1 9 4 1
June Contractors trials
for service with 1st Minelaying Squadron.
completion and commenced Acceptance Trials,
25th During work-up laid dummy minefield off Orkneys for submarine
July Deployed for delivery of mines to Murmansk.
detached service with Home Fleet ships in support of Malta relief operation.
with HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, EDINBURGH and
MANCHESTER , HM Destroyers COSSACK, LIGHTNING, MAORI, NESTOR
SIKH, AVONVALE, ERIDGE and FARNDALE
as escort for military convoy WS9C for
passage to Gibraltar.
destined for Malta detached and became Convoy GM1 (Operation
stores and personnel at Gibraltar for passage to Malta
with HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, EDINBURGH and HERMIONE,
HM Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, NESTOR
(RAN), FEARLESS, FOXHOUND,
FIREDRAKE, ENCOUNTER, ERIDGE and
FARNDALE for escort of convoy through
Sicilian Narrows into Malta as Force X. Cover was provided for passage in
Mediterranean by ships of Force H based at Gibraltar
(Note: For details of passage of
SUBSTANCE Convoy and subsequent similar Malta relief
see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman. THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by C Barnett
and the Naval Staff History.)
23rd Under air attacks with Force X and mercantiles.
(Note: : HMS
MANCHESTER and HMS FEARLESS were hit by torpedoes.
HMS FEARLESS had to be sunk by HMS
FORESTER but the cruiser
return to Gibraltar escorted by HMS AVONVALE.)
Force H ships detached and remained
west of Narrows.
stores on arrival in Malta and sailed for return passage to Gibraltar with ships of
arrival at Gibraltar embarked stores including aviation fuel with
transport to Malta.
(Note: Troopship LEINSTER intended to take passage with SUBSTANCE convoy
on departure and not able to continue. Her passengers and
also embarked in HMS ARETHUSA and HMS HERMIONE
in a special
additional relief operation (Operation STYLE.)
from Gibraltar with the two cruisers escorted by HM Destroyers SIKH
LIGHTNING for speedy passage to Malta as Force X. Cover was again provided
by Force H
of Sicilian Narrows with Force X.
submarine TEMBIEN sunk by HMS HERMIONE.
Disembarked stores in Malta and sailed for Gibraltar with Force X ships.
to Gibraltar with ships of Forces H and X.
passage to UK for planned minelaying operations.
for minelay in Mediterranean at Kyle of Lochalsh
(Note: These included adoption of a
disguise to ship so it appeared similar to Vichy
French LEOPARD during the passage
through French coastal waters for a
mine lay off
west coast of Italy. Some sources record that this was the only
when a British warships displayed French colours as part of a
mines at Milford Haven
from Milford Haven for Gibraltar.
19th At Gibraltar to collect orders for MINCEMEAT.
French colours during passage near Balearics and headed for Toulon.
150 mines in Gulf of Genoa
(Note: Diversionary air attacks were
carried out on Sardinia in Cover operation by
Force H. See Naval Staff History.)
passage to Gibraltar with same procedure when in French coastal waters.
at Kyle of Lochalsh after successful operation
for duty with Home Fleet and deployed with HM Cruiser KENYA and HM
Destroyer LIGHTNING for lay of
anti-shipping field off Norwegian coast.
with Squadron on return to Kyle of Lochalsh.
for minelay in English Channel and took passage to embark mines at
out unescorted minelay off Les Heaux (Field HF)
out further unescorted minelay of Le Havre (Field JT)
Returned to Kyle of
Lochalsh on completion.
Nominated for minelaying duty in East
Coast Barrier with HM Fast Minelayer
Field SN16Ain East Coast Barrier off Aberdeen
Field SN16B north of Aberdeen
Field SN16C north of Aberdeen.
for further minelaying operations in English Channel and
Field HF off St Valery sur Somme
with HMS WELSHMAN and carried out lay of Field HG off Lorient without
out lay of Field JX(B)) off St Valery
sur Somme unescorted.
(Note: HMS WELSHMAN laid Field JX(A) concurrently.)
26th Under repair by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.
