Background Events - December 1941-February 1942
Harbor attacked, Loss of 'Repulse' & 'Prince
of Wales', Singapore falls, 'Channel Dash' by
German big ships, to February 1942
Monday, 15 December
Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord.
Destroyer WHEATLAND departed Scapa Flow at 0840 and arrived at Lerwick at 1700. The
destroyer sailed in company that day with submarine P.37 and arrived back at
Scapa Flow at 1400/16th.
Destroyers MONTROSE and WORCESTER departed
Sheerness for Scapa Flow for Operation ANKLET. The destroyers called at
Invergordon on the 16th and departed on the 17th. Both destroyers arrived at Scapa Flow on the 17th.
Convoy ON.47 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 16th by destroyer
ROXBOROUGH, sloop COMMANDANT DETROYAT, and corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and
NARCISSUS. American destroyers BENSON, EDISON, HILARY P. JONES, NIBLACK, and
TARBELL joined on the 22nd. The escorts were detached when the convoy
dispersed on the 23rd.
Destroyer LAMERTON departed Falmouth for
Scapa Flow for
Operation ANKLET. The destroyer arrived on the 17th.
Polish destroyer KRAKOWIAK departed Plymouth at 1900 for Scapa Flow, arriving on the 17th.
Submarine TUNA arrived at Scapa Flow from the
Clyde for Operation
Minesweeper HARRIER departed the Humber at 1600 acting as additional escort for convoy FN 78 until its
arrival at Methil. Minesweeper HARRIER
and SALAMANDER departed Aberdeen
at 1900/16th for Scapa Flow, where they arrived on the 17th.
Minesweeper SPEEDWELL departed Greenock after refitting for Scapa
Flow. The minesweeper
arrived on the 17th.
Minesweeper BRITOMART departed Hartlepool after refitting for Scapa Flow.
Canadian troop convoy TC 16 departed Halifax with
steamers CUBA (11,337grt), LETITIA (13,595grt), and PASTEUR
(29,253grt). The convoy was escorted by US destroyers ERICCSON, INGRAHAM, and LUDLOW from 15 to 16 December.
On the 16th, battleship ARKANSAS, light cruiser NASHVILLE, and destroyers ERICCSON, LUDLOW, INGRAHAM, LIVERMORE, EBERLE, and HAMILTON
escorted the convoy until 22 December. This escort group, less INGRAHAM,
arrived at Hvalfjord on the 23rd. On the 25th, the group departed Hvalfjord
On the 22nd, destroyers BLYSKAWICA, HAVELOCK, NEWPORT, and SHERWOOD joined the convoy.
Destroyers HERO and HASTY arrived at Alexandria after escorting empty store ships from Tobruk.
Light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS, antiaircraft
cruiser CARLISLE, and destroyers JERVIS, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, KIPLING, NIZAM, HAVOCK, HASTY, and DECOY departed
Alexandria to escort supply ship BRECONSHIRE from Alexandria to Malta.
At dark on the 16th, antiaircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyer HASTY were detached to
Alexandria with destroyer KINGSTON because she did not have the power to keep up.
Radio deception was being conducted by minelayer
ABDIEL and by antiaircraft CARLISLE and destroyer KINGSTON, returning to Alexandria, to convince the Italians that the Battle Squadron
was also at sea.
Submarines UNBEATEN and UTMOST in the Gulf of
Taranto area reported Italian heavy naval forces at sea.
On the 16th, light cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE and
destroyers LANCE and LIVELY at 1100 and destroyers SIKH, MAORI, LEGION, and
ISAAC SWEERS at 1800 departed Malta to meet supply ship BRECONSHIRE. The destroyer
group from Malta joined CS 15 with light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS, and destroyers
JERVIS, KIMBERLEY, KIPLING, NIZAM, HAVOCK, and DECOY at daylight on
On the 17th, German reconnaissance sighted Vian's
force proceeding towards Malta.
1ST BATTLE OF SIRTE
Supply ship BRECONSHIRE, escorted by destroyers
DECOY and HAVOCK were detached from Vian's force to avoid contact with the
When light cruiser AURORA with Force K.contacted
supply ship BRECONSHIRE, the destroyers DECOY and HAVOCK joined Force K.for
the return to Malta.
Destroyer KIPLING was damaged by a near miss of
German bombing on the 17th and sustained one rating killed. Destroyer JERVIS
sustained one rating wounded by machine gun fire.
Light cruiser NEPTUNE and destroyers JAGUAR and
KANDAHAR departed Malta on the 17th and joined at sea on the 18th.
Light cruiser AJAX was out of action at Malta with mechanical defects.
Destroyer GRIFFIN join antiaircraft ship CARLISLE returning to Alexandria.
On the 18th, U.371 fired torpedoes at the cruisers
NAIAD and EURYALUS group returning to Alexandria.
Destroyer JERVIS reported sinking the submarine in
31-27N, 29-20E, but submarine U.371 escaped damage.
Supply ship BRECONSHIRE, Force K.and Force B
groups, anddestroyers DECOY and HAVOCK arrived at Malta at 1500/18th. The destroyers SIKH, MAORI, and
ISAAC SWEERS joined the Mediterranean Fleet. The Mediterranean Fleet arrived back
at Alexandria during the night of 18/19 December.
Australian destroyer NESTOR sank U.127 off Cape St Vincent, in 36-28N, 9-12W. The entire crew of fifty one
were lost in the submarine.
Sub Lt K. W. Jones, Sub Lt T. E. Richards, and Leading
Airman E. Kennelly were killed when their Albacore of 826 Squadron failed to
return from a bombing raid on Derna.
TORBAY sank three
small Greek caiques off Cape Methene for 50, 42, and 15 tons, respectively.
Submarine UNA, which had departed Holy Loch on the 5th, reported
being attacked by a submarine in 43-00N, 10-30W. The submarine arrived at
Gibraltar on the 19th.
Convoy AT.4 departed Alexandria for Tobruk. The fast section was escorted by
destroyer HEYTHROP, anti-submarine trawler WOLBOROUGH, and anti-submarine
whaler SOUTHERN ISLES.
The slow section was escorted by destroyers HERO
and AVONVALE and anti-submarine trawler COCKER. The slow section arrived on
the 19th. Destroyers HERO and AVONVALE immediately sailed to conduct an
anti-submarine sweep in the Alexandria area.
T/Sub Lt (A) K. W. Jones RNVR, and T/A/Sub Lt (A)
T. E. Richards RNVR, of 826 Squadron from GREBE, were lost when their
Albacore aircraft went missing while on patrol.
Gibraltar with petrol and stores for Malta, arriving on the 21st.
Australian sloop YARRA passed through the Suez Canal to return to Australia.
Sloop YARRA arrived at Colombo on the 30th and Batavia on 11 January for escort duties.
U.77 sank Steamer EMPIRE BARRACUDA (4972grt),
escorted by destroyer WISHART and corvettes GERANIUM, AZALEA, and COLTSFOOT,
in 35-30N, 6-17W. The submarine claimed sinking another steamer.
Thirteen crew were lost on the steamer. Corvette
COLTSFOOT picked up thirty nine survivors and took them to Gibraltar.
Submarine UNIQUE arrived at Malta after patrol off Cape Del Armi.
Convoy HX.165 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer HAMILTON and corvettes
KAMLOOPS and SASKATOON, and minesweeper COWICHAN. These ships were
detached on the 17th when relieved by American destroyers BUCK, GREER, HERBERT, MCCORMICK, and SWANSON. The
American ships were relieved on the 24th by destroyer BOADICEA, sloop
COMMANDANT DETROYAT, and corvettes HEATHER and NARCISSUS. Corvette LOBELIA
joined on the 25th. Corvette HEATHER was detached on the 26th, corvette
NARCISSUS on the 27th, and the destroyer, the sloop, and corvette LOBELIA on
the 28th. The convoy was joined by anti-submarine trawler MOLDE on the 30th
and arrived at Liverpool that day.
Indian sloops SUTLEJ and JUMNA and Australian minesweepers BATHURST and LISMORE were ordered to sail for India from the Suez Escort Force.
Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA and light cruiser
PERTH departed Sydney to join US heavy cruiser PENSACOLA escorting a convoy
of BLOEMFONTEIN (10,081grt), COAST FARMER (3290grt), MEIGS (12,568grt),
WILLARD A. HOLBROOK (14,812grt), REPUBLIC (17,886grt), ADMIRAL HALSTEAD
(3289grt), and CHAUMONT (7555grt) and gunboat NIAGARA, which had departed San
Francisco on 21 November for the Philippines.
On the 8th, the convoy had been diverted to Fiji. The gunboat was detached en route and arrived
back at Pearl Harbour on the 15th.
On the 16th, New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland to join.
On the 19th, the Australian cruisers joined the
convoy at Suva to bring it to Brisbane.
On the 21st, cruisers CANBERRA and ACHILLES refuelled at Moreton
The convoy and escorts arrived at Brisbane on the 22nd.
On the 22nd, cruisers CANBERRA, PERTH, ACHILLES, and PENSACOLA departed for Sydney, arriving on the 24th.
Motor torpedo boats MTB.10 and MTB.26 were damagedin Aberdeen
Harbour, Hong Kong, by Japanese air attack.
Tug INDIRA (637grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at
Tuesday, 16 December
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Murmansk to return to Scapa Flow.
Landing ships PRINCESS CHARLOTTE and PRINCE ALBERT, escorted by Polish destroyer KUJAWIAK, departed
Greenock for Scapa Flow. PRINCESS
CHARLOTTE returned to Greenock later in the day with defects. PRINCE ALBERT and KUJAWIAK arrived at Scapa Flow on the 17th.
Minesweeper SPEEDWELL departed Greenock and survey ship SCOTT departed Loch Alsh at 1730 for
Scapa Flow, where they both arrived on the 17th.
Minesweeper BRITOMART arrived at Scapa Flow at 1030 from Hartlepool on completion of her refitting.
Submarine TIGRIS departed Scapa Flow for Operation
ANKLET, but the submarine was ordered to return on the 17th, arriving late
While on passage in an aircraft of 24 Squadron, Lt
P. L. Field, en route to DOLPHIN, and T/Lt Cdr E. Croghan RNVR, en route to
PRESIDENT, were lost in an air crash.
Italian steamers MONGINEVRO, NAPOLI, and VETTOR PISANI, escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, DA
RECCO, MALOCELLO, PESSAGNO, and ZENO departed
Taranto to Tripoli.
Italian steamer ANKARA, escorted by destroyer SAETTA and torpedo boat
PEGASO departed Taranto for Tripoli.
Battleship DUILO, light cruisers DUCA D'AOSTA,
ATTENDOLO, and MONTECUCCOLI, and destroyers ASCARI, AVIERE, and CAMICIA NERA
departed Taranto as close cover.
Distant cover is provided by battleships DORIA,
CESARE, and LITTORIO, heavy cruisers GORIZIA and TRENTO, and destroyers GRANATIERE, BERSAGLIERE, ALPINO, FUCLIERE,
CORAZZIERE, CARABINIERE, USODIMARE, MAESTRALE, ORIANI, and GIOBERTI.
On the 16th, Submarine UPROAR unsuccessfully
attacked a group of three westbound cruisers in the Gulf of
On the 18th, steamer ANKARA broke off for Benghazi. The other three steamers reached Tripoli safely.
U.557 was sunk in a collision with Italian torpedo
boat ORIONE off Salamis, in 35-33N, 23-14E. The entire crew of forty three
were lost in the submarine.
Destroyers FOXHOUND, NESTOR, CROOME, and GURKHA
arrived at Gibraltar from the UK, conducting an anti-submarine sweep ahead of HG.76
Minelayer MANXMAN arrived at Gibraltar from the UK, carrying depth charge replenishments. The
minelayer departed the next day to return to Milford Haven.
