Events - December 1941-February 1942
Harbor attacked, Loss of 'Repulse' & 'Prince
of Wales', Singapore falls, 'Channel Dash' by
German big ships, to February 1942
Scapa Flow at 0300 for the
escorted by destroyer
WORCESTER. En route, the destroyer was released and
returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 0545/16th,
sustaining weather damage en route.
and ESKIMO departed
Scapa Flow at 1500 to patrol off
Wrath against possible submarines.
On meeting heaving cruiser NORFOLK, the destroyers
anti-submarine screen for the cruiser to Scapa Flow. A
strong gale during the
16th caused the delay for the rendezvous. The three
ships arrived at Scapa Flow at 0530/17th.
a heavy storm at Hvalfjord, American heavy cruiser
WICHITA was damaged in a collision
with American steamer
WEST NOHNO (5769grt) and a British trawler, before running
aground. The cruiser was refloated the next day and
damage was found to be
escorted by MGB.322, MGB.324, MGB.328, and MGB.330 of
MGB Flotilla, departed
to lay minefield NQ (A) in
Channel. Returning to
on the 16th, she was in a
collision with trawler DEODAR, requiring temporary
repair at Dover.
A.C. Stonehouse in destroyer DOUGLAS was lost overboard.
Convoy AT.10, with troop transports for the
departed New York City, escorted by American
destroyers CHARLES F HUGHES, HILARY P JONES, INGRAHAM,
LANSDALE, and LUDLOW. These escorts were detached
on the 16th when relieved by battleship TEXAS, aircraft
carrier WASP, heavy
cruiser QUINCEY and destroyers EBERLE, GWIN, LIVERMORE,
ROE, ROWAN, STACK, STERETT, TRIPPE, and WAINWRIGHT. This
group was relieved
on the 22nd by heavy cruisers TUSCALOOSA and WICHITA and
destroyers GRAYSON and
MEREDITH. The convoy arrived at
on the 27th.
EMPIRE BAY (2824grt) was sunk by German
bombing in 54-41-08N, 1-08-36W. The entire crew was
steamer DAYROSE (4133grt) in 46-32N, 53-00W. Thirty two
crew and six
gunners were lost. Ten crew were rescued by American
(6768grt) in 40-25N, 72-21W.
Of a crew of 40 and six gunners, 25 were missing and one
was killed. Ten of
the survivors died in boats and only ten were finally
Portuguese trawler CATALINA (632grt) in 47N, 52W.
damaged British tanker DIALA (8106grt) from dispersed
convoy ON.52 in
44-50N, 46-50W. The crew abandoned the tanker on the
20th. Of a crew of 55
and 10 gunners, 48 crew and nine gunners were lost. The
tanker was located on
21 February by an HM ship and reboarded. On the 24th one
officer and nine
ratings were put on board and the tanker was taken in
tow. After unsuccessful
attempts, a tug was summoned and arrived on the 25th.
The tow parted on 26
February and the tanker apparently later sank.
Gibraltar for patrol off
attacked a submarine contact
three miles 200° from Cape Trafalgar.
The next day, an aircraft
in transit reported a submarine on the sruface in
36-10N, 6-08W. Destroyer EXMOOR unsuccessfully searched
a steamer without success near Bardia.
DANAE, DRAGON, DURBAN, destroyers EXPRESS, JUPITER,
ELECTRA, STRONGHOLD, and VAMPIRE and sloop JUMNA (to be
joined by sloop
YARRA) formed the Far Eastern Squadron (China Force,
Commodore J.A. Collins,
CB, RAN in base ship ANKING at Batavia), employed on
convoy duties between
Singapore, Sunda Strait, and Java.
Admiral Malaya operated minelayer ABDIEL, destroyers
THANET, TENEDOS, SCOUT
and submarines TRUSTY and TRUANT for the local defence
of Singapore. Also included in this group
were all auxiliary patrol and minesweeping vessels based
on the 12th en route to Singapore, via patrol in the
Malacca Strait. TRUANT departed Aden for Colombo on the
light cruisers EMERALD,
DANAE and destroyers ELECTRA and STRONGHOLD arrived at
Batavia. EXETER and DANAE then departed to
meet convoy BM.10.
for Padang and Colombo.
I.65 sank Indian steamer JALARAJAN (5102grt) in 0-12S,
97-00E. Of a
crew of 75 and three gunners, four were lost.
escorted by destroyer WILD
SWAN and corvettes AURICULA, FRITILLARY, NIGELLA, and
ORCHIS. They were
detached on the 18th, when sloops BIDEFORD and
LONDONDERRY, escort vessels CULVER, LANDGUARD,
and LULWORTH, and survey ship CHALLENGER joined the
convoy. CULVER was lost
on the 31st to submarine attack. The rest of the escorts
continued with the
convoy to arrive at
Liverpool on 5 February.
BERWICK arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the Denmark
Scapa Flow for Rosyth.
departed Rosyth at 1115 for Scapa Flow on the completion
cleaning. Heavy weather caused her to heave to and she
did not arrive until
breaker STALIN was attacked by German bombers at Gorlo
and damaged. Two
weeks repair were required.
IRVANA (276grt, Skipper J.L. Borrett RNR) was sunk by
German bombing off
Yarmouth. There were no casualties.
RUBIS, which had departed
Blyth on the 3rd and
on the 8th, laid minefield
FD.36 off St Jean de Luz. She arrived at Falmouth on the
LLANGIBBY CASTLE (12,053grt) in 46-04N,
19-06W. Of 181 crew, 11 gunners, 1168 RN, RAF and
military passengers, 26
passengers were lost. The steering gear and rudder was
German aircraft attacked her on the 19th and she arrived
at Fayal, Azores the same day for light
repairs. One crewman and one passenger were interned by
the Portuguese at Fayal.
EXMOOR, and CROOME departed
on the 28th to refuel from
oiler DINGLEDALE prior to escorting the damaged
U.581 southeast of Fayal Channel in 39N, 30W on 2
February. Four crew
were lost and 41rescued by the destroyer.
2 February, the troopship departed Horta with CROOME,
EXMOOR, WESTCOTT and tug
THAMES.They were joined by destroyers LAFOREY and
BLANKNEY, which departed Gibraltar on 4 February, and
PENTSTEMON, which was 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, FOWEY and
corvettes BLUEBELL, CAMPION, CARNATION, LA MALOUINE,
MALLOW, MYOSOTIS, and
STONECROP departed Gibraltar on 8 February. All ships
arrived safely on 8
troops on board were transferred to troopships ULSTER
MONARCH and ROYAL
ULSTERMAN for transport to Freetown. LLANGIBBY CASTLE
was later sent on to the UK for repairs.
damaged tanker TOORAK (8627grt) from dispersed convoy
ON.52 in 47-54N,
52-11W. She arrived at
on the 16th.
departed Gibraltar for patrol off
a destroyer near Bardia without success.
operation MF.3, convoy MW.8A
of steamers AJAX
and THERMOPYLAE, escorted by anti-aircraft
ship CARLISLE and destroyers GRIFFIN
(D.2), ARROW, HASTY, and HERO departed Alexandria at
0815/16th. Convoy MW.8B
of steamers CLAN FERGUSON and
OF CALCUTTA, escorted by destroyers
GURKHA (SO), LEGION, MAORI, and ISAAC SWEERS departed
Alexandria at 1530 the same day.
B consisted of light cruisers NAIAD (Flagship Vian),
with destroyers KELVIN, KIPLING, FOXHOUND, HOTSPUR, and
Alexandria, destroyers FOXHOUND and
collided and HOTSPUR fouled
a propeller. The destroyers were left behind. Only
KELVIN had left the
harbour. The cruisers and destroyers HAVOCK and KIPLING
anchored and were two
hours late departing. Light cruiser DIDO, unable to
obtain the service of a
six hours late.
required three and a half
weeks to repair her stern and FOXHOUND four weeks to
repair her bow.
of light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers SIKH, ZULU,
LANCE, LIVELY and
JAGUAR, departed Malta on the 17th to rendezvous
with the Alexandria
ships during the morning on
from Alexandria and UNIQUE and UPHOLDER from
were at sea to support the
heavy weather, convoy MW.8B was late in arriving at the
rendezvous and MW.8A
reversed course to join.
(Cdr C.N. Lentaigne) was torpedoed by U.133 in 31-50N,
26.15E. Lt Cdr
(E) G.J.S. Gay, Temporary Lt T.H. Goodchild RNVR, Lt
E.A.O.G. Herring, Lt
J.V. Yelland, Midshipman A.P. Yorke, and five ratings
were missing. Temporary
Acting S/Lt E.E.F. Keal RNVR, Probationary Temporary
Surgeon Lt W.M. Brown
RNVR, Acting Temporary Lt A.C. Grammar RNVR, less
seriously, and four ratings
ISAAC SWEERS (Cdr W. Harmsen, RNN) took off Lentaigne,
Commissioned Gunner (T) A.V. Rogers, Keal, Brown, and
two hundred and thirty
four ratings. With a skeleton crew of 35 petty officers
and ratings, GURKHA
was towed for a time by ISAAC SWEERS, but sank at 0903.
