Background Events - December 1941-February 1942
Harbor attacked, Loss of 'Repulse' & 'Prince
of Wales', Singapore falls, 'Channel Dash' by
German big ships, to February 1942
Sunday, 1 February
TRINIDAD arrived in the
Clyde from Scapa Flow to disembark the Polish personnel
brought back from
Murmansk with convoy QP. 6. She
departed the Clyde on the 4th to return to
Scapa Flow, arriving on the 5th.
LONDON arrived at Scapa Flow from the Tyne on completion of refitting.
SUFFOLK arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
Destroyer ICARUS arrived at Hvalfjord from
Scapa 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
Scapa Flow at 0800 on return from
Operation EW in which she had been providing anti-aircraft protection to
cruisers CAPE SABLE and CITY OF DURBAN.
Convoy ON.62 departed
Liverpool, 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 American destroyer
GLEAVES joined. GLEAVES detached on the 13th, and the convoy dispersed on the
U.109 sank steamer TACOMA
STAR (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
Gibraltar for Malta, arriving on the 8th.
Escort destroyer HURWORTH arrived at
Alexandria 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
Halifax, escorted by destroyer ST
MIDLAND, NASTURTIUM, and
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 American destroyers
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
Kwajalein, Wotje, Maloelap, Jaluit and
Mili in the Marshalls, and Makin in the Gilbert Island groups.
Aircraft from aircraft carrier
YORKTOWN, escorted by heavy cruiser
LOUISVILLE, light cruiser ST LOUIS and destroyers HUGHES, SIMS,
RUSSELL, and WALKE, struck Makin Island.
Aircraft from aircraft carrier
ENTERPRISE, escorted by destroyers
RALPH TALBOT, BLUE and MCCALL, struck Wotje, Maloelap, and
NORTHAMPTON and SALT LAKE CITY with destroyer DUNLAP
CHESTER 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 oiler
PLATTE was detached with destroyer
ENTERPRISE was damaged when a Japanese
plane crashed into her in 10-33N, 171-53E. One enlisted man was killed and
CHESTER 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
NORTHAMPTON 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 destroyer.
ENTERPRISE, 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
EXETER with destroyers JUPITER and
Batavia with US transports WAKEFIELD and WEST POINT for the Sunda
Straits. The escorts then returned to Tanjong Priok and the transports safely
arrived at Colombo on the 6th.
Convoy MS.1 with
British 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
CORNWALL arrived at Colombo.
Submarine TRUANT departed
Colombo for Batavia via the Sunda Strait.
Australian minesweeper MARYBOROUGH and armed patrol
vessels MEDUSA and CIRCE departed
Singapore for Batavia.
2 February, Monday
Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE departed
Scapa 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
Scapa Flow for Chatham for refitting prior to
joining the Mediterranean Fleet, and arrived at Chatham on the 3rd.
KENYA 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 3rd.
Scapa Flow at 1400 to rendezvous with
cruisers 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
Liverpool, escorted by destroyers
CHELSEA, VERITY, WITCH and corvettes ARBUTUS, CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE, and
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 the 13th.
CAPE SPARTEL (346grt, Lt J. R. Grundy
RNR) was sunk by German bombing
in 53-28-42N, 0-49-12E in the
Humber. There were no casualties.
Minesweeping trawler CLOUGHTON WYKE (324grt, Temporary
Skipper C. S. Larter DSC, OBE
RNR) 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 three rescued.
Submarine P.39 departed
Gibraltar for Malta, arriving on the 11th.
Corvette RHODODENDRON departed
Gibraltar to rendezvous with steamers
CRESSADO and EMPIRE PANTHER off Cape Razo and escorted them to join
convoy HG 78.
Submarine REGENT, which departed
Ponta 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
Alexandria, escorted by destroyer
AVONVALE and corvette HYACINTH, and arrived at Tobruk on the 5th. There was
no convoy AT.24.
Submarine TURBULENT arrived at
Malta from Gibraltar.
Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE and destroeyrs NIZAM,
NESTER, and NAPIER arrived at Trincomalee from operation OPPONENT.
Australian light cruiser HOBART and destroyer TENEDOS
departed Singapore for Batavia.
Destroyer SCOUT was ordered to return to
Singapore from operations at Sabang.
