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ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES of WORLD WAR 2 - ADM 199/427

 

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND - 1 March to 30 September 1940

 

Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMS Dainty (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

on to Home Fleet Destroyers, April-December 1942

 

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WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-14th MARCH 1940

ADM199/376

Home Fleet Destroyers, March 1940

SECRET

Subject.. Home Fleet Destroyer Command, War Diary Number 1 - 1st - 14th March 1940

From:            Rear Admiral (D) Home Fleet, H.M.S. WOOLWICH

Date:            3rd April 1940.                     No. 327/H.D. 00571A

To:               SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the accompanying the War Diary Number I, in which I have included a preface containing a short summary of the work of the Destroyer Command during the first six months of the war.

                                                                         (signed)  R.H.C. HALLIFAX

                                                                         RearAdmiral

 

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND

(from 3 .9.39 to 29.2.40)

CONSTITUTION OF THE DESTROYER COMMAND

          On the outbreak of hostilities only two destroyer flotillas, the Sixth and Eighth, were allocated to the Home Fleet.  The Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, which was at that time still incomplete,had already proceeded to its war station at Dover on 25th August 1939; it was subsequently allocated to the Humber force.

          2. The K class destroyers who were to have formed the Third Flotilla and relieve the I class in the Mediterranean were ordered to form the Fifth Flotilla and join the Home Fleet as they completed.  The first ships joined in October 1939.

          3. The Third and Fourth Flotillas ( I and Tribals classes) returned from the Mediterranean and after service  in the Western Approaches and on East Coast Convoy duties, respectively,  joined the Home Fleet in October/November. Four ships of the Third Flotilla were withdrawn to join the 20th (Minelaying) Flotilla.

          Four ships of the D class (DUNCAN, DARING, DIANA, and DELIGHT also joined the command at the end of the year.

          4. The command was further increased early in 1940 by the arrival from the South Atlantic Station of the Second Flotilla( H class), and on 29th February consisted of WOOLWICH and 49 destroyers (six flotillas).

ADMINISTRATION

          5. Until early December the flag of Rear Admiral (D) continued to fly in AURORA. As the command grew it was found increasingly difficult to administer the many units concerned from a seagoing cruiser which was continually required for convoy and other duties entailing lengthy periods at sea.  Despite every effort to cut paper work to a minimum it was found impossible to cope with it during the short periods in harbour; moreover the necessity for maintaining W/T silence at sea resulted in Rear Admiral (D) losing touch with the destroyer situation.  It was according decided to seek permission for his flag to be transferred to some more suitable ship and the opportunity of AURORA s refit was taken to do so.

          6. The flag was transferred to TITANIA on 6th December and to WOOLWICH on her arrival in Northern Waters on 19th December.  Thence forward administration became noticeably easier and Rear Admiral (D) was able to keep himself more closely in touch with the situation and the ships of his command.

EIGHTEENTH CRUISER SQUADRON

          7. The Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron was placed under the orders of Rear Admiral (D) from 30th August to 11th November 1939. During this period the squadron consisted at various times of AURORA (Flag of Rear Admiral (D)), SHEFFIELD, NEWCASTLE, EDINBURGH, BELFAST, NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, BERWICK, CUMBERLAND, and CURLEW.

EMPLOYMENT OF THE DESTROYER COMMAND

          8. During the period under review destroyers were employed chiefly in A/S operations, screening and escorting duties.  Two submarines are known to have been sunk by Home Fleet destroyers (U.27 and U.39) and there were several possible kills and promising attacks.

          An A/S patrol of the Fair Island Channel was maintained by Home Fleet destroyers whilst sufficient were available and whilst Scapa Flow was being used as the main Fleet base.

          One convoy was successfully brought home from Narvik and the regular Scandinavian convoys were commenced in October, the close escorts being provided by Home Fleet destroyers.

          9. On the first day of the war, the German S.S. HANNAH BOGE was taken in prize by H.M.S. SOMALI and successfully brought in by a prize crew from that ship.

          10. H.M.S. SPEARFISH and H.M.S. TRIAD both of whom had been partially disabled in the North Sea, the former by enemy action, were successfully escorted back into Home Waters by Home Fleet destroyers.

ACTION AGAINST THE ENEMY

          11. No ships of the destroyer command were in action against enemy surface forces during the period reviewed.  AURORA and destroyers were attacked by hostile aircraft in the North Sea on two occasions, suffering damage in neither occasion.  At least one enemy aircraft was thought to have been brought down during the second attack and another damaged.

