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

NAVAL EVENTS, JANUARY-DECEMBER 1944 (in outline only)

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Rodney, battleship (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, 1945

 

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:

 

ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES

 


Background Events - January-May 1944

Air war on Germany, Atlantic & Russian convoy battles, Anzio landings ('Shingle'), Indian Ocean operations, Battles of Cassino, Preparations for D-day


 

 

1944

 

†††††††††††

JANUARY

 

Friday, 7 January

 

Frigate TWEED (Lt Cmdr Robert S Miller RNR) was sunk by U.305 SW of Ireland in 48-18N, 21-19W. One rating was killed, Ty/Sub Lt (E) G E Dunell RCNVR, Ty/Sub Lt S M Oates RNVR and seventy five ratings missing, and five ratings died of wounds. Lt A J K Ball RNR (First Lieutenant), Sub Lt T G Briggs RNR, Ty/Sub Lt N R W Dusting RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt (E) G I Loucks RCNVR, Lt Cdr Miller and Ty/M A Wilson RNVR were wounded. (Correction with thanks to Ian Macleod)

 

 

Sunday, 23 January

 

Destroyer JANUS (Lt Cdr W B R Morrison) was sunk by a German aircraft glider bomb off Anzio. Two ratings were killed, and Cdr Morrison, Ty/Act/Sub Lt N Buchanan RNVR, Ty/Lt R C S Glover, RANVR, Lt J J Gresson, Ty/Midshipman G S Mallen RNVR, Sub Lt J F D Marples, Gunner M G Tribe and one hundred and fifty one ratings missing. Destroyer JERVIS picked up 82 survivors, including five officers, and 11 more were rescued by other vessels.

_____

 

Destroyer JERVIS (Captain H P Henderson) was badly damaged by a German aircraft glider bomb off Anzio, but sustained no casualties. She was able to proceed under her own power to Naples accompanied by tug WEASEL and escorted by destroyer GRENVILLE

 

 

Saturday, 29 January

 

Light cruiser SPARTAN (Captain P V McLaughlin) was sunk by German bombing at Anzio. Act/Warrant Engineer J Batty, nine ratings, and four Marines were killed, two ratings died of wounds, and Cdr G W MacN Ambrose, Ty/Sub Lt P F Bicknell RNVR, Lt (E) J D Burke, Warrant Electrician R S Cox, forty four ratings and two Marines missing. Lt D A R M Ramsay was wounded and Seaman D Brindle (a post-war friend of Don Kindell and co-researcher) was among the survivors. Light cruisers DIDO and DELHI departed Anzio on the 30th for Naples with SPARTANís survivors.

 

 

Sunday, 30 January

 

Destroyer HARDY (2) (Captain W G A Robson DSO, DSC), covering convoy JW.56A, was torpedoed by U.278 in 73-40N, 24-30E. Destroyer VENUS took off the crew and scuttled the damaged ship. Thirty three ratings were missing, and two died of wounds.

 

 

Monday, 31 January

 

Minesweeping trawler PINE (Ty/Lt J Hird RNVR) was sunk by a German S-boat of the 5th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla SE of Beachy Head. Ten ratings were missing. Lt Hird and Ty/Sub Lt T M Colins RNVR were wounded.

 

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

 

Monday, 7 February

 

Midget submarine X.22 was sunk in a collision with submarine SYRTIS, which had turned to rescue a man washed overboard in heavy seas. Lt B M McFarlane RANVR, Lt W J Marsden RANVR, ERA C Ludbrook and Able Seaman J Pretty were lost.

 

 

Friday, 18 February

 

Light cruiser PENELOPE (Captain G D Belben DSC, AM) was sunk by a U.410 off Anzio. Captain Belben, Ty/Act/Lt L A Tulk RNVR and twelve ratings were killed, and Lt (E) M G B Carter, Ty/Gunner (T) L C Chambers, Ty/Sub Lt C R Coltart RNVR, Cdr (E) D W H Coughlin, Lt H T Crispin, Ty/Schoolmaster J T Dickson, Ty/Act/Sub Lt E E Draper RNVR, Ty/Lt (E) F R Finigan, Ty/Act/Sub Lt J A Hewitt RNVR, Warrant Shipwright W C Holman DSC, Act/Surgeon Lt Cdr B F Jackson RNVR, Act/Paymaster Sub Lt M A Lee, Ty/Surgeon Lt H C Llewellyn RNVR, Ty/Paymaster Lt N J Lock RNVR, Lt P L Marrian RNR, Py/Ty/Chaplain Reverend P A Munby RNVR, Lt (E) P G Openshaw, Warrant Engineer L G Porter, Lt J P Rathbone DSC, Ty/Paymaster Lt R McI Robertson RNVR, Ty/Act/Lt S A Skinner RNVR, Warrant Mechanician F R Vaile, Commander the Hon. J M G Waldegrave DSC, three hundred and fifty six ratings, and twenty four Marines missing. Ty/Sub Lt D Ellis RNVR and Ty/Act/Sub Lt A G H Smith RNVR were wounded. Two hundred and six survivors were rescued by LST.165 and LST.430.

