Naval History Homepage and Site Search

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

NAVAL EVENTS, JANUARY-DECEMBER 1943 (in outline only)

HMCS Ontario, light cruiser (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge

on to Naval Events, 1944


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 can be found in:




Background Events - November 1942-January 1943

Landings in French North Africa ('Torch'), Final battles for Guadalcanal & Stalingrad, 'Cockleshell heroes', Battle of Barents Sea









Friday, 1 January  


Submarine P.311 (Cdr R D Cayley DSO), carrying Chariots 10 and 18 for Operation PRINCIPAL departed Malta on 28 December for Maddalena. She was probably mined in the Straits of Bonifacio, but there is also the possibility she was sunk by Italian torpedo boat PARTENOPE on the 29th. Cdr Cayley, Lt R H S Silver, Lt C Buckley RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt I N Macrae RNR, Lt (E) J H Gordon, the fifty six ratings of the crew, Lt C E Bonnell DSC RCNVR, Ty/Lt G Stretton-Smith RNVR, Ty/Act/Lt J Sargent RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt G G Goss RNVR, 2nd Lt J Kerr Highland Light Infantry and five ratings of the Chariot personnel were lost.



Sunday, 3 January


In Operation PRINCIPAL, submarines TROOPER (with Chariots 16, 19, and 23) and THUNDERBOLT (with 15 and 22) launched all five Chariots against Palermo. They then withdrew, leaving submarine P.46 to pick up the crews. The fates of the Chariots follow:


Chariot 16 (Sub Lt R G Dove RNVR and Leading Seaman J Freel) mined liner VIMINALE (8500grt) which was badly damaged.


Chariot 19 (Ty/Lt H F Cook RNVR and Able Seaman Worthy). Lt Cook was drowned when his suit was torn getting through the boom defense nets, but AB Worthy drove the Chariot ashore and blew it up prior to being captured.


Chariot 23 (Sub Lt H L H Stevens RNVR and Leading Seaman Carter) had to abandon the attack due to mechanical failure and her crew was picked up by P.46.


Chariot 15 (Ty/Petty Officer J M Miln and Able Seaman W Simpson) was lost with due to unknown causes prior to entering harbour. AB Simpson was lost, but PO Miln survived.


Chariot 22 (Lt R T G Greenland RNVR and Leading Signalman A Ferrier), was able to mine new light cruiser ULPIO TRAIANO, which was sunk. Mines were also fixed to destroyer GRECALE and corvettes CICLONE and GAMMA, but were removed before exploding.


The crews of Chariot 16 and 22 were also captured.



Thursday, 7 January


Anti-submarine trawler JURA (545 tons, Ty/Lt E Havercroft RNR) was sunk by U.371 in the Western Mediterranean. Ty/Sub Lt R S Carter RNVR was killed, and Lt Havercroft, Ty/Sub Lt J Crawshaw RNVR and fourteen ratings were missing.



Anti-submarine trawler HORATIO (545 tons, Ty/Lt C A Lemkey RNR) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.58 in the Western Mediterranean off the Algerian coast.



Tuesday, 12 January


Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON JACINTH (356 tons, Skipper R W Denny RNR) was mined off Portsmouth.



Friday, 15 January


Destroyer ROXBOROUGH (Lt Cdr A C Price), escorting convoy HX 222, was badly damaged by heavy seas that stove in her bridge. Cdr Price was killed in his sea cabin, and the first lieutenant, Lt G Osborne RNVR, died of his injuries ten hours later. One rating was missing.  Lt G M Greenwood RCNVR, who had been aft, was able to regain control of the ship, which was proceeded to St Johns, NF. She was later repaired at Charlestown, SC and returned to duty on 15 April.



Monday, 18 January


A further Chariot attempt, Operation WELCOME, was made against Tripoli on the night of the 18th/19th from THUNDERBOLT.  Two Chariots were launched, but Chariot 12 developed defects soon after launching and landed at about 0330 west of Tripoli where it was destroyed by her crew,  Lt G Larkin RNVR and PO Berey.  Chariot 13 was also lost, after entering the harbour, and her crew of Sub Lt H L H Stevens RNVR and CERA S Buxton were taken prisoner.




Sunday, 31 January


Corvette SAMPHIRE (Lt Cdr F T Renny DSC, RD RNR) was sunk by Italian submarine PLATINO in the Western Mediterranean in 37-07N, 5-32E. Cdr Renny, Ty/Sub Lt G C Abbott RNVR, Ty/Lt R J Murray RNVR and forty two ratings were missing.