Submarine TRUSTY departed
Singapore for patrol in the southern
part of the Gulf of
Siam. On completion of patrol,
she was to proceed to
Convoy MR.2 departed
Madras with steamer ELLENGA
(5196grt), escorted by Australian armed merchant cruiser MANOORA, Indian
sloop INDUS,and patrol vessel SONAVATI.
The convoy dispersed on the 5th and the escorts were detached.
3 February, Tuesday
CUMBERLAND 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
Scapa 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
Scapa Flow at 0815/5th and sailed at
1200 for Immingham, while PANTHER arrived there at 1200 after carrying out
gunnery practices in
Pentland Firth. 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
NIGER 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
Alexandria, 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
NAPOLI (6142grt) off Kuriat.
Convoy HG.78 of two steamers departed
Gibraltar escorted by corvettes
GARDENIA and SAMPHIRE and anti-submarine trawler LORD HOTHAM. Corvette
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
Colombo with British steamers
ADRASTUS (7905grt), ALICE MOLLER (4986grt), FILLEIGH (4856grt), LULWORTH HILL
(7628grt), MODASA (9070grt), YOMA (8131grt), HERMION (5202grt) and PROMINENT
(2282grt). Norwegian steamer
HAI LEE (3616grt) departed Colombo on the 4th and joined the
convoy on the 5th. ALICE MOLLER returned to Colombo with defects.
The convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser
CORNWALL 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
EXETER 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
Singapore 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
Harbour, 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
JUST, 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
ADELAIDE relieved YARRA in the
escort. YARRA returned to
On 3 March, tug
NEWCASTLE 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
Banka 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,
Palembang. Only five crew members were
Steamer CITY OF CANTERBURY (8331grt) and
French liner FELIX ROUSSEL (17,083grt) of convoy BM.12 received extensive
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
Palembang 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
Palembang by steamer SUBADOR, and
later made prisoners of war.
Australian minesweepers TOOWOOMBA and BALLARAT and
auxiliary minesweeper GEMMA, en route from
Singapore 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
FALMOUTH 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 (2815grt), Russian
REVOLUTSIONER (2900grt), TREVORIAN (4599grt), Panamanian EL LAGO (4221grt),
Russian FRIEDRICH ENGELS (3972grt), Norwegian NOREG (7605grt), Russian
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
Tyne at 0945, and after carrying
out trials, proceeded to Methil for the night.
Minesweeper HEBE departed
Scapa 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
SAN 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 an anti-submarine
sweep to the westward in conjunction with
ASV 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
Alexandria 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
Aden from the United Kingdom and sailed for Alexandria.
Polish troopships BATORY and SOBIESKI arrived at
Gibraltar, escorted by British
destroyers LIGHTNING, WIVERN, ACTIVE and ANTHONY.
Convoy SC.68 departed
Halifax escorted by covettes
PAS and minesweepers CLAYOQUOT and RED DEER. The
escorts detached on the 7th when the convoy was joined by destroyer BURWELL
CHICOUTIMI, MATAPEDIA, NANAIMO, NASTURTIUM and SUDBURY. CHICOUTIMI detached later that day,
while BURWELL, MATAPEDIA,
NANAIMO and NASTUTIUM detached on
the 16th. The convoy was joined on the 16th by destroyer BOADICEA and
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
Bermuda from Halifax to embark personnel and
charts, before sailing on the 12th for Tahiti, via the Panama Canal.
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.
HOUSTON was 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.
MARBLEHEAD, 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
Australian destroyer VAMPIRE departed
Batavia 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
Pearl Harbour with a convoy, collided.
O'BRIEN returned to
Pearl 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
CUMBERLAND departed Rosyth for Chatham, escorted by destroyers
WINCHESTER and COTSWOLD and arrived on
GAMBIA was commissioned for trials
Destroyer PAKENHAM departed Methil at 0700 for
Scapa Flow for working up, arriving at
Escort destroyer GROVE departed the
Tyne 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
Liverpool at 1300 to carry out trials,
and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1600/6th.
Destroyer TARTAR departed
Scapa Flow at 2200 for Hvalfjord to
operate with the Home Fleet, arriving at 1000/7th.
Corvette ARBUTUS (Temporary Lt A L W Warren DSC
RNR) 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
CHINA 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 of 27.
