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

NAVAL EVENTS, FEBRUARY 1942 (Part 2 of 2) (in outline only)
Sunday 15th – Saturday 28th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Black Prince, AA cruiser (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, MARCH 1942

 

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

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

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

 

ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES

 


Background Events - December 1941-February 1942

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


 

 

1942

 

 

Sunday, 15 February 

 

Destroyer WELLS departed Scapa Flow at 1000 on completion of docking and rendezvoused at sea with Rear Admiral Minelayers. Minelayers MENESTHEUS, PORT QUEBEC, AGAMEMNON and destroyer LANCASTER, with destroyer SOMALI as additional escort, had departed Loch Alsh at 0900 for Operation SN.84.

 

Light cruiser KENYA departed Hvalfjord on the 15th, and destroyers WELLS and VANQUISHER later joined. After the operation, the KENYA proceeded to patrol in the Iceland-Faroes Passage. The minelaying force arrived back at Loch Alsh and SOMALI at Scapa Flow, all on the 17th.

_____

 

Light cruiser TRINIDAD departed patrol in the Iceland-Faroes Passage and proceeded to Hvalfjord where she arrived on the 16th.

_____

 

Destroyer LOOKOUT departed the Clyde and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1330 for working up exercises.

_____

 

Corvette OXLIP arrived at Seidsifjord from Hvalfjord for escort of convoy PQ.11.

_____

 

U.98 sank steamer BIELA (5298grt) in 42-55N, 45-40W.

_____

 

U.566 sank Greek steamer MEROPI (4181grt), straggling behind convoy ON.60, in 44-14N, 62-41W. Of a crew of 33, two gunners and five passengers, 24 crew and both gunners were lost.

_____

 

U.432 sank Brazilian steamer BUARQUE (5152grt) in 36-35N, 75-20W. Of a crew of 74 and 11 passengers, one was killed and one missing. US Coast Guard cutter CALYPSO rescued 42 survivors.

_____

 

Steamer EMPIRE HEAD (489grt) was damaged by German bombing in 34-42N, 00-54W.

_____

 

U.81 attacked a British light cruiser near Alexandria.

_____

 

Motor launch ML.169 was destroyed by fire at Gibraltar when an explosion occurred as she started up. Four ratings were killed.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler LADY HOGARTH departed Gibraltar escorting one merchant ship to Melilla.

_____

 

Convoy SC.70 departed Halifax 15 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

15th

corvettes Alberni, Collingwood, Rosthern, Saskatoon, minesweepers Clayaquot, Mahone

 

19th

corvettes Amherst, Celandine, Dianthus, Fennel

Alberni, Collington, Saskatoon, Mahone

20th

American destroyer Macleish

 

22nd

 

Rosthern, Clayaquot

26th

 

Amherst

3rd

destroyer Scimitar

Celandine, Dianthus, Fennel, Macleish

5th

 

Scimitar

convoy arrived Liverpool 7 March

_____

 

Australian light cruiser PERTH relieved light cruiser ADELAIDE which departed Fremantle with convoy MS.4 of four tankers and two cargo ships.

 

On the 15th, convoy MS.4 was ordered back to Fremantle, except for PERTH and Dutch steamer 'S JACOB (note: name as shown in reports, but does not appear in Lloyds) (2839grt). En route they were joined by Dutch steamers SWARTENHONDT (5084grt) and KARSIK (3057grt).

 

On the 21st, three ship convoy was ordered back to Fremantle and PERTH escorted it to within 700 miles of Fremantle before proceeding Tanjong Priok arriving on the 24th.

_____

 

American heavy cruiser HOUSTON, destroyer PEARY and Australian sloops SWAN and WARREGO departed Darwin escorting US Army transports MEIGS, MAUNA LOA, PORT MAR and Australian coaster TULAGI, carrying 1800 troops to reinforce Timor. Shortly after sailing, the convoy came under air attack, all four transports suffered damage from near misses, and it returned to Darwin.

_____

 

Auxiliary anti-submarine ship MATA HARI (Temporary Lt G A Brignall RNR) was sunk by Japanese gunfire at Banka. S/Lt I Ellis MRNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) W MacCrorie RNVR, Temporary S/Lt (E) T R Gordon MRNVR, Lt V A Burton MRNVR, Lt J R Pickhall MRNVR, Lt Cdr B Scott MRNVR, Temporary S/Lt A H Hogge RNR, S/Lt G Lyons MRNVR,Temporary S/Lt (E) H M MacGregor RNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) F J Lumley RNR, Temporary S/Lt F W Matthews RNVR, Paymaster S/Lt R W Cornell MRNVR and Temporary Lt A C Carton RNR, were taken prisoners by the Japanese.

_____

 

Steamer RHU (254grt) was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boat DYMAS, which had departed Singapore on the 13th, was captured by a Japanese cruiser nine miles north of Muntok Light. S/Lt R. G. Banks MRNVR and rest of the crew were made prisoners of war and DYMAS was taken to Muntok.

 

Tug YIN PING (191grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft 20 miles 225° from Muntok. Of a crew of ten and 65 passengers, 50 were lost, including Capt T K W Atkinson of Singapore Dockyard and Cdr B M Douglas Rtd of SULTAN.

_____

 

Steamers SIUSHAN (296grt), MERSING (65grt) and requisitioned yacht SILVIA were lost at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boats JERANTUT (217grt) and KLIAS (207grt) were scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Steamer HONG CHUAN (67grt) was lost at Djambi when she caught fire from burning shore installations and a drifing barge.

_____

 

Cdr (E) G. H. Craven-Phillips of NASAR (RNAS Sembawang) was lost in ML.433.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer JOHANNE JUSTESEN (4681grt) in 9-04N, 75-58E. Of a crew of 59, one was lost.

 

 

Monday, 16 February

 

Battleship RODNEY departed the Clyde for Liverpool, escorted by destroyer PIORUN. Destroyer WATCHMAN departed Belfast and joined at sea. The ships arrived later that day and the battleship was taken in hand for refitting.

_____

 

Light cruiser TRINIDAD arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol in the Iceland-Faroes Passage.

_____

 

Destroyer LEDBURY departed Portsmouth at 1600 and proceeded to Scapa Flow for working up exercises, arriving at 1530/18th.

_____

 

Minesweeper GOSSAMER departed Sheerness on completion of refitting and provided additional escort for convoy FN.33 while on passage for Scapa Flow.

_____

 

U.156 sank tanker ORANJESTAD (2396grt) with 15 crew lost and 10 survivors. She also damaged tankers PEDERNALES (4317grt) and the American ARKANSAS (6452grt), all off San Nicholas.

_____

 

U.502 sank two tankers 25 miles SW of Point Macolla - TIA JUANA (2395grt) with 17 crew lost and nine survivors, and SAN NICOLAS (2391grt) with seven lost and 19 saved. She also accounted for Venezuelan tanker MONAGAS (2650grt) in the Gulf of Venezuela with five crew missing and 26 saved.

_____

 

U.67 damaged Dutch tanker RAFAELA (3177grt) one mile off Curacoa.

_____

 

U.106 sank Panamanian steamer RAMAPO (2968grt) west of Bermuda, with the loss of her entire crew.

_____

 

U.564 damaged tanker OPALIA (6195grt) with gunfire in 37-38N, 66-07W.

_____

 

Corvette COLTSFOOT departed Gibraltar escorting steamer WALLSEND (3157grt) to Hornillo and steamer SHUNA (1575grt) to Valencia. She parted company with SHUNA on the 18th off Almiera and then escorted steamer BARON RAMSAY to Gibraltar, arriving on the 19th.

_____

 

Auxiliary minesweeper FUH WO (Temporary Lt B Shaw RNVR) was lost on Banka Island, after being beached and blown up by her crew. No officers or ratings were lost.

_____

 

Lt Cdr C A Smith Rtd of SULTAN, Temporary Acting Boatswain C Harding of the Singapore Dockyard, Temporary Lt Cdr T W Moore RNR of SULTAN III, Temporary Lt J F Adams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt R H Williams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt G R Wiseman RNR of SULTAN, Temporary Lt J S Whyte RNR of Examination Service, Singapore and Temporary Paymaster Lt R H Douglas RNVR at Batavia were lost, presumed missing on the 16th (posted July 1946).