Background Events - February-May 1943

Battles for Tunis & North Africa, Battle of Atlantic peaks, U-boats withdraw, 'Dambusters' raid'







Monday, 1 February  


Cruiser minelayer WELSHMAN (Captain W H D Friedberger DSC), on passage from Malta to Alexandria, was sunk by U.617 off Crete in 32-12N, 24-52E. Destroyers BELVOIR and TETCOTT were dispatched to assist, but she sank before a tow could be passed. Cdr F J C Allen (ret), Sub Lt P B Edwards, Ty/Lt (E) A Mackenzie, Paymaster Lt B K Freedman, Ty/Gunner (T) L F G Cook, Ty/Lt J C Cherry RNVR, Ty/Lt E E Davis RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt J B Houghton MRCS, LRCP RNVR, Ty/Paymaster Lt B W Holman RNVR and one hundred and forty three ratings were lost.



Friday, 5 February


Naval trawler STRONSAY (Ty/Lt A F W Boumphrey RNVR) was sunk on a mine in the Western Mediterranean. There were no casualties.



Saturday, 6 February


Canadian corvette LOUISBURG (Lt Cdr W F Campbell RCNVR) was sunk by Italian aircraft off Oran. Cdr Campbell, Lt E Wilson, thirty five Canadian ratings and five RN were lost. Three officers and 47 ratings were rescued by destroyer LOOKOUT.



Sunday, 7 February


Minesweeping trawler TERVANI (409 tons, Act/Skipper F G Blockwell RNR) was sunk by Italian submarine ACCIAIO off Algeria. Skipper Blockwell, Ty/Skipper J H Noble RNR and twenty ratings were missing.



Monday, 8 February


Anti-submarine trawler BREDON (750 tons, Ty/Lt J R Fradgley RNVR) was sunk by a German submarine in the North Atlantic. Lt Fradgley, Ty/Sub Lt P J Good RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt F P W Neve RNVR and forty ratings were missing.



Tuesday, 9 February


Corvette ERICA (Ty/Lt A C C Seligman RNR) was sunk on a mine off Benghazi. A number of ratings were lost. All the officers and 71 ratings were rescued by anti-submarine whaler SOUTHERN MAID.



Monday, 22 February


Canadian corvette WEYBURN (Lt Cdr T M Golby RCNR) was sunk on a mine, four miles east of Cape Spartel in 35-46N, 6-02W, her depth charges exploding as she sank. Cdr Golby, Ty/Sub Lt W Bark RCNVR, six Canadian ratings and one RN were lost. Destroyer WIVERN alongside was badly damaged by the explosion of the depth charges. However, she picked up 27 survivors, while 41 more plus 15 of her own wounded were rescued by sloop BLACK SWAN. WIVERN was taken in tow by BLACK SWAN, and required seventeen months to repair.



Wednesday, 24 February


Submarine VANDAL (Lt J S Bridger) was lost in an accident in the Firth of Clyde. Lt Bridger, Lt J M B Portman, Ty/Lt M V Ebel GM RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J H Hickley RNVR and the entire crew of thirty three ratings were lost.



Norwegian submarine UREDD was lost about this time. Sub Lt E Conde RNVR and two communications ratings were lost with the Norwegian crew.



Saturday, 27 February


Submarine TIGRIS (Lt Cdr G R Colvin) was sunk by German anti-submarine vessel UJ.2210 south of Naples. Cdr Colvin, Sub Lt T R Crawley-Boevey, Lt R M P Eaton, Lt (E) G S Nicholson RNR, Lt A R Sabbe - St Leger, Lt R G Sampson DSC and fifty seven ratings were lost.



German S.65, S.68, S.81 and S.85 of the 5th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla attacked convoy WP.300 in Lyme Bay. Steamer MODAVIA (4858grt), LCT.381, and trawlers HARSTAD and LORD HAILSHAM (Ty/Lt P H G Clark RNVR) were sunk. LORD HAILSHAM lost nine ratings killed and nine missing.







Thursday, 11 March  


Destroyer HARVESTER damaged U.444 by depth charges and ramming in the North Atlantic in 51-38N, 29-18W, but in the ramming, her port engine was put out of action. French corvette ACONIT joined and finished off the submarine at 0135. Four German survivors were picked up by ACONIT and one by HARVESTER (Cdr A A Tait DSO), which was then sunk by U.432 at midday in 51-23N, 28-40W. ACONIT again returned to the scene, sank U.432 and rescued several survivors from the destroyer. One rating was killed, and Cdr Tait, Ty/Surgeon Lt W R B Dickinson RNVR, Lt W G Edwards, Ty/Lt A Johnson RNVR, Ty/Act/Gunner (T) G H Padgham, Cdr C G Thompson OBE, Ty/Sub Lt R H Thorne RNVR, Ty/Midshipman G P Tulitt RNR, Lt T S Winton RNVR and one hundred and thirty five ratings were missing.