Convoy SC.60 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by corvettes KAMSACK, and SHAWNIGAN,
and minesweepers MALPEQUE, MINAS, and THUNDER. These escorts were relieved on
the 18th by destroyer SAGUENAY and corvettes CAMROSE, DAUPHIN, SHEDIAC, and
SPIKENARD. Corvette WETASKIWIN joined on the 19th. Corvettes CAMROSE and
SHEDIAC were detached on the 27th and destroyer CALDWELL joined. SPIKENARD and WETASKIWIN were detached on
the 28th and corvettes ALISMA and SUNFLOWER joined. The last three escorts
joining arrived at Liverpool with the convoy on the 31st.
Convoy BA.11 departed Bombay, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON. The convoy arrived at Aden on the 21st.
Japanese minelayer SHIRATAKA and fourteen
transports departed Palau escorted by the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla with light
cruiser JINTSU and destroyers KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, HAYASHIO, and NATSUSHIO of
the 15th Destroyer Division and AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE of the 16th
Destroyer Division. The movement was covered by heavy cruisers MYOKO, HAGURO,
and NACHI, aircraft carrier RYUJO with attendant destroyer SHIOKAZE, and
seaplane carrier CHITOSE. The troops were landed at Mindanao on 19/20 December.
Motor torpedo boat MTB.8 (Lt L. D. Kilbee HgKgNVR) was destroyed by a
fire during Japanese bombing at Hong Kong.
Light cruiser DANAE departed Trincomalee for Singapore.
Destroyer SCOUT arrived at Tanjong Priok from Singapore.
Six hundred and fifty Dutch and Australian troops
were moved from Koepang to Dili on Steamer CANOPUS (1337grt), escorted by
Dutch coastal defense ship SOERBAYA.
American aircraft carrier YORKTOWN and destroyers HUGHES, RUSSELL, SIMS, WALKE, departed
Norfolk, Virginia, and sailed for operations in the Pacific. The
carrier and destroyers transited the Panama Canal on the 20th and arrived at San Diego on the 30th.
American heavy cruiser LOUISVILLE arrived at Pearl
Harbour with Army transports HUGH L. SCOTT (12,579grt) and PRESIDENT COOLIDGE
(21,936grt), which she had brought from
Manila, via Tarakan.
American convoy 2005 departed San Francisco with transports LURLINE, MATSONIA, and MONTEREY escorted by Task Group 15. 6 of light cruiser
ST LOUIS and destroyers PRESTON and SMITH.
American submarine SWORDFISH sank Japanese
transport ATSUTASAN MARU (8663grt) south of Samah at 18-06N, 109-44E.
Wednesday, 17 December
Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Hvalfjord and
departed later that day for patrol in the Denmark Strait to relieve heavy cruiser NORFOLK, which arrived back at Hvalfjord on the 18th.
Norwegian corvettes ACANTHUS and EGLANTINE and
auxiliary ship GUDRUN MAERSK arrived at Scapa Flow for Operation ANKLET.
Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA departed Scapa Flow at 1630 for Hvalfjord and join Commander in Chief,
Western Approaches to form part of the escort for convoy TC 16.
During the night of 17/18 December, German
battleship GNEISENAU was damaged by near misses at Brest.
U.108 attacked convoy HG.76 and claimed sinking a
U.131 was sunk by destroyers EXMOOR, BLANKNEY, and STANLEY,
sloop STORK, corvette PENTSTEMON, and aircraft from escort carrier AUDACITY,
escorting convoy HG.76, west of Madiera, 34-18N, 13-58W. T/Sub Lt (A) G. R. P. Fletcher RNVR, in a
Martlet of 802 Squadronfrom aircraft carrier AUDACITY was shot down by the
submarine and lost. The entire crew of fifty five were picked up from the
Italian tanker LINA (2175grt) was sunk by British
bombing northwest of Tripoli
in 33-58N, 12-03E.
Submarine URSULA departed Gibraltar for patrol in the Bay of Biscay.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK laid mines in Durian Straits.
Dutch light cruiser JAVA, after escorting convoy SM
1, examined Christmas
Island for possible enemy
Japanese destroyer SHINONOME was sunk by Dutch
bombing off Miri in 4-24N, 114E.
Twenty one Japanese transports departed Keelung, Formosa, for landings at Lingayen, escorted by destroyer
YAMAGUMO and torpedo boats CHIDORI, HATSUKARI, MANADZURU, and TOMODZURU.
On the 18th, twenty seven transports of the
1stForce departed Takao, Formosa, escorted by light cruiser NATORI, destroyers
FUMITSUKI, SATSUKI, NAGATSUKI, MINATSUKI, HARUKAZE, HATAKAZE, and two
Twenty eight transports of the 2nd Force departed
escorted by light cruiser NAKA, destroyers MURASAME, YUDACHI, HARUSAME,
SAMIDARE, ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, and NATSUGUMO, five minesweepers, and six submarine
Heavy cruisers ASHIGARA and MAYA and light cruiser
KUMA provided cover for the operation.
Kondo was covering in the west part of the South China Sea, to be able to also cover the Borneo landings.
Destroyer THRACIAN, repairing damage of her 14
December grounding, was damaged by Japanese bombing at Hong Kong.
American convoy 2004 departed San Francisco with transports HARRIS, TASKER H. BLISS, and
PRESIDENT GARFIELD, caro ship ALDEBARAN, and tankers PLATTE and SABINE escorted by light cruiser
PHOENIX and destroyers CUSHING and PERKINS. The convoy
arrived at Pearl Harbour on the 24th.
American steamer CORREGIDOR (1881grt) was sunk on a mine laid by Japanese
submarine I.124 in Manila Bay on the 8th.
About five hundred people were lost on the steamer.
Japanese submarine RO.66 was sunk in a collision
with Japanese submarine RO.62 off Wake Island.
Japanese submarine I.75 sank American steamer
MANINI (3253grt) 17-46N, 157-03W, one hundred and eight miles south of Hawaii. Two crew were lost on the steamer. One boat of
survivors were rescued by destroyer ALLEN on the 27th. Destroyer PATTERSON
rescued nineteen survivors on the 28th.
Thursday, 18 December
Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK reported serious defects in her port shafts.
On the 21st, the cruiser sailed to the Tyne for repairs, arriving that day.
Destroyer ONSLOW departed Rosyth at 1630 on
completion of boiler cleaning and repairs and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0930/19th.
U.434 was sunk by destroyers STANLEY and BLANKNEY,
escorting convoy HG.76, southwest of Cape St Vincent in 36-15N, 15-48W. BLANKNEY was damaged from ramming the
submarine. She was repaired at Gibraltar
completing on 9 February. Two crew were lost in the submarine. Forty four
survivors were picked up.
Soviet steamer PEREKOP (2493grt) was sunk by
Japanese bombing near Senoa, east coast of Natuna
Late on the 18th, Italian submarine SCIRE launched
three SLC's into Alexandria Harbour and returned to port.
Battleship VALIANT was damaged forward at 0606 on
the 19th. The battleship was docked on the 21st.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH was holed in the boiler
rooms at 0610. Naval constructors wanted to strip the battleship and use her
as a depot ship because of the extent of the damage.
Nine ratings were killed in the battleship.
Submarines TRUSTY and TRIUMPH were brought
alongside either side of battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH to provide electricity. Submarine TRUSTY departed
at 1435 that day, but submarine TRIUMPH remained until 0635/22nd.
Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH was docked on 4 April.
After temporary repairs, battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH was taken in September
1942 to Norfolk, Virginia. Repairs were completed in June 1943.
Battleship VALIANT pumped out her fuel into tankers
CLYDEFIELD and CHERRYLEAF. She was docked at 0950/21st and after temporary
repairs departed on 8 April for repair at Durban.
Norwegian tanker SAGONA (7554grt) had her stern
blown off from the explosion of an SLC at 0547. Destroyer JERVIS moored alongside was
badly damaged by the explosion.
Destroyer JERVIS was docked on the 20th. Repairs
were completed on 28 January.
Italian submarine ZAFFIRO was off Alexandria to pick up the Italian SLC crew, but none returned.
In attack on an Italian convoy, Lt E. A. Greenwood
and Lt Cdr D. E. Langmore, of 828 Squadron from ST ANGELO, were lost when
their Albacore crashed into the sea.
Langmore was the Commanding Officer of the 828 Squadron.
Convoy ST.11 departed Freetown, escorted by corvettes JASMINE and ROCKROSE. The
convoy was dispersed on the 20th.
Destroyers ENCOUNTER, after convoy SM 1 duty, and
THANET coming from Hong
Kong, via Tarakan,
arrived at Singapore.
Friday, 19 December
Scapa Flow for Operation ANKLET.
Minesweeper HALCYON, to be employed in operation
ANKLET, arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1030.
Minesweepers BRITOMART and SALAMANDER departed
Scapa Flow at 1730 for Seidisfjord and join the escort for
convoy PQ.7. The minesweepers arrived on the 21st.
Convoy ON.48 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 19th by destroy
CALDWELL and coevettes GARDENIA, GENTIAN, HONEYSUCKLE, and
VERVAIN. Destroyer CALDWELL was detached on the 24th. Corvette BATTLEFORD
joined on the 24th. On the 26th, the original four corvettes were relieved by
corvettes BUTOUCHE, HEPATICA, MOOSE JAW, and PICTOU. The destroyer and
corvettes HEPATICA and MOOSE JAW were detached later that day. Corvette
BUTOUCHE was detached on the 28th, corvette PICTOU on the 30th and corvette
BATTLEFORD on the 31st when the convoy was dispersed.
Submarine P.35 arrived at Gibraltar from
Lt J. D. Parker and Captain K. L. Ford, RM, was
killed in a crash of a Lysander of 755 Squadron at North Moulton, near Chivnor.
British tanker LUCELLUM (9425grt) was damaged by
German bombing five miles from 270° Bardsey
Island. Six crew and two gunners were lost on the tanker.
British fishing vessel MOUETTE (3grt) was sunk on a
mine in Blue Anchor Bay, Minehead. Two crew were lost.
U.108 sank Steamer RUCKINGE (2869grt) in 38-20N,
17-15W from convoy HG.76. The submarine claimed sinking another steamer. The
survivors were rescued by Steamer FINLAND (1333grt) and sloop STORK. The
steamer was scuttled by corvette SAMPHIRE.
Destroyer STANLEY (Lt Cdr D. B. Shaw OBE),
escorting convoy HG.76,was sunk by U.574 in 38-12N, 17-23W southwest of Portugal.
Shaw, P/T/Surgeon Lt A. R. Barrett RNVR, Lt C. E.
M. Crabtree, T/Warrant Engineer S. F. Finch, T/Lt J. S. Petrie RNVR, (on
passage to DRAKE) Paymaster Lt R. W. Robb RNVR, (on passage to SPARTIATE),
T/Gunner (T) W. W. Turner, T/Lt (E) A. S. Watkins (from ARK ROYAL), T/Sub Lt
W. M. Watson RNVR, Lt (E) W. E. G. Waycott (from ARK ROYAL), two Marines, and
one hundred and twenty one ratings were lost in the destroyer. (DDD – does on passage apply to name ahead or after?)
One rating died of wounds after being rescued.
U.574 was sunk by sloop STORK, escorting convoy
HG.76, off Punta Delgada. Twenty two
crew were lost in the submarine. Five additional crew were lost when sloops
STORK and DEPTFORD collided. Four officers and sixteen ratings were rescued.
At 1800/18th, light cruisers NEPTUNE, AURORA, and
PENELOPE and destroyers KANDAHAR, LANCE, HAVOCK, and LIVELY departed Malta to
strike at an Italian convoy of Italian steamers MONGINEVRO, NAPOLI, and
VETTOR PISANI, escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, DA RECCO, MALOCELLO,
PESSAGNO, and ZENO off Tripoli.
Light cruiser AURORA was badly damaged by mining at
0112 on the 19th and light cruiser PENELOPE was lightly damaged at 0108 when
a mine exploded in her paravane. There were no casualties in light cruisers
AURORA or PENELOPE.
Light cruiser AURORA was under repair at Malta until March.
Light cruiser NEPTUNE (Captain R. C. O'Conor)
struck a mines at 0111, 0112, 0125, and 0400.