ISAAC SWEERS landed
the survivors at Tobruk and rejoined destroyer LEGION
early on the 18th.
made four anti-submarine attacks and lightly damaged
THERMOPYLAE slowed to make good a defect and was detached
from MW.8A screened by destroyers ARROW and HERO.
the steamer fell behind the convoy, she was detached to
Benghazi escorted by anti-aircraft
ship CARLISLE and destroyers ARROW and
departed Malta on the 17th and proceeded to
Benghazi under cover of the operation.
joined Force B at 1315/18th.
The two forces parted at 1930 after exchanging
destroyers MAORI for JAGUAR.
Force K proceeded to Malta with the steamers. Destroyer
LEGION also proceeded to Malta for repair.
and HERO were detached from Force B to join steamer
THERMOPYLAE, but did not arrive before
she was damaged.
THERMOPYLAE (6655grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in
34-03N, 24-14E at 0930/19th. Three crew were lost from a
crew of 38. In
addition there were a number of troops on board,
bringing the total to 385.
Twenty seven troops were lost. Destroyer HAVOCK rescued
297 survivors and
destroyer ARROW rescued 54. Some of the lost were
drowned or crushed between
the steamer and HAVOCK. ARROW scuttled the steamer.
NAIAD was near missed by German bombing, with six crew
superficial damage to the ship from splinters.
GRIFFIN was slowed by a boiler defect.
was detached to Tobruk at 1310 to embark destroyer
and the Malta
convoy arrived at Malta at 1530/19th.
arrived at Alexandria
at 0800/20th, and the CARLISLE group at 0920.
DRAGON departed Singapore for Colombo.
Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton transferred his flag from
light cruiser DURBAN to light cruiser EMERALD,
for Colombo, arriving on the 21st. Layton's flag was
ashore at Colombo.
escorting steamer KLANG, arrived at Tjilatjap.
and AORGANI departed Singapore to proceed to Australia
SENANG (1207grt) was sunk in a Dutch minefield in 1-15N,
Fifty four crew were missing and 39 survivors rescued.
Home Fleet was ordered to raise steam for full speed
with dispatch at 0800 on
the report of a possible break out by German naval units
in the Atlantic.
1600, battleships KING GEORGE V (C-in-C Home Fleet),
RODNEY, aircraft carrier
VICTORIOUS, heavy cruiser SUFFOLK, light cruisers
NIGERIA (10th Cruiser
Squadron), KENYA, SHEFFIELD (18th Cruiser Squadron), and
INGLEFIELD (D.3), FAULKNOR (D.8), MARNE, PANTHER,
BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, ESKIMO,
INTREPID, ECHO, and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord,
where they arrived late on the 19th. The units of the
Home Fleet at Hvalfjord
departed under the command of the C-in-C, Home Fleet at
proceeded to 61N, 25W.
CLEOPATRA and ARETHUSA departed Scapa Flow for the
passage. Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Reykjavik to
join heavy cruiser KENT in the Denmark Strait.
on passage to Scapa Flow from convoy QP.5 duty, was
ordered to Seidisfjord, arriving on the 18th.
Scapa Flow for patrol off Frohavet.
at Gibraltar was brought to four hours'
notice for operations in the
Atlantic. Oiler DINGLEDALE, corvettes GERANIUM, SPIRAEA,
and submarine CLYDE departed
Gibraltar on the 20th for postion 33N, 22W to support
was postponed. Armed merchant cruisers CITY OF DURBAN,
CAPE SABLE and destroyer CALPE were ordered to remain at
German Operation POLARNACHT, battleship TIRPITZ and
HEINEMANN, JACOBI, and Z.29, which departed
Wilhelmshaven on the 14th, arrived at Trondheim.
SPEEDY, and SEAGULL departed
at 2230. LEDA proceeded to
Port Edgar, SPEEDY to Sheerness, and SEAGULL to Grimsby,
all to refit. SPEEDY
arrived at Sheerness at 1240/21st prior to proceeding to
London to refit.
departed Bermuda, escorted by US destroyers LANG,
NICHOLSON, for the
Clyde. On the 21st, the destroyers were detached and
British destroyers LIGHTNING, HARVESTER, and HIGHLANDER
BADSWORTH, LAMERTON, and WIVERN joined on the 23rd. On
the 25th, the
battleship arrived in the
Clyde with LIGHTNING and WIVERN.
boat MTB.47 (Lt W.I.C. Ewart) was sunk in action by
surface craft off Gris Nez. Lt Ewart, Temporary S/Lt
A.J. Orchard, Temporary
S/Lt W.D. Phelan RNVR, and the rest of the crew were
Soviet minesweeping trawler TCS.68 (557grt) in 69-30N,
forepart of the trawler sank, but the rest remained
steamer HARMATRIS (5395grt) of convoy PQ.8 in 69-16N,
36-08E, but she
was able to reach
on the 20th in tow of
minesweeper SPEEDWELL. The submarine attacked three
other steamers in convoy
PQ.8 without success.
(Cdr A.C. Stanford DSC), escorting convoy PQ.8, was sunk
by U.454 in
the Barent's Sea in 69-21N, 35-34E. Cdr Stanford, Lt
R.P. Britten, Gunner (T)
W.C. Doidge, Temporary Lt J.E. Mees RNVR, Midshipman
R.A. Noel-Hill, Lt E.R.
Partridge RNVR, Lt J.A. Plumridge RNVR, Temporary
Surgeon Lt E.A. Spouse
RNVR, Acting Lt P.C. Webb, Temporary Acting S/Lt W.R.
White, Lt Cdr (E) J.T.
Winn, Temporary Acting S/Lt G.R. Wright RNVR, and two
hundred and twenty one
ratings were lost. Three survivors were picked up by
minesweeper HARRIER but
one died of wounds and exposure shortly after rescue.
The other two died in
hospital in England.
sank Norwegian tanker NYHOLt (8087grt) from dispersed
convoy ON.52 in 45-46N,
54-18W. Of 35 crew, three passengers, and two gunners,
17 crew, two
passengers, and one gunner were lost.
Norwegian steamer OCTAVIAN (1345grt) in 45N, 60W.
American steamer SAN JOSE (1932grt) in 39-15N, 74-09W.
Gibraltar for the
After a patrol in the Bay of Biscay, she arrived in the
Clyde on 5 February, then
proceeded to Blyth, arriving on 11 February for refitting.
defence vessels BARCLOSE, BARFOAM, and BARFORD departed
Gibraltar and proceeded unescorted to Freetown.
sank Italian steamer RAMPINO (301grt) near Pantelleria
10-45E. One survivor was rescued.
17 departed Tobruk with empty storeships, escorted by
and escort ship
The convoy arrived at Alexandria on the 18th.
Convoy SC.65 departed
escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS, corvettes LUNENBURG,
THE PAS, and minesweepers BURLINGTON and RED DEER.
BURLINGTON was detached on the 18th and
the corvettes and the other minesweeper on the 20th.
Destroyer ST LAURENT and
corvettes KAMSACK, NAPANEE, RIMOUSKI, TRAIL, and
on the 20th. This group was detached on the 29th when
the convoy was joined
VANOC, WALKER and corvette GENTIAN.
Corvette HONEYSUCKLE joined on the 30th and GENTIAN
detached on the 31st, the
destroyers on 1 February, and HONEYSUCKLE on 2 February.
The convoy arrived
at Liverpool on 4 February.
D'IBERVILLE, tanker ELORN, and two submarines departed
and L'ESPOIR (departed Diego Suarez on 22 March), MONGE
boat of this division PEGASE arrived at Saigon in March
1941), and LE
GLORIEUX and LE HEROS (arrived Diego Suarez 27 October)
on station changes.
had escorted American steamer MOUNT VERNON which had
departed Singapore on the 16th through the Sunda Strait.
After being detached, the
destroyer was sent to assist a merchant ship under
attack by Japanese
submarine. At 6-19-30S, 104-49-20E, the destroyer sank
I.60. The destroyer lost its A gun in the battle. Three
ratings were killed
and seven wounded. Two survivors from the submarine were
picked up and taken
SCORPION, Australian minesweepers BENDIGO and
MARYBOROUGH, and motor
launches were on the west coast of
in operations against
Scapa Flow at 1000 escorting tanker
ZOTICO to Skaalefjord, where
they arrived at 1430/19th.
the 20th, sloops FOLKESTONE, WELLINGTON, and WESTON
convoy. FOLKESTONE and WESTON detached on 5 February,
and WELLINGTON on 7 February. Also joining
on the 20th was escort vessel GORLESTON which detached
on 5 February.