Friday, 12 March


Light cruisers AURORA, SIRIUS with destroyers LIGHTNING and LOYAL were operating off Bizerte when LIGHTNING (Cdr H G Walters DSC) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.55 north of Bizerte in 37-53N, 9-50E. Four ratings were killed, one died of wounds, and Ty/Sub Lt D W Callow RNZNVR, Lt J P S Cundell and eighteen ratings were missing. Eight ratings were wounded, and LOYAL rescued 170 survivors.



Sunday, 14 March


Submarine THUNDERBOLT (Lt C B Crouch DSO) was sunk by Italian corvette CICOGNA off Cape Milazzo, Sicily. Lt Crouch, Lt G P Horlick, Lt R P Webb, Lt J Edgar, Lt E P Maw RNVR, Lt (E) D A M Woodcock and fifty six ratings were lost.



Minesweeping trawler MORAVIA (Ty/Skipper Lt H R Pook RNR) was sunk on a mine in the North Sea.



Tuesday, 23 March


Submarine TURBULENT (Cdr J W Linton DSO, DSC) was declared lost after failing to return after a patrol off Sardinia. It is not known how she was lost, but most probably mined after 14 March off eastern Corsica. Cdr Linton, Lt A O Baker, Lt J P Blake DSC, Lt (E) C F E Chartres, Lt B C W Clements DSC, Sub Lt J M Lawson and sixty one ratings were lost. Linton was awarded the Victoria Cross on 25 May 1943.



Saturday, 27 March


Escort aircraft carrier DASHER (Captain L A K Boswell DSO) was sunk by a petrol explosion five miles south of Cumbrae Island. Lt Cdr P H Havers, Lt R C B Stallard-Renoyre of 826 Squadron, Sub Lt O T Johnston, Schoolmaster J N Cuthbert, MA, Lt K W Davies RNR, Ty/Lt F E Price RNR, Ty/Lt Cdr (E) J W Scotchmoor RNR, Ty/Act/Lt Cdr (E) W L Allan RNR, Ty/Sub Lt (E) T J A Moore RNR, Ty/Paymaster Sub Lt N L P Monks RNR, Ty/Lt J Hughes RNVR, Ty/Act/Lt J S Wrathall RNVR, Ty/Lt (A) A D Richardson NZRNVR of 891 Squadron, Ty/Sub Lt (A) J R Walker RNVR, of 826 Squadron, Ty/Sub Lt (A) M J Banister RNVR of 837 Squadron, Ty/Sub Lt W K Lockwood RNVR of 837 Squadron, Ty/Sub Lt (A) R Paden RNVR of 826 Squadron, Ty/Lt (E) A H Lincoln RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt (E) F E J Barker RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt (E) H A Hough RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) T V Buxton RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt W P Haughie RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) A Cameron RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt R Hutchinson RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt W A Swan RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt F Tetlow RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt T P Storey DSC RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt (sp) J R Langley RNVR and three hundred and fifty ratings were lost in the aircraft carrier. One hundred and forty nine survivors, including the commanding officer, were rescued, but burning petrol on the sea hampered rescue efforts.







Sunday, 11 April  


Destroyer BEVERLEY (Lt Cdr R A Price), escorting convoy ON.176, was damaged in a collision with steamer CAIRNRONA in the North Atlantic on the 9th. In this damaged stage, she was sunk by U.188 in 52-19N, 40-28W. Cdr Price, Lt J Bolster, Lt A MacC Collie RNVR, Ty/Lt (E) D F Ford, Ty/Lt M G S Harston RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt P A Rees RNVR, Lt D H Revill DSC RNR, Ty/Sub Lt G L Routledge RNVR, Act/Gunner (T) E H Stribley and one hundred and thirty nine ratings were missing in the loss of the ship. Only four crew were rescued.



Tuesday, 13 April


Norwegian destroyer ESKDALE, escorting convoy PW.323 with destroyer GLAISDALE, was damaged by German motor torpedo boat S.90 and later sunk by S.112 off the Lizard Head. Twenty five crew were lost, but 105 rescued.



Wednesday, 14 April


Armed patrol trawler ADONIS (644 tons, former Norwegian NORDHAV I, later AVALON, Ty/Skipper H Draper RNR) was sunk off Lowestoft by German S-boats of the 4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla. Skipper Draper was killed and Ty/Skipper C White RNR wounded.



Friday, 16 April


Destroyer PAKENHAM (Cdr B Jones DSC) was badly damaged off Sicily by gunfire from Italian torpedo boats CASSIOPEA and CIGNO. Nine ratings were killed, and one died of wounds. Destroyer PALADIN in company took her in tow, but attacks by enemy aircraft made the passage unsafe and PALADIN scuttled her.



Sunday, 18 April


Submarine REGENT (Lt W N R Knox DSC) was sunk, probably on a mine, in the Straits of Otranto. Lt Knox, Act/Warrant Engineer R B Baker, Lt J W S Culham, Sub Lt R R Fernie, Lt P R J Gibson, Warrant Engineer E J C Pratt, Ty/Lt R J Sutton RNVR and fifty six ratings were lost. Three bodies were washed ashore in May.



