Background Events - June-November 1941
Russia, Malta Convoys, Japan prepares for war
Wednesday, 15 October
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN and destroyers BEDOUIN
and ANTHONY departed the Clyde at 1330 for Scapa Flow.
The battleship arrived at 1500/16th, escorted by
destroyers ORIBI and ANTHONY.
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK and destroyers IMPULSIVE, ESCAPADE, and NORMAN departed
Archangel late on
the 15th to sweep off the north of Finland then proceed to Scapa Flow.
The sweep was cancelled and ships were ordered to
return to Archangel. Destroyer NORMAN was detached for the United Kingdom, via Seidisfjod. However, at 2056 on the 17th,
destroyer NORMAN was also recalled to Archangel, where she arrived at 1500/19th.
U.553 sank British steamer SILVERCEDAR (4354grt) in
53-36N, 29-57W and Norwegian steamer ILA (1583grt) in 53-34N, 30-10W from
convoy SC.48 on the 15th. The submarine claimed sinking a third ship.
Eighteen crew, two gunners, and one passenger were
lost on steamer SILVERCEDAR.
Fourteen crew on steamer ILA were lost.
On the 16th, U.568 sank British steamer EMPIRE
HERON (6023grt) from convoy SC.48 in 56-10N, 24-30W.
Thirty three crew and nine gunners were lost on the
steamer. Only one survivor from EMPIRE HERON was rescued by corvette
GLADIOLUS, but this survivor was lost with the corvette.
U.553 on the 17th sank Panamanian steamer BOLD VENTURE (6595grt) from convoy SC.48 in 56-10N,
Seventeen crew were missing on steamer BOLD VENTURE.
On the 17th, U.558 sank British tanker W. C. TEAGLE
(9552grt) in 57N, 25W, Norwegian tanker ERVIKEN (6595grt) in 56-10N, 24-30W,
and Norwegian steamer RYM (1369grt) in 57-01N, 24-20W from convoy SC.48. The
submarine claimed damaging another steamer.
Thirty crew were lost on tanker W. C. TEAGLE. Nine
survivors were rescued by destroyer BROADWATER and were lost when the
destroyer was sunk.
Twenty six crew were lost on steamer ERVIKEN. Two
survivors were picked up by destroyer BROADWATER and were lost when the
destroyer was sunk. The entire crew of steamer RYM were rescued.
On the 17th, U.432 sank Greek steamer EVROS
(5283grt) in 57N, 24-30W and Norwegian tanker BARFONN (9739grt) in 56-58N,
25-04W from convoy SC.48. The submarine claimed sinking one more steamer and
Thirty crew were lost on steamer EVROS. Two
survivors were rescued.
Thirteen crew and one gunner were lost on tanker
On the 17th, U.568 damaged American destroyer KEARNEY, which joined convoy SC.48 after escorting convoy
ON.24, in 57N, 24W.
Eleven enlisted men were killed and eight ratings
were seriously wounded in the destroyer.
Destroyer KEARNEY was assisted by destroyer GREER. The destroyer was
able to proceed to Hvalfjord under her own power.
After temporary repairs at Hvalfjord, the destroyer
sailed on 25 December for Boston
where repairs were completed on 5 April 1942.
Corvette GLADIOLUS (Lt Cdr H. M. C. Sanders DSC,
DSC, RD RNR) in convoy SC.48 was sunk on the 17th by U.558 or
U.432 in the North Atlantic.
Sanders, T/Lt S. H. Gifford RANVR, T/Lt J. G.
Gifford-Hull RNVR, T/Lt J. C. Miller DSC RNVR, T/Sub Lt R. B. Ross RNVR, and
fifty nine ratings were missing in the lost of the corvette.
Destroyers HIGHLANDER, BULLDOG, AMAZON, GEORGETOWN, and RICHMOND and corvettes PICTOU and VERONICA joined the
convoy on 17 September.
Destroyer BROADWATER (Lt Cdr W. M. L. Astwood) was
sunk by U.101 south of Iceland from convoy SC.48 on the 18th.
Lt J. S. Parker RNVR, was killed. Parker was an American
and was believed to be the first American killed in the Royal Navy.
T/Lt R. J. Sampson RNVR, and one rating died of
Lt A. Knowles, T/A/Gunner (T) F. W. Turner, and
thirty nine ratings were missing.
U.558 sank Canadian steamer VANCOUVER ISLAND (9472grt) in 53-37N, 25-37W. The entire crew were
lost on the steamer.
Corvettes ACONIT and DIANTHUS were ordered to
assist the steamer. Corvette ACONIT, with defects, was not able to assist and
proceeded to St
Submarine L.27 made an unsuccessful attack on a
steamer off Cherbourg.
Anti-aircraft ship CARLISLE passed through the Suez
Canal northbound to
rejoin the Mediterranean Fleet.
Destroyer ENCOUNTER arrived in the Canal area to
rejoin the Mediterranean Fleet.
Submarine THUNDERBOLT made an unsuccessful attack
on a tanker in the Aegean.
Polish submarine SOKOL made two unsuccessful
attacks on steamers in the Gulf of Athens.
Corvettes JONQUIL and COREOPSIS departed Gibraltar escorting Norwegian tanker SANDAR westwards and
then joined arriving tanker VELMA.
Gibraltar for Freetown.
Convoy SL.90 departed Freetown esorted by destroyers BRILLIANT to 18 October,
GURKHA and ISAAC SWEERS to 17 October, and VANSITTART to 20 October, and
corvettes ARMERIA to 20 October, ASTER to 18 October, CLOVER to 18 October,
CROCUS to 18 October, and CYCLAMEN to 18 October. On the 18th, sloops
FOLKESTONE to 6 November, LONDONDERRY to 29 October, and WESTON to 6 November joined.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 6 November.
Thursday, 16 October
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow, where she arrived on the 17th.
Destroyers LAFOREY and LIGHTNING departed Scapa Flow at 1230 to embark passengers and stores in the
Clyde prior to transfer to Force H.
The destroyers arrived at 0900/17th.
Convoy ON.27 departed Liverpool. On the 17th, the convoy was joined by destroyers
VANOC and VOLUNTEER and corvettes CAMPANULA, GENTIAN, HIBISCUS, HONEYSUCKLE,
MYOSOTIS, PERIWINKLE, and SWEETBRIAR. The destroyers were detached on the
23rd. On the 23rd, destroyers COLUMBIA and
corvettes BRANDON, CAMROSE, MIMOSA, SHEDIAC, and WETASKIWIN joined.
The original group of corvettes were detached on the 24th. Corvette BRANDON was detached on 1 November and the rest on 2
November when the convoy dispersed.
T/A/Sub Lt (A) A. C. Scott RNVR, was killed in a
Hurricane of 759 Squadron which crashed at Yeovilton.
British steamer EDENVALE (444grt) was damaged by
German bombing off Old Head of Kinsale.
Battleship RODNEY, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL,
light cruiser HERMIONE, and destroyers COSSACK, FORESTER, FORESIGHT, FURY,
LEGION, SIKH, and ZULU departed Gibraltar for
On the 18th, eleven Albacore and two Swordfish of
the 828 Squadron under Lt Cdr D. E. Langmore were flown off the aircraft
carrier to Malta. One Swordfish was lost en route and pilot T/Sub Lt (A) D. M. Muller
RNVR, and Observer T/Sub Lt (A) A. S. Denby RNVR were lost.
Pilots T/Sub Lt (A) T. G. Davison RNVR, and T/Sub
Lt (A) D. J. Dunyan RNVR, and observer A/Sub Lt (A) W. N. Jones RNVR, of 828
Squadron did not depart ARK ROYAL in CALLBOY, but joined the Squadron at Hal
Force H arrived back at Gibraltar on the 19th. Also, in this operation, light
cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and destroyers LANCE and LIVELY proceeded to
Malta. The cruisers departed Gibraltarat 0515/19th and
met the destroyers forty miles off Europa Point. They arrived at Malta at 0915/21st as Force K.
CITY OF LINCOLN, DUNEDIN STAR, and EMPIRE GUILLEMOT departed Malta at 1000/22nd to make independent passage to Gibraltar.
Force H arrived back at Gibraltar on the 19th.