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
ASIA, 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 YARRA and
SUTLEJ. 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 anti-tank
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
EXETER and destroyers JUPITER and
ENCOUNTER, detached from convoy BM.12, proceeded into the Banka Strait to attack Japanese shipping
north of Banka
Island at dawn on the 5th.
Australian light cruiser HOBART departed Batavia and joined the EXETER force. In Sunda Strait, Japanese submarine RO.34
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
Strait near 6S, 106E.
Troopship EMPRESS OF
AUSTRALIA, formerly of convoy DM.2,
departed Batavia escorted by sloop JUMNA to return to England.
Troopship WARWICK CASTLE, also convoy DM.2, departed Batavia,
escorted by light cruisers DANAE and DURBAN, to rendezvous with heavy cruiser
CANBERRA, escorting convoy MS.3, for escort to Australia.
Troopship DUNERA departed
Batavia for Colombo, arriving 13 February.
Steamer TROILUS left
Batavia on the 12th and arrived at
Fremantle on the 19th.
The remaining ships of convoy DM.2,
steamers CITY OF PRETORIA and MALANCHA
departed Batavia on the 12th in convoy SJ.1.
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN and netlayer GUARDIAN
departed Addu Atoll for Trincomalee. Minesweepers
BATHURST 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 independently.
Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed
Bombay for Colombo.
Destroyer NIZAM departed Trincomalee to patrol off
Dondra Head and await the arrival of troopships
WAKEFIELD, 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
Clyde for repairs, arriving that
day. ADVENTURE was taken to
Southampton for repairs, returning to Loch Alsh on 30
LIVERPOOL departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow for working up, and arrived
on the 7th.
Destroyer JAVELIN departed
Plymouth 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 independently and
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1015/7th.
Minesweeper BRAMBLE departed
Scapa Flow at 1200 for Sunderland for refitting, and arrived
Submarine TUNA departed the
Clyde 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 bombing
three miles south of
St Ann's Head.
Turkish destroyer SULTAN HISSAR (a new H-class
destroyer, sister to the British HAVELOCK class) arrived at
Suez. She passed through the
Canal and was ordered to proceed to Alexandria for preparations prior to
turning over to
Turkey, 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 was done.
Destroyer VANSITTART arrived at
Gibraltar from Freetown.
Convoy ST.14 departed
Freetown, escorted by corvettes
BURDOCK and ORCHIS, and arrived at Takoradi on the 12th.
DURBAN, DRAGON and destroyers
JUPITER and ENCOUNTER, escorting liner WARWICK CASTLE, relieved Australian heavy
cruiser CANBERRA 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 SEIRSTAD reached
Palembang on the 9th.
Destroyer EXPRESS sailed from
Batavia 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
Colombo 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
SUMATRA departed the Sunda Strait for Colombo. En route she was diverted
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 escort SN.5B.
KENYA departed patrol in the
Iceland-Faroes Channel for Hvalfjord, arriving on the 8th.
Oiler GRAY RANGER, escorted by escort destroyer
Scapa Flow for Sullom Voe. The destroyer returned with
oiler SAN ZOTICO and arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 9th.
CALPE departed Scapa Flow at 0100 for Plymouth to join that command on
completion of working up.
Destroyer PUNJABI departed
Scapa Flow at 2000 for Hvalfjord,
arriving on the 9th to operate with the Home Fleet.
LUDLOW departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for Rosyth to join
that command on completion of working up.
Convoy ON.64 departed
Liverpool, escorted by destroyer ST ALBANS. The convoy was joined on
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
SUN (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
Messina later on the 7th.
Destroyers ZULU and LIVELY departed
Malta 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
Tripoli. Italian motor torpedo boat
MAS.577 rescued seven survivors
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
FALMOUTH arrived at Colombo.
Corvette VERBENA arrived at
Japanese submarine I.55 sank Dutch steamer VAN CLOON
(4519grt) south of
Bawean Island. Survivors were rescued by
American patrol yacht ISABEL. The steamer was later salved by the Japanese
and renamed TATEBE MARU.
Sunday, 8 February
KENT arrived at Hvalfjord from
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
cruisers 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
Scapa Flow 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,
NEWARK, 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
SHEFFIELD returned to the
Minesweeper HUSSAR departed
Hartlepool 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
Liverpool. 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
MALAYA, 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
Gibraltar from the Clyde, and departed on the 9th for
Malta, escorted by destroyer
Escort destroyers HEYTHROP, HURWORTH and escort ship
ANTWERP departed Alexandria with convoy AT.26 for
Escort destroyer FARNDALE and corvette GLOXINIA
departed Alexandria with Greek steamer POPI
(1594grt) of convoy AT.27 for Tobruk.
