Events - December 1941-February 1942
attacked, Loss of 'Repulse' & 'Prince
of Wales', Singapore falls, 'Channel Dash' by
German big ships, to February 1942
Sunday, 1 February
TRINIDAD arrived in the
from Scapa Flow to disembark the Polish personnel
brought back from
with convoy QP. 6. She
departed the Clyde on the 4th to return to
arriving on the 5th.
arrived at Scapa Flow from the Tyne on completion of
arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
Destroyer ICARUS arrived at Hvalfjord from
Flow at 1100 to operate with the
Destroyers FAULKNOR and INTREPID arrived at
Seidisfjord from Hvalfjord for ocean escort of convoy
PQ.9 and PQ.10.
CALPE arrived at
Flow at 0800 on return from
Operation EW in which she had been providing
anti-aircraft protection to
CAPE SABLE and CITY OF DURBAN.
Convoy ON.62 departed
and was joined on the 2nd
by destroyer WATCHMAN and corvettes ANCHUSA, ARABIS,
DAHLIA, MONKSHOOD, and
SNOWFLAKE. WATCHMAN detached on the 6th when the convoy
was joined by
destroyer ST LAURENT and corvettes KAMSACK, NAPANEE,
RIMOUSKI, TRAIL and TRILLIUM.
The original corvettes were detached on the 7th when
GLEAVES joined. GLEAVES detached on the 13th, and the
convoy dispersed on the
U.109 sank steamer TACOMA
(7924grt) in 37-33N, 69-21W.
The entire crew of 85 were lost.
Steamer SEDULITY (490grt) was damaged by German
bombing off Cromer.
Submarine TEMPEST departed
for Malta, arriving on the 8th.
Escort destroyer HURWORTH arrived at
from the Canal Area for duty
with the 5th Destroyer Flotilla.
Submarine THUNDERBOLT sank Italian steamer ABSIRTEA
(4170grt) six miles 320° from
Convoy HX.173 departed
escorted by destroyer ST
minesweepers GANANOQUE and QUINTE. The minesweepers
detached on the 2nd.
American destroyers BERNADOU, DECATUR, EDISON, LEA, and
NICHOLSON joined on the
3rd, while the rest of the initial escort detached on
the 4th. Destroyer
WATCHMAN joined on the 9th and corvette SNOWFLAKE. The
detached on the 10th, and corvettes ANCHUSA, ARABIS,
DAHLIA and MONKSHOOD
joined on the 12th. The escorts all detached on the 13th
and the convoy
arrived at Liverpool on the 14th.
American naval forces attacked
Wotje, Maloelap, Jaluit and
Mili in the Marshalls,
and Makin in the Gilbert Island groups.
Aircraft from aircraft carrier
escorted by heavy cruiser LOUISVILLE, light cruiser ST
LOUIS and destroyers HUGHES, SIMS,
RUSSELL, and WALKE, struck Makin Island.
Aircraft from aircraft carrier
escorted by destroyers
RALPH TALBOT, BLUE and MCCALL, struck Wotje, Maloelap, and
and SALT LAKE CITY with destroyer DUNLAP
with destroyers BALCH and
MAURY bombarded Taroa and Maloelap.
Oiler SABINE with destroyer MAHAN was the tanker unit
for the task forces. Earlier on 28 January, a second
was detached with destroyer
was damaged when a Japanese
plane crashed into her in 10-33N, 171-53E. One enlisted
man was killed and
was damaged by a Japanese
dive bomber in 8-45N, 171-33E. Seven enlisted men were
killed and twenty
wounded. Of the Cruiser Scouting Squadron 5 staff aboard
the cruiser, LT A L
Ekberg was killed and one enlisted man wounded.
Ensign W M Heywood Jr in destroyer SIMS was wounded by
a Japanese bomb near miss.
One enlisted man on cruiser
was wounded by shellfire.
YORKTOWN, one enlisted man in Torpedo Squadron 3 was
wounded. LT G L Bellinger, LT (jg) M P. Fishel, and two
enlisted men from
Bombing Squadron 5 were lost when their bombers collided
over Jaluit. LT F X
Maher, Jr, LT J C Moore, and the four enlisted men of
their respective planes
of Torpedo Squadron 5 were lost when their planes
collided shortly after take
off. Two more planes of Torpedo Squadron 5 were lost
when they ran out of
gasoline, and LT H T Johnson, Ensign H Hein, and four
enlisted men were taken
prisoners by the Japanese. A seventh plane, piloted by
Ensign T A Reeves, of
Bombing Squadron 5 went down returning to the carrier.
Reeves and his
enlisted man crewman were rescued by an American
LT (jg) E J Kroeger was
wounded and Ensign J J Doherty and an enlisted man were
lost on the 1st from
Bombing Squadron 6. Ensign D W Criswell of Fighter
Squadron 6 was lost when
his plane spun into the sea. Ensign E R Donnell, Jr, LT
(jg) C T Fogg, LCDR H
L Hopping, Ensign D Seid, and four enlisted men from
Scouting Squadron 6 were
lost at Roi. LT (jg) R E Laub of Torpedo Squadron 6 was
wounded on 31
with destroyers JUPITER and
with US transports WAKEFIELD and WEST POINT for the
Straits. The escorts then returned to Tanjong Priok and
the transports safely
arrived at Colombo
on the 6th.
Convoy MS.1 with
steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER, DERRYMORE,
GORGON, PEISANDER, and Norwegian PAN EUROPE and Tanker
WAR SIRDAR, escorted
by light cruiser HOBART and destroyers TENEDOS and
STRONGHOLD, arrived at Singapore.
arrived at Colombo.
Submarine TRUANT departed
for Batavia via the Sunda Strait.
Australian minesweeper MARYBOROUGH and armed patrol
vessels MEDUSA and CIRCE departed
2 February, Monday
Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE departed
Flow for the Clyde to embark the Russian trade
delegation. She arrived in the
Clyde on the 4th, and after embarking the delegation,
departed on the 5th for
Light cruiser ARETHUSA departed
Flow for Chatham for refitting prior to
joining the Mediterranean Fleet, and arrived at Chatham
on the 3rd.
departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Faroes-Iceland Channel.
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD (CS.18) departed patrol in the
Faroes-Iceland Channel for Hvalfjord, arriving on the
Flow at 1400 to rendezvous with
CITY OF DURBAN and CAPE SABLE to the northeast of the
Shetlands to provide anti-aircraft protection for their
return to Scapa Flow. CALPE was unable to meet the ships
on the 3rd and proceeded to Sullom Voe to refuel,
arriving at noon on the 4th. The ships were
met later on the 4th, and all three arrived at Scapa
Flow at 2200/5th.
Convoy ON.63 departed
escorted by destroyers
CHELSEA, VERITY, WITCH and corvettes ARBUTUS, CAMELLIA,
PIMPERNEL. ARBUTUS detached on the 5th, and the
remainder of the escort when
the convoy was joined by American Coast Guard cutter
INGHAM and destroyers
DALLAS, ROPER, and UPSHUR. The convoy was dispersed on
SPARTEL (346grt, Lt J. R. Grundy RNR) was sunk by German
in 53-28-42N, 0-49-12E in the
There were no casualties.
Minesweeping trawler CLOUGHTON WYKE (324grt, Temporary
Skipper C. S. Larter DSC, OBE
was sunk by German bombing
in 52-59-N, 1-18-30E in the
Humber. Four ratings were lost and Skipper Larter
U.751 damaged Dutch tanker CORILLA (8096grt) from
convoy HX.173 in 44-49N, 61-37W.
U.103 sank American tanker W L STEED (6182grt) in
38-25N, 73-00W. Thirty five crew were lost and only
Submarine P.39 departed
for Malta, arriving on the 11th.
Corvette RHODODENDRON departed
to rendezvous with steamers
CRESSADO and EMPIRE PANTHER off Cape Razo and escorted
them to join
convoy HG 78.
Submarine REGENT, which departed
Delgada after emergency repairs on
the 2nd, was attacked in error by Submarine CLYDE. Two
torpedoes were fired,
but both missed.
Convoy AT.23 departed
escorted by destroyer
AVONVALE and corvette HYACINTH, and arrived at Tobruk on
the 5th. There was
no convoy AT.24.
Submarine TURBULENT arrived at
Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE and destroeyrs NIZAM,
NESTER, and NAPIER arrived at Trincomalee from operation
Australian light cruiser HOBART and destroyer TENEDOS
Destroyer SCOUT was ordered to return to
from operations at Sabang.
Submarine TRUSTY departed
for patrol in the southern
part of the Gulf of
On completion of patrol,
she was to proceed to
Convoy MR.2 departed
with steamer ELLENGA
(5196grt), escorted by Australian armed merchant cruiser
sloop INDUS,and patrol vessel SONAVATI.