 

Lt R C Beckwith and S/Lt R C Ripley RCNVR, both formerly of battleship PRINCE OF WALES, in SULTAN and FANLING respectively and Temporary Lt A J Martin RNVR in PULO SOEGI, were lost on the 16th (posted January 1946, also Halifax list for Canadian officer)

_____

 

Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE with destroyers NAPIER and NESTOR departed Colombo for Aden. The sailing had been delayed when the destroyers were sent to hunt for a submarine off Colombo.

_____

 

Aircraft transport ATHENE arrived at Fremantle to embark aircraft.

_____

 

Ferry BAGAN (244grt) was scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel ELIZABETH with 15 crew and 11 passengers was sunk by Japanese gunfire in the Banka Strait. Twenty four were missing

_____

 

Steamer TAYLTHYRIUS (10,254grt), which had been damaged on the 3rd, was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

_____

 

Convoy JS.3 of steamers PENRITH CASTLE, SILVER TAEK, SILVER WILLOW, MADRAS CITY and EMPIRE GLADE departed Colombo escorted by light cruiser GLASGOW, sloop FALMOUTH, and BATHURST for Batavia. The convoy merged with BM.13, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON from Bombay to Ceylon, on the 17th. GLASGOW relieved CALEDON as Senior Officer of the Convoy, and BATHURST returned to Colombo with engine defects.

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Colombo to join JS.3, but was recalled when the convoy was ordered to return. On 21 February, the convoy was ordered to steam north, then return to Colombo, arriving on the 25th, escorted by GLASGOW.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.2 departed Batavia with steamers EMPIRE STAR (13,479grt) and PLANCIOUS (5955grt), escorted by light cruiser DURBAN and destroyer JUPITER, the latter detaching the same day.

 

From the Sunda Strait, the ships proceeded independently, PLANCIUS proceeding to Colombo escorted by DURBAN and arriving on the 22nd, while EMPIRE STAR, with US Admiral Hart embarked, proceeded to Fremantle on her own.

 

 

Tuesday, 17 February

 

TROOP CONVOY WS.16, UK TO SOUTH AFRICA AND INDIAN OCEAN

 

Convoy WS.16 assembled off Oversay on the 17th, having sailed from Liverpool and the Clyde (on the 16th).

 

The convoy was composed of troopships AWATEA, BERGENSFJORD, BRISBANE STAR (Rear Commodore), CITY OF EDINBURGH, CITY OF LINCOLN, CUBA, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, MOOLTAN, NEA HELLAS (Vice Commodore), ORMONDE, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK, STRATHAIRD, STRATHEDEN (Commodore) and VOLENDAM.

 

STRATHAIRD sailed late because of defects,and finally joined the convoy on the 21st under the escort of NEWCASTLE and PALADIN. CITY OF EDINBURGH and CITY OF LINCOLN both had problems with shifting cargo and returned to the Clyde and Liverpool respectively. POTARO also fell out on the18th but proceeded to Freetown independently where she rejoined the convoy.

 

Convoy WS.16 escort from Oversay

 

joined

detached

17th

battleship Malaya, aircraft carrier Eagle, cruiser Hermione, destroyers Active, Anthony, Blankney, Croome, Duncan, Firedrake, Laforey, Lightning

destroyers Verity, Walker, Witherington

 

21st

aircraft carrier Formidable (on passage overseas), cruiser Newcastle, destroyer Paladin

Malaya, Eagle, Hermione, Active, Anthony, Blankney,Croome, Duncan, Firedrake, Laforey, Lightning

22nd

 

Verity, Walker, Witherington

26th

destroyers Boreas, Brilliant, Wild Swan

 

1st

 

Formidable, Newcastle, Paladin, Boreas, Brilliant, Wild Swan

arrived Freetown 1 March

 

On the 20th, a Swordfish of 813 Squadron from EAGLE crashed into the sea attempting to land. Lt H S Shaw, Lt C L Hutchinson, and Petty Officer H T Goddard were rescued by DUNCAN.

 

WS.16 sailed from Freetown with same merchant ship composition on 6 March

 

joined

detached

6th

corvette Nigella (local escort for one day)

destroyers Brilliant, Wild Swan

corvette Jasmine

light cruiser Newcastle, major escort

sloop Bridgewater

 

Nigella

8th

 

Brilliant, Wild Swan

12th

 

Jasmine

17th

AMCs Cheshire, Dunnottar Castle, sloop Milford (convoy split off Capetown)

Newcastle

18th

 

Bridgewater

 

BERGENSFJORD, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, NEA HELLAS, PORT JACKSON, POTARO and SIBAJAK entered Capetown under the local escort of corvettes FREESIA and FRITILLARY. The remaining merchant ships went on to Durban escorted by armed merchant cruisers CHESHIRE, DUNNOTTAR CASTLE and WORCESTERSHIRE (which relieved MILFORD on17 March), arriving at Durban on the 21st.

 

The Capetown ships sailed on 22 March, escorted by cruiser NEWCASTLE and sloop MILFORD, and met the Durban vessels, excluding MONARCH OF BERMUDA, MOOLTAN and STRATHAIRD which remained in port, off Durban on the 25th. The convoy, its escort reinforced by cruiser GLASGOW and armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE from Durban, proceeded northward; NEWCASTLE detached at midnight on the 25th. On 1 April cruiser COLOMBO and armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA relieved the escort and on 3 April the convoy divided into the Aden and Bombay portions.

 

The combined convoy was steamers AWATEA, BERGENSFJORD, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, NEA HELLAS, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK, STRATHEDEN and VOLENDAM. Commodore ships remained as previously.

 

Convoy WS.16A with BERGENSFJORD, NEA HELLAS and VOLENDAM formed the Aden convoy escorted by COLOMBO from the splitting position on 3 April until dispersed off Aden on the 6th after which the ships went to Suez as independents.

 

Convoy WS.16B was the Bombay detachment steaming in the following order from 3 April - AWATEA, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK and STRATHEDEN, escorted by ALAUNIA and WORCESTERSHIRE (which joined at the splitting position) and arrived at Bombay 8 April.

_____

 

Destroyers ONSLOW (D.17), ASHANTI, TARTAR, BEDOUIN and the American EBERLE and ERICSSON departed Hvalfjord to carry out an anti-submarine search in 63-57N, 23-46W. American destroyer GWIN departed Hvalfjord later and joined the search. They returned to Hvalfjord the next day after an unsuccessful search.

_____

 

The Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron was transferred from heavy cruiser NORFOLK to heavy cruiser LONDON.

_____

 

U.136 sank steamer EMPIRE COMET (6914grt), straggling behind convoy HX.174, in 58-15N, 17-10W.

_____

 

Destroyer WHITEHALL departed Gibraltar as additional escort for steamers CAPE HAWKE, carrying crated aircraft, and FINLAND to Gibraltar. Escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL and corvettes ASPHODEL and HYDRANGEA, they reached Gibraltar on the 21st.

_____

 

Corvettes CAMPION and MALLOW departed Gibraltar escorting steamer PACHECO and tanker SLEMDAL, and detached at Bathurst for fuel.

_____

 

Convoy AT.28 departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyers DECOY, HURWORTH, SOUTHWOLD and corvette HYACINTH, and arrived at Tobruk on the 18th.

_____

 

Dutch destroyer VAN NES and escorted Dutch steamer SLOET VAN DER BEELE (2977grt), carrying evacutees from Billiton, were sunk by Japanese bombing south of Banka. There were no survivors from either ship.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel TANDJONG PINANG (133grt) with 17 crew and 150 passengers (survivors from steamer KUALA lost on the 14th), was sunk by Japanese surface craft 30 miles south of Pulo Ubar. There were only three survivors and Temporary Lt B Shaw NZRNVR, Temporary Lt E G Gerard NZRNVR and Temporary Lt G Studholme NZRNVR were lost. Commissioned Gunner A Rafferty, who also had been rescued from KUALA was also lost.

_____

 

Battleship REVENGE arrived at Mombasa.

_____

 

Light cruiser CALEDON after escort duty with convoy JS.3 arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Light cruiser EMERALD departed Madras.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK arrived at the Seychilles, and carried on, arriving at Colombo on the 21st.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.3 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers KRIAN (857grt), ORISKANY (1644grt) and RESANG (252grt) for Colombo and GIANG ANN (1063grt), auxiliary patrol ships DARVEL and PING WO (3105grt), the latter towing disabled destroyer VENDETTA, for Fremantle.

