Background Events - June-November 1941
Russia, Malta Convoys, Japan prepares for war
Monday, 15 September
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, light cruiser EURYALUS, and destroyers CASTLETON
and ESKIMO departed Scapa
Flow for the Clyde at 0800 for convoy WS.11X.
Destroyer LAFOREY relieved destroyer CASTLETON at
Destroyer CASTLETON returned to Scapa Flow. She departed again at 1000 and proceeded to Loch
Alsh, arriving at 1800.
Destroyer LIGHTNING departed Scapa Flow at 1730 for the Clyde for convoy WS.11X. The destroyer arrived at 1230/16th.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, light cruiser EURYALUS, and destroyers LAFOREY,
ESKIMO, and LIGHTNING arrived at the Clyde on the 16th at 1000.
Destroyer ESKIMO returning to Scapa Flow was diverted on the 16th to join Captain (D) 6th
Destroyer Flotilla in an anti-submarine sweep.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed the Tyne to return to Scapa
Flow after refitting.
The cruiser was escorted part of the way by
destroyers WINDSOR and WINCHESTER.
The cruiser arrived later on the 15th.
Destroyer ESCAPADE with tanker ALDERSDALE arrived
at Hvalfjord from the eastwards.
Destroyer BROCKLESBY and Dutch destroyer ISAAC
SWEERS collided in the Irish
There was minor damage to both ships and both remained
unsuccessfully attacked German steamer BESSHEIM (1774grt) at Lopphavet.
Lt J. D. M. Briscoe and P/T/Sub Lt (A) J. D.
Pomfret RNVR, were killed when their
Hurricanes of 801 Squadron collided at Kingswill.
British steamer BIRTLEY (2873grt) was badly damaged
on a mine in 53-06N, 1-16-30E.
Three crew were lost on the steamer.
The steamer sank on the 16th in 53-03N, 1-18E.
British steamer DARU (3854grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 51-56-30N, 5-58W.
There were no casualties on the steamer.
Tug FLYING KITE (260grt) was sunk by a mine off the
Five crew of a crew of eight were lost.
Tug ATLANTIC COCK (182grt) was damaged on a mine in
near the Dalmuir Basin.
The tug was beached and refloated on 11 October for
Belgian tanker PONTFIELD (8290grt) was mined in
The tanker broke in two and the forepart sank. The
aft part was towed to Salt End and later the Tyne where a new forepart was fitted.
Norwegian tanker VINGA (7321grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 58-08N, 13-17W.
The tanker was towed to Rothesay
and later repaired at Glasgow.
U.94 sank British steamer NEWBURY (5102grt) in
54-39N, 28-04W. The entire crew of forty five crew and gunners were lost from
U.94 sank Greek steamer PEGASUS (5762grt) from
convoy ON.14 in 54-40N, 29-50W.
Sixteen crew were lost on the Greek steamer.
U.94 sank British steamer EMPIRE ELAND (5613grt) in
German motor ship HANSEAT (224grt) was lost in a
stranding near Rugen.
Polish submarine SOKOL arrived at Gibraltar from Dartmouth.
Destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, and HAVOCK departed Alexandria to carry supplies to Tobruk.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART and destroyers KINGSTON and KIMBERLEY departed Alexandria to cover the movement.
All ships returned to Alexandria on the 16th.
Light cruiser GALATEA departed Alexandria to operate in the Red Sea.
The cruiser arrived at Suez on the 16th.
Corvette PRIMULA arrived at Suez from the United Kingdom to join the 10th Corvette Group.
P/T/Sub Lt (A) L. K. Harper RNVR, in a Martlett of 805 Squadron from GREBE,
was killed when taking off at night, the aircraft went into a spin at the
southwest side of Sidi Barrani North.
Battleship RODNEY, after refitting in the United States, departed Bermuda to rendezvous with convoy WS.11 X during the morning of 21 September.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Wellington as the ocean escort for liner AQUITANIA (44,786grt) for convoy US.12B.
On the 18th, the light cruiser turned the liner
over to Australian light cruisers ADELAIDE and SYDNEY and returned to Auckland.
Tuesday, 16 September
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed
Scapa Flow for the
Clyde to boiler clean, and arrived on the 17th.
An Albacore of 827 Squadron from aircraft carrier
VICTORIOUS crashed landed in the sea thirteen miles off Brough Head, Orkneys.
P/T/A/Sub Lt (A) M. A. Lambert RNVR,
and P/T/A/Sub Lt (A) J. H. C. Ashworth RNVR, were drowned. The pilot Midshipman W. G. R.
Beer was saved by heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE's
WALRUS and transferred to Dutch ship AMARAPOORA.
Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, MATABELE, PUNJABI, IMPULSIVE, ANTHONY,
VIVACIOUS, LAMERTON, and BADSWORTH departed Scapa Flow at 1630 to assist in escorting convoy SC.42.
Destroyer ESKIMO, en route from the Clyde to Scapa Flow, joined this force off the Butt of Lewis.
Convoy SC.42 was not joined as its position was
uncertain, but the force was ordered to join convoy ON.16 in the same area.
On the 17th, destroyers LAMERTON and BADSWORTH were
ordered to join the escort of convoy ON.16 for twenty four hours.
Rest of the destroyers were detached on the 17th
and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0130/18th, less destroyer VIVACIOUS, which had
been detached to sink a floating mine en route and arrived at 0400.
Destroyers LAMERTON and BADSWORTH arrived at Scapa Flow on the 19th.
Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Vestmannaeyjar at 2100
escorting the 4th Motor Launch Flotilla to Stornoway.
The Motor Launches were detached at the North Minch. Destroyer ESCAPADE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0830/19th. The Motor Launch Flotilla arrived at
Stornoway at 0930/19th.
Minelayer PORT QUEBEC, escorted by destroyer NEWARK, laid minefield SN.23B.
Swedish steamer YARRAWONGA (4900grt) was sunk by
British bombing at Hamburg.
The steamer was salved and taken to Gothenburg for
German light cruisers EMDEN and LEIPZIG and torpedo boats T.7, T.8, and T.11 bombarded the
Sworbe Peninsula on 16 and 17 September in the Baltic.
Light cruiser NAIAD departed Alexandria to reinforce the Red Sea Escort Force.
The cruiser arrived at Suez on the 17th.
Destroyers HERO and GRIFFIN departed Haifa to conduct an anti-submarine sweep on the Port Said - Haifa shipping route.
The destroyers returned to Haifa on the 17th.
Italian submarine SMERALDO was lost to an unknown
cause in the Central
Destroyer HIGHLANDER arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown, departing on the 11th and coming via Bathurst.
Ocean boarding vessel MARON arrived at Gibraltar from patrol.
Anti-submarine trawlers LADY HOGARTH and ARCTIC
RANGER departed Gibraltar escorting tanker INVERLEE westwards. They returned
with tanker BENEDICK, arriving on the 28th.
Lt (A) CB Lamb and T/A/Sub Lt (A) J. E. Robertson
RNVR, were interned after they crashed
landed their Swordfish of 830 Squadron near Sousse.
Despite the crash, they had successfully delivered
an agent to the area.
Dutch submarine O.24 arrived at Gibraltar from patrol in the Mediterranean.
Submarines URSULA, UNBEATEN, UPHOLDER, and UPRIGHT
departed Malta to intercept a fast Italian convoy east of Tripoli.
Submarine TRIUMPH departed Malta for special service and patrol in the Adriatic.
Convoy HX.150 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS and corvettes ALGOMA and BRANDON. The destroyer
was detached on the 17th.
On the 17th in 46N, 55W, this convoy became the
first trans Atlantic convoy to be assisted by the US N. when Captain M. L.
Deyo relieved the Canadian escorts with his force of destroyers ERICSSON, EBERLE,
UPSHUR, ELLIS, and DALLAS. Corvettes ALGOMA and BRANDON were detached on the
18th. On the 20th, destroyer EBERLE rescued the crew of British steamer
NIGARISTAN which has an engine room fire. The American group was relieved on
the 25th by destroyers BLANKNEY, CHURCHILL, and WITCH and corvettes
ARROWHEAD, CAMELLIA, CELANDINE, and HONEYSUCKLE. Destroyer BADSWORTH joined
on the 26th for the day only. Destroyer BLANKNEY was detached on the 27th.
The destroyers and corvettes CAMELLIA and CELANDINE were detached on the
28th. Corvette ARROWHEAD was detached on the 29th. The convoy arrived at
Liverpool on the 30th with corvette HONEYSUCKLE.
Wednesday, 17 September
Aircraft carrier ARGUS and destroyer ECLIPSE
departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde at 0930.
Island, destroyer ECLIPSE was detached and returned to
Scapa Flow, arriving at 0600/18th.
