvettes BEGONIA,
CONVOLVULUS, and LARKSPUR joined the escort and were detached on the 18th. On
the 18th, destroyers RAMSEY, RIPLEY, WALKER, and WATCHMAN, sloop ENCHANTRESS,
corvettes BLUEBELL, CANDYTUFT, HONEYSUCKLE, HYDRANGEA, TULIP, and WALLFLOWER
, and minesweeper SALAMANDER joined the convoy. Destroyer CALDWELL joined on
the 19th. Minesweepers BRAMBLE, GOSSAMER, SEAGULL, and SHARPSHOOTER were with
the convoy on the 19th. Destroyers ESCAPADE andINGLEFIELD joined the convoy
on the 20th and corvettes TULIP and WALLFLOWER were detached. Destroyers
ESCAPADE and INGLEFIELD and corvette HONEYSUCKLE were detached on the 21st.
Convoy HX.125B departed Halifax, escorted by sloop ABERDEEN.
The escort vessels BANFF, CULVER, FISHGUARD, and HARTLAND arrived at Greenock on the 22nd. Both convoys arrived at
Liverpool on the 22nd
Wednesday, 7 May
Light cruisers EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER, and
BIRMINGHAM after covering minelaying Operation SN.9 A met destroyers SOMALI,
NESTOR, BEDOUIN, and ESKIMO, which had just refuelled at Skaalefjord, in
62-50N, 5-20W for Operation EB to search for a German weather vessel.
On the 7th, German weather ship MUNCHEN (306grt)
was captured off Iceland.
Destroyer SOMALI was able to recover important
(Enigma code) documents from the ship.
Destroyers NESTOR arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100/8th. The cruisers and destroyer SOMALI
arrived at Scapa Flow on the 10th. Destroyers BEDOUIN and ESKIMO, which
had been detached to search for a submarine sixty miles west of the
Shetlands, arrived at Scapa Flow at 2145/10th.
The German ship arrived at Thorshavn on the 9th.
Destroyer FARNDALE departed Scapa
Flow at 1900/13th to
escort the ship. The destroyer arrived at 0945 and departed at 1515. The
destroyer and the trawler, disguised as Norwegian trawler FROYEN, arrived at
Scapa Flow at 2215/15th.
Destroyer WALPOLE departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for Aberdeen to meet steamers AMSTERDAM and
ARCHANGEL off the
entrance at 2300 and escort them to Lerwick and Kirkwall, respectively.
At 2050/8th, destroyer WALPOLE departed Lerwick
escorting steamer AMSTERDAM back to Aberdeen. The steamer was delivered to Aberdeen on the 9th. The destroyer returned to Kirkwall, arriving at 1300 to escort steamer
ARCHANGEL to Aberdeen. They departed at 1800 and arrived off Aberdeen at 0500/10th.
Destroyer WALPOLE arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0930/10th after this escort duty.
Convoy OB.319 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvettes ANEMONE and CLARKIA.
Destroyers BURNHAM, ERIDGE, and SALISBURY, catapult ship ARIGUANI, and minesweeper HUSSAR
joined the escort. Minesweeper NIGER, and anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN and VIZALMA
joined on the 9th. Destroyers BURNHAM and SALISBURY and the catapult ship were detached on the 12th.
Destroyers MANSFIELD and WOLVERINE and corvette CONVOLVULOUS joined on
the 12th. The escort was detached on the 13th when the convoy was dispersed.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0600 to escort convoy WN.23. At 1400, she
transferred to convoy EC.16.
At 0400/8th, the ship transferred to convoy WN.24
which she escorted to Methil arriving at 0730/9th.
During the night of 7/8 May, destroyer HURRICANE
was sunk by German air attack in shallow water at Liverpool.
The destroyer was salved and returned to service in
Destroyer VISCOUNT was also damaged in this air
raid. The destroyer was taken to Devonport and repair was completed in
CAM ship MAPLIN was hit by a bomb at Liverpool.
Minesweeping trawler SUSARION (260grt, T/Skipper P.
Coull RNR) was sunk by German bombing three miles south by
east of Humber Light Vessel.
Naval drifter GOWAN HILL (96grt) was sunk by German
bombing at Greenock.
Italian submarine TAZZOLI sank Norwegian steamer
FERLANE (4310grt) at 10-02N, 20-17W. The crew were all rescued.
U.94 attacked convoy OB.318.
British steamer IXION (10,263grt) and Norwegian
steamer EASTERN STAR (5658grt) were sunk in 61-29N, 22-40W. The entire
crew on steamer IXION were rescued. Three crew were lost on the steamer
Survivors from both ships were rescued by corvette
MARIGOLD, picking up nineteen, and British steamer NAILSEA MOOR (4926grt), rescuing
Convoy escorts destroyer BULLDOG and sloop ROCHESTER dropped depth charges.
British steamer RIL IDA (53grt) was sunk by German bombing at Victoria
British flat ELLESBASNK (43grt) was sunk by German
bombing in Stanley Dock at Liverpool.
Tug HORNBY (201grt) was sunk by German bombing at
Liverpool. The tug was salved and repaired.