British steamers CLAN MACDONALD and EMPIRE
GUILLEMOT departed Malta, independently, for Gibraltar at 1000. Steamer EMPIRE GUILLEMOT returned with
Steamer EMPIRE GUILLEMOT was able to sail on the
Convoy HX.155 departed Halifax escorted by corvettes DRUMHELLER and SUMMERSIDE.
The corvettes were relieved on the 18th by American destroyers BAINBRIDGE,
OVERTON, ROE, STURTEVANT, and TRUXTON. The American group was relieved on the
25th by destroyer VOLUNTEER and corvettes CAMPANULA, GENTIAN, HONEYSUCKLE,
MYOSOTIS, PERIWINKLE, and SWEETBRIAR. All but corvettes GENTIAN and
PERIWINKLE were detached on the 30th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 31st.
Friday, 17 October
Convoy PQ.2 departed Scapa Flow at 1630 with
steamers EMPIRE BAFFIN (6978grt), HARTLEBURY (5082grt), QUEEN CITY (4814grt), HARPALION (5486grt), ORIENT CITY (5095grt), and TEMPLE ARCH (5138grt), escorted destroyers ICARUS and ECLIPSE
and minesweepers BRAMBLE, SEAGULL, and SPEEDY from 18 to 30 October.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed
Scapa Flow early
on the 18th and overtook the convoy, joining for ocean escort.
Destroyers ECLIPSE and ICARUS refuelled at
Seidisfjord on the 20th and rejoined the convoy.
On the 29th, minesweepers GOSSAMER, HUSSAR, and
LEDA from Archangel joined the convoy and escorted it to Archangel, arriving at 1000/30th.
A Swordfish of 767 Squadron crashed at Hallom Mill,
Frickheim. T/Sub Lt (A) S. J. Carpenter RNVR, died of injuries on the 20th.
Anti-submarine trawler OPHELIA, which had been
repairing at Akureyri, departed that port for Scapa Flow.
German steamer PAULA FAULBAUM (1922grt) was lost in
a stranding near Stockholm.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers NIZAM,
JACKAL, and HAVOCK, departed Alexandria on the second series of the CULTIVATE operation to
The ships returned to Alexandria on the 18th.
U.97 sank Greek steamer SAMOS (1208grt) and British
tanker PASS OF BALMAHA (758grt), which departed Alexandria, escorted by
anti-submarine whaler KOS 19, on the 16th, in 31-14N, 28-50E proceeding to
Mersa Matrah for Serial 4 of the CULTIVATE operation.
Twenty four crew, three gunners, and four British
personnel were lost on the Greek ship. The entire crew of the British tanker
The ships were to have joined gunboat GNAT and
landing craft tank A lighters A.13, A.17, and A.18 off Mersa Matruh before
proceeding to Tobruk.
Destroyers HASTY, AVONVALE, ERIDGE, and DECOY
departed Alexandria, joined later by destroyer HERO and HOTSPUR, to
search for the submarine.
Destroyers HASTY and ERIDGE were detached during
the night of 17/18 October to sweep ahead of gunboat GNAT and the A lighters.
MTB.68 and MTB.215 joined gunboat GNAT.
After an unsuccessful search, the destroyers returned
to Alexandria on the 18th.
The gunboat and the A lighters arrived at Tobruk on
Armed boarding vessel CHANTALA departed Alexandria to carry cargo to Syria.
Submarines URSULA, P.34, and RORQUAL departed Malta for operations off Kuriat.
Submarine RORQUAL was forced to return to Malta with defects.
Convoy ST.6 departed Freetown, escorted by sloop BRIDGEWATER and corvettes AMARANTHUS, AURICULA, MARGUERITE,
and WOODRUFF. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on the 22nd.
Convoy HG.75 sailing was postponed. Two
anti-submarine forces of destroyers LAMERTON, VIDETTE, and DUNCAN and of
sloop ROCHESTER and the 37th Escort Group of corvettes BLUEBELL,
CAMPION, CARNATION, HELIOTROPE, MALLOW, and LA MALOUINE departed Gibraltar to sweep in the western approaches to the Strait.
Convoy SC.50 departed Sydney CB escorted by
corvette SOREL. Corvette SOREL was detached on the 19th when relieved by
destroyer ST CROIX and corvettes AGASSIZ, ALBERNI, ALYSSE, BITTERSWEET, COLLINGWOOD, and WINDFLOWER joined the
convoy. Corvette WINDFLOWER was detached on the 20th. Destroyer RESTIGOUCHE
joined on the 25th. Destroyer ST CROIX on the 26th, and corvettes
AGASSIZ, ALBERNI, ALYSSE, BITTERSWEET, COLLINGWOOD on the 31st. Destroyers
KEPPEL, ROCKINGHAM, SABRE, and VENOMOUS, corvettes ALISMA and KINGCUP, and
anti-submarine trawler LADY ELSA joined on the 31st. The convoy arrived at
Liverpool on 4 November.
Saturday, 18 October
Destroyers ANTELOPE and ANTHONY departed Scapa Flow at 1400 for the Clyde to escort destroyer depot ship FORTH from the
Clyde to Rosyth.
The destroyers arrived at 0900/19th.
At 1800/19th, the destroyers and depot ship FORTH
departed the Clyde for Rosyth.
The ships arrived off May Island at 1500/21st. The depot ship arrived at Rosyth at
1730. Destroyer ANTHONY proceeded to Immingham for refitting, arriving at
0700/22nd. Destroyer ANTELOPE returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 0630/22nd.
Minesweepers FITZROY, ELGIN,
LYDD arrived at Scapa Flow on passage to the Faroes for a clearance sweep.
British steamers EMPIRE GHYLL (2011grt) and MAHSEER
(7911grt) were sunk on mines in Barrow Deep, four to five cables from B 7
Buoy, in 51-41N, 1-19E.
Five crew and two gunners were lost on the steamer
EMPIRE GHYLL. The entire crew of steamer MAHSEER were rescued.
Tug ASSURANCE was grounded and declared a total
loss at Lough Foyle.
Swedish steamer INGEREN (6123grt) was damaged by
British bombing west of Borkum.
U.132 sank Soviet steamer ARGUN (3487grt) in
U.559 attacked at destroyer escorting three
lighters in 32-40N, 24-34E.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers KANDAHAR, GRIFFIN, and JAGUAR departed Alexandria on serial 3 of the CULTIVATE operation.
Returning from Tobruk, destroyer KANDAHAR attacked a submarine off Bardia at 0330/19th.
Cruiser ABDIEL arrived back at Alexandria at noon on the 19th. The destroyers, after searching for the submarine,
arrived back that afternoon.
Destroyers JERVIS and JUPITER departed Alexandria escorting landing ship GLENROY from Port Said to
The destroyers and landing ship arrived at Alexandria on the 19th.
An Italian convoy of steamers MARIN SANUDO
(5081grt), PROBITAS (5084grt), BEPPE (4859grt), PAOLINA 4994grt), and
CATERINA (4786grt) departed Naples on the 16th for Tripoli, escorted by destroyers FOLGORE, FULMINE,
USODIMARE, GIOBERTI, DA RECCO, and SEBENICO. Torpedo boat CIGNO escorted the
convoy until Trapani. Torpedo boat CALLIOPE also escorted the convoy.
Steamer AMBA ARADAM (405grt) joined the convoy from
Torpedo boat CASCINO joined the convoy from Tripoli.
On the 18th, submarine URSULA damaged Italian
steamer BEPPE near Lampedusa.
The steamer was taken in tow by tug MAX BARENDT and arrived at Tripoli on the 21st with destroyer DA RECCO and torpedo
Steamer CATERINA was badly damaged by British
bombing on the 18th and sank 62 miles 350° from Tripoli on the 19th.
Rest of the convoy arrived at Tripoli on the 19th.
Submarine TRUANT departed Malta for patrol in the Adriatic.
Submarine RORQUAL departed Malta on a minelaying operation off the south of Sardinia.
After the operation on 21 and 22 October, the
submarine arrived at Gibraltar on the 26th
Submarine THUNDERBOLT made an unsuccessful attack
on a steamer in the Aegean.
Corvettes AZALEA and SPIRAEA were directed that
upon departing Bathurst to meet RFA oiler DINGLEDALE and escort her to
Corvette SPIRAEA arrived at Gibraltar on the 26th to refuel, then departed to rejoin the
The three ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th.