Destroyer KANDAHAR (Cdr W. G. A. Robson) struck a mine at 0304 trying
to tow NEPTUNE.
Light cruiser AURORA was escorted to Malta by destroyers LANCE and HAVOCK.
Light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyer LIVELY
returned to Malta when they found they could not safely enter the minefield to assist
the damaged ships.
Light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyer LIVELY joined
light cruiser AURORA en route. The two cruisers and three destroyers arrived
Light cruiser NEPTUNE and destroyer KANDAHAR were both sunk.
Lt P. C. R. Arbuthnot, Midshipman C. D. E. Babcock,
Midshipman P. H. C. Bastable, Cdr P. A. Berry, Sub Lt D. R. L. Bevan, A/Lt D.
J. Bullimore SARNVR, T/Lt R. T. Coulton RNVR, Lt D. C. Cunningham, T/Gunner
(T) E. T. Edmans, Midshipman M. A. S. Ensell, Warrant Mechanician M. W.
Evans, Midshipman D. B. Forbes, T/Surgeon Lt C. Fraser RNVR, Lt (E) G. E. A.
Freeland, Chaplain the Reverend T. Harris, Lt H. D. Hartnoll DSC, RM, Lt A.
B. Hill RNVR, T/A/Warrant Shipwright H. Hoar, Midshipman D. R. Holloway,
Engineering Cdr A. Holt, Midshipman D. A. Houston, Lt (E) F. A. V. Jackson,
Midshipman D. A. Jay, Lt (E) J. M. Knowles, Commissioned Gunner C. K. Laban,
A/Surgeon Cdr T. C. Larkworthy RNVR, Midshipman B. E. McPherson, NZNF,
A/Paymaster Cdr J. H. McGregor, Midshipman A. A. Markwick, T/Paymaster Lt M.
B. H. Marshall RNVR, Paymaster Midshipman M. G. H. Mawson, Midshipman P. B.
Medicott-Vereker, Schoolmaster D. Metcalf, A/Captain N. L. W. Millar, RM, Lt
the Right Hon. J. D. North (Baron North, T/Instructor Lt W. H. Osborne,
Gunner F. C. Prince, T/Surgeon Lt E. B. Riding RNVR, Paymaster Midshipman E.
C. Robinson, Warrant Engineer E. W. E. Sainty, T/Lt (E) I. B. Tetley,
Paymaster Lt B. M. Thomson, NZNF, Warrant Electrician V. T. W. J. Wilks, T/Lt
D. J. Wilson RNVR, Lt F. A. Woodward, Lt F. H. Wright RNVR, six hundred and
forty four ratings, and seventy three Marines were lost on the cruiser.
O'Conor died on the 23rd while still on a raft. The
sole survivor, Able Bodied Seaman J. N. Walton,from the cruiser was picked up
by an Italian torpedo boat about 1600/24th.
From destroyer KANDAHAR, Lt M. R. Gibson-Watt DSC, Midshipman L. J. Tatham
RAN, and sixty eight ratings were missing. Two ratings were killed.
Destroyer JAGUAR sent from Malta to locate destroyer KANDAHAR picked up eight officers and 157 ratings from the
Submarine UPRIGHT arrived at Malta from patrol south of Cape St Vito.
Destroyers GRIFFIN, HASTY, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria on an anti-submarine sweep.
Italian steamer FERRUCCIO (83grt) was sunk in a
collision at Tripoli.
U.652 sank Soviet steamer VARLAAM AVANESOV
(6775grt) in 39-27N, 26-05E. The entire crew were rescued.
Gunboat TERN (T/A/Lt G. M. Horey RNVR), minelayer REDSTART (Lt
Cdr H. C. S. Selby Rtd), and boom vessels ALDGATE, BARLIGHT, and WATERGATE were
scuttled at Hong Kong. Horey and
Selby were taken prisoner when Hong Kong fell.
Japanese submarine I.72 sank American steamer PRUSA
(5113grt) 17-30N, 157W one hundred and fifty miles south of Hawaii. Eight crew
were lost on the steamer. The fourteen survivors were rescued by Coast Guard
cutter TIGER. A second group of eleven survivors reached safety after a 2700
mile voyage, rescued by a Fijian government vessel.
Soviet steamers KRECHET (2282grt), SERGEI LAZO
(2975grt), SIMFEROPOL (2696grt), and SVIRSTROI (4769grt) were sunk by
Japanese bombing at Hong
British ferries MAN
and MAN KUNG (371grt) were scuttled at Hong Kong.
Motor vessels PANDAI (166grt), RIMAU (214grt),
INTAN (117grt), RASA (217grt), launches BRANI (57grt) and YEN (20grt), tug
DALMORE (59grt) were seized by Japanese forces at Penang.
British tanker EBONOL (1158grt) was scuttled at
Hong Kong by British forces. The Japanese refloated the
tanker and took it for their use.
Light cruisers DRAGON and DURBAN and Australian destroyer VAMPIRE departed Singapore escorting Steamer ERINPURA (5143grt), carrying
thirty officer and 700 rating survivors from battleship PRINCE OF WALES and
battlecruiser REPULSE. She also carried some one hundred and fifty women and
Heavy cruiser EXETER relieved the escorts on the 24th. The steamer
arrived at Colombo on the 27th.
Light cruisers DRAGON and DURBAN and Australian destroyer VAMPIRE called at Padang on the 29th for fuel, but were unable to obtain
any. The warships went out and met convoy BM.9 A on the 30th.
Destroyer SCOUT and auxiliary patrol vessels VYNER
BROOKE, MATA HARI, RAUB, and LARUT were ordered to patrol off Medan and Sabang to prevent enemy access to North Sumatra, across the Straits of Malacca. SCOUT departed Singapore on the 20th and arrived at Sabang on the 21st.
Dutch submarine depot ship JANSSENS arrived at
Singapore. The depot ship departed on the 22nd carrying
British personnel to man Dutch motor torpedo boats and light cruiser SUMATRA, which was laid up at Surabaya.
American convoy 4024 departed Pearl
Harbour with transports HUGH L. SCOTT and PRESIDENT COOLIDGE, escorted by
light cruiser DETROIT and destroyers CUMMINGS and REID. The convoy
arrived at San
Saturday, 20 December
Battleship RODNEY with destroyers WALKER, VERITY,
and WITHERINGTON departed Hvalfjord for Scapa Flow. The Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command Home
Fleet was transferred from battlecruiser RENOWN to base ship DUNLUCE
Battlecruiser RENOWN with destroyers MONTROSE,
WORCESTER, and FORESTER departed Scapa Flow at 1500
for position 61-00N, 1430W at 1400/21st. The destroyers would then join
battleship RODNEY from Reykjavik and escort her back to Scapa Flow.
Battleship RODNEY and the destroyers arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1200/22nd.
Battlecruiser RENOWN with the V and W.destroyers
proceeded to Hvalfjord, arriving on the 22nd.
Vice Admiral W. E. C. Tait CB, MVO, appointed Vice
Admiral Command, Third Battle Squadron, and Vice Admiral, Second in Command
Eastern Fleet. His flag was hoisted in battleship RESOLUTION.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND reported serious leakages in oil fuel tanks.
Destroyer LAMERTON departed Scapa Flow at 1300 escorting tanker SAN ZOTICO (5582grt) to Sullom Voe, arriving on at
Lerwick on the 22nd.
Destroyer WHEATLAND departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for Greenock to meet and escort landing ship PRINCESS CHARLOTTE for Operation
ANKLET. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE departed
Greenock to rendezvous with destroyer WHEATLAND at 1000/21st and proceed to
Sullom Voe, arriving on the 22nd.
In a flying accident, a Swordfish of 785 Squadron
was lost near Crail. Sub Lt P. Haines died of wounds from the crash.
Canadian patrol craft ADVERSUS (Skipper W. R.
Chandler RCNR) was lost when she ran aground in a blizzard on McNutt's Island, near Shelburne, N. S.
No crew were lost in the craft.
Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE departed Gibraltar to meet arriving Polish troopship BATORY. They
arrived at Gibraltar on the 23rd.
Aircraft carrier ARGUS, light cruiser HERMIONE, and
a destroyer screen departed Gibraltar to exercise eastward of Gibraltar.
T/A/Sub Lt (A) R. G. Southby RNVR, was killed when
his Fulmar of 807 Squadron crashed.
Light cruiser HERMIONE attacked a doubtful
submarine contact three miles 115° from Europa Point,. The ships returned
later in the day.
Light cruiser HERMIONE departed Gibraltar at 2130 to cover the presence of arriving light
cruiser DIDO from the UK. DIDO
arrived at 2350. HERMIONE arrived back on the 22nd.
Submarine P.35 arrived at Gibraltar, after departing Dundee on the 7th.
Submarine URGE arrived at Malta after patrol in the Straits of Messina.
Dutch submarine O.20 was badly damaged by Japanese
destroyer URANAMI off Kota Bharu. The submarine was scuttled.
Motor torpedo boats MTB.12 (Lt J. B. Colls HgKgNVR) and MTB.26 (Lt D. W. Wagstaff HgKgNVF) were lost in an
action with Japanese landing craft at Hong Kong. Wagstaff was lost in the boat. Motor torpedo boats MTB.7,
MTB.18 were damaged.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK laid mines in Durian
Strait. From 8 December to 20 December, minelayer TEVIOT BANK and Dutch
minelayer WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN laid 1158 mines in the Strait. The minelayer
was escorted at various times during these minelays by destroyer VAMPIRE on
the 14th and gunboat GRASSHOPPER and auxiliary patrol ships TIEN KWANG, FUH
WO, SHO KWANG, li WO, and MATA HARI.
Japanese submarine I.17 sank American tanker EMIDIO
(6912grt) in 40-30N, 125-00W, twenty miles west of Blunt's Reef. Five crew were missing on the tanker. The
survivors managed to make the Blunt's Reef lightship and were later rescued
by Coast Guard cutter SHAWNEE.
Japanese submarine I.23 damaged with gunfire
American tanker AGWIWORLD (6771grt) in 37N, 122W.
American motor tug JUSTINE FOSS (39grt) was
captured by Japanese forces near Wake Island.
Steamer TAISHAN (3174grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing at Shekko, Tathong Channel.
Steamer MACAU (1665grt)
was scuttled at Hong Kong.
Panamanian steamers FLORINHA (515grt) and LINDINHA
(531grt) were seized by Japanese forces at Fort
Sunday, 21 December
Destroyer ESKIMO, escorting landing ship PRINCE
ALBERT and oiler GREY RANGER, departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for Sullom Voe
in Operation ANKLET. The ships arrived on the 22nd.
Submarine SEALION departed Polyarnoe on patrol off
Vestfjord and participate in Operation ANKLET.
Following the patrol, the submarine proceeded to
Holy Loch, arriving on 5 January.
Seven British fishing craft departed the Shetlands
for Operation ANKLET. Six returned to harbour, three badly damaged and three
slightly damaged by weather. The remaining craft took shelter. On the 24th, four fishing vessels departed
the Shetlands for Operation ANKLET.
One fishing vessel returned to Shetlands on the 25th.
Convoy ON.49 departed Liverpool, escorted by corvette BELLWORT. On the 22nd,
destroyers SABRE and SCIMITAR and corvettes ALISMA and SUNFLOWER joined.
These ships were relieved on the 27th by American Coast Guard cutter INGRAM
and destroyhers DALLAS, ELLIS, GLEAVES, and UPSHUR. The American ships were
detached on 5 January when the convoy was dispersed.
British Petty Officer Airman L. E. Burston of 881
Squadron was killed when his Martlet flew into a hill at Rashleigh Farm,
three miles north of Ardrossan.
Steamer BENMACDHUI (6869grt) was sunk by a mine in
53-40N, 0-30E. Two crew were lost on the steamer.
Greek steamer NELLIE (4826grt) was damaged by
mining off Spurn Head.
U.567 sank Steamer ANNAVORE (3324grt) from convoy
HG.76 in 43-55N, 19-50W.
Twenty nine crew, three gunners, and two passengers
were lost on the steamer.