British steamer BLUESTONE (106grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Greenock. The crew were all rescued.
British steam barge KINEENAN (72grt) was sunk on a
mine at Liverpool.
All five crew were killed on the barge.
British sailing barge IDA BURTON (46grt) was sunk by German bombing at Liverpool.
British fishing vessel WATERLILY (12grt) was sunk
by German bombing in Bessom Creek, West Mersea.
British steamer CLAN MACINNES (4672grt) was damaged
by German bombing at Liverpool.
Minesweeper STOKE (Cdr C. J. P. Hill Rtd) was sunk
by German bombing at Tobruk.
Commissioned Engineer G. L. Rose and Twenty ratings
were lost on the minesweeper.
Gunboat LADYBIRD rescued the survivors.
Minesweeping whaler SVANA was damaged by a near
miss in the same attack.
Greek steamer KATINA P. (1216grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Astakos.
Greek steamer TANAIS (1545grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Suda Bay.
The steamer sank, but was salved by the Germans for
Destroyers VELOX and WRESTLER departed Gibraltar to meet light cruiser DUNEDIN and troopships MONARCH OF BERMUDA and EMPRESS OF
JAPAN, coming from Freetown.
The ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 8th. Light cruiser DUNEDIN was taken in hand for repairs to boiler tubes.
British tanker barge SAFIYEH (176grt) was sunk by
Italian bombing three miles from Qurnan.
The barge was refloated and towed to Abadan for repair.
Italian steamer PASCOLI (2939grt) was sunk off
Saseno on a mine.
British tanker BRITISH EMPEROR (3663grt) sunk by
German raider PINGUIN at 8-30N, 56-25E.
Forty five crew were lost on the tanker, between
the lost of the tanker and the sinking of the German cruiser the next day.
The tanker was able to radio an SOS. Aircraft carrier EAGLE and heavy cruiser HAWKINS
put out from Mombasa. Heavy cruiser CORNWALL also departed Mombasa and proceeded to the area.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER, which had departed Colombo on the 6th with an ANZAC convoy, was ordered to
turn her convoy over to Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA and assist in the search.
Light cruisers LIVERPOOL and GLASGOW and armed merchant cruiser HECTOR also
assisted in the search.
Thursday, 8 May
Vice Admiral W. J. Whitworth CB, DSO, struck his
flag of Vice Admiral Battle Cruiser Squadron on battlecruiser HOOD.
Vice Admiral L. E. Holland CB, formerly Vice
Admiral 18th Cruiser Squadron, was named to replace him and hoisted his flag
on HOOD on the 12th.
Captain C. M. Blackman DSO, Captain of the EDINBURGH was named a Commodore Second Class to temporarily
command the 18th Cruiser Squadron.
Destroyers TARTAR, PUNJABI, and MASHONA at 1300 and
INGLEFIELD, ECHO, and ANTELOPE at 1630 departed Scapa Flow to hunt for a reported by British aircraft six
miles 110° from Sule Skerry.
The destroyers INTREPID and IMPULSIVE, returning from
escort of the 1st Minelaying Squadron in SN.9A, joined the submarine hunt.
The search was called off at 0800/9th and the
destroyers arrived at Scapa
Flow at 0840.
Convoy OB.320 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvettes GLAIOLUS and VERONICA and
anti-submarine trawlers ST KENAN and ST ZENO. Destroyers LEAMINGTON and ROXBOROUGH and corvette ABELIA joined on the
9th. Corvette LARKSPUR joined on the 13th. On the 13th, destroyers LEAMINGTON and ROXBOROUGH, corvettes ABELIA and VERONICA, and
the trawlers were detached. The remainder of the escort was detached on the
14th when the convoy was dispersed.
In a heavy German bombing raid on the Clyde caused disruption to the building schedule of destroyer PAKENHAM and
Anti-submarine yacht VIVA II (521grt, A/Captain M.
A. Blomfield, OBE Rtd) was sunk by German bombing thirteen miles west of
Blomfield, T/Lt (E) A. McDougall RNVR, T/Sub Lt H.
J. Nicklin RNVR, Lt G. H. Williams RNR Rtd, and eighteen ratings were lost.
T/Sub Lt (E) H. C. Pollard RNVR, and Sub Lt J. A.
Tuffin RNVR, were wounded on the yacht.
Destroyer CLEVELAND rescued ten survivors from the
Minesweeping trawler SILICIA (250grt, T/A/Lt Cdr F.
A. Matson RNR) was mined 190° from Albert Dock entrance, Hull.
Seven men were killed and three were wounded. The
survivors were rescued by ML.211.
Naval drifter THISTLE V (79grt, P/T/Skipper C.
Sanson RNR) was lost by mining off Lowestoft, in 52-28N, 1-47E.
Sanson, T/Sub Lt T. S. Wedderburn-Ogilvy RNVR, and
eight ratings were lost on the drifter. There was only one survivor.
British smack THISTLE (16grt) was sunk on a mine in
There were no casualties on the smack.
Naval drifter UBERTY (93grt, T/Skipper R. H.