Submarine P.615 (Lt G W St C Lambert), escorted by motor minesweeper MMS.107, was sunk by U.123 in 6-49N, 13-09W. Lt Lambert, Lt A F Davies, Sub Lt H H Weeks RNR, Ty/Lt D Burnell RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt D E Nicholl RNVR and the entire crew of thirty eight ratings were lost.



Wednesday, 21 April


Submarine SPLENDID (Lt I L M McGeoch) was sunk by German destroyer HERMES (captured Greek destroyer VASILEFS GEORGIOS I) SSE of Capri. Eighteen crew members were lost. Twenty seven crew, including Lt McGeoch, Ty/Lt R G Balkwill RNVR, Lt G G Hardy RNVR and Ty/Lt (E) D W Laidlaw, were rescued and made prisoners of war.



Saturday, 24 April


Submarine SAHIB (Lt J H Bromage DSO, DSC) scuttled herself after being damaged by Italian corvettes GABBIANO, EUTERPE, and CLIMENE off Cape Milazzo. One rating was lost. Lt Bromage, Ty/Sub Lt N T O Berry RNR, Lt A N Brookes, Sub Lt R G Carr, Lt L E Peyton Jones DSO, DSC, Warrant Engineer D J Thomas DSC and forty one ratings were captured and made prisoners of war.







Sunday, 30 May


Submarine UNTAMED (Lt G M Noll) was lost when she failed to surface during exercises with anti-submarine yacht SHEMARA off Campbeltown. Lt Noll, Lt J P Duncan, Sub Lt P C G Ackworth, Ty/Sub Lt G T C Higgins RNVR, Sub Lt P L Clavton and the thirty one ratings of the crew were lost. She was salved and served as VITALITY.



Monday, 31 May


While training in midget submarine X.7 in Loch Striven, Sub Lt D H Locke RNVR was killed in a diving accident.




Background Events - June-September 1943

Invasion of Sicily ('Husky'), Battle of Kursk, Italy surrenders, Salerno landings ('Avalanche'), U-boat packs return to Atlantic, X-craft attack 'Tirpitz'






Friday, 11 June  


Australian corvette WALLAROO (Ty/Lt E S Ross, RANR (S)) was sunk in collision with American steamer GILBERT COSTIN off Fremantle. Two ratings were killed and one missing. She was abandoned after seven hours following attempts to get her in to port. An American aircraft located the survivors and directed an Australian warship to the scene.











Thursday, 5 August  


German motor torpedo boats S.39, S.74, S.80, S.94, S.89, S.86, and S.83 of the 2nd and 6th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotillas carried out a raid in the Harwich area. Minesweeping trawler RED GAUNTLET (Lt J N Childs RNVR) was sunk by S.86 near Harwich. One rating was killed, Lt Childs and nineteen ratings were missing.



Friday, 6 August


Submarine PARTHIAN (Lt C A Pardoe RNR) was lost in the South Adriatic, most probably to mining. She was due to arrive at Beirut on the 11th. Lt Pardoe, Lt M A Von Bergen, Ty/Sub Lt J F Goodwin RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J T R Walker RNVR and sixty one ratings were lost.



Saturday, 14 August


Submarine SARACEN (Lt M G R Lumby DSO, DSC) was sunk by Italian corvettes MINERVA and EUTERPE off Bastia, Corsica. One rating was killed and three missing. MINERVA picked up two officers and 24 ratings, EUTERPE three officers and 17 ratings. Lt Lumby, Ty/Lt N F Carrington RNVR, Ty/Act/Warrant Engineer H S Chown, Lt J H W Craven, Act/Sub Lt R C Elliott RNR and 39 ratings were rescued and made prisoners of war. Eleven ratings escaped when Italy surrendered in September before the prisoners were taken over by German troops. Sub Lt Elliott "died on war service" on 8 May 1944, Stoker W Holt as a prisoner of war, and Leading Stoker T H Barber was killed in an RAF air raid on 13 September 1943.



Friday, 27 August


Sloop EGRET (Act/Cdr John V Waterhouse) was sunk by German glider bomb attack 30 miles west of Vigo in the Bay of Biscay in 42-10N, 9-22W. Ty/Lt C S Cahill RNVR, Ty/Gunner E W Carter, Warrant Engineer R W Hailes, Ty/Sub Lt P D Harthorn RNVR, Lt P A S Lane, Lt J B Mason and one hundred and eighty eight ratings were missing. Capt Godfrey N Brewer (also on board) and Ty/Sub Lt T B Brotheridge RNVR were wounded. (Correction with thanks to Ian Macleod)


Canadian destroyer ATHABASKAN in company was badly damaged in another glider bomb attack with two ratings killed and one rating dying of wounds. Including the latter, there were fifteen wounded, including Lt Cdr D Lantier and Sub Lt J A Brebner. However, she still picked up Cdr Farquahar, four officers and thirty ratings from EGRET. ATHABASKAN was met by escort destroyers GOATHLAND, LIMBOURNE and TANATSIDE off the Scilly Islands, arrived at Devonport on the 30th, and repairs were completed there on 6 December.







