Background Events - June-November 1941
Russia, Malta Convoys, Japan prepares for war
Saturday, 15 November
Destroyer FAULKNOR departed Portsmouth at 0900 for the Clyde to carry out direction finding calibration before proceeding to
The destroyer arrived in the Clyde at 1100/16th.
Destroyer FAULKNOR departed the Clyde at 1400/20th for Londonderry.
Destroyers ASHANTI, MATABELE, and PUNJABI departed Hvalfjord for an
anti-submarine search for a submarine attacked by a US destroyer in 62-50N, 24-30W at 1215/14th.
Convoy ON.37 departed Liverpool escorted by anti-submarine trawlers HUGH WALPOLE
and NORTHERN SPRAY. The convoy was joined on the 16th by destroyers BEVERLEY
and SARDONYX. On the 18th, destroyers SCIMITAR and WATCHMAN and corvettes
DAHLIA and MONKSHOOD, and anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN PRIDE. Destroyer
BEVERLEY was detached on the 20th and trawler NORTHERN PRIDE on the 21st. The
remainder of the escorts were detached when relieved on the 22nd by American destroyers
BUCK, GREER, LUDLOW, MCCORMICK, and SWANSON. The destroyers were
detached on the 30th when the convoy was dispersed.
Submarine TRIDENT departed Polyarnoe and arrived at
Blyth on the 30th.
The submarine went on to the Tyne for repairs and docking.
British steamer CORHAMPTON (2495grt) was badly
damaged by German bombing twenty six miles northeast of Spurn Point.
The steamer sank on the 16th in tow two miles 142°
from 62D Buoy in the Humber area.
The entire crew were rescued.
British drifter HARMONY (24grt) was sunk in a
collision off Invergordon.
U.583 was sunk in a collision during night training
with U.153 off Danzig.
Forty five crewmen were lost on the submarine.
U.752 sank Soviet minesweeping trawler T.34 near
Destroyers ENCOUNTER and JUPITER departed Alexandria for the
Far East, via
Bombay. The destroyers departed Aden on the 20th. They arrived at Colombo on the 26th.
On the 30th, at Colombo, the destroyers departed with battleship PRINCE OF
WALES and destroyers ELECTRA and EXPRESS to proceed to Singapore.
Battlecruiser REPULSE departed Trincomalee the same
day for Singapore.
Light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS were at sea from
Alexandria for a practice bombardment.
Dutch submarine O.21 unsuccessfully attacked
Italian steamer NINETTOG. (5335grt) in a convoy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
British steamer EMPIRE DEFENDER (5649grt), en route
to Malta, was sunk by Italian bombing eighteen miles south
of Galita Island.
Four crewmen were lost on the steamer. The rest of
the crew were made prisoners of war.
Convoy HX.160 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyers ANNAPOLIS and HAMILTON. The destroyers were detached on the
17th when relieved by American destroyers BABBITT, LEARY, MAYO, NICHOLSON,
and SCHENCK. In heavy seas, the American destroyers all sustain storm damage.
The American group was relieved on the 25th by destroyers SARDONYX, SCIMITAR,
and WATCHMAN and corvettes DAHLIA and MONKSHOOD. Corvette MONTBRETIA joined
on the 26th. Anti-submarine trawlers HUGH WALPOLE, NORTHERN PRIDE, and
NORTHERN SPRAY escorted the convoy in Home Waters. Corvette MONTBRETIA was
detached on the 28th and the destroyers and corvettes DAHLIA and MONKSHOOD on
the 29th. Anti-submarine trawler KIRKELLA escorted the convoy into Liverpool on the 30th.
Sunday, 16 November
Destroyer ANTELOPE departed Hvalfjord at 1100 for
Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 0730/18th.
Minesweepers HAZARD and HEBE departed Greenock at 0300 for Scapa
Flow, where they arrived
Destroyer CHELSEA was damaged in a collision with
an unknown merchant ship while escorting convoy ON.36.
The destroyer lost six feet of her stern, but was
able to reach Liverpool under her own power.
The damage was repaired at Liverpool and completed on 14 December.
Minesweepers GOSSAMER, HUSSAR, and SPEEDY arrived
at Murmansk from Archangel.
British fishing trawler FERNBANK (211grt) was sunk
by German bombing twelve miles northwest of Myggenaes.
Five crewmen were lost on the trawler.
Examination vessel MINNA (290grt) was damaged by
German bombing in 56-04-36N, 2-51-12W.
The vessel arrived at Leith on the 17th.
Battleship NELSON, escorted by destroyers ZULU,
SIKH, and GURKHA departed Gibraltar to return to the United Kingdom.
Light cruiser HERMOINE, aircraft carrier ARGUS, and
destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, LEGION, and ISAAC SWEERS sailed with the
battleship to feint to the east.
A probable German supply ship was reported by a
submarine in 44-00N, 2-00W at 0001 on the 17th. Battleship NELSON and light
cruiser HERMOINE proceeded to intercept, but no contact was made.
The groups parted company at 1845/17th and arrived
back at Gibraltar, less light cruiser HERMOINE, on the 19th. Light
cruiser HERMOINE arrived back on the 21st.
A Convoy of steamers BLAIRATHOLL (3319grt), BARON
NEWLANDS (3386grt), SHUNA (1575grt), CISNEROS (1886grt), and OTTINGE
(2870grt), and oiler BROWN RANGER departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyer WILD SWAN, sloop DEPTFORD,
and corvettes CONVOLVULUS, RHODODENDRON, and MARIGOLD.
The convoy, Operation CHIEFTAN, was a diversion for
Operation CRUSADER in the eastern Mediterranean.
A U-boat contact was made by destroyer WILD SWAN on
the 16th. The destroyer was joined by corvette SAMPHIRE.
Corvette MARIGOLD sank the U.433 south of Malaga in 36-13N, 04-42W.
Six officers and thirty two ratings the submarine
were rescued. Six ratings were lost in the submarine.
The convoy proceeded towards Malta, but after nightfall on the 18th, the steamers
returned to Gibraltar.
Destroyers KIPLING, JACKAL, and DECOY departed
Alexandria on the 3rd serial of the APPROACH operation.
The destroyers returned to Alexandria on the 17th.
Destroyer FARNDALE arrived at Suez to join the Mediterranean Fleet and passed through
the Suez Canal.
British motor torpedo boats MTB.68 and MTB.215 patrolled off Bardia to intercept a reported
Dutch submarine O.21 unsuccessfully attacked
Italian steamer ITU (1578grt) in convoy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
An Italian convoy of steamers CITTA DI GENOVA
(5413grt) and CITTI DI NAPOLI (5418grt), escorted by destroyers PIGAFETTA and
DA VERAZZANO, which had departed Taranto on the 14th, arrived at Benghazi.
Convoy SC.55 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by corvettes BATTLEFORD, DRUMHELLER,
and SUMMERSIDE and minesweeper NIPIGON. Corvettes DUNVEGAN, KENOGAMI, LETHBRIDGE, and PRESCOTT on the 18th. The original corvettes were detached
on the 19th when the convoy was joined by destroyer ST FRANCIS and corvettes
MAYFLOWER, NANAIMO, and SOREL. Destroyer ST FRANCIS was detached on the 25th,
corvettes DUNVEGAN, PRESCOTT, and SOREL on the 28th, and corvettes KENOGAMI
and LETHBRIDGE on the 29th. On the 28th, destroyer AMAZON joined
the convoy, on the 29th, destroyer FOXHOUND, and on the 30th, corvettes
HEARTSEASE and ROSELYS, and anti-submarine trawlers AYRSHIRE and NOTTS
COUNTY. Corvettes MAYFLOWER and NANAIMO were detached on 1 December, destroyer AMAZON on 3
December, and corvette HEARTSEASE, trawlers AYRSHIRE and NOTTS
COUNTY were detached on 4 December. Anti-submarine trawler ST CATHAN joined
on 4 December and arrived with the convoy at
Liverpool on 5 December.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK arrived at Singapore.
Monday, 17 November
Heavy cruiser KENT departed the Faroes-Iceland patrol for Hvalfjord.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD took over patrol of this area and her own area.
The heavy cruiser arrived at Hvalfjord on the 18th.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed Denmark Strait patrol for Hvalfjord.
The light cruiser arrived at Hvalfjord on the 18th.
Heavy cruiser BERWICK with destroyers ONSLOW and
OFFA departed Hvalfjord at 0900 for Seidisfjord where they arrived at
After refuelling, the warships departed Seidisfjord
at 1300/19th to rendezvous with convoy PQ.4 and escort it to Archangel.
Convoy PQ.4 departed Reykjavik with steamers Soviet ALMA ATA (3611grt), DAY Y BRYN (5117grt), EULIMA (6027grt), Soviet RODINA
(4441grt), Soviet BUDENNI (2482grt), EMPIRE METEOR (7457grt), Soviet MOSSOVET
(2981grt), and Soviet SUKHONA (3124grt).
The convoy was escorted by trawlers BUTE and STELLA CAPELLA from 17 to 27 November.
Heavy cruiser BERWICK and destroyers OFFA and
ONSLOW escorted the convoy from 25 to 27 November. The convoy was to have
been met on the 20th, but the warships were unable to locate the convoy.
On the 27th, minesweepers GOSSAMER, SEAGULL, and
SPEEDY met the convoy relieving the heavy cruiser, destroyers, and trawlers,
which proceeded to Murmansk, arriving at 1030/28th. The heavy cruiser and
destroyers were bombed unsuccessfully as they entered harbour. The convoy
arrived at Archangel on the 28th.
Minesweeper ROSS departed the Humber for Aberdeen and the Faroes.
T/Sub Lt M. S. H. Christopher RNVR, was lost
overboard from submarine P.38 while the ship was returning from patrol
southwest of Ireland and west of Land's End. The submarine arrived at Portsmouth on the 22nd.