DEFECTS, BREAKDOWNS, ETC.

          12. The number of destroyers available of those allocated to the Home Fleet was considerably reduced though out the whole of the period through defects, breakdowns, and refits. Only two casualties were sustained, KELLY being mined in December and DARING lost through enemy action in February.

          The whole of the Eighth Flotilla was refitted during the first 4 months of the war and opportunity was taken of the necessity to dock ships of other flotillas to make good defects, etc., to refit them at the same time.

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

          13. H.M.S. GREENWICH was already berthed at Scapa on the outbreak of war. She had on board repair parties for two destroyer flotillas, but no repair stores there was considerable delay in obtaining these.

          14. Boiler cleaning parties for two flotillas arrived in GREENWICH on 31st August 1939, and by 3rd October, all Home Fleet destroyers of the Sixth and Eighth Flotillas had received a quick clean of 48 hours.  A five day boiler cleaning routine commenced on 4th October 1939.

          15. The office of Squadron Engineer Officer (D) and the boiler cleaning parties transferred to Rosyth on 7th November, and with the cooperation of the Mechanical Training Establishment and Dockyard of that port, boiler cleaning and running repairs were undertaken there, GREENWICH carrying out emergency repairs at Scapa.

          On 19th December, Squadron Engineer Officer (D) and his parties transferred to WOOLWICH at Greenock, and boiler cleaning was then organized alongside that ship in James Watt Dock, the combined boiler cleaning parties now being sufficient for five flotillas.

          16. During the first six months of the war, torpedo and electrical maintenance requirements have been exceptionally heavy because of the large amount of sea in time in bad weather. It has often been impossible to carry out routines on torpedoes at the specified intervals but, owing to the lack of opportunity for practice torpedo firing, it has not been found possible to determine what effect this has had on their running.

          17. A large number of depth charges has been expended and some failures have been reported, but the number is not considered excessive considering the many sources of supply, and the lack of time for testing pistols on board after receipt.

          18. Electrical maintenance of the complicated equipment of the modern destroyer has been difficult and has been accentuated by the shortage of Electrical Artificers.  There has been a large number of dynamo failures.

LACK OF WEAPON TRAINING

          19. Owing to the service on which Home Fleet destroyers have been employed and the change of bases from which they have operated, there has been little opportunity of weapon training. Gunnery practices and training in torpedo control and firing has in particular been seriously lacking.  The lack of a modern torpedo attack teacher in either depot ships or at fleet bases has been a severe handicap.

          20. No British submarines were available for training in Asdic operating during the first five months.  Efficiency  undoubtedly suffered thereby as it was not possible to measure the accuracy of depth charge attacks, and rarely possible to inform operators whether their contacts were U boats or wrecks.  An asdic attack teacher became available with the arrival of WOOLWICH, and an additional teacher if being built at Scapa.  The latter had suffered delay in completion owing to the non arrival of components.

COMMUNICATIONS

          21. The substitution of cypher code for plain language in all messages made by W/T imposed considerable strain oncyphering and coding staffs and on communication personnel, especially as the volume of W/T traffic also increased. Coxswains, writers, and supply ratings were used in destroyers to supplement both the Cyphering and coding staffs.

          22. Constant V/S and W/T watch was maintained both at sea and in harbour. In spite of the resulting periods of watchkeeping, there have been remarkably few failures of either personnel or material.

          23. In December, harbour W/T exercises were reinstituted with the object of affording operators the practice in transmitting which rigid W/T silence had been denied them.

 

Friday, 1st March 1940

FORTUNE and PUNJABI, on passage to the Clyde, investigated a submarine sighting  in position 254 degrees Ailsa Craig 7 miles, but found nothing. British S.S. CLAN MACNAUGHTON had reported sighting a periscope in this position during the afternoon.

Saturday, 2nd March 1940

TARTAR (Senior Officer), with PUNJABI, FORTUNE, and FOXHOUND, sailed from the Clyde at 0800 escorting S.S. QUEEN ELIZABETH, bound New York, until clear of the submarine zone.

Captain (D) V in KELLY, with KANDAHAR, FAULKNOR (Captain (D) VIII), FAME, FORESTER, and SIKH sailed from the Clyde at 1600 as screen for HOOD (Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron) and VALIANT.  Force to proceed to support northern patrols and cover Norwegian convoys.