Heavy cruiser EXETER arrived at Bombay. She departed on the 22nd for Colombo.
Sunday, 19 October
Aircraft carrier VICTORIOUS and destroyers LAFOREY
and LIGHTNING departed the Clyde at 1330 for Scapa Flow.
All three ships sustained weather damage during a
Off Tiumpan Head at 1150/20th, the destroyers hove
to and the aircraft carried continued unescorted to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1530 that day. The destroyers joined
battleship MALAYA which departed Scapa Flow on the 20th.
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK and destroyers IMPULSIVE and ESCAPADE departed
Archangel at 1600. En route to the United Kingdom, they carried out an operation off the north coast
of Finland at Svaerholthavet during the night of 21/22
No enemy ships were sighted.
On the 25th, the three ships called at Seidisfjord
from Spitzbergen to refuel. They departed at 0800/26th and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700/27th.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Chatham for
Scapa Flow after
refitting of 1 July to 11 October.
The heavy cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow on the 20th.
Destroyer CHIDDINGFOLD departed the Clyde at 1530 to carry out working up practices at
The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1730/20th, having been delayed by weather.
Sloop IBIS departed
Scapa Flow on
completion of working up exercises. She proceeded to Kirkwall for direction finding calibration trials prior to going to
Londonderry. The sloop arrived at Kirkwall at 1615.
Sloop IBIS departed
0800/22nd and arrived at Londonderry at 0630/23rd.
Dutch submarine O.14 and Free French submarine
MINERVE departed the Faroes to patrol off the Norwegian coast.
Submarine O.14 arrived back at Scapa Flow after the patrol on the 29th.
Minesweepers HARRIER and BRITOMART arrived at
Spitzbergen. A German landing party promptly was evacuated by air from
Norwegian steamer RASK (632grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 52-08N, 6-23W.
Seven crew and one gunner were lost on the steamer.
U.206 sank British steamer BARON KELVIN (3081grt)
14 miles 100° from Tarifa. Nineteen
crew and seven gunners were lost on the steamer.
U.126 sank American steamer LEHIGH (4983grt) at
8-26N, 14-37W, seventy five miles west of Freetown. The entire
crew of the steamer were rescued. Two boatloads were rescued by motor
launches and the other two boats by destroyer VIMY.
U.204 sank British tanker INVERLEE (9158grt) 30
miles 240° from Cape Spartel.
Twenty crew and one gunner were lost on the tanker.
German steamer ANDROMEDA (658grt) was sunk in
Kongsfjord by "enemy action".
U.204 was sunk by sloop ROCHESTER and corvette MALLOW in the Straits of Gibraltar in
35-48N, 6-10W. The entire crew of forty six were lost in the submarine.
Corvette BLUEBELL picked up debris from the
submarine the next day.
Destroyers HOTSPUR, HASTY, HAVOCK, and DECOY
departed Alexandria to bombard the military rest camp at Masra Lucch
during the night of 19/20 October.
Late on the 19th, destroyer HAVOCK ran aground in
32-02N, 24-53E. The destroyer's propellers and shaft were damaged. The other
destroyers escorted her back to Alexandria and the bombardment was cancelled.
The destroyers arrived back at Alexandria during the night of 20/21 October.
Sloop FLAMINGO departed Alexandria to escort British steamer MANCHESTER PORT (5469grt) from Port Said to Alexandria.
Anti-submarine whaler KOS 19, escorting British tanker TONELINE (811grt) to Tobruk in serial 4
A of the CULTIVATE operation, reported a submarine contact off
Alexandria. Motor launch ML.1023 departed Alexandria with the two ships, but had to return with
Destroyer ENCOUNTER and two anti-submarine trawlers
joined to search for the submarine, without success.
The tanker and its escort safely arrived at Tobruk
on the 21st.
Submarine TRUSTY departed Malta on patrol off Argostoli.
Submarine URSULA arrived at Malta from patrol.
Monday, 20 October
In the early morning hours during a gale, heavy
cruiser LONDON was dragged into the baffle and heavy cruiser
KENT dragged into battleship MALAYA.
Battleship MALAYA departed Scapa Flow escorted by destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI for the
Clyde at 1030.
On meeting destroyers LAFOREY and LIGHTNING, which
had been detached from escort duty with aircraft carrier VICTORIOUS,
destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI returned to Scapa Flow.
The battleship continued to the Clyde with destroyers LAFOREY and LIGHTNING.
Destroyer LAFOREY put into Stornoway at 1500/20th
to land a cot case, injured in the gale. The destroyer put back to sea at
1700 and rejoined the battleship.
Convoy ON.28 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers SABRE and WESTCOTT,
corvettes ALISMA and KINGCUP, and anti-submarine trawlers MAN O.WAR and WELLARD. The trawlers were detached on
the 23rd and destroyer VENOMOUS relieved destroyer WESTCOTT which was
detached. On the 25th, the escort group was detached when relieved by
American destroyers BERNADOU, DUPONT, LEA, MACLEISH, and SAMPSON. Destroyer LEA was detached on the 30th. The American group was
further reinformed on the 31st by Coast Guard cutter CAMPBELL and destroyers
BABBITT, BUCK, LEARY, LUDLOW, and SCHENCK. The Americans were detached on 3
November when the convoy was dispersed.
Destroyer SOUTHWOLD departed Scapa Flow at 1330 to embark the Engineer in Chief at
Scrabster and returned to Scapa
Flow at 1730.
Destroyer CHARLESTOWN departed
Scapa Flow at 1845
for Loch Alsh on completion of docking and repairs.
Polyarnoe for Holy Loch, where she arrived on 3 November.
British steamer CORDELIA (8190grt) was damaged by
mining off Great Castle Head, Milford Haven.
The tanker arrived at Milford Haven on the 20th.
U.126 badly damaged British tanker BRITISH MARINER
(6996grt) in 7-43N, 14-20W.
Three crew were lost on the tanker.
The tanker arrived at Freetown in tow on the 22nd. She was considered a
constructive total loss and was used as a hulk at Freetown.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers KINGSTON, NIZAM, and ENCOUNTER departed Alexandria on serial five of the CULTIVATE operation.
The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 21st.
Gunboat GNAT bombarded an enemy gun battery near
Tobruk during the night of 19/20 October.
The gunboat departed Tobruk with the A lighters
after dark on the 20th to return to Alexandria.
Light cruisers AJAX, HOBART, and GALATEA departed Alexandria with destroyers GRIFFIN and JAGUAR to bombard the enemy gun battery near
Tobruk during the night of 20/21 October.
The bombardment was conducted during the night of
Australian destroyer VENDETTA departed Alexandria for Singapore and passed through the Suez Canal on the 21st.
The destroyer was refitting at Singapore in December. She departed Singapore on 2 February in the tow of destroyer STRONGHOLD.
Panamanian steamer INDRA (2032grt), which departed
Bari for Huelva, was reported missing after this date.
Italian torpedo boat ALTAIR struck a mine in the
Athens, in 35-45N, 23-52E. The torpedo boat later sank in tow.
Torpedo boat ALTAIR with armed merchant cruiser
BARLETTA and torpedo boats LUPO and MONZAMBANO were
escorting a convoy of steamers CITTA DI AGRIGENTO (2480grt), CITTA DI MARSALA
(2480grt), TAGLIAMENTO (5448grt), and SALZBURG (1742grt).
Torpedo boat ALDEBARAN going to her assistance also
struck a mine and was sunk.
The mines were part of a minefield of fifty mines
laid by submarine RORQUAL on the 8th.
Submarine PORPOISE departed Gibraltar for Alexandria with stores and personnel.
Light cruiser HERMIONE departed Gibraltar to search for a tanker reported by aircraft in
The cruiser arrived back at Gibraltar on the 25th without having made contact.
Destroyer DUNCAN and anti-submarine trawlers ST
NECTAN and ARCTIC RANGER departed Gibraltar to
provide additional escort for tanker VELMA en route to Gibraltar, escorted by corvettes JONQUIL and COREOPSIS.
Tanker arrived on the 22nd, escorted by the
destroyer and the two corvettes.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland to escort a US liner to the Equator. The light cruiser departed
the escort on the 27th for Suva, arriving on the 31st.
Tuesday, 21 October
Heavy cruiser BERWICK, having completed engine
repairs, departed Rosyth for Scapa
Flow, where she arrived
later that day.