31st Passage to Kyle of Lochalsh on
completion of repair.
November Nominated for minelay in Northern
Planned lay of Field 7C cancelled and
took passage to Scapa Flow for detached duty
Planned minelay cancelled and
transferred to Channel for minelay in Bay of Biscay.
December Diverted for delivery of stores to
Gibraltar and took passage.
to Milford Haven to embark mines for anti-submarine mine lay in Bay
23rd Carried out lay of Field HJ3 in Bay of Biscay.
On completion took passage to Liverpool.
24th Taken in hand for routine docking at Liverpool.
9 4 2
completion of docking and maintenance too passage to Plymouth to resume
out minelay off Bellisle in perceived path of likely
to be used in the event of
from Brest by the German warships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU
to return to
Germany by passage through English Channel.
Field HL1 off Ile Verges.
Field HL2 off Ile de Bas.
On completion took passage to Milford
Haven to embark mines for further planned
in Bay of Biscay.
passage to carry out minelay of Field HJ5 engaged aircraft attacking convoy
completed lay without interference.
15th Deployed with HMS WELSHMAN and carried out lay of Field HJ7.
18th Laid Field HJ8 independently.
19th Laid Field HJ9 independently.
23rd Took passage from Plymouth to resume Squadron duties at Kyle
March Deployed at Kyle of Lochalsh
Nominated for service in Indian Ocean to relieve HM Fast Minelayer ABDIEL
Eastern Fleet which had been damaged by grounding and was under repair.
April Embarked stores and
personnel for passage to Gibraltar, West Africa and Simons Town.
18th Sailed from Plymouth to join Eastern Fleet.
May Passage in Indian Ocean after intermediate calls.
at Kilindini and joined Eastern Fleet
(Note: Eastern Fleet units were based
at Kilindini after the losses of RN ships in
April when a
Japanese aircraft carrier force attacked Ceylon.
One source records that after call at
Durban on 9th this ship went to Diego
Suarez which had just been captured
during landings in Northern
Madagascar (Operation IRONCLAD)
Nominated for special duty to assess
requirements for storage and supply of mines
for use in Indian Ocean during planned operations.
June Deployed for an extended cruise to Colombo, Trincomalee, Bombay, Addu Atoll,
Calcutta and Vizgapatan
for local discussions and assessment of facilities.
July On arrival at Madras at end of cruise nominated for support of special
Indian Ocean (Operation STAB).
Prepared for escort of Dummy convoy
nominated as Force M to suggest an
landing on the Andaman Islands.
from Madras with HM Corvette ASTER and HM Indian Auxiliary
SONAVATI as escort for four mercantiles during passage in Bay of Bengal
(Note: The mercantiles
were ss TASMANIA, ss HOPERANGE, ss CLAN MCIVER,
YVENSANG and ss CUSTODIAN.)
return passage to Madras.
(Note: This was to imply the
cancellation of landing operations.)
On return nominated for support of
planned landings to complete the occupation of
Vichy French held Madagascar (Operation ESME B.)
Kilindini to join Force M.
3rd Arrived at Kilindini and took part in
Exercise TOUCHDOWN with Force M
preparation for ESME B and main landings at Majunga
(Note: Other Ships in Force M
included HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM, DAUNTLESS
GAMBIA and CARADOC, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM
EREBUS, HM Seaplane Carrier ALBATROSS
(As HQ Ship), HM Destroyers
NAPIER (RAN), NORMAN, NIZAM,
FOXHOUND, HOTSPUR, ARROW,
BLACKMORE. ACTIVE, INCONSTANT, FORTUNE, NEPAL (RAN),
Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN and TJERK
HIDDES, HM Corvette FREESIA,
HM Fleet Minesweepers CROMER,
CROMARTY, ROMNEY, HM Whalers
LURCHER, MASTIFF, SIGFAR
(?) and HM
Auxiliary Netlayer BRITTANY with
twelve mercantiles carrying Assault Force with equipment and
Royal Marines detachment from HMS CARADOC and troops of Pretoria
Highlanders to capture island of Noise Be off NW coast of Madagascar.
to Noise Be.
inside harbour at Heleville, Noise B and carried out
including use of
mortars carried by landing parties prior to landings (Operation ESME B)
(Note: Port was captured with only
to land military force from position in river below Maromandia
on main island
Marines occupied town after surrender of Vichy French troops.