Alexander RNR) was sunk by German bombing at Lowestoft.
Alexander and twelve ratings were lost on the
Destroyers WHADDON and VIVACIOUS, both under repair
in the Tyne, were damaged by German bombing.
Patrol sloop PUFFIN, en route from Humber to Flamborough, was damaged by the explosion of two practice depth
The damage was repaired in two days.
U.97 sank British steamer RAMILLIES (4553grt) in
Twenty six crew and three gunners were lost. Eleven
crew and one gunner were rescued.
In German air raids on Liverpool, British steamer
MARTON (4969grt), British steam barge ROSE (143grt), British steamer TRENTINO
(3079grt), British steam barge BURMAH (127grt) at Canada Dock were sunk at
No crew on steamer MARTON when bombed. The entire
crew of steamer TRENTINO was rescued.
British steamer ROYAL DIAFFODIL II (591grt),
Finnish steamer ANNENBERG (2544grt), Belgian steamer LEOPOLD II (2902grt), Norwegian
steamer STROMBOLI (1376grt), and British crane HERCULES (652grt)
were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.
The crane was sunk, but was salved and repaired.
In German air raids on Alexandra Dock, Hull, British sailing barges DELITE (89grt), LADORE
(91grt), barge WHITAKERS No. II (48grt), and lighter WELCOME HOME (38grt)
There were no casualties on the four ships.
Tug IRISHMAN (99grt) and dredger F. W. No. 20
(83grt) blew up off Sword Sands in Langston
There were five killed on the tug and three lost on
British ketch WELCOME HOME (38grt) was sunk by
German bombing at Hull.
Submarine TRUANT, which was proceeding from Malta to
intercepted French steamer GALLIUM (1775grt), en route from Bone to Sete, and
escorted her towards Gibraltar.
On the 9th, Norwegian steamer BAALBECK (2160grt)
reported that the French steamer was proceeding escorted by a Submarine east
French destroyer SIMOUN departed Oran on the 9th to intercept. On the 10th, French
torpedo boat LA BAYONNAISE and submarines DIANE, EURYDICE, THETIS, and
ANTIOPE departed Oran.
On the 11th, the steamer was recaptured by the
French ships. Steamer GALLIUM arrived at Marseilles on the 14th.
Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier ARGUS, and
troopships EMPRESS OF JAPAN and MONARCH OF BERMUDA departed Gibraltar for the UK, arriving on the 15th.
Submarine CACHALOT arrived at Malta with stores from Alexandria.
The submarine departed on the 16th and arrived back
at Alexandria on the 22nd.
Spanish fishing vessel LUIS PUEBLA (106grt) was
sunk on a mine during the night of 8/9 May 160 miles northeast of Gijon.
Nine crew of a crew of twelve were lost.
German raider PINGUIN was sunk at 1715 by Heavy
cruiser CORNWALL north of the Seychilles.
Cruiser CORNWALL was damaged by a hit in her stern.
Lt (E) G. C. Winslade was the only British fatal
casualty. Three ratings were wounded.
The cruiser rescued three officers, fifty seven
ratings, and twenty two prisoners, ten from CLAN BUCHANAN, one from EMPIRE
LIGHT, and eleven from BRITISH EMPEROR.
Eighteen officers, 323 ratings, and 200 prisoners,
including ninety seven from CLAN BUCHANAN, were lost on the German ship.
German cruiser PINGUIN had sunk 17 ships, plus 11
whalers captured, for a total of 136,551 tons.
Cruiser CORNWALL proceeded to Durban for repair completing 10 June.
The survivors from cruiser PINGUIN departed the
Seychilles on the 17th in steamer KHANDALLA and arrived at Mombasa on the 20th.
Friday, 9 May
Mine destructor ship QUEENWORTH (3010grt, Lt Cdr R.
W. Wainewright) was sunk by German bombing eight cables 85° from Outer
Dowsing Light Buoy. No crew were killed in the loss.
Mine destructor ship CORFIELD was damaged by near
misses of German bombing in the Humber.
Armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA arrived at Greenock on the 9th.
U.110 made attacks on convoy OB.318.
British steamers ESMOND (4976grt) and BENGORE HEAD
(2609grt) were sunk in 60-45N, 33-02W. The entire crew of steamer ESMOND were
rescued by corvette AUBRETIA. One crewman was lost on steamer BENGORE HEAD by
anti-submarine trawler APOLLO and Norwegian steamer BORGFRED (2183grt).
British steamer GREGALIA (5802grt) was sunk in
60-24N, 32-37W. The entire crew of steamer GREGALIA were rescued by British
steamer AELYBRYN (4986grt).
British steamer EMPIRE CLOUD (5969grt) was damaged
in 61-00N, 32-30W. Five crew were lost. Survivors were picked up by Corvette
Steamer EMPIRE CLOUD arrived at Rames
on the 20th in tow of tug THAMES.
U.110 was captured southwest of Ireland by convoy escorts destroyers BULLDOG, BROADWAY,
and AMAZON and corvette AUBRETIA.