The aircraft carrier continued unescorted to the
Clyde, arriving on the 18th.
Destroyer LANCASTER departed the Humber at 1600 on completion of refitting for
The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow on the 18th at 1800 to carry out working up
unsuccessfully attacked German convoy R.152 one miles southwest of Loppa in
Convoy WS.11X, which departed Liverpool on the 16th and the Clyde on the 17th, rendezvoused off Oversay on the 17th.
The convoy consisted by supply ship BRECONSHIRE and
steamers ULSTER MONARCH, QUEEN EMMA, PRINCESS BEATRIX, ROYAL SCOTSMAN, LEINSTER, STRATHEDEN, CLAN MACDONALD, CLAN FERGUSON,
AJAX, IMPERIAL STAR,
CASTLE, DUNEDIN STAR, and CITY OF CALCUTTA.
The convoy was escorted by battleship PRINCE OF
WALES, light cruisers EURYALUS and KENYA, and destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING,
andORIBI, which departed the Clyde on the 16th, WHITEHALL, WITCH, BLANKNEY,
PIORUN, GARLAND, and ISAAC SWEERS from 17 September to Gibraltar.
Destroyers HAVELOCK and HARVESTER escorted the convoy from 17 to 19
September when they were detached escorting liner STRATHEDEN to Halifax.
Destroyers FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, and LEGION,
escorting aircraft carrier FURIOUS, and ZULU, GURKHA, and LANCE departed
Gibraltar on the 18th to join the convoy on the 19th in 42N, 22-30W. Light
cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Gibraltar on the
20th to join the convoy. Destroyer LIVELY departed Gibraltar on the 20th to join, as did destroyers COSSACK,
HEYTHROP, and FARNDALE on the 23rd.
Troopships ULSTER MONARCH, QUEEN EMMA, PRINCESS
BEATRIX, and ROYAL SCOTSMAN, and LEINSTER proceeded
only to Gibraltar. The remainder of the convoy was the HALBERD
convoy for Malta.
During the night of 20/21 September, troopship
PRINCESS BEATRIX and storeship AJAX were in a minor collsion.
Convoy ON.17 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer BOREAS. On the 18th,
destroyers BELMONT andBULLDOG. corvettes ACONIT andHEARTSEASE, and
anti-submarine trawlers ANGLE, CAPE
WARWICK, DANEMAN, NOTTS COUNTY, and ST APOLLO joined. Destroyers AMAZON, GEORGETOWN, and
ST CROIX joined.
These escorts were detached on the 21st when relieved by destroyer RICHMOND and corvettes FENNEL, GLADIOLUS, HEPATICA, and
MMIMIOSA. Destroyer RICHMOND
was detached on the 24th. The corvettes escorted the convoy until its
dispersal on the 29th.
Destroyer MENDIP was escorting convoy FS 605 when
it was attacked by German bombers.
German motor torpedo boats S.50, S.51, and S.52 of
the 4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla attacked a Convoy off Cromer.
British steamer TEDDINGTON (4762grt) was badly
damaged in 54-03N, 1-35E.
The steamer was taken in tow, but went ashore on
the 18th two and three quarters miles east, southeast of Cromer Pier. The
entire crew were rescued.
British steamer TETELA (5389grt) was damaged by a
German motor torpedo boat in 53-04N, 1-35E.
The steamer was taken in tow and beached at Haile
Sand Flat. The steamer was refloated on the 18th and berthed at Hull.
Harbour, Swedish destroyers KLAS UGGLA, KLAS HORN, and
GOTEBORG were seriously damaged in an explosion.
Destroyer KLAS HORN was repaired from components of
destroyers KLAS UGGLA and GOTEBORG.
Destroyer GOTEBORG was not repaired.
German steamer JOHANN WESSELS (4601grt) was lost on
a mine on the Norwegian coast.
German fishing vessel LUNEBURG (473grt) was sunk near Osel on a mine and by
Convoy HG.73 departed Gibraltar with destroyers DUNCAN, FARNDALE, and VIMY, sloop
FOWEY, corvettes BEGONIA, GENTIAN, HIBISCUS, JASMINE, LARKSPUR, MYOSOTIS,
PERIWINKLE, and STONECROP, and fighter catapult ship SPRINGBANK.
Destroyer WILD SWAN departed Gibraltar on the 19th to join the escort.
Destroyers DUNCAN and FARNDALE were detached on the
20th. Destroyers VIMY and WILD SWAN on the 22nd. The catapult ship was sunk
on the 27th.
Destroyer HIGHLANDER departed Gibraltar on the 20th and joined the convoy escort on the
22nd. She remained until 26 September.
Destroyer WOLVERINE joined the convoy on the 28th.
The corvettes were detached on the 30th.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 1 October with destroyer WOLVERINE.
From 17 to 27 September, 6300 British troops and 2100 tons of supplies were
moved to Tobruk in Operation SUPERCHARGE.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART departed Alexandria for Beirut to embark troops.
Light cruisers AJAX and HOBART arrived at Beirut on the 18th. Light cruiser NEPTUNE was detached to
spend the night of 18/19 September at Haifa, rejoining at Beirut on the 19th.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers JERVIS,
JAGUAR, and HASTY departed Alexandria carrying supplies to Tobruk in Serial 1 of the
The minelaying cruiser and destroyers arrived back
at Alexandria on the 18th.
Light cruiser GALATEA arrived at Port Said.
Dutch steamer WESTERNLAND departed Bombay for Singapore with 2061 personnel. From Ceylon, the steamer was escorted by light crusier
Steamer WESTERNLAND arrived at Singapore on the 25th.
Thursday, 18 September
Destroyer ANTELOPE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600 on completion of boiler cleaning at
Rosyth, having departed on the 17th.
Destroyer ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at 0800 to carry out boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed Scapa Flow at 1500 for the Humber to refit at Hull.
The destroyer arrived in the Humber at 1350/19th.
Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Scapa Flow at 1500 for Thorshavn with the Governor of the
The destroyer arrived at 0800/19th with the
Governor. At 1800 that day, the destroyer departed Thorshavn to return to
Scapa Flow, arriving on the 20th.
Destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 2030 to intercept a possible enemy minelayer
off Saxavord. They proceeded to intercept to the westward of the North Rona - Faroes minefield.
At 2145, destroyers ASHANTI, IMPULSIVE, and VIVACIOUS departed Scapa Flow to carry out a patrol between the Orkneys and Sule
Skerry in support.
Destroyers ASHANTI, IMPULSIVE, and VIVACIOUS arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0030/19th after the patrol.
Destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI arrived back at
Scapa Flow at 0918 after an unsuccessful search.
Minelaying cruiser MANXMAN departed Plymouth laid minefield HF off Les Heaux.
British aircraft sighted Italian convoy of
troopships NEPTUNIA (19,475grt), OCEANIA (19,507grt), and VULCANIA
(24,469grt), escorted by destroyers DA RECCO, DA NOLI, PESSAGNO, USODIMARE,
and GIOBERTI which departed Taranto on the 16th for Tripoli.
Submarines UPHOLDER, UPRIGHT, and UNBEATEN
stationed northeast of Tripoli
and URSULA stationed off Tripoli
harbour were guided to the convoy.
Submarine UPHOLDER attacked this convoy off
Misurata and sank troopship NEPTUNIA and damaged troopship OCEANIA in 33-02N, 14-42E.
Submarine UPHOLDER returned four hours later and
sank the damaged OCEANIA.
Troopship VULCANIA escaped and continued on to
Tripoli escorted by destroyer USODIMARE.
Off Tripoli, troopship VULCANIA was attacked by submarine
URSULA, but was not damaged.
The Submarines arrived back at Malta on the 20th.
Submarine TRIUMPH damaged Italian steamer ARDOR
(8960grt, shown in reports as tanker LIRI) off Cape
Cimiti in the Adriatic. The tanker was able to proceed into Crotone
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers NAPIER and
NIZAM departed Alexandria with supplies and some troops. Destroyer HAVOCK
sailed later to load at Mersa Matruh and joined the ships en route in Serial
2 of the SUPERCHARGE operation.
While berthing alongside the wreck of Italian
steamer SERENITAS (5171grt) at Tobruk, destroyer NIZAM was damaged forward
when a cross wind blow the destroyer into the wreck.
The ships arrived back on the 19th. Destroyer NIZAM
was out of action for fourteen days to repair.
In Serial 3 on the same date, A lighters A.2, A.9,
and A.11 proceeded to Tobruk.
Serial 4 was also conducted on this date with
schooners KHEYR EL DINE and HILMI. However, these ships returned to Mersa
Matruh and completed the operation on the 21st.