Auxiliary aircraft carrier AUDACITY (Cdr D. W.
Mackendrick), escorting convoy HG.76, was sunk by U.741 in 43-55N, 19-50W
west of Portugal.
Mackendrick, Lt J. R. Carden of 802 Squadron, Lt Cdr G. A. Carline
DSC, T/Paymaster Sub Lt H. G. T. Heale RNR, Junior Engineer A. S. Lang, Lt A. D. W. Moore,
Sub Lt (A) N. H. Patterson of 802 Squadron, T/Lt (E) S. N. Robertson RNVR,
T/Surgeon Lt R. Stewart RNVR, T/A/Gunner H. Strickland, and sixty three
ratings were lost on the aircraft carrier.
T/Lt L. Hix RNVR, was wounded. The survivors were picked up by
corvettes MARIGOLD and PENTSTEMON.
U.567 was sunk by Sloop DEPTFORD and corvette
SAMPHIRE, escorting convoy HG.76, north of the Azores. The entire crew of forty seven were lost in the submarine.
U.451 was sunk by a Swordfish of the 812 Squadron
off Cape Spartel in 35-55N, 6-08W. Forty four
crew were lost in the submarine.
Corvette MYOSOTIS later picked up one survivor, the first Warrant
Officer, from the submarine.
U.573 sank Norwegian steamer HELLEN (5289grt)
35-41N, 5-10W four miles from Cape Negro. The entire crew were rescued by anti-submarine ARCTIC RANGER, which
was escorting the steamer.
Convoy AT.5 departed Alexandria escorted by destroyer HEYTHROP and corvette SALVIA
with destroyers HASTY and HOTSPUR acted as a striking force.
Belgian landing ship PRINCE BADOUIN also departed
Alexandria for Tobruk escorted by destroyers FARNDALE and
ERIDGE. The landing ship arrived at Tobruk on the 22nd and departed that day
after unloading with the destroyers for Alexandria.
Soviet submarine M.174 sank German steamer EMSHORN
(4301grt) near Petsamo.
Convoy HX.166 departed Halifax, escorted by minesweepers BURLINGTON and DRUMMONDVILLE. The minesweepers were detached on the 23rd.
American destroyers BADGER, COLE, DECATUR, and PLUNKETT joined on the 24th and Coast Guard
cutter CAMPBELL joined on the 25th. Corvettes GARDENIA, GENTIAN,
and HONEYSUCKLE joined on the 30th. The American ships were detached on the
31st. Destroyers LEAMINGTON, SABRE, and SCIMITAR joined on 1 January and
destroyer BELMONT on 2 January. Sloop GARDENIA was detached on 2 January, destroyers
BELMONT, LEAMINGTON, and SKATE were detached on 3 January, and
destroyer SCIMITAR and corvette GENTIAN on 4 January. The convoy arrived at
Liverpool on 5 January.
Convoy SC.61 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by
corvette SUDBURY and minesweepers GEORGIAN, MALPQUE, MINAS, and
NIPIGON. Minesweeper GEORGIAN was detached on the 22nd and remaining escorts
on the 23rd when relieved by corvettes DAINTHUS, GALT, LETHBRIDGE, MATAPEDIA, and NANAIMO. Destroyer NIAGARA joined on the 29th and was detached the next day. Corvette MATAPEDIA
was detached on the 31st. The remaining escorts were detached on 2 January
when destroyers BROKE and CHELSEA
and corvettes CAMILLIA, COLUMBINE, and PIMPERNEL joined. The convoy arrived
at Liverpool on 7 January 1942.
Convoy BM.9A departed Bombay on the 21st with of troopships DEVONSHIRE (11,100grt), ETHIOPIA (5574grt), LANCASHIRE (9557grt), RAJULA (8478grt), and VARSOVA
(4701grt), escorted by light cruiser GLASGOW and Indian patrol vessel SONAVATI. The convoy
departed Colombo on the 24th escorted by Australian light cruiser
HOBART and sloop FALMOUTH.
Light cruiser GLASGOW was detached on the 25th and
the sloop and patrol vessel on the 27th. The convoy was met by light cruisers
DRAGON and DURBAN and destroyer VAMPIRE on the 30th.
Dutch cruisers TROMP and DE RUYTER with destroyers
BANCKERT and PIET HEIN escorted the convoy between the Sunda
Strait and Banka
Strait on 1 and 2 January.
Destroyers JUPITER and ENCOUNTER, which departed
Singapore on the 28th for Batavia, joined the escort on 2 January. The convoy
Singapore on 3 January with the three light cruisers and the
Steamer ULYSSES departed Singapore for Australia with 250 women and children evacuees.
Gunboat CICALA (Cdr J. Bolero DSC Rtd) was sunk by
Japanese bombing at Hong
Kong. One rating was killed and one rating was
wounded. The survivors were taken off by Motor Torpedo Boat 10. Bolero and
T/Lt W. F. Davis RNR, were taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall
of Hong Kong.
Monday, 22 December
Light cruiser ARETHUSA (Hamilton), destroyers
SOMALI, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, KRAKOWIAK, and KUJAWIAK, Norwegian corvettes
ACANTHUS and EGLANTINE, minesweepers SPEEDWELL, HARRIER, and HALCYON,
surveying ship SCOTT, tanker BLACK RANGER, auxiliary ship GUDRUN MAERSK, and
tug JAUNTY departed Scapa Flow as Force J for Operation ANKLET, a raid on the
Destroyers ESKIMO and LAMERTON, landing ship PRINCE
ALBERT, and oiler GREY RANGER departed Lerwick for Operation ANKLET on
Landing ship PRINCESS CHARLOTTE developed engine
trouble en route to join on the 23rd and was sent back with destroyer
WHEATLAND. Both arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1700/24th.
Destroyer WHEATLAND departed Scapa Flow at 1100/25th to join the ANKLET group.
Submarine SEALION provided the navigational beacon
for the attack on the 26th.
Landing ship PRINCE ALBERT, escorted by destroyer LAMERTON and corvettes
EGLANTINE and ACANTHUS, land 260 commandoes at Moskenesoy and Tind.
Destroyer BEDOUIN destroyed the wireless station at
Light cruiser ARETHUSA and destroyers SOMALI, ASHANTI, and ESKIMO penetrate into Vestfjord and captured
Norwegian coastal steamers KONG HARALAD (1125grt) and NORDLAND (725grt).
Destroyer ASHANTI sank German patrol boat Vp.5904 (trawler GEIER,
145grt) after the crew was taken off.
Light cruiser ARETHUSA was near missed by German
bombing while at anchor in Kirkefjord on the 27th. The light cruiser required
fourteen weeks at Chatham to refit and repair, including collision damage.
After the raid, the ships arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1100 on 1 January.
The Patrol in the Denmark Strait was discontinued temporarily to reduce the strain
Destroyer NEWARK departed Loch Alsh for Scapa Flow. The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 0930/23rd from Loch Alsh to dock and carry out
Minesweeper NIGER departed
completion of repairs to her stern glands. On passage, further trouble from
the glands was experiences and further repairs had to be carried out. The
minesweeper arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1100/23rd
Sloops DEPTFORD and STORK of the convoy HG.76
escort were damaged in a collision when sloop DEPTFORD mistook sloop STORK
for a surfaced German submarine.
Corvette JONQUIL accompanied damaged sloop STORK.
Sloop STORK was repaired at Devonport from 27
December to 14 February.
Sloop DEPTFORD was repaired at Liverpool from 6
January to 8 March.
Greek steamer STYLIANOS CHANDRIS (6059grt) was sunk
on a mine, two miles 235° from 62D Buoy, Humber. The entire crew were rescued.
Light cruiser DIDO and destroyers NESTOR, GURKHA,
FOXHOUND, and ARROW departed Gibraltar on the 22nd. The ships arrived at Malta on the 24th.
Corvette COWSLIP ran aground on Punta Al Boassa,
but was refloated and brought into harbour. The corvette sustained extensive
Destroyers GRIFFIN, NIZAM, KIMBERLEY, and SIKH were at sea from Alexandria on an anti-submarine sweep.
TORBAY sank a
small Greek caique for 30 tons off Cape
German steamer TINOS (2826grt) was sunk by British bombing at
German steamer SPEZIA (1825grt) and Italian steamer
CADAMOSTO (1010grt) were sunk on Italian mines fourteen miles northwest
of Misurata in 32-26N, 15-01E and 32-30N, 15-01E, respectively.
Convoy BM.9 B departed Bombay with steamers EL
MADINA (3962grt), RISALDAR (5407grt), RAJPUT (5497grt), JALARAJAN (5102grt),
and MADURA (9032grt), carrying motor transport and stores for troops carried
in convoy BM.9 A, escorted by Greek light cruiser GEORGIOS AVEROFF until 27
December. The convoy was joined by light cruiser GLASGOW on the 27th and
relieved by light cruiser DANAE on the 31st. The convoy was also joined by
light cruiser HOBART, which departed Colombo on the 24th with convoy BM.9 A,
destroyers ELECTRA and EXPRESS on 3 January, and STRONGHOLD on 4 January, which
departed Singapore on the 31st, minesweepers GOULBURN and BURNIE on 5
January, and Dutch light cruiser JAVA from 31 December to 4 January, when she
was detached with damage to a propeller. Dutch light cruisers TROMP and DE
RUYTER and destroyers BANCKERT and PIET HEIN from 4 January.
Convoy BM.9 B arrived at Singapore on 6 January.
Destroyer EXPRESS laid mines in South Channel at
Japanese submarine I.68 shelled Johnston
Island. I.71 and I.72 shelled Palmyra
Six Japanese transports departed Camranh Bay to land troops at Kuching.
This force was escorted by light cruiser YURA,
destroyers MURAKUMO, SHIRAKUMO, and USUGUMO, minesweepers W.3 and W.6, and
seaplane carrier KAMIKAWA MARU.
Heavy cruisers KUMANO and SUZUYA and light cruiser
FUBUKI and SAGIRI covered the convoy. West of this force was heavy cruisers
MIKUMA and MOGAMI with destroyer HATSUYUKI.
Steamer NAM YONG (1345grt) and tanker HARPA
(3000grt) were damaged by Japanese bombing at Port Swettenham.
American submarine S.38 sank Japanese transport
HAYO MARU (5445grt) in Lingayen
Japanese submarine I.19 damaged with gunfire
American tanker H. M. STOREY (10,763grt) in 34-35N, 120-45W.
Tuesday, 23 December
Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Denmark
Light cruiser NIGERIA departed the Tyne after refitting to Scapa
Flow to work up. The
cruiser arrived on the 24th.
Submarine TUNA departed Scapa Flow for Operation ARCHERY.
Destroyer TETCOTT, en route to Scapa Flow to work up, collided with corvette HEARTSEASE. The
destroyer put into the Clyde to effect temporary repairs from 26 December to 8
January. The destroyer was under repair at Southampton from 13 January until 7 March 1942. The corvette was towed to Greenock by tug CAROLINE MOLLER and escorted by corvette VERVIAN. The corvette
was under repair at Greenock from 27 December to 2 April.
Destroyers TARTAR and ICARUS departed Scapa Flow at 1630 for Seidisfjord to await the sailing of
convoy PQ.7 from Reykjavik. The destroyers arrived at 1800/26th. They were
ordered to remain at Seidisfjord with heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND for the escort of convoy PQ.7 B.
Requisitioned Norwegian motor fishing vessel
FISKAREN was sunk in a collision in Belfast Lough.
British drifter TOKEN was grounded in Skerry Sound
and broke up in a gale.
Convoy OS.15 departed Liverpool. On the 24th, sloops BIDEFORD and LONDONDERRY and escort vessels CULVER, LANDGUARD, and LULWORTH
joined the convoy. The ships were detached on 11 January.
On 9 January, destroyer BRILLIANT and corvettes
BERGAMOT, LAVENDER, and WALLFLOWER joined the convoy and arrived with it at
Bathurst on 13 January.