Destroyer ELECTRA departed Rosyth at 1600 for Scapa Flow.
The destroyer joined destroyer ANTELOPE and both
arrived at Scapa Flow at 0630/22nd.
Minesweepers FITZROY, ELGIN, LYDD, and ROSS of the 4th Minesweeping Squadron and minesweeping
trawlers RONALDSAY, CAVA, and CAPE NYEMETSKI departed Scapa Flow for the Faroes for a clearance sweep.
The ships arrived in the Faroes on the 22nd and
began the clearance work on the 23rd. On the 24th, minesweepers KELLET and
SELKIRK arrived in the Faroes from Aberdeen to assist in the work.
Minelayers MANXMAN and WELSHMAN departed Loch Alsh
on the 12th and embarked mines at Milford Haven on the 13th. The minelaying
cruisers departed Plymouth on the 21st and laid minefield HG.off Lorient late
Free French destroyer TRIOMPHANT departed Suva on the 17th and arrived at Bora Bora on the 21st. The destroyer was damaged in a very
minor collision in harbour. On the 21st, the destroyer sailed from Bora Bora, arriving at Papeete, Tahiti on the 22nd.
Swedish steamer HILDA (1237grt) was sunk by British
bombing five miles west of Ymuiden.
Tug HELEN BARBARA was abandoned and lost in heavy
U.123 damaged Armed merchant cruiser AURANIA
(A/Captain I. W. Whitehorn), which was travelling behind convoy SL.89, in
Three ratings were lost on the cruiser. Armed
merchant cruiser AURANIA arrived at Rothesay
on the 23rd.
The armed merchant cruiser AURANIA was under repair
for nineteen months. The ship was returned to service as base repair ship
U.82 sank British steamer SERBINO (4099grt), from
convoy SL.89, in 51-10N, 19-20W.
Fourteen crew were missing on steamer SERBINO.
U.82 sank British steamer TREVERBYN (5218grt) from
convoy SL.89 in 51N, 19W.
Gunboat GNAT was damaged by an U.79 in 32-08N,
25-22E, thirty miles northeast of Bardia at 0445.
The bow was blown away to the 6 inch gun. There
were no casualties.
Destroyers GRIFFIN and JAGUAR were detached by the 7th Cruiser
Squadron and destroyers KINGSTON
and NIZAM were detached from minelaying cruiser LATONA to assist. However,
all ships were ordered to turn eastward to avoid threat of air attack during
Destroyers GRIFFIN and JAGUAR were to remain in the vicinity of Mersa
Matruh and were joined by destroyers ERIDGE and AVONVALE. These destroyers
contacted the gunboat before sunset.
The gunboat was towed by destroyer GRIFFIN, escorted by destroyer JAGUAR and anti-submarine
whalers SOUTHERN MAID and KLO.
Off Mersa Matruh, the tow was turned over to tug ST
Destroyers JAGUAR, AVONVALE, and ERIDGE returned to
Alexandria arriving on the 22nd.
Destroyer GRIFFIN joined destroyer JERVIS to
conduct an anti-submarine sweep ahead of whaler KOS 19 and tanker TONELINE,
which had departed Tobruk at dark on the 22nd.
The gunboat arrived at Alexandria on the 23rd.
Later, an attempt was made to weld GNAT's stern
onto CRICKET's bow, but this was unsuccessful.
Destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, and KANDAHAR departed Alexandria to bombard the enemy gun battery near Tobruk.
The battery was bombarded during the night of 21/22
When U.75was reported by aircraft in 32-07N,
29-44E, at 1052 on the 22nd, destroyers JUPITER and KANDAHAR were detached to hunt.
Another report was received some five hours later.
Destroyer JUPITER, short of fuel, was sent into Alexandria. Destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria to join destroyer KANDAHAR in the hunt. Also, sloop FLAMINGO, which had
departed Alexandria earlier for Port Said, was diverted to hunt for the submarine.
Destroyers KANDAHAR and DECOY arrived at Alexandria on the 23rd.
Sloop FLAMINGO was detached to continue her voyage
to Port Said to return to the Suez Escort Force.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers NAPIER,
HASTY, and DECOY departed Alexandria on serial six of the CULTIVATE operation.
The ships returned to Alexandria on the 22nd.
Anti-submarine trawler WOLBOROUGH and steamer GEBEL
KEBIR departed Alexandria with Motor launch ML.1061 on serial 8 of the
The steamer was damaged by German bombing off
Tobruk and was towed into harbour by the trawler. Two motor launches intended
as escorts were attacked by German bombers at dusk on the 22nd, sustaining
only superficial damage. Both arrived at Tobruk.
Italian destroyers DA NOLI, ZENO, and PESSAGNO
departed Benghazi for Augusta on the 20th after a troop carrying mission.
The destroyers were attacked early on the 21st
fifteen miles north of Benghazi
Submarine RORQUAL laid mines off Sardinia during the night of 21/22 October.
The submarine laid ten miles southeast of Cavioli
Island and forty mines southeast of
Italian steamer SALPI (2710grt) was sunk two miles
east of Cape Ferrato on this minefield on 9 February.
Submarine UNIQUE arrived at Malta from patrol.
Aircraft carriers EAGLE and ARGUS and destroyers
FORESIGHT, FORESTER, and FURY departed Gibraltar to the United Kingdom. Local escort was provided by destroyers VIDETTE
and LAMERTON until 0915 and 1140 that day and ZULU and SIKH until 24 October.
U.83 attacked Aircraft carriers EAGLE and ARGUS
west of Gibraltar on the 21st.
Upon meeting battleship MALAYA and destroyer LIGHTNING in 48N, 17-35W, destroyers ZULU and SIKH
joined the battleship and destroyer LIGHTNING and escorted them to
Gibraltar, arriving on the 27th. Destroyers HARVESTER and
HAVELOCK were detached from battleship MALAYA and joined the aircraft carriers.
The two aircraft carriers and the destroyers
arrived in the Clyde on the 26th.
Dutch submarine O.24 arrived at Gibraltar from patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Wednesday, 22 October
Battleship MALAYA departed the Clyde escorted by destroyer LIGHTNING for the Clyde to join Force H.
Destroyer LAFOREY was delayed for docking to repair
The battleship was joined by destroyers HAVELOCK and HARVESTER for escort.
Battleship MALAYA and destroyers LIGHTNING, ZULU, and SIKH arrived at
Gibraltar on the 27th.
Destroyer INTREPID departed London at 0650 for Sheerness after refitting. The
destroyer departed Sheerness at 1230/23rd and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700/25th.
Convoy ON.29 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 23rd by destroyers
BROKE, BUXTON, VERITY, and WOLVERINE, corvettes BEGONIA, CAMELLIA, EGLANTINE,
LARKSPUR, MONTBRETIA and MOOSE JAW, and naval trawlers BUTE, CELIA, HAMLET,
and MACBETH, and anti-submarine trawler KING SOL. Destroyer VERITY, corvette BEGONIA, and the naval
trawlers were detached on the 26th. American destroyer WILKES and corvettes
EYEBRIGHT, KENOGAMI, LETHBRIDGE, MAYFLOWER, NANAIMO,
and PRESCOTT joined on the 28th. The remaining ships of the
original escort were detached on the 28th. Destroyer BROADWAY and corvettes
ACONIT, COBALT, GALT, and WINDFLOWER joined on 4 November. The escorts
were detached on 5 November when the convoy was dispersed.
Minelayer PORT QUEBEC, escorted by destroyer NEWARK, laid minefield SN.24 C.
Minesweeping trawler ALDER (560grt, T/Skipper G. E.
Yates RNR) was grounded and declared a total loss on the
east coast of Scotland.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyers KINGSTON, ENCOUNTER, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria on serial seven of the CULTIVATE operation.
Minesweeping whaler SOIKA's LL sweep had been cut
in an air raid at Tobruk. The cable fouled on HOTSPUR's propeller. The
destroyer was able to return to Alexandria at reduced speed. No damage was done to the ship.
The ships returned to Alexandria on the 23rd.
Corvette PEONY departed Haifa with armed boarding vessel CHANTALA and steamer
BRITISH COLONEL (6999grt) for Alexandria.
Corvette ERICA escorted cable ship BULLFINCH from
Alexandria to Port Said.