The commanding officer, Kptlt Fritz Julius Kemp and
fourteen other crew were lost in the submarine. Four officers, and twenty
eight crew were rescued.
Destroyer BROADWAY was damaged alongside the
submarine when the submarine's hydroplane pierced the destroyer's engine
Destroyer BROADWAY was repaired at Dundee in two months.
The submarine sank in tow of destroyer BULLDOG
during a storm on the 10th.
French steamer CRITON (4564grt) was seized by Armed
merchant cruiser CILICIA at 10-11N, 20-17W off Freetown.
The steamer was taken to Freetown, arriving on the 11th.
Steamer CRITON joined convoy SL.78 on 19 June for
passage to Belfast. The steamer fell out of the convoy and was
returning to Freetown. She was intercepted on 21 June by auxiliary
patrol vessel AIR FRANCE IV and armed trawler EDITH GERMAINE which
ordered her to proceed to Konakri. After the steamer made a radio report, the
French ships took off the crew and sank the steamer. Twenty four crew and the
armed guard under the command of A/Sub Lt S. K. Stretten RNR, were interned at Konakri. Three crew of the
steamer died during internment and a fourth later died of illness sustained.
Italian submarine TAZZOLI sank Norwegian tanker
ALFRED OLSEN (8817grt) at 2-59N, 20-26W. The entire crew were rescued.
U.103 sank British
steamer CITY OF WINCHESTER (7120grt) at 8-20N, 26-14W.
Ninety one crew were rescued. Six crew were lost.
British trawler TANKERTON
TOWERS (97grt) was sunk by German bombing off St Goven's Light Vessel. The
crew of eight were rescued.
British steamer OSTREVENT (1737grt) was damaged by
German bombing east of Helwick Light Vessel.
British sailing barge WHITAKER'S No. 17 (64grt),
British steamer DAN Y BRYN (5117grt), and steamer CASTILIAN (3067grt) were
damaged by German bombing at Hull. Two crew and two gunners were lost on steamer
British steamer FISHPOOL (4950grt) was damaged by
German bombing at Barrow.
During the night of 9/10 May, British tankers SAN ROBERTO (5890grt) and BRITISH STATESMAN (6991grt)
were damaged by German bombing twenty two miles east by north of Spurn Point,
Both tankers were towed to Immingham.
Convoy AS.30 departed Suda
escorted by destroyers VAMPIRE, WATERHEN, and VOYAGER and sloops FLAMINGO and
Minesweeper DERBY and Greek destroyer SPHENDONI were involved in the
The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 12th escorted by destroyers VAMPIRE and
VOYAGER and sloop AUCKLAND.
Australian destroyer VENDETTA evacuated wounded
from Tobruk during the night of 9/10 May to Alexandria.
Convoy SC.31 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser WOLFE and
corvettes COBALt and COLLINGWOOD. The corvettes were detached the next day.
Escort vessel LULWORTH joined on the 11th. The armed merchant cruiser was
detached on the 21st. Destroyers AMAZON and BULLDOG, corvettes AUBRETIA,
HOLLYHOCK, and NIGELLA, and anti-submarine trawler DANEMAN joined on the 21st
and were detached on the 24th. On the 24th, destroyers CAMPBELTOWN, WANDERER,
and WESTCOTT, sloops FLEETWOOD and ROCHESTER, and corvettes AURICULA, DIANTHUS, MARIGOLD,
NASTURITUM, and PERIWINKLE. Sloop ROCHESTER and corvette PRIMROSE were detached on the 27th.
All, but destroyer CAMPBELTOWN and corvette PERIWINKLE, were detached on the
29th. The remaining two escorts were detached when the convoy arrived at
Liverpool on the 30th.
American aircraft carrier RANGER, heavy cruiser
VINCENNES, and destroyers SAMPSON and EBERLE departed Bermuda on neutrality patrol concluding at
Bermuda on the 23rd.
Saturday, 10 May
Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA were relieved
on the Iceland Faroes Passage patrol by light cruisers NIGERIA and KENYA.
Heavy cruiser LONDON and destroyers MASHONA and TARTAR departed Scapa Flow at 1100 for the Clyde to provide escort for aircraft carrier FURIOUS.
The three ships arrived at 0740/11th.
Destroyer BLANKNEY departed Scapa Flow at 0800 and met light cruiser NEPTUNE off Rattray
The two ships arrived at Scapa Flow at 1530. Light cruiser NEPTUNE arrived at Scapa Flow to work up.
Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Scapa Flow for the
working up on the 25th. She arrived the next day.
British Cdr L. G. E. Robinson Rtd of PRESIDENT was
killed in an air raid on London.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 0730
with convoy EC.17 from May Island to
At 1130/11th, the ship and destroyer WINDSOR, which
had been sent to Scapa Flow to work up, arrived at Scapa Flow.
Armed merchant cruiser AURANIA and submarine
TRIBUNE departed Halifax with convoy HX.126 with a local escort of Canadian
corvettes CHAMBLY and ORILLA.
The convoy was joined on the 20th by destroyer
MALCOLM and on the 21st by destroyers BURNHAM and BURWELL, corvettes ARABIS,
HELIOTROPE, MALLOW, and VERBENA.