 

 

Sunday, 20 February

 

Destroyer WARWICK (Cdr D A Rayner DSC RNVR) was sunk by U.413 off north Cornwall in 50-27N, 5-23W. Five ratings were killed and Ty/Lt E J W Parson RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt D L Sandes RNVR, Sub Lt E P G Whinney and fifty eight ratings missing. The survivors were picked up by a British trawler and taken to Padstow.

 

 

Friday, 25 February

 

Destroyer MAHRATTA (Lt Cdr E A F Drought DSC), escorting convoy JW.57, was sunk by U.990 in 71-12N, 13-30E. Ty/Midshipman W M Barclay RNVR, Ty/Lt K R Bowley RNVR, Lt J Catchpole, Lt A J Davidson, Ty/Lt A Hesketh-Smith RNVR, Act/Lt (E) W J McCullagh DSC, Ty/Surgeon Lt F M McRae RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt B C Maccoy RNR, Gunner (T) A R Talboys, Gunner W N Wright and two hundred and eight ratings were missing. One rating died of wounds after rescue. Including the rating who died, 17 crew were rescued by destroyer IMPULSIVE.

 

 

MARCH

 

Tuesday, 1 March

 

Frigate GOULD was sunk by U.358 in the North Atlantic. Lt D W Ungoed and Lt J R A Stickland RNVR were lost.

 

 

Thursday, 16 March

 

Submarine STONEHENGE (Lt D S McN Verschoyle-Campbell DSC) was lost, probably on a mine between the 2nd and 16th in the northern part of the Malacca Straits. Lt Verschoyle-Campbell, Ty/Lt P G M Clayton RNVR, Sub Lt R F Drake, Ty/Sub Lt R E N Howes RNR, Lt P F J Radwell, Warrant Engineer A B Uren and forty four ratings were lost.

 

 

Monday, 20 March

 

Submarine P.715 (formerly GRAPH, formerly German U.110) was wrecked on the Island of Islay while in tow.

 

 

Saturday, 25 March

 

Destroyer INGLEFIELD (Act/Cdr C F H Churchill DSC) was sunk by a German glider bomb off Anzio in 41-26N, 12-38E. Thirty five ratings were killed, and 157 crew rescued.

 

 

Tuesday, 28 March

 

Submarine SYRTIS (Lt M H Jupp DSC) was lost in the Bodo area, probably to mining. Lt Jupp, Ty/Lt J M Ainslie RNVR, Temporry Lt D A Fryson RNVR, Warrant Engineer D H Lynch, Lt F E Spratt and forty three ratings were lost.

 

 

Thursday, 30 March

 

Destroyer LAFOREY (Captain H T Armstrong DSO, DSC) departed Naples on the 29th to join destroyers TUMULT, TUSCAN, ULSTER, URCHIN, BLENCATHRA and HAMBELDON searching for a submarine NE of Palermo. LAFOREY was sunk in 38-54N, 14-18E by U.223 which was in turn sunk by TUMULT, HAMBLEDON and BLENCATHRA. Lt G A R Malet RNR, Lt G W Smith and six ratings were killed in LAFOREY, and Captain Armstrong, Ty/Lt R G Addis DSC RNVR, Ty/Lt F J Boyer RCNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt G N Davison RNVR, Ty/Lt W D P Gath RNVR, Lt A C McCulloch DSC, Ty/Lt G L Ticehurst RNVR, Ty/Paymaster Lt G C S Whitcroft RNVR and one hundred and sixty six ratings were missing. The survivors were picked up by TUMULT and TUSCAN.

