1 9 4 1
June Contractors trials.
20th Commissioned for service as HMS EMPIRE
AUDACITY for service in Western
for convoy defence.
July Acceptance and first of Class trials in Clyde area.
10th Carried out first deck landing by MARTLET
aircraft of 802 Squadron.
31st Renamed HMS AUDACITY. See
August Trials including flying operations in continuation.
Embarked MARTLET aircraft and personnel 804 Squadron.
Western Approaches Command for convoy defence on UK-Gibraltar Route.
13th Deployed with HM Sloop DEPTFORD, HM
Corvettes PENTSTEMON, MARIGOLD,
ARBUTUS and another corvette of 36th Escort Group as
escort for outward
Convoy OG74. during passage
details of defence of Atlantic convoys see THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by
MacIntyre, U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and HITLER'S U-BOAT
WAR by C Blair.)
19th Under attacks by
U124 and U201 during which a three mercantiles was
aircraft launched after daylight and drove off attacks by KONDOR aircraft,
20th one of which was
details see HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair, ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM
and 1945 by A Hague and BRITISH VESSELS LOST AT SEA 1939-45 (HMSO)
Rescue ship WALMER CASTLE was also sunk by an air attack.)
27th Arrived at Gibraltar with OG74.
(Note: Three other of the 22 ships in this convoy were sunk
2nd Sailed from
inward Convoy HG74 as part of escort to provide air cover
during passage to
18th Detached on arrival of HG75 in
29th Deployed with escort of outward Convoy
OG76 to provide air cover during passage from
11th Detached from OG76 on arrival at
(Note: Provided air cover for 10
days and the embarked destroyed two FW200
aircraft attempting attacks on
convoy and escort.)
await approval for sailing with Convoy HG76 to
provide anti-submarine air patrols
and defence against enemy air reconnaissance during
(Note: Known presence of assembly
of U-Boats to attack this convoy had delayed
until an adequate escort could be
provided to ensure safe passage.)
BATTLE OF THE
ATLANTIC by D
14th Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Sloops STORK and
DEPTFORD, HM Corvettes
PENTSTEMON, MARIGOLD, JONQUIL, CONVOLVULUS,
and VETCH of augmented 36th Escort Group as escort for return
(Note: HMS BLANKNEY and HMS EXMOOR from Gibraltar Local
Flotilla were attached
with HM Destroyer STANLEY to provide additional protection
for HG76 known to be
subject to threat of heavy U-Boat attacks.
departure of HG76 was not accurately reported by the agents in Algeciras
because of poor visibility when convoy sailed. See HITLER’S
Vol 1 by C
aircraft sighted U-Boat on the surface and carried out depth charge attack
after nightfall. See above reference.)
15th U-Boat Group SEERAUBER assembled for
attacks on HG76 with KONDOR support.
17th U131 sighted by MARTLET aircraft from
subsequently dived but, was located and attacked by escort..
surfacing U131 was sunk by gunfire from HMS STORK, HMS BLANKNEY,
HMS EXMOOR and HMS STANLEY in
position 34.12N 13.35W. 35 of submarine crew
(Note: MARTLET aircraft from ship was shot down by U131.
18th U434 sunk by Depth Charges from HMS
STANLEY and HMS BLANKNEY in position
36.15N 15.48W and
survivors from U434 were rescued.
aircraft were driven off.
19th After sinking of HMS STANLEY by torpedo
from U574, submarine was rammed and sunk
by HMS STORK. 20 survivors rescued but five were killed when
HMS DEPTFORD collided
with stem of HMS STORK.
(Note: 28 British survivors from HMS STANLEY were also
KONDOR aircraft were destroyed.
mercantile was sunk by U108
21st Two KONDOR
aircraft driven off by ships' MARTLETs.
Detached from convoy at nightfall in view of likely U-Boat attacks.
aft by one torpedo fired by U571. Ship steering disabled but maintained way.
(Note: Ship construction was well able to withstand this
single hit which did
cause structural damage and enough flooding in engine room
for ship to settle
by the stem. Some of ships company
made second attack firing salvo of torpedoes. These hit the ship, one of them
aviation fuel storage tanks and caused massive explosion
forward. Ship then sank quickly
with survivors left in the sea for some hours as rescue work
was only possible after escorts
returned from attacks on U-Boats still in the area for
further attacks on HG76 ships.
survivors had been in the water for over four hours. (Casualty
mercantile was sunk by U567
(Note: Details of the defence of HG76 are in the above
operations established without doubt that the presence of an Escort-Aircraft
was an essential element for defence of any convoy.
General Information and THE BRITISH AIRCRAFT CARRIER by Paul Beaver.
and ROYAL NAVY ESCORT AIRCRAFT CARRIERS by D Hobbs.)