The convoy dispersed on the 5th and the escorts were
3 February, Tuesday
departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth to land
contaminated cordite before proceeding to refitting at
Chatham. She arrived at Rosyth on
Light cruiser NIGERIA (CS.10) departed
Flow to meet and escort convoy
PQ.9 and PQ.10 to
Destroyers ESCAPADE and PANTHER departed Hvalfjord at
1400 for Scapa Flow. ESCAPADE was proceeding to Immingham for refitting
and PANTHER completing working up. ESCAPADE arrived at
Flow at 0815/5th and sailed at
1200 for Immingham, while PANTHER arrived there at 1200
after carrying out
gunnery practices in
ESCAPADE arrived in the Humber at 1130/6th for refit.
Destroyers FAULKNOR and INTREPID departed Seidisfjord
to escort convoys PQ.9 and PQ.10 to
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000 to carry out a
“Short Programme of Practices” (Home Fleet Destroyers
War Diary) prior to her
departure for Northern Russia.
U.106 sank Swedish steamer AMERIKALAND (15,355grt) in
36-36N, 74-10W. Four crew were lost.
U.86 attacked a convoy in mid-Atlantic and reported
explosions which may have been the torpedoes exploding
at the end of their
Convoy AT.25 departed
escorted by destroyers
HEYTHROP and HURWORTH, and arrived at Tobruk on the 5th.
U.431 attacked a Tanker near Sidi Barrani at 2305. A
torpedo hit without detonation and was heard in the
submarine. A few minutes
later, the submarine fired torpedoes against the
escorting destroyer. At the
same time – 2305, U.73 attacked a destroyer near Sidi
Barrani. These attacks
were against empty ships, which had departed Tobruk,
escorted by destroyers
SOUTHWOLD, DULVERTON and HASTY. No damage was done to
the convoy or the
destroyers and no mention of either attack appears in
the War Diary.
Submarine P.35 sank Italian steamer
(6142grt) off Kuriat.
Convoy HG.78 of two steamers departed
escorted by corvettes
GARDENIA and SAMPHIRE and anti-submarine trawler LORD
RHODODENDRON joined on the 5th with two steamers near
Lisbon. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 14th.
Convoy JS 1, whose ships had arrived independently at Colombo
at the end of
with British steamers
ADRASTUS (7905grt), ALICE MOLLER (4986grt), FILLEIGH
(4856grt), LULWORTH HILL
(7628grt), MODASA (9070grt), YOMA (8131grt), HERMION
(5202grt) and PROMINENT
(2282grt). Norwegian steamer
LEE (3616grt) departed Colombo on the 4th and joined the
convoy on the 5th. ALICE MOLLER returned to Colombo with
The convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser
to the 10th and minesweepers
BATHURST and LISMORE to the 5th, after which they
detached to screen battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN and
netlayer PROTECTOR en route
to Trincomalee from Addu. On the 10th, light cruiser
HOBART joined the escort
and remained until the 13th. On the 11th, heavy cruiser
joined and remained until
the 13th. On the 12th, destroyer ELECTRA and sloop JUMNA
joined. HOBART and JUMNA arrived on the 13th at
Oosthaven with steamers FILLEIGH, YOMA, LULWORTH HILL,
HAI LEE and HERMION. JUMNA remained there to provide
anti-submarine patrol with Australian minesweepers
GOULBURN and BURNIE.
Meanwhile ELECTRA and steamers ADRASTUS, MODASA, and
PROMINENT arrived at Batavia on the 14th. CORNWALL
arrived back at Colombo on the 13th.
Australian destroyer VENDETTA (Acting Lt W G Whitting
in the tow of tug ST JUST. Two more officers, Gunner J
C Lace and Commissioned Engineer N J E Lark and eighteen
ratings made up the
crew. Off Keppel
destroyer STRONGHOLD took
her in tow. The three ships arrived at Palembang on the
4th and STRONGHOLD
proceeded to other duties.
VENDETTA was towed on the 8th by ST
arriving at Batavia on the 10th and anchored at
Tanjong Priok, remaining there until the 17th. She then
left in tow of two
tugs and was met by auxiliary patrol ship PING WO
outside the harbour. PING WO took over the tow and
they joined convoy SJ.3 escorted by destroyer ELECTRA
and sloop YARRA. On 24
February off Christmas Island, light cruiser
relieved YARRA in the
escort. YARRA returned to
On 3 March, tug
from Fremantle took over the
tow and they arrived at Fremantle next day. VENDETTA at
Melbourne on 15 April.
Steamer NORAH MULLER (4433grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing off West Nangka Point in the
Strait. Seventeen crew were killed,
but eight European survivors, 13 passengers, all the
naval gunners, and 31
Chinese were rescued. Australian light cruiser HOBART
took off 57 survivors
and destroyer TENEDOS took off thirteen. Six wounded
died of wounds before
the ships arrived at Tanjong Priok on the 4th.
Steamer KATONG (1461grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing
four miles from Bar Light Vessel,
Only five crew members were
Steamer CITY OF
CANTERBURY (8331grt) and
French liner FELIX ROUSSEL (17,083grt) of convoy BM.12
superficial damage and casualties from Japanese bombing
in Banka Strait.
Steamer LOCH RANZA (4958grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing at 00-37N, 104-14E. Of a crew of fifty,
including nine gunners, and
four RAF passengers, five crew were killed. The
survivors were taken to
in steamer SUBADOR
(5424grt). One crewman and one gunner died later, and
two crew were taken
Tanker PINNA (6121grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing
at 00-52S, 104-19E, attacked again the next day, run
aground and abandoned.
Of 51 crew and two passengers, 20 crew were killed and
23 crew and two
passengers taken to
by steamer SUBADOR, and
later made prisoners of war.
Australian minesweepers TOOWOOMBA and BALLARAT and
auxiliary minesweeper GEMMA, en route from
to Palembang, went to the assistance of
the two British ships.
Steamer MADURA (9032grt) was damaged by Japanese
bombing in the
Dutch East Indies.
Japanese submarine I.62 damaged tanker SPONDILUS
(7402grt) in 6-16N, 79-38E, which in turn claimed to
have damaged the
submarine with gunfire, but no damage was found. Sloop
and armed patrol whaler
OKAPI searched for the submarine without success.
Wednesday, 4 February
Destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8) and INTREPID departed
Seidisfjord to rendezvous with combined convoys PQ.9 and
PQ.10 of steamers ATLANTIC
(5414grt), EMPIRE SELWYN (7167grt), Russian IJORA
REVOLUTSIONER (2900grt), TREVORIAN (4599grt), Panamanian
EL LAGO (4221grt),
Russian FRIEDRICH ENGELS (3972grt), Norwegian NOREG
TBILISI (7169grt), and American WEST NOHNO (5769grt) and
join light cruiser
NIGERIA as ocean escort to Murmansk.
Minesweepers BRITOMART and SHARPSHOOTER joined the
escort on the 7th.
Destroyer PAKENHAM (D.12) departed the
at 0945, and after carrying
out trials, proceeded to Methil for the night.
Minesweeper HEBE departed
Flow at 2100 to refit at
Immingham, where she arrived at 1000/6th.
U.751 sank steamer SILVERAY (4535grt) in 43-54N,
64-16W. Of a crew of 49 and nine gunners, seven crew and
one gunner were
U.103 sank Panamanian steamer
GIL (3627grt) in 38-05N, 74-40W.
Of a crew of 41 and one passenger, two were lost. The
survivors were rescued
by US Coast Guard cutter NIKE.
British steam trawler AQUARIUS (187grt) was damaged by
German bombing five miles east by north of
Destroyers JERVIS, JAGUAR, KELVIN, LANCE, GRIFFIN,
HERO, ARROW and HAVOCK departed Alexandria at 1700 for
sweep to the westward in conjunction with
Swordfish and Wellington
aircraft maintaining an anti-submarine patrol five miles
ahead in Operation
U.561 had been attacked by aircraft twice early on the
4th in 32-00N, 25-50E.
Destroyers HEYTHROP and HURWORTH departed
with the destroyers and were
detached off Tobruk to escort a convoy to Alexandria.
U.561 attacked a steamer east of Sidi Barrani.
Escort destroyer BEAUFORT arrived at
from the United Kingdom and sailed for Alexandria.
Polish troopships BATORY and SOBIESKI arrived at
escorted by British
destroyers LIGHTNING, WIVERN, ACTIVE and ANTHONY.
Convoy SC.68 departed
escorted by covettes
PAS and minesweepers CLAYOQUOT and RED DEER. The
escorts detached on the 7th when the convoy was joined
by destroyer BURWELL
MATAPEDIA, NANAIMO, NASTURTIUM and SUDBURY. CHICOUTIMI
detached later that day,
while BURWELL, MATAPEDIA,
and NASTUTIUM detached on
the 16th. The convoy was joined on the 16th by destroyer
corvettes HEATHER, LOBELIA, and NARCISSUS. Corvette
SUDBURY detached on the 17th and
anti-submarine whaler BODO joined on the 20th, arriving
with the convoy at Liverpool on the 20th.