Australian destroyer VENDETTA and British steamer
FOUADIEH (1853grt) departed Port Said for Famagusta.
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS departed Gibraltar for
by destroyers FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, and LEGION.
Destroyer FURY arrived back at Gibraltar on the 22nd and sailed again on the 23rd to join
Convoy SC.45 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by armed merchant cruiser RANPURA
and corvettes CHICOUTIMI, MATAPEDIA, and SHERBROOKE. Corvette SPIKENARD joined on the 19th. The escort
group departing Sydney with the convoy was detached on the 21st when the
convoy was joined by corvettes BITTERSWEET, CHILLIWACK, COLLINGWOOD, DIANTHUS, PICTOU, and SNOWBERRY.
Destroyer ST LAURENT joined on the 22nd and was detached on the 29th. The
corvettes joining on the 21st were detached on the 30th when relieved by
destroyers BROADWATER, LEAMINGTON, SKATE, and VETERAN and corvettes ABELIA, ANEMONE,
TRAIL, and VERONICA. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 4 October.
Friday, 19 September
Convoy ON.18 departed Liverpool. The convoy was escorted from 21 September by
destroyers LEAMINGTON, SALADIN, SKATE, and VETERAN, corvettes ABELIA,
ANEMONE, and VERONICA, and anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN, ST KENAN, and
VIZALMA. These escorts were detached on the 24th when relieved by American
destroyers CHARLES F. HUGHES, GLEAVES, LANSDALE, MADISON, and SIMPSON. The American destroyers escorted the convoy
until it was dispersed on 2 October.
British steamer BRADGLEN (4741grt) was sunk by mining
two miles 230° from B.3 Buoy off Barrow Deep.
Seven crew were missing and one crewman died in the
British fishing vessel GLEN ALVA (6grt) was sunk on
a mine off Jenkin Buoy, Southend.
Both crew on the vessel were lost.
British steamer PRESTATYN ROSE (1151grt) was
damaged by German bombing in 51-52-25N, 1-35-45E, three miles northeast of
Sunk Buoy, Harwich.
The steamer arrived at Harwich on the 19th in tow
and beached. Steamer PRESTATYN ROSE was refloated on the 28th and sailed to
the Tyne on the 30th.
U.74 sank Canadian corvette LEVIS (Lt C. W. Gilding RCNR), which was escorting
convoy SC.44 in 60-05N, 38-48W
Seventeen Canadian and one British ratings were
lost on the corvette.
Forty survivors from the corvette were rescued by
Canadian corvettes MAYFLOWER and AGASSIZ.
On the 20th, U.74 sank British CAM ship EMPIRE BURTON (6966grt) from the convoy in
61-34N, 35-05W. The submarine claiming sinking one more ship and damaging
One crewman and two gunners were lost on the CAM ship.
U.552 on the 20th sank British tanker T. J.
WILLIAMS (8212grt) in 61-36N, 35-07W, Panamanian steamer PINK STAR (4150grt) in 61-36N, 37-07W, and Norwegian tanker
BARBRO (6325grt) in 61-30N, 35-00W from the convoy. The submarine claimed
sinking a straggler from the convoy.
Seventeen crew, including two gunners, were lost on
the British tanker.
Eleven crew were lost on the Panamanian steamer.
The entire crew of the Norwegian steamer were lost.
German fishing vessel BUNTE KUH (262grt) was lost
on a mine in the Kattegat.
During the night of 19/20 September, Italian
submarine SCIRE launched explosive boats into Gibraltar
Oil depot ship FIONA SHELL (2444grt) and oiler
DENBYDALE (8145grt) were sunk and steamer DURHAM (10,893grt) was badly damaged on the 20th.
One crewman was lost on ship FIONA SHELL.
Ship DURHAM was beached. She was refloated and drydocked. On
the 3rd, steamer DURHAM sailed in tow from Gibraltar for Falmouth.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART departed Haifa with 6000 troops for Tobruk.
Destroyers GRIFFIN and HOTSPUR from Haifa joined the cruisers off Beirut and escorted them to Alexandria, arriving on the 20th.
attacked a steamer off Gaidoro.
Polish submarine SOKOL departed Gibraltar for patrol in the Mediterranean to support HALBERD operations.
Convoy ST.3 departed Freetown, escorted by corvettes BURDOCK andand MARGUERITE.
Corvette CALENDULA joined on the 23rd. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on the
Saturday, 20 September
Monitor EREBUS departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for Chatham on completion of working up practices.
Destroyer VIVACIOUS departed Scapa Flow at 1030 for Sheerness on completion of her working
up practices. The destroyer was ordered to overtake the monitor and escort
her to Sheerness.
Destroyer WINDSOR departed Harwich at 1130 to meet
monitor EREBUS and destroyer VIVACIOUS off May Island and act as additional escort to Sheerness.
Monitor EREBUS and destroyer VIVACIOUS arrived at
Sheerness at 1845/22nd.
Norwegian destroyer DRAUG departed the Humber at 2000 for Scapa
Flow and arrived at
Minelaying cruiser MANXMAN departed Portsmouth and laid minefield JT off Le Havre.
Anti-aircraft ship ULSTER QUEEN departed Scapa Flow after working up.
The ship arrived at Belfast at 1200/21st to join the Western Approaches.
British ferry PORTSDOWN (342grt) was sunk on a mine
in 50-46-07N, 6-25W.
Eight crew and fifteen passengers were lost on the
British trawler MARCONI (322grt) was lost in a
collision off Harwich.
U.124 sank British steamers BALTALLINN (1303grt)
and EMPIRE MOAT (2922grt) from convoy OG.74 in 48-07N, 22-07W. The submarine
claimed damaging another steamer in the convoy.
Seventeen crew and one gunner were missing on
steamer BALTALLINN. Twenty survivors were rescued by steamer WALMER
The crew of thirty of steamer EMPIRE MOAT were
picked up by steamer WALMER CASTLE. Five of the crew were lost when WALMER
CASTLE was sunk.
On the 21st, U.201 sank British steamer RUNA
(1575grt) in 46-20N, 22-23W and British steamers LISSA (1511grt) and RHINELAND (1381grt) in 47N, 22W from the convoy.
Twelve crew and two gunners were lost on steamer
Convoy rescue ship WALMER
CASTLE (906grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 47-16N, 22-25W.
The rescue ship had thirty survivors of steamer EMPIRE
MOAT, twenty eight survivors from steamer BALTALLINN, and twenty three crew
from steamer CITY OF WATERFORD (1071grt), which had been sunk in a
collision with tug THAMES on the 19th.
Ten crew and passengers were lost in the ship.
The rescue ship was scuttled by sloop DEPTFORD and
corvette MARIGOLD of the convoy escort on the 21st.
Convoy HG.73, which departed Gibraltar on the 17th, was sighted by Italian submarine
TORELLI and U.371, but contact was soon lost.
U.371 was en route to the Mediterranean.
Contact with the contact was regained on the 21st,
but the submarine was soon badly damaged by destroyer VIMY.
Italian submarine DA VINCI found this convoy on the
23rd. From reports from a German aircraft, Italian submarine MALASPINO sank
two steamers on the 24th, but the submarine then went missing and what became
of her is unknown.
U.124 sank British steamer EMPIRE STREAM (2922grt)
in 46-03N, 24-40W on the 25th.
Four crew, two gunners, and two stowaways were lost
on steamer EMPIRE STREAM.
U.203 on the 26th sank Norwegian steamer VARANBERG
(2842grt) in 47-50N, 24-50W, British steamer AVOCETA (3442grt) in 47-57N,
24-05W, and British steamer CORTES (1374grt) in 47-48N, 23-45W from the
Twenty one crew were missing on steamer VARANBERG.
Forty three crew, four gunners, and seventy six
passengers were missing on steamer AVOCETA. Corvette PERIWINKLE rescued the
convoy Commodore Creighton and other survivors. Some survivors were picked up
by steamer CERVANTES which was later sunk. Surgeon Lt F. Bagot of battleship
NELSON was lost in steamer AVOCETA.
The survivors from steamer CORTES were rescued by
British steamer LAPWING. All but one were lost when LAPWING was sunk.
U.124 sank British steamer PETEREL (1354grt) in
47-40N, 23-28W and British steamer LAPWING (1348grt) in 47-40N, 23-30W on the
26th from the convoy.
Nineteen crew and three gunners were lost on
steamer PETEREL. The survivors were picked up by steamer LAPWING. Nine
survivors returned to England.
Twenty one crew and three gunners were lost on
steamer LAPWING. Nine survivors were rescued.
U.124 sank British steamer CERVANTES (1810grt) in
48-37N, 20-01W on the 26th from the convoy.
Three crew, two gunners, and three passengers were
lost on steamer CERVANTES.