 

VENDETTA left Tanjong Priok harbour in tow of two tugs and was met outside the harbour by PING WO, which took over the tow before they joined SJ.3 escorted by destroyer ELECTRA and sloop YARRA. On the 22nd off Christmas Island, light cruiser ADELAIDE relieved YARRA in the escort.

_____

 

Convoy SR.6 of steamers WINGSANG, CHILKA, and ELLENGA departed Calcutta for Rangoon, escorted by Indian sloop INDUS, while convoy MR.4 with steamers KUTSANG, NEURALIA and PRESIDENT DOUMER had departed Madras on the 16th for Rangoon, escorted by light cruiser EMERALD. On the 19th, the two convoys merged as SR.6. Due to the situation around Rangoon only troopships ELLENGA (5196grt) and NEURALIA (9182grt) were to proceed there. The rest of the convoy was ordered to Calcutta and arrived on the 22nd.

_____

 

Steamer TATUNG (1560grt), which had been immobilised, was seized by Japanese forces at Tanjong Batoe.

 

 

Wednesday, 18 February

 

Destroyer SOMALI arrived at Scapa Flow at 0815/18th after Operation SN.84.

_____

 

Destroyers ONSLOW (D.17), TARTAR and PUNJABI departed Hvalfjord to search for a submarine sighted by aircraft in 63-15N, 24-30W.

_____

 

French submarine MINERVE departed Lerwick for patrol off the Norwegian coast.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawler BOTANIC (348grt, Skipper P Ray DSC RNR) and anti-submarine trawler WARLAND (214grt, Skipper H. H. Firth RNR) were sunk by German bombers in the North Sea off 62.D Buoy.

_____

 

U.432 sank Brazilian steamer OLINDA (4053grt) in 37-30N, 75W, but the entire crew of 47 was rescued.

_____

 

U.108 sank steamer SOMME (5265grt) in 40N, 55W, with the loss of all her crew.

_____

 

Corvettes BLUEBELL, CARNATION, MYOSOTIS, LA MALOUINE and STONECROP arrived at Gibraltar.

_____

 

American destroyer TRUXTON (LCDR R Hickox) and cargo ship POLLUX were lost by stranding in Placentia Bay. LCDR Hickox, LT E D Anderson, LT (jg) J. W. Danforth, LT (jg) J R Gille, LT (jg) C Reiter, ENS A E Newman, ENS C K Potter, ENS H W Taylor and one hundred and two enlisted men were lost in TRUXTON, and ninety five enlisted men in POLLUX.

_____

 

French submarine SURCOUF was lost in collision with American steamer THOMSON LYKES in the Gulf of Mexico in 10-40W, 79-31W. Temporary Lt R J G Burney RNVR and two communications ratings were lost, along with the entire French crew.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser AUSTONIA, escorted by destroyers BEVERLEY and ROCKINGHAM, arrived at Bermuda from Halifax.

_____

 

Battleships REVENGE and RAMILLIES departed Mombasa on gunnery exercises. Light cruiser COLOMBO arrived at Mombasa.

_____

 

Light cruiser CALEDON, minelayer TEVIOT BANK and American light cruiser BOISE all departed Colombo, BOISE for repairs at Bombay, where she arrived on the 21st.

 _____

 

American light cruiser BOISE departed Colombo for Bombay for repairs. She arrived on the 21st.

_____

 

The evacuation of Oosthaven was completed with destroyer JUPITER and minesweeper BURNIE bringing off the rear guard.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent from Batavia to evacuate RAF and service personnel from Padang.

 

Light cruiser DANAE and ENCOUNTER evacuated 877 evacuees from Padang.

 

PANGKOR also brought out 244 from Benculen.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.55 reported sinking a transport north of Sunda Strait.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel MALACCA (210grt) was scuttled in the Tjemake River, Sumatra.

 

 

Thursday, 19 February

 

Battleship KING GEORGE V, aircraft carrier VICTORIOUS, heavy cruiser BERWICK and destroyers ONSLOW, BEDOUIN, TARTAR, ESKIMO, ASHANTI, PUNJABI and ICARUS departed Hvalfjord to launch an air strike at Tromso on the 22nd in Operation EO. ONSLOW, TARTAR and PUNJABI detached to Seidisfjord to refuel, rejoining on the 20th.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers INGLEFIELD, FURY and ECHO remained at Hvalfjord.

 

On the 20th, VICTORIOUS, BERWICK, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI and ICARUS were detached for the air strike, but it was was cancelled when German heavy cruisers ADMIRAL SCHEER, PRINZ EUGEN and destroyers Z.25, HERMANN SCHOEMANN and FRIEDRICH IHN were sighted on the 21st off Jutland steering north.

_____

 

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

_____

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Scapa Flow for patrol in the Iceland Faroes passage.

_____

 

Destroyer SOMALI departed Scapa Flow at 1015 to refitting at Hull on the Humber, and arrived at 0900/20th.

_____

 

Destroyer depot ship HECLA departed Hvalfjord for the Clyde at 2130, escorted by destroyer MARNE and the Polish BLYSKAWICA. They arrived on the 23rd and MARNE proceeded to Barrow to undergo repairs.

_____

 

Destroyers MIDDLETON, GROVE and ALDENHAM departed Scapa Flow at 2000 to search for a possible U-boat reported by light cruiser SHEFFIELD in position seven miles 270° from Torness. They arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0230/20th without making contact.

_____

 

Convoy ON.68 departed Liverpool 19 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

20th

destroyer Hurricane

 

21st

corvettes Anchusa, Dahlia, Monkshood, Primrose, Snowflake

 

24th

corvettes Nanaimo, Sudbury

 

3rd

destroyer Ramsey, minesweepers Goderich, Midland, Quinte

Hurricane, Anchusa, Dahlia, Monkshood, Primrose, Snowflake

7th

 

Nanaimo

convoy dispersed 9 March

_____

 

Submarine TRIDENT departed Lerwick for patrol off the Norwegian coast.

_____

 

U.432 sank steamer MIRAFLORES (2158grt), which had departed Port au Prince on the 14th, off the Virginia Capes.

_____

 

U.161 damaged American steamer MOKIHANA (7460grt) and British tanker BRITISH CONSUL (6940grt) in the approaches to Port au Prince in 10-38N, 60-30N and 10-37N, 61-34W, respectively.

_____

 

U.128 sank American tanker PAN MASSACHUSETTS (8202grt) in 28-27N, 80-08W. Two crew were killed, 20 missing, and 18 were rescued by US Coast Guard cutter FORWARD.

_____

 

U.96 sank steamer EMPIRE SEAL (7965grt) in 43-14N, 64-45W. The crew of 56 and a pilot were saved, but one later died of wounds.

_____

 

Corvette COREOPSIS departed Gibraltar escorting steamer GLAISDALE to Melilla. She arrived back at Gibraltar on the 21st, escorting another merchant ship.

_____

 

Corvettes VETCH and PENTSTEMON departed Gibraltar to intercept Portuguese steamer LAURENCO MARQUES to remove a packet of diamonds in charge of the Master. She was intercepted and the corvettes arrived back at Gibraltar on the 22nd with the diamonds.

_____

 

Convoy HX.176 departed Halifax 19 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

19th

destroyer St Clair, corvettes Cobalt, Halifax, minesweepers Gananoque, Ungava

 

22nd

corvettes Alberni, Collingwood, Hepatica

Cobalt, Gananoque, Ungava

23rd

American destroyers Benson, Broome

St Clair, Halifax,

5th

 

Alberni, Collingwood, Hepatica, Benson, Broome

6th

anti-submarine whaler Narvik

 

arrived Liverpool 6 March with Narvik

_____

 

In Japanese carrier based air attacks on Port Darwin, American destroyer PEARY (LCDR J M Bermingham), British tanker BRITISH MOTORIST (6891grt), steamers ZEALANDIA (6683grt), NEPTUNIA (5952grt), American steamer MAUNA LOA (5436grt) and Army Transport MEIGS (7358grt) were sunk, and British steamers BAROSSA (4239grt) and MANUNDA (9115grt) damaged.

 

PEARY lost LCDR Bermingham, LT A F Gustafson, LT M M Koivisto, Ensign P M Joyce and seventy six enlisted men, with LT R L Johnson and thirteen enlisted men wounded. BRITISH MOTORIST with a crew of 60 and one gunner, lost two crew. ZEALANDIA had three crew killed. NEPTUNIA’s cargo, which included depth charges, exploded and 45 crew were killed. MAUNA LOA had five crew killed. MEIGS lost two crew.