French submarine SURCOUF arrived at
from Halifax to embark personnel and
charts, before sailing on the 12th for Tahiti, via the
American heavy cruiser HOUSTON and light cruiser
MARBLEHEAD were damaged by Japanese bombing in Madoera
Strait, Borneo, in
7-23S, 117-47E. They were in a force with Dutch cruisers
DE RUYTER, TROMP,
American destroyers BULMER, STEWART, JOHN D EDWARDS,
BARKER, and Dutch
destroyers VAN GHENT, PIET HEIN and BANCKERT.
struck by a bomb near
number three turret. Shrapnel penetrated the turret and
set off an explosion.
Warrant Officer J B Bienert, LT G E Davis Jr and forty
three enlisted men
were killed. Twenty enlisted men were wounded with three
dying of wounds.
LT E M Blessman and twelve
enlisted men were killed. Chief Warrant Officer H M
Andersen, Ensign C H
Coburn Jr, LT (jg) W H Cranford, CDR W B Goggins, LT A A
Goodhue, LCDR M
Smellow and eighty seven enlisted men were wounded. Four
enlisted men later
died of wounds.
Dutch cruiser DE RUYTER was damaged by near misses
which put her anti-aircraft fire control out of action.
Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at Trincomalee.
Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL departed Trincomalee for Colombo.
Australian destroyer VAMPIRE departed
for Colombo, escorting Dutch steamers
MELCHOIR TREUB (3242grt) and OPHIR (4115grt), and
arrived on the 11th.
Japanese submarine I.55 sank Dutch steamer VAN
LANSBERGE (1937grt) south of
American destroyers O'BRIEN and CASE, departing
Harbour with a convoy, collided.
O'BRIEN returned to
Harbour for repairs.
Japanese submarine I.56 damaged Dutch steamer TOGIAN
(979grt) near Koepang. She was scuttled on the 22nd off
Koepang in 10-11-46N,
Dutch steamer VAN LANSBERGE (1937grt) was sunk by
Japanese bombing in the
Thursday, 5 February
departed Rosyth for Chatham, escorted by destroyers
WINCHESTER and COTSWOLD and arrived on
was commissioned for trials
Destroyer PAKENHAM departed Methil at 0700 for
Flow for working up, arriving at
Escort destroyer GROVE departed the
at 0945 and after carrying
out trials proceeded to Methil for the night. She left
there at 0700/6th for Scapa Flow, arriving at 1700.
Escort destroyer ALDENHAM departed
at 1300 to carry out trials,
and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1600/6th.
Destroyer TARTAR departed
Flow at 2200 for Hvalfjord to
operate with the Home Fleet, arriving at 1000/7th.
Corvette ARBUTUS (Temporary Lt A L W Warren DSC
in convoy ONS.63 was sunk
by U.136 in the
North Atlantic in 55-05N, 18-43W. Lt Warren, Temporary Lt S W Barker
RNVR, Temporary Lt J H Hayne RNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt
A K Loten RNVR, and
thirty eight ratings were missing. One rating died of
wounds after being
U.109 sank Canadian tanker MOTROLITE (11,309grt) in
35-14N, 60-05W. Of a crew of 44 and four gunners, 27
crew and one gunner were
U.103 sank American tanker INDIA ARROW (8327grt) in
38-48N, 72-43W. Twenty six crew were missing, and the
Master and eleven crew
U.103 sank American tanker
ARROW (8403grt) in 37-44N,
73-18W. The entire crew of 37 was rescued by US Coast
Guard cutter NIKE.
Steamer CORLAND (3431grt) was sunk by German bombing
in 53-43N, 00-36E. There were no casualties among a crew
Steamer HELDER (979grt) was damaged by German bombing
3˝ miles east of Humber Light Float.
Russian submarine SHCH.421 sank German steamer KONSUL
SCHULTE off Honningsvaag.
In Operation MBD.4, U.81 was attacked by aircraft
during the day. Destroyer JAGUAR sighted U.73 on the
surface in 32-07N,
25-35E and dropped a pattern of depth charges. Later,
destroyers KELVIN and
LANCE attacked U.375. When the destroyers reached the
vicinity of Derna, they
turned east. Speed was reduced on account of heavy
weather, but one rating
from JAGUAR was lost when he was swept overboard. The
ships arrived back at Alexandria
on the 6th.
Destroyers SOUTHWOLD, DULVERTON, and HASTY arrived at Alexandria
with a returning Tobruk
Destroyer AVONVALE and corvette HYACINTH arrived at
Tobruk with convoy AT.23.
Destroyers HEYTHROP and HURWORTH departed Tobruk with
unloaded store ships.
Convoy BM.12 of troopships EMPRESS OF
FELIX ROUSSEL, DEVONSHIRE,
PLANCIUS, and also
CITY OF CANTERBURY, formerly of convoy DM.2, was
attacked by Japanese dive bombers in the approaches to
Singapore. The were
escorted at the time by light cruiser DANAE and sloops
EMPRESS OF ASIA (16,909grt) was set afire
and abandoned. Of a crew of 416 and 25 gunners, one
crewman died in hospital.
Of the 2,235 troops on board, 15 were missing. A
catering staff of 147 was
rescued and remained at Singapore. The guns of an
regiment and other equipment were lost. Of the other
troopships, CITY OF CANTERBURY (8331grt) was damaged and
French liner FELIX ROUSSEL (17,083grt) hit by two bombs,
but only lightly
and destroyers JUPITER and
ENCOUNTER, detached from convoy BM.12, proceeded into
the Banka Strait to attack Japanese shipping
north of Banka
at dawn on the 5th.
Australian light cruiser HOBART departed Batavia and
joined the EXETER force. In Sunda Strait, Japanese
attacked the force on the 5th, claiming sinking a
transport, but no ships
were damaged. They returned to Batavia on the 6th.
Dutch steamer TIDORE was sunk by Japanese bombing
south of Sumbawa.
Japanese submarine RO.34 attacked a Dutch destroyer in
near 6S, 106E.
Troopship EMPRESS OF
formerly of convoy DM.2,
escorted by sloop JUMNA to return to England.
Troopship WARWICK CASTLE, also convoy DM.2, departed
escorted by light cruisers DANAE and DURBAN, to
rendezvous with heavy cruiser
CANBERRA, escorting convoy MS.3, for escort to
Troopship DUNERA departed
for Colombo, arriving 13 February.
Steamer TROILUS left
on the 12th and arrived at
Fremantle on the 19th.
The remaining ships of convoy DM.2,
CITY OF PRETORIA and MALANCHA
on the 12th in convoy SJ.1.
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN and netlayer GUARDIAN
departed Addu Atoll for Trincomalee. Minesweepers
and LISMORE were diverted
from convoy JS.1 to meet and escort. On the 6th,
BATHURST suffered engine problems and
speed was reduced to seven knots. ROYAL SOVEREIGN
proceeded unescorted at 17
knots, while GUARDIAN and LISMORE proceeded
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed
Destroyer NIZAM departed Trincomalee to patrol off
Dondra Head and await the arrival of troopships
WEST POINT, and EMPRESS OF
JAPAN. The four ships arrived at Colombo on the 6th.
Friday, 6 February
Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE was in a collision with
tank assault ship TASAJERA (mercantile LST conversion)
near Skerry Vore. Both
ships sustained extensive damage and returned to the
for repairs, arriving that
day. ADVENTURE was taken to
Southampton for repairs, returning to Loch Alsh on 30
departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow for working up, and
on the 7th.
Destroyer JAVELIN departed
after repairs of her
November 1940 torpedo damage for working up at Scapa
Flow, and arrived at 1100/8th.
Destroyer MIDDLETON departed Sullom Voe with tanker SAN
ZOTICO at 1630 for Scapa Flow. The tanker developed
defects and returned to Sullom Voe. MIDDLETON proceeded
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1015/7th.
Minesweeper BRAMBLE departed
Flow at 1200 for Sunderland for refitting, and arrived
Submarine TUNA departed the
for patrol off Frohavet.
U.109 sank Panamanian steamer HALCYON (3531grt) in
34-20N, 59-16W. Three crew were lost.
U.106 sank steamer OPAWA (10,354grt) in 38-21N,
61-13W. Of the crew of 71, including three gunners, two
were lost, 54 missing
and 15 rescued.
U.107 sank American steamer MAJOR WHEELER (3431grt)
off the Carolinas
on the US East Coast . She
had departed Puerto Rico on 31 January.
Steamer BLUSH ROSE (645grt) was damaged by German
three miles south of
Turkish destroyer SULTAN HISSAR (a new H-class
destroyer, sister to the British HAVELOCK class) arrived
She passed through the
Canal and was ordered to proceed to Alexandria for
preparations prior to
turning over to
departing Alexandria on the 17th for Iskundirun.
Submarine THUNDERBOLT attacked German submarine U.431
in 34-36N, 23-22E with torpedoes and gunfire. No damage
Destroyer VANSITTART arrived at
Convoy ST.14 departed
escorted by corvettes
BURDOCK and ORCHIS, and arrived at Takoradi on the 12th.
