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

NAVAL EVENTS, JANUARY 1942 (Part 1 of 2) (in outline only)
Thursday 1st Wednesday 14th

HM MGB.16, British Power Boat-type motor gun boat (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to JANUARY 1942, Part 2

 

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

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

More information on naval events in this period may be found in:

 

ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES

 


Background Events - December 1941-February 1942

Pearl Harbor attacked, Loss of 'Repulse' & 'Prince of Wales', Singapore falls, 'Channel Dash' by German big ships, to February 1942


 

 

 

1942

 

 

Thursday, 1 January

 

Force J, which had withdrawn from the Lofoten Islands on the conclusion of Operation ANKLET, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100 with light cruiser ARETHUSA, destroyers SOMALI, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, WHEATLAND, escort ship SCOTT, Norwegian corvettes EGLANTINE and ACANTHUS, minesweepers SPEEDWELL and HARRIER, Polish destroyers KRAKOWIAK and KUJIWIAK, tankers BLACK RANGER and GRAY RANGER, troopship PRINCE ALBERT, tug JAUNTY, and supply ship GUDRUN MAERSK.

 

Minesweeper HALCYON arrived at Scapa Flow, escorting oiler SAN ZOTICO from Sullom Voe after Operation ANKLET.

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Heavy cruiser KENT arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde.

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Destroyer PANTHER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900 from Greenock to carry out practices after commissioning.

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Destroyer FORESIGHT, escorting landing ships PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE LEOPOLD, and PRINCESS CHARLOTTE, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130 from Invergordon.

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Destroyer NEWARK departed Scapa Flow at 2230 for Loch Alsh after docking and repairs, arriving on the 2nd.

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Submarine STURGEON departed Scapa Flow, escorted by anti-submarine trawler STELLA PEGASI, for patrol, then to Murmansk.

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Steamer KENTWOOD (2180grt) was badly damaged on a mine near 56 Buoy Haisboro. The steamer later sank in tow of a navy ship.The crew and gunners aboard were all rescued.

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Steamer PENRHOS (187grt) was sunk on a mine one mile 243 from North Constable Buoy, Liverpool Bay.

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Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL, which had departed Haifa on 31 December after embarking mines, departed Suez on the 1st and Aden on the 4th to join the Eastern Fleet. The minelayer arrived at Colombo on the 10th.

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Submarine P.36 departed Gibraltar to carry out patrols in the vicinity of Sete and Cannes before proceeding to Malta, arriving on the 16th.

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An Albacore of 828 Squadron from Hal Far failed to return from night operations. Acting S/Lt (A) R.H. Pettitt RNVR, and S/Lt (A) A.W.J. Capes RNVR, were captured by the Italians and made prisoners of war. Capes was later able to escape.

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British tug DAISY foundered under tow from Alexandria to Tobruk.

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Submarine TRUSTY, en route from the mediterranean for the Far East, departed Aden from Colombo.

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Greek light cruiser GEORGIOS AVEROFF departed Colombo for Bombay after escort duty with convoy BM.9 B.

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American steamer MALAMA (3275grt) was captured at 26-39S, 151-24W by Japanese armed merchant cruisers AIKOKU MARU and HOKUKU MARU. The crew of the steamer were interned at Shanghai.

 

 

Friday, 2 January

 

Norwegian corvettes ACANTHUS and EGLANTINE, which had formed part of Force J for operation ANKLET, departed Scapa Flow for Liverpool at 1200.

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Destroyer BEDOUIN escorted destroyer MONTROSE, which had damaged her propellers in a grounding on 30 December, from Scapa Flow at 1600. Both ships arrived at Rosyth at 1600/3rd. Destroyer BEDOUIN remained as well to clean boilers.

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Captain D.17 in destroyer ONSLOW with destroyers OFFA and MARNE arrived at Hvalfjord at 1800. En route, the destroyers had been diverted to carry out an anti-submarine sweep passing through position 59-18N, 12-50W where steamer CARDITA had been torpedoed on 31 December.Destroyer ONSLOW resuced twenty three survivors from CARDITA on the 1st.

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Destroyers WALKER, VERITY, and WITHERINGTON departed Hvalfjord at 2215 for Scapa Flow on relief by destroyers ONSLOW, OFFA, and MARNE. En route, the destroyers were diverted to screen battleship RESOLUTION to the Clyde, relieving destroyers ESKIMO and ASHANTI.

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Temporary S/Lt (A) W.C. Hooson RNVR, of 888 Squadron was killed when his Martlet crashed three miles east of Winchester during exercises.

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Convoy ON.53 departed Liverpool.The convoy was joined on the 3rd by destroyer WANDERER and corvette DAUPHIN, RENONCULE, and ROSELYS.Corvettes AUBRETIA and VERVAIN reinforced the convoy on the 5th.These escorts were relieved on the 9th by U.S. Coast cutter CAMPBELL and U.S. destroyers BADGER, COLE, DECATUR, and PLUNKETT.Destroyer BADGER was detached on the 13th and destroyer COLE on the 14th.The convoy was dispersed on the 19th.

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Dutch submarine O.14 departed Scapa Flow, escorted by anti-submarine trawler STELLA PEGASI, for Operation KITBAG.

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U.134 sank Steamer WAZIRISTAN (5135grt), from convoy PQ.7 A, in 74-09N, 19-10E.

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Submarine P.39 departed Gibraltar for patrol off Alboran Island. On 3 January, the submarine was directed to patrol off Agua amarga to intercept German steamer ELISABETH HENDRIK FISSER whose impeding departure had been reported.

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Destroyers EXMOOR and CROOME arrived at Gibraltar from Bathurst.

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Anti-submarine trawler SCOTTISH was damaged by German aircraft eight miles 300 from Cape Espichel. One soldier was killed and a stoker was wounded. The trawler entered Lisbon to land the wounded man.

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Destroyers HERO and ARROW departed Alexandria escorting escort ship ANTWERP, carrying eighty tons of supplies and three hundred and eighty personnel for Benghazi. The destroyers carried a two hundred man Naval Port Party. The escort ship and destroyers departed Benghazi on the 5th to return to Alexandria.

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Destroyer SOUTHWOLD arrived at Suez and was passed through the Canal to join the Mediterranean Fleet. On 3 January, the destroyer departed Port Said escorting three ships to Alexandria.

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U.133 was attacked, but not damaged, by British aircraft in 35-34N, 19-07E.

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Convoy SC.63 departed Sydney, CB escorted by corvettes KAMSACK, LOUISBURG, and SHAWNIGAN and minesweepers GEORGIAN and MALPEQUE. The escorts were detached on the 5th.Destroyer SKEENA and corvettes AMHERST, CELANDINE, POLYANTHUS, PRESCOTT, and PRIMROSE joined on the 5th. Destroyer SKEENA and corvette PRESCOTT were detached on the 10th.The convoy was dispersed on the 13th and the escorts detached.

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Light cruiser DESPATCH departed Balboa to patrol in the Galapagos area.

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Seaplane carrier ALBATROS arrived at Trinidad to disembark aircraft and proceed to Mobile, Alabama, for refitting.

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Convoy HX.168 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer HAMILTON and minesweepers CLAYOQUOT and REED DEER. These were detached on the 4th. American destroyers BAINBRIGE, BROOME, DICKERSON, TRUXTON, and WOOLSEY on the 4th. They were detached on the 10th. Corvettes RENONCULE, ROSELYS, and VERVAIN joined on the 11th, corvettes AUBRETIA on the 12th, and destroyer WANDERER on the 13th. The convoy was dispersed on the 13th and escorts detached.

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Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE departed Capetown for passage through the East Indies Station to Aden. On the 9th, the aircraft carrier met destroyers NAPIER, NESTOR, and NIZAM off the west coast of Socotra.

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Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN arrived at Seychilles after convoy duty with convoy WS.12 Z. The battleship departed on the 3rd for Mombasa.

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Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Bombay for Durban for escort duty with troop convoy CM.25.

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Heavy cruiser EXETER arrived at Addu Atoll from Colombo.

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Sloop FALMOUTH and boom carrier LAOMEDON departed Colombo for Trincomalee, where they arrived on the 4th.

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American steamer DON JOSE (10,893grt) was badly damaged by Japanese bombing at 14-35N, 120-55E. The steamer was run aground. The Japanese later took the steamer to Hong Kong, but it was further damaged by Allied bombing and later scrapped.

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Steamer NORAH MOLLER (4433grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing in Malacca Strait. The steamer was able to reach Singapore on the 3rd.