Monday, 6 September  


Destroyer PUCKERIDGE (Lt J C Cartwright DSC), en route from Gibraltar to Oran, was sunk by U.617 40 miles east of Europa Point. Sixty two ratings were lost. Nine officers and 120 ratings were rescued.



Friday, 10 September




Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL (Captain D Orr Ewing), carrying 400 troops, and which had departed Bizerte on the 8th with US light cruiser BOISE, was sunk when she struck a contact mine at Taranto in 40-29N, 17-15E. Ty/Act/Lt Cdr (E) A H Brown, Act/Paymaster Lt Cdr R H Alington, Paymaster Sub Lt M Booth, Ty/Gunner (T) J G Barnacle DSC, Ty/Surgeon Lt N A Terwillegar MD RCNVR, Lt D M Dent RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt A J Plant RNVR, forty one ratings, and one hundred and one troops of the 6th Parachute Battalion were lost. Six ratings and 120 troops were wounded.



In fighting at Salerno following the landings on the 9th, Act/Ty/Captain R M Stott RM, Ty/Lt T S Hawkard RM and Ty/Lt D C Lloyd RM of 41 Commando Royal Marines, were lost.



Saturday, 11 September




Submarines THRASHER (Lt A R Hezlet DSC) towed X.5 (Lt H Henty-Creer), TRUCULENT (Lt R L Alexander DSO) towed X.6 (Lt D Cameron RNR), STUBBORN (Lt A A Duff) towed X.7 (Lt B C G Place DSC), SEA NYMPH (Lt J P H Oakley DSC) towed X.8 (Lt B M McFarlane, RAN), SYRTIS (Lt M H Jupp DSC) towed X.9 (Lt T L Martin) and SCEPTRE (Lt I S McIntosh MBE, DSC) towed X.10 (Lt K R Hudspeth, RANVR).


Operation SOURCE was the attack on capital German warships in Norway.  The operation was split into three plans – (1) operation FUNNEL, attack on the target in Altenfjord, (2) Operation EMPIRE, attack on the Narvik area, and (3) Operation FORCED, attack on the Trondheim area, so the attack could be directed against the enemy in whichever area he might be located.


The submarines for Operation FUNNEL departed Loch Cairnbawn on the 11th, less SCEPTRE, which with the shortest trip left at 1300/12th. X.5, X.6 and X.7 were to attack battleship TIRPITZ, X.8 heavy cruiser LUTZOW, and X.9 and X.10 battlecruiser SCHARNHORST.


X.9 (passage commanding officer Sub Lt E Kearon RNVR) was lost en route on the 16th with Sub Lt Kearon, Ordinary Seaman A H Harte and Stoker G H Hollett in the vessel


X.8 was scuttled en route on the 18th, following damage caused when she jettisoned her explosive charges to correct trim. The passage crew was taken aboard her towing submarine SEA NYMPH


This only left X.5, X.6, X.7 and X.10 to launch their attacks on the 20th.


X.5 was sunk before reaching TIRPITZ. Lt H Hentry-Creer RNVR, Sub Lt A D Malcolm RNVR, Sub Lt T J Nelson RNVR and ERA R J Mortiboys were lost.


X.6 and X.7 were able to mine TIRPITZ, but were lost shortly after. X.6's crew of four, Sub Lt D Cameron, Sub Lt J T Lorimer RNVR Sub Lt R H Kendall RNVR,and ERA4 E Goddard was made prisoners and taken aboard TIRPITZ. X.7's crew of Lt B C G Place DSC and Sub Lt R Aitken RNVR were also made prisoners and taken aboard TIRPITZ, but Sub Lt L B Whittam RNVR and ERA4 W M Whitley were lost.


X.10 returned safely to submarine STUBBORN having been unable to locate SCHARNHORST, then at sea exercising. The crew, Lt K R Hudspeth RANVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt G G Harding RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt B E Enzer RNVR and ERA4 L R Tilley turned her over to the passage crew, but X.10 was scuttled in heavy weather on 3 October.



Monday, 20 September




Frigate LAGAN, escorting convoy ON.202, was torpedoed by U.260 in 57-09N, 27-28W using the new Gnat acoustic torpedoes. She was towed back to the UK by tug DESTINY, arriving on the 24th, but declared a constructive total loss.