British steamer BOVEY TRACEY (1212grt) was sunk by
German bombing in 52-58N, 2-05E.
The entire crew were rescued.
German steamer SCHWANECK (2194grt) was lost on a
mine near Stettin.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART and destroyers KANDAHAR, HASTY, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria to bombard the Sollum area during the night of
The bombardment was cancelled due to poor weather.
The ships joined the Battle Fleet departing Alexandria on the 18th at noon on the 18th.
Captain H. St. L. Nicolson, Captain 2nd Destroyer
Flotilla, which had been ashore since damage to destroyer ILEX, took command
of destroyer GRIFFIN as Leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla.
Submarines UPRIGHT and URGE unsuccessfully attacked
a convoy in the Ionian Sea.
Anti-submarine trawlers STELLA CARINA and LADY
HOGARTH departed Gibraltar to meet arriving Norwegian tanker PRESIDENT DE
The trawlers were reassigned to join the escort of
outward tanker THORSHAVET on the 23rd.
Corvette VETCH departed Gibraltar to meet tanker PRESIDENT DE VOGUE and arrived back
with her on the 25th.
Dutch steamers PLUTO (1156grt) and RHEA (1388grt)
were seized by French forces at Algiers.
U.331 landed two German officers and seven enlisted
men of a Commando group near Daba, sixty miles west of Alexandria, to mine the railway.
All nine German Commandos were captured later the
same day before any sabotauge was done.
Vichy French submarine LE HEROS sank Norwegian
steamer THODE FAGELUND (5757grt) thirty five miles east of East London.
The entire crew were rescued.
The attack was in retaliation for the British
operation against a French convoy on the 2nd.
Tuesday, 18 November
Submarine SEALION sank Norwegian trawler VESCO
(331grt) by gunfire off northern Norway.
Submarine TRIDENT, on passage from Murmansk to the United Kingdom, was directed to patrol off the Norwegian coast in
the area of 62N, 4-20E.
Submarine TRIDENT departed the patrol area for
Blyth on the 25th.
Submarine TUNA, on passage to the Northern patrol
area, was directed to patrol in the area of 61-02N, 3-50E.
French submarine RUBIS departed Dundee to patrol off the Norwegian coast.
T/Sub Lt (A) D. Worth RNVR, was killed when his
Fulmar of 884 Squadron crashed near Donibristle.
Convoy OS.12 departed Liverpool.
The convoy was joined on the 19th by sloops
FOLKESTONE, LONDONDERRY, WELLINGTON, and WESTON and escort vessels SENNEN and TOTLAND.
Sloop LONDONDERRY was detached on 2 December, sloop WESTON on 7
December, sloops FOLKESTONE and WELLINGTON and the escort vessels on 8 December.
Escort vessel GORLESTON joined the convoy on 4
December and was detached on 6 December. On 6 December, destroyers VANSITTART
and VELOX and corvettes BERGAMOT, LAVENDER, and STARWORT joined the convoy
and escorted it into Freetown,
arriving on 11 December.
Light cruiser HERMIONE was detached from aircraft
carrier ARGUS, which with escort returned to Gibraltar.
The light cruiser joined battleship NELSON to
search for an enemy supply ship reported in the Biscay area.
British operation APPROACH was cancelled with the
exception of the sailing of tankers TONELINE and LESBOS which departed Alexandria escorted by sloops YARRA and
PARRAMATTA, minesweeping whaler SOTRA, and two anti-submarine
When tanker TONELINE broke down, sloop PARRAMATTA assisted the tanker returning to Mersa Matruh.
The tanker sailed after dark on the 19th for
Tanker LESBOS, escorted
by anti-submarine whaler KLO, arrived late at Tobruk. Whaler KLO and motor
launch ML.1048 were damaged by shellfire on the 20th. After temporary repairs
to a direct hit, whaler KLO was able to depart for Alexandria.
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM, and VALIANT,
light cruisers NAIAD, GALATEA, and EURYALUS, and destroyers JERVIS,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NAPIER, NIZAM, KIPLING, JACKAL, DECOY, AVONVALE, and
ERIDGE departed Alexandria to support Operation CHIEFTAN, the dummy convoy
intended to divert attention from Operation CRUSADER in the Eastern
The Battle Fleet turned back after dark on the 18th
and arrived at Alexandria during the morning of 19 November.
Light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS and destroyers
KIPLING and JACKAL, which had been detached late on the 18th, bombarded the
Halfaya fortifications around Tobruk.
The light cruisers and destroyers arrived later at
Force K of light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and
destroyers LANCE and LIVELY departed Malta to participate in the CHIEFTAN operation.
The ships arrived back at Malta during the night of 18/19 November.
British aircraft accidently attacked anti-submarine
whaler SOUTHERN MAID in 31-15N, 28-02E, reporting her as a submarine.
Destroyers FARNDALE and ERIDGE departed Alexandria to search for the submarine.
Submarine PERSEUS, which had been under repair at
Malta, departed on trials, but was forced to return with
a defective hydroplane gear.
Submarine THORN unsuccessfully attacked a steamer
in the Aegean. The steamer was later found to be a Turkish Red
Crescent relief ship.
An Italian convoy of steamers AMBA ARADAM and BROOK
(1225grt), escorted by torpedo boat PARTENOPE arrived at Benghazi from Brindisi.
Turkish steamer YENICE (428grt) was sunk by Soviet
submarine SC.215 off Vasiliko, in the Black Sea.
Twelve crewmen were lost on the steamer. Two
survivors were rescued.
Anti-submarine trawler SCOTTISH intercepted French
fishing ketch BELLE BRETAGNE 22 miles 280° from Cape Espichel.
The ketch was sent into Gibraltar.
Convoy SL.93 departed Freetown escorted by
destroyers BRILLIANT to 23 November and STANLEY to 24 November, sloop
BIDEFORD to 10 December, corvettes BERGAMOT and CROCUS to 23 November,
CYCLAMEN to 10 December, NIGELLA and ORCHIS to 23 November, escort vessels
CULVER, LANDGUARD, and LULWORTH to 10 December and GORLESTON to 1 December,
and anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN PRIDE to 23 November.
On the 27th, ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN
joined to 10 December. Sloop LONDONDERRY joined on 2 December to 10 December.
Anti-submarine trawler ARAB escorted the convoy on 10 December.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 December.
American cruiser BOISE departed Pearl
Harbour escorting convoy 4001 of Army transport PRESIDENT GRANT and steamers
AMERICAN LEADER, CAPE FAIRWEATHER, JOHN LYKES, and DONA NATI to Manila.
The convoy arrived at Manila on 4 December and light cruiser BOISE was ordered to join the Asiatic Fleet.
Japanese submarines of the 1st and 2nd Submarine Flotillas
departed Yokosuka and Kure on 18 and 19 November for operations in the
Submarine I.26 reconnoitered Kiska on the 25th and
during the night of 27/28 November flew her aircraft over Dutch
Harbour. On the 30th, the submarine reconnoitered Kodiak.
Submarine I.10 reconnoitered Suva on the 29th by aircraft and was off Pago Pago on 4 December.
From 3 December, submarines I.9, I.15, I.17, and
I.25 were in a line north of Oahu.
I 7 was south of Oahu.
I 1, I.2, and I.3 were west of Oahu.
I 4, I.5, and I.6 were east of Oahu.
The 3rd Submarine Flotilla from Kwajalein with I.8, I.68, I.69, I.70, I.71, I.72, I.73,
I.75, and I.76 were deployed south of Oahu.
Submarines I.16, I.18, I.20, I.22, and I.24 which
carried midget submarines for an attack on Pearl
Harbour departed Yokosuka on the 18th.
Wednesday, 19 November
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed
Scapa Flow for the
Faroes - Iceland patrol and then on to Hvalfjord.
Destroyer ANTELOPE departed Scapa Flow at 0900 for Hull to carry out a long refit.
The destroyer arrived at Hull at 0900/20th.
Convoy ON.38 departed Liverpool escorted by corvettes HEARTSEASE, RENONCULE, and
ROSELYS and anti-submarine trawlers KING SOL and ST APOLLO. The convoy was joined on the 20th by
anti-submarine trawler CAPE WARWICK. Destroyers AMAZON and FOXHOUND joined on the 21st. Trawler ST APOLLO
was detached on the 22nd. Corvette GALT joned on the 24th and was detached on the 25th.
The convoy escorts were detached on the 26th when the convoy was joined by
destroyer BURNHAM and corvettes ALGOMA, CHAMBLY, DAUPHIN, MATAPEDIA, and NAPANEE. The convoy was
dispersed on the 30th and the escorts were detached.
Minesweeper HAZARD departed Scapa Flow at 0915 for Scrabster to embark stores. The
minesweeper then proceeded to join the Kirkwall section of convoy PQ.5 for passage to Hvalfjord.
The Kirkwall section
of convoy PQ.5 departed Kirkwall at 0930 for Hvalfjord, escorted by minesweepers
SHARPSHOOTER and HEBE. The Kirkwall section, escorted by the three minesweepers
arrived at Hvalfjord at 1230/23rd.
Minelayer MENETHEUS, escorted by destroyer NEWARK, laid minefield SN.25 A.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, after having escorted convoy BB 101 from Belfast to Milford Haven, suffered a failure of her
steering engine. She was able to arrived at Devonport that afternoon for
docking which was not completed until early February.
Lt Cdr L. C. D. Ashburner was killed when his Roc
of 834 Squadron crashed at Eastleigh.
The German 2nd Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla attacked
convoy FS.650 of fifty nine ships, which had departed Methil on the 18th and
was escorted by destroyersWOLSEY, VERDUN, WIDGEON, KITTIWAKE, and trawler KINGSTON OLIVINE,
off Great Yarmouth. Destroyers VESPER, GARTH, and CAMPBELL were nearby as a support force and MGB.87 followed
the convoy. Destroyers HAMBEDON and QUORN were also at sea.