 

 

APRIL

 

Saturday, 29 April

 

Canadian destroyer ATHABASKAN (Lt Cdr J H Stubbs RCN), covering minelaying operation HOSTILE 26, was sunk by German torpedo boat T.24 off St Brieux in 48-29N, 4-09W. Sub Lt (E) R I L Annett RCNVR, Lt (sp) J D Mahoney RCNVR, Sub Lt R A Nash RCN, Lt Cdr J H Stubbs RCN and thirty eight ratings were killed and later buried in France. Paymaster Lt T L Brandson RCNVR, Lt (E) T D Izard RCN, Lt R M Lawrence RCN, Gunner (T) H F Sigston RCN, Lt (E) E O Stockman RCNVR, Lt (sp) L Ward, RNCVR and eighty ratings were missing. Act/Lt J W Scott RCNVR and forty three ratings were rescued by Canadian destroyer HAIDA. Meanwhile Lt W Clark RCNVR, Surgeon Lt J G Fyfe RCNVR, Lt R B Hayward RCN, Lt Cdr D Lantier RCNVR, Lt R H Stevenson RCNVR and seventy nine ratings, one dying of wounds shortly after arrival in port, were picked up by the German ships and made prisoners of war - 47 by T.24 and the rest by two minesweepers of the 24th Minesweeper Flotilla.

 

 

 

MAY

 

Sunday, 7 May

 

Canadian frigate VALLEYFIELD (Lt Cdr D T English RCNR, SO Escort Group with Cdr J Byron DSC RNR (ret) aboard), which had been detached from convoy ONM.234 for St John's, was sunk by U.548 southeast of Cape Race. Cdr Byron, Lt Cdr English, Lt J C Flath RCNVR, Act/Ty/Paymaster Lt Cdr G A Maclachlan RCNVR, Sub Lt I P MacLaren RCNVR, Sub Lt S C Mason RCNVR, Lt W G Ridout RCNVR, Sub Lt L J Sanger RCNVR, Lt (E) J E Storey RCNVR, Paymaster Lt K R Sutton, Sub Lt (E) J C Watson RCNVR and one hundred and twelve ratings, including five RN ratings were lost. Also lost was Surgeon Lt C E Irvine RCNVR of HMCS HALIFAX, was was temporarily on board. Lt F C Reynolds RCNVR and four ratings died after being rescued by corvette GIFFARD. Ty/Lt J H Warren RCNVR, Ty/Lt C I P Tate RCNVR and thirty six ratings, including one RN, survived.

 

 


Background Events - June-August 1944
Invasion of Normandy ('Overlord'),Capture of Rome,  V-1's on England, Saipan landings & Battle of Philippines Sea, Attacks on 'Tirpitz', S of France landings ('Dragoon')


 

JUNE

 

Tuesday, 6 June

 

NORMANDY INVASION

 

Norwegian destroyer SVENNER (Lt Cdr T Holthe RNorN) was sunk by German torpedo boats T.28, MOEWE, JAGUAR, and FALKE off Normandy. Thirty two Norwegian crew and two British liaison crew were killed, and the survivors picked up by destroyer SWIFT

 

 

Thursday, 8 June

 

Netlayer MINSTER (Act/Lt Cdr W Jackson RNR) was sunk by a mine in Seine Bay. Two ratings were killed, one died of wounds, and Ty/Lt (E) J Catto RNR, Ty/Lt E H Crump RNR, Ty/Boatswain E C Hearn and fifty one ratings were missing. Ty/Lt F G Creswell RNVR, was wounded.

 

 

Tuesday, 13 June

 

Destroyer BOADICEA (Lt Cdr F W Hawkins), escorting a convoy to Normandy, was sunk by German aerial torpedoes off Portland Bill. Cdr Hawkins, Lt E Hoyes, Act/Lt (E) F J Schroder, Ty/Sub Lt K Robinson RNR, Ty/Sub Lt E R Barker RNVR, Ty/Lt J S Cartwright RNZNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J A Rennie RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) L Featherstone RNVR, Ty/Surgeon Lt W H C Donald MB, ChB RNVR and one hundred and sixty one ratings were lost. Twelve survivors were rescued.