_____

 

American steamer DON ISIDRO (3261grt) was badly damaged by Japanese bombing NW of Bathurst Island, near Darwin in 11S, 130E, beached and considered a total loss. Four crew died, seven missing and 73 rescued by Australian minesweeper WARRNAMBOOL. Two of the survivors died after reaching Darwin.

 

American steamer FLORENCE D (2638grt), in company, was sunk by Japanese bombing at 10-56S, 130-07E. Three crew were lost and the 34 survivors rescued by WARRNAMBOOL and lugger ST FRANCIS.

_____

 

American destroyer EDSALL, in operations in the Dutch East Indies, was damaged by the explosion of one of her own depth charges close aboard.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier HERMES and destroyer VAMPIRE departed Colombo for Fremantle, but were recalled to Trincomalee on the 21st.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE and minesweeper BATHURST arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.4 departed Tandjong Priok with British steamers LEE SANG (1655grt), MODASA (9070grt), STANMORE (4970grt), Norwegian ERLING BROVIG (9970grt) and Dutch GENERAAL MICHIELS (1282grt), GENERAAL VAN GEEN (1290grt) and GENERAAL VAN SWIETEN (1300grt) for Colombo, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until the 21st February. The ships arrived at Colombo independently between 28 February and 3 March.

_____

 

Convoy SM.2 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers WHANG PU (3204grt) and CABLE ENTERPRISE (943grt) for Fremantle, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until later in the day.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA lost her Walrus when it hit the ship during landing and caught fire. Pilot Flight Officer E J Rowan RAAF was killed, but S/Lt G H Jackson RAN and the TAG were rescued.

 

 

Friday, 20 February

 

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

_____

 

Destroyers FAULKNOR and INTREPID arrived at Scapa Flow at 0715 on completion of escort duty with convoy QP. 7.

_____

 

Destroyer CHARLESTOWN departed the Humber for Loch Alsh on completion of refitting, and arrived later that day.

_____

 

Destroyer PENN departed Newcastle for Methil, arriving that day. She left again on the 21st and arrived at Scapa Flow that day.

_____

 

Convoy ON.69 departed Liverpool 20 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

21st

destroyer Reading, sloop Gentian

 

22nd

destroyer Burnham

 

25th

American coast guard cutter Campbell, destroyer Plunkett

 

1st

destroyer St Clair, corvette Halifax, minesweepers Gananoque, Ungava

Plunkett

3rd

 

Burnham, Reading

4th

 

Gentian, Campbell, St Clair, Halifax, Gananoque, Ungava

convoy dispersed off Cape Cod, 6 March

_____

 

Italian submarine TORELLI sank steamer SCOTTISH STAR (7224grt) in 13-24N, 49-36W. Crew of 73, four lost.

_____

 

U.129 sank Norwegian steamer NORDVANGEN (2400grt) in 10-50N, 60-54W.

_____

 

U.96 sank American steamer LAKE OSWEYA (2398grt) in 43-14N, 64-45W.

_____

 

U.156 badly damaged American steamer DELPLATA (5127grt) in 14-55N, 62-10W. Fifty two crew rescued. She was sunk by an American naval ship.

_____

 

Corvette ASPHODEL attacked a submarine contact in 35-54N, 7-08W.

_____

 

German steamer JASON (1025grt) was lost near Calais on a mine.

_____

 

Convoy AT.29 departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyers BEAUFORT, ERIDGE and corvette GLOXINIA, and arrived at Tobruk on the 23rd.

_____

 

American aircraft carrier LEXINGTON, en route to launch an air strike on Rabaul, was sighted by Japanese scout planes off Bouganville and the operation was called off. She was part of a task force with heavy cruisers MINNEAPOLIS, INDIANAPOLIS, PENSACOLA, SAN FRANCISCO and destroyers CLARK, PATTERSON, PHELPS, DEWEY, MACDONOUGH, HULL, AYLWIN, DALE, BAGLEY, and DRAYTON.

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA, British light cruiser ACHILLES, New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER, American heavy cruiser CHICAGO and US destroyers FLUSSER and PERKINS escorted tanker PLATTE.

 

In the operation, Ensign J W Wilson from Fighter Squadron 3 was killed.

_____

 

BATTLE OF BADOENG STRAIT

 

Allied ships were in two groups. The first were Dutch cruisers DE RUYTER, JAVA, Dutch destroyers PIET HEIN and the American JOHN D FORD, and POPE. Dutch destroyer BANCKERT was part of the force, but ran aground at the mouth of Tjilatjap harbour and could not proceed.

 

The second group was Dutch cruiser TROMP from Surabaya and American destroyers STEWART, PARROTT, JOHN D EDWARDS and PILLSBURY from Ratai Bay.

 

STEWART was damaged by Japanese gunfire, with one enlisted man killed and the executive officer LT C B Smiley and one enlisted man wounded. JOHN D EDWARDS had one enlisted man wounded. PIET HEIN (Lt Cdr J M L I Chompff) was lost with all but 33 of her crew and TROMP was badly damaged.

 

_____

 

Convoy SM.3 departed Batavia unescorted with British steamers ADRASTUS (7905grt), CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), MARELLA (7475grt), Dutch PHRONTIS (6181grt) and Norwegian PROMINENT (2282grt). Steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER and PROMINENT proceeded to Tjilatjap and the rest of the convoy to Fremantle.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.5 departed Batavia with British steamers ANGBY (786grt), FILLEIGH (4856grt), JALAKRISHNA (4991grt), LULWORTH HILL (7628grt), SILVERLARCH (5064grt), YOMA (8131grt) and Norwegian HAI LEE (3616grt). Escort at the start was by heavy cruiser EXETER, destroyer STRONGHOLD and Indian sloop JUMNA. The ships proceeded to Colombo, arriving independently between 28 February and 6 March.

_____

 

Battleship WARSPITE arrived at Sydney, NSW, after refitting in the United States.

_____

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM departed Colombo for the west coast of Sumatra to evacuate personnel. Patrol vessel PANGKOR of the China Force was also sent to evacuate personnel. NIZAM was recalled on the 21st for escort duties.

_____

 

Australian minesweeper BALLARAT evacuated important stores and completed the destruction of port facilities and abandoned equipment at Oosthaven on the 20th.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer BHIMA (5280grt) in 7-47N, 73-31E. Crew of 68, two passengers, all rescued.

_____

 

Steamer KOOLAMA (4068grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing off Wyndham, West Australia.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOBELO (983grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Kupang.

_____

 

Steamer JALAKRISHNA (4991grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing in the Dutch East Indies.

 

 

Saturday, 21 February

 

Light cruiser KENYA arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol in the Iceland Faroes passage.

_____

 

Destroyer PENN arrived at Scapa Flow from Methil at 1745 to work up.

_____

 

U.432 sank American steamer AZALEA CITY (5529grt), which departed Port au Spain on the 11th, in 38N, 73W. There were no survivors.

_____

 

U.107 damaged Norwegian tanker EGDA (10,068grt) in 41-12N, 52-55W.

_____

 

U.67 sank American tanker J. N. PEW (9033grt) in 12-40N, 74-00W.

_____

 

U.161 sank tanker CIRCE SHELL (8207grt) in 11-03N, 62-03W. Crew of 53 and 5 gunners, one crew killed

_____

 

Greek steamer ATLANTICOS (5446grt) was sunk on a mine off B.8 Buoy, Barrow Deep. Crew of 40, one lost.

_____

 

German steamer AMERIKA (7463grt) was sunk on a mine near Terschelling.

_____

 

U.559 attacked a steamer near Bardia.

_____

 

In Italian Fleet Operation K.7, two convoys were sailed for Tripoli.

 

Convoy number 1 was steamers MONGINEVRO, RAVELLO, and UNIONE, escorted by destroyers VIVALDI, MALOCELLO, PREMUDA, ZENO, STRALE and torpedo boat PALLADE sailing from Messina at 1730/21st.

 

Convoy number 2 was tanker GIORDANI and steamers LERICI and MONVISO, escorted by destroyers PIGAFETTA, PESSAGNO, USODIMARE, MAESTRALE, SCIROCCO and torpedo boat CIRCE sailing from Corfu at 1330/21st.