MGB.63, MGB.64, and MGB.67 departed to operate near
the German activity, but MGB.63 was forced to return at the start with engine
British tanker WAR MEHTAR (5502grt) was sunk by
S.104 in 52-50n, 2-08E.
The entire crew were rescued.
British steamer ARUBA (1159grt) was sunk by S.105 in 52-51N, 2-07-30E.
One gunner was missing on the steamer.
British steamer WALDINGE (2462grt) was badly
damaged by S.41 near 55 A Buoy, Smith's Knoll.
One gunner was lost on the steamer.
The steamer sank on the 20th.
S.41 was damaged in a collision with the convoy
escort and was in tow returning to port, when intercepted by MGB.64 and
MGB.67. The British were able to board the S-boat, but could not prevent her
Destroyer GARTH was seriously damaged when she was
accidentally struck by 40mm gunfire from another destroyer in the escort.
Destroyer GARTH was towed to Harwich.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 20th.
American destroyer LEARY contacted a U-boat on
This was the first instance of such a sighting in
Destroyer CASTLETON was damaged by the accidental explosion
of a scuttling charge while at sea on escort duty.
The destroyer was under repairs at Newport until 20 April 1942.
Submarine RORQUAL laid fifty mines off La Rochelle in minefield FD 34.
French trawler COLIGNY (600grt) was lost on the minefield.
Submarine UNA arrived at Gibraltar from Holy Loch.
Submarine OSIRIS arrived at Malta after patrol off Candia.
Italian convoy A departed Tripoli for Naples with steamers ANKARA and SEBASTIANO VENIER, escorted by destroyers
MAESTRALE, ORIANI, and GIOBERTI.
Due to British naval activity, the convoy in the
Strait was diverted to Taranto
where they arrived on the 22nd.
Off the west coast of Australia at 26-34S, 111-00E, Australian light cruiser
SYDNEY (Captain J. Burnett RAN) contacted German raider KORMORAN, which was
able to maintain her disguise. The German ship torpedoed the Australian
cruiser and badly damaged her with gunfire.
Cruiser SYDNEY sank with her entire crew of
Burnett, Cdr E. W. Thruston DSC, Lt Cdr J. C. Bacon, Lt Cdr A. M. Wilkinson,
Lt Cdr C. A. C Montgomery, Lt Cdr M. M. Singer DSC, Lt E. E. Mayo, Lt I. T.
R. Treloar, Lt T. E. Davis, Lt T.G. Brown, T/Lt J. A. Cole RANR, T/Lt A. I.
Keith RANR, Cdr (E) L. S. Dalton DSO, Lt Cdr (E) R. D. Handcock,
T/Engineering Lt A. W. Wilson RANR, T/Engineering Lt W. T. Anderson, Chaplain
the ReverendG. Stubbs, Surgeon Cdr J. R. Hasker, Paymaster Cdr T. F. Maynard,
Surgeon Lt Cdr F. H. Genge, Surgeon Lt (D) M. C. Townsend, Paymaster Sub Lt
C. M. Mitchell, Paymaster Lt R. E. Ridout RANR, Sub Lt E. R. Eddy, Sub Lt A.
E. Byrne RANR, Sub Lt A. V. Eager RANR, A/Sub LtB. A. Elder RANR,
P/Engineering Sub Lt A. J. King RANVR, P/Sub Lt F. H. Schoch RANVR, Paymaster
Sub Lt J. I. Clifton RANR, Gunner F. L. Macdonald, Gunner (T) J. E. Peterson,
A/Gunner J. K. Houston, Warrant Shipwright J. A. E. Fuller, Warrant Engineer
W.G. Batchelor, Warrant Engineer F. W. Reville, A/Warrant Engineer A.B.
Biggs, Warrant Electrician R. W. Nicolson, Schoolmaster P. F. Skewes, Warrant
Supply Officer W. A. Owen, Paymaster Midshipman D. W. McCabe, RAAF Flying
Officer R.B. Barrey, 592 RAN ratings, two RN ratings, four NAAFI personnel,
five RAAF ratings.
The German ship was badly damaged and scuttled by
the crew the next day.
On her cruise, the German ship sank eleven ships
for 68,274 tons.
Seventy six crewmen were killed on the German ship.
British liner AQUITANIA also rescued twenty six survivors from the German
ship at 0830/24th. British tanker TROCAS rescued twenty four more crewmen at
Two hundred and seventy five German survivors
reached the Australian coast in the ship's boats.
When there was no contact with the light cruiser
SYDNEY, Dutch light cruiser TROMP departed the Sunda Straits to follow light
cruiser SYDNEY's track.
Polish submarine SOKOL attacked an Italian
destroyer of the AVIERE class at Navarino.
The destroyer was reportedly beached.
American sailing vessel DEL PIDIO was sunk on a mine in a prohibited area at
the entrance to Manila Bay.
Six crewmen were rescued from the vessel.
Thursday, 20 November
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK arrived at Hvalfjord from Denmark Strait patrol.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Faroes - Iceland patrol for Scapa Flow after being relieved by heavy cruiser NORFOLK.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow on the 21st.
Monitor EREBUS departed Sheerness at 0835 for Londonderry escorted by destroyers MEYNELL and WALPOLE, as far
as Kinnaird Head.
Destroyers ECLIPSE and CHIDDINGFOLD departed Scapa Flow at 0300/22nd to relieve the EREBUS escort off
Monitor EREBUS and destroyer and CHIDDINGFOLD
arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000/22nd.
Destroyer ECLIPSE was detached to join battleship
NELSON's screen, but was unable to do so because of bad weather. The
destroyer arrived at Scapa
Flow at 2230/22nd.
Battleship RAMILLIES, escorted by destroyers
VANQUISHER and WITCH, departed Liverpool at 1330
for Scapa Flow.
The three ships arrived at Scapa Flow at 1024 on the 22nd.
Destroyer FAULKNOR departed the Clyde at 1400 for Londonderry, where she arrived at 2100 that day.
On completion of fuelling, the destroyer sailed on
the 22nd for position 55N, 10W and with destroyers NORMAN and ICARUS take
over screening duties of battleship NELSON from destroyers ZULU, SIKH, and
Destroyers NORMAN and ICARUS departed Scapa Flow at 1500/20th to rendezvous with destroyer FAULKNOR
and battleship NELSON.
Destroyer GURKHA arrived at Londonderry on the 21st.
Destroyer ZULU and SIKH arrived at Londonderry on the 22nd.
Battleship NELSON and destroyers FAULKNOR, NORMAN,
and ICARUS arrived off Scapa
Flow at 1030/22nd.
Destroyer NORMAN was detached before entering harbour for the Clyde where she was to boiler clean prior to transfer to the
Destroyer NORMAN arrived in the Clyde at 0930/23rd.
Light cruisers AJAX and NEPTUNE and Australian light cruiser HOBART
departed Alexandria with destroyers HEYTHROP and AVONVALE, joined at
sea by destroyers FARNDALE and ERIDGE.
The cruisers bombarded the Bardia area during the
night of 20/21 November.
Italian convoy C of steamers NAPOLI (6142grt) and VETTOR PISANI (6339grt) departed
Naples, escorted by destroyer TURBINE and torpedo boat
PERSEO. The escort was detached at 0023 on the 21st.
A second convoy of steamers IRIDIO MANTOVANI
(10,540grt) and MONGINEVRO (5324grt) departed Naples at 0530/21st, escorted by destroyer DA RECCO and
torpedo boat COSENZ.
The convoys were covered by Italian light cruisers
GARIBALDI and ABRUZZI, and destroyers AVIERE, CAMICIA NERA, GENIERE,
CORAZZIERE, and CARABINIERE, which departed Naples at 0810/21st. Heavy cruisers GORIZIA, TRIESTE, and
Naples at 1930/21st.
Heavy cruiser GORIZIA was damaged by splinters from
a British bombing raid on Naples
shortly before the Italian ships departed.
A convoy of steamers CITTA DI TUNISI (5419grt) and
CITTA DI PALERMO (5413grt) departed Taranto escorted by destroyers ZENO and MALOCELLO for
Benghazi. This convoy was joined by torpedo boat PARTENOPE
A convoy of tanker BERBERA (2093grt) departed Brindisi escorted by torpedo boat PEGASO.
At 2130/21st, the Naples convoys came under attack by British Malta based
aircraft shortly before clearing the Messina
Force K had sailed from Malta at 1300 with British
supply ship BRECONSHIRE and steamers SYDNEY STAR, AJAX, and CLAN FERGUSON, escorted by corvette
GLOXINIA to draw out Italian forces in Operation LANDMARK.
The British ships arrived back at Malta early on the 22nd.
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM, and VALIANT,
light cruisers NAIAD, EURYALUS, and GALATEA, and destroyers JERVIS, KANDAHAR,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NAPIER, NIZAM, KIPLING, JACKAL, HASTY, HOTSPUR, and
DECOY departed Alexandria on the 21st to operate in coordination with
LANDMARK to simulate an attack on Tripoli to draw German and Italian air
strength away from Halfaya and Bardia.
At noon, the light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, and HOBART joined the Fleet. The four
HUNT destroyers escorting had been sent to Alexandria.
At dark, the cruisers of the 15th Cruiser Squadron
were detached to make W/T reports further to the west to aid in the
The Fleet returned to Alexandria at daylight on the 22nd. The 15th Cruiser Squadron
arrived back after noon.
Italian heavy cruiser TRIESTE was torpedoed by Submarine UTMOST at 2312 on the
21st in 37-48N, 15-32E. The cruiser was escorted by light cruiser GARIBALDI
and destroyer BERSAGLIERE to Messina, arriving on the 22nd.