Belgian steamer LEOPOLD II (2902grt) was sunk on a
mine in 52-53-48N, 2-05-20E. Thirty
three crew and two gunners were lost on the steamer.
Greek steamer ROKOS VERGOTTIS (5637grt) was badly
damaged on a mine off Smith's Knoll off No. 555A Buoy, Hearty Knoll Channel.
The steamer was taken in tow, but ran aground in 52-45N, 2-10E and was
Destroyers VANQUISHER and WITCH, which had departed
England to support convoy HG.76, attacked a submarine off
Submarine USK arrived at Gibraltar after having departed Portsmouth on the 11th.
Destroyers HOTSPUR and HEYTHROP with convoy AT.5
attacked a submarine contact. HOTSPUR
was joined by destroyer HASTY and HEYTHROP continued on with the convoy. HASTY and HOTSPUR sank U.79 off Bardia in
32-15N, 25-19E. The Captain, three officers, and forty ratings were rescued.
Convoy AT.5 arrived at Tobruk.
Destroyer HEYTHROP and corvette SALVIA joined
destroyers HASTY and HOTSPUR and sailed with store ships carrying prisoners
of war and wounded.
U.559 sank Steamer SHUNTIEN (3059grt) in 32-05N,
The steamer had a crew of seventy crew and carried
850 prisoners of war.
Many prisoners were rescued by corvette SALVIA,
which was left behind to collect survivors. However, these were missing when
the corvette was lost the next day.
T/Sub Lt H. W. Vanderzee RNVR, on passage to NILE in the steamer was also lost.
Destroyers HOTSPUR and HEYTHROP attacked a
submarine contact at 0440/24th.
U.559 attacked a Steamer near Tobruk.
U.562 attacked a destroyer near Tobruk.
Store carrier TIBERIO (237grt) foundered off Mersa
Matruh. The entire crew was rescued.
Convoy in 6 departed Alexandria with steamers WARSZAWA, ALISA, and VARVARA and
boom defense vessel BURGONET, escorted by destroyer AVONVALE and corvette
PEONY with destroyers KIPLING and LEGION operating as a striking force. During the night of 23/24 December, VARVARA
broke down and was escorted by destroyer KIMBERLEY back to Alexandria. En route, they were joined by tug ST MONANCE.
Dutch submarine O.24 arrived at Gibraltar from Mediterranean patrol.
Aircraft transport ATHENE departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers EXMOOR and CROOME to 14N, 19W. The destroyers then proceeded to
Bathurst to refuel prior to returning to Gibraltar. the transport proceeded to Takoradi.
Cable ship MIRROR, escorted by corvette COLTSFOOT,
departed Gibraltar to cut cable in the Azores area.
T/Sub Lt (A) R. H. Cardwell RNVR, Observer, of 830
Squadron was lost in a Wellington bomber which failed to return from patrol.
On the 20th, Japanese forces departed Kwajalein to return to Wake Island.
Light cruisers TATSUTA, TENRYU, and YUBARI,
destroyers ASANAGI, OITE, and YUNAGI of the 29th Destroyer Division,
MOCHIZUKI, MUTSUKI, and YAYOI of the 30th Destroyer Division, patrol boats
P.32 and P.33, three transports, one minelayer, and one seaplane carrier set
Destroyers ASANAGI and YUNAGI replaced the lost
destroyers and destroyer OITE was added to the force. The 2nd Special Naval
Landing Force, which had captured Guam, was used in
the Wake Island attack.
Heavy cruisers AOBA, FURUTAKA, KINUGASA, and KAKO
of the 6th Cruiser Division and destroyers KIKUZUKI, UZUKI, and YUZUKI of the
23rd Destroyer Division departed Truk to support.
In addition, aircraft carriers HIRYU and SORYU,
heavy cruisers TONE and CHIKUMA, and destroyers TANIKAZE and URAKAZE of
Nagumo's carrier force provided air cover.
After dawn on the 23rd, destroyer MUTSUKI and two
other destroyers closed Toki Point. Destroyer MUTSUKI was damaged by American
battery B on Peale Island with five crew killed and ten wounded.
Patrol boats P.32 and P.33 were run aground
deliberately to land troops. Both were lost at 19-17N, 166-35E on Wake Island.
Japanese air losses in the campaign were four
carrier planes with four crew killed, one Emily seaplane with six crew
killed, and sixteen Betty bombers with ninety crew recovered by US Marines.
Before the island fell, one hundred and twenty five
Japanese soldiers were killed and one hundred and twenty five soldiers were
wounded. Seven crew were killed and twenty five wounded when a patrol boat
was hit by Wake Island shore guns.
American submarine SEAL sank Japanese steamer SORYU
MARU (856grt) off Badoc at 17-35N, 120-12E.
Dutch submarine K.14 sank Japanese transport KATORI
MARU (9849grt) and damaged steamers HIYOSHI MARU (4943grt), HOKKAI MARU
8416grt), and NICHINAN MARU (6503grt) off Kuching.
Dutch submarine K.13 was disabled by a battery
explosion at Singapore. Three ratings were killed and three were injured.
Destroyer VAN NES departed Tangjong Priok on the 27th
to escort the submarine from Bank Straits to Surabaya. The submarine departed Singapore on the 27th, escorted by minesweeper BENDIGO. The submarine was towed to Surabaya, arriving on the 30th.
Japanese submarine I.17 damaged with gunfire
American tanker LARRY DOHENY (7038grt) in 40N, 125W.
Japanese submarine I.21 sank American tanker
MONTIBELLO (8272grt) in 35-30N, 121-15W, four miles off Cambria, California. The entire crew were rescued.
Japanese submarine I.21 damaged with gunfire
American tanker IDAHO (6418grt) in 35N, 121W.
Wednesday, 24 December
Light cruiser KENYA (Burroughs), destroyers OFFA, ONSLOW, ORIBI, and
CHIDDINGFOLD, and landing ships PRINCE CHARLES and PRINCE LEOPOLD departed
Scapa Flow as Force P.at 2100 on Operation ARCHERY, a raid on
Vaagso and Maaloy Island. The Force arrived at Sullom Voe on the 25th. Force J departed Sullom
Voe on the 26th for the Operation.
Submarine TUNA provided the navigational beacon for
the raid on the 27th.
Battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers INGLEFIELD,
FAULKNER, MATABELE, MONTROSE, FORESTER, and INTREPID were brought to short
notice at Scapa Flow to act as the covering force for Operations ANKLET
On the 27th, light cruiser KENYA was damaged by a 5.1 inch shell from the Battery at Rugsundoy.
Destroyers ONSLOW and ORIBI sank German steamers
REIMAR EDWARD FRITZEN (2936grt), NORMA (2258grt), and ANITA L. M. RUSS
(1712grt) at Maaloy.
Destroyers OFFA and CHIDDINGFOLD sank German
auxiliary patrol vessel Vp.1502 (trawler DONNER) and steamer ANHALT
(5870grt). The ships arrived back at Scapa Flow noon on the 28th.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Hvalfjord for Seidisfjord for the escort
of convoy PQ.7.
Convoy ON.50 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer BROKE and corvettes BARRIE, CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, and PIMPERNEL. Destroyer
CHELSEA joined on the 25th. These escorts, less corvette BARRIE, were relieved on the 28th by destroyer BURNHAM and
corvettes ALGOMA, CHILLIWACK, DRUMHELLER, NAPANEE, SUMMERSIDE, and TRILLIUM.
Corvette BARRIE was detached on 2 January. The convoy was
dispersed on 3 January and the escorts detached.
Submarine H 31 (Lt F. B. Gibbs) departed Falmouth on the 19th for a patrol off Cape Finisterre. She was due back on the 24th, but did not return.
There is no indication as to when or how the submarine was lost. It was
possible a breakaway mine from minelayer ABDIEL's Little Sole Bank field
claimed the submarine. Gibbs, T/Sub Lt
P. D. N. Campbell RNR, T/Lt M. Eynon RNVR, Lt A. I. Merritt, and twenty
nine ratings were lost on the submarine.
Steamer MERCHANT (4615grt) was sunk on a mine, 1¼
mile 354° from No.6 Buoy, Yarmouth in 52-39-30N, 2-00-56E. One crewman was
lost on the steamer.
British tanker STANMOUNT (4468grt) was sunk on a
mine, one mile 350° from No.6 Buoy, Yarmouth in 52-39-22N, 2-00-31E. The
entire crew were rescued.
Steamer EASTWOOD (1551grt) was damaged by mining 2½
miles 104° Aldeburgh Light. Four crew were lost on the steamer. The steamer
arrived at Harwich on the 25th and was later taken to the Humber for repairs.
Norwegian tanker OLE JACOB, captured by German
raider ATLANTIS on 10 November 1940 and renamed BENNO, was sunk by British torpedo
aircraft at Puerto Carino, in northwest Spain. British
aircraft had damaged the tanker on the 23rd with depth charges.
Corvette SALVIA (Lt Cdr J. I. Miller DSO DSC, RD
RNR) was sunk by U.568 in 31-46N, 28-00E west of Alexandria. Miller,
T/Lt B. W. Church DSC RNVR, T/Lt E. S. Ditmars RCNVR, T/Lt J. L. Field RNVR,
and fifty five ratings were missing on the corvette.
British tanker PHENIX (5907grt) was sunk on a mine
at Haifa. Four crew were lost on the tanker. Petrol carrier VILJA was set afire by the
tanker's explosion, as was parts of the harbour.
Destroyer WESTCOTT arrived at Gibraltar from the UK.
T/Midshipman J. E. G. Burnett of destroyer HEYTHROP
died of injuries after being beaten up.
Convoy DM.1 (WS.12ZM) of steamers NARKUNA, AORANGI, SUSSEX, ABBEKERK, and MOUNT
VERNON departed Durban escorted by light cruiser EMERALD. The convoy,
escorted by heavy cruiser EXETER,
light cruiser EMERALD, and sloop JUMNA, departed
Addu on 5 January. Light cruiser DURBAN joined in 4-27S, 94-47E on 9 January. Dutch light
cruiser DE RUYTER joined on 10 January for three hours while Admiral Doorman
boarded light cruiser EMERALD to discuss route and policy.
On 10 January, destroyers destroyers JUPITER, ENCOUNTER,
and VAMPIRE joined the convoy. On 11 January, Dutch light cruisers DE RUYTER
and TROMP and Dutch destroyers BANCKERT and PIET HEIN escorted the convoy
through the Banka Straits during daylight on 12 January. Convoy DM.1 arrived
at Singapore on 13 January.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK laid mines off Horsborough
Destroyer THRACIAN (Cdr A. J. Pears Rtd) was
beached after Japanese bombing at Hong Kong. Pears,
Lt (E) E. P. Birkett, Lt J. Dines RNR, and Gunner (T) T. H. Quilliam were taken prisoner
by the Japanese on the fall of Hong Kong.
Dutch submarine K.17 was sunk by Japanese
destroyers near Kota Bharu.
Japanese forces which had departed Amami O Shima on
the 17th arrived off Lamon Bay.
Twenty four transports landed troops, covered by
light cruiser NAGARA and destroyers YAMAKAZE, SUZUKAZE, KAWAKAZE, and UMIKAZE
of the 24th Destroyer Division and TOKITSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE of the 16th
American steamer SI KIANG (7014grt) was sunk by
Japanese bombing in the Bay of Marse, Manila. Ten crew
were lost on the steamer.
Steamers GLADYS (358grt), MARGARET (248grt), and
REJANG (288grt) and lighter KIM CHIN
SENG (165grt) were scuttled at Kuching.
Dutch submarine K.16 sank Japanese destroyer SAGIRI
at 1-34N, 110-21E. The submarine was sunk the next day by Japanese submarine
I.66 sank north of Api. There was one survivor from the submarine.
Japanese submarine I.19 damaged American steamer
ABSAROKA (5695grt) in 34N, 121W off California. One crewman was killed. The steamer was towed to
Japanese submarine I.23 damaged American steamer
DOROTHY PHILIPS (2119grt) with gunfire in Monterey
Thursday, 25 December
The flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, 18th Cruiser
Squadron, struck his flag in light cruiser EDINBURGH at Murmansk.