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American steamer LATOUCHE (2156grt) was seized by Japanese forces at Manila. The steamer was renamed AZUCHI MARU for Japanese use.

 

Ships also seized about this time in the Manila area (American unless other noted) were:

 

Vessel

Fate

Japanese name

Motor vessel ANAKAN (837grt)

 

Sunk in December

 

ANAN MARU

Lighthouse tender BANAHAO (667grt)

Sunk by Japanese bombing on 28 December, raised by Japanese Army

 

 

British tug HENRY KESWICK (671grt)

 

Scuttled 29 December 1941

 

KEISHU MARU

Steamer DOS HERMANOS (838grt)

 

Scuttled 31 December 1941

 

HIMENO MARU

Steamer KAIPING (2563grt)

 

Sunk by Japanese bombing 28 Dec 1941

 

KAIHO MARU

Steamer LUZON (1679grt)

 

Sunk at Luzon and refloated

 

RUSON MARU

Steamer MAUBAN (1253grt)

 

Sunk 28 December 1941

 

MANBO MARU

Steamer PAZ (4260grt)

 

Sunk 26 December 1941

 

HATSU MARU

 

Steamer PALAWAN (562grt)

 

Scuttled 29 December 1941

 

PARAN MARU

 

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Norwegian steamer RAVNAAS (4019grt), which had been sunk on 8 December 1941 off Surigao, was salved by Japanese forces and renamed IKUTAGAWA MARU.

 

 

Saturday, 3 January

 

Battleship DUKE OF YORK departed Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, escorted by destroyers HARVESTER, HIGHLANDER, and LIGHTNING, which had arrived on 31 December. On 5 January, the ships arrived at Bermuda.

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Destroyer LEWES arrived at Scapa Flow at 0945 from Plymouth to work up prior to joining the Rosyth Command.

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Minelayer AGAMEMNON, escorted by destroyer NEWARK, laid minefild SN 26 A of the Northern Barrage.

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Steamer CORFEN (1848grt) was badly damaged on a mine 1 miles NE of B.8 Buoy, Barrow Deep. One crewman died later of wounds. The rest of the crew survived. The steamer sank in tow later that day.

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Steamer ROBERT (1272grt) was badly damaged on a mine off Lowestoft in about 52-17-30N, 2E. The entire crew were rescued. The steamer sank in tow on the 4th.

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Submarine OLYMPUS arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.

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Light cruiser HERMIONE departed Gibraltar for Plymouth. Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville KCB, KBE, DSO, was aboard. Somerville had been assigned as Admiral, Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet. Rear Admiral E.N. Syfret CB, was named Flag Officer, Force H, effective 10 January.

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In Italian Fleet operation M.43 to support Tripoli, the following movements took place.

 

Steamers NINO BIXIO (7137grt), MONGINERVO (5324grt), and LERICI (6070 tonns) departed Messina at 1015 escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, DA RECCO, USODIMARE, BERSAGLIERE, and FUCLIERE.

 

Steamer GINO ALLEGRI (6836grt) departed Brindisi at 1315 escorted by destroyers FRECCIA and torpedo boat PROCIONE.

 

Steamer MONVISO (5322grt) and tanker GUILO GIORDANI (7000grt) departed Taranto at 1500 escorted by torpedo boats ORSA, ARETUSA, CASTORE, and ANTARES.

 

Italian battleship DUILO with light cruisers GARIBALDI, MONTECUCCOLI, and ATTENDOLO, and destroyers MAESTRALE, GIOBERTI, ORIANI, SCIROCCO, and MALOCELLO departed Taranto at 1600 to escort the convoy.

 

Italian battleships LITTORIO, CESARE, and DORIA, heavy cruisers GORIZIA and TRENTO, and destroyers CARABINIERE, ALPINO, DA NOLI, PIGAFETA, ASCARI, AVIERE, GENEIERE, ad CAMICIA NERA departed Taranto at 1850 to support the convoy.

 

The convoys safely arrived at Tripoli on the 5th.

 

The DUILO force arrived back at Taranto at 0420/6th and the LITTORIO force at 1700/5th.

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Destroyers NESTOR, NIZAM, and NAPIER departed Alexandria. The destroyers met aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE, which had departed Capetown on the 2nd, off Guardafui on the 9th. On the 15th, these ships departed Aden for Port Sudan, then Addu arriving on the 21st.The British ships refuelled at the Cocos Island on the 25th.

 

British 800 Squadron and 827 Squadron had been flown off at Aden to take on board RAF Squadrons 232 and 258 for delivery to Java. The aircraft carrier maintained nine Sea Hurricanes of 880 Squadron and twelve Albacores of 831 Squadron for her defence.

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Convoy AT.11 departed Alexandria with supply ships CRISTA (2590grt) and Norwegian HARBOE JENSEN (1862grt), anti-submarine trawler WOLBOROUGH, and tug C 307. The convoy was escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY and HASTY with destroyers GRIFFIN and HOTSPUR. The convoy was sailed for Benghazi, but was diverted to Tobruk. The convoy departed Tobruk on the 5th and arrived at Benghazi on the 7th. The destroyers returned directly to Alexandria.

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Convoy BM.9 A of steamers DEVONSHIRE (11,100grt), ETHIOPIA (5574grt), LANCASHIRE (9557grt), RAJULA (8478grt), and VARSOVA (4701grt) arrived at Singapore on the 3rd with light cruisers HOBART, DURBAN, and DRAGON and destroyers ENCOUNTER, JUPITER, and VAMPIRE.

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Destroyer THANET departed Batavia for Singapore.

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Dutch submarine K.11 arrived at Singapore from patrol.

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Light cruiser GLASGOW arrived at Colombo after escorting convoy BM.9B.

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Indian sloop SUTLEJ departed Madras with convoy MA.1 of troopship ELLENGA with troops and stores for Port Blair, arriving on the 7th.

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Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer LANGKOEAS (7395grt) north of Bawean Island. All members of the crew successfully abandoned ship, but the submarine rammed one lifeboard and machine gunned the others. American destroyer PAUL JONES searched for the submarine without success.The destroyer rescued the three survivors of the steamer's crew of 94 from Bawean Island.

 

 

Sunday, 4 January

 

Battleship RESOLUTION, with destroyers ASHANTI and ESKIMO, departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde. En route, the destroyers were relieved by destroyers WALKER, VERITY, and WITHERINGTON and returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1330/4th.

 

The battleship was proceeding to the Clyde for ocean escort duty for convoy WS.15. They arrived in the Clyde on the 5th. Flag of Vice Admiral W.E.C. Tait CB, MVO, Vice Admiral Commanding Third Battle Squadron, Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Eastern Fleet, was hoisted in RESOLUTION.

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Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Denmark Strait.

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Flag of British Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton DSC, Flag Officer Commanding Force J, struck in light cruiser ARETHUSA.

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Broad Pendant of Commodore C. Caslon, Commodore Commanding Home Fleet Destroyer Flotillas, struck in depot ship TYNE.

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Flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSC, Rear Admiral (D), hoisted in depot ship TYNE.

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Minesweepers HARRIER, SPEEDWELL, and HALCYON departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for Hvalfjord to form part of the escort for convoy PQ.8. The minesweepers arrived at Hvalfjord at 0900/7th to refuel prior to joining the convoy.

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Polish destroyers KRAKOWIAK and KUJAWIAK departed Scapa Flow at 0900 escorting landing ships PRINCE LEOPOLD and PRINCESS CHARLOTTE to the Clyde, arriving on the 5th. On arrival, the destroyers continued on to Plymouth to rejoin their previous command.

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Destroyer LANCASTER departed Loch Alsh at 1730 for Scpaa Flow to carry out repairs in dock. The destroyer arrived at 0930/5th.

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Destroyer ORIBI departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for Hvalfjord to relieve destroyer MARNE in the force detailed to act as screen for battlecruiser RENOWN. ORIBI arrived at Hvalfjord at noon on the 6th. MARNE departed Hvalfjord at 1500 for Scapa Flow, arriving at 0845/8th.

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Light cruiser EDINBURGH with destroyers ECHO and ESCAPADE departed Murmansk to meet convoy QP.4 at daylight on the 6th and escort the convoy to its dispersal point. The convoy had been considerably delayed in sailing from Archangel owing to severe ice conditions. The convoy dispersed at 1600/9th in 73N, 10E. EDINBURGH, ECHO and ESCAPADE proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving at 1430/11th. The destroyers were taken in hand for boiler cleaning.