Escort destroyer BEAUFORT arrived at
Suez 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
Gibraltar from convoy SL.99.
Convoy HX.174 - departed
Halifax on the 8th, escorts:
Saskatoon, Snowberry, minesweeper
destroyers Babbitt, Badger, Plunkett, Schenck, Coast Guard cutter Campbell
St Albans, corvettes Acanthus, Rose
Liverpool 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 Strait.
SUTLEJ 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
ENTERPRISE departed Colombo for Rangoon with a force of 90 Royal
Marines, and arrived on the 11th.
FALMOUTH, minelayer TEVIOT BANK, and
oiler PEARLEAF departed Trincomalee for Colombo.
American troopships WEST POINT and
WAKEFIELD departed Colombo for Bombay, escorted by Greek destroyer
Corvette HOLLYHOCK arrived at
Durban. Corvettes ASTER and VERBENA
departed Durban for Mauritius.
Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at
Aircraft carrier HERMES departed
Mauritius for Colombo.
British troopship REINA
DEL PACIFICO departed Colombo for Durban with evacuees.
Monday, 9 February
CAIRO, 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
Scapa 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
Western 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 lost.
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
Alexandria 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
Alexandria on the 11th.
Destroyer HURWORTH was detached to rejoin convoy
AT.26, but HURWORTH and HEYTHROP were both later recalled to
Alexandria for a fleet operation,
arriving on the 11th.
ANTWERP 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
Freetown 9 February, escorts:
Wild Swan, corvettes Jasmine, Violet, Wallflower
Wellington, Weston, escort ships
Gorleston, Sennen, Totland
Swan, Jasmine, Violet, Wallflower
Ibis, corvette Clover
Wellington (with segment SL.100F for
Liverpool, joined by anti-submarine
whaler Southern Star on 28th, arriving Liverpool 28th), also Weston, Clover
Liverpool 4 March with Folkestone,
Gorleston, Totland, Butser
DELHI arrived at Bermuda from Newport News, Virginia to refuel, and departed next
day for Plymouth.
Battleship REVENGE departed Trincomalee for refitting
American light cruiser
BOISE 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:
cruiser Emerald, Indian patrol vessel Sonavati
convoy dispersed 13 February, escorts detached,
Madras same day
Boom carrier LAOMEDON, travelling in an unnumbered convoy
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
Colombo, arriving on the 10th.
Tuesday, 10 February
SHEFFIELD departed the Iceland Faroes
patrol and arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 11th.
TRINIDAD departed Scapa Flow for patrol in the Iceland
Destroyer PALADIN departed
Scapa 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
Scapa 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
Gibraltar 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,
Midland, Oakville, minesweepers Gananaque,
Assiniboine, corvettes Aconit,
Chicoutimi, Kenogami, Snowberry,
Fredericton, Midland, Oakville, Gananaque, Quinte
destroyer Blyskawica, British Saladin, Sardonyx
Chicoutimi, Kenogami, Snowberry
Liverpool 27 February, possibly with
Convoy JS.2, troopship ORCADES (23,456grt, 3384
Colombo 10 February, escorts:
ORCADES arrived Oosthaven 15th
(1308 troops) and steamer YOMA (from JS.1) departed Oosthaven 16th
Also departing on the 16th were steamers FILLEIGH, LULWORTH
HILL and HAI
LEE of JS.1, escorted by sloop
YARRA for Batavia.
Aircraft transport ATHENE departed
Batavia for Fremantle.
Monitor EREBUS and corvette MARGUERITE departed
MINDANAO (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
Londonderry, arriving on the 13th.
Destroyer FURY departed the
Humber 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
North 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 were lost.
Light cruiser CLEOPATRA, which had departed
Gibraltar on the 9th with destroyer
FORTUNE were attacked by German bombers near Malta and near-missed. Acting
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
SEA 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
Liverpool 11 February, escorts:
Egret, Fleetwood, ocean boarding vessels Hilary, Marsdale, escort vessel
Fleetwood, Banff, Fishguard
Freetown 3 March with Bergamot,
Rockrose, Tamarisk, Wallflower
Light cruiser DESPATCH departed
Bermuda 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
Freetown, and arrived at Takoradi on
Armed patrol vessel LIPIS was lost in the
Singapore 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
III (12grt) were scuttled at
Singapore. During the destruction of
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 the
English 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
MTB. 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.