 

Heavy cruisers GORIZIA, TRENTO, light cruiser BANDE NERE and destroyers ALPINO, DA NOLII and ORIANI departed Messina at 1830/21st for escort.

 

Battleship DUILO and destroyers AVIERE, ASCARI, GENIERE and CAMICIA NERA departed Taranto at 1600/21st to cover the movement.

_____

 

Convoy SL.101 departed Freetown 21 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

21st

destroyer Vimy, AMC Derbyshire, corvettes Armeria, Bergamot, Burdock, Erica, Lavender, Rockrose.

 

 

23rd

destroyer Bradford, sloops Leith, Rochester, Scarborough

Derbyshire, Erica

27th

 

Bergamot, Burdock, Rockrose

1st

 

Bradford

 

ocean boarding vessels Cavina, Hilary, Maron, Marsdale joined for a time and naval trawler St Kilda at the end.

12th

 

Rochester

convoy arrived Liverpool 15 March with Vimy, Leith, Scarborough, Lavender, Armeria

_____

 

Convoy OS.20 departed Liverpool 21 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

23rd

sloops Hastings, Londonderry, corvettes Aubretia, Snowdrop, French corvette Commandant Detroyat, escort vessels Landguard, Lulworth

 

9th

destroyer Boreas, corvettes Genista, Violet

 

10th

 

Hastings, Londonderry, Commandante Detroyat, Landguard, Lulworth

12th

 

Aubretia, Snowdrop, Boreas

convoy arrived Freetown 16 March with Genista, Violet

_____

 

Battleship RAMILLIES departed Mombasa.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.6 departed Tandjong Prior with steamers MANGOLA and THEPASTRIN NAWA (3260grt) for Fremantle and KIANG (1451grt), JALAVIHAR, ELSA, STRAAT SOENDA (6439grt) and GENERAAL VAN DE HEYDEN (1213grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.7 departed Tandjong Priok with troopship ORCADES (23,456grt), carrying 3768 troops and refugees, escorted by destroyer ELECTRA to the 22nd and Australian light cruiser HOBART to the 23rd, when the convoy dispersed and the escorts detached. ORCADES arrived at Colombo on the 27th.

 

 

Sunday 22, February

 

Aircraft carrier VICTORIOUS with heavy cruiser BERWICK and destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, and ICARUS were detached to reach a point 100 miles off Stadtlandet at 0100/23rd.

 

Battleship KING GEORGE V and destroyers ONSLOW, TARTAR and PUNJABI followed at a slower speed to give cover.

 

Ten Albacore aircraft of 832 Squadron were in the first strike and seven from 817 in the second from the VICTORIOUS. RAF Coastal Command were deployed to attack German heavy cruisers ADMIRAL SCHEER and PRINZ EUGEN, escorted by destroyers Z.25 and SCHOEMANN off Skudesnes, but did not locate them in the poor weather. The planes were ordered to return to Sumburgh.

 

Three Albacores and their crews were lost - (1) Pilot Lt R C G De Longueuil, Observer Lt Cdr A J P Plugge, Squadron Commanding Officer of the 832 Squadron and Petty Officer Airman J E W Dryden of 832 Squadron, (2) Pilot Lt D H Burke, Lt F G Gordon and Petty Officer Airman T A Hibbs of 817 Squadron, and (3) Pilot Temporary Acting S/Lt (A) T G Matthias RNVR, Acting Observer Temporary Acting S/Lt (A) A B Mann RNVR and Leading Airman C H Clark of 817 Squadron of another Albacore.

 

Destroyers GROVE and CHIDDINGFOLD departed Scapa Flow at 1900 to patrol to the east of the Shetlands and act as rescue ships for the aircraft attacking targets on the coast of Norway. They arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1300/23rd.

 

Oiler SAN ZOTICO, escorted by two trawlers, departed Scapa Flow on the 22nd for the Faroes, arriving the next day.

 

VICTORIOUS, KING GEORGE V, BERWICK, ONSLOW, TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO, ASHANTI, and ICARUS arrived at Scapa Flow on the 23rd.

_____

 

Rear Admiral W. F. Wake Walker CB, OBE, struck his flag as Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, in heavy cruiser LONDON.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO arrived at Scapa Flow from Murmansk with a large shipment of gold, which was transferred to battleship KING GEORGE V on the 23rd. CAIRO departed Scapa Flow on the 23rd and proceeded to Greenock, arriving on the 24th.

_____

 

Destroyers ORIBI and OFFA departed Greenock at 1300 after boiler cleaning, and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0800/23rd.

_____

 

U.502 sank Norwegian tanker KONSGAARD (9467grt) seven miles north of Port Curacoa. Of a crew of 46, 38 missing and 8 survivors.

_____

 

U.96 sank Norwegian steamer TORUNGEN (1948grt) in 44-00N, 63-30W. Crew of 39 with all lost.

_____

 

U.504 sank American tanker REPUBLIC (5287grt) in 27-05N, 80-15W. Crew of 33 with 5 lost and 28 rescued. U.504 also reported sinking a steamer off Fort Pierce on the east coast of Florida

_____

 

U.155 sank tanker ADELLEN (7984grt) and Norwegian steamer SAMA (1799grt) from convoy ON.67 in 49-20N, 38-15W. ADELLEN, crew of 39 and 9 gunners with 29 crew and 7 gunners lost; SAMA, crew of 31 and 8 passengers with 17 crew missing, 14 saved and 3 passengers missing, 5 saved. U.155 also reported damaging another tanker in the convoy which is unconfirmed.

_____

 

U.128 sank American steamer CITIES SERVICE EMPIRE (8103grt) in 28-25N, 80-02W. Crew of 20 with 7 killed, 4 missing, 29 rescued by American destroyer BIDDLE and Coast Guard cutter VIGILANT.

_____

 

U.129 sank two steamers – the Canadian GEORGE L TORAIN (1754grt) in 9-13N, 59-04W with only four survivors and the American WEST ZEDA (5658grt) in 9-13N, 59-04W without any casualties.

_____

 

U.96 badly damaged tanker KARS (8888grt) in 44-15N, 63-25W. Crew of 47 including 4 gunners with only one crew saved. Ship abandoned, broke in two and afterpart of the ship taken in tow and beached at Halifax on the 27th.

_____

 

Steam trawler BELLEVUE (156grt) was lost off Turnberry Light House, near Ailsa Craig.

_____

 

Steamer ENSEIGNE MARIE ST GERMAIN (3139grt) was damaged on a mine off Yarmouth.

_____

 

Steamer BINTANG (2825grt) was sunk by German bombing in 31-50N, 26-01W. Crew of 37, four gunners and one signalman with 12 crew missing and rest rescued.

_____

 

U.83 attacked a British destroyer and steamer near Sidi Barrani and claimed to have damaged both.

_____

 

Steamer HANNE (1360grt) was sunk by German bombing in 31-57N, 25-26E. Crew of 25 with four lost.

_____

 

S/Lt J S Padgin and S/Lt J Buscall (of 821 Squadron) were killed when their Albacore of 826 Squadron, flying from Tobruk to Hal Far crashed at sea.

 

Another Albacore returning to Hal Far crashed in St Pauls Bay. Observer F Bedford was killed, but Lt P C Whitfield and Leading Airman G S Hedger were rescued.

_____

 

Convoy HG.79 of 29 steamers departed Gibraltar 22 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

22nd

sloops Black Swan, Fowey, corvettes Bluebell, Carnation, Coltsfoot, Coreopsis, Geranium, La Malouine, Myosotis, Stonecrop.

Coltsfoot, Coreopsis (after dark)

 

troopship Royal Scotsman departed Gibraltar after the convoy and joined at sea

convoy arrived Liverpool 6 March

_____

 

Destroyer WHITEHALL departed Gibraltar to provide additional escort for arriving Force H.

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE departed Gibraltar for exercises.

_____

 

Convoy SC.71 departed Halifax 22 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

22nd

destroyer Ramsey, corvettes Chambly, Mayflower, Midland, minesweepers Goderich, Quinte

 

25th

 

Chambly, Mayflower

27th

corvettes Buctouche, Cobalt, Dunbegan, Napanee, Trail

 

28th

 

Ramsey, Midland, Goderich, Quinte

5th

American destroyers Babbitt, Badger, Schenck

Babbitt, Badger, Schenck

8th

 

Dunvegan, Trail

9th

 

Buctouche, Napanee

convoy arrived Liverpool 10 March with Cobalt

_____

 

Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE and destroyers NAPIER and NESTOR arrived at Aden.