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Minesweepers BRITOMART and SALAMANDER arrived at Murmansk at 1700 after having failed to meet and escort convoy PQ.7.

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Norwegian corvettes ACANTHUS and EGLANTINE arrived at Liverpool from Scapa Flow.

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Lt L.F. Edwards RNR, died of injuries after his Hurricane of 759 Squadron crashed near Yeovilton.

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Corvette COREOPSIS departed Gibraltar for Fayal to join corvette COLTSFOOT as additional escort for cable vessel MIRROR.

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Dutch submarine O.24 departed Gibraltar for refitting in the UK. The submarine refitted at Grangemouth from 2 February to 3 June.

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Destroyer BRADFORD arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown. The destroyer sustained minor damage in berthing.

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Corvettes GERANIUM and AZALEA arrived at Gibraltar, escorting tanker LA CARRIERE.

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In an air raid on Malta, Temporary Acting Lt T.E. Godman RNVR, and three ratings of destroyer HAVOCK were killed. HAVOCK was put out of action for three days, damaged by bomb splinters, as was destroyer ZULU, also damaged by splinter damage.

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Submarine THUNDERBOLt sank Italian caique NUOVO SAN PIETRO (32grt) on the west side of Cephalona in 38-07N, 20-20E.

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Submarine UPHOLDER damaged Italian steamer SIRIO (5222grt) in Messina Strait. The steamer was towed into Palermo.

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Submarine OSIRIS, crippled by engine defects, was ordered to abandon her patrol off Suda Bay. Destroyer FARNDALE joined her and escorted her for the last 24 hours before arriving at Alexandria. Off the Great Pass, the submarine broke down again and was towed into harbour by tug ROYSTERER, arriving on the 7th.

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Convoy SL.97 departed Freetown, escorted by destroyer BRILLIANT and corvettes BERGAMOT, LAVENDER, and WALLFLOWER to 6 January. Corvette WOODRUFF also departed Freetown with the convoy and continued with the convoy to arrival.

 

On 6 January, sloop HASTINGS and escort vessels BANFF and FISHGUARD joined the convoy and continued with it to arrival on the 24th.Sloops EGRET and FLEETWOOD and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined on the 7th and continued until 14 January. Destroyer CAMPBELTOWN joined on the 13th from Gibraltar after refuelling at Ponta Delgada and continued to arrival on the 24th for refitting at Devonport.

 

Convoy SL.97 G departed Gibraltar on the 11th. It was escorted by destroyers VIDETTE, WHITEHALL, and WISHART and anti-submarine trawlers ARCTIC RANGER and LADY HOGARTH from the start. Destroyer WHITEHALL was detached that day; destroyers VIDETTE and WISHART on the 20th. The trawlers proceeded through with the convoy to arrival.

 

Destroyer WISHART attacked U.93, shadowing the convoy, in 35-32N, 8-00W on the 12th.

 

On the 12th, destroyers LAFOREY, CROOME, HESPERUS, and WESTCOTT departed Gibraltar to operate as a striking force with the convoy. Destroyer HESPERUS escorted convoy SL.97 F from 12 to 15 January.The destroyers were detached on the 17th.

 

Destroyer HESPERUS sank U.93 at 0115/15th by gunfire and ramming northeast of Maderia in 36-10N, 15-52W. Six crew were lost in the submarine. Destroyer HESPERUS arrived at Gibraltar on the 16th with40 German prisoners.

 

On the 17th, sloops EGRET, FLEETWOOD, and HASTINGS and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined the convoy and continued with it to its arrival. Destroyer SCIMITAR joined the convoy on the 20th and continued to arrival.

 

Anti-submarine trawler MAN O WAR joined on the 24th and escorted the convoy into Liverpool on the 24th.

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Australian sloop YARRA departed Colombo for Batavia, arriving on the 11th.

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Armed merchant cruiser HECTOR, escorting RFA OLCADES, arrived at Mauritius from the Cape.

 

 

Monday, 5 January

 

Cruiser minelayer ADVENTURE departed Loch Alsh for Scapa Flow, arriving later that day.

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Destroyer MATABELE departed Rosyth at 0900 for Scapa Flow after boiler cleaning. The destroyer arrived early on the 6th.

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Destroyer CHIDDINGFOLD arried at Scapa Flow after escorting steamer PRAGUE from Aberdeen to Invergordon.

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Submarine SEAWOLF departed Murmansk on patrol.

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American heavy cruisers TUSCALOOSA and WICHITA with destroyers GRAYSON and MEREDITH departed Hvalfjord for a three day training cruise in the Denmark Strait.

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Convoy OS.16 departed Liverpool.The convoy was joined on the 6th by sloops ABERDEEN, ENCHANTRESS, and IBIS, escort vessel WALNEY, and naval trawler CAVINA.The trawler was detached on the 11th and the rest on the 20th.

 

On the 11th, destroyer CLARE joined and was detached on the 20th. On the 20th, destroyer WILD SWAN and corvettes AURICULA, FRITILLARY, NIGELLA, and ORCHIS joined the convoy and arrived with it at Freetown on the 23rd. On the 21st, corvettes BURDOCK, FREESIA, and WALLFLOWER joined the convoy and arrived at Freetown with it.

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Steamer LARGO (2209grt) in convoy FN.97 was damaged on a mine off Southwold. The steamer was able to reach Harwich with assistance on the 6th.

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Tanker SCOTTISH MUSICIAN (6998grt) in convoy FN.97 was damaged on a mine off Southwold. The tanker was drydocked at Tilbury.

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Steam trawler LODDON (200grt) was damaged by German bombing NW of 18D Buoy, Whitby.

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In Malta convoy operation MF.2, troopship GLENGYLE, escorted by Force B of light cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS with destroyers GURKHA, SIKH, KIPLING, KINGSTON, AND FOXHOUND departed Alexandria at 2230/5th.

 

Supply ship BRECONSHIRE, escorted by Force C of destroyers LANCE, LIVELY, JAGUAR, and HAVOCK departed Malta at 1830/6th.

 

At 1300/7th in 33-50N, 19-20E, the forces rendezvoused and supply ship BRECONSHIRE and destroyer HAVOCK joined Force B to return to Alexandria and troopship GLENGYLE and destroyer SIKH joined Force C to return to Malta.

 

Light cruiser DIDO, which was delayed leaving Alexandria repairing engine room defects, departed at daylight on the 8th and joined Force C at 0800 that day.

 

There was no enemy reaction to this movement.

 

The Malta group arrived back at Malta at 0800/8th. The Alexandria ships arrived during the night of 8/9 January.

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Escort destroyers FARNDALE and AVONDALE departed Alexandria and carried out an anti-submarine search in the vicinity of Alexandria. On the 6th, FARNDALE returned to Alexandria and AVONVALE joined convoy AT.14.

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Convoy AT.12 departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyer ERIDGE and anti-submarine trawlers. Destroyers LEGION and ISAAC SWEERS departed as a striking force. The convoy arrived at Tobruk on the 7th and the escorts returned to Alexandria escorting empty store ships. At 1652 on the 8th, LEGION attacked a submarine shadowing the convoy. LEGION and ISAAC SWEERS made five attacks on the submarine.

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Submarine UPHOLDER sank Italian submarine AMMIRAGLIO ST BON in 38-22N, 15-22E. Three crew from the submarine were rescued.

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Submarine PROTEUS sank Italian troopship CITTA DI PALERMO (5413grt) three miles west of Cape Dukato.

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Submarine TRUANT arrived at Port Said from Alexandria for docking prior to proceeding to the Far East.

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Light cruisers DRAGON with the British Naval Far East Staff (Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton and eight staff officers) and light cruiser DURBAN with Rear Admiral Palliser and seven staff officers departed Singapore for Batavia. The cruisers safely arrived on the 6th and became based there.

 

Also departing with them were transports DEVONSHIRE and LANCASHIRE. The former carrying personnel and equipment of the Far East Combined Bureau for transfer to Colombo. The transports were escorted to Sunda Strait by destroyer ENCOUNTER, later joined by destroyer VAMPIRE.

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Convoy DM.1 departed Addu Atoll, escorted by heavy cruiser EXETER, light cruiser EMERALD, and sloop JUMNA for Singapore, arriving on the 13th.

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Greek light cruiser GEORGIOS AVEROFF arrived at Bombay from Trincomalee.