Destroyers taking part:
CAMPBELL (D 21 Pizey), VIVACIOUS,
(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
CATTISTOCK*, COTTESMORE*, GARTH*,
HOLDERNESS*, MENDIP, MEYNELL*, PYTCHLEY*, VANESSA also in 21st Destroyer
Flotilla at Sheerness.
COTSWOLD, EGLINTON*, HAMBLDON*,
QUORN*, SOUTHDOWN*, MONTROSE also in 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich, joined
by BERKELEY 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
WORCESTER 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 STALINGRAD (3559grt),
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 and SHARPSHOOTER
until the 15th. Light cruiser
NIGERIA provided cover.
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
Clyde. 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
South Norway, returning on the 14th.
Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA arrived at
Scapa 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
NIGER and HUSSAR departed Scapa Flow for Kirkwall to attend the convoy
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
Tripoli. 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
CARLISLE and destroyers HEYTHROP,
LANCE, AVONVALE, and ERIDGE departed Alexandria at 1600.
Steamer ROWALLAN CASTLE departed at 1700, escorted
by destroyers SOUTHWOLD, BEAUFORT, DULVERTON and HURWORTH.
At 0200/13th, Force B of light cruisers NAIAD, DIDO,
and EURYALUS with destroyers KIPLING, KELVIN, JAGUAR,
GRIFFIN, ARROW, HASTY, and HAVOCK
departed Alexandria as cover.
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,
CITY 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
Malta. Gunner (T) S C White and a
stoker rating were killed, and two officers and six ratings wounded.
Destroyer DECOY moored nearby was damaged by the explosion with two ratings
OLYMPUS departed Gibraltar for Malta, arriving on the 20th.
UNA sank Italian tanker LUCANIA
(8106grt) in the
Gulf of Taranto. The tanker had been given
safe conduct to proceed from Taranto to Genoa in ballast in connection
with the repatriation of Italians from Eritrea, but she was escorted by
aircraft and zigzagging when attacked.
DURBAN, destroyers STRONGHOLD,
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 personnel.
Later that day, in seventeen separate attacks,
DURBAN 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
Batavia 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 (5330grt), JALARATNA
(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
Batavia with RAF personnel.
Destroyer VAMPIRE departed
Colombo to rendezvous with aircraft
carrier HERMES as anti-submarine escort.
American destroyer WHIPPLE was damaged in a collision
with Dutch cruiser DE RUYTER near
Prigi Bay, Java. She was drydocked,
but the damage was not significant and WHIPPLE returned to service.
Convoy SJ.1 of steamers ANGLO INDIAN (5609grt),
CITY OF CANTERBURY (8331grt),
CITY OF PRETORIA (8049grt) towing
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),
BATAVIA (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.
FALMOUTH joined on the 20th. MALANCHA
with ISIS in tow and CITY OF PRETORIA with ROVER diverted to
Trincomalee, where they on the 21st, escorted by SUTLEJ.
SJ.1 arrived at
Colombo 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
Singapore were captured by Japanese
forces. SOLEN was renamed SYOSEI MARU for Japanese use.
Friday, 13 February
SUFFOLK departed Hvalfjord for
patrol in the Denmark Strait.
NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde for escort duty with convoy
WS.16, arriving on the 14th.
Destroyer INCONSTANT arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1500 from the Clyde for working up.
Destroyer PANTHER departed
Scapa Flow at 1145 for Greenock, ariving at 0500/14th. She
then proceeded in convoy WS.16 for the Far East.
Destroyer VANQUISHER departed
Liverpool to escort Rear Admiral
Minelaying in Operation SN.84.
Convoy ON.66 departed
Liverpool. 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
CHILLIWACK, 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
Taranto 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
ANTWERP, two anti-submarine
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
Gibraltar, escorting submarine CLYDE and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Convoy HX.175 departed
Halifax, escorted by destroyer ST
CLAIR, corvettes SACKVILLE, THE PAS, WEYBURN and mineweeper
GEORGIAN. They detached on the 15th when relieved by American destroyers
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
Singapore 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
Island 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,
Henderson, 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 war.