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM arrived at Trincomalee.

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN, corvettes ASTER and VERBENA with steamer PLANCIUS arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Convoy MS.5 departed Fremantle with Australian troop ships DUNTROON (10,346grt), KATOOMBA (9424grt), American aircraft transport LANGLEY, American steamer SEA WITCH (6021grt) and US Army transport WILLARD A HOLBROOK (14,812grt).

 

The convoy was escorted by American light cruiser PHOENIX from the 22nd to 28th when British light cruiser ENTERPRISE relieved her.

 

LANGLEY and SEA WITCH, carrying crated aircraft, were detached to Java. LANGLEY was lost and SEA WITCH was able to escape after delivering her cargo at Tjilatjap.

 

LANGLEY was sunk by Japanese bombing. Only sixteen crew and passengers were lost. The survivors were picked up by WHIPPLE and EDSALL. WHIPPLE then scuttled LANGLEY.

 

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 5 March.

_____

 

Patrol vessel PANGKOR departed Batavia to evacuate personnel from Sibolga and Ongha, then proceeded to Colombo.

_____

 

Boom defence vessels BARRIER, BARLANE and BARRICADE departed Batavia for Colombo and patrol vessels CIRCE and MEDUSA for Fremantle, via Tjilatjap.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.8 departed Tandjong Priok with EDENDALE (1659grt) for Fremantle and FU KWANG (1559grt), TINOMBO (872grt) and ROOSEBOOM (1035grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer PIJNACKER HORDIKJ (2982grt) south of Tjilatjap.

 

 

Monday, 23 February

 

Submarine TRIDENT torpedoed German heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN off Trondheim.

_____

 

Destroyer ECLIPSE departed the Humber at 1400 after refitting for Scapa Flow, and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1330/25th.

_____

 

Convoy PQ.12 departed Loch Ewe for Hvalfjord. Minesweeper GOSSAMER departed Scapa Flow at 2030 and destroyers ORIBI and OFFA at 0100/24th to join the convoy at 0800/24th. Trawlers CHILTERN and SULLA departed the Clyde for Reykjavik to proceed to Murmansk in convoy PQ.12. The convoy arrived at Hvalfjord on the 27th. GOSSAMER arrived at Reykjavik on the 28th.

_____

 

U.504 sank American tanker W D ANDERSON (10,227grt) in 27-09N, 79-56W. Crew of 35 with one man rescued.

_____

 

U.161 damaged American steamer LIHUE (7001grt). She diverted to St Lucia, and sank in tow on the 26th.

_____

 

U.502 sank Panamanian tanker THALIA (8329grt) in 13-00N, 70-45W. Crew of 41 with one man lost.

_____

 

U.587 reported torpedoing a Q-ship south of Greenland.

_____

 

U.129 sank Canadian steamer LENNOX (1904grt) in 9-15N, 58-30W. Crew of 20 with two lost.

_____

 

U.502 damaged American tanker SUN (9002grt) in 13-02N, 70-41W.

_____

 

Convoy OG.80 departed Liverpool 23 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

23rd

sloops Pelican, Stork, corvettes Gardenia, Samphire, anti-submarine whaler Southern Breeze, fighter catapult ship Maplin

 

7th

destroyer Duncan

 

convoy arrived Gibraltar 8 March

_____

 

Submarine P.38 (Lt R J Hemingway DSC) was sunk in 32-48N, 14-58E by Italian destroyers PIGAFETTA, PESSAGNO and torpedo boat CIRCE, escorting an Axis convoy which departed Corfu on the 21st. Lt Hemingway, Lt D A Eustace, S/Lt A M Gray, Lt S A Pidgeon RNR and twenty eight ratings were lost.

_____

 

Force H with battleship MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, light cruiser HERMIONE and destroyers CROOME, LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, ACTIVE, BLANKNEY, DUNCAN and WHITEHALL arrived at Gibraltar after convoy duty with WS.16.

_____

 

Submarines CLYDE and PANDORA departed Gibraltar for exercises.

_____

 

Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE arrived at Gibraltar escorting troopship ULSTER MONARCH.

_____

 

Convoy AT.30 departed Alexandria, escorted by escort destroyers DULVERTON and HURWORTH, and arrived at Tobruk on the 25th.

_____

 

Destroyers BEVERLEY and ROCKINGHAM departed Bermuda, escorting troopships ORION and CAMERONIA to Halifax, arriving on the 27th.

_____

 

Light cruiser COLOMBO departed Mombasa for Aden.

_____

 

Light cruiser EMERALD arrived at Calcutta.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer BELITA and Norwegian collier WOOLGAR departed Colombo for Batavia, escorted until the 25th by destroyer NIZAM and minesweeper BATHURST. The merchantmen proceeded independently for Batavia until recalled.

_____

 

Convoy SM.4 departed Tandjong Priok with steamer SPRINGDALE (1579grt) for Fremantle and SEIRSTAD and PERAK (1188grt) for Colombo. The ships proceeded independently after Sunda Strait.

 

 

Tuesday, 24 February

 

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

_____

 

Rear Admiral L H K Hamilton struck his Flag as Rear Admiral (D) in destroyer depot ship TYNE, and raised it again in heavy cruiser LONDON as Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron. In his place Commodore C Caslon CBE, raised his flag as Commodore Commanding, Home Fleet Destroyer Flotillas in TYNE.

_____

 

Light cruiser TRINIDAD departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Iceland-Faroes passage and to escort Rear Admiral Minelaying on minelaying operation SN.85.

_____

 

Destroyer ONSLOW was taken in hand at Scapa Flow for boiler cleaning.

_____

 

Destroyer ECLIPSE departed Immingham for Scapa Flow on completion of refitting, and arrived on the 25th.

_____

 

Destroyer AIREDALE, following working up, departed Scapa Flow at 1300 for boiler cleaning in the Clyde, where she arrived at 1100/25th.

_____

 

U.94 sank steamer EMPIRE HAIL (7005grt) in 44-48N, 40-21W. Crew of 42 and seven gunners, with no survivors.

_____

 

In attacks on convoy ON.67, U.558 sank tanker INVERARDER (5578grt) in 44-34N, 42-37W, crew of 34 and 8 gunners, with all rescued. She also damaged Norwegian tanker EIDANGER (9432grt) in 44-11N, 43-25W. She was sunk later in the day by U.558, crew of 37 and two gunners, with all rescued.

 

U.162 and U.158 attacked tanker EMPIRE CELT (8032grt) in ON.67. She was sunk, but it is uncertain which submarine was responsible. Crew of 51 and two passengers with six crew missing and 47 survivors rescued.

 

In further attacks on ON.67, U.558 in sank tankers ANADARA (8009grt), FINNANGER (9551grt) and steamer WHITE CREST (4365grt) in 43-45N, 42-15W. Before sinking, one of the tankers may also have been torpedoed by U.587.

 

U.158 damaged tanker DILOMA (8146grt) from ON.67 in 43-51N, 43-41W.

_____

 

U.752 attacked convoy HX.175 and reported damaging a tanker.

_____

 

American steamer NORLAVORE (2713grt) departed Puerto la Cruz on the 22nd and was reported lost on the 24th. Although no claims were made for her sinking,U.432 was in the area.

_____

 

Panamanian steamer SNARK (4488grt) was sunk on a mine near Amedee Lighthouse after departing Sydney for Noumea.

_____

 

Russian submarine SHCH.213 sank Turkish naval auxiliary CANCAYA (454grt) off Kara Burnu off the Bosphorus, but the entire crew was rescued. SHCH.213 also sank Panamanian steamer STRUMA (226grt) off Yam Burnu, at the entrance to the Bosphorus later that day. Crew of ten and 763 Jewish refugees with only one survivor rescued.

_____

 

Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE departed Gibraltar escorting troopship ULSTER MONARCH to Freetown. WISHART detached at 2000/25th and returned to Gibraltar, arriving on the 26th.

_____

 

Corvettes PENTSTEMON and VETCH departed Gibraltar escorting steamer CAPE HAWKE to Trinidad. The escorts detached at 2200/28th and arrived back at Gibraltar on 3 March.