Heavy cruiser KENT departed
Archangel with the
British Foreign Secretary and his staff and Rear Admiral Commanding 18th
Cruiser Squadron Rear Admiral E. N. Syfret CB, and his staff. The heavy
cruiser arrived at Scapa
Flow on the 29th. The
cruiser proceeded on to the Clyde arriving later that day.
Steamer CORMEAD (2848grt) was sunk on a mine three
miles 350° from No. 5 Buoy, off Lowestoft. The
entire crew were rescued.
Steamer CHARLES PARSONS (1554grt) was damaged by
German bombing eight miles north of Hartlepool.
Steamer SHEAF MOUNT (5017grt) was damaged by German
bombing in the North
When a Albacore of 826 Squadron was damaged by
ground fire near Sollum, observer T/Sub Lt (A) G. Credland RNVR, was killed.
Pilot A/Sub Lt (A) R. S. Nathan RNVR, and Leading Airman S. V. Coulter were
A Catalina was shot down off Northern Malaya. Destroyer THANET was despatched to rescue the
crew, but they were picked up by Dutch submarine K.12 before the destroyer
Boom defense depot ROBIN (formerly gunboat, Lt Cdr
E. G. Solway Rtd) was scuttled at Hong Kong.
Solway, T/Lt H. Clark RNR, Chief Skipper J. H. Cowling RNVR, Chief Skipper
A. Flett RNR, Lt W. Fogg Rtd, Engineering Lt C. Freeman Rtd,
T/Boom Engineer F. C. G. George RNR, Lt W. J. Haslehurst Rtd, Skipper W. Mair RNR, Lt F. W. Mitchell Rtd, T/Lt A. W. Skelly RNR,, and T/Lt R. Wherry RNR, were taken prisoner on the fall of Hong Kong.
Flett and Mair were killed when in passage in
Japanese steamer LISBON MARU, sunk by American submarine GROUPER on 2 October 1942. Freeman died as a prisoner of war of 23 January
1942. George died as a prisoner
of war on 6 April 1943.
Motor torpedo boats MTB.7 (Lt R. R. W. Ashby HgKgNVR), MTB.9 (Lt A. Kennedy RNVR), MTB.10 (Lt Cdr G. H. Gandy Rtd, SO of the Flotilla),
MTB.11 (Lt C. I. Collingwood), and MTB.27 (Lt T. M. Parsons HgKgNVR), escaped from Aberdeen
Harbour for Mirs
carrying refugees, including Chinese Admiral Chan Chak. The boats were then
Lt C. R. C. Dodson RNVR, of MTB.9 was taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Motor minesweepers MMS.95, MMS.96, MMS.123, and MMS.124, building at Vaughn Shipbuilding Hong Kong
were lost on the stocks. The following officers were taken prisoner by the
Japanese on the fall of Hong
Kong. All officers
attached to HMS TAMAR (Captain A. C. Collinson, Commodore 2nd Class). T/Boom
Skipper S. A. Baily, Lt H. Bevis Rtd, Lt Cdr J. G. Binny, Paymaster Cdr J. G.
B. A. Campbell Rtd, Lt Cdr T. R. Chattock, Collinson, Cdr D. H. S. Craven,
Cdr R. C. Creer RAN Rtd, Cdr F. W. Crowther Rtd, A/T/Lt Cdr H. C. F. Dawes
RNR, Lt H. C. Dixon, NZRNVR, Boatswain W. G. R. Easterbrook,
A/Major G. B. O. Farrington, RM, Major R. C. Giles, RM, Commissioned
Telegraphist N. T. J. Greenwood, Cdr W. H. L. Harrison Rtd, Paymaster Cdr C.
S. B. Hickman, Lt Cdr G. S. Hugh-Jones, Lt Cdr K. W. Kirby, Temprary Boom
Engineer J. C. McFarlane (Boom Defense Hong Kong), Warrant Wardmaster F.
Martin (NH Hong Kong), Cdr H. C. Millett Rtd, Engineering Captain F. B.
Minhinnick Rtd (DY HK), Signal Boatswain D. M.Mitchell, Cdr G. W. Morrison
Rtd, Surgeonl Lt Cdr J. A. Page, T/Chaplain C. Strong RNVR, T/Warrant
Engineer A. W. F. Taylor, Surgeon Cdr R. W. H. Tinckler, Cdr L. L. Tollemache
Rtd, Engineering Cdr P. Warner Rtd, Warrant Storemaster R. M. Wexham,
T/Surgeon Lt R. G. S. Whitfield RNVR, and Lt Cdr R. S. Young Rtd.
Bailey, Easterbrook, Greenwood, Martin, and Wexham were killed when the steamer
LISBON MARU was sunk on 2 October. McFarlane died as a prisoner of war on
1942. Mitchell died of
dysentery as a prisoner of war on 8 July 1942. Taylor was killed in an air raid at Kawasake on 25 July 1945. The following ships were captured by Japanese
forces at Hong Kong (most of the ships had already been sunk or
scuttled prior to capture)
American steamer ADMIRAL Y. S. WILLIAMS (3252grt),
which had been scuttled on the 12th, Chinese steamer ANLEE (1668grt), Steamer
APOEY (2790grt), American steamer ARGUS (1025grt), Steamer ADRIADNE MOLLER
(1840grt), Steamer CAMBAY PRINCE (455grt) at Bleak Pier, Steamer CHENGTU
(2219grt), Panamanian steamer DAYLITE (1976grt), Panamanian steamer ELDORADO
(2180grt), British salvage tug ETHEL MOLLER (912grt), Steamer FAUSANG
(2256grt), British salvage vessel FROSTY MOLLER (555grt), Motor vessel FOOK
ON.(738grt), Tug GERTRUDE MOLLER (92grt), Norwegian steamer HALLDOR
(1515grt), Norwegian steamer HARALDSVANG (3112grt), Motor vessel HINSANG
(4644grt), American steamer HIRONDELLE (1243grt), under repair, Chinese
steamer HSINLEE (1174grt), Steamer JOAN MOLLER (2332grt), British salvage
ship JOSEPHINE MOLLER (1274grt), Steamer KANCHOW (2001grt), British salvage
ship KATHLEEN MOLLER 91487grt), Steamer KAU TUNG (1665grt), Steamer KINSHAN
(2733grt), Steamer KWONG FOOK CHEUNG (881grt), Steamer KWONG SAI (1309grt), Steamer KWONG TUNG (1218grt), British
ferry MAN CHIAO (350grt), Auxiliary minelayer MAN YEUNG (371grt), Chinese mine carrier MAO LEE, requisitioned by the Royal Navy (1946grt),
British salvage tug MARGARET MOLLER (468grt), Panamanian steamer MARION
(1185grt), Steamer MING SANG
(3420grt), Steamer NANNING (2486grt), Swedish motor vessel NINGPO (6079grt),
Tug PATRICIA MOLLER (390grt), Chinese steamer SHENGLEE (3087grt), Steamer
SHUN CHIH (1881grt), Steamer SOOCHOW (2604grt), Steamer SUMATRA (984grt),
Steamer TAI HING (1068grt), Steamer TAI LEE (1423grt), Steamer TAI MING (649grt), French
steamer TAI POO SEK (1960grt), Steamer TIN
(398grt), Steamer TIN YAT (942grt), Steamer SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
(1339grt), British water boat WAVE,
Panamanian steamer WAWA (1650grt), and Steamer YAT SHING (2284grt) on the
Norwegian steamer HALLDOR was renamed HARUNA MARU
for Japanese use.
Tugs INDO CHINA (63grt) and TAIKOO HANG (32grt) were seized at
Hong Kong on the 26th.
Steamers EMPIRE DRAGON (6580grt) and EMPIRE PAGODA
(6580grt), under construction at Hong Kong were
sunk, but were later refloated and restored to service by Japanese forces.
Friday, 26 December
Patrol White was re-established and heavy cruiser
NORFOLK departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Denmark Strait.
Convoy PQ.7A departed Hvalfjord with Panamanian
steamer COLD HARBOUR (5010grt) and British WARZIRISTAN (5135grt) escorted by
trawlers HUGH WALPOLE and OPHELIA to 27 December. The other ships of the
convoy were delayed by defects.
Minesweepers BRITOMART and SALAMANDER departed Seidisfjord at noon on the 28th to meet the convoy, but did not locate
it. The minesweepers arrived at Murmansk at 1700 on 4 January. On 2 January, WARZIRISTAN was stranded on
the ice. She was damaged by German bombing and sunk by U.134.
COLD HARBOR arrived at Murmansk on 12 January.
Minesweeping trawler HENRIETTE (Former French,
261grt, Lt A. V. Pearce RNR) was
sunk on a mine 3.4 miles 134.5° from Spurn Point, off the Humber. There were no casualties on the trawler.
Norwegian steamers KONG RING (1994grt) and INGER
NIELSEN (1862grt) were sunk and Norwegian steamer KONG DAG (1862grt) was
damaged at Ullsfjord on mines laid by Soviet submarine K.1 on 16 and 17
On the 25th, Submarines TRUSTY and TRUANT were
ordered to the Eastern Fleet. TRUSTY
departed Alexandria for Singapore on the 26th.
TRUANT departed Alexandria on 3 January and arrived at
Surabaya on 11 February.
Light cruisers AJAX and DIDO and destroyers LANCE,
liVELY, ARROW, FOXHOUND, GURKHA, and NESTOR departed Malta with steamers SYDNEY
STAR, CLAN FERGUSON, AJAX, and CITY OF CALCUTTA of convoy ME.8 on the 26th.
Antiaircraft ship CARLISLE and destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM,
KINGSTON, and ISAAC SWEERS departed Alexandria to join the ships before dark on the 27th, but in
bad weather did not contact the group until 0700/28th.
The Dutch destroyer was damaged by weather and
returned to Alexandria on the 27th.
When the two groups met, destroyers LANCE and
LIVELY were detached to Malta, arriving on the 29th.
Destroyer MAORI was damaged by the near miss of
German bombing. The destroyer required six weeks to repair. The ships arrived
at Alexandria on the 29th, less destroyer NIZAM which took
steamer SYDNEY STAR directly to Port Said. The destroyer returned to Alexandria on the 30th.
passengers and stores.
U.559 sank Polish steamer WARSZAWA (2487grt) in
Corvette PEONY was able to take the steamer in tow,
escorted by destroyer AVONVALE while destroyers KIPLING and LEGION hunted the
However, the steamer could not be saved when a
second attack by the submarine was successful. Boom defense vessel BURGONET
rescued 309 survivors. Corvette PEONY and destroyer AVONVALE rescued further
survivors. Three crew and about twenty passengers were lost on the steamer.
Convoy AT.6 departed Tobruk on the 27th. At 0909 on
the 27th, destroyers KIPLING and LEGION attacked a submarine contact.
Convoy AT.7 departed Alexandria escorted by destroyer ERIDGE and anti-submarine
whaler SOUTHERN SEA with destroyers GRIFFIN and HASTY as a striking force. The convoy arrived
on the 29th and the destroyers departed with convoy TA.7 of empty ships KIRKLAND and EOCENE. There is no mention of convoys AT.8 or
AT.9 in the Med Fleet War Diary. Apparently, they did not sail.
Submarine P.39, which departed Holy Loch on the
16th, arrived at Gibraltar from the UK.
Submarine UNA departed
Destroyer VANOC, which had been searching for an
enemy tanker in the area of Cape Ortegal, arrived at Gibraltar.
Japanese minesweeper W.6 and steamer UNYO MARU No.2
were sunk by Dutch air attack at 1-34N, 110-21E.
Dutch destroyer O.19 arrived at Singapore after patrol.
Destroyer SCOUT arrived at Soe Soe for refuelling,
but none was available. The destroyer returned to Sabang.
American convoy 4032 departed Pearl
Harbour with passenger ships LURLINE, MATSONIA, and
MONTEREY, escorted by light cruiser ST LOUIS and destroyers PRESTON and SMITH. The convoy arrived at
San Francisco on 2 January.