Destroyer SCIMITAR joined on the 22nd and
destroyers KEPPEL and SABRE, corvettes DIANELLA, GLADIOLUS, and KINGCUP,
anti-submarine trawler LADY ELSA, and catapult ship SPRINGBANK on the 23rd.
Anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN WAVE and NORTHERN GEM escorted the convoy in Home Waters.
The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the
21st. Destroyers BURNHAM and MALCOLM on the 22nd, corvettes ARABIS,
HELIOTROPE, MALLOW, and VERBENA on the 23rd, destroyer SCIMITAR on the 24th,
destroyers KEPPEL and BURWELL and corvette GLADIOLUS on the 26th, and
destroyer SABRE on the 27th.
Destroyer VENOMOUS joined on the 26th. The convoy
arrived at Liverpool on the 28th with destroyer VENOMOUS and corvette
Submarine TRIBUNE arrived at Holy Loch on the 25th.
U.556 made attacks on convoy OB.318.
British steamer AELYBRYN (4986grt) was damaged in
59-23N, 35-25W. One crewman was lost.
The steamer, with her stern completely gone, was
towed to Reykjavik by tug ZWARTE ZEE and escorted by corvette
HOLLYHOCK. She arrived in the Tyne on 30 July.
British steamer CHAUCER (5792grt) was attacked but
At dawn, the convoy dispersed and U.556 made
British steamer EMPIRE CARIBOU (4861grt) was sunk
by 59-28N, 35-44W.
Twenty seven crew and two gunners were lost on the
Destroyer MALCOLM rescued the survivors.
Belgian steamer GAND (5086grt) was sunk in 57-54N,
37-34W. One crewman was lost on the Belgian steamer.
German bombing on London sank small Naval auxiliary ships ALTAIS, COMET I,
FAISLANE (5grt), IGLOO, JAKE II, NOMAD III (6grt), SAFARI, and MISS ENGLAND (4grt).
British steamer TOWER FIELD (4241grt) was damaged
by German bombing off Outer Dowsing Buoy.
Sludge vessel HENRY WARD (1438grt) was damaged by
German bombing in Dry Dock, Green and Silley Weir, London.
Motor launch ML.1011 (Lt A. H. Blake RNR), on passage from Suda
to Sphakia, was sunk by German bombing.
During the night of 10/11 May, gunboat LADYBIRD
Convoy SL.74 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser BULOLO until 29
May. Corvettes AMARANTHUS, ANCHUSA, ASPHODEL, and CALENDULA escorted the
convoy from 11 May to 19 May.
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE joined the convoy on the
12th to 26 May.
On the 30th, destroyer READING to 4 June,
VANQUISHER to 2 June, and WINCHELSEA to 2 June, and corvettes GENTIAN to 4
June, HIBISCUS to 4 June, PIMERNEL to 4 June, and RHODODENDRON to 4 June
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 4 June.
Ocean boarding vessel HILARY captured Italian
tanker GIANNA M. (5719grt), which had departed Las Palmas on 27 April, 325 miles north of the Azores, 45N, 24-42W. The ocean boarding vessel escorted the tanker to join
The tanker arrived in Belfast Lough on the 20th and
was used by the British as EMPIRE CONTROL.
SEVERN arrived at
Gibraltar from Freetown.
Sunday, 11 May
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK relieved heavy cruiser EXETER
on Denmark Straits patrol.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD, INTREPID, IMPULSIVE, and
ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for Hvalfjord to act as a special
anti-submarine striking force.
The destroyers arrived at Hvalfjord on the 13th.
Convoy OB.321 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer READING and corvettes
CAMPANULA, FREESIA, HIBISCUS, and PIMPERNEL. Destroyers VANQUISHER and
WINCHELSEA, sloop LONDONDERRY, and corvettes GENTIAN and RHODODENDRON joined on
the 12th. Destroyer WINCHELSEA, sloop LONDONDERRY, andcorvettes CAMPANULA, FREESIA, HIBISCUS, and
PIMPERNEL were detached on the 16th. Destroyers MASHONA and TARTAR were with
the convoy on the 16th only. The remainder of the escort was detached on the
17th when the convoy was dispersed.
Destroyer CHURCHILL arrived at Scapa Flow at 1600 escorting steamer BEN MY CHREE.
After refuelling, the destroyer departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for Hvalfjord.
Auxiliary petrol base ship GYPSY (261grt) was sunk
by German bombing at Tower Pier, London.
U.103 sank British
steamer CITY OF SHANGHAI (5828grt) in 6-40N, 27-50W.
Eight crew were lost on the steamer. The survivors
were rescued by Dutch steamer STAD ARNEHIM
British steamer SOMERSET (8790grt) was sunk by German bombing in 54-54N,
16-20W. The entire crew was rescued.
British steamer CAITHNESS (4970grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52-03N,
The steamer arrived in Belfast on the 12th.
Tug DENCADE (58grt) and fishing vessel SILVER
LINING (40grt) and Belgian trawler HERNIEUWEN IN CHRISTUS (49grt) were
damaged by German bombing at Brixham.