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Light cruiser COLOMBO departed Aden for Mombasa escorting steamer MENDOZA, and arriving on the 9th.

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Light cruiser GLASGOW departed Colombo escorting steamer CLAN FORBES to Male, Maldives, and Addu Atoll. They arrived at Male on the 6th and departed that day for Addu, arriving on the 7th.

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Indian sloop INDUS departed Trincomalee for Colombo, arriving on the 7th.

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Submarine depot ship LUCIA departed Bombay for Colombo for depot ship duties.

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Japanese submarine I.56 sank Steamer KWANTUNG (2626grt) at 9-12S, 111-10E. The submarine rammed a lifeboat and machine gunned the other lifeboats. Of a crew of 98 and 35 military personnel, 35 survivors were picked up the next day.

 

 

Tuesday, 6 January

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Hvalfjord after patrol in the Denmark Strait.

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Destroyers WHEATLAND and LAMERTON departed Scapa Flow at 0900 escorting landing ships PRINCE ALBERT and PRINCE CHARLES to the Clyde, arriving on the 7th. On arrival, WHEATLAND proceeded to Portsmouth to join that command. LAMERTON proceeded to Londonderry to join Western Approaches.

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Destroyer VIMIERA and VORTIGERN arrived at Scapa Flow at 1015 for refuelling. They departed later that day.

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Minesweeper SCOTT, which had been damaged during operation ANKLET, departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Loch Alsh, arriving on the 7th. From Loch Alsh, she then proceeded to Liverpool for repairs.

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Destroyers INGLEFIELD and INTREPID departed Scapa Flow at 0300 on Operation KITBAG. The troop landing portion of the operation had been deleted.

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Scapa Flow and provided cover to seaward, while Coastal Command aircraft made a raid on the Sola Airdrome at Stavanger.

 

Dutch submarine O.14 provided the navigational beacon for the destroyers.

 

That evening, the convoy anchorage at Bonanoes was empty, but the destroyers found shipping at Floro. A 2000 ton ship was reported sunk and two trawlers and shore targets damaged. There was no enemy opposition to the operation.

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD and the destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 7th.

 

Submarine O.14 departed patrol on the 7th and proceeded to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 10th.

_____

 

Convoy ON.54 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 7th by destroyer BOADICEA, sloop COMMANDANT DETROYAT, and corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS. The destroyer and corvette NARCISSUS were detached on the 11th and the rest on the 12th. The convoy dispersed on the 17th.

_____

 

Steamer NORWICH TRADER (217grt) was destroyed in an explosion in 51-55-07N, 1-32-05E. The entire crew of six and one gunner were all lost. The wreckage was found on the 6th, but no information exists on the circumstances of the loss.

_____

 

U.701 sank steamer BARON ERSKINE (3657grt) in 59-15N, 18-30W. There were no survivors from the steamer.

_____

 

Destroyer BRADFORD departed Gibraltar to rejoin convoy SL.96.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawlers LADY HOGARTH and STELLA CARINA departed Gibraltar to meet arriving boom defence vessels BARCLOSE, BARFOAM, and BARFORD and ferry steamers CARDAK and SILIVRI, en route from the UK. The trawlers and the boom defence vessels arrived at Gibraltar on the 9th. The ferry steamers had parted company in bad weather and proceeded to the Azores.

_____

 

Convoy AT.14 (there was no AT.13) departed Alexandria with tanker TONELINE and tug ST MONANCE towing a lighter. The convoy was escorted by destroyers SOUTHWOLD and AVONVALE. TONELINE broke down on the 8th and AVONVALE fouled her screw attempting a tow. The destroyer proceeded to Mersa Matruh to clear the line and then rejoined the convoy. SOUTHWOLD in the meantime towed the tanker to Tobruk. The convoy arrived on the 8th.

_____

 

Destroyer KELVIN arrived at Suez after repairs in Bombay of May 1941 bomb damage.

_____

 

Convoy BM.9B departed Bombay 22 December with steamers EL MADINA (3962grt), RISALDAR (5407grt), RAJPUT (5497grt), JALARAJAN (5102grt), and MADURA (9032grt). The convoy was escorted by light cruiser DANAE.

 

The convoy was later joined by light cruiser HOBART, destroyers ELECTRA, EXPRESS, and STRONGHOLD, minesweepers GOULBURN and BURNIE, and from 3 to 5 January by Dutch light cruisers TROMP and DE RUYTER and destroyers BANCKERT and PIET HEIN.

 

Convoy BM.9 B arrived at Singapore on the 6th.

_____

 

Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN arrived at Mombasa from the Seychilles.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser CORNWALL, escorting convoy WS.12ZB, arrived at Bombay.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser CORFU, escorting troopship DILWARA, arrived at Durban.

_____

 

Boom carrier LAOMEDON departed Trincomalee for Colombo, arriving on the 8th.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.56 damaged Dutch steamer TANIMBAR (8169grt) with gunfire 40 miles south of Tjilatjap in 8-30S, 109-20E. The steamer returned to Tjilatjap.

 

 

Wednesday, 7 January

 

Light cruiser TRINIDAD with destroyers SOMALI and MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 2100 for Seidisfjord to refuel prior to joining convoy PQ.8 as the ocean escort. The ships arrived at Seidisfjord at 1030/9th to refuel. The ships sailed on the 10th and joined convoy PQ.8 at 1300/11th in 69N, 10W.

_____

 

Italian steamer PERLA (5741grt) was sunk by a British torpedo bomber of 830 Squadron 20 miles south of Pantelleria.

_____

 

The flag of Vice Admiral A.T.B. Curteis CB, Second in Command, Home Fleet, was transferred from base ship DUNLUCE CASTLE to heavy cruiser KENT.

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN departed Batavia to escort convoy DM.1 to Singapore. Light cruiser DRAGON was retained as a W/T ship for the Commander in Chief until base ship ANKING arrived.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART arrived at Batavia for fuel.

_____

 

Netlayer GUARDIAN departed Colombo for Diego Suarez.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.57 sank Dutch tanker DJIRAK (3077grt) in 7-15S, 116-23E. The entire crew were rescued and landed at Sekala, Java.

 

 

Thursday, 8 January

 

Destroyers CALPE and CHIDDINGFOLD departed Scapa Flow at 2030 to rendezvous with Rear Admiral Minelayers seven miles north of Cape Wrath at 0045/9th. For minelaying operation SN.15, minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, MENESTHEUS, and AGAMEMNON departed Loch Alsh escorted by destroyers WELLS and NEWARK, joined at sea by CALPE and CHIDDINGFOLD.

 

Minelayer ADVENTURE joined the squadron from Scapa Flow at 0450/9th.

 

After the operation, the destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0430/10th. The minelayers, WELLS and NEWARK arrived back at Loch Alsh on the 10th.

_____

 

Convoy PQ.8 departed Hvalfjord with Steamers BRITISH PRIDE (7106grt), DARTFORD (4093grt), HARMATRIS (5395grt), SOUTHGATE (4862grt), and BRITISH WORKMAN (6994grt), Panamanian steamer EL ALMIRANTE (5248grt), American steamer LARRANGA (3804grt), and Soviet steamer STARY BOLSHEVIK (3974grt).

 

The convoy was escorted until the 17th by minesweepers HARRIER and SPEEDWELL. On the 11th, light cruiser TRINIDAD and destroyers MATABELE and SOMALI. On the 16th, minesweepers HAZARD and SHARPSHOOTER from Murmansk joined and took the convoy to Murmansk, arriving on the 17th.

_____

 

Convoy ON.55 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer DOUGLAS and corvettes ALISMA, KINGCUP, LOOSESTRIFE, and SUNFLOWER. Corvette LOOSESTRIFE was detached on the 9th. Destroyer LEAMINGTON joined on the 10th. These escorts were detached on the 15th when American destroyers BABBITT, LEARY, MAYO, SCHENCK, and SIMPSON arrived. In low visibility, DOUGLAS and MAYO collided. MAYO escorted the damaged DOUGLAS to Iceland. MAYO and SIMPSON were detached on the 16th, BABBITT and LEARY on the 18th, and SCHENCK on the 19th. The convoy was dispersed on the 26th.

_____

 

After minesweeping operations, the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla departed the Faroes. Minesweeper FITZROY proceeded to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 9th. Minesweepers ALBURY, ELGIN, LYDD, ROSS, SALTASH, and SUTTON proceeded direct to Aberdeen.

_____

 

Steamer trawler CRAIG-AN-ERAN (202grt) was damaged by German bombing off Old Head of Kinsale.