SENNEN joined on the 21st and was detached on 5
BERGAMOT, and ROCKROSE joined the convoy on 4 February
with it on 7 February at
On 5 February, destroyer
BRILLIANT joined and arrived with the convoy. On 7
AURICULA, BURDOCK, and ORCHIS joined and then continued
to Freetown, arriving on 9 February.
sank Greek steamer DIMITRIOS G. THERMIOTIS (4271grt), a
straggler from convoy
SC.63, in 51N, 62W. The entire crew was lost.
American steamer FRANCES SALMAN (2609grt) off
Newfoundland. The steamer had departed St John's on the
17th for Corner Brook, Newfoundland, but never arrived.
sank American tanker ALLAN JACKSON (6635grt) in 35-37N,
74-20W. Thirteen crew
of a crew of 35 were rescued.
steamer CALEDONIAN MONARCH (5851grt) from convoy SC.53
in 57N, 26W.
Gibraltar after escorting convoy WS.15.
departed Gibraltar and arrived at Portsmouth on the
24th. After repairs,
she departed Portsmouth
on 17 February for the USA, arriving at Halifax on 27
February with weather
damage. She was able to depart on 12 March and arrived
at Portsmouth, NH on 16 March. Her USA refit was
completed on 10
ERIN (Temporary Lt W.G. Swanston RNVR) at Gibraltar was
sunk by Italian frogmen.
Anti-submarine trawler IMPERIALIST and minesweeping
trawler HONJU moored
alongside were both badly damaged. Acting S/Lt (A) J.W.
Duckham, Officer of
the Watch of aircraft carrier ARGUS 807 Squadron (on
board HONJU during the
attack) and seven ratings were killed. Four ratings were
wounded. HONJU was
for Benghazi, escorted by destroyer
HEYTHROP, corvette HYACINTH and anti-submarine trawler
SOUTHERN SEA. The convoy arrived on the
20th. HEYTHROP and corvettes HYACINTH and GLOXINIA
departed on the 20th to
escort empty storeships to Alexandria, arriving on the
departed Tobruk with store ship MANOULA for Benghazi.
the 21st, in thick weather, store ship MANOULA and
corvette PEONY ran aground
at Ras Aszaz. Tug ST MONANCE, anti-submarine whaler
SOTRA, and ML.1051 were
sent to assist. The ships were refloated on the 22nd and
returned to Alexandria
and ERIDGE, escorting store ship EOCENE, departed
Alexandria on the 19th for Tobruk,
arriving on the 21st.
the 24th, FARNDALE and ERIDGE departed Tobruk escorting
empty store ships for
Alexandria. On the 26th, ERIDGE was detached to assist
destroyer HOTSPUR in an anti-submarine search. FARNDALE
arrived with the
on the 26th.
830 Squadron attacked a convoy of Italian tanker GUILIO
by destroyers DA RECCO and USODIMARE. No damage was done
to any of the ships,
despite the claim that the tanker and one of the
destroyers were damaged.
a minefield laid by submarine PORPOISE on the 11th,
Italian steamer CITTA DI
LIVORNO (2471grt) sank on the 18th north of Crete in
a convoy of steamers CITTA DI SAVONA, CITTA DI
German LIVORNO, escorted by armed merchant cruiser
BARLETTA, torpedo boats
LUPO, CASSIOPEA, and escort ship DRAKE in 35-32N,
24-21E. The convoy had
departed Pireaus on the 17th for Suda Bay. The sinking
of CITTA DI
LIVORNO is generally credited to this attack, but no
damage was done to the
Convoy ST.13X departed
escorted by corvettes
ARMERIA and ROCKROSE. The convoy arrived at Takoradi on
departed Singapore for Batavia.
I.121 sank Dutch steamer BANTAM (9312grt) in 7-15S,
departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow, arriving on the
BERWICK departed Hvalfjord for patrol in Denmark Strait.
and ICARUS parted company with convoy QP.5 in position
and proceeded to Seidisfjord to fuel. The destroyers
arrived during the
afternoon of the 20th and departed at 2200 that evening
for Scapa Flow, arriving at 1630/22nd.
PRINCE and ADVENTURE, escorted by destroyers LANCASTER
and ST MARYS
departed Loch Alsh on the 18th. Early on the 19th,
minefield SN.15B was laid.
The ships arrived back at Loch Alsh later on the 19th.
H.K.D. (65grt) was sunk on a mine in 51-28-12N,
0-52-42E. The crew of
two were rescued.
BRAZOS (4497grt) off
steamer EMPIRE KINGFISHER (6082grt) in 43-26N, 65-40W.
sank Canadian steamer LADY HAWKINS (7988grt) in 35N,
72-30W. Of a crew of
109, one gunner, two distressed British Seamen, and 210
passengers, 88 crew,
one gunner, two distressed seaman, and 161 passengers
were missing. Among the
passengers lost were S/Lt (A) J.A.G. Sidford RNVR for
MALABAR 773 Squadron,
Temporary Lt R.H. Cowper-Coles RNVR for light cruiser
Acting Gunner (T) J. Harris for light cruiser DIOMEDE,
Temporary Lt (Sp) W.
Jameson RNVR for BENBOW, Gunner H.W. Kemp (retired) for
MALABAR and Temporary
Chaplain A.G.F. Shaw RNVR.
steamer CITY OF ATLANTA (5269grt) in 35-42N, 75-21W.
Of a crew of 47, one crewman was killed and 43 were
damaged Latvian steamer CILTVAIRA (3779grt) in 35-25N,
steamer sank in tow. Two crew were lost and 29 rescued.
American tanker MALAY (8206grt) in 35-40N, 75-20W. The
at Hampton Roads on the 20th.
departed Gibraltar for
arriving on the 28th.
Albacore of 828 Squadron from Hal Far was shot down
while on anti-submarine
patrol. S/Lt P. Howson and Leading Airman G.S. Hedger,
both wounded, were
picked up by a destroyer escorting convoy MW.8 to Malta.
VAN IMHOFF (2980grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing south
was ordered to return to
and sailed from Skaalefjord
during the afternoon. She arrived at Scapa Flow at
Convoy ON.58 departed
Destroyers NEWPORT, ST ALBANS and corvettes ACANTHUS,
HIBISCUS, and MONTBRETIA joined the convoy on the 21st
and took it back to Liverpool arriving on the 21st.
CRISTA (2590grt) broke adrift at Benghazi and damaged
JENSEN (1862grt) and collier MAUSANG. Steamer CRISTA's
steering gear was
Convoy HX.171 departed
escorted by destroyer
HAMILTON, corvettes FREDERCTON, SASKATOON, WEYBURN and
These were detached on the 22nd. American destroyers
COLE, DALLAS, GLEAVES, UPSHUR, Coast
Guard cutter INGRAM, and minesweeper COWICHAN joined on
the 22nd. The
minesweeper was detached on the 23rd and destroyer COLE
on the 24th. The
destroyers and the cutter were detached on the 30th when
relieved by British
ST ALBANS and corvettes ACANTHUS,
HIBISCUS, and ROSE. The destroyers and ROSE detached on
the 31st. The convoy
arrived on 1 February at
EDSALL and Australian minesweepers DELORAINE, KATOOMBA,
sank Japanese submarine I.124 sixty miles west of Darwin
in the Timor Sea in
I.59 sank Norwegian steamer EIDSVOLD (4184grt) anchored
off Christmas Island. The entire crew was rescued
and was later brought to
by light cruiser DURBAN on 10 February.
HERSTEIN (5100grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at
crewman was killed.
and KENYA departed Hvalfjord to
relieve light cruisers CLEOPATRA and ARETHUSA on patrol
in the Faroes-Iceland
passage. CLEOPATRA and ARETHUSA departed their patrol
stations on the 22nd to
proceed to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 23rd. Both had been ordered to the Mediterranean.
Scapa Flow at 0920 to convey British cabinet minister Sir
Stafford Cripps to Invergordon on his return from
from whence he had taken
passage in heavy cruiser
The destroyer arrived at
Invergordon at 1700, her passage having been delayed by
a strong southerly
gale. The destroyer departed Invergordon at 1015/22nd
and arrived at 1545
American Army transport
(888grt) in 46-33N, 53-04W.
torpedoed a merchant ship in the North Atlantic.The
submarine observed a
heavily listing ship, but no report of any damage is
Norwegian steamer BELIZE (2153grt) in 47-21N, 58-08W.
Canadian corvette SPIKENARD located a water filled
lifeboat from the steamer
on the 24th.
Norwegian steamer WILLIAM HANSEN (1344grt) in 46-56N,
52-47W. Of a crew
of 19, there were nine survivors.
Norwegian tanker ALEXANDRA HOEGH (8248grt) in 40-53N,
65-56W. The entire
crew was rescued.