DRAGON and destroyers
JUPITER and ENCOUNTER, escorting liner WARWICK CASTLE,
relieved Australian heavy
in escort of convoy MS.3 off
CANBERRA had departed Fremantle on 30 January escorting
Steamers ANTILOCHUS, CHARON, MANGOLA, and MARELLA
arrived at Batavia on the 8th and remaining seven ships
- tankers ELSA,
ERLING BROVIG, HERBORG, MANVANTARA, MERULA, MARPESSA and
Palembang on the 9th.
Destroyer EXPRESS sailed from
to join the escort, but was
damaged by a fire in her engine room, and forced to
return to Batavia. She was able to leave with
convoy SJ.1 for
on the 12th, no longer
capable of fleet duties, and arrived at Colombo on the
21st. After further
escort duties, repairs were carried out at Simonstown
from 25 April to 26
Aircraft transport ATHENE, escorted by destroyers
ELECTRA and TENEDOS, arrived at
Dutch light cruiser
departed the Sunda Strait for Colombo. En route she was
to Trincomalee for self refit.
Saturday, 7 February
Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Hvalfjord for patrol in
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD (CS.18) departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Iceland-Faroes Channel and to escort Rear
Admiral Minelaying in
Operation SN.5B. She left her patrol on the 8th to
departed patrol in the
Iceland-Faroes Channel for Hvalfjord, arriving on the
Oiler GRAY RANGER, escorted by escort destroyer
Scapa Flow for Sullom Voe. The destroyer returned with
oiler SAN ZOTICO and arrived at
Flow on the 9th.
departed Scapa Flow at 0100 for Plymouth to join that
completion of working up.
Destroyer PUNJABI departed
Flow at 2000 for Hvalfjord,
arriving on the 9th to operate with the Home Fleet.
departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for Rosyth to join
that command on completion of working up.
Convoy ON.64 departed
escorted by destroyer ST ALBANS. The convoy was joined
the 8th by corvettes ACANTHUS and ROSE. ST ALBANS
detached on the 11th when
the convoy was joined by corvettes EYEBRIGHT and
SHAWNIGAN. ACANTHUS and ROSE
detached on the 13th, corvettes DIANELLA, KINGCUP and
LOOSTRIFE joined on the
16th, and EYEBRIGHT detached on the 18th. The convoy
arrived at Halifax on the 24th.
Lt L T Hazeldine, flying a Master of RAF No.1 Flying
Training School at Netheravon, was killed when his
aircraft crashed near
U.751 sank steamer EMPIRE
(6952grt) in 43-55N, 64-22W.
Of a complement of 43 crew, 14 gunners and eight RAF
personnel, eight crew,
two gunners, and one RAF personnel were lost.
During the night of the 6th/7th, Temporary S/Lt M
Swithinbank RNVR, and Temporary S/Lt R A Thomas RNVR,
were lost when their
Swordfish of 830 Squadron was lost in attack on Italian
steamer MONVISO 30
miles NE of Cape Turgennes. The steamer was undamaged
and arrived at
later on the 7th.
Destroyers ZULU and LIVELY departed
at 1530 to intercept the
MONVISO, proceeding northbound from Tripoli. Forty five
miles south of
Pantelleria, the destroyers sank armed trawler GRONGO
(316grt), which was en
route from Lampdusa for Pantelleria, and small steamer
AOSTA (500grt), en
route Pantelleria for
Italian motor torpedo boat MAS.577 rescued seven
from the trawler, while MAS.560,
MAS.563 and MAS.574 rescued 25 from the
steamer. The British destroyers arrived back at Malta at
daylight on the 8th.
Aircraft carrier HERMES arrived at
arrived at Colombo.
Corvette VERBENA arrived at
Japanese submarine I.55 sank Dutch steamer VAN CLOON
(4519grt) south of
Island. Survivors were rescued by
American patrol yacht ISABEL. The steamer was later
salved by the Japanese
and renamed TATEBE MARU.
Sunday, 8 February
arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
CITY OF DURBAN and CAPE SABLE departed Scapa Flow with
convoy WN.42 for Rosyth
to boiler clean, arriving on the 9th.
Ex-Turkish destroyer MAUVENET (to be renamed
INCONSTANT) departed the
to work up, but was forced
to return to the
Clyde later that day with boiler defects.
Minelayers AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS departed Loch
Alsh, escorted by destroyers LANCASTER,
and ST MARYS. Light cruiser
SHEFFIELD provided cover. The
minefield was laid early on the 9th. The minelaying
force arrived back at
Loch Alsh later on the 9th and
returned to the
Minesweeper HUSSAR departed
after refitting with convoy
FN.425 for Methil and
Scapa Flow. She arrived at Methil on the 9th and sailed
later that day for
Scapa Flow, arriving on the 10th.
Convoy ON.65 departed
The convoy was joined on
the 9th by destroyers KEPPEL, SHIKARI and corvettes
DIANELLA, KINGCUP, and
LOOSTRIFE. The escorts were detached on the 12th when
the convoy was joined
by American destroyers
BUCK, DUPONT, HERBERT, MCCORMICK, and SWANSON. The
convoy dispersed on the 19th.
U.108 sank steamer OCEAN VENTURE (7174grt) in 37-05N,
74-46W. Of a crew of 43 and two gunners, 29 crew and
both gunners were lost.
Force H with battleship
light cruiser HERMIONE, and
destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, ACTIVE, ANTHONY,
BLANKNEY, EXMOOR, and CROOME departed Gibraltar for the
Clyde to provide additional
protection for convoy WS.16. Aircraft carrier ARGUS
remained at Gibraltar and disembarked her aircraft
for operations in the Strait. Force H arrived in the
Clyde on the 13th.
Light cruiser CLEOPATRA arrived at
from the Clyde, and departed on the 9th for
escorted by destroyer
Escort destroyers HEYTHROP, HURWORTH and escort ship ANTWERP
departed Alexandria with convoy AT.26 for
Escort destroyer FARNDALE and corvette GLOXINIA
with Greek steamer POPI
(1594grt) of convoy AT.27 for Tobruk.
Escort destroyer BEAUFORT arrived at
from the United Kingdom and passed through the Suez
Canal to join the Mediterranean
Submarine PROTEUS was involved in a collision with
Italian torpedo boat SAGITTARIO in 38-43N, 20-24E. She
was able to return to Alexandria
on the 13th with only damage
to her hydroplanes.
Submarine UPHOLDER sank Italian steamer SALPI
(2710grt) and damaged DUINO (1334grt) off Cape San Vito.
Corvettes CROCUS and STARWORT, escorting Royal Fleet
Auxiliary DEWDALE, arrived at
from convoy SL.99.
Convoy HX.174 - departed
on the 8th, escorts:
Babbitt, Badger, Plunkett, Schenck, Coast
Guard cutter Campbell
St Albans, corvettes Acanthus, Rose
on the 21st with Shikari, St Albans, Acanthus
Australian light cruiser HOBART and destroyer ELECTRA
departed Tanjong Priok on the 7th and met convoy EMU of
steamers DEVONSHIRE, CITY
OF CANTERBURY, and FELIX
ROUSSEL, escorted by light cruiser DANAE and sloops
YARRA and SUTLEJ, which
had departed Singapore on the 6th, south of Banka
took CITY OF CANTERBURY into Tanjong Priok, while
HOBART ELECTRA took the other two ships through the
Sunda Straits. On 9
February, the convoy was dispersed in the Indian Ocean
and HOBART proceeded to escort convoy
Submarine TRUANT arrived at
departed Colombo for Rangoon with a force of 90 Royal
Marines, and arrived on the 11th.
minelayer TEVIOT BANK, and
oiler PEARLEAF departed Trincomalee for Colombo.
American troopships WEST POINT and
departed Colombo for Bombay, escorted by Greek destroyer
Corvette HOLLYHOCK arrived at
Corvettes ASTER and VERBENA
Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at
Aircraft carrier HERMES departed
British troopship REINA
PACIFICO departed Colombo for Durban with evacuees.
Monday, 9 February
which arrived from
refitting at Plymouth,
on the 7th and now with the
Russian Trade Delegation aboard, departed the Clyde for
Murmansk, via Scapa Flow, arriving on the 10th.
Accompanied by destroyer AIREDALE, she departed Scapa
Flow at 1900/10th. The destroyer
parted company in 65-00N, 01-10W and returned to Scapa
Flow, arriving 1500/13th. Light
cruiser NIGERIA (CS.10) departed Murmansk on the 11th to
escort CAIRO, and the two cruisers
arrived at Kola Inlet on the 16th.
Destroyer WELLS arrived at
Flow at 0800 from Loch Alsh to
carry out repairs in dock.
Convoys PQ.9 and PQ.10 arrived safely in Kola Inlet,
escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR and INTREPID.