 

 

Friday, 16 June

 

Submarine SICKLE (Lt J R Drummond DSO, DSC) was lost, probably on a minefield in the Kithera Channel around this date. A surviving rating had been rescued earlier on the 4th when he was blown overboard during an action with German auxiliary patrol vessels GA.76 and GA.91. Lt Drummond, Lt A D Sinclair DSC, Ty/Warrant Engineer G Francis, Ty/Lt P D Goodman RNVR, Ty/Lt P B Jakeman RNVR, Ty/Lt V P Walker RNVR and the entire crew of forty two ratings on board were lost.

 

JULY

 

Thursday, 6 July

 

Frigate TROLLOPE was badly damaged by German motor torpedo boat off Cap d'Antifier. Lt Cdr H Westacott, Lt F R G Battersby, Ty/Sub Lt J E Auvache RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt T J Brasier RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt A J Michie RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt D H Montgomery RNVR and fifty seven ratings were lost. TROLLOPE was not repaired.

 

 

Thursday, 20 July

 

Destroyer ISIS (Lt Cdr H D Durrell) was sunk on a mine off Normandy in 49-27N, 00-41W. Ty/Sub Lt H V F Woram RNVR and four ratings were killed, twenty four ratings died of wounds, and Cdr Durrell, Ty/Lt L M D Apperley DSC RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt E R Bailey RNVR, Ty/Gunner (T) J H Burfitt, Ty/Lt (E) D G Drakeford, Ty/Surgeon Lt C J S Green RNVR, Midshipman J G Nicholson, Ty/Sub Lt J Roberson RNVR, Midshipman E M H Ryland, Lt F H Seymour and one hundred and fifteen ratings were missing.

 

 

 

AUGUST

 

Thursday, 3 August

 

Destroyer QUORN (Lt I Hall) was sunk by a German explosive boat off the Normandy beaches. Sub Lt G G Guy, Lt (E) J R Dight, Ty/Lt L M D Apperley DSC RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt H G Sumner RNVR and one hundred and twenty six ratings were lost.

 

Naval trawler GAIRSAY (Act/Ty/Lt Cdr C H Homer-Lindsay RNR) was sunk by a German explosive boat off the Normandy beaches. Ty/Lt J P Russell RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt C R Weaver RNVR and Ty/Sub Lt G H Buckley RNVR were lost.

 

 

Tuesday, 8 August

 

Canadian corvette REGINA (Lt J W Radford RCNR), escorting convoy EBC.66, was sunk off Trevose Head by U.667. Lt C H Swalm and twenty nine ratings were lost, and 66 survivors rescued by LCT.644 and trawler JACQUES MORGAND

 

 

Monday, 21 August

 

Canadian corvette ALBERNI (Act/Lt Cdr I H Bell RCNVR) was sunk by U.480 southeast of the Isle of Wight in 50-09N, 00-41W. Ty/Sub Lt H C Fulton RCNVR, Act/Ty/Lt M S Grant RCNVR, Act/Ty/Lt J P Hamilton RCNVR, Surgeon Lt H M Henderson RCNVR and fifty five ratings were lost. Three officers and 28 ratings were rescued by MTB.469 and MTB.470.

 

 

Tuesday, 22 August

 

Minesweeper LOYALTY (Lt Cdr J E Maltby RD RNR) was sunk by U.480 southeast of the Isle of Wight in 50-09N, 00-41W. Cdr Maltby and three ratings were killed, sixteen ratings missing.

_____

 

Frigate BICKERTON (Cdr D G F W MacIntyre DSO) was severely damaged by U.354 in the Barents Sea, and scuttled by destroyer VIGILANT. Four ratings were killed, and Ty/Sub Lt J H Jarman RNVR and thirty three ratings missing.

 

 

Sunday, 27 August

 

Minesweepers BRITOMART, HUSSAR, SALAMANDER and JASON of the 1st Minesweeping Flotilla were sweeping mines off Le Havre to allow battleship WARSPITE and monitors EREBUS and ROBERTS to move near Le Havre for bombardment. Minesweeping trawlers COLSAY and LORD ASHFIELD were performing dan buoy duties. The minesweepers were attacked in error by allied aircraft off Cap d'Antifer

 

HUSSAR (Lt J R Nash MBE) was badly damaged. Lt R A N Cox DSC RNR, Ty/Lt H Roberts RNVR and six ratings were killed and Ty/Lt (E) N M Beeching RNR and forty six ratings missing. Lt Nash, Ty/Sub Lt R A A Gross RNVR, Ty/Sub Lt A H Hodson RNVR and Ty/Sub Lt T Pickup RNVR were wounded, and survivors picked up by trawler COLSAY

 

BRITOMART (Lt Cdr A J Galvin DSC RNR) was badly damaged. Cdr Galvin, Ty/Sub Lt K M Ware RNVR and twelve ratings were killed. Lt Cdr H Johnson OBE RNR was wounded. Trawler LORD ASHFIELD, which had sustained six casualties of her own, picked up the BRITOMART survivors.