The corvette then departed Port Said and escorted mine carrier GURNA from Port Said to Haifa.
Convoy HG.75 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloop
ROCHESTER (SO ), catapult ship ARIGUANI, and corvettes BLUEBELL,CAMPION,
CARNATION, HELIOTROPE, LA MALOUINE, and MALLOW.
The convoy was reinforced by destroyer LAMERTON and
destroyers COSSACK, LEGION, and VIDETTE sent to assist the convoy.
Destroyer COSSACK (Captain E. L. Berthon DSC) was
torpedoed by U.563 west of Gibraltar late on the 23rd.
One rating was killed on the destroyer.
Berthon, Lt M. F. Isaac, Lt H. W. M. Rose, Lt W. G.
Wheeler RAN, and 150 ratings were missing.
Four ratings died of wounds.
T/Paymaster Lt G. Craven RNVR, Lt H. T. Crispin, Lt
A. Davies, Sub Lt P. A. C. Day, Lt R. W. Hughes, and twenty three ratings
The survivors were rescued by destroyer LEGION and
sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC.
Corvette CARNATION was able to pass a towing line
to destroyer COSSACK with destroyer LEGION standing by.
Destroyer DUNCAN departed Gibraltar on the 24th with medical supplies and a surgeon.
Destroyer DUNCAN was to then join convoy OS.9G.
Tug THAMES and
corvette JONQUIL departed Gibraltar on the 24th to assist the destroyer. The destroyer
was towed by tug THAMES and escorted by corvettes JONQUIL and CARNATION.
The destroyer foundered on the 27th. Corvette JONQUIL took off the last of
the crew on the destroyer. The tug THAMES had been
diverted to assist damaged anti-aircraft ship ARIGUANI, but tug ROLLICKER was
en route to assist.
U.564 sank British steamers CARSBECKand ARIOSTO
(2176grt) in 36-20N, 10-50W and British steamer ALHAMA (1352grt) in 35-42N,
10-58W from convoy HG.75/24th. The submarine also claimed damaging two other
Nineteen crew and four gunners were lost on the
Five crew and one gunner were lost on steamer
ARIOSTO. The entire crew of steamer ALHAMA were rescued.
Sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC joined the convoy on the
German steamer U.84 damaged CAM ship ARIGUANI (6746grt, Cdr R. A. Thorburn (ret))
in 37-50N, 16-10W from convoy HG.75/26th. The submarine claimed sinking two
Destroyer VIDETTE attempted to take ship ARIGUANI
in tow, but was unsuccessful. In the tow of tug THAMES and escorted by corvettes JONQUIL, HELIOTROPE, and CAMPION, the
anti-aircraft ship arrived at Gibraltar on 2
U.563 attacked Corvette HELIOTROPE in convoy
HG.75/26th, but did not damage her. The submarine claimed damaging two
Corvette CAMPION was detached on the 26th and
destroyers LAMERTON and LEGION and corvettes BLUEBELL, CARNATION, and
HELIOTROPE on the 27th.
Destroyers LAMERTON and LEGION proceeded to Ponta Delgada to refuel. Destroyer LAMERTON then sailed to
rejoin the convoy. Destroyer LEGION sailed to join battleship PRINCE OF WALES
and escort her while destroyers ELECTRA and EXPRESS refuelled at Ponta Delgada.
On 27 September, U.564 claimed sinking a steamer in
U.432 sank British steamer ULEA (1574grt) from
convoy HG.75/28th in 41-17N, 21-40W. The submarine claimed sinking another
Thirteen crew, three gunners, and three passengers
were lost on the steamer. Nine survivors were rescued by corvette BLUEBELL.
Sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC and corvettes LA MALOUINE
and MALLOW were detached on the 29th.
The convoy was joined on the 30th by sloop LONDONDERRY from convoy SL.90 and sloop ABERDEEN and destroyer HESPERUS on the 31st from the UK.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 November.
Submarine URGE damaged Italian steamer MARIGOLA
(5996grt) off the east coast of Tunisia in 35-50N, 11-06E.
On the 30th, steamer MARIGOLA was further damaged
by submarine UTMOST gunfire, 2.3 miles 165° from Kuriat
Island. The steamer was finally sunk on 1 November, when submarine UTMOST
returned and torpedoed the hulk.
Italian steamer MARIA POMPEI (1407grt) was sunk on
a mine at Cattaro.
U.68 sank British tanker DARKDALE (8145grt) at
Thirty nine crew and two military personnel were
lost on the tanker.
Destroyer GURKHA and Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS
departed Freetown on the 15th with convoy 90. After refuelling at
Bathurst, the destroyers proceeded to Gibraltar, arriving on the 22nd.
Convoy HX.156 departed Halifax escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS. The destroyer was relieved on the 24th by
American destroyers BENSON, HILARY P. JONES, NIBLACK, REUBEN JAMES, and
TARBELL. Destroyer REUBEN JAMES was lost on the 31st. Destroyers VERITY and
WOLVERINE and corvettes CAMELLIA, LARKSPUR, and MONTBRETIA joined on the
31st. The American group was detached on 1 November when relieved by
destroyers BROKE and BUXTON, corvette BEGONIA and EGLANTINE, and
anti-submarine trawler KING SOL. The
destroyers and corvettes BEGONIA and CAMELLIA were detached on 4 November.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 5 November.
Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed Colombo after embarking mines from a lighter in the
harbour. She proceeded to Mauritius where she refueled. After refueling, she
The cruiser arrived at Kerguelen Islands on 1 November. After searching the various islands
by landing party and aircraft, eighteen mines were laid in Gazelle
Basin, Long Island Sound, Island
Harbour, and Tucker
Islands were searched on 6 and 7 November.
Heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived at Durban on 11 November.
American battleships OKLAHOMA and ARIZONA were damaged in a collision in the Hawaiian
Thursday, 23 October
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and destroyers ELECTRA and EXPRESS departed Scapa Flow at 0700 for the Clyde.
The ships arrived in the Clyde at 0500/24th.
Vice Admiral Curteis transferred his flag to
battlecruiser RENOWN. and Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Philips, KCB, raised his flag
was Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and destroyers HESPERUS, EXPRESS, and ELECTRA
departed the Clyde at 1500 for the Far East.
Destroyer LEGION, after refuelling in the Azores, joined the screen on the 28th.
Destroyers EXPRESS and ELECTRA were detached to
Ponta Delgada to refuel.
On the destroyers' return to the screen on the
29th, destroyers LEGION and HESPERUS were detached. Destroyer HESPERUS to
return to the UK and destroyer LEGION to Gibraltar.
On 5 November, the ships arrived at Freetown.
The battleship and destroyers EXPRESS and ELECTRA arrived
at Simonstown on 16 November and Colombo on 28 November.
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and destroyers EXPRESS and ELECTRA departed Colombo on 30 November and joined battlecruiser REPULSE
and destroyers ENCOUNTER and JUPITER, which came out from Trincomalee.
The Ships arrived at Singapore on 2 December.
Minesweepers SALAMANDER and HALCYON arrived at
Seidisfjord to refuel on the 22nd and departed again at 0900/23rd for Scapa Flow, where they arrived at 1100/26th.
Minesweepers HARRIER and BRITOMART arrived at
Seidisfjord at 1800 from Spitzbergen to refuel. They departed and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1000/25th.
An Albacore aircraft from Aircraft carrier
VICTORIOUS did not return from exercises near Rona off Scapa Flow. T/A/Sub Lt (A) A. K. Hopkins RNVR, T/A/Sub Lt (A)
P. D. Sayer RNVR, and Leading Airman N. Weldon of the 832 Squadron were lost.
In the same exercise, a Fulmar of 800 Squadron from
aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE also failed to return. A/Sub Lt (A) J. H. Miln
and T/Sub Lt (A) F. J. Stamper RNVR were lost.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART with destroyers NAPIER,
NIZAM, JUPITER, HASTY, ERIDGE, and AVONVALE departed Alexandria to bombard enemy positions at Bardia.
Destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, JUPITER, and HASTY were
detached and conducted a bombardment of Sollum.
The light cruisers, escorted by destroyers ERIDGE
and AVONVALE, bombarded the Bardia.
The ships all returned to Alexandria on the 24th.