_____

 

Destroyer ANTHONY, which had been at sea with Force H escorting convoy WS.16, arrived at Gibraltar.

_____

 

In a attack on Axid ships off Tripoli, S/Lt M Holdsworth and S/Lt N V Clark were killed when their Swordfish of 830 Squadron was shot down.

_____

 

In heavy Japanese air attacks on Tanjong Prior, heavy cruiser EXETER was damaged by near misses amd Australian light cruiser HOBART had two ratings wounded by splinters.

_____

 

Steamers INDRAGIRI (592grt), NAM YONG (1345grt), and BOERO (7135grt) departed Tandjong Priok for Colombo.

_____

 

Dutch steamer KOTA RADJA (7117grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Surabaya.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE was at Aden and Rear Admiral D W Boyd hoisted his flag in her. She then departed with destroyers NAPIER and NESTOR for Port Sudan, arriving on the 25th.

_____

 

Destroyers GRIFFIN, DECOY, and FORTUNE, which had been detached from the Mediterranean Fleet and departed Alexandria on the 20th, arrived at Aden and sailed for Bombay.

_____

 

Corvette HOLLYHOCK arrived at Colombo, while sister ship ASTER departed.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Trincomalee.

_____

 

Destroyer NORMAN arrived at Seychilles, and departed later that day.

_____

 

Battleship REVENGE arrived at Durban.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser CORNWALL arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

American transport MOUNT VERNON departed Colombo for Fremantle, escorted by British light cruiser ENTERPRISE as far as 10S.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK departed Colombo for Trincomalee to embark ammunition and proceed to the Dutch East Indies. She then left Trincomalee the next day for Sunda Strait with all despatch, but was diverted to Tjilatjap on the 26th. On 1 March, both she and destroyer ISAAC SWEERS were ordered to return to Colombo.

 

 

Wednesday, 25 February

 

Heavy cruiser KENT left her patrol in the Denmark Strait for Hvalfjord, arriving on the 26th.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser LONDON departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord, arriving on the 27th.

_____

 

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

_____

 

Destroyer MIDDLETON departed Scapa Flow at 2200 for Loch Alsh to act as additional escort for minelaying operation SN.85, and arrived at 1000/26th.

_____

 

Convoy ON.70 departed Liverpool 25 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

26th

Polish destroyer Piorun, British corvettes Heather, Lobelia, Matapedia, Narcissus, Snowberry

 

1st

 

Snowberry

10th

 

Matapedia

11th

destroyers Caldwell, Lauderdale, corvettes Sackville, Thunder

Piorun, Heather, Lobelia, Narcissus

convoy dispersed 15 March

_____

 

Submarine SEAWOLF departed the Clyde for Lerwick, arriving on the 27th.

_____

 

Submarine U.156 sank tanker LA CARRIERE (5685grt) in 16-35N, 75-20W. Crew of 37 and 4 gunners, with 11 crew and fall gunners lost.

_____

 

Italian submarine DA VINCI reported sinking a steamer at 15N, 53W, which may have been Brazilian steamer CABEDELLO (3557grt) which departed Philadelphia on the 14th.

_____

 

Italian submarine TORELLI sank Panamanian tanker ESSO COPENHAGEN (9245grt) in 10-32N, 53-20W. Crew of 39 with one missing.

_____

 

U.652 reported damaging a British corvette near Bardia.

_____

 

Convoy in 31 departed Alexandria, escorted by destroyer JERVIS, LIVELY, and ZULU. The convoy arrived at Tobruk on the 27th.

_____

 

British heavy cruiser EXETER, Australian light cruiser PERTH and British destroyers ENCOUNTER, ELECTRA and JUPITER departed Tanjong Priok to join Dutch Admiral Doorman's force at Surabaya. Australian light cruiser HOBART was also ordered to sail, but had not completed refuelling. Instead she joined a Western Striking Force with light cruisers DANAE, DRAGON and destroyers TENEDOS and SCOUT. The EXETER group arrived at Surabaya at 0330/26th and sailed at 1900 that day.

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM arrived at Trincomalee.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier HERMES flew off her 814 Squadron to Trincomalee to act as a striking force.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer BOERO (7135grt) south of Sunda Strait. Crew of 70, with no casualties.

_____

 

Convoy BM.14 departed Bombay with steamers DILWARA (11,080grt), NEVASA (9213grt) and TAKLIWA (7936grt) escorted by armed merchant cruiser HECTOR, which joined at sea. The convoy arrived at Colombo on 1 March.

_____

 

Convoy C.4 of steamers LAVINGTON COURT, WESTMORELAND, TRICOLOR, SUTLEJ, GOVERNOR, and MASULA departed Colombo for Fremantle. Destroyer EXPRESS escorted the convoy until dusk on the 26th when the ships proceeded independently.

 

 

Thursday, 26 February

 

Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE, escorted by destroyer VETERAN, and by escort destroyers HAMBLEDON and CATTISTOCK as far as Kinnaird Head, departed Sheerness for Scapa Flow to work up after refitting at Chatham. SHROPSHIRE and VETERAN reached Scapa Flow on the 27th when VETERAN left to return to Rosyth.

_____

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT QUEBEC, AGAMEMNON and MENETHEUS, escorted by destroyers LANCASTER, WELLS and SKATE departed Loch Alsh at 1750 for minelaying operation SN.85. Destroyer MIDDLETON sailed as additional escort. Light cruiser TRINIDAD joined on the 29th for ocean escort, but heavy weather forced SKATE to heave to while MIDDLETON later lost touch as well.

_____

 

Convoy ON.71 departed Liverpool 26 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

27th

destroyer Firedrake, corvettes Abelia, Anemone, Arrowhead, Chicoutimi, Kenogami, Summerside

 

3rd

corvette Snowberry

 

4th

destroyer Burwell

 

7th

 

Snowberry, Burwell

convoy dispersed 8 March

_____

 

An Albacore of 750 Squadron from Piarco was lost when the plane crashed into the sea. Lt J L Cribb, Leading Airman D M McAllister and Leading Airman R M Paterson were killed.

_____

 

U.504 sank Dutch tanker MAMURA (8245grt) in 29N, 76W.

_____

 

German steamer MONTE SARMIENTO (13,625grt) was badly damaged by Allied bombing at Kiel and later broken up for scrap.

_____

 

Convoy HX.177 departed Halifax 26 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

26th

destroyer Niagara, corvettes Lunenburg, The Pas, minesweepers Chedabucto, Minas

 

1st

American destroyer Niblack, US Coast Guard cutter Ingham, corvettes Barrie, Chambly, Mayflower, Rosthern

Niagara, Lunenburg, The Pas, Chedabucto, Minas

8th

 

Niblack, Ingham, Chambly, Mayflower, Rosthern

9th

Anti-submarine whaler Bodo

 

convoy arrived Liverpool 9 March with Barrie, Bodo

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN departed Colombo for Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope and the USA for repairs. She arrived at New York on 9 April, was under repair for fourteen weeks, and then proceeded to Portsmouth for further repairs in July and August.

_____

 

Indian sloop SUTLEJ departed Trincomalee for Bombay with destroyer ISIS and submarine ROVER for repairs to the latter two.

_____

 

Aircraft transport ENGADINE departed Aden for Colombo with a cargo of Fulmar fighters.

_____

 

Convoy MR.5 departed Madras with steamers ERINPURA (5143grt), ETHIOPIA (5574grt), KAROA (7009grt) and VARSOVA (4701grt) escorted by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE, which departed Trincomalee on the 26th. The convoy and escort arrived at Rangoon on 3 March.

_____

 

Steamer ASHRIDGE was the last steamer to departed Tandjong Priok, escorted through the Sunda Strait by destroyer STRONGHOLD.

 

 

Friday 27, February

 

U.578 sank American tanker R P RESOR (7451grt) in 39-47N, 73-26W. Crew of 43, with 41 lost and only two rescued.

_____

 

U.432 sank American steamer MARORE (8215grt) in 35-33N, 74-58W. Crew of 39, all rescued.

_____

 

U.156 sank tanker MACGREGOR (2498grt) in 19-50N, 69-40W. Crew of 25 and 6 gunners, with one crew lost.

_____

 

Steamer FERNSIDE (269grt) was sunk by German bombing off Banff.

_____

 

South African anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN SEA (Lt A. Thomas DSC, SADF) was damaged by a near miss at Tobruk. One officer was killed, another wounded and three ratings killed.