Examination ship GIANG BEE carrying wounded, and
auxiliary patrol ships KUALA and HUNG JAO departed
Singapore in convoy for Rengat.
KUALA (Lt F H George SSRNVR) was sunk by Japanese
bombing in the Banka Stait off
Pompong 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
RNR 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
RNR and Temporary Lt (E) R M
Wilson RNR were lost.
Temporary S/Lt W A Nesfield
RNR 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
RNR 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 Kinner
RNR, Lt A A Hare MRNVR,
Temporary S/Lt T C W Marr
RNR and Temporary S/Lt (E) C
Moore RNR were taken prisoner.
Moore 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
Peak 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
Rhio Strait. She was later reboarded,
but scuttled on the 18th south of Singkap because of engine trouble.
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
Palembang 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
Palembang to Batavia. Of a crew of 39, three were
lost, but the other 36 arrived in Batavia. There were also twelve
Staff personnel on board, of which one was lost.
Steamer SUBADAR (5424grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing
in the Banka
Strait. 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
Batavia 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 grounded and
was abandoned. Later seized by Japanese forces, she was renamed GYOZAN MARU
in Japanese service.
Motor vessel ROMPIN (189grt), which departed
Singapore on the 10th with four RAF
tenders in tow, was captured by Japanese forces at Muntok.
Japanese submarine I.55 sank steamer DERRYMORE
(4799grt) north of
Sunda 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.
BRUNEI (101grt) was scuttled at
Motor patrol boat PANGLIMA was scuttled in
Corvettes ASTER and VERBENA arrived at
Troopship DUNERA, formerly of convoy DM.2, arrived at
Convoy BM.13 of
steamers CITY OF LONDON, EASTERN PRINCE,
EGRA, ESPERANCE BAY and CITY OF PARIS, departed Bombay escorted by light cruiser
CALEDON to the vicinity of Ceylon.
Ceylon on the 17th, they joined
convoy SJ.3 of steamers PENRITH CASTLE, SILVERTEAK, SILVERWILLOW,
MADRAS CITY, and EMPIRE GLADE, which
departed Colombo 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.
BATHURST 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
Colombo on the 25th, escorted by
SUI 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 (4555grt), Russian
STEPAN KHALTURIN (2498grt), British BARRWHIN (4998grt), DALDORCH (5571grt),
EMPIRE MAGPIE (6211grt), KINGSWOOD (5080grt), Hondurian MAKAWAO (3253grt),
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 CAPE MARIATO.
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
at 1100/18th. The corvette and trawlers proceeded to Stornoway.
On the 22nd, light cruiser
NIGERIA, which departed Murmansk on the 20th with Soviet
destroyers GROMKY and
GROZNY joined. Minesweepers
HARRIER, HAZARD and SALAMANDER also joined on the 22nd.
The Soviet destroyers arrived back at
Murmansk on the 21st.
The convoy arrived on the 22nd.
American destroyer GWIN departed
Londonderry for Hvalfjord.
Convoy ON.67 departed
Liverpool. 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
Aruba and observed it sinking in
U.83 fired torpedoes into Mersa Matruh harbour without
results, although she reported damaging a steamer and corvette.
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
Steamer 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.
WHITEHALL arrived at Gibraltar.
Anti-submarine trawler ST NECTAN departed
Gibraltar, escorting three merchant
ships to Aguilas, Hornillo, and Valencia. She parted company at Cape Palas, and arrived back at Gibraltar on the 16th.
A convoy of Italian steamer ARIOSTO and the German
Tripoli 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, BARKER, STEWART,
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
RNR, 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
CGM, Able Seaman A Spendlove a
DSM, and Petherbridge, Derbridge and seven ratings were mentioned in
Gunboat DRAGONFLY (Cdr A W Sprott Rtd) was severely
damaged by Japanese bombing off Rusuk Buaja Island near Singapore, abandoned
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 Japanese.
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
SHU 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
RNR 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
RNR were taken prisoners by the
Minelayer KUNG WO (Temporary Lt Cdr E J Thomson
RNR) 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 Miller
RNR, 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
RNR) 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 were lost.
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 (10,048grt), BIRCHBANK
(5151grt), TINGSANG (2256grt), Dutch MARISO (7659grt) and Norwegian TROJA
(8814grt). The convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser CORNWALL, destroyer
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.