Submarine RORQUAL, which departed Port Said on the 5th, laid mines in the Gulf of
Submarine PANDORA made an unsuccessful attack on a
tanker off Naples.
Convoy ANF.30 departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers STUART and VENDETTA.
Early on the 12th, anti-aircraft cruisers DIDO and
CALCUTTA and destroyers JANUS and ISIS joined the convoy.
On the 14th, cruisers DIDO and CALCUTTA and destroyers STUART, VENDETTA, JANUS, and ISIS
arrived at Suda Bay
with the convoy.
The 10th MTB.Flotilla (Lt Cdr E. C. Peake) of MTB.67, MTB.68, MTB.213, MTB.214, MTB.215, MTB.216, and MTB.217 departed Alexandria for Suda
refuelling at Mersa Matruh and Tobruk, en route.
MTB 68 and MTB.215 broke down at Mersa Matruh and were sent back
Two more were defective, but were able to arrive
with the other three at Tobruk. MTB.67, MTB.213, MTB.214, MTB.216, and MTB.217 refuelled during the night of 12/13 May and
sailed for Suda Bay.
A German-Italian convoy departed Naples with
steamers PREUSSEN (8230grt), WACHTFELS (8467grt), ERNESTO (7272grt), GIULIA
(5921grt), TEMBIEN (5584grt), and COL DI LANA (5891grt) escorted by
destroyers AVIERE, GENIERE, GRECALE, CAMICIA NERA, and DARDO.
Distant cover was given by light cruisers BANDE
NERE, CARDONA, DUCA DEGLI ABRUZZI, and GARIBALDI and destroyers ALPINO,
FUCLIERE, SCIROCCO, BERSAGLIERE, MAESTRALE, DA RECCO, USODIMARE, PESSAGNO,
The convoy arrived at Tripoli on the 14th.
Monday, 12 May
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, heavy cruiser LONDON, dummy battleship ANSON (old battleship
CENTURION), and destroyers TARTAR, MASHONA, LEGION, and BRILLIANT departed
the Clyde at 2030.
The aircraft carrier was en route to Gibraltar.
Destroyers TARTAR and MASHONA were detached at
daylight on the 15th to act as an anti-submarine striking force for convoy
OB.321 until noon on the 16th.
The destroyers, less destroyer BRILLIANT, returned to the Clyde on the 18th.
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, heavy cruiser LONDON, dummy battleship ANSON, and destroyer BRILLIANT
arrived at Gibraltar on the 18th.
Heavy cruiser EXETER departed Hvalfjord after being relieved in the
Denmark Strait by heavy cruiser SUFFOLK.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed
Scapa Flow on the
17th to reinforce the patrol.
Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Spithead escorted by destroyers WIVERN, WILD SWAN, BERKELEY, and BLENCATHRA.
Destroyers WIVERN and WILD SWAN escorted the
cruiser only until Smalls Light Vessel and then returned to Portsmouth.
The two HUNTS escorted the cruiser until dark on
the 13th when they were relieved by destroyer NESTOR off Dunnet Head.
The heavy cruiser arrived at Rosyth on the 14th.
Convoy OB.322 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers RAMSEY and WALKER. On the
13th, destroyer CALDWELL, sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes BLUEBELL, CANDYTUFT,
HONEYSUCKLE, HYDRANGEA, and WALLFLOWER, minesweeper SALAMANDER, and
anti-submarine trawlers KING SOL,
NORTHERN SUN, and NORTHERN WAVE joined. Corvette ARABIS joined on the 14th.
Destroyers CALDWELL, RAMSEY, and WALKER, sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes
BLUEBELL, CANDYTUFT, HONEYSUCKLE, HYDRANGEA, and WALLFLOWER, and trawler KING
SOL were detached on the 18th. Destroyer BURNHAM,
BURWELL, and SCIMITAR and corvettes HELIOTROPE and MALLOW joined on the 20th.
The escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 20th.
Destroyer RIPLEY, which departed Londonderry on the 10th, was damaged by the near miss of
The destroyer spent no time out of service and
returned to Londonderry on the 16th after her duties.
Indian sloop SUTLEJ arrived at Scapa
Flow at 0800 to carry out
working up exercises.
Destroyer BULLDOG arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800 to refuel.
at Scapa Flow from Loch Alsh to carry out underwater repairs in
A Walrus aircraft carrying Rear Admiral, destroyers
Home Fleet, made a forced landing in the sea ten miles northwest of Dunnet
Head while on passage to Scapa
The passengers and crew of the aircraft were taken
aboard British trawler ST OLA (231grt). The aircraft was salved by destroyers
BLANKNEY and BROCKLESBY which departed Scapa Flow at 1900.
The destroyers arrived back with the aircraft at
British steamer FOWBERRY
TOWER (4484grt) was sunk by German bombing one mile southwest by west of
Humber Light Vessel.
Six crew were lost on the steamer.
British steamer RICHARD DE LARRINGA (5358grt) was
sunk by German bombing four cables north of 20R Buoy, Tyne.
No lives were lost on the steamer. She was towed
until her back broke at Herd Sands.