Free French corvette ALYSSE (LV Pepin le Halleur) in
convoy ONS.61 was sunk by U.654 in 46W, 44W in the
Atlantic. Thirty four crew, including
Temporary Lt L E Fisher RNVR were lost. LV Halleur was
wounded, and corvettes
HEPATICA and MOOSEJAW rescued the survivors. U.654 also
reported hitting a
steamer in this attack.
U.586 damaged Norwegian tanker ANNA KNUDSEN (9057grt)
in 59-50N, 9-40W. A tug was sent to assist.
U.85 sank steamer EMPIRE FUSELIER (5408grt) in 44-45N,
47-25W. Of a crew of 41 and six gunners, nine crew were
U.108 sank Norwegian steamer TOLOSA (1974grt), which
had departed Kingston
on the 1st, off the US
Carolina’s coast. The entire crew of 22 was lost.
Escort destroyer FARNDALE, escorting convoy AT.27, was
damaged by a bomb which passed through the ship and
exploded abreast the
boiler rooms, both of which flooded. There were no
casualties and corvette
GLOXINIA took her in tow. Tug ST ISSEY was sent from
Mersa Matruh and
destroyers KIPLING and JAGUAR from
to assist. Escort destroyer
HURWORTH and anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN MAID were
also detached from
convoy AT.25 to escort steamer POPI to Tobruk.
KIPLING and JAGUAR joined FARNDALE at daylight on the
10th, and all three arrived at
on the 11th.
Destroyer HURWORTH was detached to rejoin convoy
AT.26, but HURWORTH and HEYTHROP were both later
for a fleet operation,
arriving on the 11th.
and the unloaded store ships
of convoy AT.26 and AT.27 were held at Tobruk until
sufficient escort could
German steamer SULLBERG (1551grt) was sunk by torpedo
in the Mediterranean.
Convoy SL.100, departed
9 February, escorts:
Swan, corvettes Jasmine, Violet, Wallflower
Weston, escort ships
Gorleston, Sennen, Totland
Jasmine, Violet, Wallflower
Wellington (with segment SL.100F for
joined by anti-submarine
whaler Southern Star on 28th, arriving
Liverpool 28th), also Weston, Clover
4 March with Folkestone,
Gorleston, Totland, Butser
arrived at Bermuda from Newport News, Virginia to
refuel, and departed next
day for Plymouth.
Battleship REVENGE departed Trincomalee for refitting
American light cruiser
arrived at Colombo for repairs.
Auxiliary patrol vessel TANJONG KATONG was sunk by
Japanese gunfire at Sungei Kranji, near
Japanese submarine I.65 sank Dutch steamer MEROENDOENG
(2464grt) in 5-30N, 81-10E.
steamers Erinpura (5143grt), Varsova (4701grt). departed
Madras on 9 February, escorts:
Emerald, Indian patrol vessel Sonavati
convoy dispersed 13 February, escorts detached,
Boom carrier LAOMEDON, travelling in an unnumbered
from Colombo to Trincomalee and escorted by Indian escort ship
RAMDAS, was damaged in 6-13N, 82-25E. Although she was
reported as torpedoed,
no reports exist and the more likely cause was a mine.
The convoy scattered
and sloop FALMOUTH
was sent to assist. LAOMEDON
was able to return to
arriving on the 10th.
Tuesday, 10 February
departed the Iceland Faroes
patrol and arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 11th.
departed Scapa Flow for patrol in the Iceland
Destroyer PALADIN departed
Flow at 2000 for Greenock for repairs to her director,
and arrived at 1430/11th. Following repair, she joined
the escort of convoy
WS.16 and proceeded to the
Minesweeper HUSSAR arrived at
Flow at 1200 to work up prior to
proceeding for service in
Steamer LIEUTENANT ROBERT MORY (3176grt) was damaged
by German bombing five miles W of Trevose Head.
German steamer WOLFRAM (3648grt) was sunk by torpedo
U.652 attacked a British tanker near Sidi Barrani.
Troopships ROYAL SCOTSMAN, ULSTER MONARCH, ROYAL
ULSTER and the Polish BATORY departed
with troops which had been
embarked in troopship LLANGIBBY CASTLE. Destroyers
WISHART, WHITEHALL, WIVERN, and VIDETTE
escorted the ships. ROYAL SCOTSMAN returned to Gibraltar
on the 11th with major
Convoy SC.69 departed Halifax 10 February,
Oakville, minesweepers Gananaque,
Midland, Oakville, Gananaque, Quinte
Blyskawica, British Saladin, Sardonyx
27 February, possibly with
Convoy JS.2, troopship ORCADES (23,456grt, 3384
10 February, escorts:
ORCADES arrived Oosthaven 15th
troops) and steamer YOMA (from JS.1) departed
Also departing on the 16th were steamers FILLEIGH,
HILL and HAI
of JS.1, escorted by sloop
YARRA for Batavia.
Aircraft transport ATHENE departed
Monitor EREBUS and corvette MARGUERITE departed
(5236grt) was attacked by
Japanese aircraft in 14-35N, 120-55W, capptured by
Japanese forces and
renamed PALEMBANG MARU.
Wednesday, 11 February
American destroyer GWIN departed Hvalfjord for
arriving on the 13th.
Destroyer FURY departed the
at 1700 on completion of
refitting, and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1300/12th.
Canadian corvette SPIKENARD (Lt Cdr H G Shadforth),
escorting convoy SC.67, was sunk by U.136 in the
Atlantic in 56N, 21W. Cdr Shadforth,
Temporary Lt R A Hughes RCNVR, Temporary Lt C C Fawcett
RCNVR, Temporary Lt P
R F Milthorp RCNR, Temporary S/Lt G A Markham RNCVR, and
fifty two ratings
were lost. Eight ratings, four of whom were wounded,
were rescued by corvette
GENTIAN. U.136 reported hitting another merchant ship in
this attack. Later
that day, U.136 made another attack on the convoy and
claimed damaging a
U.591 sank Norwegian steamer HEINA (4028grt) from
convoy SC.67 in 56-10N, 21-07W. There were no
casualties. U.591 also reported
hitting two other steamers in the attack.
U.564 sank Canadian tanker VICTOLITE (11,410grt) in
36-12N, 67-14W. Of a crew of 45 and two gunners, all
Light cruiser CLEOPATRA, which had departed
on the 9th with destroyer
FORTUNE were attacked by German bombers near Malta and
Temporary Paymaster S/Lt R B Walmsley and seven ratings
were killed in
CLEOPATRA, and 11 wounded. In addition, Temporary S/Lt
(A) A F McDonald RNVR,
on passage in CLEOPATRA from GREBE, was also killed.
FORTUNE was damaged by
heavy weather during the morning, and both ships reached
Malta at 1200/11th.
Corvette SNAPDRAGON and anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN
departed Alexandria with tug BRIGAND and a small
convoy for Mersa Matruh and Tobruk.
Convoy HG.78A of steamers KINGSLAND and BORGFRED
departed Gibraltar, escorted by corvettes CROCUS and STARWORT. The
convoy arrived at
Liverpool on the 23rd, still escorted by CROCUS and
Convoy OS.19 departed
11 February, escorts:
Fleetwood, ocean boarding vessels Hilary,
Marsdale, escort vessel Banff
3 March with Bergamot,
Rockrose, Tamarisk, Wallflower
Light cruiser DESPATCH departed
for Freetown, via Trinidad, after Commodore West Indies
(Capt C E Douglas-Pennant DSC) struck his pennant. She
arrived at Freetown on the 27th.
Convoy ST.15 departed
and arrived at Takoradi on
Armed patrol vessel LIPIS was lost in the
area off Sultan Shoal. Lt W
E Steel RNR, was lost.
Japanese submarine I.56 reporting sinking a transport
south of Sunda
Motor launches RHODA (20grt) and SIMIT
(12grt) were scuttled at Singapore. During the
machinery, an explosion demolished the stern of steamer
WAN YUAN (674grt),
putting her main engines out of action. She was later
seized by Japanese
forces in Keppel
Thursday, 12 February
THE “CHANNEL DASH”
During attacks on German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST,
GNEISENAU and heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN proceeding up
Channel, there were a number of
Royal Navy casualties.
Fleet Air Arm Swordfish of 825 Squadron from Manston,
as well as numerous RAF Coastal Command and Bomber
Command aircraft carried
out attacks. The six FAA aircraft crews and their fates
follow – (1) Lt Cdr
(A) E Esmonde DSO+, Lt W H Williams+, gunner L/Airman W
J Clinton+, (2) S/Lt
B W Rose RNVR, Acting Temporary S/Lt (A) E F Lee RNVR,
L/Airman A L Johnson+,
(3) S/Lt C M Kingsmill RNVR, S/Lt (A) R M Samples RNVR,
L/Airman D A Bunce,
(4) Lt J C Thompson+, S/Lt E H F Wright RNVR+, L/Airman
E Tapping+, (5) S/Lt
C R Wood+, S/Lt (A) R L Parkinson+, L/Airman H T A
Wheeler+ (6) S/Lt P Bligh
RNVR+, S/Lt D R Beynon RNVR+, L/Airman W G Smith+.