Canadian destroyer ST CROIX (Lt Cdr A H Dobson RCNR), escorting ON.202, was torpedoed by U.305 in 57-30N, 31-10W, and an hour later, torpedoed a second time by U.305 and sunk. The commanding officer, four officers and and 76 ratings were rescued by frigate ITCHEN, but when she was sunk, only one rating was saved from the crew of ST CROIX. In total, ST CROIX lost Cdr Dobson, Lt R T N Porter, Act/Ty/Lt Cdr P F M De Freitas RCNR, Lt P S Major RCNVR, Ty/Lt C A Ross RCNVR, Ty/Lt J F Gallagher RCNVR, Ty/Lt G B Wright RCNVR, Ty/Sub Lt W L Page RCNVR, Surgeon Lt W L M King RCNVR, Ty/Lt (E) D Ridge RCNVR and one hundred and thirty seven ratings.


Corvette POLYANTHUS (Ty/Lt J G Aitken RNR), also escorting ON 202, was ordered to join ITCHEN searching for the submarine responsible for sinking ST CROIX and also to rescue survivors. She never reached ITCHEN, and was sunk by U.952 in 57-00N, 31-10W. Lt Aitken, Ty/Act/Sub Lt P J Atkins RNVR, Ty/Lt H Bradshaw RNR, Ty/Lt J R Harridge RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt G M Ponman RNVR, Ty/Lt G H Shepard RNVR, Ty/Lt H Whitehead RNVR and seventy eight ratings were missing. The only survivor, Sub Lt F J Young RNVR, was rescued by ITCHEN.



Wednesday, 22 September




Frigate ITCHEN (Act/Cdr C E Bridgman DSO RNR), escorting ON.202,was sunk by U.666 in 53-25N, 39-42W. Cdr Bridgman, Ty/Lt C T A S Archbold RCNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt P H Colver RNVR, Ty/Lt F K Cook RNVR, Sub Lt E A Griffin RNR, Ty/Lt W A Johnston RCNVR, Ty/Warrant Engineer E T A Jolliffe DSM, Ty/Act/Sub Lt L F McSwine RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt D S Manning RNVR, Lt S Peoples RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt T M Radcliffe RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt W T L Rylance RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt A D R White RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt F J Young RNVR and one hundred and thirty six ratings were missing from ITCHEN. The only survivors from all three ships were one from ITCHEN, and Stoker W Fisher from ST CROIX and Sub Lt Young from POLYANTHUS, both picked up by American steamer JAMES SMITH (7181grt).



Armed patrol drifter OCEAN RETRIEVER (Act/Chief Skipper W A Capps DSC RNR) was sunk on a mine in the Thames Estuary. Skipper Capps and ten ratings were lost.



Saturday, 25 September


German S-boats of the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotillas laid 120 mines off Harwich and Ordforness in Operation PROBESTUCK. During the operation, minesweeping trawler FRANC TIREUR (Act/Ty/Lt Cdr L R Greenwood RNVR) was sunk by S.96 off Harwich. Ty/Lt W H Boyd RNVR and fourteen ratings were missing. Off the Sunk Light Vessel, S.96 was rammed by ML.150 and ML.145 and abandoned, two German officers and eleven ratings being picked up by ML.145 and made prisoners. Three MLs were damaged in the engagement, and ML.145 and ML.150 returned to port with one officer and one rating wounded.


Patrol sloop PUFFIN and destroyer PYTCHLEY engaged other German motor torpedo boats and claimed to have hit two of them. Minesweeping trawler STELLA RIGEL rammed and sank trawler DONNA NOOK during another engagement with the Germans, but the entire crew was rescued.



Sunday, 26 September




Destroyer INTREPID (Cdr C A de W Kitcat) was sunk by German bombing at Port Laki, Leros. Midshipman J D B Deedes, Midshipman D Le M Granet and three ratings were killed, Gunner (T) C E Creasy and one rating died of wounds, and eight ratings were missing. Cdr Kitcat was wounded. Greek destroyer QUEEN OLGA (Lt Cdr G Blessas DSO RHN) was sunk in the same attack. Six officers and sixty four ratings were killed. Motor launches ML.356, ML.836 and ML.354 rescued survivors from both ships.



Background Events - October-December 1943

British Aegean campaign, Battle for Italy, Battles for New Guinea & Solomons, US landings on Tarawa, 'Scharnhorst' sunk in Battle of North Cape, Burma campaign






Sunday, 3 October  


Submarine USURPER (Lt D R O Mott DSC) was lost in the northern part of the Gulf of Genoa, probably by mining after this date. She failed to arrive at Algiers on the 12th. Lt Mott, Ty/Act/Sub Lt J D S Anderson RNVR, Sub Lt P A S Frost, Act/Lt S L Jordon, Lt J H Worth and forty one ratings were lost.



Minesweeping trawler MEROR (Ty/Skipper H J May RNR) was sunk by a mine in the Humber area.