Gibraltar from patrol off
Island, while TEMPEST departed Gibraltar to work up in
Gibraltar for the
arrived at Greenock on 1 February and proceeded
to Troon for refitting. The refit was completed on 10
vessel RAUB (1159grt, Temporary Lt S. Lefevre RNR) was
sunk by Japanese bombing
at Belawan. The entire crew were rescued.
I.66 sank Steamer CHAK SANG (2358grt) at 15-42N, 95-02E
in the approaches to
Of a crew of 66, five were
also sank Panamanian steamer NORD (3193grt) at 15-28N,
94-36E in the
Some of the survivors
landed in Burma.
ZANNIS L. CAMBANIS (5317grt) was sunk on a Dutch
minefield in 1-15N,
104-31E. The Master and one other crewman were lost in
KENT arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the
TRINIDAD and destroyer SOMALI
departed Kola Inlet during the night of 22/23 January to
escort convoy QP.6.
was taken in hand at Grimsby for refitting.
ROSEMONDE (364grt, Lt K. Galteland RNR) was sunk by
U.203 near Cape Race. Galteland, Temporary Lt T.
Sims-Hilditch RNVR, Temporary S/Lt G.H. Head RNVR and
the entire crew were
lost in the trawler.
late on the 21st, escorted
by the 14th MGB Flotilla, to lay minefield NQ (B) in the
English Channel. The force arrived back at Dover on the
a steamer northwest of Ireland. There is no
sank American steamer NORVANA (2677grt) off the Carolina
Greek steamer VASSILIOS A. POLEMIS (3429grt), a
straggler from convoy
ON.53, in 42-32N, 52-38W. Of a crew of 33, only 12 were
Belgian steamer GANDIA (9626grt), a straggler from
convoy ON.54, in
54-45N, 53-00W. Of a crew of 70 and nine gunners, 66
crew were lost.
Norwegian tanker INNEROY (8260grt) in 42-30N, 59-54W. Of
a crew of 36,
five crew were rescued.
sank British tanker ATHELCROWN (11,999grt) in 45-06N,
40-56W. Of a crew of 44
and six gunners, four crew were lost. On the 30th,
survivors from the tanker
boarded tanker DIALA that had been abandoned on the
20th. The survivors left
her on 7 February when they were rescued by Swedish
steamer SATURNUS. (DD –
have I got this right?)
Panamanian tanker OLYMPIC (5335grt) in 36-01N, 75-30W.
Gibraltar to carry out a patrol in an area bounded by
41-30N to 43N, 22W to 25W. She refuelled at
Delgada on the 27th and from oiler
DINGLEDALE on the 30th. HERMIONE arrived back at
Gibraltar on 2 February.
ROSALIND and minesweeping trawler LORD GREY arrived at
Gibraltar from the UK.
CARDAK and SILIVRI departed Horta for Freetown escorted
by French patrol
vessel REINE DES FLOTS and sloop LA MOQUESE.
Italian supply operation T.18, transports RAVELLO
(5322grt), MONGINEVRO (5324grt), and VETTOR PISANI
(6339grt) departed Messina and troopship VICTORIA
(13,098grt) departed Taranto. They rendezvoused and were
escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, MALOCELLO, DA NOLI,
AVIERE, CAMICIA NERA, and
GENIERE and torpedo boats ORSA and CASTORE.
with a rudder defect later
on the 22nd.
D'AOSTA, ATTENDOLO, MONTECUCCOLI and destroyers ALPINO,
CARABINIERE, and FUCLIERE provide close escort.
Battleship DUILO with
destroyers PIGAFETTA, ORIANI, SCIROCCO, and ASCARI
provided distant cover.
the 23rd, VICTORIA
(13,098grt) was torpedoed by
an Albacore of 826 Squadron. Destroyers AVIERE and
CAMICIA NERA stood by
while the convoy proceeded. The troopship later sank. Of
the 1455 on board,
1064 crew and passengers were rescued.
Albacore of the 828 Squadron ditched northwest of
Trefani. Lt J.D. Jackson,
Lt Cdr J.W. Corbett, and Leading Airman W.H. Bugden were
picked up by an
Italian hospital ship and made prisoners of war.
convoy arrived at
on the 24th. Covering forces
arrived back at
on the 25th.
no longer fit for
operations due to the condition of her machinery,
departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyers
ISAAC SWEERS and HOTSPUR. She operated in the Canal area
for the protection
of shipping at
until essential repairs
could be completed for the voyage to England, and
refitting at Chatham from 27 May to 24 October.
FANNING and GRIDLEY, in Halsey's Task Force 8, collided
both forced to return to Pearl Harbour for repairs.
I.64 sank Dutch steamer VAN OVERSTRATEN (4482grt) at
The entire crew were lost.
LEMATANG (2512grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at
escorted by destroyer
Scapa Flow at 1700 for the
Heavy weather forced the
ships to put into the Firth of Forth on the 24th. They
were able to proceed
later and arrived in the
Tyne later that day.
escorted by destroyer ST MARYS, laid minefield SN.26B of
late on the 22nd, escorted
by the 14th MGB Flotilla, to lay minefield NQ(C) in the
Channel. The minelayer arrived back at Dover at
0800/23rd .She then
proceeded to Southampton for permanent repair to collision damage.
Convoy ON.59 departed
The convoy was joined on
the 24th by destroyer WANDERER and corvettes AUBRETIA,
and VERVAIN. VERVAIN was detached on the 25th, ROSELYS
on the 26th, and the
rest on the 29th when the convoy was joined by American
JONES, MADISON, STURTEVANT, WILKES and corvettes ACONIT
Corvette KENOGAMI was detached on 4 February. The other
escorts were detached
on 5 February, and the convoy dispersed on the 6th.
BARBARIGO sank Spanish steamer NAVEMAR (5473grt) in
Thirty four crew were rescued and two missing. The
survivors were picked up
by Spanish steamer ISLA DE TENERIFFE (5118grt). Corvette
ordered to her assistance, but en route, was ordered to
return to Gibraltar. Destroyer HESPERUS, en
route to the UK,
escorting armed merchant
CASTLE and troopship ALMANZORA, was
ordered to search for the submarine.
steamer THIRLBY (4887grt) in 43-20N, 66-15W. Of a crew
of 45, including
nine gunners and a pilot, three were lost.
sank Norwegian tanker LEIESTEN (6118grt) in 45-27N,
43-19W. Twenty nine crew
were rescued and six were lost.
of light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers ZULU, SIKH,
LANCE, LEGION, LIVELY,
and MAORI departed Malta to attack a northbound
convoy during the night of 23/24 January, but no contact
was made. The ships
were Italian salvage steamer RAFFIO and motor ship
without escort on the 23rd
and arrived at Pantelleria on the 24th. The convoy
remained at Pantelleria
until 7 February and finally arrived at Trapani on the
8th. Force K returned
the next morning.
Convoy SC.66 departed
escorted by destroyer ST
CLAIR, corvettes ALGOMA, EYEBRIGHT, PICTOU, and
minesweepers GANANOQUE and
QUINTE. The destroyer, PICTOU, and the minesweepers were
detached on the 26th
when the convoy was joined by corvettes DRUMHELLER,
SHAWNIGAN, SHEDIAC, and
SUMMERSIDE. SHEDIAC was detached on the 27th. The rest
of the escort,
including the two corvettes from the original group,
were detached on 4
February when relieved by destroyer BOADICEA, sloop
COMMANDANT DETROYAT, and
corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS. These escorts
detached on the 8th.
Anti-submarine trawler ST CATHAN joined on the 8th and
escorted the convoy
into Liverpool on the 9th.
Esquimalt, after repairs at
Washington, from her May 1941 Crete bombing. She met
Auxiliary BISHOPDALE at Henderson Island to refuel on 6
New York City
at 1500Z/23 January with US
Army Transports ARGENTINA (Cdre), CRISTOBAL, and BARRY,
carrying the 1st
Division, and ISLAND
arriving 23 February), JOHN
ERICSSON, SANTA ELENA,
and MCANDREW, carrying the
convoy was escorted from New York by heavy cruiser
VINCENNES, destroyers C F
HUGHES, LANSDALE, LUDLOW, INGRAHAM, H P JONES, and fast
destroyers) COLHOUN, GREGORY, and HAMILTON. Additional
escort for the first
48 hours was destroyers PALMER (SO), HOWARD, MCKEAN,
STRINGHAM, and MANLEY.
HOWARD, LITTLE, MANLEY, MCKEAN, and STRINGHAM
Charleston on the 27th, escorting convoy BC.100 of supply
ships ARTHUR MIDDLETON, ALCHIBA, PRESIDENT TYLER, HAMUL,
IRENEE DUPONT, and
and STRINGHAM refuelled in Key West on the 29th, while
MANLEY and MCKEAN detached on the 30th to refuel at Key
West, then return to Norfolk.
the Canal Zone for BT.200 was light cruisers
MILWAUKEE and destroyers SAMPSON and
MOFFETT from 2 to 14 Februrary.
the Canal Zone on 3 February for BC.100 was light cruiser
and destroyers WARRINGTON and J FRED TALBOT. The latter
on 6 February and return to
Canal Zone. The convoy arrived at
Bora on the 17th.
escort for BT.200 was heavy cruisers SAN FRANCISCO,
PENSACOLA and destroyers MUGFORD,
JARVIS, PATTERSON, and BAGLEY.
convoy arrived at
escorted by light cruiser HONOLULU and destroyers
JARVIS on 26 February.