Auxiliary fighter catapult ship SPRINGBANK (Captain
C. H. Godwin DSO) was sunk by U.201 in 49-10N, 20-05W on the 27th from the
T/A/Sub Lt (E) J. Moir RNVR, and thirty one ratings were lost on the
U.201 sank Norwegian steamer SIREMALM (2468grt) in
49-05N, 20-10W and British steamer MARGARETA (3103grt) in 50-15N, 17-27W from
the convoy on the 27th. The submarine also reported sinking a corvette and a
steamer from the convoy. The entire crew on steamer SIREMALM were lost.
There were no casualties on the steamer MARGARETA.
German steamer METZ (728grt) was lost near Vlaardingen.
U.111 sank British steamer CINGALESE PRINCE
(8474grt) at 2S, 25-30W.
Forty eight crew and eight gunners were lost on the
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers JERVIS,
KIMBERLEY, and HASTY departed Alexandria with about 1000 troops, brought to
Alexandria by the 7th Cruiser Squadron, and one hundred and twenty tons of
stores in Serial 5 of the SUPERCHARGE operation.
The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 21st.
Destroyers HERO and JACKAL departed Haifa for an anti-submarine sweep of the Haifa - Port Said - Alexandria shipping routes.
Destroyer HAVOCK grounded to the west of the Great
Pass while waiting to enter harbour after an anti-submarine exercise.
Both propellers were damaged beyond repair and both
shafts and A bracket were distorted. Repairs in dock required some fourteen
British steamer CLAN FORBES with twenty four
officers and four hundred and eight other ranks and troopship GLENROY with
thirty seven officers and five hundred and forty four other ranks departed
Suez for Port T, which was the Indian Ocean anchorage at Addu.
The ships were escorted from Aden by heavy cruiser CORNWALL and arrived on the 30th.
French steamer MONSELET (3372grt) was sunk and
Italian steamer MARIGOLA (5996grt) was damaged by RAF aircraft off Sfax.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed
rendezvous with convoy WS.11X.
Submarine TRUSTY departed Gibraltar for patrol in the Mediterranean to support HALBERD operations.
Helena, aircraft carrier
EAGLE had a serious fire in her hangar deck.
Fourteen aircraft were seriously affected by salt
water used to extinguish the fire. The aircraft carrier sustained some
damage. One rating died from injuries.
On the 28th, the aircraft carrier, escorted by
heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE, departed St Helena for
Freetown, arriving 3 October. The ship called at Gibraltar for emergency repairs and finally arrived back at
Liverpool on 26 October.
Aircraft carrier EAGLE was refitting from 30
October to 9 January 1942.
Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at Colombo from the Seychelles.
Sunday, 21 September
Minelaying cruiser MANXMAN departed Portsmouth and laid minefield JU off Dieppe.
Convoy ON.19 departed Liverpool. It was escorted from 22 September by destroyers
BEAGLE, MONTGOMERY, ROXBOROUGH, and SALISBURY, corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS,
minesweepers BRITOMART, GOSSAMER, and LEDA, and anti-submarine trawler NORWICH CITY. The convoy was joined on the 23rd by corvettes
ALBERNI and KENOGAMI and minesweeper HUSSAR. The minesweepers were detached
on the 25th. Corvettes ALYSSE and MAYFLOWER joined the convoy on the 27th and
with corvettes ALBERNI and KENOGAMI escorted the convoy when rest of the
escorts were detached. Corvette MAYFLOWER was detached on 6 October. The
convoy was dispersed on 7 October and the other three corvettes were
British tanker VANCOUVER (5729grt) was sunk on a
mine about two miles 263° from Sunk Light Vessel in 51-51N, 1-31E.
Soviet destroyer FRUNZA was sunk by German bombing
eat of Tendra Island in the Baltic.
Soviet submarine STEREGUSCHY was sunk by German
bombing off Peteroff.
Italian submarine ASCIANGHI set on fire by gunfire
the Palestinian steamer ANTAR (389grt) in 33-57N, 35-04E.
The crew landed at Tyre.
Whaler SOUTHERN ISLE proceeded to the area and took the hull in tow,
but it sank on the 23rd before they could arrive in harbour.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers NAPIER,
KINGSTON, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria on Serial 7 of the SUPERCHARGE operation.
The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 22nd.
British troopship GLENGYLE departed Alexandria for the Canal Area to relieve troopship GLENROY at
the Combined Operations Training Centre at Kabret.
Destroyers HERO and JACKAL met troopship GLENGYLE
off Alexandria and escorted her to Port Said.
Destroyers HERO and JACKAL arrived back at Alexandria on the 22nd.
Corvettes PEONY, HYACINTH, and ERICA departed Beirut on an anti-submarine sweep.
At sunset, the flag of Cruiser Squadron 15 was
hauled down from light cruiser NAIAD. Vice Admiral E. L. S. King CB, MVO, was
ordered to the appointment of Assistant Chief Naval Staff (Trade) in the
Admiralty. Captain W. H. A. Kelsey DSC, assumed the duties of Senior Officer,
15th Cruiser Squadron, and Senior Officer, Suez Escort Force.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH arrived at Gibraltar after escorting convoy WS.10 to the Capetown.
Destroyer LIVELY departed Gibraltar to join convoy WS.11X.
Dutch submarine O.21 departed Gibraltar for patrol in the Mediterranean to support HALBERD operations.
Monday, 22 September
Destroyer BADSWORTH departed Scapa Flow at 0715 for Scrabster with the Captain of the
Fleet and returned at 1045 with the officers taking passage to Murmansk in heavy cruiser LONDON.
Heavy cruiser LONDON departed
Scapa Flow to take
the Anglo American supply mission to Archangel, arriving at 1600/27th.
Minelaying cruiser WELSHMAN laid minefield SN.23C.
Destroyers LAMERTON and BADSWORTH departed Scapa Flow at 1730 after working up exercises to join the
Destroyer LAMERTON arrived at Liverpool at 1100/24th.
Destroyer BADSWORTH was ordered at 1918 to proceed
to Iceland and after refuelling join convoy HX.150.
Destroyer BADSWORTH arrived at Hvalfjord on the
24th. After refuelling, the destroyer departed at 1700 to join convoy HX.150.
Destroyer LANCASTER departed Scapa Flow at 1900 on completion of exercises to rejoin Rear
Admiral Minelaying at Loch Alsh, arriving at 0630/23rd.
Norwegian motor torpedo boat MTB.56 departed Harwich at 1100 for Scapa Flow, via the
Tyne and Aberdeen.
The motor torpedo boat arrived at Scapa Flow on the 25th.
Motor launch ML.144 was lost in a mining in the
Dutch steamer VECHTSTROOM (845grt) was sunk by
German bombing two miles east by north of 62 C Buoy. The entire crew were
Light cruisers KENYA and EURYALUS, which had departed convoy WS.11 X on
the 21st, arrived at Gibraltar at 2300.
The cruisers refuelled and departed on the 23rd
before daylight to rejoin the convoy.
The flag of CS.10 was transferred from light
cruiser SHEFFIELD to light cruiser KENYA.
Convoy SL.87, escorted by sloop BIDEFORD, cutter
GORLESON, corvette GARDENIA, and French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC, was sighted
by German submarines.
U.68 badly damaged British steamer SILVERBELLE
(5302grt) at 25-45N, 24W. The submarine claimed sinking one more ship and
damaging another. The steamer was taken in tow by cutter GORLESON. After a
second attack on the convoy, the steamer was left and the cutter rejoined the
convoy. The steamer was later taken under tow by sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC
towards Las Palmas. The sloop was relieved by anti-submarine trawler
LADY SHIRLEY and a tug was sent from Las Palmas. The steamer sank in tow on the 29th at 26-30N,
There were no casualties on steamer SILVERBELLE.
U.103 sank British steamer NICETO DE LARRINAGA (5591grt)
at 27-32N, 24-26W and British steamer EDWARD BLYDEN (5003grt) at 27-36N,
24-29W. The submarine claimed sinking two more steamers and damaging another.
Three crew were lost on steamer NICETO DE
LARRINAGA. The entire crew were rescued from steamer EDWARD BLYDEN.
On the 24th, U.67 sank British steamer ST CLAIR II
(3753grt) in 30-25N, 23-35W.
Twelve crew and one gunner were lost on steamer ST
On the 24th, U.107 sank British steamers JOHN HOLt
(4975grt, Convoy Commodore) and LAFIAN (4876grt) in 31-12N, 23-32W and
British steamer DIXCOVE (3790grt) in 31-13N, 23-41W.
One gunner was lost on steamer JOHN HOLT.
There were no casualties on steamer LAFIAN.
One crewman was lost on steamer DIXCOVE.