Steamer TANTALUS (7724grt), which had departed
Hong Kong on the 5th under the tow of tug KESWICK for Singapore, was sunk by Japanese bombing at Manila. Thirty
nine crew and six gunners were made prisoners of war.
Soviet tanker MAIKOP (1846grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing off the southwestern point of the Gulf of
Davao. One crewman was lost.
Convoy SL.96 departed Freetown escorted by destroyers BRADFORD to 1 January and
VELOX to 15 January and corvettes AMARANTHUS to 13 January, AURICULA to 30
December, CROCUS to 30 December, and ORCHIS to 28 December.
On the 28th, sloops LEITH, ROCHESTER, SANDWICH, and
to 13 January. Destroyer BRADFORD, after refuelling at Gibraltar, departed on 6 January to rejoin the convoy. Ocean
boarding vessel MARSDALE joined on 12 January to 13 January. The convoy was
dispersed on 13 January due to weather. The destroyers remained with the
Liverpool ships until arrival on 15 January.
Saturday, 27 December
Battleship RESOLUTION and destroyers FORESTER and
FAULKNOR departed Scapa
Flow for exercises during
Destroyer IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow for
refitting. The destroyer arrived at Portsmouth on the 30th.
Convoy ON.51 departed Liverpool on the 27th. The convoy was joined on the 28th by
destroyer WATCHMAN and corvettes AARABIS, MONKSHOOD, and THYME. Corvette
SNOWFLAKE joined on the 29th. The escorts were detached on 2 January when
American destroyers BUCK, GREER, HERBERT, MCCORMICK, and SWANSON joined.
The American destroyers were detached on 11 January when the convoy was
Minesweeper/escort vessel JASON departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth, arriving on the 28th.
Submarine STURGEON, escorted by an anti-submarine
yacht WHITE BEAR, departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow, where they arrived on the 29th.
Minesweeper NIGER departed
Scapa Flow at 2200
for Dundee for effect further repairs to her stern glands.
The minesweeper arrived at 1200/28th.
Steamer J. D. PADDON (570grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 53-55N, 0-16E. The entire crew were rescued.
Submarine P.36, which departed Portsmouth on18 December, arrived at Gibraltar.
Corvettes GERANIUM and AZALEA departed Gibraltar to meet arriving tanker LA CARRIERE. The ships
safely arrived back on 4 January.
Convoy HX.167 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS and corvettes SASKATOON and THE PAS. The escort was detached on the 29th when American
destroyers BABBITT, LEARY, MAYO, SCHENCK, and SIMPSON joined. Destroyers
BABBIT and SCHENCK are refuelled at sea from American cargo ship DELTA. In
heavy weather, destroyer LEARY was unable to take on fuel and was detached on
4 January to refuel at Casco
Bay. On 7 January,
destroyer WATCHMAN and corvettes ARABIS, DAHLIA, MONKSHOOD, and SNOWFLAKE
joined the convoy and the American ships were detached. On 10 January,
destroyer WATCHMAN and corvettes DAHLIA, MONKSHOOD, and SNOWFLAKE were
detached. Anti-submarine trawler KIRKELLA joined on 11 January and the convoy
arrived at Liverpool that day.
Convoy SC.62 departed St Johns, CB, escorted by corvettes ACONIT, LOUISBURG, SOREL, and SUDBURY and minesweepers GEORGIAN, NIPIGON, and THUNDER.
Corvettes COWICHEN joined on the 28th. These escorts, less ACONIT and SOREL,
were detached when corvettes ALYSSE, CHICOUTIMI, and KENOGAMI joined on the 29th. Destroyer ASSINIBOINE joined on the 30th. Destroyer ASSINIBOINE was detached on 8 January and corvettes ACONIT and
SOREL on 9 January. On 9 January, destroyers SHERWOOD and ST ALBANS and corvettes HIBISCUS, MONTBRETIA, and ROSE
joined. The convoy was dispersed 12 January in 56-49N, 9-12W.
Dutch submarine K.11 departed Singapore to patrol on a line Kuching to Saigon, then return to Singapore by 3 January.
American steamer TAURUS (1251grt) was scuttled in
the Pasig River.
American steamers ETHEL EDWARDS (395grt) and
CANLAON (667grt) were sunk by Japanese bombing at Manila.
American submarine PERCH sank Japanese ammunition
ship NOJIMA MARU (7190grt) southwest of Hong Kong.
Japanese submarine I.25 damaged American tanker
CONNECTICUT (8684grt) ten miles west of the mouth of the Columbia River.
Sunday, 28 December
Destroyer LEWES, which had departed Plymouth for
Scapa Flow to work
up, put back into harbour with a minor defect.
Dutch steamer DE RUYTER (458grt) was damaged by
German bombing twenty three miles north, northeast of South Bishop. The
steamer was taken in tow and beached at Goodwick Sands.
Steamer FORAFRIC (3475grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing in 3-40N, 121E, Celebes
Sea. The crew were all
Dutch tanker ALDEGONDA (2088grt), which had
departed Singapore on the 27th, was damaged by Japanese bombing in
the Malacca Strait. Destroyer SCOUT was
dispatched to assist, but the tanker was able to proceed and arrived at Soe
Soe on the 29th.
U.75 sank Steamer VOLO (1587grt) in 3-45N, 26-48E
of convoy AT.6 and reported one other ship sunk and another ship
damaged. Twenty one crew and three
gunners were lost on the steamer. A.17 (T/Sub Lt A. L. Pullen RNVR) rescued
some of the survivors.
Destroyer AVONVALE and corvette PEONY continued
with the convoy.
Destroyer KIPLING was joined by destroyer LEGION.
U.75 was sunk by destroyer KIPLING off Matruh in
Two officers and twenty eight ratings were picked
up by destroyers KIPLING and LEGION. Fourteen crew were lost in the
T/A/Sub Lt (A) R. Griffin RNVR, of 805 Squadron
from GREBE, was lost protecting the convoy when his Martlet was lost.
Destroyers KIPLING and LEGION arrived at Alexandria on the 28th.
Belgian landing ship PRINCE BADOUIN and destroyers
SIKH, HERO, and HOTSPUR departed Alexandria for Tobruk, arriving on the 29th.
After this operation, these destroyers were to
escort the minesweeping flotilla of minesweepers BAGSHOT, ABERDARE, SOTRA,
and HAILSTORM to Benghazi. The destroyers returned to Alexandria on the 31st.
Destroyer HEYTHROP departed Alexandria with a petrol carrier for Tobruk, arriving on the
HEYTHROP escorted PRINCE BADOUIN back to Alexandria.
Submarine THORN made an unsuccessfully attack on a
tanker off Cepalonia.
Destroyers JUPITER and ENCOUNTER departed Singapore for Batavia.
Steamers HAI KWANG (905grt) and SEISTAN (2455grt) was sunk by
Japanese bombing in Manila Bay. The entire crews were rescued and made prisoners
American survey vessel RESEARCH (875grt) was
damaged by Japanese bombing at Engineer
Island. The vessel was damaged again on 29 and 30 December in
The vessel was beached on the western side of Manila
Convoy ZK.5 departed Sydney for Port Moresby with troopships AQUITANIA (44,786grt) SARPEDON (11,321grt), and HERSTEIN
(5100grt) with 4250 troops and 10,000 tons of supplies. The convoy was
escorted by Australian heavy cruisers AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA and light cruiser PERTH. US heavy cruiser PENSACOLA took her seven transports to Port Darwin. Australian sloops SWAN and WARREGO joined
convoy ZK.5 on 2 January and the convoy arrived on 3 January.
US heavy cruiser HOUSTON, destroyers WHIPPLE, ALDEN,
and EDSALL with supply ship GOLD STAR, submarine tender OTUS, and oiler PECOS arrived at Darwin.
American convoy 2006 departed San Francisco with steamers HENDERSON, AMERICAN STAR, LUMBERLADY, MANOA, MAUNAWILI, STEEL VOYAGER,
BOREAS, BARBARA OLSEN, LURLINE BURNS, MANUKAI, PHILLIPA, WILLIAM R. GIBSON,
CUYAMA, IOWAN, MAKIKI, MANULANI, and S. C. T. DODD, escorted by light cruiser
DETROIT and destroyers CLARK and CUMMINGS. The convoy was
joined by Task Group 15.8 (see convoy 2007). The convoy arrived at Pearl
Harbour on 10 January.
American convoy 2007 of steamships ETOLIN,
PRESIDENT TAYLOR, MAUI, and PRESIDENT JOHNSON departed San Francisco with convoy 2006. On 3 January, the convoy was
handed over to Task Group 15. 8 from Pearl
Harbour of heavy cruiser PORTLAND
destroyers PHELPS and FARRAGUT. That Task Group in turn handed the convoy
over to local escort on 7 January of destroyer minesweepers GAMBLE, ELLIOT,
and LONG. Destroyer LAMSON and destroyer minesweepers CHANDLER and PERRY replaced destroyer PHELPS. Task Group
15. 8 headed back east and rejoined convoy 2006, joining Task Group 15.2. The
convoy arrived at Pearl Harbour on 8 January.
Monday, 29 December
Destroyer MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 2200 for Rosyth to boiler clean. The destroyer
arrived off May Island at 0500/30th.
Armed merchant cruiser CITY OF DURBAN departed Scapa Flow to join convoy WN.24 for Rosyth, arriving on the
Convoy QP.4 departed Archangel with BRIARWOOD (4019grt), CAPE RACE (3807grt), DAY Y BRYN (5117grt),SAN AMBROSIO (7410grt), TREHATA (4817grt), WANSTEAD
(5486grt), CAPE CORSO (3890grt), Panamanian COCLE (5630grt), Panamanian EL CAPITAN
(5255grt), EULIMA (6207grt), Soviet SUKHONA (3124grt), and TREKIEVE
Minesweepers SEAGULL and SPEEDY, trawlers BUTE and STELLA CAPELLA with tanker EL MIRLO (8092grt) departed
Murmansk for Iokanka to join the convoy. The convoy was
escorted by minesweepers BRAMBLE and HEBE to 5 January, minesweepers LEDA,
SEAGULL, and SPEEDY and trawlers BUTE and STELLA
CAPELLA to 9 January.
Light cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers ECHO and ECLIPSE escorted the convoy from 5 January to
9 January, when the convoy dispersed.
Convoy AT.10 departed Alexandria for Tobruk escorted by destroyer FARNDALE and
anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN ISLE with destroyers KIPLING and LEGION as a striking
force. The convoy arrived on the 31st. Destroyer FARNDALE departed escorting
three empty store ships to Alexandria.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL departed Alexandria for Haifa to embark mines prior to joining the Eastern
On exercises off Malta, Submarine UPHOLDER was machine gunned by German
Messerschmidt aircraft. The commanding officer, Lt C. P. Norman was
wounded. Submarine URGE and
minesweeping trawler BERYL were also machine gunned. BERYL had six wounded.
Tug HENRY KESWICK (671grt) was lost off Corregidor. The crew were all interned.
US submarine tender CANOPUS was damaged by Japanese bombing at 14-25N,
120-20E. Six enlisted men were killed and two enlisted men were wounded.
American presidential yacht CASIANA was sunk by
Japanese bombing near the wharf of Port Mills, Corregidor.
Japanese submarine RO.60 was lost in stranding on
Tuesday, 30 December
Scapa Flow at 0100 for Aberdeen where she arrived at 0800. The destroyer later
sailed escorting steamer
to Invergordon and then sailed for Scapa Flow.
While approaching harbour, destroyer CALPE was ordered to investigate a report of a possible submarine six miles
east of Pentland Skerries made by anti-submarine trawler SCALBY WYKE. She was
recalled at 2230 and arrived at Scapa Flow at
Destroyer FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow at 0230 escorting landing ships PRINCE CHARLES,
PRINCE LEOPOLD, and PRINCESS CHARLOTTE to Invergordon, where they arrived at
Later in the day, while PRINCESS CHARLOTTE was
shifting berth, she collided with destroyer FORESIGHT and damaged the
destroyer's stem. The destroyer was able to escort the landing ships back to
Scapa Flow, arriving at 1130 on 1 January.