I.72 sank American naval oiler NECHES (7383grt), which
on the 22nd, in 21-01N,
160-06W. One hundred and twenty six survivors were
picked up by destroyer
JARVIS, while 57 enlisted men were missing. LT D.F.
Anderegg, LT/JG E.C.
Stone, Jr, and eight enlisted men were wounded.
vessel LARUT (894grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at
entire crew was rescued.
(274grt) was captured by Japanese forces at Rabaul.
of troopships EMPRESS OF ASIA, FELIX ROUSSEL,
DEVONSHIRE, and PLANCIUS departed Bombay on the 23rd,
sloop SUTLEJ. Sloop FALMOUTH joined BM.12 on the 26th
detached the next day.
EMERALD joined on the 27th. The convoy merged with
convoy DM.2 on the
28th. EMERALD was relieved on the 31st by cruisers DANAE
and JAVA. Sloop
YARRA joined on 1 February, cruiser EXETER and
destroyers JUPITER and
VAMPIRE on the 2nd, and the whole convoy arrived at
Batavia on the 3rd, where steamer CITY OF CANTERBURY of
and destroyers JUPITER and
ENCOUNTER were detached on 4 February for operations
north of Banka Strait. The convoy arrived at Singapore
on the 5th, escorted by
light cruiser DANAE and sloops YARRA and SUTLEJ.
departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord, arriving on
departed patrol in the
Faroes-Iceland passage for
Scapa Flow, arriving on the 26th.
to work up, arriving on the
departed Sullom Voe at
daylight for Scapa Flow. En route, she was ordered to proceed to assist
French sloop LA CAPRICIEUSE which had been damaged by
heavy weather. En
route, the sloop reported she no longer required
finally arrived at Scapa
Flow 0900/26th, being delayed by heavy weather.
was docked for repairs to her hull at Scapa Flow.
in company with minesweepers SALAMANDER and
attacked by German bombers near Murmansk. BRITOMART
damage from a near miss.
with British steamers EMPIRE
ACTIVITY (5335grt), EMPIRE REDSHANK (6615grt), and
EMPIRE HOWARD (6985grt),
Panamanian steamers ANEROID (5074grt) and REIGH COUNT
(4657grt), and Soviet
steamer CHERNYSHEVSKI (3588grt).
GREMYASCHI and SOKRUSHITELNY escorted the convoy from
the 24th to
27th, and minesweepers HARRIER and SPEEDWELL from the
24th to 25th. On the
25th, light cruiser
TRINIDAD, destroyer SOMALI, and minesweepers BRAMBLE and
HEBE joined remaining with the convoy until the 28th,
when it dispersed.
TRINIDAD, BRAMBLE and HEBE proceeded to
Flow and SOMALI to Hvalfjord.
of the ships of the convoy proceeded to Loch Ewe,
arriving by 2 February,
including EMPIRE REDSHANK, which was damaged by German
bombing on the 31st.
sank British tanker EMPIRE
(8139grt) in 35-06N, 74-58W
and American steamer VENORE (8017grt) in 34-50N, 75-20W.
Of a crew of 45 and
six gunners, only two survivors were picked up from the
tanker. Twenty two
crew were missing from the American steamer and 21
survivors picked up.
steamer EMPIRE WILDEBEESTE (5631grt) in 39-30N, 59-54W.
Of a crew of 27
and four gunners, eight crew and one gunner were lost.
US destroyer LANG rescued 34, a
number which probably included survivors from
Norwegian steamer RINGSTAD (4765grt), from convoy
ONS.55, in 45-50N,
51-04W. Of 37 crew and six passengers, 27 crew and three
reported being partially disabled in 42-44N, 24-54W.
HERMIONE proceeded to assist and both arrived at Ponta
Delgada on the 27th. Oiler
DINGLEDALE arrived in port and transferred lubricating
oil to the submarine,
which was able to depart
on 2 February.
Gibraltar to meet armed merchant cruiser
CASTLE and troopship ALMANZORA and
escort them to the UK. The destroyer proceeded to
Falmouth for repairs received in
ramming submarine U.93 on the 15th. Repairs were
completed in April.
Gibraltar from patrol.
Swordfish of 812 Squadron crashed in Gibraltar Bay. Lt
(A) M.F.S.P. Willcocks
and Temporary S/Lt (A) R.E. Shipman RNVR, were killed.
The TAG, Leading Airman G.E. Locke,
Albacore of 828 Squadron went missing off Benghasi on a
flight from Benghasi
Lt V.N.S. Davies DSC RNR,and Acting S/Lt (A) A.D.
Maher DSC were both killed.
Malta convoy operation MF.4, supply ship BRECONSHIRE
departed Alexandria at
1600/24th escorted by Force B of light cruisers NAIAD
EURYALUS, DIDO, anti-aircraft ship CARLISLE, and
destroyers GRIFFIN (D.2),
KELVIN, KIPLING, ARROW, KINGSTON, JAGUAR, HASTY, and
of light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers ZULU, LANCE,
LEGION, LIVELY and
MAORI departed Malta with troopship GLENGLYE and steamer
ROWALLAN CASTLE at
passage was without incident and the supply ships were
joined Force B and
joined Force K.
damaged by the near miss of an air bomb on the 26th,
structural damage and putting her asdic out of service
Forces arrived back at Malta and Alexandria on the 27
escorted by destroyer
AVONVALE, escort vessel
MALINES, and French escort vessel VIKINGS. The convoy
arrived on the 27th and departed with AVONVALE,
and HYACINTH with empty
store ships for
arriving on the 29th. MALINES was damaged in a collision
on the 29th with steamer HAVRE (2073grt) of the convoy
and was out of service
for three to four weeks. There was no convoy AT.20.
preparation for the evacuation of Benghazi, escort
SOUTHWOLD, DULVERTON, and HEYTHROP departed Alexandria.
evacuation began during the night of the 25th/26th and a
convoy of three
motor vessels and minesweepers ABERDARE and BAGSHOT
(ABERDARE towing a tug)
departed escorted by the destroyers. Also departing were
two R Lighters and
two A Lighters in another convoy and eleven D lighters
in a third. (Class
information on these lighters is not known)
R, A, and D lighters all arrived at Tobruk on the 27th,
with the exception of
D.9 which was beached three miles west of Tobruk.
the 27th, destroyer DULVERTON, the two minesweepers, and
collier CRISTA were ordered
to Tobruk. The remainder of the convoy proceeded to
Alexandria, arriving on the 28th.
DEVONSHIRE arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, for refitting.
SANG (3555grt), formerly of convoy SS.1, was sunk on a
Dutch mine at 0-55N, 103-35E. Of a crew of 31 and four
passengers, only two
survived to become prisoners of war.
S.26 (LCDR E.C. Hawk) was sunk in a collision with
PC.460 in the Gulf of Panama. LT T.V. Peters, Ensign J.B. Stubbins, Ensign H.L.
Taylor, and forty three enlisted men were lost. LCDR
Hawk, LT R.E.M. Ward,
and one enlisted man on the bridge were rescued.
Makassar Strait was fought between American destroyers
PARROTT, POPE, JOHN
D FORD, and PAUL JONES and Japanese
surface ships off
JOHN D FORD was damaged by Japanese
gunfire with three enlisted men wounded. Japanese patrol
boat No.37 was sunk.
departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
Force 15 of American battleship TEXAS, heavy cruiser
destroyers MAYRANT, TRIPPE, RHIND, and ROWAN, which
departed New York on the 15th with troopship
MUNARGO, arrived at Hvalfjord. Aircraft carrier WASP and
destroyers STACK and
STERETT had departed with this group, but were detached
KITHERON (3876grt) in 47-32N, 52-31W.
Of 32 crew and four passengers, 12 crew were lost in the
Norwegian tanker VARANGER (9305grt) in 38-58N, 74-06W.