After three nights of attacks, only four ships of
the eleven ship convoy remained.
U.562 sank British steamer ERNA III (1590grt) in 61-45N, 35-15W.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers KANDAHAR, JAGUAR, and GRIFFIN departed Alexandria for Tobruk on Serial 8 of the SUPERCHARGE
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART departed Alexandria to cover the destroyers and rendezvous with
minelaying cruiser ABDIEL at daylight on the 23rd.
All ships involved arrived back at Alexandria on the 23rd.
Returning to Hal Far after searching for
merchantships between Kuriat and Pantellaria, T/Lt (A) L. F. E. Aldridge
RNVR, was killed and his gunner
Leading Airman K. Pimlott died in hospital from injuries when their Swordfish
of 830 Squadron crashed and exploded on landing.
Sub Lt R. G. Drake was lost in a captured He.115
flown by a Free French crew, that crashed shortly after takeoff from Malta. The two French crew were lost as well.
Gibraltar for a patrol in the vicinity of the Canary Islands and then to proceed to Freetown.
On the 25th, she was ordered to patrol in Cape Verde
Islands, as German submarines were suspected of using
Italian destroyers CORAZZIERE, ASCARI, CARABINIERE,
and LANCIERE laid mines southeast of Malta escorted by destroyers AVIERE and CAMICIA NERA.
Convoy HX.151 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS. The destroyer was detached on the 24th when
relieved by American destroyers DECATUR, KEARNEY, LIVERMORE, and PLUNKETT. The American group was
relieved on 1 October by destroyers BEAGLE, MONTGOMERY, ROXBOROUGH, and SALISBURY, corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS, and
anti-submarine trawlers NORWICH CITY and ST LOMAN. Destroyers BEAGLE and SALISBURY were detached on 4 October. Destroyer ROXBOROUGH
and corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS were detached on the 5th and
destroyer MONTGOMERY on 6 October. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 October.
Tuesday, 23 September
Battleship KING GEORGE V, aircraft carrier
VICTORIOUS, light cruiser AURORA, and destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, BEDOUIN,
ESKIMO, ASHANTI, and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for Hvalfjord where they arrived at
1400/25th for Operation EJ.
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed the Clyde to return to Scapa
Flow, arriving on the
Light cruiser PENELOPE departed Hvalfjord on the
23rd and arrived back at Reykjavik on the 29th. The cruiser then proceeded to Hvalfjord.
Convoy OS.7 departed Liverpool. On the 24th, sloops FOLKESTONE and WESTON and
corvette AURICULA joined the convoy. The sloops were detached on 12 October.
The corvette arrived with the convoy at Freetown on 14 October for duty in the South Atlantic.
On the 26th, sloop LONDONDERRY and corvette VIOLET joined the convoy and were
detached on 12 October. On 10 October, destroyer BRILLIANT joined the convoy
and on 11 October, corvettes CLOVER and CYCLAMEN joined. All arrived with the
convoy on 14 October. Corvettes ANCHUSA, MIGNONETTE, and WOODRUFF joined the
convoy on 14 October outside Freetown.
Soviet battleship MARAT was sunk by German bombing
Soviet battleship OKTYABRSKAWA REVOLUTSIA was
damaged by German shore guns at Kronstadt.
Soviet destroyer MINSK, under repair at Kronstadt, was bombed and
Soviet cruiser MAKSIM GORKI, under repair at Leningrad, was damaged by German bombing.
Cruiser KIROV, also repairing at Leningrad, was attacked, but was not damaged.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers JERVIS,
KIMBERLEY, and HASTY departed Alexandria for Tobruk on Serial 9 SUPERCHARGE operation.
These ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 24th.
Also sailing was petrol carrier PASS OF BALMAHA
(758grt), Greek steamer SAMOS (1208grt), and A 2 and A 9 lighters, carrying
tanks, in convoy for Tobruk, escorted by anti-submarine trawler FALK and
minesweeping trawler SOIKA (per Med Fleet WD -- SOTRA in Preliminary
Narrative) in Serial 11.
The convoy arrived on the 26th.
Destroyer JUPITER arrived at Suez to join the fleet after having proceeded
independently from Gibraltar.
The destroyer was in need of docking for repair to
serious leaks in her oil fuel tanks.
The destroyer arrived at Alexandria on the 25th.
Submarine TRIUMPH sank German steamer LUVSEE
(2373grt) six miles northeast of Sebenico.
Submarine TRIUMPH damaged Italian steamer POSEIDONE
(6613grt) four miles off Ortona on the 24th.
Submarine THRASHER made an unsuccessful attack on a
steamer near Benghazi.
TORBAY made an
unsuccessful attack on a steamer off Suda
Italian steamer CARMELO NOLI (109grt) was sunk on a
mine south of Livorno.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, and ORIBI
arrived at Gibraltar from Greenock late on
the 23rd. The ships were refuelled and departed before daylight to rejoin the
WS.11 X convoy.
Destroyers COSSACK, HEYTHROP, and FARNDALE departed
Gibraltar to join convoy WS.11 X at 0800/24th.
Convoy ST.4 departed Freetown, escorted by sloop BRIDGEWATER, corvettes ARMERIA and CALENDULA, and
anti-submarine trawler COPINSAY. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on the 28th.
British troopship STIRLING
CASTLE departed Bombay with 1650 personnel. The troopship was escorted by
light cruiser EMERALD to 5-26N, 80-59E, then by light cruiser GLASGOW to
6-05N, 93E. Light cruiser DAUNTLESS escorted the troopship on to Singapore, arriving on the 29th.
Wednesday, 24 September
British steamer DALTONHALL (7253grt) was damaged by
mining in 51-45-06N, 5-16-30W.
The steamer arrived at Holyhead under her own
power. She later proceeded to Liverpool for
German minelayer KONIGIN LUISE was lost on a mine near
American Captain F. D. Kirtland assumed escort of
convoy ON.18 at the mid ocean meeting point with a force of destroyers
MADISON, GLEAVES, LANSDALE, HUGHES, and SIMPSON.
This is the first westbound convoy escorted by the United
Battleship RODNEY and destroyers ISAAC SWEERS,
PIORUN, and GARLAND arrived at Gibraltar at 0900.
Corvettes JONQUIL, SPIRAEA, and AZALEA departed
Gibraltar to join the troopships of convoy WS.11 X convoy at
0900 and bring them into Gibraltar. The ships arrived at Gibraltar at 0230/25th.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed Gibraltar at 1230 to join the HALBERD convoy.
Destroyers FORESIGHT, FORESTER, GURKHA, and LANCE
arrived at Gibraltar at 1600 from convoy WS.11 X escort.
Battleship NELSON with destroyers ISAAC SWEERS,
PIORUN, and GARLAND departed Gibraltar on
Operation HALBERD at 1815.
Destroyers LEGION, LIVELY, and ZULU arrived at
Gibraltar from WS.11 X escort at 1830.
Oiler BROWN RANGER, escorted by corvette FLEUR DE
LYS, departed Gibraltar at 2000 as Force S.to oil destroyers in the
Battleship RODNEY, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL,
light cruiser HERMIONE, and destroyers DUNCAN, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, LIVELY,
ZULU, GURKHA, LEGION, and LANCE departed Gibraltar at 2330 on the HALBERD operation.
Convoy HALBERD of steamers CLAN MACDONALD, CLAN
FERGUSON, AJAX, IMPERIAL STAR, CITY OF LINCOLN, ROWALLAN CASTLE, DUNEDIN STAR,
CALCUTTA, and BRECONSHIRE passed Europa Pontat 0130/25th escorted by Force A
of battleships NELSON, RODNEY, and PRINCE OF WALES, aircraft carrier ARK
ROYAL, and destroyers DUNCAN, LEGION, LIVELY, LANCE, GURKHA, GARLAND, PIORUN,
and ISAAC SWEERS andForce X of light cruisers HERMIONE, KENYA, EDINBURGH,
SHEFFIELD, and EURYALUS and destroyers LIGHTNING, LAFOREY, COSSACK, ZULU,
ORIBI, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, HEYTHROP, and FARNDALE.
Submarines UTMOST, which departed Malta on the
18th, in the northern approach to Messina Straits, UPRIGHT, which departed
Malta on the 22nd, in the northeastern approach to Messina Straits, URGE,
which departed Malta on the 22nd, north of Palermo, UPHOLDER, which departed
Malta on the 23rd, northward of Marittimo to Cape St Vito, UNBEATEN, which
departed Malta on the 23rd, in the vicinity of Cape Spartivento and Cape del
Armi, and URSULA, which departed Malta 23 September south of Straits of
Messina, SOKOL, which departed Gibraltar on the 22nd, north of Sicily,
TRUSTY, which departed Gibraltar on the 20th, north of Sicily, and O.21,
which departed Gibraltar on the 21st, off Cagliari were in the area of the
convoy's track to intercept Italian warships.