Light cruiser ABRUZZI was torpedoed by a Swordfish
of 830 Squadron at 0038 on the 22nd.
LT P. E. O'Brien and T/Sub Lt (A) A. J. Griffith
RNVR, of 830 Squadron were shot down. O'Brien was killed and Griffith was rescued by Italian destroyer PESSAGNO and made
a prisoner of war.
The light cruiser proceeded to Messina for repairs under her own power and arrived on the
Light cruiser ABRUZZI, her stern blown off, was
escorted by light cruiser GARIBALDI and destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI,
GRANATIERE, FUCILIERE, ALPINO, CORAZZIERE, CARABINIERE, and TURBINE and
torpedo boat PERSEO
Despite air attacks on the ABRUZZI force, particularly on light cruiser GARIBALDI, no
further damage was done.
At 0100/22nd, the convoys, covered by heavy cruiser
GORIZIA and destroyer AVIERE, was ordered to Taranto in view of continuing attacks.
Steamers VETTOR PISANO and NAPOLI were escorted by destroyer GENIERE to
Taranto. Steamer IRIDIO MANTOVANI was escorted to Taranto by destroyer CAMICIA NERA. Steamer MONGINEVRO was
escorted by destroyer PESSAGNO to Taranto.
Destroyers CORAZZIERE, CARABINIERE, and TURBINE
proceeded to Reggio.
Polish submarine SOKOL damaged tanker BERBERA in
36-53N, 21-28E on the 21st.
Tanker BERBERA and torpedo boat PEGASO arrived at
Navarino on the 24th.
Submarine THRON unsuccessfully attacked a steamer
in the Aegean.
Submarine URSULA arrived at Malta after patrol off Misurata.
Lt W. J. Pangbourne was killed when his Hurricane
of 806 Squadron was shot down south of El Adem.
Sloop STORK arrived at Gibraltar from the UK, escorting steamer EMPIRE BARRACUDA.
Destroyer MAORI and corvette COLTSFOOT arrived at
Gibraltar from the UK. The destroyer had completed refitting at London.
Friday, 21 November
Minelaying cruiser MANXMAN departed Scapa Flow for Loch Alsh to boiler clean.
The cruiser arrived at Loch Alsh on the 22nd.
Destroyer PUNJABI departed Hvalfjord at 0900 for
Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 1700/23rd.
Battlecruiser RENOWN departed Rosyth at 1600,
escorted by destroyers ARROW, VIMIERA, and WALLACE, for Scapa Flow where the battlecruiser arrived at 0900/22nd.
The destroyers were detached and returned before
Minelaying cruiser MANXMAN departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Loch Alsh, where she arrived at
Convoy ON.39 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 22nd by destroyers
DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, SHERWOOD, SKATE, and VETERAN, corvettes ANEMONE,
THYME, and VERONICA, and anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN, ST KENAN, and ST
ZENO, and VIZALMA. The destroyers were detached on the 27th and rest of the
escorts on the 29th when relieved by American destroyers BADGER, COLE, DECATUR, LIVERMORE, and PLUNKETT and Coast Guard cutter CAMPBELL. The
American ships were detached when the convoy was dispersed on 4 December.
T/A/Sub Lt (A) C. Don RNVR, was killed when his
Hurricane of 760 Squadron crashed after engine failure near Shepton Mallet.
British motor launch ML.219 was grounded off
Stornoway and was declared a constructive total loss.
British drifter ROWAN TREE (91grt) ran aground and capsized at the entrance
to Lowestoft Harbour.
German steamer BESSHEIM (1774grt) was sunk on a
mine laid by Russian submarine K 21 on the 10th off Hammerfest.
Italian light cruiser CARDONA departed Brindisi, unescorted, carrying gasoline for Benghazi, where she arrived on the 22nd.
Early on the 22nd, the cruiser reported an
unsuccessful submarine attack, but there are no details of a submarine.
Destroyer WILD SWAN departed Gibraltar for Freetown to rejoin the South Atlantic Command.
Anti-submarine trawler SCOTTISH intercepted French
fishing ketch PETITE ANNICK 20 miles 280° from Cape
Espicehl and sent her to Gibraltar, arriving on the 23rd.
Submarine URGE arrived at Malta after patrol off Cephalonia.
Dutch submarine O.21 unsuccessfully attacked a
convoy in the Tyrrhenian
A Shark of 750 Squadron was lost in the sea while
on a reconnaisance exercise from Ponta Delgada. T/Lt (A) H. V. Hicks RNVR, was lost.
Convoy HX.161 departed Halifax escorted by destroyers ANNAPOLIS and HAMILTON. The destroyers were relieved on the
23rd by American destroyers BERNADOU, DUPONT, LEA, MACLEISH, ROE, and WOOLSEY. Corvettes ANEMONE,
THYME, and VERONICA joined on 2 December. On the 24th, destroyer DUPONT is
damaged in a collision with Norwegian tanker THORSHOVDI. On 3 December, the
American destroyers were relieved by destroyers DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, and VETERAN. Destroyer LEAMINGTON and corvettes ANEMONE and THYME were detached on 5
December. Anti-submarine trawler KIRKELLA joined on 6 December and escorted the
convoy into Liverpool, arriving on 6 December.
Saturday, 22 November
Battleship NELSON, escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR
and ICARUS, departed Scapa
Flow for Rosyth at 1830.
Destroyer ECLIPSE was ordered to leave monitor
EREBUS off Duncansby Head and join the escort, but the destroyer was unable
to proceed due to bad weather and returned to Scapa Flow at 2230.
Battleship NELSON arrived at Rosyth at 1100/23rd.
The destroyers returned to Scapa
Flow, arriving at 1640
French submarine MINERVE departed Dundee for patrol off the Norwegian coast.
On the 23rd, the submarine experienced mechanical
problems and was diverted to Scapa
Flow for repairs,
arriving on the 24th.
Submarine MINERVE was able to departed Scapa Flow on the 25th for patrol.
Anti-submarine trawler ST APOLLO (580grt, T/Lt R.
H. Marchington RNVR) was sunk in a collision with destroyer SARDONYX off the
Hebrides in 59-13N, 7-41W.
Destroyer PUNJABI, en route from Hvalfjord to Scapa Flow, was ordered to proceed to assist. On arrival, the
trawler had already sunk. Destroyer PUNJABI escorted destroyer SARDONYX to
At the Minches, destroyer SARDONYX proceeded
unescorted to Loch Ewe and destroyer PUNJABI proceeded to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1700/23rd.
Submarine SEAWOLF unsuccessfully attacked a steamer
three and a half miles from Syltefjord.
Norwegian steamer BESTUM (2215grt) was damaged by
German bombing off Platters near Harwich.
Swedish tanker UNO (408grt) was sunk on a mine three miles off the
entrance to Memel.
One crewman was lost on the tanker.
German fishing vessel GERTRUD KAMPF (471grt) was
sunk on a mine near Libau.
British schooner MARIA DI GIOVANNI (255grt, T/Lt
A.B. Palmer RNR) was lost when she grounded west of Tobruk.
Palmer, T/Lt J. Lucas RNR, and the crew were taken prisoner.
Dutch submarine O.21 sank Italian sailing ship
SAN SALVATORE (92grt) off Sardinia in 41-25N, 10-42E.
Destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, LEGION, and GURKHA
of the 19th Destroyer Flotilla departed Gibraltar for exercises and to carry out an anti-submarine
Corvette SPIRAEA departed Gibraltar escorting Norwegian tanker THORSHAVET and then to
meet arriving tanker VELMA.
On the 23rd, anti-submarine trawlers LADY HOGARTH
and STELLA CARINA were ordered to join the outward escort.
Corvete GERANIUM departed Gibraltar on the 29th to provide additional escort.
On 1 December, the tanker and corvette SPIRAEA
arrived at Gibraltar.
Convoy ST.9 departed Freetown, escorted by corvettes ARMERIA, BURDOCK, and
WALLFLOWER. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on the 27th.
Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE sank German raider ATLANTIS in the South Atlantic off
U.124 took the lifeboats the cruiser in tow. On the
24th, supply ship PYTHON was met and the survivors were taken aboard.
The German ship in her cruise had sunk twenty two
allied ships for 145,697 tons in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES met Australian light
cruiser ADELAIDE in Cook Strait and
took over convoy VK 21.
Light cruiser ACHILLES departed the convoy on the
24th two hundred and fifty miles east of Chatham
Island and proceeded to Navulu Passage.
Convoy SC.56 departed Sydney, CB escorted by corvettes DRUMHELLER, and
SUMMERSIDE, and minesweepers GEORGIAN and THUNDER. These corvettes were
detached on the 24th when the convoy was joined by destroyer RESTIGOUCHE and
corvettes AGASSIZ, ALYSSE, AMHURST, BITTERSWEET, CHICOUTIMI, MORDEN, and ORILLIA. Corvette ALYSSE was detached on 4 December,
destroyer RESTIGOUCHE and corvettes AGASSIZ, AMHERST, CHICOUTIMMI, MORDEN, and ORILLIA on 5 December. Sloop COMMANDANT DETROYAT joined on
5 December and destroyers BEAGLE and MONTGOMERY, corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS, and
anti-submarine trawler LADY MADELEINE joined on 6 December. Destroyer
MONTGOMERY was detached on 8 December and the rest of the escorts on 9
December before the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 December.
Sunday, 23 November
Monitor EREBUS with destroyers WITCH and VANQUISHER
departed Scapa Flow at 1230 to carry out practices west of the
Orkneys, then proceed to Londonderry on completion.
The ships arrived at Londonderry at 0900/25th.
Heavy cruiser KENT departed Hvalfjord to replace heavy cruiser NORFOLK on the Faroes - Iceland patrol.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK proceeded to Hvalfjord, arriving on the 24th.