Anti-aircraft ship CARLISLE departed Alexandria to return to the Red Sea for duty in the Suez Escort Force.
The ship arrived at Suez on the 25th.
Submarine TRIUMPH sank Greek caique PANGIOTIS
(120grt) and damaged caique AGHIA PARASKEVA (120grt) in the Gulf of
Submarine TRUANT sank Greek steamer VIRGINIA S.
(3885grt) in 39-48N, 19-06E from a convoy of steamer VIRGINIA S. and tankers
BALCIK and BALKAM, escorted by escort ship ARBOREA.
The submarine also claimed damage on the escort,
which was not hit.
Submarine RORQUAL laid mines off Cavoli.
Unescorted merchant ships DUNEDIN STAR and CITY OF LINCOLN, en route to Gibraltar from Malta, were attacked without success by Italian aircraft
The next day on the 24th, Italian sloop
CORRISPONDENTE BETA sighted British steamer EMPIRE GUILLEMOT off La
Galita Island near Cape Bon. The sloop was able to guide the bombers to the
steamer which was sunk.
Ten crew and one gunner were lost on the steamer.
Twenty eight crew and five gunners were taken prisoners.
Italian steamer ACHILLE (2415grt) was sunk by
British bombing in 38-26, 11-24E.
Soviet submarine SC.323 sank German steamer
BALTENLAND (3724grt) in the Baltic.
Convoy SC.51 departed Sydney CB escorted by armed merchant
cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE and corvettes BATTLEFORD, DUNVEGAN, and SOREL. The
corvettes were detached on the 25th when the convoy was joined by corvettes
ARROWHEAD, CHILLIWACK, POLYANTHUS, PRIMROSE, SNOWBERRY, and TRAIL.
Corvette POLYANTHUS was detached on 2 November and the rest of the corvettes
on 4 November. Destroyers MALCOLM, SARDONYX, and WATCHMAN joined on 4
November and corvettes ARABIS, DAHLIA, and MONKSHOOD, and anti-submarine
trawlers NORTHERN GEM and NORTHERN SPRAY. Corvettes ARABISD and MONKSHOOD
were detached on 7 November. On 8 November, the armed merchant cruiser,
destroyer SARDONYX, and corvette DAHLIA were detached. The convoy arrived at
Liverpool on 9 November.
Friday, 24 October
Destroyer MONTROSE departed Sheerness at 0713 for
Scapa Flow, via Methil, to carry out working up exercises.
The destroyer arrived at Methil at 1000/25th and
after landing trial parties departed again. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700 that day.
Destroyer ANTELOPE departed Scapa Flow at 0930 for Scrabster with the Engineer in Chief.
After this duty, the destroyer returned to Scapa Flow.
Minesweeping trawler EMILION (201grt, Sub Lt J. W.
S. Allison RNVR) was sunk on a mine in the vicinity of B.6 Buoy, Barrow Deep.
There were no casualties on the trawler.
Minesweeping trawler LUCIENNE JEANNE (264grt,
Skipper S. E. George RNR) was sunk by a mine in the vicinity of B.6 Buoy,
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL and destroyers KANDAHAR, KINGSTON, and GRIFFIN departed Alexandria on serial nine of the CULTIVATE operation.
The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 25th.
Submarine TETRARCH arrived at Malta from Alexandria with stores and kerosene.
British steamer CLAN FERGUSON (7347grt) departed
Malta to proceed independently to Gibraltar.
The steamer was attacked by air shortly after
leaving Malta and was recalled and arrived back at 0900/25th.
The Gibraltar section
of convoy OS.9 was detached from the main convoy, escorted by sloops LEITH and FOWEY and corvette STONECROP.
Destroyer DUNCAN departed Gibraltar on the 24th and, after assisting destroyer
COSSACK, refuelled at Ponta Delgada on the 30th. She then sailed to join the convoy.
Destroyer WILD SWAN departed Gibraltar on the 25th to join the convoy.
Destroyers GURKHA and ISAAC SWEERS departed Gibraltar on the 28th to join.
Convoy OS.9G arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November.
Submarine TRUANT damaged Italian steamer PADENNA
(1589grt) off Bari.
Submarine TRIUMPH attacked Spanish steamer ISORA
(316grt) in the Aegean, but no hits were made.
Saturday, 25 October
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, escorted by destroyers
ANTELOPE and DULVERTON, departed Scapa Flow at 0900
for the Clyde having completed working up exercises.
The ships arrived in the Clyde at 1115/26th. The battleship entered dock at
Greenock prior to proceeding to the
Destroyer ANTELOPE departed the Clyde at 1800 to return to Scapa
Flow, where she arrived
Heavy cruiser LONDON departed
Scapa Flow for the
Tyne for refitting.
The cruiser arrived later that day. Cruiser LONDON was refitting from 30 October to 25 January
During the night of 25/26 October, Minelaying
cruisers WELSHMAN laid minefield JX A off St Valery en Caux and MANXMAN laid
minefield JX B off St Valery sur Somme in the
Convoy OS.10 departed Liverpool.
On the 26th, sloop BIDEFORD, corvettes FREESIA and
VERBENA, and escort vessels CULVER, LANDGUARD, and LULWORTH joined the
convoy. Corvette VERBENA was detached on 4 November and the rest on 14
November to Bathurst.
On 1 November, destroyer STANLEY and escort vessel
GORLESTON joined the convoy and were detached on 14 November.
On 12 November, destroyer VANSITTART and corvettes
BURDOCK, MARGUERITE, and STARWORTjoined the convoy and escorted it into Freetown, arriving on 18 November.
A British Catalina from Gibraltar damaged Italian submarine FERRARIS west of Gibraltar.
Destroyer LAMERTON, supporting convoy HG.75, was
sent to attack the submarine.
The submarine scuttled herself as the destroyer
arrived on the scene. Forty four survivors were picked up.
Destroyer LAMERTON was damaged by a short of one of
her3. 9 inch shells. The destroyer spent no time out of action.
Minelaying cruiser LATONA and destroyer HERO,
HOTSPUR, and ENCOUNTER departed Alexandria on serial ten, the last, of the CULTIVATE
Minelayer LATONA (Captain S. L. Bateson) was sunk
by German bombing on the 25th in 32-16N, 24-55E late on the 25th.
Commissioned Gunner (T) G. F. W. Bruce, Midshipman
R. Kennedy, T/Lt (E) E. W. Pillinger, Cdr (E) T. G. B. Winch, sixteen
ratings, and seven soldiers were lost on the minelayer.
Destroyer HERO was damaged by a near miss while
standing by LATONA and her speed was reduced to ten knots. The destroyer was
later able to increase speed to twenty knots and arrived at Alexandria at 1400/26th.
Destroyers ENCOUNTER and HERO took the LATONA
survivors to Alexandria.
Destroyer HERO was under repair for four weeks.
This was the last CULTIVATE serial in which 7138
troops had been transported to Tobruk and 7234 troops and 727 wounded were
brought back to Alexandria.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART with destroyers JERVIS,
JAGUAR, JUPITER, KIMBERLEY, HASTY, NAPIER, and NIZAM departed Alexandria on a bombardment operation.
Due to the loss of cruiser LATONA, the bombardment
was cancelled. Destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR, KIMBERLEY, and JUPITER were detached to assist LATONA and
escorted destroyer HERO to Alexandria.
The light cruisers and destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM,
and HASTY bombarded Bardia prior to returning to Alexandria.
Force K of light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and destroyers
LANCE and LIVELY departed Malta to intercept a convoy of Italian steamer CAPO ORSO
(3149grt), German steamer TINOS (2827grt), and destroyer STRALE which departed
Benghazi on the 25th.
No contact was made and Force K returned to Malta on the 26th.
The convoy arrived at Brindisi on the 28th.
Submarine THUNDERBOLT arrived at Malta from patrol.
Submarine TRIUMPH sank Italian steamer MONROSA
(6703grt) in the Aegean in 37-41N, 23-53E from a convoy of steamers MONROSA
and SANTAGATA (4299grt), escorted by destroyer SELLA and torpedo boat SIRIO
en route from Pireaus to Candia.
The submarine was damaged in the counterattack.
Submarine TRUSTY made an unsuccessful attack on a
steamer in 38-24N, 20-13E.