Friday, 8 October


Polish destroyer ORKAN, escorting convoy SC.143, was sunk by U.378 in 56-30N, 26-26W



9 October, Saturday


Destroyer PANTHER (Lt Cdr, the Viscount Jocelyn) was sunk by German air attack in Scarpanto Strait. Lt Cdr (E) K H Bloomer, Ty/Gunner (T) H W Jones, Ty/Lt A V Stubbs RNVR and thirty three ratings were missing.



Sunday, 17 October


Submarine TROOPER (Lt J S Wraith DSO, DSC) was lost on patrol east of Leros, probably to mining. She had departed Beirut on 26 September and was due back on this date. Lt Wraith, Lt A W Anderson, Lt L A S Grant, Lt (E) O F Lancaster DSC, Ty/Sub Lt H G Sumner RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J S Ryder, RANVR and fifty seven ratings were lost.



Thursday, 21 October


Canadian minesweeper CHEDABUCTO (Ty/Lt J H B Davies RCNR) was sunk in a collision with cable ship LORD KELVIN near St Simeon in the St Lawrence River. Lt (E) D W Tuke RCNVR was lost. The rest of the crew of 71 were saved uninjured.



Friday, 22 October




Escort destroyer HURWORTH was carrying out a diversion with Greek sister ship ADRIAS off the east coast of Kaymnos, while destroyers JERVIS and PATHFINDER landed supplies and personnel at Leros.


ADRIAS was mined, her forecastle blown off, and she was beached at Gumushuk on the Turkish coast in 37-02N, 27-06E. Twenty one of her crew killed and 21 wounded. On 1 December, she was able to proceed on her own power to Castelorizo, arriving on the 3rd, and from there, proceeded under her own power, accompanied by tug BRIGAND and escorted by destroyers JERVIS and PENN. Arriving at Alexandria on the 6th, was declared a constructive total loss and not repaired.


Still on the 22 October, destroyer HURWORTH (Cdr R H Wright DSC, D.22), going to the assistance of ADRIAS, was sunk on a mine east of Kaymnos, Dodecanese in 36-59N, 27-06E. Lt R A Morgan, Gunner V H Threadkell, Lt A R G Pearce RNVR, Ty/Lt L F Scholfield RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt E A Stocks RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt R McF Kirkpatrick RNVR and a number of ratings were lost. Eighty five survivors, including Cdr Wright, were rescued and taken to Budrun, Turkey.



Saturday, 23 October




Light cruiser CHARYBDIS with destroyers GRENVILLE, ROCKET, LIMBOURNE, WENSLEYDALE, TALYBONT and STEVENSON, departed Plymouth on the 22nd to intercept blockade runner MUNSTERLAND in the Bay of Biscay. Early on the 23rd, they were engaged by a force of German torpedo boats T.23, T.22, T.25, T.26, and T.27 of the 4th Torpedo Boat Flotilla.


Cruiser CHARYBDIS (Captain G A W Voelcker) was sunk T.23 and T.27. Captain Voelcker, Ty/Act/Lt Cdr C G Gwynn RNVR, Cdr (E) J D Hamilton, Ty/Chaplain Reverend W H Mitchell RNVR, Ty/Paymaster Sub Lt L G Turner RNVR, fifty three ratings, and six Marines were killed, and Ty/Lt F B Bennett RNVR, Lt J C Carver, Act/Surgeon Lt Cdr H de L N Davis RNVR, Paymaster Cdr A C Dickson, Lt P F Duke, Ty/Act/Warrant Electrician S J K G Elliott, Ty/Sub Lt S E Fisher RNVR, Lt (E) G L Giles, Gunner A J Hollingdale, Surgeon Cdr H de B Kempthorne, Ty/Sub Lt J M Leventhorpe, Lt (E) I D Leverett, Ty/Act/Paymaster Sub Lt J W Little RNVR, Act/Warrant Mechanic T Livesey, Schoolmaster F H Lowndes DSC, Lt O A Moseley RNR, Ty/Paymaster Lt P E Oates RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt J A Owen RNVR, Lt (E) P G Pedrick, Lt (E) J M Phillips, Ty/Act/Sub Lt J Pounds RNVR, Warrant Shipwright H J Rees, Gunner W T R Wilden, Ty/Act/Gunner (T) M J Williams, three hundred and thirty seven ratings, and thirty five Marines missing. Four officers and 103 ratings were rescued.


Destroyer LIMBOURNE (Act/Cdr W J Phipps OBE) was badly damaged by T.22, and after an unsuccessful attempt to tow, was scuttled by TALYBONT. Three ratings died of wounds, and Surgeon Lt R F Barlow and thirty eight ratings were missing. Cdr Phipps, Ty/Lt P L Berridge RNVR, Lt D V B Unwin and Ty/Lt J H Wilton RNVR were wounded, and 11 officers and 92 ratings rescued.