Destroyers FORESIGHT, FURY, and FORESTER departed
the Biscay patrol to join convoy SL.92 and then proceed to Londonderry.
The destroyers joined the convoy on the 24th.
On the 25th, destroyers FURY and FORESIGHT departed
the convoy for Londonderry, arriving on the 27th. They departed Londonderry on the 28th and arrived at Scapa Flow on the 29th to join the Home Fleet. Destroyer
FORESTER departed Londonderry on the 29th and arrived at Scapa Flow on the 30th to join the Home Fleet.
Heavy cruiser HAWKINS, escorted by destroyer
BLENCATHRA, arrived at Portsmouth from the East
The heavy cruiser was refitting at Portsmouth from 7 December to 7 May.
Swedish steamer HEDDA (1498grt) was sunk on a mine
north of Borkum.
The entire crew were rescued.
Landing ship GLENROY, with supplies for Tobruk, was
damaged by an aerial torpedo in 31-40N, 26-28E. She was taken in tow by
anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, escorted by destroyers AVONVALE and ERIDGE and
beached at Mersa Matruh.
The troops on the landing ship were transferred to destroyer
FARNDALE which carried them to Tobruk.
Destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, KIPLING, JACKAL, and
HASTY were ordered to assist the landing ship. Sloop FLAMINGO and tug ST
ISSEY departed Alexandria.
Ship GLENROY was refloated on the 27th and taken in
tow by tugs ST ISSEY and ST MONACE. Escorted by destroyers two anti-submarine
trawlers, later reinforced by destroyer AVONVALE, and later by destroyers
FARNDALE and ERIDGE. The landing ship arrived at Alexandria on the 29th.
British tanker TONELINE and steamer GEBIL KEBIR
departed Tobruk escorted by destroyer HEYTHROP, Australian sloop YARRA, and
three anti-submarine trawlers.
While light cruiser CARDONA was returning from
Benghazi, Italian steamer ADRIATICO (1976grt) departed
Reggio, unescorted for
Italian steamer VINICOLO departed Trapani for Tripoli.
Italian steamer BOSFORO (3567grt), escorted by
destroyer STRALE, departed Benghazi to return to Brindisi.
Italian steamer FABIO FILZI (6836grt) with
destroyers USODIMARE and SAETTA departed Trapani for Tripoli.
Destroyer SEBENICO and torpedo boat CENTAURO joined
the steamer from Tripoli.
German steamers MARITZA (2910grt) and PROCIDA
(1842grt), carrying fuel for the Luftwaffe and escorted by Italian torpedo boats
LUPO and CASSIOPEA, departed Piraeus for Benghazi.
T/Sub Lt (A) A. J. C. Willis RNVR, was killedwhen
his Hurricane of 806 Squadron from GREBE crashed at Bir el Gu.
Dutch submarine O.21 unsuccessfully attacked a
convoy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Corvette GERANIUM arrived at Gibraltar, escorting steamer EMPIRE PANTHER, after refitting
in the UK.
Monday, 24 November
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Hvalfjord for Denmark Strait patrol.
Battleship RESOLUTION, escorted by destroyers BERKELEY and KUJAWIAK, departed Plymouth for
Scapa Flow to work
The ships arrived at Scapa Flow on the 27th.
Light cruiser KENYA, destroyers BEDOUIN and INTREPID, and Soviet
destroyers GREMYAHCHI and GROMKI departed Murmansk to sweep for German shipping between Nodkyn and
Vardo in Operation AR.
The ships shelled Vardo at 0731 on the 25th.
The ships arrived at back Murmansk later on the 25th.
Destroyer PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for the Tyne to carry out refitting.
The destroyer arrivedat 0730/25th.
Destroyer ICARUS departed Scapa Flow at 2330 for Hvalfjord to join the Commander in
Chief Home Fleet.
The destroyer arrived at Hvalfjord at 0830/27th.
Landing ship PRINCE LEOPOLD, escorted by MGB.316,
MGB.312, MGB.314, and MGB.317, landed troops on the coast of Normandy in Operation SUNSTAR.
After information was gained, the ships returned to
T/Sub Lt (A) L. A. C. Michell RNVR, was killed when
his Albacore of 767/769 Squadrons crashed near Abroath during exercises.
Submarine SEAWOLF unsuccessfully attacked a convoy
of steamers ASUNCION, GRAZIELLA, and WENDINGEN in 70-30N, 30-30E in
British steamer ARDENZA (933grt) was damaged by German
bombing in 54B, ten miles southeast of Orfordness.
The steamer arrived at Great Yarmouth on the 25th.
German motor torpedo boats S.50, S.51, S.52, S.109,
and S.110 of the 4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla attacked convoy FS.654east
British tanker VIRGILIA (5723grt) was sunk by S.109
three miles north east of Hearty Knoll Buoy.
Twenty three crewmen, including seven gunners, were
missing on the tanker. Seventeen survivors were picked up by ML.150 and
Dutch steamer GROENLO (1984grt) was sunk by S.52
one and a half miles 28° from 52E Buoy.
One crewman was killed and nine crewmen were
British steamer BLAIRNEVIS (4155grt) was damaged by
German motor torpedo boat S.51 off Hearty Knoll, 52-20N, 1-59E.
The steamer was beached at Great Yarmouth Roads.
She was refloated and towed to London on 16-17 December for repairs. The crew had
abandoned ship and ML.150 rescued the crewmen.
Destroyers WESTMINSTER and SOUTHDOWN both reported sinking German
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT, and BARHAM
and destroyersJERVIS, GRIFFIN,
and DECOY departed Alexandria to support operations by Force K. Five other
destroyers were still oiling when the Fleet departed.
The Fleet encountered destroyers FARNDALE,
AVONVALE, and ERIDGE in the searched Channel and these destroyers escorted
the Fleet until relieved at 2245 by destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, KIPLING,
JACKAL, and HASTY which had completed fuelling.
Force K with light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and
destroyers LANCE and LIVELY departed Malta on the 23rd to intercept Italian convoys.
Light cruisers AJAX, NEPTUNE, NAIAD, EURYALUS and destroyers KANDAHAR, KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria to act as Force B, but did not make any contact.
Force B swept the coast of Cyrenaica during the night of 25/26 November and arrived at
Alexandria at 1800/26th.
Italian submarine SETTIMBRINI was sighted Force K
at 0503 on the 25th.
Italian convoys were ordered into the nearest
However, the German steamer convoy did not receive
the order and was intercepted by Force K.
On the 24th, both German steamers were sunk and
torpedo boat CASSIOPEA was damaged by splinters.
Force K arrived back at Malta at 0730/25th.
Submarine TRIUMPH sank Italian tug HERCULES
(632grt) and damaged German steamer NORBURG off Heraklion.
Gibraltar with aviation petrol and other stores for Malta.
CLYDE arrived at
Gibraltar after escort duties with RFA oiler DINGLEDALE.
On the 25th, the oiler and corvettes JONQUIL and
COREOPSIS arrived at Gibraltar.
Dutch submarine O.21 sank Italian coastal steamer
UNIONE (216grt) northeast of Troca in 41-06N, 10-02E.
Light cruiser DUNEDIN (Captain R. S. Lovatt, OBE) was sunk by U.124 in
3S, 26W, north of Pernambuco.
Lovatt, Cdr (E) C. R. W. Bolt, T/A/Surgeon Lt Cdr
H. T. L. Broadway RNVR, Paymaster Lt T.B. N. Caws, Sub Lt E. M. French, T/Lt
E. E. Gibson RNVR, T/Sub Lt (E) D. Hanson, Sub Lt J.G. Hollinshead RNR, Lt J. M. Jervelund, Commissioned Gunner (T) H.
Lowey, Lt E.B. Mackay RNVR, Lt (A/Captain) R. H. L. Maul, RM, T/Surgeon Lt C.
J. Milligan RNVR, T/A/Sub Lt R. A. S. Pratt RNR, Paymaster Lt Cdr R. M. P. Skinner, Lt Cdr R. M.
H. Sowdon, Midshipman C. H. S. Wilson, T/Paymaster Lt C. J.G. Wright RNVR,
Midshipman K. R. Dutta, RIN, 330 ratings, and fifty five Marines were
Gunner E. M. Goldfinch, T/Instructor LtG. D. L.
Harcombe, A/Warrant Engineer E. W. J. Hickey, Schoolmaster A. R. Hughes,
T/A/Lt Cdr A. W. Hughes DSC, Cdr E. O. Unwin, T/Sub Lt W. L. Walters RNR, and six ratings died in the water from exposure
and injuries before rescue.
One rating was killed.
Lt Cdr A. O. Watson, which was wounded, Lt G. E.
Milner RNR Rtd, Gunner C B Titheridge, T/Sub Lt E. F.
Jolliffe RNVR, and sixty eight ratings were later rescued by American steamer
NISHMAHA (6076grt) after three days and four nights in the water.
Five of the ratings died on the 28th before
arriving at Trinidad.
British troopship AWATEA departed Singapore with 420 crewmembers for troopship EMPRESS OF
RUSSIA. The troopship was escorted by light cruiser DRAGON to 66-14N, 98E
where light cruiser GLASGOW relieved light cruiser DRAGON.
Light cruiser GLASGOW escorted troopship AWATEA
until 27 November and the troopship arrived at Colombo on the 28th.
Tuesday, 25 November
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed
Scapa Flow for
Seidisfjord for escort duty with convoy PQ.5.
In heavy weather on the 26th, the cruiser was
forced to heave to. The cruiser was able to arrive on the 27th.