Most were killed (+). Rose, Samples, and Kingsmill
were wounded, and only Lee and Bunce were uninjured.
Rose and Lee were rescued
by MTB.45, Samples and Bunce by a minesweeper, and it is
believed Kingsmill by an
The bodies of Esmonde and
Smith were later recovered and buried ashore. Esmonde
received the Victoria
Cross (posthumously), Rose, Lee, and Samples the DSO,
and Bunce the CGM.
CAMPBELL (D 21
Pizey), VIVACIOUS, WORCESTER
(D 16 Captain J.P. Wright, DSO), WHITSHED and WALPOLE
under Captain C.T.M. Pizey, DSO. WALPOLE dropped
out with defects en route to contact the German ships.
COTTESMORE*, GARTH*, HOLDERNESS*, MENDIP, MEYNELL*,
PYTCHLEY*, VANESSA also in 21st Destroyer Flotilla at
EGLINTON*, HAMBLDON*, QUORN*, SOUTHDOWN*, MONTROSE
also in 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich, joined by
and FERNIE of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.
* Sailed to
attack the German ships, but none of the Hunt class
escort destroyers were in action.
Casualties on destroyer
were 17 ratings killed, six
missing, four dying of wounds and 18 wounded.
German trawler JOHN MAHN (292grt) was sunk by British
bombing in the
Convoy QP.7 of steamers BOTAVON (5848grt), Panamanian
EL ALMIRANTE (5248grt), JUTLAND (6153grt), Russian
DARTFORD (4093grt), EMPIRE HALLEY (7168grt), SOUTHGATE
(4862grt), and Russian
STARY BOLSHEVIK (3974grt), escorted by destroyers
FAULKNOR and INTREPID,
departed Kola Inlet at 1630. Minesweepers HAZARD and
SPEEDWELL provided local
escort, and were then relieved by minesweepers BRITOMART
until the 15th. Light cruiser
The convoy dispersed on the 15th at 16E. FAULKNOR and
INTREPID proceeded to
Scapa Flow, while BRITOMART and SHARPSHOOTER returned to Murmansk.
Six of the convoy proceeded
to Seidisfjord and two to Akureyri.
Battleship RODNEY, escorted by destroyers SOMALI,
ORIBI, and OFFA, departed Hvalfjord for the
SOMALI parted company in
the Minches and arrived at Loch Alsh on the 14th. The
battleship and the
other two destroyers arrived at 0015/15th in the Clyde.
ORIBI and OFFA were taken
in hand for boiler cleaning.
Submarine STURGEON was ordered to patrol off Utvoer.
Submarine TRIDENT and the French MINERVE departed
Lerwick to patrol off
returning on the 14th.
Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA arrived at
Flow from Western Approaches at
1500 to form part of the escort for destroyer depot ship
BLENHEIM sailing for
Reykjavik. Together with destroyer FURY, they sailed on
the 13th. Destroyer PUNJABI departed Hvalfjord at
2000/13th to meet them and
provide additional escort. All four ships arrived at
Hvalfjord at 2100/16th.
Destroyer MIDDLETON and minesweepers
and HUSSAR departed Scapa Flow for Kirkwall to attend
conference prior to the departure of convoy PQ.11 on the
13th. The convoy had
arrived from Loch Ewe at
Kirkwall on the 7th.
Lt M H Gardner was lost overboard from submarine P.31
in the western approaches to
S/Lt A . Boyall was also
was washed overboard, but rescued.
U.108 sank Norwegian steamer BLINK (2701grt) in
35-00N, 72-27W. Of a crew of 30, including two gunners,
22 crew and both
gunners were lost.
Operation MF.5 commenced with convoy WM.9A heading
west from Alexandria
and MW.10 from Malta.
Convoy WM.9A of steamers CLAN CHATTAN and CLAN
CAMPBELL, escorted by anti-aircraft ship
and destroyers HEYTHROP,
LANCE, AVONVALE, and ERIDGE departed Alexandria at 1600.
ROWALLAN CASTLE departed at 1700, escorted
by destroyers SOUTHWOLD, BEAUFORT, DULVERTON and
At 0200/13th, Force B of light cruisers NAIAD, DIDO,
and EURYALUS with destroyers KIPLING, KELVIN, JAGUAR,
ARROW, HASTY, and HAVOCK
CLAN CAMPBELL was damaged by bombing in 32-22N, 24-22E
at 1730/13th, and AVONVALE and ERIDGE were detached to
escort her to Tobruk.
Force B was attacked unsuccessfully at dusk by a force
of German Ju.88 bombers.
Convoy MW.10 with steamers CLAN FERGUSON,
OF CALCUTTA, AJAX and
transport BRECONSHIRE departed Malta after dark on the
13th escorted by light
cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers SIKH, ZULU, LEGION,
LIVELY, FORTUNE, and
Lt Cdr S G Stoodley of battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH was
killed in a railway accident.
Destroyer MAORI was sunk by German bombing at
Gunner (T) S C White and a
stoker rating were killed, and two officers and six
Destroyer DECOY moored nearby was damaged by the
explosion with two ratings
departed Gibraltar for Malta, arriving on the 20th.
sank Italian tanker LUCANIA
(8106grt) in the
of Taranto. The tanker had been given
safe conduct to proceed from Taranto to Genoa in ballast
with the repatriation of Italians from Eritrea, but she
was escorted by
aircraft and zigzagging when attacked.
JUPITER, and auxiliary patrol ship KEDAH arrived at
Singapore at 0300/12th. They departed
before daylight that morning with steamers EMPIRE STAR
(12,658grt) and GORGON,
carrying the greater part of shore based naval
Later that day, in seventeen separate attacks,
was hit once by Japanese
bombing, losing her forward six inch gun with eight
ratings killed and many
STAR was also hit by three bombs in Durian Straits.
The ships arrived at
on the 13th.
Also departing Singapore during the night of the
11th/12th were steamers DERRYMORE (4799grt), REDANG
(531grt), IPOH (1279grt),
AMPANG (213grt), JALAKRISHNA (4991grt), JALAVIHAR
(3942grt), ORISKANY (1644grt), ASHRIDGE (2884grt), HONG
KHENG (6167grt), SIN
KHENG SENG (200 tons, AQUARIUS (6094grt), LES
Destroyer SCOUT and auxiliary patrol vessels DARVEL
and KINTA arrived at
with RAF personnel.
Destroyer VAMPIRE departed
to rendezvous with aircraft
carrier HERMES as anti-submarine escort.
American destroyer WHIPPLE was damaged in a collision
with Dutch cruiser DE RUYTER near
Bay, Java. She was drydocked,
but the damage was not significant and WHIPPLE returned
Convoy SJ.1 of steamers ANGLO INDIAN (5609grt),
OF CANTERBURY (8331grt), CITY OF PRETORIA (8049grt)
damaged submarine ROVER, CLAN ALPINE (5442grt),
HALIZONES (3298grt), MADURA
(9032grt), MALANCHA (8124grt) towing damaged destroyer
ISIS, and YUEN SANG (3229grt), departed Batavia
escorted by destroyer EXPRESS and sloop SUTLEJ.
Dutch BANJOEWANGI (1279grt),
(1279grt), RIJN (1969grt),
VAN DER CAPELLE (7037grt), and VAN SWOLL (2147grt) joined off
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE joined the escort on the
14th in 5-57S, 99-17E and detached on the 17th.
joined on the 20th. MALANCHA
with ISIS in tow and CITY OF PRETORIA with ROVER
Trincomalee, where they on the 21st, escorted by SUTLEJ.
SJ.1 arrived at
on the 21st with EXPRESS and
Steamer JALAVIHAR (5330grt) was damaged by Japanese
bombing off Singapore.
Steamer ANGLO INDIAN (5609grt) was damaged by Japanese
bombing in the
Dutch East Indies.
Tankers SOLEN (5699grt) and SPIRLIA (5695grt) used as
storage fuel hulks at
were captured by Japanese
forces. SOLEN was renamed SYOSEI MARU for Japanese use.
Friday, 13 February
departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde for escort duty with
WS.16, arriving on the 14th.
Destroyer INCONSTANT arrived at
Flow at 1500 from the Clyde for working up.
Destroyer PANTHER departed
Flow at 1145 for Greenock, ariving at 0500/14th. She
then proceeded in convoy WS.16 for the Far East.
Destroyer VANQUISHER departed
to escort Rear Admiral
Minelaying in Operation SN.84.
Convoy ON.66 departed
On the 14th, the convoy was
joined by destroyers
NIAGARA, SARDONYX and corvettes ABELIA, ANEMONE,
ROSELYS, and VERVAIN. SARDONYX detached on the 16th,
ABELIA and ANEMONE on
the 18th, and NIAGARA on the 19th. The convoy was joined on the 18th by corvettes
DAUPHIN, LETHBRIDGE, LOUISBURG and SHEDIAC. CHILLIWACK
and SHEDIAC detached on the
25th, and the convoy dispersed off Halifax on the 26th.