FURY and KINGSTON proceeded to patrol during dark hours on a line 090 degrees from Pladda Islandin case a U boat reported in 55-48N, 6-45W at 1300 was bound to the Clyde to minelay. Patrol was maintained until 1000, Sunday 3rd March 1940, without result.

Sunday, 3rd March 1940

At 1130, FORESTER, screening HOOD and VALIANT, depth charged a contact in position 58-27N, 5-46W(The Minches) that had every indication of being a U boat, and with FAME, carried out eight attacks.  Small patches of oil and bubbles were seen, the former persisting for 48 hours whenFORESTER left to vicinity to rejoin.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOSTILE, and VIMY, arrived at Clyde during the afternoon escortingREPULSE.  VIMY sailed for Liverpool on arrival.

KHARTOUM and KINGSTON left the Clyde during the afternoon to make good defects at Falmouth.

Norwegian convoy O.N. 17 sailed from Methil at 1700 with close escort of DELIGHT (Senior Officer),DIANA, NUBIAN, GURKHA, and ILEX.

At 2138, KELLY, screening HOOD and VALIANT, attacked an asdic contact in position 61-06N, 3-58W (S.E. ofthe Faroes). The contact may have been a U boat, but in a freshening gale, KELLY was unable to hold it and  rejoined HOOD.  There was no visible result to the attack.

Monday, 4th March 1940

FORTUNE and FOXHOUND escorted Fleet Tender C from Belfast to the Clyde.

FIREDRAKE, KIMBERLEY, and ACASTA arrived at the Clyde at 1230 escorting RENOWN. ACASTA sailed for Plymouth after refueling.

At 1903, KINGSTON and KHARTOUM depth charged a contact which was probably a wreck in position50-31.2N, 5-24.4W.

Tuesday, 5th March 1940

WOOLWICH (Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet), unbasined from the James Watt Dock, Greenock, andanchored at the Tail of the Bank. TARTAR came alongside to boiler clean and KIMBERLEY to shift Asdic domeby divers.

MOHAWK proceeded to Troon to repair collision damage sustained on Saturday, 2nd March 1940.  Work undertaken by Ailsa Shipyard Company.

Wednesday, 6th March 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with IMOGEN arrived at the Clyde at 0630 after dispersing thewestbound portion of Norwegian convoy H.N. 16 at Cape Wrath.

FURY left the Clyde at 1600 for Milford Haven to discharge fuel, and for Newport (Mon.) to refit.  At 0034, 7th March 1940, FURY depth charged a stationary object which was probably a wreck, in position53-48N, 5-06W.

Thursday, 7th March 1940

Captain (D) V in KELLY, with KANDAHAR, FAULKNOR (Captain (D) VIII), FAME, FORESTER, and SIKH, screeningHOOD and VALIANT, arrived at Scapa.

Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY, with REPULSE and RENOWN, left the Clyde at 1600 for Scapa viathe Minches, screened by HARDY (Captain (D) II), HOSTILE, INGLEFIELD (Captain (D) III), IMOGEN, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE, PUNJABI, and KIMBERLEY.

Norwegian Convoy O.N. 18 left Methil at 1700.  Close escort COSSACK (Captain (D) IV), ENCOUNTER, ECLIPSE, ESCORT, and ELECTRA.

At 1710, FAME and SIKH joined INTREPID, GRIFFIN, BUTTERMERE, and WASTWATER attacking a U boat contact,already sighted, bombed, and probably damaged by aircraft in position 58-20N, 2-40W.  The target was stationary and depth charge attacks gave further oil. It was probably a U boat already damaged and probably destroyed by bombs and depth charges.

Friday, 8th March 1940

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR with FORESTER sailed from Scapa to rendezvous with Commander in Chief,Home Fleet, off Cape Wrath.

Captain (D) C in KELLY sailed from Scapa to escort the Kirkwall contingent to join Convoy O.N. 18, andto take over senior officer of the close escort from Captain (D) IV in COSSACK.

SIKH and FAME met Convoy O.N. 18 at 1300 to escort four ships in to Scapa.

Saturday, 9th March 1940

KELLY (Captain (D) V) with convoy O.N. 18, was in collision at 0520 with GURKHA, escorting Convoy H.N. 17,the two convoys having met during dark hours.  KELLY, holed at No. 9 Station, proceeded to Lerwick for shelter.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK took over senior officer close escort of Convoy H.N.17, escorting eastboundportion with GURKHA, NUBIAN, and ILEX.  DELIGHT and DIANA escorting westbound portion to Cape Wrath.