Convoy ON.40 departed Liverpool, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers COVENTRY CITY and LADY MADELEINE. The convoy was joined on the
26th by sloop COMMANDANT DETROYAT, corvettes HEATHER and NARCISSUS, and
anti-submarine trawler ARAB. Destroyers BEAGLE and BOADICEA joined on the
27th. The escorts were detached on the 30th when relieved by destroyers COLUMBIA and
corvettes ACONIT, GALT, SHEDIAC, and WETASKIWIIN. The convoy was
dispersed on 4 December.
Minesweeper FITZROY departed Scapa Flow for the Faroes to resume minesweeping duties.
British drifter FISHER GIRL (85grt, T/Electrician
J. W. Parsons RNVR) was sunk by German bombing at Falmouth
Armed patrol trawler JACQUES MORGAND (155grt) was
sunk by German bombing at Falmouth.
Convoy OG.77 departed Liverpool escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and FOWEY and
corvettes CAMPION, HELIOTROPE, LA MALOUINE, and MALLOW.
On the 26th, destroyer HARVESTER escorted the
convoy through the day. She was then detached and proceeded to Gibraltar, arriving on 2 December.
Corvette MALLOW was detached on the 28th and
corvettes BLUEBELL, CARNATION, MYOSOTIS, and STONECROP joined the escort.
Destroyers HESPERUS and HARVESTER departed Gibraltar on 7 December and joined the escort on 9 December.
Destroyer HIGHLANDER proceeded to the escort after completing current duties.
Destroyer HARVESTER was recalled on 10 December.
Escorts were detached to accompany ships proceeding
to Portuguese or Spanish ports on 9 December. The escorts detached rejoined
Sloop DEPTFORD and corvettes VETCH, SAMPHIRE,
PENSTEMON, and CONVOLVULUS departed Gibraltar on an
anti-submarine sweep on 9 December and joined the convoy on 13 December for
The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 13 December.
British troopships ROYAL ULSTERMAN and ROYAL
MONARCH arrived at Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE.
Soviet destroyer LENINGRAD was mined off Hango.
The destroyer was repaired.
German auxiliary patrol vessel Vp.412 (trawler
BREMERHAVEN, 416grt) was sunk near St Pol by a British motor
The vessel was later salved and returned to service
Battleship BARHAM (Captain G. C. Cooke) was sunk by
U.331 in 32-34N, 26-24E off Sollum.
Cooke, T/Paymaster Sub Lt A. J. Allsebrook RNVR, Lt
Cdr (E) G. A. O. Andrews, Lt Cdr F. Barchard, T/A/Warrant Electrician T. R.
Barnacott, T/Lt (E) A. Bisset, T/Sub Lt K. M. H. Bond RNVR, P/T/Midshipman
R.G. Bower RNR, Midshipman T. P. Boyd, Warrant Engineer N. E.
Boyes, CdrG. F. N. Bradford, Lt Cdr W. L. Brodrick, T/Chaplain the Reverend
F. Burnett RNVR, Paymaster Lt J. Charles, Midshipman R. E. Cloete, Lt J. M.
Corrie, RM, Cdr R. H. Craske DSC. Lt H. Creasy,Commissioned Boatswain E. T.
Ford, Commissioned Gunner C. H. George, Warrant Mechanic W. J. O. Goodlad, Lt
Cdr D. Grove-White, Midshipman W. T. Hickling, Lt C. St.G. S. Hill, RM,
Senior Master CB Hockaday, Midshipman A. E. Hutton RNR, T/Midshipman W. J. Jennings RNR, Midshipman the Honourable J. C. Jocelyn,
A/Paymaster Sub Lt D. M. Lawder, T/Paymaster Sub Lt H. F. Lacheur RNVR, T/Lt
(E) N. C. Lewis, Lt J. W. Lochore, Warrant Supply Officer S. W. Lowes,
T/Midshipman W.G. W. Maplesden RNR, A/Lt (E) R. C. V. Molesworth, CdrG. P. U. Morris
DSC, Warrant TelegraphistG. M. Pennington, T/Lt (E) F. V. Percival, Lt W.G.
L. Peters, Paymaster Lt D. A. Phillips RNVR, CaptainG. S. Pitts, RM,
T/Midshipman J. H. Reid RNR, Lt Cdr
J. R. Roberts-West DSC, T/Paymaster Lt J. C. Robertson RNVR, Lt J. K.
Rodwell, Midshipman H. T.B. Salmon, T/Surgeon Lt A. E. Sherwell RNVR, Surgeon
Cdr E. R. Sorley, Commissioned Gunner A. E. Stanley, Lt (E) H.B. Stringer,
Paymaster Midshipman F. H. Twycross, Signal Boatswain J.G. Warren, T/Lt R. S.
Watson RNVR, Engineering Cdr H. R. Whitehouse, Paymaster Cdr H.G. Williams,
Lt S. Woodcock, six hundred and seventy four ratings, and one hundred and
thirty two Marines were missing from the battleship.
Two ratings and one Marine died of wounds after
About four hundred and fifty survivors, including
Vice Admiral Pridham Wippell were rescued by destroyers JERVIS, JACKAL,
NIZAM, which rescued 168 men, and HOTSPUR.
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT and
destroyers NAPIER, GRIFFIN, HASTY, DECOY, HOTSPUR, and KIPLING arrived at
Alexandria at 1000/26th. Destroyers JERVIS, NIZAM, and JACKAL
arrived at Alexandria at 1400.
After the loss of battleship BARHAM, submarine OTUS
was withdrawn from operational duties for use as an anti-submarine warfare
Destroyer THRASHER sank Italian armed merchant
cruiser ATTILO DEFFENU (3510grt) near Brindisi in 40-37N, 18-27E from a Patrasso - Brindisi convoy of steamers CATERINA MADRE (4019grt) and
Submarine THUNDERBOLT sank German steamer LVII with
gunfire off Cape Malea.
Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE with troopships ROYAL
SCOTSMAN, ROYAL ULSTERMAN, and ULSTER MONARCH arrived at Gibraltar after
departing Freetown on the 17th. The troopships were originally escorted by
destroyer VELOX and corvette CLOVER. The corvette was later relieved by
Destroyers LAFOREY, LEGION, LIGHTNING, GURKHA, and
ISAAC SWEERS departed Gibraltar at 0400 and destroyers WISHART and BRADFORD
departed at 1630 to carry out an anti-submarine sweep.
On the 27th, destroyer LEGION attacked a submarine
contact in 35-40N, 07-26W.
Wednesday, 26 November
Armed merchant cruiser CAPE
SABLE departed Oban for Scapa
Flow, arriving on the
27th to conduct working up practices.
Submarine P.36 made an unsuccessful attack on a
submarine in 47-16N, 3-20W.
German steamer EGERAN (1143grt) was sunk on a mine
British transport ships carrying tanks departed
Port Said for Alexandria escorted by sloop FLAMINGO, corvettes SALIVA,
HYACINTH, and ERICA, and Greek destroyers KONDOURIOTIS and ASPIS from Alexandria.
Anti-aircraft ship CARLISLE departed Alexandria and joined the convoy off Port Said.
The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 27th.
Japanese carrier forces for the Pearl
Harbour attack departed Tankan
The force was composed of aircraft carriers AKAGI
and KAGA of the 1st Carrier Division, SORYU and HIRYU of the 2nd Carrier
Division, and SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU of the 5th Carrier Division, light cruiser
ABUKUMA of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla with destroyers TANIKAZE, URAKAZE,
ISOKAZE, HAMAKAZE of the 17th Destroyer Division, KASUMI, ARARE, KAGERO,
SHIRANUHI of the 18th Destroyer Division, and AKIGUMO of the 10th Destroyer
Division, battle cruisers HIEI and KIRISHIMA of the 1st Battleship Division,
and heavy cruisers TONE and CHIKUMA of the 8th Cruiser Squadron.
Submarines I.19, I.21, and I.23 were deployed to
support the force.
The supply train consisted of eight tankers and
Destroyers SAZANAMI and USHIO of 7th Destroyer
Division were sailed to shell Midway
Thursday, 27 November
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed Hvalfjord for the west Denmark Strait patrol.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed Hvalfjord for the
north Faroes-Iceland patrol area.
Heavy cruiser KENT changed to the south Faroes-Iceland area patrol area.
Convoy ON.41 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvettes CALENDULA, CELANDINE,
GENTIAN, HONEYWUCKLE, PERIWINKLE, and ROSE. Corvette PERIWINKLE was detached
on the 28th. Destroyer VANOC joined on the 29th and destroyer CALDWELL on the
30th. Destroyers CALDWELL and VANOC and corvettes CALENDULA and ROSE were
detached on 4 December when relieved by American destroyers BABBITT, LEARY,
MAYO, NICHOLSON, and SCHENCK. Corvette HONEYSUCKLE was detached on 5 December
and corvettes CELANDINE and GENTIAN on 6 December. The American destroyers
were detached on 10 December. Corvette LETHBRIDGE was with the convoy on 11 December when the convoy
Destroyer BEAUFORT departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for the Clyde to boiler clean prior to transfer to the
The destroyer arrived in the Clyde at 0700/28th.
Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed the Humber at 0900 for Scapa
Flow following her
The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 0530/28th.
Scapa Flow at 1800 on completion of docking and repairs. The
destroyer was to rendezvous with convoy DS.17 in position 16½ miles 192° from
Skerryvore at 1100/28th.
Destroyer MONTROSE departed Scapa Flow at 2100 to rejoin the Nore Command following her
working up period.
The destroyer was to provide additional escort for
convoy FS.659 en route. At 2200, destroyer MONTROSE was ordered to
investigate an RDF contact to the east of the Orkneys. This was found to be
British fishing trawler PORT ARTHUR.