_____

 

Submarine UPHOLDER sank Italian steamer TEMBIEN (5584grt) 24 miles 265° from the Tripoli lighthouse.

_____

 

Force H departed Gibraltar at 0320 for Operation SPOTTER to fly-off of aircraft to Malta. Aircraft carrier ARGUS, light cruiser HERMIONE and four destroyers had departed Gibraltar and sailed westwards at 1830/26th to simulate a change of carriers. They then joined battleship MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE and destroyers WHITEHALL, ACTIVE, BLANKNEY, CROOME, LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, ANTHONY, WISHART and DUNCAN (four of these destroyers had left with ARGUS). Force H arrived back at Gibraltar on the 28th when the operation was postponed because of petrol supply difficulties in the aircraft’s long range tanks.

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE departed Gibraltar on exercises with anti-submarine trawlers ARCTIC RANGER and ST NECTAN.

_____

 

BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA

 

Destroyer JUPITER (Lt Cdr N V J T Thew) was sunk by Japanese destroyers. Five ratings were killed and one died of wounds while Temporary S/Lt A L Cato RNZNVR, Lt (E) V D Hodge OBE, Midshipman M G Rivington RNR, Lt J W R Spedding DSC and eighty six ratings were missing. Cdr Thew, Gunner (T) E D Furneaux and 45 ratings survived, but 27 of the ratings died while prisoners of war.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA (Cdr C W May) was sunk by Japanese destroyers. Cdr May, Lt R Jenner-Fust OBE, Lt E A Coale, Lt (E) F McLeod, S/Lt R Price RNR, Temporary Lt H W Davies RNVR and 102 ratings were lost. Of the survivors, S/Lt S H Cruden RNVR and four ratings were taken prisoner by the Japanese from the water, and Gunner (T) T J Cain, Surgeon Lt W R D Seymour and forty three ratings were picked up by American submarine S.38 at 0315/28th. On arriving on the scene, S.38 was attacked by destroyer ENCOUNTER, but not damaged. One rating died of wounds after arriving in Java, and 10 wounded ratings were left at Surabaya and later captured. Seven died while prisoners of war.

 

Forty survivors from JUPITER and 42 from ELECTRA departed Tjilatjap in early March on Dutch steamer VERSPECK and arrived in Australia on 10 March.

 

Dutch destroyer KORTENAER was sunk by Japanese warships. ENCOUNTER picked up 113 survivors and took them to Surabaya.

 

Dutch light cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA were sunk by Japanese warships. British Temporary Lt W A. Jackson RNVR and Temporary Acting S/Lt W G Jenkins RNVR, on board DE RUYTER were rescued and made prisoners of war.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART, British light cruisers DANAE and DRAGON, British destroyers TENEDOS, SCOUT and the Dutch EVERTSEN departed Tanjong Priok at 2330, with the orders that if no enemy were sighted, they would retire through the Sunda Strait to Ceylon. Early on the 28th, EVERTSEN became separated and returned to Tanjong Priok. On 1 March, the force arrived at Padang to embark evacuatees, with HOBART and DANAE taking on board 648 and 319 evacuees, respectively. These ships, less DRAGON, arrived at Colombo on 5 March. DRAGON arrived on the 6th.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser TROMP, after being damages by Japanese ships on the 20th/21st, departed Surabaya for repairs at Fremantle.

_____

 

American seaplane tender LANGLEY (CDR R P McConnell) was sunk by Japanese bombing 75miles SSE of Tjilatjap. Sixteen crew and passengers were lost – LT W C Bailey, Warrant Officer R . Curtis, five enlisted men and nine passengers, and 11 enlisted men wounded. The 308 survivors were picked up by US destroyers WHIPPLE and EDSALL, after which WHIPPLE scuttled LANGLEY.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE, having embarked sixty Hurricanes, departed Port Sudan for Aden, escorted by destroyers NAPIER and NESTOR.

_____

 

Destroyer EXPRESS arrived at Colombo.

_____

 

Destroyer NORMAN departed Addu for Colombo.

_____

 

Submarines TRUSTY and TRUANT departed Surabaya for Ceylon. TRUSTY arrived at Colombo on 7 March and was under repairs from the 10th to 26th, while TRUANT had one main motor out of action and her speed reduced to eleven knots. She arrived at Colombo on the 8th.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.53 sank Dutch steamer MOESIE (913grt) 25 miles from Banjoewangi.

_____

 

Steamer NAM YONG (1345grt) was sunk by Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean in 15-55S, 108-05E. Master and four crew made prisoners of war.

 

 

28 February, Saturday

 

Battleship DUKE OF YORK, light cruiser KENYA and destroyers FAULKNOR, ESKIMO, PUNJABI and ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at 1830 for Hvalfjord to join Vice Admiral, Second in command, Home Fleet, in battlecruiser RENOWN.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser LONDON departed Hvalfjord for patrol in the Denarmk Strait.

_____

 

American destroyer JACOB JONES (LCDR H D Black Jr) was sunk by U.578 off the New Jersey coast in 38-37N, 74-32W. LCDR Black, LT (jg) B R Bronstein USNR, Ensign B R Hanson, LCDR T W Marshall Jr, LT (jg) E L Schrenk, LT (jg) G . Shadinger, Ensign N C Smith and one hundred and thirty enlisted men were lost. No officers survived and only 12 enlisted men were rescued by patrol boat EAGLE 56, one of them dying of wounds before reaching the shore.

_____

 

U.129 sank Panamanian steamer BAYOU (2605grt) in 8-08N, 55-14W. Only one survivor was picked up on 5 March from a raft.

_____

 

Italian submarine DA VINCI sank Latvian steamer EVERASMA (3644grt) in 17N, 48W. Fifteen crew were rescued.

_____

 

U.653 sank Norwegian steamer LEIF (1582grt) in 34-45N, 69-20W. Crew of 2,8 with 18 lost and 10 saved.

_____

 

U.156 sank American tanker OREGON (7017grt) in 20-44N, 67-52W. Six or seven crew missing and 30 rescued.

_____

 

Swedish steamer THYRA (1796grt) was sunk on a mine near 54.B Buoy, Yarmouth. Crew of 24, with all rescued.

_____

 

Lt Cdr A H Terry DSC, command unknown and Acting Surgeon Cdr T . Stevenson OBE, MB, BCH, formerly of SULTAN II, were lost on the 28th (posted April 1946).

_____

 

Destroyers ARROW and HOTSPUR, which departed Alexandria for the Eastern Fleet on the 23rd, arrived at Aden.

_____

 

Convoy SC.72 departed Halifax 28 February, escorts:

 

 

joined

departed

28th

destroyers Caldwell, Lauderdale, corvettes Sackville, Sherbrooke, minesweeper Thunder

 

3rd

minesweeper Georgian

 

4th

 

Georgian

5th

 

Sackville

6th

 

Lauderdale, Thunder

7th

destroyer St Laurent, corvettes Kamsack, Rimouski, Trillium

Caldwell

15th

 

Kamsack

16th

anti-submarine whaler Bodo

Sherbrooke, St Laurent, Rimouski, Trillium

convoy arrived Liverpool 17 March with Bodo

_____

 

Australian Cdr G L Cant, Commanding 21st Minesweeping Flotilla, detached minesweepers BENDIGO and BURNIE, carrying refugees to Tjilatjap. He returned to the Sunda Strait with minesweepers MARYBOROUGH, TOOWOOMBA, BALLARAT and GOULBURN.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.53 sank steamer CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt) in 8-16S, 108-52E. Crew of 115, 21 gunners and one passenger, with three crew lost and six presumed captured. I.53 also sank Dutch steamer PARIGI (1172grt) in 8S, 109E.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 damaged tanker BRITISH JUDGE (6735grt) ten miles south of Princess Island, Sunda Strait, and escorting sloop JUMNA and minesweeper WOOLLONGONG counter-attacked. Oiler WAR SIRDAR, also with this convoy, was bombed and set afire. She was beached on Agenielien Island, northwest of Batavia in 5-31S, 106-36E, and declared a total loss on 1 March.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.4 sank Dutch steamer BAN HO GUAN (1693grt), which was en route from Padang to Tjilatjap, south of Bali.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOMOHON (983grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft off Tjilatjap. Crew of 30 rescued.

 

on to Naval Events, MARCH 1942
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revised 8/4/12
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