 

Both HUSSAR and BRITOMART were scuttled by destroyer PYTCHLEY which arrived on the scene to assist in the rescue of survivors.

 

SALAMANDER (Lt Cdr H G King RNVR) was badly damaged, and taken in tow by JASON to Arromanches. She was later towed by tug DESTINY to West Hartlepool and declared a constructive total loss.

 

JASON (Cdr T Crick DSC) was strafed with two ratings killed and five wounded, but repaired at Portsmouth from 9 to 25 September.

 

A total of seventy eight officers and ratings were killed and one hundred and forty nine crew wounded.

 

 


Background Events - September-December 1944
Western Allies cross into Germany, U-boat's British Inshore campaign, V.2's hit London, Russians reach Eastern Europe, Battles of Leyte Gulf


 

SEPTEMBER

 

OCTOBER

 

Wednesday, 25 October

 

Canadian destroyer SKEENA (Lt Cdr P F X Russell) was lost when she dragged anchor in a storm and was wrecked on Videy Island, near Reykjavik. Fifteen ratings were drowned attempting to reach shore.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

Wednesday, 1 November

 

Frigate WHITAKER (Lt G P W Edwards) was torpedoed by U.483 off Malin Head in 55-30N, 7-39W, the explosion detonating the forward magazine and blowing away everything forward of the bridge. All officers, Lt Edwards, Lt J Jackson, Ty/Lt (E) J A Low RNR, Ty/Lt W W Ricketts RNVR, Ty/Act/Lt J A Schwarz RCNVR, Ty/Act/Lt L J MacLachlan RCNVR, Ty/Sub Lt J A Forrest RNVR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt M G Clark RNVR and eighty four ratings were lost. She was towed to Londonderry, then on to Belfast, but found to be a total loss.

 

 

Wednesday, 22 November

 

Submarine STRATEGEM (Lt C R Pelly DSC) was sunk by Japanese surface craft near Malacca.

Lt Pelly, Lt B Benz, Lt F W L Winterbottom, Warrant Engineer F S Rayner, Ty/Sub Lt C E Prentice RNVR and forty ratings were lost. Lt D C Douglas and seven ratings were rescued and taken to Singapore, but only Douglas and two ratings survived captivity as Japanese prisoners of war. The fate of the other five is not known, but it is speculated that they were executed.

 

 

Saturday, 25 November

 

Corvette SHAWINIGAN (Lt W J Jones RCNR), on independent patrol, was sunk by U.1228 in Cabot Strait. There were no survivors, with Lt W J Jones RCNR, Ty/Lt W E Callan RCNVR, Ty/Lt D F French RCNVR, Ty/Lt J C Lawrence RCNVR, Ty/Sub Lt H F Baird RCNVR, Sub Lt D J Morrow RCNVR, Ty/Act/Warrant Engineer D B McNeil and eighty three ratings lost.

 

 

 

DECEMBER

 

Thursday, 14 December

 

Destroyer ALDENHAM (Cdr J G Farrant) was sunk by a mine in the Adriatic 45 miles SE of Pola. Four ratings were killed, one died of wounds, and Ty/Lt W D H Amy RNR, Ty/Lt (E) J N Campling MBE, Ty/Sub Lt A W Little SANF (V), Ty/Surgeon Lt L McLachlan RNVR, Ty/Lt A Watson RNVR and one hundred and eleven ratings were missing. Five officers and 58 ratings were picked up by destroyer ATHERSTONE

 

 

Sunday, 24 December

 

Canadian minesweeper CLAYOQUOT (Act/Lt Cdr A C Campbell RCNVR), escorting convoy XB.139, was sunk by U.806 near Halifax three miles from the Sambro Light Vessel. Lt W J Munro RCNR, Ty/Lt P W Finlay RCNVR, Ty/Sub Lt A W Colbeck RCNVR, Lt (E) W J Neill and four ratings were lost. Seventy three survivors were rescued.

 

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revised 8/4/12
further editing is required


 

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