Naval History Homepage and Site Search

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

NAVAL EVENTS, MAY 1941 (Part 1 of 2)
Thursday 1st Wednesday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Hood, battlecruiser (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge)

on to MAY 1941, Part 2

 

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

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

 


Background Events - January-May 1941

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


 

 

1941

 

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 57-57N, 10-08W.

 

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, 1-28W.

 

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 (3317grt).

 

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 boarding vessel.

 

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 dispersed.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawler ALBERIC (286grt, T/Lt R M Johnson RNVR) was sunk in an accidental collision with destroyer ST ALBANS in Pentland Firth.

 

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 4 June.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

When Alexandria Harbour was closed due to mining, but was reopened at 1730.

_____

 

Destroyers KANDAHAR, JUNO, 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 Tobruk.

_____

 

Destroyer 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 9 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 with supplies.

 

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.

 

In Pentland 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 at sea.

_____

 

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 steamer.

 

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 killed ashore.

 

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 steamer MALAKAND.

 

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 53-37N, 00-39E.

_____

 

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, JUNO, 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 and exploded.

 

Italian steamer CITTA D' BARI (3339grt) was lost from the explosion of steamer BIRMANIA.

_____

 

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, 24-27W.

 

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 SN.9A.

 

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 bombing.

 

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 near miss.

_____

 

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 (7649grt).

 

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 Liverpool.

 

Steamer BARON INCHCAPE settled onto the seabed. She was bombed again on the 6th.

 

Steamer TALTHYBIUS was bombed again on the 8th.

 

Steamer ROXBURGH 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 off Kerkenah.

_____

 

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 submarine contact.

 

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 Eastern Mediterranean.

 

 

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 Belfast for Liverpool.

 

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 submarine.

 

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 WOLVERINE.

_____

 

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 Bay, 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 CAPE BRETON (6044grt) and blockship FREDERIKA LENSEN (4283grt) were damaged by German bombing at Belfast.

 

Steamer CAPE 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 convoy.

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 Malta.

 

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 the 6th.

 

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 bombarded Benghazi.

 

Italian steamers TENACE (1142grt) and CAPITANO CECCHI (2321grt) were sunk at Benghazi in the bombardment at 3 miles 299 from Marabutto Sidi Bu Fachra and 2 miles 314 from Tre Palme, respectively.

 

The British ships rejoined the Battle Fleet at 1700/8th.

 

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 five ratings.

 

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 explosion.

 

Eighteen crew and passengers were lost on the steamer.

 

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 9th.

 

Depth charges had been used also to clear a channel to sea.

 

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 bombardment.

 

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 6-19N, 27-55W.

 

There were no casualties on the steamer.

_____

 

U.103 sank British steamer DUNKWA (4752grt) at 8-43N, 17-13W.

 

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 vessel FIDELITY.

 

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 for Alexandria.

_____

 

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, 15-58E.

_____

 

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 Tripoli.

 

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 Bay.

 

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 Bay. 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 Bay 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 blade.

_____

 

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 January 1942.

 

Destroyer VISCOUNT was also damaged in this air raid. The destroyer was taken to Devonport and repair was completed in January 1942.

 

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 EASTERN STAR.

 

Survivors from both ships were rescued by corvette MARIGOLD, picking up nineteen, and British steamer NAILSEA MOOR (4926grt), rescuing eighty six.

 

Convoy escorts destroyer BULLDOG and sloop ROCHESTER dropped depth charges.

_____

 

British steamer RIL IDA (53grt) was sunk by German bombing at Victoria Dock, Hull.

_____

 

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 their use.

_____

 

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 monitor ROBERTS.

_____

 

Anti-submarine yacht VIVA II (521grt, A/Captain M. A. Blomfield, OBE Rtd) was sunk by German bombing thirteen miles west of Trevose Head.

 

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 yacht.

_____

 

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 51-45N, 1-09E.

 

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 drifter.

_____

 

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 charges.

 

The damage was repaired in two days.

_____

 

U.97 sank British steamer RAMILLIES (4553grt) in 48-05N, 32-26W.

 

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 Liverpool.

 

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) were sunk.

 

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 Harbour, Portsmouth.

 

There were five killed on the tug and three lost on the dredger.

_____

 

British ketch WELCOME HOME (38grt) was sunk by German bombing at Hull.

_____

 

Submarine TRUANT, which was proceeding from Malta to Gibraltar 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 of Majorca.

 

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 NIGELLA.

 

Steamer EMPIRE CLOUD arrived at Rames Bay 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 room.

 

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 CASTILIAN.

_____

 

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, 53-44N, 0-38E.

 

Both tankers were towed to Immingham.

_____

 

Convoy AS.30 departed Suda Bay escorted by destroyers VAMPIRE, WATERHEN, and VOYAGER and sloops FLAMINGO and AUCKLAND.

 

Minesweeper DERBY and Greek destroyer SPHENDONI were involved in the escort.

 

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 Head.

 

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 Clyde after 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 Pentland Firth.

 

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 KINGCUP.

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 not damaged.

 

At dawn, the convoy dispersed and U.556 made further attacks.

 

British steamer EMPIRE CARIBOU (4861grt) was sunk by 59-28N, 35-44W.

 

Twenty seven crew and two gunners were lost on the steamer.

 

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 Bay to Sphakia, was sunk by German bombing.

_____

 

During the night of 10/11 May, gunboat LADYBIRD bombarded Gazala.

_____

 

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 joined.

 

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 convoy HG.61.

 

The tanker arrived in Belfast Lough on the 20th and was used by the British as EMPIRE CONTROL.

_____

 

Submarine 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 (3819grt).

_____

 

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, 5-24W.

 

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 Salonika.

_____

 

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 Bay, refuelling at Mersa Matruh and Tobruk, en route.

 

MTB 68 and MTB.215 broke down at Mersa Matruh and were sent back to Alexandria.

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, and PANCALDO.

 

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 German bombing.

 

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.

_____

 

Destroyer BRIGHTON arrived at Scapa Flow from Loch Alsh to carry out underwater repairs in dock.

_____

 

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 Flow.

 

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 2330.

_____

 

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, off Lemnos.

_____

 

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 00-49N, 20-15W.

 

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 was rescued.

_____

 

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 lost.

_____

 

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 near Derna.

 

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 Guardafui.

 

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 VICTORIOUS.

 

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 Yarmouth Harbour entrance.

 

There were no casualties on the drifter.

_____

 

Harbour defence patrol vessel MINICOY (5grt, T/Lt E. F. Pegg RNVR) was sunk on a mine eleven cables 94 from St Ann's Head.

 

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 HORN (5643grt).

 

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 gunfire.

 

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 Port Said.

_____

 

Gunboat GNAT bombarded a mobile enemy battery near the entrance of Tobruk Harbour.

 

Gunboat APHIS rejoined the Inshore Squadron after repairs.

_____

 

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.

 
 

on to Naval Events, MAY 1941, Part 2
or back to RN Day-by-Day Homepage

revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net