Italian torpedo boats CLIO, ORIONE, and PEGASO
departed Tripoli escorting steamers MADDALENA ODERO (5479grt) and
NICOLO ODERO (6003grt).
Torpedo boat PEGASO made an attack on a contact
near the convoy that evening.
Torpedo boat PLEIADI, escorting steamer BOSFORO,
also made an attack on a submarine contact off Tripoli.
These attacks may have claimed submarine UNDAUNTED.
Otherwise the submarine may have been lost on a mine off Tripoli.
Submarine UNDAUNTED (Lt J. L. Livesay), which
departed Malta on the 1st, was lost to unknown agent off Tripoli.
Livesay, Lt H. R. D'Almaine, sub Lt J. W. Anthony,
T/Sub Lt J. C. Bate RNR, and the twenty eight ratings of the crew were
lost with the submarine.
Gunboat LADYBIRD (Lt Cdr J. F. Blackburn Rtd) was
sunk at Tobruk by Italian aircraft.
Three ratings were killed and one rating died of
wounds. Fourteen crew were wounded.
The following changes were made in the
Mediterranean Fleet command structure.
Vice Admiral Pridham Wippell CB, CVO, former Vice
Admiral Light Forces became Vice Admiral, 1st Battle Squadron with his flag
on battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Rear Admiral E. L. S. King CB MVO, became Rear
Admiral, 15th Cruiser Squadron with his flag in anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD.
Rear Admiral H. B. Rawlings CBE, became Rear Admiral, 7th Cruiser Squadron with
his flag in light cruiser ORION.
Rear Admiral I. G. Glennie became Rear Admiral (D)
Mediterranean with his flag in anti-aircraft cruiser DIDO or
depot ship WOOLWICH, if DIDO was required at sea as a private ship.
Submarine RORQUAL sank Greek coastal steamer AGHIOS
PARASKIVI (25grt) and another small schooner, both carrying German troops,
Submarine TRUANT arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.
Tuesday, 13 May
Armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN (Captain Sir John
M. Alleyne Bt DSO, DSC Rtd), which had been escorting convoy SC30, was sunk
by U.98 in 59-04N, 38-15W.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD, INTREPID, IMPULSIVE, and
ESCAPADE proceeded early on the 14th to search for the survivors.
Two hundred and seventy eight survivors were picked
up by destroyer IMPULSIVE. The destroyer took the survivors to Hvalfjord. She
departed Hvalfjord at 1500/17th for Scapa Flow. En
route, she was diverted to Greenock where she arrivedat 2030/18th.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD, INTREPID, and ESCAPADE
arrived back at Hvalfjord after anti-submarine operations at 1730/18th.
Destroyers ELECTRA, ANTHONY, and ANTELOPE departed
Scapa Flow at 2215 for Loch Alsh.
The destroyers arrived the next day at 0600.
Minesweeper FRANKLIN was damaged by the near miss of German bombing in
the North Sea.
The minesweeper spent no time out of service.
U.105 sank British steamer BENVRACKIE (6434grt) at
Thirteen crew was lost on the steamer. Also fifteen
survivors from steamer LASSELL were lost. Fifty eight survivors were rescued
by Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE.
U.111 sank British steamer SOMERSBY (5170grt),
which was a straggler from convoy SC.30, in 60-39N, 26-13W. The entire crew
British hopper barge F (496grt) was sunk on a mine
350 yards south of Dingle Oil Jetty. Five crew of an eleven man crew were
British trawler FORT
RONA (203grt) was sunk by German bombing fifteen miles WSW of Bardsey
Island. The entire crew were rescued.
British steamer LOTTINGE (2468grt) was damaged by
German bombing three miles off the mouth of the Tyne.
The steamer returned to the Tyne.
Spanish fishing smack NUEVA ELISA was sunk on a
mine in the Bay of Biscay.
Light cruisers ORION and AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH with destroyers JUNO, KANDAHAR, and KINGSTON departed Alexandria in Operation MD.8 to bombard El Fateyah airdrome
The bombardment, scheduled for the night of 13/14
May was not carried out as a position could not be fixed accurately.
Gunboat GNAT bombarded the Gazala airdrome during
the night of 13/14 May.
MTB Depot ship trawler VULCAN arrived at Suez to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
Tug CORNFLOWER was sunk by German bombing at Mersa, Malta.
French steamer BOURBONNAIS (4484grt), which had departed Dakar without escort for Tamative on the 12th, was
seized by Armed merchant cruiser BULOLO at 13-07N, 19-22W on the 13th.
A distress signal from the steamer caused large
destroyers FANTASQUE and TERRIBLE to depart Dakar on the 13th to assist. Light cruisers GEORGES
LEYGUES and GLOIRE departed Dakar on the 14th.
On the 14th, light cruiser DRAGON relieved the
armed merchant cruiser and both arrived at Freetown on the 16th.
The French ships returned to Dakar without contacting the French steamer.
Indian sloop CLIVE and Armed merchant cruiser KING
GRUFFORD proceeded to Dante, seventy miles south of Cape
The ships arrived on the 16th and embarked Italian
prisoners of war.