Italian battleships LITTORIO and VENETO with destroyers GRANATIERE, FUCLIERE, BERSAGLIERE,
and GIOBERTI of the 13th Destroyer Division and DA RECCO, PESSAGNO, and
FOLGORE of the 16th Destroyer Division departed Naples. Heavy cruisers TRENTO, TRIESTE, and GORIZIA with destroyers CORAZZIERE,
CARABINIERE, ASCARI, and LANCIERE of the 12th Destroyer Division departed
Meesina, and light cruisers ABRUZZI and ATTENDOLO with destroyers MAESTRALE,
GRECALE, and SCIROCCO of the 10th Destroyer Division departed Palermo to intercept the convoy on the 26th. The two
battleships and seven operated as one group. The five cruisers and seven
destroyers operated as the second group.
The remainder of the Italian Fleet could not sail
due to fuel shortages.
Battleship NELSON was damaged by an aerial torpedo
on the 27th and had her speed reduced to eighteen knots. Lt Cdr J. R.B. Longden, CBE, was wounded.
Destroyer ZULU was damaged by splinters from the
near miss of an air bomb.
Battleships PRINCE OF WALES, NELSON, and RODNEY and
six destroyers were detached to attack this force. When battleship NELSON was
reduced further and she was forced to drop out, light cruisers EDINBURGH and
SHEFFIELD replaced her. No contact was made with the Italian
On the 27th, troopship IMPERIAL STAR was badly damaged in 37-31N, 10-46E. Destroyers
HEYTHROP and FARNDALE took off the survivors and destroyer ORIBI took the
troopship in tow until it became necessary to scuttle the ship.
There were no casualties on the troopship.
Battleship RODNEY shot down in error a Fulmar of
807 Squadron from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL. Sub Lt P. Guy and Leading
Airman Jones were picked up by destroyer DUNCAN. A second Fulmar of 807
Squadron was also shot down by battleship RODNEY. Lt G. C. M. Guthrie and
Petty Officer A. T. Goodman were also picked up by destroyer DUNCAN.
During the night of 27/28 September, light cruiser
HERMIONE bombarded Pantelleria for five minutes.
Steamers CITY OF CALCUTTA and ROWALLAN
CASTLE were damaged in a collision.
Steamers MELBOURNE STAR departed Malta at 1130 and arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th. Steamers PORT CHALMERS and CITY OF PRETORIA departed Malta at 1100 on 27September and arrived at Gibraltar on the 30th.
Lt M. W. Watson and A/Sub Lt (A) P. W. N. Couch of
the 808 Squadron of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL were lost when their Fulmar
was accidently shot by by gunfire from battleship PRINCE OF WALES.
Battleship NELSON was detached with five destroyers
to return to Gibraltar at dark on the 28th. She was escorted by destroyer
DUNCAN, PIORUN, and GARLAND back to Gibraltar.
Destroyer ROCKINGHAM and corvettes JONQUIL, FLEUR DE LYS, SAMPHIRE, and ARBUTUS
departed Gibraltar on the 29th to join the escort. All arrived at
Gibraltar on the 30th.
On the 27th, destroyer DUNCAN picked up the pilot of a Fulmar aircraft
accidently shot down by battleship RODNEY.
On the 28th, light cruiser HERMIONE bombarded
Italian submarines DIASPRO at 0617 on the 29th in
37-32N, 6-45W, SERPENTE at 1642 in 37-22N, 6-16E, and ADUA at 0350/30th
attacked destroyers in Force H off Algeria.
Destroyer GURKHA damaged submarine DIASPRO and destroyers
LEGION and LANCE damaged submarine SERPENTE in counter attacks.
Submarine ADUA was sunk by destroyers GURKHA and
LEGION on the 30th east of Cartagena.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, light cruiser KENYA and
destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, ORIBI, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, and FURY arrived
at Gibraltar at 1750/30th.
Light cruisers KENYA and
Gibraltar at 0400 on 1 October to return to the UK and to search for a German supply ship reported
off the coast of North Spain.
Battleship RODNEY, aircarft carier ARK ROYAL, light
cruisers HERMOINE, EDINBURGH, and EURYALUS, and destroeyrs FRANDALE,
HEYTRHOP, COSSACK, LEGION, LANCE, LIVELY, ZULU, ISAAC SWEERS, and GURKHA
arrived at Gibraltar at 0830 on 1 October. Tug ST DAY arrived at 0900.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, and ORIBI
departed Gibraltar for the UK, escorted locally by destroyer LIVELY at 2000 on 1
Light cruiser EURYALUS and destroyers FARNDALE and
HEYTHROP departed Gibraltar at 2345 on 1 October for Freetown, escorting
steamers MELBOURNE STAR and PORT CHALMERS for Buenas Aires.
At 0130 on 2 October, light cruiser EDINBURGH and
destroyers PIORUN and GARLAND
departed Gibraltar for the UK, escorting steamers LEINSTER and CITY OF PRETORIA. They were escorted locally by destroyers COSSACK
and ZULU, which then joined aircraft carrier ARGUS and escorted her to Gibraltar.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers NAPIR,
KINGSTON, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria for Tobruk on Serial 10 of the SUPERCHARGE
Destroyers JAGUAR and GRIFFIN were at sea exercising and remained at sea for the
night of 24/25 September.
An Italian convoy of steamers CASTELVERDE, PERLA,
and AMSTERDAM, escorted by destroyers LAPINO, ORIANI, and
FULMINE, and STRALE, reported a submarine attack off Pantelleria.
No damage was done. There is no corresponding
Submarine TRIUMPH damaged Italian steamer POSEIDONE
(6613grt) four miles off Ortona and Italian steamer SIDAMO (2384grt) in Ortona
Submarine TETRARCH made an unsuccessful attack on a
steamer in the Gulf of Athens.
Greek submarine TRITON made an unsuccessful attack
on Italian naval ship CYCLOPS off Suda
Italian steamer PROSPERO (971grt) was sunk by
British bombing at Benghazi.
Corvettes SAMPHIRE and CONVOLVULUS arrived at
Gibraltar escorting the 26th Motor Launch Flotilla of ML.209, ML.244, ML.251,
ML.271, ML.277, ML.279, ML.281, and ML.289.
Greek steamer STAMATIOS G. EMBIRICOS (3941grt) was
sunk by German raider KORMORAN at 1-01S, 64-30E.
Five crew were lost on the steamer.
Five men and the Captain of the steamer were picked
up by the armed merchant cruiser. Another twenty four survivors in a boat
lost touch in dark and were rescued three days later by the armed merchant
cruiser. They became prisoners of war.
Convoy SC.46 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by
corvettes LETHBRIDGE, NAPANEE, and SHEDIAC. Corvette GALt joined on the
25th. The original escort group was detached on the 27th. Destroyers
BROADWAY, BURWELL, and OTTAWA
and corvettes ALGOMA, BRANDON,
BUCTOUCHE, and COBALt joined on the 27th. Destroyers CALDWELL, VANOC,
VOLUNTEER, and WALKER joined on 4 October. The 27 September joining group was
detached on 5 October. Destroyer VOLUNTEER was detached on 9 October and the
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 October.
Convoy SL.88 departed Freetown escorted by destroyer VANSITTART to 27 September,
sloop ENCHANTRESS to 8 October, corvettes ASTER, BURDOCK, and VERVAIN to 27
September, and anti-submarine trawlers FANDANGO and MORRIS DANCE to 27
On the 27th, escort vessels HARTLAND and WALNEY joined
to 8 October. Destroyers VIMY and WILD SWAN escorted the convoy on 1 October
The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HG.74 on 8
The convoy arrived Liverpool on 18 October.
Thursday, 25 September
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK with destroyers IMPULSIVE, ANTHONY, and ANTELOPE
departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for Hvalfjord to fuel prior to escorting
The ships arrived on the 27th.
The Flag of Rear Admiral, 1st Cruiser Squadron, was
transferred from heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE to heavy
The heavy cruiser proceeded to the Clyde, where she arrived on the 27th, for duty escorting convoy WS.12.
Convoy ON.20 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC, VOLUNTEER, and WALKER and corvette HYDRANGEA. The convoy was joined on
the 26th by destroyer CALDWELL. These escorts were relieved on the 30th by
American destroyers BENSON, HILARY P. JONES, NIBLACK, REUBEN JAMES, and
WINSLOW. Corvette ALGOMA joined on 3 October and was detached the next day.
The American destroyers were detached on 9 October when the convoy was
Sloop IBIS departed Rosyth at 0500 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900 to carry out working up exercises.