_____

 

Supply ship GEBEL KEBIR, engaged on running stores from Tobruk to Derna, was damaged by a near miss from a bombing attack.

_____

 

Convoy HX.169 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS and corvettes OAKVILLE, SASKATOON, and THE PAS. American destroyers ELLIS, JACOB JONES, MADISON, ROPER, and STURTEVANT, and WILKES joined on the 10th. The original escort was detached on the 11th. The Americans were detached on the 18th when relieved by destroyer LEAMINGTON and corvettes ALISMA, KINGCUP, SUNFLOWER, and THYME. The escorts were detached on the 22nd and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 23rd.

_____

 

American light cruisers BOISE and MARBLEHEAD with destroyers STEWART, POPE, PAUL JONES, BULMER, BARKER, and PARROTT departed Darwin for Surabaya escorting Dutch transport BLOEMFONTEIN. En route, MARBLEHEAD, BULMER and POPE were detached and destroyers PILLSBURY and JOHN D. FORD joined. The convoy arrived at Surabaya on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy BM.10 of steamers CAP ST JACQUES (8009grt), TALTHYBIUS (10,254grt), ISLAMI (5879grt), ROHNA (8602grt), EKMA (5108grt), TAKLIWA (7936grt), JALAKRISHNA (4991grt), SUBADAR (5424grt), JALAVIHAR (5330grt), BRITTANY (4772grt), LOCH RANZA (4958grt), and JALARATNA (3942grt) departed Bombay, carrying troops, motor transport, and stores, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON.

 

On the 13th, light cruisers ENTERPRISE and GLASGOW relieved light cruiser CALEDON which proceeded to Colombo.

 

Sloop SUTLEJ joined on the 14th. On the 18th heavy cruiser EXETER and light cruiser DANAE joined, relieving light cruiser GLASGOW which returned to Colombo. Destroyers ELECTRA and STRONGHOLD and sloop YARRA joined on the 20th. Dutch cruiser TROMP and Dutch destroyers BANCKERT and PIET HEIN joined, relieving destroyers ELECTRA and STRONGHOLD. After escorting the convoy between the Sunda Strait and Banka Strait, the Dutch ships were detached on the 24th, as was heavy cruiser EXETER.

 

Steamers YEUN SANG (3229grt) and HOSANG (5698grt) of convoy SS 1 and American COLINGSWORTH (5101grt) and Dutch ROCHUSSEN (2333grt) joined the convoy at sea on the 22nd.

 

The convoy arrived at Singapore on the 25th

_____

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW departed Addu Atoll for Colombo, arriving on the 9th.

_____

 

Indian sloop SUTLEJ departed Rangoon for Trincomalee after convoy MA 1 escort.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.56 sank Dutch steamer VAN REES (3000grt) 80 miles south of Tjilapjap and Dutch steamer VAN RIEBEECK (2263grt) in 8-11S, 108-47E.

 

 

Friday, 9 January

 

Heavy cruiser KENT (Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet) departed Scapa Flow to relieve CS 1 in NORFOLK at Hvalfjord, arriving on the 11th.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Denmark Strait.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier EAGLE, after refitting, departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers SKATE and BLYSKAWICA, for the Clyde.

_____

 

American seaplane tender ALBERMARLE arrived at Hvalfjord.

_____

 

Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth at 0830 for Scapa Flow on completion of boiler cleaning. The destroyer arrived at 2100 that evening.

_____

 

Destroyers ASHANTI and FORESTER departed Scapa Flow at 1800. ASHANTI proceeded to Rosyth for boiler cleaning and arrived at 0545/10th. FORESTER proceeded to the Tyne for refitting and arrived at 1030/10th.

_____

 

Destroyer VIMIERA (Lt Cdr A.A. Mackenzie RNR) was sunk on a mine in the Thames Estuary. Two ratings were killed and one rating died of wounds. Midshipman D. Lacy RNR, and eighty eight ratings were missing. Lt D.D. O'Sullivan MBE, was wounded. Cdr Mackenzie, Temporary Surgeon Lt J.D. Kidd MB, CHB RNVR, and four wounded ratings were rescued by an MMS.

_____

 

Submarine TRIUMPH (Lt J.S. Huddart) failed to pick up a party of escapers at Bireans in the Adriatic. The submarine had departed Alexandria on 26 December and dropped a party at Bireans on 30 December. Sometime between 30 December and 9 January, she was lost. Lt Huddart, Temporary Lt E.A. Collins RNVR, Lt R.W.D. Don DSC, Lt M.C. Janvrin, Temporary Lt A.K. Peterkin RNR, Midshipman G.D. Waterall, Lt (E) G.M.D. Wright, and fifty five ratings were lost.

_____

 

Submarine P.39 arrived at Gibraltar after patrol in the Mediterranean.

_____

 

Convoy AT.15 departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyer HEYTHROP, corvette PEONY, and two motor launches. Destroyers HERO and ARROW were sailed as a striking force. The convoy arrived at Tobruk on the 12th. Collier MAUSANG departed Tobruk for Benghazi, escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY and HOTSPUR. They arrived at Benghazi on the 11th.

_____

 

An aircraft of RAF 230 Squadron sank U.577 in 32-22N, 26-54E. There were no survivors from the submarine. Recent reports indicate the submarine attacked was U.568 which sustained light damage.

 

Submarine U.577 was damaged on the 11th by a Swordfish of 815 Squadron in 32-50N, 24-10E. The submarine was then sunk by another Swordfish of the 815 Squadron on the 14th in 32-40N, 25-48E.

_____

 

Convoy SC.64 departed Sydney, CB, escorted by corvettes LOUISBURG and SUDBURY and minesweeprs MALPEQUE, MINAS, NIPIGON, and THUNDER. Destroyer OTTAWA and corvette SHERBROOKE joined on the 12th. Minesweeper NIPIGON was detached on the 12th, MINAS and THUNDER on the 13th, MALPEQUE and SUDBURY on the 14th, and LOUISBURG on the 15th.Corvettes BARRIE, BUCTOUCHE, HEPATICA, and MOOSE JAW joined on the 15th. Corvette BARRIE was detached on the 19th and destroyer OTTAWA and corvettes BUCTOUCHE, HEPATICA, SHERBROOKE, and MOOSE JAW on the 20th. Destroyer SABRE and corvettes ARABIS, DAHLIA, MONKSHOOD, and SNOWFLAKE joined on the 20th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 23rd.

_____

 

Convoy ST.12X departed Freetown, escotted by corvettes FREESIA, FRITILLARY, and NIGELLA. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on the 14th.

_____

 

Auxiliary minelayer KUNG WO laid mines completing the minefields defending the approaches to Singapore.

_____

 

Minelayer TEVIOT BANK departed Batavia for Trincomalee, escorted through the Sunda Strait by destroyers VAMPIRE, JUPITER, and ENCOUNTER.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer CAMPHUIJS (2380grt) in 4-40S, 111-47E. The survivors were rescued by naval seaplane and brought to Surabaya.

_____

 

Dutch steamer BENKOELN (1103grt) was sunk by Japanese submarine I.65 in 4-50S, 112-20E. American destroyer PAUL JONES picked up 101 survivors from rafts. I.65 also set a tanker afire after torpedo and gun attack in the Java Sea, but the tanker was able to escape.

 

 

Saturday, 10 January

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the Denmark Strait.

_____

 

Destroyers FORESIGHT, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, INTREPID, and CHIDDINGFOLD departed Scapa Flow at 1415 to search for a submarine reported in position nine miles 240 from Fair Island. The search was unsuccessful and the destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0300/11th

_____

 

Destroyer MIDDLETON departed the Tyne for Scapa Flow, via Methil, to work up with the Home Fleet.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser CITY OF DURBAN arrived at Scapa Flow with convoy EN 93 from Methil.

_____

 

Convoy OG.78 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop PELICAN, corvettes GARDENIA, MARIGOLD, PENTSTEMON, RHODODENDRON, SAMPHIRE, and VETCH, and anti-submarine trawlers LEYLAND and LORD NUFFIELD. On the 23rd, destroyers LAFOREY, CROOME, and EXMOOR, which departed Gibraltar on the 22nd as a strike force, and VIDETTE and WISHART joined the convoy, which arrived at Gibraltar on the 24th.

_____

 

Steamer BORDERDENE (122grt) was sunk on a mine three to four miles SW of Brean Down. The crew of four were all missing.