Destroyer MONTROSE struck a rock off Herston Head,
damaging her port propeller shaft. The destroyer departed Scapa Flow on 2 January for to Rosyth for repairs, arriving
on 3 January.
Submarine TUNA arrived in the Clyde from Operation ARCHERY.
In a training exercise, two Swordfish aircraft of
771 Squadron collided west of Crail. T/A/Sub Lt (A) M. G. N Crawford RNVR, of
one aircraft and Lt N. A. F Cheeseman of the other were both killed.
Light cruiser AJAX and destroyers NAPIER, NESTOR, GURKHA, and
FOXHOUND departed Alexandria for a bombardment in the Bardia area during the
night of 30/31 December. Destroyers
KINGSTON and NIZAM departed Alexandria to conduct an anti-submarine sweep.
Submarine THORN sank German steamer CAMPINA
(3032grt) in the Peloponnese in 38-35N, 10-27E.
Submarine PROTEUS sank Italian steamer CITTA DI
MARSALA (2480grt), leaving Argostoli in 38-07N, 20-25E.
Italian steamer SALVATORE LO BIANCO (82grt) was
lost at Bardia.
Destroyers VANOC and BADSWORTH departed Gibraltar with Polish troopship BATORY for the Clyde.
Japanese submarine I.1 shelled Hilo during the night of 30/31 December.
Armed patrol vessel KUDAT (1725grt) and five fast
motor boats of the Perak Flotilla was sunk by Japanese air attack at Port
Swettenham. Lt J. E. D. Darwall died of wounds on 26 January 1942. Two Asian crew were killed and nine wounded.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK laid mines in South Channel
of Singapore Strait.
Dutch submarine K.12 departed Singapore for patrol north of Midai
Islands. The submarine was return to
Singapore on 11 January.
Australian sloop YARRA arrived at Colombo after departing the Mediterranean on the 15th.
American convoy 4033 departed Pearl
Harbour with transports HARRIS, TASKER H. BLISS, and PRESIDENT GARFIELD and
cargo ship PROCYON, escorted by Task Group 15. 7 of light cruiser
PHOENIX and destroyers AYLWIN and PERKINS. The convoy
arrived at San
Norwegian steamers HAI
(1105grt) and RANDI (1132grt) were seized by Japanese forces at Bangkok.
Swedish steamer MIRAMAR (1555grt) was seized by Japanese forces at Saigon.
Wednesday, 31 December
Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Hvalfjord for patrol
in the Denmark Strait.
Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the Denmark Strait.
Heavy cruiser KENT departed the Clyde to return to Scapa
The Flag of 10th Cruiser Squadron was transferred
from light cruiser KENYA to light cruiser NIGERIA.
Convoy ON.52 departed Liverpool escorted by corvettes HIBISCUS, MONTBRETIA, and
ROSE. The convoy was joined on 1 January by destroyer ST ALBANS and New Zealand trawler KIWI, en route to the Pacific. Destroyers
NEWMARKET and SHERWOOD and corvette DAHLIA joined on 3
January. Destroyers ST ALBANS and SHERWOOD and corvettes HIBISCUS,
MONTVBRETIA, and ROSE were detached on 5 January. Destroyer SAGUENAY and corvettes CAMROSE, SHEDIAC, SPIKENARD, and WETASKIWIN joined on 5
January. Corvette DAHLIA was detached on 6 January. The remainder of the
escort was detached on 11 January when the convoy dispersed.
Minesweeper HALCYON arrived at Sullom Voe to escort
oiler SAN ZOTICO to Scapa Flow.
Convoy PQ.7B departed Hvalfjord with steamers
Panamanian ANEROID (5074grt), Soviet CHERNYSHEVSKI (3588grt), EMPIRE HALLEY
(7168grt), EMPIRE REDSHANK (6615grt), Panamanian REIGHCOUNT (4657grt),
BOTAVON (5848grt), EMPIRE ACTIVITY (5335grt), EMPIRE HOWARD (6985grt), and
JUTLANT (6153grt). The convoy was escorted by trawlers
CAPE ARGONA and WASTWATER to 4 January.
From 4 to 11 January, the convoy was escorted by
destroyers ICARUS and TARTAR, which departed Seidisfjord on 2 January.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Seidisfjord, but did not meet the convoy
as planned. The cruiser proceeded independently to Murmansk, arriving on 12 January. The convoy arrived at
Murmansk on 11 January.
Destroyer PANTHER departed Greenock at 2200 for Scapa
Flow to work up. The
destroyer arrived at 1900 on 1 January.
Destroyers ONSLOW, OFFA, and MARNE departed Scapa Flow at 2100 for Hvalfjord to relieve destroyers
WALKER, VERITY, and WITHERINGTON as a screen for battlecruiser RENOWN. The
destroyers arrived at Hvalfjord at 1800 on 2 January. The V and W destroyers
departed Hvalfjord at 2215 on 2 January for Scapa Flow,
Scapa Flow to escort steamer PRAGUE from Aberdeen to Invergordon.
U.87 sank British tanker CARDITA (8237grt) in
59-18N, 12-50W. Twenty seven crew members were lost on the tanker. Twenty
three survivors were rescued by destroyer ONSLOW, en route to Hvalfjord.
Italian steamer BAGNOLI (246grt) was sunk on a mine
Minesweeper ABINGDON was machine gunned by German
fighters at Malta. Six crew were wounded.
Convoy HG.77 departed Gibraltar escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and FOWEY and
corvettes BLUEBELL, HELIOTROPE, CARNATION, CAMPION, STONECROP, MYOSOTIS, and
LA MALOUINE. Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE provided additional local escort.
The destroyers were detached on 3 January and returned to Gibraltar. Anti-submarine trawler SOUTHERN STAR joined the convoy on 11 January for the day only.
The convoy arrived on 12 January at Liverpool.
Heavy cruiser EXETER departed Colombo.
Convoy BA.12 departed Bombay, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CARTHAGE. The convoy arrived at Aden on 6 January.
Convoys BA.13 to BA.19, inclusive, continue to
departed Bombay in January, February, and March, but proceeded to
Aden without escort.
Minelayer TEVIOT BANK departed Singapore for Batavia. She departed Batavia on 9 January, escorted through Sunda
Strait by destroyers VAMPIRE, JUPITER, and ENCOUNTER, and arrived at
Trincomalee on 16 January.
Fifty six Japanese transports departed Formosa for
transports were escorted by the 5th Destroyer Flotilla with light cruiser
NATORI and destroyers ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE, HATAKAZE, and MATSUKAZE of the 5th
Destroyer Division, SATSUKI, MINAZUKI, FUMITSUKI, and NAGATSUKI of the 22nd
Destroyer Division, ASASHIO, OSHIO, MICHISHIO, and ARASHIO of the 8th
Destroyer Division, light cruiser KASHII, frigate SHIMUSHU, and destroyers
AYANAMI and ISONAMI.
Heavy cruiser MAYA and destroyers IKAZUCHI and
INAZUMA covered this force in the South China Sea
until 2 January.
On 3 January, destroyers ARASHI and HAGIKAZE of the
4th Destroyer Division and FUBUKI replaced destroyers ASASHIO and OSHIO.
On 3 January, light cruiser KASHII, frigate
SHIMUSHI, destroyers AYANAMI, ISONAMI, and FUBUKI with eleven transports were
detached to Bangkok.
American steamer CAPILLO (5135grt) was sunk by
Japanese bombing at Manila.
American steamer RUTH ALEXANDER (8135grt) was sunk
by Japanese bombing off northwest Borneo. One
crewman was lost on the steamer.
American steamers MAGALLANES (1376grt) and MONTANES
(1236grt) were scuttled at Manila.
Troopship ORION and Dutch liner MARNIX VAN SINT
ALDEGONDE departed Singapore with civilian evacuees for Australia and Capetown, respectively. The ships were
escorted as far as the Sunda Strait by destroyers TENEDOS and THANET.
Norwegian steamer FINGAL (2137grt) departed Rangoon on the 28th for Calcutta. En route,
the steamer was damaged by Japanese bombing.
Steamer FINGAL arrived at Calcutta on the 31st.
American light cruiser OMAHA and destroyer SANDS visited Ascension Island.
Twenty two Western Approaches destroyers were out
of service due to weather damage.
Destroyer ST ALBANS was damaged during convoy
escort from Iceland to England. Destroyer ST ALBANS was repaired at London.
In the Newfoundland Escort Force, only destroyers
BURNHAM and BELMONT of nineteen destroyers were fit for duty.
Destroyers SOUTHWOLD and DULVERTON travelled in
convoy WS.12 Z and arrived at Suez on 2 and 4 January, respectively.
Destroyers BEAUFORT and HURWORTH travelled in
convoy WS.14. Destroyer HURWORTH arrived at Alexandria on 1 February. Destroyer BEAUFORT arrived at Port Said on 9 February and joined destroyer HERO to escort
DERWENTDALE to Alexandria. When destroyer HERO was delayed by defects,
destroyer BEAUFORT and the tanker departed on 10 February.
In the last six months of 1941, Italian submarines
conducted forty six missions of carrying fuel to North Africa.
From 28 November to 31 December, the following
submarines conducted supply missions:MILLO: departed Taranto 30 November for
Bengazi and Bardia; departed Taranto 23 December for Tripoli, MENOTTI:
departed Taranto 1 December for Bardia; departed Taranto 14 December for
Benghazi, CAGNI: departed Taranto 2 December for Bardia; departed Taranto 24
December for Bardia, SETTIMO: departed Messina 3 December for Bardia,
CARACCIOLO : departed Taranto 5 December for Bardia, ST BON: departed Taranto
8 December for Benghazi; departed Suda Bay for Benghazi and Derna, MOCENIGO:
departed Taranto 11 December for Bardia and Benghazi; departed 2, DANDOLO:
departed Messina 12 December for Bardia; departed Suda Bay 24 December for
Bardia, OTARIA: departed Messina 14 December for Bardia, BRAGADIN: departed
Taranto 17 December for Tripoli, VENIERO: departed Taranto 19 December for
Bardia; departed Suda Bay on the 31st for Bardia, MICCA departed Taranto 28
November for Benghazi; departed Taranto 15 December for Benghazi, and EMO:
departed departed Taranto 20 December for Bardia.
Submarine EMO departed Suda Bay 31 December and
entered Bardia on 2 January 1942, shortly after the British occupation. The
submarine was able to escape unharmed.
Submarines CARACCIOZO on the 11th off Bardia and ST
BON on 5 January 1942 were
lost on this duty.
Submarine ATROPO was badly damaged when her
gasoline cargo exploded. The submarine departed Taranto on 13 November for Bardia. The explosion occurred
on 17 November. The submarine at Navarino on 20 November.
Greek cruiser AVEROFF departed the Mediterranean for Bombay in mid December.
American troopship MOUNT
VERNON of convoy WS.12X, after offloading troops at
Singapore, was ordered to Suez to being Australian troops to Colombo and Fremantle.
In Australia, she loaded survivors of the Java Sea Battle. She
proceeded to San
via Wellington, arriving in March. The rest of convoy WS.12X,
escorted by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE, arrived at Bombay on the 27th. The convoy then proceeded to Singapore.
Troopship LEONARD WOOD had boiler problems and
proceeded independently from Trinidad.
At Singapore, on 30 January troopship WAKEFIELD was damaged by a bomb hit which killed all in the
sickbay. Troopship MOUNT VERNON assisted the damaged ship. Troopship WAKEFIELD departed that night for Colombo and repairs. She was repaired at Bombay, then proceeded to the US, via Capetown.
German steamer SPREEWALD departed the Far East to return to France. The steamer was sunk by U.333 on 31 January.
Italian steamers were seized in Central and South
American ports at the end of 1941
Gulf of Maracaibo
Rio de Janiero
Gulf of Maracaibo
name not changed
name not changed
Rio de Janiero