New Zealand P/T/Sub Lt (A) D. Simmonds, RNZVR, was
killed when his Fulmar of 761 Squadron crashed near West Camel.
Australian destroyer VENDETTA arrived at Alexandria from Haifa.
Ocean boarding vessel MARON departed Gibraltar for Western Patrol, eoscrted by anti-submarine
trawlers LADY SHIRLEY and ERIN.
Trawler ERIN was to join arriving tanker LA
CARRIERE for escort duties to Gibraltar.
Trawler LADY SHIRLEY was detached on the 28th to
relieve sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC towing damaged steamer SILVERBELLE to Las Palmas.
Australian light cruiser ADELAIDE departed Melbourne escorting a steamer to southeast of Chatham
The light cruiser then proceeded to Wellington, arriving on the 30th.
Friday, 26 September
British steamer BRITISH PRINCE (4979grt) was sunk
by German bombing in 53-52N, 0-25E.
There were no casualties on the steamer.
British schooner KANTARA was lost, cause and
British steamer ORIOLE (489grt) was damaged by
mining off South Bishops, Cardigan
The steamer was towed to Milford on the 27th.
U.66 sank Panamanian steamer I. C. WHITE (7052grt)
at 10-26S, 27-30W.
Three crew were missing on the steamer.
German steamer GILLHAUSEN (4339grt) south of
Italian fishing boat CAPODOGLIO (184grt) was sunk
by British bombing 16 miles 346° from Marsa Dili.
The Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria at 0900 with battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM,
and VALIANT, light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART, and destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, KINGSTON, KIPLING, HERO, HOTSPUR, DECOY, and VENDETTA to
act as a diversion for operation HALBERD being carried out by Force H
Destroyer NAPIER departed Alexandria after fueling and joined the Fleet at 1430.
The Fleet returned to Alexandria at 1400/27th.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers JACKAL,
KIMBERLEY, and HASTY departed Alexandria for Tobruk on Serial 12 of the SUPERCHARGE
The ships arrived back on the 26th.
Anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN SEA (344grt) attacked a submarine contact in 33-29N,
The whaler was joined by corvettes DELPHINIUM and
ERICA, but the search was unsuccessful.
Submarine P.34 arrived at Gibraltar after departing Barrow on the 16th. En route on
the 21st, she was ordered to conduct a diving patrol in the vicinity of
42-50N, 10-40W and look for enemy submarines.
Submarine TETRARCH sank Italian steamer CITTA DI
BASTIA in 36-21N, 24-23E.
The steamer was from a convoy of steamers CITTA DE
MARSALA (2480grt), CITTA DE BASTIA (2499grt), TRAPANI (1855grt), and
SANTAGANTA (4299grt) that departed Piraeus for Candia on the 26th, escorted
by destroyer SELLA, torpedo boat LIBRA, and armed merchant cruiser BRIONI.
Heavy cruiser EXETER departed Aden.
Convoy HX.152 departed Halifax. The convoy was joined on the 28th by destroyer
ANNAPOLIS. The destroyer was detached on the 30th when
relieved by American destroyers BABBITT, BROOME, LEARY, MAYO, and SCHENCK. In
heavy weather all the American destroyers suffered varying degrees of storm
damage. The American group was relieved on 9 October by destroyers KEPPEL,
SABRE,SHIKARI, and VENOMOUS, corvettes DIANELLA and SUNFLOWER, and
anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA, MAN O.WAR, and NORTHERN DAWN. Destroyer SHIKARI was
detached on 9 October, the corvettes and the trawlers on 11 October,
destroyer KEPPEL on 12 October, and destroyers SABRE on 13 October. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 14 October.
Saturday, 27 September
During the night of 27/28 September, British
landing ship PRINCE LEOPOLD, accompanied by MGB.316, MGB.314, MGB.312, landed
a Commando unit at St Vaast, near Cherbourg in Operation CHOPPER.
Destroyers FERNIE and VANITY provided covering
The force withdrew after obtaining information.
Faroes motor fishing vessel FRAM (92grt) was sunk
at Vestmannhavn by German bombing.
There were no casualties on the vessel.
Submarine TRIDENT sank German auxiliary
anti-submarine trawler UJ 1201 (former UJ 126: trawler STEIERMARK: 446grt)
off Rolvsoy Sound.
Convoy OG.75 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and corvettes BLUEBELL, CAMPION, CARNATION,
HELIOTROPE, and MALLOW.
Minesweeping trawler BURKE and anti-aircraft vessel
ARIGUANI joined the convoy on the 28th.
Corvette LA MALOUINE joined the convoy on 3
On 4 October, destroyer LAMERTON joined the escort.
Destroyers FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, LEGION, and
LIVELY departed Gibraltar on 7 October and joined the escort on 8 October.
Corvette FLEUR DE LYS departed Gibraltar on 8 October and joined the convoy escort.
On 13 October, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, which
was exercising east of Gibraltar, flew off aircraft to provide escort for the
Destroyer VIDETTE joined the escort on 13 October.
The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 13 October.
U.111 supplying U.68 in Tarafal Bay,St
Antao Island, Cape Verde Islands. Submarine CLYDE was missed by torpedoes from U.68 and was narrowly missed when the
second submarine attempted to ram her. At 0330, submarine
CLYDE was damaged in a collision with U.67.
CLYDE arrived at
Gibraltar on 4 October.
T/Sub Lt (A) C. F. G. Carr-Gregg RNVR, and Air Mechanic D. V. Blacklaws were
killed when their Fulmar of RN Fulmar Flight Dehkheila crashed off Hurguarda
in the Red Sea during an a dummy attack on a warship.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers KANDAHAR, JAGUAR, and GRIFFIN departed Alexandria for Tobruk on Serial 13 of the SUPERCHARGE
The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 28th and SUPERCHARGE came to an end.
Also sailing on this date was Serial 14.
Anti-submarine trawler WOLBOROUGH, A 7, A 11, and store ship MIRANDA departed
Alexandria. They turned back on the 28th after A 11 was bomb
damaged. They sailed again on the 29th and arrived on 1 October.
Store ship TIBERIO also sailed on this date in
Serial 15 and arrived at Mersa Matruh. She sailed on the 28th and was damaged
by British bombing on the 30th. She arrived at Tobruk on 1 October.
In this operation 6308 officers and men and 2100
tons of stores were carried to Tobruk. 5444 officers and men, 544 wounded,
and one prisoner of war was brought from Tobruk.
Submarine UPRIGHT sank Italian submarine chaser
ALBATROS off Messina.
U.371 rescued forty two survivors from the chaser.
Submarine TETRARCH made an unsuccessful attack on a
steamer in Zea Channel.
Later that day, the submarine sank Greek coastal
steamer PANAJOTIS KRAMOTTOS (120grt) with artillery southwest of Milos.
Dutch submarine O.21 made an unsuccessful attack on
a steamer in 42N, 10E.
Sunday, 28 September
Destroyer OFFA departed the Clyde at 1400 for working up exercises at
Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 1200/29th.
Minesweepers LEDA, BRITOMART, GOSSAMER, and HUSSAR
arrived at Hvalfjord for escort duty in convoy PQ.1.
Convoy ON.19 A departed Reykavik, escorted by
destroyer ST CROIX and corvettes AGASSIZ, EYEBRIGHT, and PRESCOTT.
The convoy was dispersed on 4 October.
Convoy ON.21 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer KEPPEL. On the 30th,
destroyers SABRE and VENOMOUS, corvettes DIANELLA and SUNFLOWER, and anti-submarine
trawlers LADY ELSA, MAN O.WAR, and NORTHERN DAWN joined. Destroyer SABRE
was detached on 2 October and destroyers KEPPEL and VENOMOUS were detached on
5 October. The remainder escort ships were detached on 6 October after
LAURENT and corvettes
BITTERSWEET, CHILLIWACK, COLLINGWOOD, SNOWBERRY, and TRAIL joined on 5
October. The convoy was dispersed on 14 October and the escorts detached.
Destroyer SOUTHWOLD was damaged in a collision with
patrol sloop SHEARWATER off Sheringham.
Neither ship received more than minor damage.
Destroyer SOUTHWOLD was repaired during refitting
at Chatham from 10 October to 7 November.
The sloop was repaired at Harwich from 4 to 8
British fishing trawler MURIELLE (96grt) was badly damaged
by a mine eight to nine miles southwest by south of Morecambe Bay Light
The trawler sank in tow.
There were no casualties.