A Martlett of 888 Squadron crashed on take off from
aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE. S/Lt G Marriott was picked
up by a destroyer.
Submarine TEMPEST (Lt Cdr W A K N Cavaye) was sunk in
the Gulf of
by Italian torpedo boat
CIRCE. Cdr Cavaye, S/Lt M Neel-Wall, and thirty seven
ratings were lost.
Twenty four crew, including Lt Cdr H D Bowker RNR,
Temporary Lt M V H Caplat
RNVR, and Lt (E) R W B Blatchford were taken prisoner
and taken to Taranto.
Corvettes GLOXINIA and HYACINTH, escort ship
trawlers, and a convoy of A lighters and empty store
ships departed Tobruk
for Alexandria. U.652 attacked GLOXINIA at the end of the
Tobruk swept channel.
Corvettes VETCH and GERANIUM arrived at
escorting submarine CLYDE and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Convoy HX.175 departed
escorted by destroyer ST
CLAIR, corvettes SACKVILLE, THE PAS, WEYBURN and
GEORGIAN. They detached on the 15th when relieved by
DECATUR, LEARY, MAYO and SIMPSON. DECATUR and LEARY
detached on the 23rd when
relieved by corvettes CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, and
PIMPERNEL. The convoy arrived
at Liverpool on the 25th.
Motor launch ML.310 (Lt J H Bull RNVR) departed
with 44 crew and passengers,
including Rear Admiral E J Spooner, Vice Air Marshall C
W H Pulford, Cdr P L
Frampton from SULTON, Lt R A W Pool from SULTAN, S/Lt M
H Henderson RANVR,
and Acting Boatswain V E Richardson. After being damaged
early on the 14th by
Japanese aircraft, ML.310 reached Lalang Island, the
passengers were put
ashore on Tjebia
and she was scuttled. Lt
Bull, two ratings, and two Javanese set out in a small
boat for help and were
later picked up by an RAN corvette. American submarine
S.39 was sent to
search for the Admiral Spooner group, but was unable to
locate them. Spooner,
and twelve ratings died,
and the rest were captured on 19 May.
Gunboat SCORPION (Lt Cdr G C Ashworth SSRNVR) was sunk
by Japanese destroyers in the Banka Straits after being
damaged by Japanese
aircraft on the 9th. One hundred and fifteen officers
and men were lost,
including Cdr Ashworth killed. S/Lt J T Ronaldson MRNVR
missing and S/Lt W E
Richards RNVR died of wounds. Temporary Lt H G Fabian
RNVR, S/Lt S R L
Buckwell MRNVR, Lt J C Kemp MRNVR, one other officer and
twenty six ratings
were rescued by Japanese forces and made prisoners of
Examination ship GIANG BEE carrying wounded, and
auxiliary patrol ships KUALA and HUNG JAO departed
in convoy for Rengat.
KUALA (Lt F H George SSRNVR) was sunk by Japanese
bombing in the Banka Stait off
Island. Among her passengers were
between one and two hundred nursing sisters, women and
children. Lt (E) L L
Hosey RNR, S/Lt (E) G H Lunberg
and Acting S/Lt (E) G R Rae
RNVR were lost. One hundred and fifty passengers were
rescued and taken on
board steamer TANDJONG PINANG which was sunk on the
17th. Only three
survivors from KUALA survived the second sinking.
GIANG BEE (Acting Lt S K Rayner SSRNVR) was sunk near Berhala
Island, 160 miles south of Singapore by Japanese
aircraft. Out of
a crew of 48 and 245 passengers, 223 were missing. Lt P
C Costa MRVRN, Lt S K
Rayner MRNVR, S/Lt M Goldstone MRNVR, S/Lt C R Bradley
MRNVR, Temporary Lt
(E) H Hill RNVR, S/Lt E J Evans MRNVR, Lt T G Adams
MRNVR, S/Lt E G Rowland
MRNVR, Temporary Lt H H Lancaster RNR, S/Lt A Scott RNR,
Temporary S/Lt (E) R K McE
Angus RNR, Temporary Lt (E) R K Beaton
and Temporary Lt (E) R M
Wilson RNR were lost.
Temporary S/Lt W A Nesfield
and Temporary Skipper B B
Brahim RNR were captured and later died while prisoners of war.
S/Lt E P C Langdon MRNVR, Acting S/Lt W Attenborough
RNVR, S/Lt I W Hornby
MRNVR, and Temporary S/Lt H Morton
were also captured.
HUNG GAO took off about 70 survivors who were landed
at Rengat. Lt J H Craig MRNVR, received a DSC and S/Lt J
S H Cunyngham-Brown
MRNVR was mentioned in dispatches post war for this
rescue. Then on the 15th,
HUNG JAO (Temporary Lt T E Mellor RNVR) was lost in
company with coaster SUNGEI
PINANG while on another rescue mission. Craig and
Cunyngham-Brown were both
taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Anti-submarine vessel SIANG WO (Temporary Lt Cdr A
Woodley RNR) was badly damaged by Japanese air attack in the Dutch
East Indies, and run aground on Bangka Island a total
loss. Lt (E) W Dykes
RNR, was the only crew member
lost, but passenger Lt Cdr H Vickers (HMS PELANDOK, RMN
base Singapore) was also killed. Cdr
Woodley, Lt V N Wade MRNVR, S/Lt C W Lyle MRNVR,
Temporary Lt (E) W R Grant RNR, Temporary S/Lt D G R
RNR, Lt A A Hare MRNVR,
Temporary S/Lt T C W Marr
and Temporary S/Lt (E) C
Moore RNR were taken prisoner.
later died in captivity.
Auxiliary minesweeper CHENGTEH (244grt) was sunk in Rhio
Strait by Japanese bombing, while
carrying 11 officers and 85 Army and RAF personnel, in
addition to her crew
of 22. Sixty eight crew and passengers were lost. S/Lt S
J Fisher MRNVR and
Lt J Craig MRNVR were killed, and Temporary Skipper M V
Adam RNR rescued.
Auxiliary patrol vessel TRANG went aground near
Island, but refloated and scuttled
in Cooper's Channel. Lt H T Rigden MRNVR and 25
survivors were made prisoners
Auxiliary patrol vessel JARAK was shelled by Japanese
forces and abandoned in
Strait. She was later reboarded,
but scuttled on the 18th south of Singkap because of
Steamer REDANG (531grt) was sunk by Japanese surface
craft 50 miles 110° from Berhala. Of the crew of 19 plus
70 passengers, 58
were missing, including Lt (E) H S Deans
Dutch tanker MERULA (8228grt) departed
for Batavia, but was badly damaged in Banka Strait by
Japanese bombing. She was
taken in tow by Norwegian tanker HERBORG (7892grt), but
later abandoned when
the fire on board spread. Of a crew of 38, one was lost
and 37 missing. A
staff of 12 were on board, of which four were lost.
Dutch tanker MANVANTARA (8237grt) was sunk by Japanese
bombing en route from
to Batavia. Of a crew of 39, three were
lost, but the other 36 arrived in Batavia. There were
Staff personnel on board, of which one was lost.
Steamer SUBADAR (5424grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing
in the Banka
Of a crew of 78 and eight
gunners, five crew were lost.
The remaining ships of the convoy, tankers HERBORG,
ERLING BROVIG, SEIRSTAD and ELSA, arrived at
on the 13th, escorted by
destroyer JUPITER and minesweeper TOOTOOMBA.
Steamer HOSANG (5698grt) had been damaged by Japanese
bombing at Singapore
on 25 and 30 January and 2
February. She departed for Palembang on the 6th, but
was abandoned. Later seized by Japanese forces, she was
renamed GYOZAN MARU
in Japanese service.
Motor vessel ROMPIN (189grt), which departed
on the 10th with four RAF
tenders in tow, was captured by Japanese forces at
Japanese submarine I.55 sank steamer DERRYMORE
(4799grt) north of
Strait. Of a crew of 36, including
four gunners, none were lost. Of 209 RAAF personnel,
nine were missing. Some
survivors reached a nearby island where they were picked
up three days later
by Dutch minesweeper CHERIBON, while others were rescued
from rafts by
Australian minesweeper BALLARAT.
(101grt) was scuttled at Singapore.
Motor patrol boat PANGLIMA was scuttled in
Corvettes ASTER and VERBENA arrived at
Troopship DUNERA, formerly of convoy DM.2, arrived at Colombo.
Convoy BM.13 of
CITY OF LONDON, EASTERN PRINCE,
BAY and CITY OF PARIS, departed Bombay escorted by light
cruiser CALEDON to the vicinity of Ceylon.
on the 17th, they joined
convoy SJ.3 of steamers PENRITH CASTLE, SILVERTEAK,
SILVERWILLOW, MADRAS CITY, and EMPIRE GLADE, which
on the 16th, escorted by
light cruiser GLASGOW, sloop FALMOUTH and minesweeper
BATHURST. CALEDON was detached.