The entire crew
steamer CULEBRA (3044grt) in 35-30N, 53-25W. There were
American tanker OLNEY (7294grt) in 37-55N, 74-56W, but
no damage was
(1168grt) was sunk on a mine 2.2 cables 204° from
Lighthouse. The entire crew was rescued.
aircraft reported severely damaging U.453 in 31-43N,
destroyer HOTSPUR was sent from Alexandria to search. On
destroyer ERIDGE joined the destroyer, but no contact
was made and both ships
arrived at Alexandria
later on the 26th.
minesweeping off Malta, was damaged by German air
attack. Six crew were wounded of whom one later died of
sank Italian steamer DALMATIA L. (3252grt) proceeding
south from the
Straits of Messina in 37-45N, 15-30E.
departed Trincomalee for minelaying operations in
I.59 entered Sabang Roads, sank one steamer and captured
a part of
Scott-Moncrief asssumed command of the 8th Destroyer
Captain A.F. de Salis, DSO.
at 1530 and met convoy WN.35
off Duncansby Head to act as additional escort to
Methil. There, she came under
the command of Commander in Chief, Rosyth, for the
escort of destroyer depot
ship BLENHEIM from the
EGLANTINE, and SNOWDROP arrived at Hvalfjord to join the
Fleet for operation in the
Corvette OXLIP arrived on
the 28th for the same duty.
ZOTICO, escorted by two
trawlers, left Skaalefjord for Sullom Voe, arriving on
Liverpool, escorted by anti-submarine whaler NARVIK which
detached the same day. Sloops BLACK SWAN, FOWEY,
CARNATION, MYOSITIS, STONECROP, and anti-submarine
joined on the 27th.The
trawler was detached that day.
the 28th, corvette BLUEBELL joined the convoy.
Destroyers VIDETTE and WISHART
departed Gibraltar on 3 February and joined on the 5th.The convoy
arrived at Gibraltar on the 7th.
Convoy ON.60 departed
The convoy was joined on
the 27th by destroyers BOADICEA, SABRE, SCIMITAR,
SHIKARI, sloop COMMANDANT
DETROYAT, and corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS.
SCIMITAR detached on
the 30th, HEATHER on the 31st and BOADICEA, SABRE,
DETROYAT, LOBELIA and NARCISSUS on 2 February. The
convoy was joined on this
date by corvettes ALYSSE,
Of these, ALYSSE,
BUCTOUCHE, HEPATICA, and MOOSEJAW detached on 8 February
DIANTHUS on the 11th.The convoy arrived at Halifax with
corvettes BARRIE and SHERBROOKE on the 15th.
steamer TRAVELLER (3963grt) in 40N, 61-45W. The entire
crew of 26 was
American steamer WEST
(5666grt) off the Virginia Capes.
Greek steamer ICARION (4013grt) in 46-02N, 52-22W. Nine
crew were lost
in the steamer.
British tanker REFAST (5189grt) in 42-41N, 53-02W. Ten
were lost from 39
crew and four gunners.
Norwegian tanker PAN NORWAY (9231grt) in 32-56N, 50-27W.
The entire crew
sank Italian steamer DALMATIA L (3252grt) off the
Straits of Messina.
Convoy HX.172 departed
escorted by destroyer ANNAPOLIS, corvettes DUNEGAN,
PAS, and minesweeper RED REER. The destroyer and
DUNVEGAN were detached on the 27th and the rest on the
28th. On that day,
BUCK, DUPONT, HERBERT, MCCORMICK, and SWANSON
joined. Corvette ASPHODEL joined on 3 February. The
American ships detached
on the 4th when relieved by British destroyers
HURRICANE, SCIMITAR, WANDERER
and corvettes AUBRETIA, DIANELLA, and RENONCULE.
DIANELLA detached on the
5th, and the convoy arrived at
on the 7th.
(Lt Cdr B.S. Davies Rtd) and the Australian VAMPIRE
transports off Endau. THANET was sunk by Japanese
lighter cruiser SENDAI, destroyers YUGIRI, FUBUKI,
ASAGIRI, and minesweeper W 1. Thirty seven ratings were
Davies, Lt G.A. Jones
RNR, Temporary Acting Warrant Engineer H.N. Bailey,
and seven ratings were able to get into the ship's boat.
However, on the
29th, Jones and one rating were drowned when the boat
ran aground The eight
survivors were picked up by patrol vessel GIANG BEE.
F.M.R. Flint RNVR, Gunner J.R. Smyth and forty seven
ratings were able to
reach the ship's whaler and landed on Kaban Island. They
later sailed south and
picked up five more THANET ratings and two RAF pilots.
On the 30th, patrol
vessel GIANG BEE rescued the party and took them to
R.H. Danger RNR and thirty ratings were rescued by Japanese
destroyer SHIRAYUKI and landed at Endau. Four ratings
died while prisoners of
departed Singapore for Colombo.
vessel KELANA (88 tons gross) was scuttled at Endau.
boat SHUMAN was scuttled after bombing damage at Endau,
but later salved and
taken to Singapore.
departed Singapore for Colombo.
for Port Blair, arriving on
the 27th. She departed the next morning and laid mines
off the east coast of South Andaman Island - off Port
Blair, the Kotara
Anchorage, Port Meadows, and Elphinstone Harbour, before
departing Port Blair
on the 30th to return to Trincomalee. On 1 February,
ABDIEL damaged her
starboard propeller shaft after grounding at Port Anson.
Her speed was
reduced, but she was able to reach Trincomalee on the
approaching Addu Atoll on the 26th,orders for convoy
DM.2 of troopships WARWICK CASTLE, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA,
CITY OF PRETORIA, TROILUS, MALANCHA, and
DUNERA were altered and only ROYAL SOVEREIGN and EMPRESS
OF AUSTRALIA (the
latter short of fuel) entered, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA duly
fuelling. Theconvoy was then escorted by armed merchant
cruiser RANCHI until the 28th when the
convoy rendezvoused and merged with convoy BM.12. Light
relieved the armed merchant cruiser and escorted until
the 31st when light
cruisers DANAE and the Dutch JAVA joined.
JAVA were detached on 3 February, due to fuel shortage,
and arrived at Batavia on the 4th. That same day,
heavy cruiser EXETER
and destroyers JUPITER and ENCOUNTER
detached from the convoy to form a striking force to
attack Japanese ships
north of Banka
was detached and arrived at Batavia on the 4th with
had been travelling in company with BM.12.
departed Madras with steamers ERINPURA (5143grt),
KUTSANG (5869grt), NEURALIA (9182grt), PRESIDENT DOUMIER
VARSOVA (4701grt), escorted by Australian armed merchant
Indian sloop INDUS and Indian patrol vessels IRRAWADY
and TRAVANCORE. The
patrol vessels were detached on the 26th and the armed
merchant cruiser on
the 30th. The convoy arrived at Rangoon on the 31st,
escorted by the
BERWICK arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the Denmark
SHEFFIELD departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Faroes-Iceland passage.
Scapa Flow at 1245 from Lamlash to work up after
Scapa Flow at 1930 for Rosyth on completion of working up, and
arrived at May
Convoy ON.61 departed
and was joined on the 28th
by destroyers KEPPEL,
LEAMINGTON and corvettes ALISMA, APHODEL, DIANELLA,
KINGCUP, LOOSESTRIFE, and THYME. These escorts were
relieved on 1 February by
American destroyers NIBLACK, OVERTON, and TARBELL. The
convoy dispersed on
departed Hvalfjord for
prior to procceding to
Dundee for repair to propeller
STALIN arrived at Molotovsk for repair to the 16 January
American tanker FRANCIS E. POWELL (7096grt) in 38-05N,
74-53W. Four crew
were missing and 28 rescued.
American tanker HALO (6986grt) in 35-23N, 75-20W.
ARGUS and her destroyer escort departed Gibraltar to
exercise to the east.
and sailed that day for Suez to join the Mediterranean
Fleet at Alexandria.
SEA, escorting DARIEN II to Derna, attacked a
submarine contact in 32-44N, 23-23E. Destroyer DULVERTON
was sent from Tobruk
to assist, but no further contact was made.
Gibraltar from patrol.
WELSHMAN arrived at
and corvettes MARIGOLD and AZALEA departed Gibraltar for
the UK. Corvette VETCH departed in
company to relieve corvette SPIRAEA with oiler
DINGLEDALE, SPIRAEA then
proceeding to the UK. Corvettes PENTSTEMON and
VETCH were temporarily assigned to the 13th Destroyer
Flotilla to replace
AZALEA and SPIRAEA which were returning to the UK to fit
type 271 radar.
escorted by destroyer
BRILLIANT and corvettes ARMERIA, BERGAMOT, LAVENDER, and
ROCKROSE. They were
all detached on the 30th. On the 28th, destroyer
VANSITTART joined the convoy
and continued to 14 February.
the 29th, sloops
ENCHANTRESS, IBIS and escort vessel WALNEY
joined. IBIS detached on 2 February, but the rest continued until
the 16th. Destroyer CLARE joined on the 31st and
continued to 16 February,
escort vessel HARTLAND on 3 February and continued to
the 16th, and sloop
ROSEMARY, anti-aircraft ship
QUEEN and anti-submarine
trawler WOLVES on the 16th and escorted the convoy into
Liverpool the same day.
GUDGEON sank Japanese submarine I.73 in 28-24N, 178-35E.
and SCORPION evacuated troops cut off west of Rengit
from the coast
south of Batu Pahat from the 27th to 31st.