_____

 

U.584 sank Soviet submarine M.175 in 70-09N, 32-50E.

_____

 

German steamer ELISE SCHULTE (4613grt) was stranded and lost near Tromso.

_____

 

Destroyer LEGION and Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS attacked U.374 damaging the submarine. Unable to submerge, U.374 was sunk by submarine UNBEATEN on the 12th in 37-50N, 16-00E. Forty two crew were killed and one taken prisoner by UNBEATEN.

_____

 

Destroyer FORTUNE departed Gibraltar escorting tanker LEIF ERICKSSON. The destroyer would then join arriving tanker SLEMDAL for inward escort.

_____

 

Cruiser minelayer WELSHMAN arrived at Gibraltar from the UK, and departed Gibraltar the next day for Freetown.

_____

 

Submarine TURBULENT, which departed Holy Loch on the 3rd, arrived at Gibraltar from the UK.

_____

 

Submarine THRASHER sank Italian steamer FEDORA (5016grt) 35 miles 132 from Cape Dukato in 38-59N, 19-59E. The steamer had departed Brindisi on the 9th for Patrasso, escorted by armed merchant cruiser BRINDISI.

_____

 

Destroyers FARNDALE and AVONVALE departed Tobruk with convoy TA.10 of tanker TONELINE in the tow of tug ST MONANCE.

_____

 

Destroyers GURKHA and ISAAC SWEERS departed Alexandria to escort steamer EASTERN PRINCE, carrying boom gear for transshipment to Turkey, from Port Said to Beirut. The destroyers arrived back at Alexandria on the 13th.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser QUEEN OF BERMUDA, departing Halifax, ran aground. She was refloated the next day, but found to have extensive damage, and repaired in the United States.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA departed Sydney with convoy MS.2 (troopship AQUITANIA) for Ratai Bay in the Sunda Straits, arriving on the 20th.

 

The troops were transferred to Dutch steamers BOTH (2601grt), REAEL (2561grt), REIJNST (2462grt), SLOET VAN DER BEELE (2977grt), TAISHAN (3174grt), TAISHAN (3174grt), VAN DER LIJN (2464grt), and VAN SWOLL (2147grt) and departed as convoy MS.2A on the 21st, escorted by CANBERRA, Dutch light cruiser JAVA, British destroyers THANET and VAMPIRE, and Indian sloop JUMNA.

 

Light cruiser DRAGON, destroyer EXPRESS, American destroyers BARKER and STEWART, Dutch destroyers VAN NES and EVERTSEN, and American patrol vessel ISABEL provided a covering force.

 

CANBERRA was detached on the 23rd. She arrived at Batavia and departed on the 24th,arriving at Fremantle on the 29th. The convoy and remaining escorts arrived at Singapore on the 24th.

_____

 

Submarine depot ship LUCIA arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Panamanian steamer DAYLITE (1976grt) was sunk on a mine in Manila Bay laid by Japanese submarine I.124 on 8 December.

_____

 

Steamer BAYNAIN (659grt), which had departed Tarakan on the 10th for Surabaya, was captured by a Japanese submarine chaser near Tarakan. She was renamed HEINAN MARU for Japanese use.

_____

Steamers YEUN SANG (3229grt), HOSANG (5698grt), and TAI SANG (3555grt) had departed Calcutta as convoy SS.1 on the 10th. YEUN SANG and HOSANG joined convoy BM.10 on 22 and 20 January, respectively. TAI SANG was lost on a mine near Singapore on the 24th.

 

 

Sunday, 11 January

 

The Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, was transferred from heavy cruiser KENT to battlecruiser RENOWN.

_____

 

Light cruisers NIGERIA (CS 10) and KENYA departed Scapa Flow for patrol in the Faroes Iceland Passage. On the 12th, the cruisers were ordered to return to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 13th.

_____

 

Destroyer MIDDLETON departed Rosyth at 0400 for Scapa Flow to carry out practices after commissioning. The destroyer arrived at 1500 that day.

_____

 

Submarine STURGEON arrived at Murmansk from Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Submarine TEMPEST, which departed Holy Loch on the 3rd, arrived at Gibraltar.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE, which had departed Alexandria on the 2nd and Haifa on the 6th, laid a minefield off Suda Bay on the 11th. German auxiliary minesweeper IV II (identity according to official history) was sunk on this minefield on the 15th.

_____

 

Steamer DERWENTDALE arrived at Alexandria, escorted by destroyers KELVIN and KINGSTON. The steamer was carrying fifteen MLCs (mechanised landing craft; later in the war these craft were known as LCMs).

_____

 

Steamer CITY OF PITTSBURG (7377grt) ran aground in the Great Pass at Alexandria. Corvettes DELPHINIUM and PRIMULA also ran aground, but were got off with only slight damage. However, the steamer's back was broken and she was lost.

_____

 

Convoy AT.16 departed Alexandria for Tobruk escorted by destroyers ERIDGE and FARNDALE and corvette PEONY. Destroyers GRIFFIN and HASTY sailed as a striking force. ERIDGE and FARNDALE were recalled to Alexandria on the 11th.

 

The convoy arrived at Tobruk on the 14th. The escorts turned back for Alexandria with empty storeships. At dark, the destroyers were detached to Alexandria, leaving corvette PEONY to escort the convoy.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.6 damaged American aircraft carrier SARATOGA 500 miles SW of Oahu. She had departed Pearl Harbour on 31 December with heavy cruisers ASTORIA, MINNEAPOLIS and destroyers SELFRIDGE, HENLEY, HELM, BAGLEY, MUGFORD, and PATTERSON of Destroyer Squadron 4. Six enlisted men were killed. Destroyers BENHAM and ELLET of Destroyer Squadron 6 joined the damaged aircraft carrier on the 12th.

_____

 

American army transport LIBERTY (6211grt), en route from Australia to the Philippines, was torpedoed ten miles southwest of Lombok Strait by Japanese submarine I.66. There were no casualties and the crew was rescued by a Dutch flying boat. American destroyer PAUL JONES and the Dutch VAN GHENT took the ship in tow and beached her at the southeast corner of Bali, but she capsized on the 14th and was a total loss.

_____

 

Australian minesweepers TOOWOOMBA, BALLARAT, and WOOLLONGONG at Darwin were ordered to Batavia.

_____

 

Steamer WULIN (2515grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing in the Muar River, Johore State. She was later salved and renamed UNRYU MARU for Japanese use.

 

 

Monday, 12 January

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Hvalfjord for Scapa Flow. On the 13th, outside Hvalfjord, she reported serious damage to her A turret and forecastle in heavy seas and five casualties. The ship was considered unseaworthy if the weather deteriorated and returned to Hvalfjord, arriving on the 13th.

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Convoy WS.15 sailed from Liverpool on the 10th and the Clyde on the 11th, forming up off Oversay on the 12th with steamers AAGTEKERK, ARAWA, AUTOLYCUS, BRITANNIC, CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS, DORSET, ELISABETH BAKKE, EMPIRE WOODLARK, HMNS COLOMBIA, LACONIA, LETITIA, LLANGIBBY CASTLE, MELBOURNE STAR, ORONTES, OTRANTO, PARDO, PASTEUR, PORT CHALMERS, STAFFORDSHIRE, STIRLING CASTLE, STRATHMORE (Commodore), STRATHNAVER (Vice Commodore), and VICEROY OF INDIA.

 

The A/S escort force was made up of destroyers VANOC and WALKER 12 to 15 January, VANQUISHER, VOLUNTEER and WITHERINGTON 12 to 17 January, ANTHONY 17 to 18 January when she arrived at Gibraltar, GARLANDandNORMAN 17 to 25 January, VANSITTART and VIMY 21 to 25 January.

 

Ocean escort was also provided by the armed merchant cruisers ASCANIA and CHESHIRE, Dutch AA cruiser HEEMSKERK and the destroyer BOREAS from 12 to 25 January, while battleship RESOLUTION joined on 17 to 25 January. The convoy arrived at Freetown 25 January.

 

The first casualty for some time in WS convoys, and the first due to submarine attack, took place on 16 January when LLANGIBBY CASTLE was hit right aft by a torpedo from U.402. She retired damaged to Ponta Delgada. On 2 February, the troopship departed Horta with destroyers CROOME, EXMOOR, and WESTCOTT and tug THAMES. They were joined by destroyers LAFOREY and BLANKNEY, which departed Gibraltar on 4 February, and corvette PENTSTEMON, returning from escort duty.