Convoy PQ.5 departed Hvalfjord at 1030 with
steamers BRIARWOOD (4019grt), EMPIRE STEVENSON (6209grt), Soviet PETROVSKI
(3771grt), TREHATA (4817grt), CHUMLEIGH (5445grt), Soviet KOMILES (3962grt),
and ST CLEARS (4312grt), escorted by minesweepers SHARPSHOOTER, HAZARD, and
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Seidisfjord early on the 30th and joined
the convoy in 70-20N, 5-00W at 0900/30th. The light cruiser continued with
the convoy to 7 December, when she was detached to Murmansk.
Minesweepers HAZARD and HEBE were detached on 7
December with light cruiser SHEFFIELD and proceeded to Murmansk, arriving at 1030 on 8 December.
Minesweepers BRAMBLE and SEAGULL departed Murmansk on 5 December and joined the convoy on 7 December.
They escorted the convoy with minesweeper SHARPSHOOTER to its arrival at
Archangel on 13 December.
Convoy QP.3 departed Archangel with steamers Soviet ANDRE MARTI (2352grt), EMPIRE
BAFFIN (6978grt), HARTLEBURY (5082grt), ORIENT CITY (5095grt), Soviet REVOLUTSIONER (2900grt), Soviet
ARCOS (2343grt), HARPALION (5486grt), Soviet KUZBASS (3109grt), QUEEN CITY (4814grt), and TEMPLE ARCH (5138grt).
Minesweeper HUSSAR escorted the convoy from 27
November to 9 December and minesweeper GOSSAMER escorted the convoy from 27
November to 10 December. These minesweepers took Russian ships to Kirkwall on dispersal of the convoy.
Steamers ARCOS and KUZBASS returned to Archangel with defects.
Destroyers BEDOUIN and INTREPID, carrying officers
and other ranks of RAF 151 Wing from Operation STRENGTH, departed Murmansk at
1500/27th to join the convoy and provide escort at 1200/28th to 2 December at
Light cruiser KENYA, carrying 200 personnel from 151 Wing which had
arrived in Operation STRENGTH, departed Murmansk on the 28th. The cruiser joined the convoy at
daylight on the 29th and escorted the convoy to 3 December.
The convoy was dispersed on 3 December at 0300 in
73-45N, 19-00E. The British ships proceeded to Seidisfjord. They were
escorted from Seidisfjord to Kirkwall from 9 to 12 December by British trawlers MACBETH
Destroyers BEDOUIN and INTREPID arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700 on 5 December.
Light cruiser KENYA arrived at Rosyth on 6 December for repairs and to
disemark to RAF personnel.
Minesweeper HUSSAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 1600 on 9 December.
Minesweeper GOSSAMER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200 on 11 December, carrying Soviet Commodore
Egipko, which was to be the liaison officer with the Home Fleet, to be
accomodate in battlecruiser RENOWN.
German raider KOMET departed Cherbourg early on the 27th, escorted by torpedo boats T.7,
T.4, and T.11 and minesweepers M.10 and M.153. The cruiser spent the day in
Le Havre and departed that night with the three torpedo
boats, five minesweepers, and six R boats.
Early on the 28th, the Dover Command was involved
in attacking the merchant cruiser off Boulogne and Dunkirk as it returned to Germany.
MTB.218, MTB.219, MTB.221, and MTB.56 had departed Dover and proceeded to number 8 buoy. MTB.45, MTB.44, MTB.47, and MTB.48 had departed Dover and proceeded to S.buoy. MGB.14 and MGB.41 had
departed Ramsgate and proceeded to V buoy.
En route MTB.221, MTB.56, and MTB.48 developed engine troubles and returned to
Cruiser KOMET was undamaged, but MTB.219 damaged one of the escorts which was last seen
with three R boats standing by.
The Coxswain of MTB.219 was wounded and later died of wounds.
Torpedo boat T.4 was damaged by fire from T.12, and
a dud fired by one of the minesweepers. One of the MTBs caused personnel
casualties on the torpedo boat with machine gun fire, wounding four,
including the commanding officer. T.7 was also hit by machine gun fire, causing
three dead and three wounded.
The German ship arrived in Hamburg on the 30th after a cruise in which she sank 6 1/2
ships (seven sinkings were shared) for 42,959grt).
Light cruisers AJAX and NEPTUNE with destroyers KINGSTON and KIMBERLEY as Force B departed Alexandria on the 27th for duty at Malta, where they arrived on the 29th.
Light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS and destroyers
HOTSPUR and GRIFFIN as Force C departed Alexandria in company for cover for the first part of the
voyage. They were to sweep off Cyrenaica then
return to Alexandria on the 28th.
British steamer HANNE (1360grt), carrying
ammunition for Tobruk, departed Alexandria on the 25th escorted by destroyer
AVONVALE, Australian sloop PARRAMATTA, and South African anti-submarine
whalers SOUTHERN MAID, SOUTHERN SEA, and SOUTHERN ISLE.
Australian sloop PARRAMATTA (A/Cdr J. H. Walker, MVO RAN) was sunk on the 27th
by U.559 off Bardia.
Walker, Lt Cdr P. W. Forwood RANR, LtG. W. A. Langford,
T/Lt V. V. Johnston RANR (S), T/Lt K. R. Hunter RANR (S), Lt A. Moore RANVR,
Surgeon Lt C. F. Harrington RANR, Commissioned Engineer R. P. Oram, A/Gunner
(T) A. J. Brown, and 151 ratings were lost. Forwood and Johnston dying in the
ship's boat. Twenty one ratings were rescued by destroyer AVONVALE and three
ratings successfully swam ashore.
Also, passengers, Lt R. H. S. Litchfield and seven
ratings, formerly of gunboat GNAT, were lost on the sloop.
Steamer HANNE safely arrived at Tobruk.
Submarine PROTEUS sighted a submarine sixty miles
northwest of Alexandria late on the 27th. However, the reported was
delayed and not received until 0800/28th.
Destroyers GRIFFIN and HERO were sent to hunt in the area, despite
the lateness of the report.
Later destroyers HASTY and NIZAM, returning from a
supply run to Tobruk, joined the hunt.
Submarine UPHOLDER unsuccessfully attacked a
northbound tanker off eastern Tunisia.
Submarine TRUSTY unsuccessfully attacked an
unescorted tanker off Argostoli.
Submarine UTMOST arrived at Malta after patrol off Del Armi.
Polish submarine SOKOL arrived at Malta after patrol off Navarino.
Convoy HX.162 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyers ANNAPOLIS and HAMILTON and corvette COBALT. The escorts were detached on
the 29th when relieved by American destroyers CHARLES F. HUGHES, LANSDALE, MADISON, STURTEVANT, and WILKES. The American group was relieved on
7 December by destroyers CALDWELL and VANOC and corvettes CALENDULA, GENTIAN,
and HONEYSUCKLE. These escorts, less destroyer CALDWELL, were detached on 10
December. Destroyer CALDWELL and the convoy arrived at
Liverpool on 11 December.
Friday, 28 November
Battleship KING GEORGE V, aircraft carrier
VICTORIOUS, heavy cruiser NORFOLK,
and destroyers ASHANTI, TARTAR, ESKIMO, SOMALI, MATABELE, ECHO, and ESCAPADE departed Hvalfjord at 1400 for Scapa Flow, arriving on the 30th at 1200.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed the Faroes - Iceland patrol for Scapa Flow, where she arrived on the 29th.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed the Denmark Strait patrol, upon relief by heavy cruiser SUFFOLK, for Hvalfjord, where she arrived later that day.
Destroyers FURY and FORESIGHT departed Londonderry at 1300 for Scapa Flow, arriving at 0930/29th.
Minelayer MENETHEUS, escorted by destroyer
LANCASTER, laid minefield SN.25B.
German steamer HENNY (764grt) was lost on a mine
German steamer GERDA FERDINAND (3727grt) foundered
north of Stockholm.
Dutch submarine O.21 sank U.95 east of Gibraltar in 36-21N, 03-27W.
The submarine rescued the German commanding
officer, three other officers, and eight ratings. Thirty three crewmen were
lost in the submarine.
The submarine arrived back at Gibraltar on the 28th.
Force K of light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and
destroyers LANCE and LIVELY departed Malta to intercept enemy destroyers thought to be
No contact was made and Force K returned to Malta on the 29th.
T/Sub Lt (A) E. H. Walshe RNVR, and T/Sub Lt (E) J.
H. Lewis of 828 Squadron from ST ANGELO, were taken prisoner after their
Albacore aircraft was lost after a night attack on Castel Benito.
Italian steamer PRIARUGGIA (1196grt) was sunk by
British bombing at Benghazi.
Convoy SC.57 departed Sydney, CB escorted by corvettes BATTLEFORD, KAMSACK, and
SHAWNIGAN, and minesweeper NIPIGON. Corvettes KAMSACK, and SHAWNIGAN and
minesweeper NIPIGON were detached on the 30th when relieved by corvettes
ARVIDA, FENNEL, POLYANTHUS, PRIMROSE, SHERBROOKE, and TRAIL. Corvette FENNEL
was detached on 1 December and destroyer OTTAWA joined. Corvettes ALISMA, KINGCUP, and SUNFLOWER
and anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA and LE TIGER joined on 9 December.
Destroyer OTTAWA and corvettes ARVIDA, BATTLEFORD, POLYANTHUS,
PRIMROSE, SHERBROOKE, and TRAIL were detached on 9 December. Destroyers
SABRE and SKATE joined on 10 December. Destroyers SABRE and SKATE, corvettes
ALISMA, KINGCUP, and SUNFLOWER, and the trawlers were detached on 13
December. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 15
American aircraft carrier ENTERPRISE departed Pearl
Harbour accompanied by battleships ARIZONA, NEVADA, and OKLAHOMA of
Battleship Division 1, heavy cruisers CHESTER, NORTHAMPTON, and SALT LAKE
Cruiser Division 5, Commander Destroyer Flotilla 2 in light cruiser DETROIT,
and destroyers HENLEY, HELM, BLUE,
BAGLEY, MUGFORD, RALPH TALBOT, JARVIS, and PATTERSON of Destroyer Squadron 4
and destroyers BALCH, GRIDLEY, CRAVEN, MCCALL, MAURY, DUNLAP, FANNING,
BENHAM, and ELLET of Destroyer Squadron 6.