(3007grt) was sunk on a British mine in Singapore
Strait. Thirty three crew and two
gunners were lost from a complement of 38 crew and two
gunners. The five
survivors were rescued by patrol vessel HUA TONG, but
all but one died.
JAN CARSTENESZ (164grt) was scuttled at Amboina, where
the the Master and engineer
arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Faroes-Iceland Channel.
departed Scapa Flow at 2015 for Sullom Voe,
where she arrived at 0930/29th.
was dispersed at 0500 in 73N, 15E. Destroyer SOMALI
Hvalfjord, arriving at 1845/30th, while light cruiser
TRINIDAD and minesweepers BRAMBLE and
HEBE arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 31st.
R S Campbell was killed when his Albacore of the 786
Squadron crashed near
Gibraltar for the
of petrol carrier ATHENE, escorted by escort destroyers
ERIDGE, and HERO departed
and arrived at Tobruk on the
30th. On the 31st, the escorts departed Tobruk with
empty storeships for Alexandria, arriving on 1 February.
sank Italian steamer NINUCCIA (4583grt) 1000 yards 90°
from Mulo Island
Light. Shortly after the sinking, she struck bottom and
damaged her stern,
rendering the three stern tubes unsafe to use.
London, Connecticut, after refitting. After
minor repairs, she sailed for
on 3 February.
Operation OPPONENT, aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE,
escorted by destroyers
NAPIER, NIZAM, and NESTOR, flew off 48 Hurricanes of 232
and 258 Squadron to Batavia. A Swordfish of
INDOMITABLE’s 831 Squadron failed to return from an
and Lt B C Willoughby, S/Lt G T Shaddick, and Leading
Airman G C G Tew were
lost. The force arrived back at Trincomalee on 2
ATHENE departed Mauritius with Hurricane aircraft for
had departed Sydney on 28 December and Melbourne on the
CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), DERRYMORE (4799grt),
GORGON (3533grt), PEISANDER (6225grt), tanker WAR SIRDAR
steamers ENGGANO (5412grt), JAVA (9250grt), PHRONTIS
(7970grt), TJIKRANG (9505grt), and Norwegian PAN EUROPE
(9468grt) escorted by
armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA. Light cruiser HOBART
joined on the 26th.
convoy split in
Strait when it was joined by
destroyers TENEDOS and STRONGHOLD on the 28th. KANIMBLA
PEISANDER, PAN EUROPE and WAR SIRDAR proceeded to
Singapore, escorted by HOBART, TENEDOS and STRONGHOLD,
arriving on 1 February.
Dutch steamers - ENGGANO, JAVA, PHRONTIS, TIJIKANDI, and
East Indies ports.
with British steamers ROHNA,
ISLAMI, EKMA and
CAP ST JACQUES for
and DARVEL, IPOH, and PANGKOR for Palembang, escorted by
VAMPIRE and sloop YARRA. On the 30th, Indian sloop
SUTLEJ relieved VAMPIRE, which
proceeded to Batavia.
The convoy proceeded
through the Sunda
I.64 damaged British paddle steamer IDAR (391grt) with
10-12N, 80-13E. She was set on fire by a small boarding
party from the
submarine, but beached and later salved.
transport GENERAL ROYAL T FRANK (632grt) was sunk two
I.71 was in the area, but made no report. Of the
crew, 29 were missing and 39 rescued.
departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow, escorted by Polish
destroyer BLYSKAWICA, and the British HARVESTER and
VERITY, arriving on the
departed Hvalfjord for
refitting at Chatham,
arriving at Scapa Flow on the 31st.
arrived at Scapa Flow from Plymouth to work up after
TARTAR and AIREDALE departed Scapa Flow to patrol in
3E, 60N, 0-30E, and 59N, OE respectively, to aid RAF
Bomber Command aircraft
which may have been in difficulties returning from a
raid on battleship
TIRPITZ at Trondheim.
TARTAR and AIREDALE arrived
back at Scapa
at noon on the 30th and MIDDLETON at Sullom Voe at 1430.
Their assistance was not required.
CITY OF DURBAN (SO) and
SABLE, escorted by escort
destroyer CALPE, departed Sullom Voe on Operation EM. The ships were sighted by
German aircraft on the 30th, and again on 1 February and
the operation was
(204grt) was sunk on a mine two miles SE from Duncansby
entire crew were rescued.
BJORNVIK (812grt) was sunk by German bombing 2.8 miles
Lizard Head. Fifteen crew and one gunner were lost, and
only two crew and one
(small inshore fishing vessels used on the east coast of
Scotland) CROWN and OCEAN GIFT (requisitioned, 91grt)
sunk by German bombing at Rosehearty.
FAIRNILEE (226grt) and NORTHGATE SCOT (174grt) were
German bombing at
NORTHGATE SCOT was beached in the Harbour
and drydocked on the 31st.
damaged American Coast Guard cutter ALEXANDER HAMILTON
near Reykjavik, in 64-10N, 22-56W. LT/JG L
V T SIECK USCG and 19 Coast Guard ratings were lost .
Destroyer GWIN took off
101 survivors, and another group was picked up by an
trawler, but six men died of wounds. ALEXANDER HAMILTON
sank in tow.
ROSALIND and minesweeping trawler LORD GREY departed
Gibraltar for Freetown, escorting tanker SAN ZEFERINO.
trawler STELLA CARINA also departed
as local escort.
ISAAC SWEERS departed Alexandria for Port Said en route
to the Far East.
French escort ship VIKINGS and British anti-submarine
departed Tobruk escorting Greek empty storeships FLORA
NOMIKOS (1783grt) and
ELPHIS (1492grt) in convoy TA.21. SOTRA (313grt,
Temporary Lt F R Linfield RNR) was sunk by U.431 off
Bardia in 32-07N, 25-30E with all hands. Lt Linfield,
Temporary Lt R W
Henfrey RNVR, Temporary S/Lt (E) K J Johansen RNVR,
Temporary Lt (E) T Olsen RNR and eighteen ratings were
lost. The U-boat was couonter-attacked by the remaining
escort vessels, but
escaped undamage. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on
Swordfish of 815 Squadron attacked U.205 in 32-20N,
26-13E and claimed heavy
damage, but no damage was done.
BM.11 of liners DUCHESS OF BEDFORD (20,123grt) and
EMPRESS OF JAPAN
(26,032grt), steamer EMPIRE
(12,656grt), and American
transports WAKEFIELD (24,289 tons displacement), and
WEST POINT (35,400 tons
displacement) arrived at Singapore, escorted by
destroyers EXPRESS, ELECTRA,
TENEDOS and THANET.
convoy, carrying anti-aircraft batteries, a light tank
squadron, troops and
stores had departed
on the 19th escorted by
Light cruiser GLASGOW
on the 22nd, heavy cruiser EXETER and destroyer
on the 26th and were then
detached on the 28th. Light cruisers DRAGON and DURBAN
were with the convoy from
the 26th to 28th, while THANET and TENEDOS escorted the
convoy from the 24th
was near missed by Japanese bombing on the 28th in Banka
Strait, but not damaged.
was towed by destroyer ENCOUNTER to Batavia. On the
reported one engine out of service and able to proceed
only at five knots.
Destroyer ELECTRA was sent to take over the tow, all
three arriving on 1
was towed by destroyer EXPRESS from Singapore to
Batavia, arriving on the 31st.
I.64 sank American steamer FLORENCE LUCKENBACH (5049grt)
BOELONGEN (1053grt), BUYSKES (1800grt), ELOUT (1797grt)
TELLO (9272grt) were sunk by Japanese bombing at Padang.
SENG (1811grt) was sunk or captured in the Dutch East
ADVENTURE arrived at
Scapa Flow from Loch Alsh.
Scapa Flow for the
in preparation of sailing to
the Mediterranean, arriving in the Clyde on the 31st.
escorting destroyer depot
ship BLENHEIM arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1500.
Scapa Flow at 2230 for Hvalfjord on completion of docking, to
operate under the orders of the C-in-C, Home Fleet.
Scapa Flow at 2200 for
departed the Clyde for patrol, escorted by
anti-submarine trawler HUGH WALPOLE.
ABELIA and SWEETBRIAR departed Scapa Flow for the
Command having been relieved by sister-ships MIGNONETTE,
FAA 823 Squadron moved from Fraserburgh to Machrihanish,
a Swordfish was lost
when it crashed into the ground in bad visibility. S/Lt
L F Brown and Air
Mechanician C W Beer were killed.
LOCH ALSH (358grt, Skipper W.F. Wright RNR) was sunk by
in the Humber, about 30 miles NE of
Skegness. There were no casualties.
Liverpool escorted by corvette GENISTA which arrived with the
convoy at Freetown
on 20 February. On 31
and SCARBOROUGH joined and detached on 15
February, corvette TAMARISK joined on the1st and arrived
with the convoy on
the 20th, and destroyer BRADFORD joined on the 6th and
detached on the 15th.