Corvettes COREOPSIS and anti-submarine trawlers ST
NECTAN and LADY SHIRLEY departed Gibraltar
escorting tankers BRITISH FREEDOM and VELMA and then join tanker COWRIE,
which arrived at Gibraltar on 6 November.
Sunday, 26 October
Light cruiser TRINIDAD departed Devonport, escorted by destroyer KUJAWIAK, for the
Clyde where they arrived on the 27th.
The light cruiser began her trials.
Convoy ON.30 departed Liverpool, escorted corvettes ARABIS, DAHLIA and MONKSHOOD
and anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN GEM and NORTHERN SPRAY. Destroyers SARDONYX and
WATCHMAN joined on the 29th. These escorts were detached on 2 November when
American destroyers CHARLES F. HUGHES, GLEAVES, LANSDALE, MADINSON, and SIMPSON joined. The American destroyers were detached
on 9 November when the convoy dispersed.
German steamer HERTA ENGELINE FRITZEN (5100grt) was
lost in a stranding near Hook
Light cruiser HERMIONE was under repair at Gibraltar from 26 October to 7 November.
Submarine RORQUAL arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.
On the 28th, the submarine departed for Holy Loch,
arriving 4 November.
Convoy SL.91 departed Freetown escorted by destroyer WRESTLER to 31 October,
sloop SANDWICH to 12 November and corvettes ANCHUSA to 12
November, BURDOCK to 31 October, CALENDULA to 12 November, CLOVER to 31
October,MIGNONETTE to 12 November, and NIGELLA to 31 October.
On the 28th, sloops BLACK SWAN, FLEETWOOD, and
SCARBOROUGH to 12 November joined the convoy.
Sloop FOWEY and corvettes CAMPION, CARNATION, and
HELIOTROPE joined on 8 November to 12 November.
Convoy SL.91 rendezvoused with convoy SL.91G on 8
After reforming, later on 8 November, the joined
convoys SL.91 and SL.91G split into SL.91GF and SL.91GS. SL.91GF arrived at
Liverpool on 18 November and SL.91 GS on 19 November.
Monday, 27 October
Destroyer NORMAN departed Archangel with the Trade Union Congress delegation and
members of the Russian Labour Delegation.
The destroyer called at Seidisfjord at 1400/31st to
refuel and departed at 0645 on 1 November.
The destroyer arrived at Scrabster at 1000 on 2
November. She then proceed to Scapa Flow
arriving at 1200 that day.
Submarine SEALION arrived at Scapa Flow from Portsmouth.
Midshipman D. M. Jones and Naval Airman A. G. Davis
were killed when their Proctor of 755/756 Squadron collided with an Oxford over
British steamer ANTIOPE (4545grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 53-10-45N, 1-06E.
One crewman was lost on the steamer.
Dutch steamer FRIESLAND (2662grt) was sunk by German bombing in 53-04N,
Eleven crew and two gunners were lost on the
Swedish steamer GUNLOG (1424grt) was sunk by
British bombing off Den Helder.
Submarine TETRARCH (Lt Cdr G. H. Greenway), which
had departed Alexandria on the 17th and Malta on the 26th en route to a refit in England, was lost on a mine in the Sicilian Channel.
Greenway, Lt E. J. Cornish-Bowden, Lt K. W. M.
Meyrick, Lt D. R. Stavert, Sub Lt R. B. Houston, Lt (E) P. R. Phillips, Lt C.
H. Walmsley RNR, Sub Lt W. E. Evans RNR, and fifty four men were lost in the submarine.
Meyrick of submarine TALISMAN, Stavert of submarine UNIQUE, and Walmsley of
submarine UPRIGHT were passengers for the voyage.
Submarine UNBEATEN unsuccessfully attacked a German
submarine off Augusta.
Motor torpedo boats MTB.68 and MTB.215 laid mines in Bardia
Harbour during the night of 26\27 October.
The boats returned to Mersa Matruh after the operation.
Battleship MALAYA and destroyers LIGHTNING, SIKH, and ZULU arrived at
On entering harbour, the battleship took a sheer
and rammed steamers HOEGH HOOD, which broke adrift, and CLAN MACDONALD.
The battleship sustained small holes in her
forecastle and lost her sheet anchor. Damage to CLAN MACDONALD was minor, but
HOEGH HOOD required six weeks repair.
Tuesday, 28 October
Minesweepers HARRIER and BRITOMART departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for Grimsby and
respectively, for refitting.
Minesweeper HARRIER arrived in the Humber at 1935/29th.
Minesweeper BRITOMART arrived at Hartlepool at 1300/30th, having put into the Tyne to shelter from bad weather en route.
Submarine SEALION departed Scapa Flow for Murmansk.
Submarine P.35 departed Scapa Flow for
Convoy ON.31 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvettes CELANDINE and HEARTSEASE
and anti-submarine trawlers ANGLE and ST APOLLO. On the 20th destroyers
AMAZON and GEORGETOWN, corvettes RENONCULE, ROSELYS, and SUNFLOWER,
naval trawler INCHKEITH, and anti-submarine trawler
CAPE WARWICK and INCHKEITH were detached on 2 November.
The remainder of the escort was detached on 4 November when American
destroyers BAINBRIGE, OVERTON, ROE, STURTEVANT, and TRUXTON joined. The
American destroyers were detached on 15 November when the convoy was
Convoy OG.76 departed Liverpool on the 28th, escorted by destroyer BRADFORD, sloop
DEPTFORD, and corvettes CONVOLVULUS, COWSLIP, MARIGOLD, PENTSTEMON, SAMPHIRE,
The convoy was joined on the 29th by escort
aircraft carrier AUDACITY, which had departed the Clyde.
The convoy was joined on the 31st by corvette
RHODODENDRON and on 9 November by destroyers VIDETTE and WISHART, which
departed Gibraltar on 8 November.
The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 11 November.
The aircraft carrier was detached on 11 November
and arrived at Gibraltar for repairs from 12 November to 13 December.
German auxiliary patrol vessel Vp.309 (trawler
MARTIN DONAND (367grt) was lost south of Libau on a mine.
U.68 sank British steamer HAZELSIDE (5297grt) at
Two crew were lost on the steamer.
Submarine RORQUAL departed Gibraltar for Holy Loch, where she arrived on 4 November.
Polish submarine SOKOL unsuccessfully attacked
Italian steamer CITTA DI PALERMO (5413grt) in 40-42N, 13-47E.
Submarine THRASHER sank Italian steamer ESPERIA
(384grt) by gunfire northeast off Benghazi.
Destroyer GURKHA and Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS
departed Gibraltar to meet arriving convoy OS.9G.
Midshipman P. A. Brown RNVR, and Sub Lt F. A. J.
Smith RNVR, were killed when their Albacore of 828 Squadron frialed to return
to Hal Far after an attack on Comiso airfield by seven Albacores of 828
Submarine URGE arrived at Malta from patrol off Kuriat.
Submarine URSULA arrived at Malta from patrol off Calabria.
Light cruiser CARADOC was refitting at the New York
Navy Yard from 28 October to 26 February 1942.
Ex US cargo ships transferred to the United Kingdom
EMPIRE PINTAIL (7773grt), EMPIRE EGRET (7248grt), EMPIRE FULMAR (7775grt),
EMPIRE WIDGEON (6736grt), EMPIRE PEREGRINE (7842grt), and EMPIRE ORIOLE
(6551grt) departed Halifax.
The convoy was escorted by US battleship NEW MEXICO, aircraft carrier YORKTOWN, light cruisers
PHILADELPHIA and SAVANNAH, and destroyers MORRIS, HUGHES, SIMS, HAMMANN, ANDERSON,
MUSTIN, and RUSSELL of the 2nd Destroyer Squadron.
On 2 November, the convoy met convoy CT.5 with
steamers DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, SOBIESKI, ORCADES, WARWICK CASTLE, ANDES, DURBAN
CASTLE, ORONSAY, and REINA DEL
PACIFICO, escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyers NEWARK,
CHARLESTON, CALDWELL, BEVERLEY, BADSWORTH, and CROOME.
The escorts traded convoys and the US escort took convoy CT.5 towards Halifax. The British escort took the convoy, designated
TANGO, and proceeded to North
On 3 November, destroyer WAINWRIGHT, MAYRANT,
TRIPPE, RHIND, ROWAN, MCDOUGAL, MOFFETT, and WINSLOW relieved the US destroyer escort for refuelling.