Wednesday, 14 May
Destroyer BULLDOG departed Scapa Flow at 0100 for Iceland.
Destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, and ESKIMO departed
Scapa Flow at 0500 for Rosyth to escort aircraft carrier
The destroyers arrived at 1400/14th.
Aircraft carrier VICTORIOUS departed Rosyth on the
15th, escorted by light cruiser AURORA, and destroyers SOMALI, BEDOUIN, and
ESKIMO for Scapa Flow where she arrived the same day at 2200.
Destroyer BLANKNEY departed Scapa Flow at 1400 for Aberdeen to meet steamers AMSTERDAM and
ARCHANGEL at 2100
off the harbour entrance.
The destroyer escorted the steamers northward.
Steamer ARCHANGEL was detached to Kirkwall. Steamer
AMSTERDAM was escorted on to Lerwick.
The destroyer and steamer AMSTERDAM arrived at Lerwick at 0945/15th and departed later
at 2000 for Aberdeen.
Destroyer BLANKNEY arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 16th to escort steamer ARCHANGEL from
Kirkwall to Aberdeen. The two departed at 1800.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1045 and escorted convoy WN.26 from the Pentland Firth southwards.
Early on the 15th, the ship transferred to convoy
EC.Special 2 and provided cover until arrival in the Pentland Firth.
Destroyer BROCKLESBY departed Scapa Flow at 1845/15th to provide additional escort for
convoy EC.Special 2.
Ship ALYNBANK arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2000/15th.
Destroyer BROCKLESBY after escort proceeded to
Plymouth for duty.
Examination vessel M. A. WEST (96grt) was sunk by
German bombing one mile 105° from Great
There were no casualties on the drifter.
defence patrol vessel MINICOY (5grt, T/Lt E. F. Pegg RNVR) was sunk on a mine
eleven cables 94° from St Ann's
Pegg and some ratings were lost in the vessel.
Norwegian steamer KARLANDER (1843grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing in 55-38N, 13-38W. The entire crew was rescued.
The steamer was sunk by an escort vessel at
1020/14th in 55-36N, 13-24W.
At 2000/14th, battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and BARHAM,
anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and PHOEBE, and destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR,
GREYHOUND, HASTY, NIZAM, DEFENDER, and IMPERIAL.
Cruiser PHOEBE developed cracks in her hull plating
aft and was forced to return to Alexandria, arriving on the 16th.
Light cruiser PERTH was detached from the 7th Cruiser Squadron as a
replacement for cruiser PHOEBE. After refuelling, the cruiser joined the
QUEEN ELIZABETH group.
This ships constituted Forces A and D for the
defense of Crete.
Convoy AS.31 departed Suda Bay with merchant ships
British LOSSIEBANK (5627grt) and Dutch NIEUW ZEELAND (11,069grt) escorted by
light cruiser DIDO and destroyers STUART, VENDETTA, JANUS, and ISIS. Light
cruiser DIDO was carrying £7,000,000 sterling of Greek bullion.
Steamer LOSSIEBANK broke down and destroyer STUART
was sent ahead with steamer NIEUW ZEELAND.
The convoy was attacked by air on the 15th, but no
damage was done. British Forces A and D.joined the convoy for support.
Cruiser DIDO and anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA were detached from the convoy at dark on the 15th.
They proceeded to Alexandria to refuel, arriving early on the 16th.
Three Greek destroyers departed Alexandria on the 15th. They relieved destroyers VENDETTA and
ISIS at daylight on the 16th.
Destroyer JANUS had already been detached and
arrived at Alexandria on the 16th with damaged steamer CAPE
Destroyers STUART, ISIS, and VENDETTA arrived at
Alexandria on the 16th.
Convoy AS.31 arrived at Port Said escorted by the Greek destroyers on the 16th.
Submarine UNBEATEN attacked two schooners in Khoms
Roads. The submarine claimed sinking one with torpedo and the other with
Neither ship was lost.
British steamer DALESMAN (6343grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing in Suda Bay.
The steamer went aground. She was later salved for
use by the Germans.
British steamer CAPE
HORN (5643grt) was damaged by German bombing at
Gunboat GNAT bombarded a mobile enemy battery near
the entrance of Tobruk Harbour.
Gunboat APHIS rejoined the Inshore Squadron after
Convoy HG.62 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop DEPTFORD, corvette FLEUR DE LYS,
and Dutch submarine O.24.
The submarine was detached that day and the
corvette on the 21st.
On the 26th, the convoy was joined by destroyers
LEAMINGTON and SALADIN, corvettes CLARKIA and GLADIOLUS, and
anti-submarine trawler ST ZENO.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 June.
British steamer RABAUL (6809grt) was sunk by German
raider ATLANTIS at 19-30S, 4-30E.
Nine crew were killed. One was taken prisoner by
the German ship. Forty six crew were rescued.
New Zealand auxiliary minesweeping trawler PURIRI (927grt) was
sunk on a mine off Auckland.
Light cruiser ACHILLES rescued the survivors.
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Colombo.