On that same day, destroyer WILD SWAN and corvettes
JASMINE, VIOLET, and
WALLFLOWER joined, also arriving with the convoy on the
(6836grt) in 37-10N, 73-58W.
Three crew were missing, but 30 were rescued.
SAN ADOLFO departed
with corvettes RHODODENDRON
and PENTSTEMON as local escorts for
and escort vessel ANTWERP departed Alexandria with
personnel for Tobruk,
arriving on the 31st. Both ships arrived back at
Alexandria on 1 February.
GLENGYLE and steamer PRINCESS MARGUERITE departed
Alexandria, escorted by destroyers
JAGUAR and LANCE, for an operational exercise in the
Gulf of Suez. They arrived at Port Said on the 31st and
destroyers returned to
sank Italian submarine MEDUSA in 44-54N, 13-46E. There
830 Squadron attacked Italian steamer SAN GIOVANNI
off Zuara. She had departed Tripoli on the 30th escorted
torpedo boats ORSA and CALLIOPE. SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTI
damaged, but was able to reach port. Destroyer DA NOLI
joined to assist on
the 31st. One Swordfish failed to return and S/Lt J F
Wilson and Lt J R O
Stevenson were lost.
Convoy SC.67 departed
escorted by destroyer
DUNVEGAN, SASKATOON, and minesweeper NIPIGON.
The escort, minus
detached on 2 February. The
convoy was joined on the 2nd by corvettes DAUPHIN,
LOUISBURG, SHEDIAC, and SPIKENARD, and
by corvette LETHBRIDGE
on the 8th February.
SPIKENARD detached on the 10th, and CHILLIWACK,
LETHBRIDGE, LOUISBURG and SHEDIAC on the 11th
February. That same day, destroyer ST ALBANS and
corvettes GENTIAN and
HONEYSUCKLE joined, with ST ALBANS detaching on the
13th, GENTIAN on the
14th, and HONEYSUCKLE on the 15th, when the convoy
arrived at Liverpool.
departed Fremantle escorting
convoy MS.3 of British ships ANTILOCHUS (9062grt),
CHARON (3703grt), MANGOLA
(3352grt), MARELLA (7475grt) for Batavia and Norwegian
(5381grt), ERLING BROVIG (9970grt), HERBORG (7892grt),
and Dutch MANVANTARA (8237grt), MARPESSA (7408grt), and
MERULA (8228grt) for Palembang to Christmas Island.
on 6 February, they met light cruisers DRAGON and DURBAN
and two destroyers escorting
CASTLE from Singapore.The escorts
four British steamers in the convoy arrived at Batavia,
escorted by DRAGON, DURBAN and destroyers JUPITER and
ENCOUNTER on the 8th, and the Norwegian and Dutch
tankers at Palembang on the 9th, escorted by
arrived back at Fremantle on
the 10th with the troopship.
was damaged by splinters from near misses from Japanese
bombing in Keppel Harbour, Singapore.
OF BEDFORD (20,123grt) and EMPRESS OF JAPAN (26,032grt)
damaged by bombing in
Singapore, but DUCHESS OF BEDFORD was
able to proceed to
(9052grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing at Singapore.
Six crew were lost and 14
later made prisoners of war.
(24,289grt) was damaged by
Japanese bombing at Singapore. Four passengers and one
enlisted man were killed, and nine enlisted man wounded.
and American transport WEST
on the 30th escorted by
Before leaving, WEST
POINT embarked naval officers, their families,
civilian evacuees, a 16 man RAF contingent, and 225
naval ratings, totalling
1276. In this number was the Commodore
Dockyard and all Heads of Department, except
CD, CE, NSO, VSO and skeleton staffs. WAKEFIELD
embarked two naval ratings,
six RAF personnel, and one officer and 25 men of a
detachment. The three ships arrived at
Batavia on the 31st. There,
destroyer ELECTRA transferred 20 naval dockyard
personnel, three women, five
naval officers' wives, one Free French officer, and an
RAF officer to WEST
POINT for passage to Ceylon. WEST POINT and
WAKEFIELD arrived at Colombo on 6 March, escorted by
destroyer NIZAM. WEST POINT embarked an additional
670 troops, eight
men, 55 women and 53 children for passage to
WAKEFIELD embarked 336 American
evacuees for return to
via Capetown, arriving back
in the United States
on 23 March.
EMPRESS OF JAPAN
and DUCHESS OF BEDFORD departed Singapore for Colombo,
escorted by light cruiser
DRAGON. The group was bombed at 1156 on the
31st. The two
troopships proceeded independently once at sea and
DRAGON arrived at Batavia at 2000/31st. EMPRESS
OF JAPAN arrived at
on 13 February and went on
to Durban arriving on the 22nd, while DUCHESS OF BEDFORD
arrived on the 15th February and went on to
arriving on the 25th.
convoys, both departing Singapore about 1800/30th,
total of some 4000 dockyard and service personnel
I.64 sank Indian steamer JALATARANG (2498grt) at 12-50N,
Thirty eight crew were lost and only 11 saved.
departed the Tyne on completion of refitting
to work up, arriving on 1 February.
TRINIDAD departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde to disembark
passengers, brought from Russia. She arrived on 1
Tyne at 0700 for
after completing a refit.
She arrived at 1745 to work up prior to rejoining the
Scapa Flow at 0815 for Harwich to rejoin the Nore Command.
departed Sullom Voe and destroyer CHIDDINGFOLD and
departed Scapa Flow during the afternoon for patrol positions eastwards
of the Shetlands to act as rescue ships for RAF Bomber
returning from a raid on battleship TIRPITZ at
The raid was cancelled due
to weather and the ships returned to harbour.
Scapa Flow, escorting steamer
and HEBE arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1300 from convoy QP.6.
and INTREPID arrived at Seidisfjord from Hvalfjord prior
to rendezvous with convoys PQ.10 and PQ.11.
heavy cruisers WICHITA and TUSCALOOSA, six destroyers
supply ships departed Hvalfjord to return to the United
(Lt Cdr G B O'B Harding), escorting convoy NA.2, was
sunk by U.82 in
42-02N, 57-18W with all hands. Cdr Harding, Lt A M W
Blake, Temporary Acting
Gunner (T) H D Cook, Acting Lt M W Curd RNVR, Temporary
Lt W W Deighton RNVR,
Probationary Temporary Surgeon Lt J D James RNVR,
Temporary S/Lt J McD Makins
RNVR, Lt (E) G H Nicholson
and one hundred and thirty
ratings were missing.
Guard cutter CULVER (Lt Cdr R T Gordon-Duff), escorting
was sunk by U.105 in 48-43N, 20-14W with all hands. Cdr
Temporary Acting Gunner A G Bennett DSM, Temporary S/Lt
R E R Bensley RNVR,
Temporary Lt A H Jubb
RNR, Lt R F Kipling, Lt Cdr (E) G S Thorpe,
Probationary Temporary Surgeon Lt R Troup RNVR, Lt G F
Watson RNVR, S/Lt W
Piotrowski Polish Navy, and one hundred and five ratings
UNICITY (96grt) capsized and sank while minesweeping off
Blyth in a storm. Temporary Lt B M
T Wallace RNVR was lost.
LADY CHARLOTTE (18grt) was sunk in Eyemouth Harbour by
REDSHANK (6613grt) was damaged by German bombing in
tanker SAN ARCADIO (7419grt) in 38-10N, 63-50W. Thirty
eight crew and three gunners were lost, and eight crew
and one gunner saved.
German blockade runner SPREEWALD (5083grt) in error in
HELGOLAND (3664grt) was lost due to
ice-damage in Finnish waters.
and ACTIVE departed
Gibraltar to meet Polish troopships BATORY and SOBIESKI
for inward escort.
destroyers HERO, FARNDALE, and ERIDGE off Mersa Matruh
without success. She was later counter-attacked by a
Swordfish bi plane, but
was not damaged.
sank Italian steamer FERTILLA (986grt) northeast of
escorted by destroyers SOUTHWOLD,
DULVERTON and HASTY, and arrived at Tobruk on 3
February. The destroyers then
returned to Alexandria,
escorting empty storeships.
I.64 sank Indian steamer JALAPALAKA (4215grt) in 13-00N,
Thirteen crew were missing, but 54 saved.
towed by destroyer EXPRESS, arrived at Batavia on the
GLASGOW and armed merchant cruiser CARTHAGE arrived at
I.62 damaged tanker LONGWOOD (9463grt) 20 miles west of
Colombo. Greek destroyer QUEEN OLGA, British sloop
FALMOUTH and auxiliary patrol boat OKAPI hunted the
submarine without success. The tanker arrived at Colombo
that day. She was temporarily repaired at Colombo and
sent to Durban, arriving on 1 November, for further