 

Destroyers LIGHTNING and WHITEHALL departed Gibraltar on 7 February, WISHART and VIDETTE from convoy OG.79 were ordered to join on 7 February. Destroyer WESTCOTT arrived at Gibraltar on 7 February. Destroyer WIVERN and the 37th Escort Group, just arriving with convoy OG.79, of sloops BLACK SWAN and FOWEY and corvettes BLUEBELL, CAMPION, CARNATION, LA MALOUINE, MALLOW, MYOSOTIS, and STONECROP departed Gibraltar on 8 February.

 

All ships arrived safely on 8 February.The troopship was later sent on to the UK for repairs.

 

The troops in liner LLANGIBBY CASTLE departed Gibraltar on 10 February to return to England in troopships BATORY, ROYAL SCOTSMAN, ROYAL ULSTERMAN, and ULSTER MONARCH, escorted by destroyers WISHART, WIVERN, WHITEHALL, and VIDETTE. Troopship ROYAL SCOTSMAN returned with defects on 10 February.

 

A number of the warships listed as ocean escort were in fact on passage to the Indian Ocean for duty; also included was the Turkish destroyer DEMIR HISAR, recently completed in Britain. She was temporarily commissioned with a British crew for the delivery passage and operated as part of the escort.

 

The convoy sailed from Freetown 29 January with its formation unchanged, escorted by battleship RESOLUTION, armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE and destroyer DEMIR HISAR for Capetown off which port it arrived 9 February when DORSET, ELISABETH BAKKE, LACONIA, ORONTES and PASTEUR plus the Dutch submarine depotship COLOMBIA were detached to enter Capetown under escort of RESOLUTION, arriving 10 February while the remainder of the convoy went on to Durban, arriving 13 February, accompanied by armed merchant cruisers DUNNOTTAR CASTLE, WORCESTERSHIRE and sloop MILFORD.

 

The five Capetown ships (ELISABETH BAKKE remained at Capetown) sailed 14 February escorted by armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE and made their rendezvous with the Durban contingent (less ARAWA and LETITIA) off that port on 17 February.

 

The escort from Durban consisted of cruiser CERES and destroyer NORMAN with the CHESHIRE from Capetown.

 

During the northward passage, a three part division of the convoy took place:

 

Convoy WS 15 A was formed with DORSET, LACONIA, MELBOURNE STAR, ORONTES, OTRANTO, PASTEUR and VICEROY OF INDIA detached 26 February escorted to the vicinity of Aden by cruisers CERES and COLOMBO, dispersing off Aden 1 March to proceed independently to Suez.

 

Convoy WS.15 B was formed with BRITANNIC, STIRLING CASTLE and STRATHMORE detached on 26 February and proceeded to Bombay escorted by armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE which was joined on 28 February by the CORFU until 2 March, the convoy arriving at Bombay 4 March.

 

The remaining ships formed the third reinforcement convoy for Singapore under the title DM.3, composed of the ships AAGTEKERK, AUTOLYCUS, CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS, COLOMBIA, EMPIRE WOODLARK, PARDO, PORT CHALMERS, STAFFORDSHIRE, and STRATHNAVER (Commodore) and formed on 22 February. The convoy was escorted by battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer NORMAN, both of which joined 22 February.

 

Singapore surrendered while the Capetown ships were on their way to Durban; the orders for the convoy were therefore amended prior to the Durban sailing to proceed to Batavia to bolster the Allied garrison of the East Indies islands. Even this intention was overtaken by theJapanese advance, and the convoy was again diverted to Colombo.

 

The escort left the convoy to fuel at Addu Atoll on 28 February and rejoined 29 February, on which day armed merchant cruiser CORFU also joined the escort.

 

Orders were again changed on 2 March, CORFU to detach at once with convoy DM.3B with AAGTEKERK, CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS, EMPIRE WOODLARK, PORT CHALMERS and STRATHANAVER to proceed to Bombay, arriving there 6 March. RAMILLIES and NORMAN took the remaining ships of DM 3, of which STAFFORDSHIRE now became Commodore, to Colombo where they arrived 4 March. Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK arrived at Colombo on 6 March.

_____

 

Convoy ON.56 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyer CALDWELL and corvettes FENNEL, GENTIAN, HONEYSUCKLE, LOOSTRIFE, and THYME. The convoy was dispersed on the 16th.

_____

 

Steamer QUICKSTEP (2722grt) was sunk on a mine in 51-46N, 1-26E. There were sixteen crew rescued of a crew of twenty eight.

_____

 

U.123 sank steamer CYCLOPS (9076grt) in 41-51N, 63-48W. Forty crew, 46 passengers, and one gunner was lost in the steamer.

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U.43 sank Swedish steamer YNGAREN (5246grt), a straggler from convoy HX.168, in 57N, 26W. A British trawler picked up two survivors on 11 February. The other 38 crew and passengers were lost.

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Submarine UTMOST arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.

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Anti-submarine trawler STELLA CARINA departed Gibraltar to meet tanker SAN ADOLFO for inward escort. Destroyer FORTUNE was directed on the 15th to provide additional escort. The tanker arrived on the 19th, escorted by corvette SPIRAEA. STELLA CARINA arrived the same day with tanker SLEMDAL.

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Steamer DERWENTDALE (8393grt), carrying fifteen MLCs (LCMs), departed Alexandria for Benghazi, escorted by destroyers FARNDALE, DULVERTON, and ERIDGE and escort vessel MALINES. She was attacked by German bombers on the 14th and 15th, but safely arrived at Benghazi on the 15th. After disembarking the MLCs, she departed to return.The steamer was attacked, again unsuccessfully on the 16th. She was ordered to Port Said, escorted by DULVERTON and MALINES, arriving on the 18th. FARNDALE and ERIDGE were ordered to Alexandria on the 17th, arriving that day.

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Near Tobruk, U.77 damaged destroyer KIMBERLEY, which had escorted collier MAUSANG to Benghazi and was returning with destroyer HOTSPUR conducting an anti-submarine sweep. Lt A.B. Henley, Midshipman C.A.L. Davis, and one rating were killed and two ratings were wounded. The destroyer, whose stern was blown off, was taken in tow by destroyer HEYTHROP and screened by destroyers ARROW, HERO, and HOTSPUR.

 

ARROW was near missed by a submarine torpedo off Mersa Matruh at 1540/13th and ARROW and HERO were detached to hunt the submarine. HOTSPUR was detached to Alexandria.

 

The tow was taken over on the 13th by tug BRIGAND, and KIMBERLEY arrived at Alexandria on the 14th with HERO, ARROW, and HEYTHROP.

 

On 25 February, KIMBERLEY left Alexandria in tow for Aden, arriving on 13 March. She was taken on to Bombay for repairs completing in January 1944.

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Light cruiser DESPATCH refuelled at Talara. She departed the next day to resume patrol in the Galapagos area.

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Light cruiser DURBAN and destroyers JUPITER and STRONGHOLD departed Singapore carrying a party of naval ratings and Army personnel. JUPITER was recalled to Palembang where six tankers had been attacked by Japanese aircraft. Two tankers were badly damaged. JUPITER escorted the remaining tankers to Batavia.

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Destroyer TENEDOS and base ship ANKING departed Singapore escorting Norwegian steamer HAI HING (2561grt) and the British KLANG (1451grt), carrying RAF personnel and stores, for Batavia. They arrived on the 14th.

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Dutch steamer TOBOALI (984grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Bagan Siapi, south of Sineboi. She was raised and repaired by the Japanese as AKI MARU.

 

 

Tuesday, 13 January

 

Destroyer FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for Scrabster to embark Rear Admiral Bonham-Carter and transfer him to light cruiser EDINBURGH at Scapa Flow. FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow at 1400 for the Humber to refit, but she was in collision with anti-submarine trawler PRESTON NORTH END that evening. She suffered only minor damage and was able to proceed, arriving at 1600/14th. The trawler proceeded to Aberdeen.

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The Flag of Rear Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, as Rear Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron, was hoisted in light cruiser EDINBURGH. Bonham-Carter replaced Rear Admiral E.N. Syfret, who had been named Flag Officer, Force H. On the 14th, the flag was transferred to light cruiser SHEFFIELD.

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Destroyer LANCASTER departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Loch Alsh on the completion of docking and repairs, and arrived at Loch Alsh at 0930/14th.

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Destroyer LUDLOW arrived at Scapa Flow at 1330 from Liverpool to work up.