The battleships, light cruiser DETROIT, and Destroyer Squadron 4 were detached out of
sighted of land for exercises and the aircraft carrier with Cruiser Division
5 and Destroyer Squadron 6 to Wake Island.
On 4 December, twelve Marine aircraft of VMF.211
were flown off to Wake.
Saturday, 29 November
Heavy cruiser KENT departed the Faroes - Iceland patrol for Scapa Flow where she arrived on the 30th.
Destroyer CHIDDINGFOLD departed Scapa Flow at 1000 to meet Floating Dock XIV on passage up
the east coast in tow of steamer EMPIRE LARCH and escorted by trawlers SCALBY
WYKE and PRESTON NORTH END.
Destroyer CHIDDINGFOLD arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 30th.
Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed Scapa Flow at 1400 for Scrabster to embark Rear Admiral
Destroyers Home Fleet and his staff for passage to Scapa Flow.
The destroyer arrived back at 1730.
Destroyer FORESTER departed Londonderry at 1718 for Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 1130/30th.
The German 4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla attacked
convoy FN 564 northwest of Cromer.
Motor torpedo boat S.51 sank British steamer
CORMARSH (2848grt) a half mile north of 58 A Buoy, 53-16N, 1-04E.
The entire crew were rescued.
Motor torpedo boat S.52 sank British steamer EMPIRE
NEWCOMEN (2840grt) five miles south of Dudgeon Light.
Ten crewmen were lost on the steamer.
Motor torpedo boat S.64 sank British tanker
ASPERITY (699grt) in 53-11N, 1-07E.
Ten crewmen were missing on the tanker.
MGB.86 and MGB.89 engaged the German ships and
U.43 sank British steamer THORNLIEBANK (5569grt),
from convoy OS.12, in 41-50N, 29-48W.
The entire crew were lost on the steamer.
Italian steamers ISEO (2366grt) and CAPO FARO (3476grt) escorted by torpedo boat PROCIONE
departed Brindisi for Benghazi.
On the 30th, steamer CAPO FARO was sunk and steamer ISEO was damaged by Malta aircraft in 37-28N, 19-20E. Torpedo boat PROCIONE
escorted steamer ISEO to Argostoli.
Steamer SEBASTIANO VENIER (6311grt) departed Taranto with destroyer DA VERAZZANO.
Steamer ADRIATICO, unescorted, departed Argostoli
At 0330 on 1 December, after being sighted by Malta aircraft, the steamer was sunk by Force K fifty
six miles north of Benghazi.
Tanker VOLTURNO with torpedo boats ARETUSA and
PEGASO departed Navarino for Benghazi.
On the 29th, tanker VOLTURNO was damaged by Malta based aircraft and was forced to return to port.
Steamer IRIDIO MANTOVANI (10,540grt) with destroyer
DA MOSTA departed Trapani for Tripoli.
On 1 December, submarine THUNDERBOLT sighted
MANTOVANI which was badly damaged by Malta aircraft.
Destroyer DA MOSTA was rescuing survivors when
Force K arrived and sank the destroyer in 33-50N, 12-50E, sixty miles north,
northwest of Tripoli. Force K also scuttled the wreck of the steamer.
These movements were covered by light cruisers
AOSTA, MONTECUCCOLI, and ATTENDOLO with destroyers AVIERE, CAMICIA NERA, and
The cruisers were unsuccessfully attacked seventy
miles south of Taranto by Submarine UPROAR.
This group joined the VENIER convoy on the 30th.
On 1 December, the cruisers were again successfully
attacked, this time by submarine UPHOLDER.
Steamer VENIER arrived at Benghazi on 2 December.
Battleship DUILO, light cruiser GARIBALDI, and
destroyers GRANATIERE, ALPINO, BERSAGLIERE, FUCLIERE, CORAZZIERE, and
CARABINIERE departed Taranto
However, the DUILO group is held up by engine
problems on cruiser GARIBALDI and heavy weather.
Italian tanker BERBERA (2093grt), which had arrived
at Navarino on the 24th to avoid British forces, was sunk by British bombing
Light cruiser GALATEA departed Suez.
British whaler EGELAND (153grt) was lost when she
ran aground on the Palestine coast.
French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC departed Gibraltar to return to the UK.
Gibraltar to patrol in the area 35-50N, 3-20W.
British troopship KAROA departed Rangoon with 115 military personnel for Calcutta. The troopship was given cover by heavy cruiser
EXETER and arrived on 2 December.
Sunday, 30 November
Heavy cruiser BERWICK, carrying RAF personnel of
151 Wing brought to Russia in Operation STRENGTH, and destroyer ONSLOW and
OFFA departed Murmansk at 1600 for Scapa Flow.
The force was carrying out a search for enemy shipping
between Tanafjord and North
Cape on 1 December.
The operation was later cancelled and the force
proceeded to Scapa Flow.
Destroyer ONSLOW was detached to Hvalfjord,
arriving at 0805 on 7 December. Destroyer OFFA, having been delayed by
weather, arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1200 on 7
December. Cruiser BERWICK took shelter at Kirkwall on 7 December and arrived at
Scapa Flow on 8 December.
Armed merchant cruiser CITY OF DURBAN arrived at Scapa Flow from the Nore to work up.
Convoy OS.13 departed Liverpool.
On 1 December, destroyer ROCKINGHAM, sloops LEITH, ROCHESTER, SANDWICH, and
the convoy. The destroyer was detached on 11 December, sloop SCARBOROUGH on 3 December, and the other sloops on 18
On 17 December, the convoy was joined by destroyer
VIMY, corvettes BERGMOT and CLOVER, and anti-submarine trawler SOUTHERN GEM which arrived at Freetown with the convoy on 20 December.
U.43 sank British steamer ASHBY (4868grt),
straggling from convoy OS.12, in 36-54N, 29-51W.
Twelve crewmen and five gunners were lost on the
U.206 was sunk by a British Whitley bomber of 502
Squadron west of Nantes, in 46-55N, 7-16W.
The entire crew of forty six were lost in the
Submarine REGENT departed Malta to return to the United Kingdom. En route, the submarine damaged Italian steamer
Submarine REGENT arrived at Gibraltar on 6 December and at Devonport on 17 December. She
was under repair at Portsmouth until 10 January 1942 when she departed on 16 January for refitting at
Philadelphia, arriving on 16 February. She departed Philadelphia and arrived at Halifax on 15 June for repairs. She was forced to return
to Philadelphia for further repairs from 2 to 20 September.
Submarine URSULA departed Malta for
arriving on 9 December, and Portsmouth on 30 December after patrol in the Bay of Biscay. She proceeded to Chatham for repairs on 8 January 1942. Arriving on 9 January, she was under repair until
OLYMPUS arrived at
petrol and stores.
Destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR, KIPLING, and JACKAL
departed Alexandria to intercept convoys sailing from Navarino to
Light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS with destroyers
HERO and HASTY departed to support the destroyers from the east.
Force B of light cruisers AJAX and NEPTUNE and destroyers KIMBERLEY and KINGSTON and K of light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and
destroyer LIVELY departed Malta at 0500 to intercept Italian forces in the Ionian Sea.
At 2330/30th, Force B detached Force K to intercept
Italian steamer ADRIATICO which was sunk early on 1 December. Destroyer
LIVELY picked up two officers and nineteen ratings from the steamer. Italian
destroyer VERAZZANO later arrived from Tripoli and rescued further survivors.
Force B arrived back at Malta at 1815 on 1 December. Force K returned to Malta at 0730 on 2 December.
Convoy AT.1 departed Alexandria for Tobruk.
The slow section, consisting of steamer ELPIS, tug
ST ISSEY towing two lighters, three landing ship tank A lighters, departed
Alexandria at 1600 escorted by Australian sloop YARRA, sloop FLAMINGO, and
two anti-submarine trawlers. Greek destroyers KONDOURIOTIS accompanied the
convoy was far as Mersa Matruh.
The fast section consisting of armed boarding
vessel CHAKDINA and tanker KIRKLAND departed Alexandria at 2130, escorted by destroyers HEYTHROP and
AVONVALE and one anti-submarine trawler.
Both convoys safely arrived on 2 December.
Italian submarine TRICHECO attached a Destroyer
unsuccessfully in 34-23N, 15-46E.
Italian tanker SPERANZA (445grt) was badly damaged
by British bombing at Benghazi.
The tanker was scuttled on 23 December.
Dutch submarine O.24 departed Gibraltar to patrol off Oran.
Free French destroyer LEOPARD occupies Reunion
Island after an engagement with a
Convoy BA.8 departed Bombay, escorted by light cruiser GLASGOW. The convoy arrived
at Aden on 4 December.
There was no convoy BA.9.
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES met light cruiser LEANDER
Both light cruisers returned to New Zealand.
Convoy SL.94 departed Freetown escorted by destroyers VANSITTART and VELOX to 2
December and STANLEY to 5 December and corvettes LAVENDER and STARWORT to 2
On 2 December, destroyer CLARE, sloops ABERDEEN, ENCHANTRESS, and IBIS, and escort vessels HARTLAND and WALNEY joined to
20 December. Corvette STARWORT joined on 7 December to 12 December.
Destroyer ROCKINGHAM joined on 13 December for that
On 20 December, anti-submarine trawlers COVENTRY CITY and MAN O WAR joined for that day.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 December.
Heavy cruiser CORNWALL captured Vichy French steamer SURCOUF (1129grt)
south of Cape Guardafui at the end of November and sent her into