Convoy QP.1 departed Archangel at 1200 with Dutch
steamer ALCHIBA (4427grt), British tanker BLACK RANGER (3417grt), British
steamers ESNEH (1931grt), LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE (11,348grt), NEW WESTMINSTER CITY (4747grt), LANCASTRIAN PRINCE (1914grt), and
TREHATA (4817grt), and Soviet steamers SEVZAPLES (3947grt), SUKHONA
(3124grt), ALMA ATA (3611grt), BUDENNE (2482grt), MOSSOVET (2981grt), RODINA
(4441grt), and STARY BOLSHEVIK (2974grt).
Local escort for the convoy was Minesweepers
HALCYON, HARRIER, and SALAMANDER from 28 to 30 September.
Heavy cruiser LONDON escorted the convoy from 28 September to 2
October. Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE departed
Scapa Flow at
1900/28th escorted the convoy from 2 to 10 October, relieving heavy cruiser
LONDON in 74-55N, 27-30E.
Destroyers ELECTRA escorted the convoy from 28
September to 9 October, ACTIVE from 28 September to 5 October, and ANTHONY
from 4 to 9 October.
Trawlers MACBETH and HAMLET of the 73rd
Minesweeping Group escorted the convoy from 28 September to 9 October.
Trawler OPHELIA escorted the convoy from 28 September to 5 October.
Trawler OPHELIA, escorting tanker BLACK RANGER en
route to convoy PQ.1, developed defects and was towed by destroyer ACTIVE to
Akureyri, arriving on 10 October.
Soviet steamers SUKHONA and MOSSOVET straggled from
the convoy, but arrived safely.
The convoy dispersed off the Orkneys on 10 October,
the steamers proceeding to their destinations in convoy WN 91.
Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE was detached at 1900 on 10 October and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 0015 on 11 October.
Destroyer ANTHONY escorting oiler BLACK RANGER and
steamer LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900 on 11 October.
Destroyer ELECTRA arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1039 on 11
Destroyers NAPIER and JACKAL departed Alexandria to reinforce the Suez escort force.
The destroyers passed through the Canal on the
Submarine TETRARCH damaged German steamer YALOVA
(3751grt) twenty miles south of San Giorgio.
The steamer was able to beach herself, but was
finished off on 3 October by submarine TALISMAN.
Italian submarine FISALA was sunk by Corvette
HYACINTH off Jaffa in 32-19N, 34-17E.
Convoy BP.16 departed Bombay, escorted by Greek cruiser GEORGIOS AVEROFF. The
cruiser was detached en route and arrived back at Bombay on 4 October for boiler repairs. The convoy
arrived at Basra on 5 October.
Convoys BP.17 through BP.40 in April 1942 traveled
Australian troop convoy US.12B departed Fremantle
with liners AQUITANIA (44,786grt), JOHAN VAN OLDENBARNEVELDT (19,429grt),
MARNIX VAN ST ALDEGONDE (19,355grt), and SIBAJAK (12,226grt).
Steamer SIBAJAK was detached to Singapore.
Monday, 29 September
Convoy PQ.1 of steamers ATLANTIC (5414grt),
BLAIRNEVIS (4155grt), ELNA II (3221grt), HARMONIC (4558grt), Panamanian NORTH
KING (4934grt), Belgian VILLE D'ANVERS (7462grt), BLACK RANGER (3417grt),
Panamanian CAPIRA (5565grt), GEMSTONE (4986grt), LORCA (4875grt), and RIVER
AFTON (5479grt) departed Hvalfjord at 1845 escorted by heavy cruiser SUFFOLK,
destroyers ANTELOPE and IMPULSIVE, and minesweepers BRITOMART, GOSSAMER,
LEDA, and HUSSAR.
Destroyer ANTHONY departed Hvalfjord with oiler
BLACK RANGER on the 29th and sailed with the convoy. On 4 October, the
destroyer and oiler met returning convoy QP.1.
Destroyer ANTELOPE was detached on 2 October to
Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 2100/28th for Seidisfjord for refuelling. The
destroyer arrived at 0800/30th. She departing and joined the convoy on 2
October, escorting it to 11 October.
Convoy PQ.1 arrived at Murmansk on 11 October at 0240.
An allied conference aboard battleship KING GEORGE
V between Admiral Commanding, Home Fleet, Admiral Commanding, Western
Approaches, Admiral Commanding, Iceland Command, Air Officer Commanding
Iceland, US Rear Admiral R. C. Giffen (SO, US Naval Forces in Iceland), and
Admiral Commanding, Western Approaches, which had
arrived by air on the 26th, took passage back to England in destroyer ASHANTI.
Submarine ULTIMATUM arrived at Gibraltar from Barrow.
Light cruiser GALATEA departed Port Said.
Destroyers AVONVALE and ERIDGE arrived at Suez from
The destroyers were held at Suez for duty with Suez Escort Force until 5 October. At
that time they proceeded to Alexandria and joined the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the
Australian destroyer VENDETTA and two ML's departed
Alexandria for Haifa.
Italian tanker FLUVIOR (389grt) was sunk by mining
Italian steamer ILVANIA (487grt) was sunk at Port
Torres, Sardinia, to unknown cause.
Italian tanker SUPERGA (6154grt) was sunk by Soviet
submarine SC.211 in 43-00N, 27-58E near Varna in the
The troopships of convoy WS.11X, less LEINSTER, departed Gibraltar for Freetown, escorted by destroyers VIMY and WILD SWAN.
The troopships were turned over to corvettes
WOODRUFF and MIGNONETTE on the 2nd.
The destroyers, after spending 2 to 5 October at
Bathurst, were to join aircraft carrier EAGLE off Bathurst on 6 October.
Aircraft carrier EAGLE and sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC,
escorted by light cruiser DUNEDIN,
sloop BRIDGEWATER, and corvettes ARMERIA and ASTER, had departed
Freetown 4 October.
Destroyer VIMY was detached and destroyer WILD SWAN
finally met the aircraft carrier and sloop. Destroyer CROOME departed Gibraltar on 5 October to join the ships and escorted them
to Gibraltar, arriving at Gibraltar on 11 October.
Submarines THORN and TRUANT arrived at Gibraltar.
Submarine THORN had departed Holy Loch on the 22nd.
Submarine TRUANT departed St Johns, NF, on the 19th after refitting at Portsmouth, NH, and had been delayed by engine defects.
Convoy SC.47 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by corvettes CHICOUTIMI, MATAPEDIA, NAPANEE, and SHERBROOKE. Corvette CHAMBLY joined on 1 October and destroyers RAMSEY and
RICHMOND and corvette ORILLIA on 4 October. Destroyers BROKE, MANSFIELD, and WOLVERINE, corvette EGLANTINE, and
anti-submarine trawler KING SOL joined
on 11 October. Destroyers RAMSEY and RICHMOND and corvettes CHAMBLY,
MATAPEDIA, ORILLIA, and SHERBROOKE were detached on 12 October, destroyers
BROKE, MANSFIELD, and WOLVERINE on 15 October, corvette EGLANTINE on 16
October, and anti-submarine trawler KING SOL on 17 October. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 October.
Heavy cruiser HAWKINS arrived at Montevideo.
Tuesday, 30 September
Heavy cruiser KENT, after repairs and refitting at Devonport,
departed Devonport at 0900/30th, escorted by destroyer NORMAN.
Both ships arrived at Scapa Flow at 1830 on 1 October.
Destroyer ECLIPSE departed Rosyth at 0700 and
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900 on completion of boiler cleaning and minor
Destroyer DULVERTON departed the Clyde at 1230 for Scapa
Flow working up
The destroyer arrived at 0730 on 1 October.
Submarine SUNFISH, refitting at Tyneside, was
damaged by near misses of German bombing.
T/repairs were done on the submarine at Tyneside
from 3 October to 1 November. The submarine was then taken to Portsmouth where repairs were completed on 9 October 1943.
Submarine TRIDENT unsuccessfully attacked German
hospital ship BIRKA (1000grt) in 71-03N, 24-34E.
Minesweeping trawlers EILEEN DUNCAN (223grt, T/Lt
G. N. Ward RNVR ) and STAR OF DEVERON (220grt, T/Skipper G. F. Durrant RNR) were sunk by German bombing at the Bergen
Wharf, River Tyne.
Durrant was killed in trawler STAR OF DEVERON.
British steamer CEDARWOOD (899grt) was damaged by
German bombing off Dover.
Soviet destroyer SOVERSHENNY was mined on trials
The destroyer was repaired.
Corvette JONQUIL departed Gibraltar to meet arriving tanker LA CARRIERE, which had not
been met by anti-submarine trawlers ERIN and LADY SHIRLEY.
The tanker and corvette arrived on 2 October.
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Singapore.
Light cruiser DANAE departed Singapore.
Uruguayan authorities seized Italian steamers
ADAMELLO (5785grt) renamed MONTEVIDEO, and FAUSTO (5285grt) at Montevideo, renamed MALSEDO.