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Convoy QP.5 of British steamers SAN AMBROSIO (7410grt), EULIMA (6207grt) and the Soviet ARCOS (2343grt) and DEKABRIST (7363grt), with heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND and destroyers TARTAR and ICARUS as ocean escort, departed Kola Inlet at 1600. CUMBERLAND detached on the 16th, and the convoy dispersed on the 19th.

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Minesweepers LEDA, SPEEDY, and SEAGULL arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000 on return from escort duty with convoy QP.4.

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Convoy ON.57 departed Liverpool. The convoy was joined on the 18th by destroyer CHELSEA and corvettes ARBUTUS, CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, EGLANTINE, MIGNONETTE, PIMPERNEL, and SNOWDROP. Corvettes ACONIT and KENOGAMI joined on the 20th. The original escort, less MIGNONETTE and SNOWDROP, were detached on the 22nd. ACONIT and KENOGAMI were detached on the 23rd and MIGNONETTE and SNOWDROP detached on the 24th. American destroyers BAINBRIDGE, DICKERSON,and WOOLSEY joined on the 24th, BROOME on the 25th, and TRUXTON on the 30th. The convoy dispersed on 7 February.

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Steamer LERWICK (5626grt) was sunk by German bombing in 54-26N, 0-24W. Five crew were missing.

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Steamer EMPIRE MASEFIELD (7023grt) was damaged by German bombing in 54-22N, 0-19W. She went ashore on the north bank of River Tees when putting in Middlesbrough, and was refloated on the 15th.

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U.130 sank Norwegian steamer FRISCO (1582grt) and Panamanian steamer FRIAR ROCK (5347grt) in 44-50N, 60-20W and 45-30N, 60-40W, respectively. There were only six survivors of a crew of nineteen in steamer FRISCO. Seven survivors were picked up from the Panamanian steamer, but one later died.

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After an enemy convoy was reported steering northward near Pantelleria, destroyers ZULU, LIVELY, LANCE, and JAGUAR departed Malta to attack in conjunction with an attack by Swordfish of the 830 Squadron. No contact was made and the destroyers arrived back at Malta at daylight on the 14th. The convoy was Italian steamers MONGINEVRO and MONVISTO, escorted by torpedo boats CASTORE and PROCIONE, which had departed Tripoli at 1630/13th.

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Escort aircraft carrier ARCHER, which had departed Norfolk, Virginia, on the 12th, was in a collision with American steamer BRAZO in 32-54N, 74-14W. American Coast Guard cutter TALLAPOOSA took the carrier in tow and proceeded to Charleston, South Carolina, where repairs were made.

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Destroyers HARVESTER, HIGHLANDER, and LIGHTNING departed Bermuda for St Johns, NF, arriving on the 16th.

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Convoy HX.170 departed Halifax, escorted by destroyer ST LAURENT, corvettes RIMOUSKI, WEYBURN and minesweepers CLAYOQUOT and QUINTE. These were detached on the 16th, when relieved by destroyers EDISON, ELLIS, GREER, HAMILTON, NIBLACK, OVERTON, and TARBELL. Destroyers ELLIS and GREER were detached the next day and TARBELL on the 22nd. The remainder of the American escort was detached on the 24th, when relieved by destroyers BROKE, CHELSEA and corvettes ARBUTUS, CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, and PIMPERNEL. The corvettes were detached on the 27th and the destroyers on the 28th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 28th.

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Convoy DM.1 (WS.12ZM) of steamers NARKUNA, AORANGI, SUSSEX, ABBEKERK, and MOUNT VERNON departed Durban escorted by light cruiser EMERALD.

 

A rendezvous was made at the fuelling stop at Addu Atoll. The convoy departed Addu on the 5th escorted by heavy cruiser EXETER, light cruiser EMERALD, and sloop JUMNA. Light cruiser DURBAN joined from 9 January. Dutch cruiser DE RUYTER was present on the 10th for a routing conference and again 11to 12 January with light cruiser TROMP and Dutch destroyers BANCKERT and PIET HEIN. British destroyers ENCOUNTER, JUPITER and VAMPIRE joined 10 January.

 

Minesweepers BURNIE and GOULBOURN operated in the Banka Strait prior to the convoy's passage on the 12th.

 

EXETER, DURBAN, EMERALD, destroyers ENCOUNTER and VAMPIRE, sloop JUMNA, and minesweepers BURNIE and GOULBURN with convoy DM.1 arrived at Singapore on the 13th.

 

Convoy DM.1 carried troops, anti-aircraft units, and 51 crated Hurricanes of 17, 135, 136, and 232 Squadrons.

 

At Singapore, EXETER took aboard the surviving Walrus from battlecruiser REPULSE and its pilot Petty Officer Airman W.J. Crozer with Lt (A) B.J. Longman and Leading Airman Goodridge from SULTAN.

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Convoy CM.25 of troopships MAURETANIA, ILE DE FRANCE, ATHLONE CASTLE, BRATHHALLAN, REINA DEL PACIFICO, and DURBAN CASTLE departed Durban, escorted by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE. Troopship ORCADES departed Capetown and joined at sea.

 

On the 21st, cruiser DORSETSHIRE proceeded ahead of the convoy to refuel at Aden and rejoined the Bombay portion of the convoy, CM.25B, which had been escorted in the interim by sloop SHOREHAM.

 

Convoy CM.25A of MAURETANIA, ILE DE FRANCE, and ORCADES arrived at Aden on the 22nd. CM.25B of ATHLONE CASTLE, STRATHALLAN, REINA DEL PACIFICO, and DURBAN CASTLE arrived at Bombay on the 26th.

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Dutch tanker GADILA (7999grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing off Peak Island. She departed Singapore on 2 February and arrived at Melbourne on 10 March for repairs.

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Japanese submarine I.56 damaged Dutch steamer PATRAS (2065grt) southwest of Bali at 8-52S, 114-44E.

 

 

Wednesday, 14 January

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Hvalfjord for Scapa Flow, arriving on the 16th.

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Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed the Tyne for Scapa Flow on completion of repairs to her propeller shafts, and arrived on the 15th.

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Heavy cruiser KENT departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Denmark Strait.

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Armed merchant cruisers CITY OF DURBAN and CAPE SABLE, escorted by escort destroyer CALPE, departed Scapa Flow at 1430 for Operation EM. Both arrived at Sullom Voe on the 15th. The two armed merchant cruisers were to operate in the Inner Leads, but the operation was finally cancelled on the 30th after several post ponements.

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German steamer TURKHEIM (1878grt) was sunk by Soviet submarine S.102 off Syltefjord. Escorting anti-submarine vessels UJ.1205, UJ.1403, and Vp.5903 attack the submarine without result.

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S/Lt D.G. Tompkins, flying a Master of RAF No.1 Flying Training School at Netheravon, was killed when his aircraft crashed at Shrewton.

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In attacks on convoy ON 55, U.43 sank Greek steamer MARO (3838grt), which was straggling behind the convoy, British steamer EMPIRE SURF (6641grt) in 58-42N, 19-16W, and Panamanian steamer CHEPO (5582grt) in 58-30N, 19-40W. There were no survivors from the Greek ship. Thirty eight crew and nine gunners were lost in EMPIRE SURF, with six crew rescued. Seventeen crew in CHEPO were lost and 21 survivors rescued.

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Tug MERCIA (94grt) was sunk on a mine in 51-31-21N, 2-46-44W. The barge being towed was undamaged. There were no survivors from the tug.

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U.123 sank Panamanian motor tanker NORNESS (9577grt) in 40-28N, 70-50W. One crewman was missing, six survivors were rescued by US Coast Guard cutter ARGO and 24 by American destroyer ELLYSON.

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Light cruiser HERMIONE arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth, carrying Rear Admiral E.N. Syfret, Flag Officer, Force H. Syfret raised his flag in battleship MALAYA.

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Submarine P.38 arrived at Gibraltar from Portsmouth, after departing on the 5th.

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Corvettes AZALEA and SPIRAEA departed Gibraltar escorting tanker LA CARRIERE, en route to New York.

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Convoy AT.17 departed Alexandria for Benghazi, escorted by escort destroyer AVONVALE, escort ship ANTWERP, anti-submarine trawler SOUTHERN MAID, and anti-submarine whaler SOIKA. No destroyers were available for a striking force. The convoy arrived on the 16th.

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Destroyers THANET and EXPRESS departed Singapore for Batavia.

 

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revised 8/4/12
further editing is required