Sunday, 24 October




Destroyer ECLIPSE (Cdr E Mack DSC) was sunk on a mine in the Aegean in 37-02N, 27-08E. Four ratings were killed, and Commodore (D) P Todd CBE, DSO, Commodore, Levant Destroyer Flotillas, Py/Ty/Surgeon Lt P S Cuthberton RNVR, Commissioned Engineer J W Heavyside DSC, Ty/Lt D B Symons RCNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt A C Towers RNVR, one hundred and nine ratings, eight Army officers and one hundred thirty four other ranks were missing. Cdr Mack and Lt R Durnford were wounded. Destroyer PETARD picked up three officers, including Mack, 29 ratings and about ten soldiers, while ML.337, another motor launch and an RAF rescue launch three more officers, thirty nine ratings, two Army officers and twenty one ranks.



Monday, 25 October


Minesweeping trawler WILLIAM STEPHEN (Ty/Skipper S Salenius RNR) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.74 off Cromer. In return, motor gunboats MGB.607 and MGB.603 sank S.63 and S.88.







Saturday, 13 November  




Destroyer DULVERTON (Cdr S A Buss MVO, D.5) was sunk by German bombing off Kos. Cdr Buss, Sub Lt M H Agnew, Ty/Surgeon Lt A D Bone DSC, MB, BS, MMRCS, LRCP RNVR and seventy five ratings were lost. Six officers and 103 men were rescued by destroyers BELVOIR and ECHO



Friday, 19 November


Destroyer QUILLIAM was damaged by shore gunfire. Paymaster Lt R H Sharps was killed.



Submarine SIMOON (Lt G D N Milner) was sunk in the Dardanelles Approach, probably on a mine. Lt Milner, Lt B M Garbett, Warrant Engineer L F C Balson, Ty/Sub Lt C M Cross RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt L F Jones RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt T S Shanks RNVR and the entire crew of forty two ratings were lost.



Monday, 22 November


Minesweeper HEBE (Lt A L Gulvin) was sunk on a mine off Bari. Three ratings died of wounds, and Ty/Sub Lt J Hendrie RNVR and thirty three ratings were missing. Seventy two crew were rescued, half of them wounded.







Wednesday, 8 December  


Naval trawler RYSA (Ty/Act/Lt Cdr J H Cooper RNVR) was sunk on a mine off Maddalena. Ty/Lt W H Bailey RNVR and three ratings were killed, and Cdr Cooper and fourteen ratings missing. Ty/Sub Lt W G P Brown RNVR was wounded.



Sunday, 12 December




Escort destroyer TYNEDALE (Lt Cdr J J S Yorke DSC), escorting convoy KMS.34,was sunk by U.593 in 37-10N, 6-05E. Ty/Sub Lt J M Butler RNVR was killed, one rating died of wounds, and Sub Lt D Binney, Ty/Lt J W Congreve RNVR, Lt A S Corbould, Ty/Lt (E) H J Haygarth, Ty/Surgeon Lt P G Jeffries RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt S R Sothcott RNVR and sixty five ratings were missing. The survivors were rescued by corvette HYDERABAD and rescue tug HENGIST


During a long hunt for U.593, escort destroyer HOLCOMBE (Lt F M Graves), escorting convoy KMS 34, was also sunk off Bougie in 37-20N, 05-30E by the U-boat. Warrant Engineer H Maunder and ten ratings died of wounds, Lt K H West, Ty/Sub Lt E A Palmer RNVR and seventy one ratings were missing. There were 80 survivors, including Lt Graves, Ty/Surgeon Lt J G Bulstrode RNVR, Ty/Act/Gunner J Burnett, Lt T Cumming, Ty/Sub Lt M T Holmes RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J G Struthers RNVR who were wounded, and one officer who was not.



Saturday, 18 December


French submarine PROTÉE was lost off Toulon. Sub Lt (Sp) A N DeWael RNVR and two communications ratings were lost with the French crew.



Saturday, 25 December


Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON BERYL (Ty/Sub Lt A W J Baker RNVR) was sunk on a mine north of Ireland. Sub Lt Baker, Ty/Sub Lt R B Harris RNVR and twenty six ratings were missing.



Sunday, 26 December




German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST was sunk off North Cape. In the attack, destroyer SAUMAREZ (Lt Cdr E W Walmsley DSC) was damaged. Sub Lt S J Thorpe and ten ratings killed. Eleven ratings were wounded.



Friday, 31 December


Minesweeper CLACTON (Act/Lt Cdr L S Shaw RNR) was sunk on a mine off Corsica. Py/Ty/Surgeon Lt M C Cross RNVR, Ty/Lt J M Foley RNVR, Ty/Lt H J Paveley RNVR and thirty ratings were missing. Cdr Shaw was wounded.


on to Naval Events, 1944
or back to RN Day-by-Day Homepage

revised 8/4/12
further editing is required