The combined convoy proceeded until the 21st, when
they were ordered north.
returned to Colombo with engine problems. Heavy
cruiser DORSETSHIRE joined on the 23rd, but was ordered
to return to
Trincomalee later that same day.
The convoy arrived at
on the 25th, escorted by GLASGOW.
WO (2672grt), serving as a
boom defence acccomodation ship, was sunk at Singapore
by Japanese bombing.
Panamanian steamer SANTE FE (1543grt) was seized by
Japanese forces at
Saigon, and renamed RIZYO MARU for Japanese use.
Saturday, 14 February
Convoy PQ.11 of Russian steamers ASHKHABAD (5284grt),
American CITY OF FLINT (4963grt), British EMPIRE BAFFIN (6978grt),
HARTLEBURY (5082grt), LOWTHER CASTLE (5171grt), MARYLYN
STEPAN KHALTURIN (2498grt), British BARRWHIN (4998grt),
EMPIRE MAGPIE (6211grt), KINGSWOOD (5080grt), Hondurian
and Panamanian NORTH KING (4934grt) departed Kirkwall at
1500 escorted by
destroyers MIDDLETON, AIREDALE, corvette OXLIP,
minesweepers NIGER, HUSSAR
and anti-submarine trawlers BLACKFLY, CAPE ARGONA and
Corvettes OXLIP, which departed Seidisfjord on the
16th, and SWEETBRIAR joined on the 17th when the
destroyers, the original
corvette, and anti-submarine trawlers were detached. The
destroyers arrived at
1100/18th. The corvette and trawlers proceeded to
On the 22nd, light cruiser
which departed Murmansk on the 20th with Soviet
destroyers GROMKY and
HARRIER, HAZARD and SALAMANDER also joined on the 22nd.
The Soviet destroyers arrived back at
on the 21st.
The convoy arrived on the 22nd.
American destroyer GWIN departed
Convoy ON.67 departed
The convoy was joined on
the 15th by corvettes CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, and
PIMPERNEL. These were detached
on the 19th when the convoy was joined by American
destroyers BERNADOU, EDISON, LEA, NICHOLSON and corvette
ALGOMA. Corvette ALGOMA detached on the 25th. Coast
Guard cutter SPENCER
joined on the 26th. The American destroyers and coast
guard cutter were
detached on the 28th when the convoy was joined by
destroyers VERITY and
WALKER. The convoy arrived at Halifax on 1 March.
U.576 sank steamer EMPIRE SPRING (6946grt) in 42N,
55W. There were no survivors.
U.502 reported torpedoing a tanker near
and observed it sinking in
U.83 fired torpedoes into Mersa Matruh harbour without
results, although she reported damaging a steamer and
Steamer CLAN CHATTAN (7262grt) of convoy MW.9A was
sunk by German bombing in 35-01N, 20-11E. All 128 crew
and 230 troops were
ROWALLAN CASTLE (7798grt) of convoy MW.9B
was badly damaged by German bombing in 34-54N, 19-40E.
There were no
casualties amongst the crew of 71 including 17 gunners,
and 29 passengers,
although she was scuttled by British forces. Light
cruiser CARLISLE and destroyer ERIDGE with
MW.10 were lightly damaged by near misses.
arrived at Gibraltar.
Anti-submarine trawler ST NECTAN departed
escorting three merchant
ships to Aguilas, Hornillo, and Valencia. She parted
company at Cape Palas, and arrived back at Gibraltar on
A convoy of Italian steamer ARIOSTO and the German
on the 13th for Palermo, escorted by destroyer
PREMUDA and torpedo boat POLLUCE. Submarine P.38
attacked and sank ARIOSTO
(4116grt), which was carrying 410 men, including 294
prisoners of war. . Two
hundred and fifty two survivors were picked up by the
escorts. ATLAS and
POLLUCE arrived at Palermo at 1500/16th.
British heavy cruiser EXETER, Australian light cruiser
HOBART and the Dutch DE RUYTER, JAVA, TROMP, Dutch
destroyers VAN GHENT,
BANCKERT, PIET HEIN, KORTENAER and the American BULMER,
PARROT, EDWARDS and PILLSBURY departed Batavia to attack
a Japanese invasion
convoy. At 0520, VAN GHENT ran aground on Ross Island.
BANCKERT stood by and
took off her crew. No contact was made with the convoy,
but the allied ships
came under heavy air attack. They arrived back at
Tanjong Priok on the 16th.
Auxiliary armed patrol vessel LI WO (Temporary Lt T
Wilkinson RNR), which departed Singapore on the 13th with a crew of
70 and 14 passengers, was sunk by Japanese surface
craft. Lt Wilkinson, Lt A
Robertson RNR, Temporary Lt (E) J G Murray
Temporary S/Lt (E) J Manson
RNR, S/Lt D O MacCracken MRNVR,
Temporary S/Lt J G Petherbridge MRNVR, Temporary S/Lt
(E) J R Wood and sixty
eight ratings were lost.
Temporary Lt E N Derbridge RNZNVR, Temporary S/Lt R G
G Stanton RNR and nine ratings were rescued. Derbridge died of
wounds on 3 March, while three of the ratings died while
prisoners of war.
Wilkinson received a posthumous Victoria Cross,
Stanton a DSO, Acting Petty Officer A W Thompson a
Able Seaman A Spendlove a
DSM, and Petherbridge, Derbridge and seven ratings were
Gunboat DRAGONFLY (Cdr A W Sprott Rtd) was severely
damaged by Japanese bombing off Rusuk Buaja Island near
at anchor and later sank. Cdr Sprott, S/Lt C W Tombs
RNVR, Lt S L Iley and 29
ratings were lost, together with a number of passengers.
Lt P P Shellard RNVR
and Lt O R T Henman MRNVR were taken prisoner by the
Gunboat GRASSHOPPER (Cdr J S Hoffman Rtd) was sunk by
Japanese bombing off Rusuk Island near Singapore. There
were only a few
survivors and 165 officers and ratings were lost. Cdr
Hoffman survived, but
was later lost in destroyer STRONGHOLD. Temporary Lt R A
Holloway RNZVNR was
taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Auxiliary patrol vessel
KWANG (Cdr A D Thomson RNR Rtd), en route from
Singapore to Batavia, was sunk by Japanese bombing at
0-35N, 104E. Twenty
crew and passengers were lost and around 273 rescued.
Auxiliary anti-submarine vessel TIEN KWANG (Acting Lt
R W Heale SSRNVR), carrying some 300 passengers, was
damaged by Japanese
bombing off Pampong Island, south of Rhio Strait. She
was scuttled early on
the 15th. S/Lt J Robinson
and many of the passengers
were lost. Lt Heale, Temporary S/Lt F Mansfield RNR,
Temporary S/Lt (E) G L
Nicolich RNR, and Temporary Lt (E) J W Turnbull
were taken prisoners by the
Minelayer KUNG WO (Temporary Lt Cdr E J Thomson
was badly damaged by
Japanese bombing six miles NW of Pompong Island, near
Lingga Archipelago, and
abandoned. One crewman was lost and Temporary Lt J W
Munroe RNR taken prisoner by the
Requistioned vessel VYNER BROOKE was sunk by Japanese
air attack in the Banka Strait, 15 miles north of
Muntok. Of forty seven crew
and 181 passengers, 125 were missing. Temporary S/Lt J W
Lt (E) D Reith RNR and S/Lt W S Sedgeman RNR, were lost.
Temporary S/Lt E
L J Staples RNZVNR and Temporary Lt R E Borton RNR were
taken prisoners by the
Auxiliary patrol ship HUA TONG (Temporary Lt O G Jones
was sunk by Japanese
bombing at Palembang. There were no casualties.
Temporary Lt C L Brown RNR and Temporary Lt (E) D R
Horn RNR were mentioned in dispatches in 1943 regarding her
loss. Steamer HOSANG and auxiliary patrol ship KLIAS
were damaged in the same
Japanese submarine I.66 sank steamer KAMUNING (2076grt)
in 8-35N, 81-44E, while she was under tow for
Trincomalee. I.66 missed with a
torpedo and sank her with gunfire. Three native crew
Light cruiser ENTERPRISE arrived at Trincomalee.
Aircraft carrier HERMES, destroyer VAMPIRE, sloop
FALMOUTH, and minesweeper BATHURST arrived at Colombo.
Corvettes ASTER and VERBENA departed Mauritius for
On the 14th, convoy JS.2X departed Colombo with
British steamers AFRICAN PRINCE (4653grt), ASCANIUS
(5151grt), TINGSANG (2256grt), Dutch MARISO (7659grt)
and Norwegian TROJA
(8814grt). The convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser
VAMPIRE, minesweeper LISMORE, Indian sloop HINDUSTAN and
Indian patrol vessel
RAMDAS. CORNWALL detached on the 20th, the destroyer on
the 26th and the
patrol vessel on the 16th. The convoy arrived at Rangoon
on the 21st escorted
by the minesweeper and sloop.