The convoy arrived at Halifax on 7 November and the troops carried in convoy
CT.5 were transferred to US transports for convoy WS.12X.
Convoy HX.157 departed Halifax escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS and corvettes BUCTOUCHE and GALT. American destroyers DALLAS, EBERLE, ELLIS,
ERICSSON, and UPSHUR joined on the 30th. On 3 November, the original escort was
detached. Destroyer AMAZON joined 6 November. The American escort was
detached on 8 November when relieved by destroyers BELMONT and GEORGETOWN and corvettes HEARTSEASE, RENONCULE, and ROSELYS,
and anti-submarine trawlers ANGLE and CAPE
WARWICK. Destroyer DOUGLAS joined on 9 November. Destroyers
BELMONT and GEORGETOWN were detached on 11 November and destroyers AMAZON
and DOUGLAS on 12 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 13 November.
Wednesday, 29 October
Destroyers OFFA and ORIBI departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for Loch Alsh to act under the orders of
Rear Admiral Minelaying.
Both destroyers arrived at 1630 that day.
Destroyer TARTAR departed London for Sheerness at 1015 on completion of long
refitting. The destroyer arrived at 1415 that day to embark ammunition and
fuel and carry out a tilt test at Chatham before proceeding to Scapa Flow.
Destroyer TARTAR departed Sheerness at 0755 on 1
November for Scapa Flow.
Minesweepers SALAMANDER and HALCYON departed Scapa Flow for Aberdeen at 1700 to carry out boiler cleaning and fit for
Both minesweepers arrived at 0800/30th.
Free French submarine MINERVE made an unsuccessful
attack on a Norwegian steamer off the Norwegian coast.
British naval trawler FLOTTA (530grt, T/Sub Lt A.
Smith RNVR) ran aground off Buchanness.
The trawler foundered on 6 November.
British steamer SARASTONE (2473grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 37-05-10N, 6-48-30W.
One crewman was lost on the steamer.
British steamer ROSLEA (642grt) was captured when
she ran aground on the 28th during a storm on the Belgian coast.
The crew were taken prisoner and this ship was
German steamer BARCELONA (3101grt) was lost near Aalesund to British
Convoy SC.52 departed Sydney CB, escorted by
corvettes BATTLEFORD, DUNVEGAN, and SOREL. Destroyer BROADWAY and corvettes
ACONIT, BUCTOUCHE, GALT, and WINDFLOWER joined on 1 November when
corvettes BATTLEFORD, DUNVEGAN, and SOREL were detached. Destroyer BURWELL
and corvette COBALt joined on 2 November. The escorts, less corvette ACONIT,
were detached on 3 November. Corvette ACONIT was detached on 4 November
before the convoy arrived back at Sydney CB on 5 November.
Thursday, 30 October
Minelayers MENETHEUS, PORT QUEBEC, and WELSHMAN, escorted by destroyers
BRIGHTON, OFFA, and ORIBI, departed Loch Alsh to carry out minelaying
operation SN.83 A.
Destroyer ONSLOW departed Scapa Flow at 1200 and joined the force in 58-45N, 5-42W.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed
Scapa Flow at
0900/31st to cover the minelaying force.
Destroyer ASHANTI departed
Scapa Flow at 0900
for Scrabster to embark a party of military officers taking passage in light
cruiser KENYA to Archangel.
The destroyer arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1300.
Submarine P.35 departed Dundee for Scapa Flow, arriving on the 31st.
Submarine TRIDENT departed Murmansk on patrol, then to return to the United Kingdom.
T/Sub Lt (A) P. Fahrenholtz RNVR, of 780 Squadron
was killed when his Proctor aircraft collided with a Shark aircraft, piloted
by A/Sub Lt (A) J. E. Hampson RNVR, at Worthy Down.
American tanker SALINAS (8246grt) was torpedoed by U.106 700 miles east of
Destroyer DUPONT escorted the tanker to port.
Corvette SNAPDRAGON arrived at Suez from the United Kingdom to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
The corvette arrived at Alexandria on the 31st.
Destroyer WISHART arrived at Gibraltar after refitting in the UK.
Gibraltar for patrol in the Gulf of
Convoy ST.7 departed Freetown, escorted by destroyer VANSITTART and corvettes
ARMERIA and CYCLAMEN. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on 4 November.
Friday, 31 October
Minelayers MENETHEUS, PORT QUEBEC, and WELSHMAN, escorted by destroyers
BRIGHTON, OFFA, ORIBI, and ONSLOW, laid minefield SN.83A.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD covered the operation until being detached at
2200/31st and arriving at Scapa
Flow on 1 November.
Destroyer ONSLOW, OFFA, and ORIBI arrived back at
Scapa Flow at 1800 on 1 November.
The minelayers, escorted by destroyer BRIGHTON, arrived at Loch Alsh at 2200 on 1 November.
Destroyer MAORI departed London at 0800 for Sheerness to embark ammunition and
fuel after long refitting. The destroyer arrived at 1300 that day.
Destroyer MAORI departed Sheerness at 0845 on 2
November for Scapa Flow where she arrived at 1730 on 3 November to work
Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 0930 for Scrabster to embark a Russian General
for passage to Archangel in light cruiser KENYA.
The destroyer arrived back at 1300.
Light cruiser KENYA and destroyers BEDOUIN and INTREPID departed Scapa Flow at 2300 for Seidisfjord to refuel prior to
escorting convoy PQ.3.
Submarine SEAWOLF arrived at Scapa Flow from Portsmouth.
The submarine departed that day for Murmansk.
British A/T/Sub Lt (A) P. Fahrenholtz RNVR, was
killed when his Proctor of 780 Squadron collided with a Shark at Worthy Down.
A/A/Sub Lt (A) J. E. Hampson RNVR, of the Shark was
British tanker BRITISH FORTUNE (4696grt) was sunk
by German bombing one mile 265° from Aldeburgh Light Buoy. Seven crew and a
gunner were missing.
Greek steamer NICOLAOS PIANGOS (4499grt) was sunk
by German bombing in 51-58-45N, 1-37-30E.
Eight crew were lost.
Convoy HX.156 was escorted by American destroyers NIBLACK,
TARBELL (Flag), REUBEN JAMES, BENSON, and HILARY P. JONES.
Destroyer REUBEN JAMES (Lt Cdr H. L. Edwards) was
sunk by U.552 in 51-59N, 27-05W.
Forty six enlisted men, including eight wounded,
were rescued were picked up by destroyers BENSON, HILARY P. JONES, NIBLACK,
and TARBELL. Edwards, Lt B. Ghetzler, Lt (jg) D. G. Johnston, Lt (jg) J. J.
Daub, Lt (jg) J. M. Belden, Ensign C. Spowers, Ensign H. V. Wade and eighty
eight enlisted men were missing. Two enlisted men were killed.
One crewman later died of wounds.
U.374 sank British steamer KING MALCOLM (5120grt)
in 47-40N, 51-50W. The entire crew of the steamer were lost.
U.96 sank Dutch steamer BENNEKOM (5998grt) from
convoy OS.10 in 51-20N, 23-40W. The submarine claimed sinking another steamer
in the convoy.
Three gunners and five crew were lost on the
The convoy was escorted by escort ships LANDGUARD
(SO 40th Escort Group), GORLESTON, CULVER, and LULWORTH, destroyer STANLEY,
sloop BIDEFORD, and corvettes VERBENA and FREESIA.
On 1 November, escort ship GORLESTON and corvette
VERBENA attacked a submarine contact in 48-25N, 25-00W.
Destroyers ERIDGE and AVONVALE departed Alexandria, escorting ocean boarding vessel CHANTALA to Port Said. There they
sailed to join the Suez Escort Force. The destroyers passed through the Suez Canal on 1 November and joined the Suez Escort Force.
Submarine TRUANT sank Italian tanker METEOR
(1685grt) south of Ortona.
American light cruiser MEMPHIS and destroyers JOUETT and DAVIS escorted part of
the way to Africa, American steamer ACADIA (6185grt)
carrying Pan American technicians and equipment.
Late in the month, Italian submarine SCIRE
proceeded to Gibraltar where she launched three SLC's, but two were defective and sank without doing
The third SLC got very close to battleship RODNEY, but sank
before doing any damage.