29th Deployed to carry out reconnaissance of Fort Dauphin on southern tip of Madagascar.
Found local authorities friendly.
October Released from STREAM before
final armistice in Madagascar.
For details of Madagascar operations see WAR WITH JAPAN and Naval Staff
Transferred to Mediterranean for minelaying operations.
16th Took passage to join Fleet at Alexandria.
30th Arrived at Port Said after passage in Red Sea.
November Joined Mediterranean Fleet and
deployed at Alexandria.
passage from Alexandria to Malta with stores and personnel escorted by six
destroyers also carrying
stores and personnel.
12th Arrived in Malta.
(Note: First surface ships to arrive
from Egypt for 12 weeks.
13th Embarked and prepared mines for first minelay with great
difficulty because of
passage to Algiers with mines embarked for first lay.
minefield off Cani rocks in Sicilian Channel and
returned to Algiers
(Note: Although an E-Boat was sighted
and passed near ship the lay was completed
passage from Algiers to Gibraltar to collect supply of mines for
Hit by torpedo from U375 off Algiers in position 36.39N 00.15E and sustained serious
Torpedo struck port side causing
flooding of Engine and Gearing Rooms which disabled
caused 12 degree list.
Taken in tow by HM Destroyer
PATHFINDER and escorted by HM Destroyer ESKIMO
under HM Tug
RESTIVE arrived to take over operation.
at Mers-el Kebir, Oran under tow.
emergency repair to allow passage under tow to Gibraltar.
18th Took passage to Gibraltar under tow.
22nd Under repair by HM Dockyard Gibraltar to allow permanent repair in UK shipyard.
9 4 3
January Under repair and docking at Gibraltar
to May Permanent
repair arranged at Hawthorn Leslie shipyard in Newcastle.
June Prepared for Atlantic passage under tow by HM
from Gibraltar under tow as part of Convoy MKS15G
Convoy SL131 with ships of MKS15G for passage to Liverpool
from SL131 on arrival at Liverpool
in Newcastle under tow.
in hand for repair by Hawthorn Leslie
August Under repair
9 4 4
January Under repair
to December Nominated
for service in British Pacific Fleet on completion of work-up
9 4 5
January Under repair
to March. (Special
Note: One source records that ship went to Rosyth for completion of some
recommissioning. This is in doubt and is being further
Revised record will be provided when confirmed.)
April Contractors trials
Nominated for Dummy
Minelay on completion of post refit sea trials.
10th Recommissioned for service in BPF.
Carried out sea
trials including Full Power on measured mile.
Embarked Dummy mines at NIC Quay, Newcastle.
Carried out Dummy minelay and on
completion took passage to Sheerness.
May Leave period and prepared for foreign service.
Passage to Portsmouth
Embarked Mines at Priddy’s Hard for delivery to Royal Australian Navy Mine
Sailed from Portsmouth with stores for Gibraltar and Malta.
June. Worked-up for operational
service in Mediterranean with ships of Mediterranean Fleet.
of Suez Canal
Passage to Australia to join BPF with call at Cocos Islands.
Fremantle on passage
August Passage to Geelong.
(Note: Ships of British Pacific Fleet
which had been under US Navy control were
RN control after VJ Day. For details see OPERATION PACIFIC,
THE FORGOTTEN FLEET
by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
Disembarked mines at RAN Depot and
took passage to Melbourne
Docked at RAN Dockyard, Williamstown
for repairs to propeller shafts
(Note: The repair involved us of
lathes suitable for this type of work which were
available in Williamstown dockyard and completion was delayed by need
to another facility.)
Nominated for support of repatriation
operations and for transport of stores to RN
bases in Pacific.
to Sydney to prepare for transport of repatriated personnel
Passage to Tokyo for first trooping mission with
calls at Manus and Guam.