KANDAHAR sailed from Scapa at 0745 for Hull for repairs by Messrs. Amos and Smith to structural damage inpetrol tank compartment.

Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY, with REPULSE and RENOWN, and a screen of eight destroyersarrived at Scapa at 1000.

HOTSPUR and MASHONA provided escort for LETITIA full calibre firings in the Firth of Clyde, sailingat 1200.  Destroyers afterwards carried out full calibre firings and returned to Tail of the Bank.

GURKHA, escorting convoy H.N. 17, attacked a possible U boat contact at 1412 in position 59-07N,0-44W.  Six patterns were fired and ILEX stood by the position until 0300, 10th March 1940, when FOXHOUND, from Scapa, took over.  Oil with a strong smell resembling rum came to the surface after theattacks.

KIMBERLEY left Scapa at 1800 to rendezvous with Convoy H.N. 18 at point G as additional close escort.

ESKIMO arrived at the Clyde to join the Fleet after refit at Southampton.

Sunday, 10th March 1940

At 0315, HASTY, on passage to Clyde from Devonport after refitting, attacked an Asdic contact in position53-47N, 5-16W. This was probably a wreck.  HASTY arrived at Clyde at 1100.

FORESTER, on A/S patrol east of Holm and Water Sounds (east of South Ronaldshay Island), carried outdepth charge attacks on an asdic contact which proved to be the wreck of a collier.

WOOLWICH (Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet), sailed from the Clyde at 1000 for Scapa escorted byESKIMO, TARTAR, and MASHONA.

KELLY (Captain (D) V), on passage from Lerwick, depth charged a contact, which was probably a wreck, at1230 in position 59.0.7N, 2-18.9W.  KELLY arrived at Scapa to make good temporary repairs to collisiondamage before proceeding to repair yard.

DELIGHT and DIANA dispersed the westbound ships of Convoy H.N. 17 off Cape Wrath and thenreturned to Scapa.

Monday, 11th March 1940

FAME sailed from Scapa to rendezvous with Convoy H.N. 18, and to escort the westbound portion to CapeWrath with KIMBERLEY.

WOOLWICH (Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet) arrived at Scapa at 1700, escorted by ESKIMO, TARTAR,and MASHONA.

Convoy O.N. 19 left Methil at 1500 (28 ships for Norway and 1 for Aberdeen). Local escort provided by Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with NUBIAN and GURKHA.

Tuesday, 12th March 1940

ESKIMO, PUNJABI, and MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 0030 for the Clyde for escort duties.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with FORTUNE, sailed from Scapa to escort the Kirkwall contingent (12ships) to join Convoy O.N. 19

FOXHOUND and IVANHOE left Rosyth at 1200 escorting S.S. DEVON CITY and SPANKER to Scapa.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOSTILE, TARTAR, and FIREDRAKE escorted cruisers of the First CruiserSquadron for full calibre firings to the west of the Orkneys during the afternoon.

At 2005, these destroyers proceeded to search for a U boat reported at 1900 by aircraft in position58-47N, 2-16W ) S.E. of Copinsay) and which was probably outbound via the Fair Island Channel.  The search was later joined by INTREPID, ILEX, and GRIFFIN.

HARDY and FIREDRAKE depth charged a contact at 2130 that was probably a wreck, and TARTAR attacked acontact at 2140 in position 58-53.5N, 2-13W which may have been a U boat, but which was later abandoned as a wreck.

Nothing further was found during a search of the Fair Island Channel and approaches.

First, Seventh, Twelfth Destroyer Flotillas, and four destroyers of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla ( I class) were placed under the orders of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

Wednesday, 13th March 1940

ESKIMO (Senior Officer), PUNJABI, and MASHONA sailed from the Clyde escorting convoy N.S. One.

FIREDRAKE, detached from the U boat search, started an A/S Patrol at daylight in the approaches to HoxaSound to cover the work in progress on the Hoxa Boom.  IMOGEN relieved FIREDRAKE at 2000.

FOXHOUND and IVANHOE, escorting S.S. DEVON CITY and SPANKER, arrived at Scapa.  IVANHOE sailed for Moray Firth Patrol at 0715, 14th March 1940.

HUNTER arrived at the Clyde at 1935 to join the Fleet on completion of refit.

HOSTILE and TARTAR left Scapa for the Clyde.

Thursday, 14th March 1940

KELLY (Captain (D) V) left Scapa at 0400 for Sheerness to repair collision damage at London Graving DockCompany, Blackwall.

FOXHOUND took over the Hoxa Sound patrol from IMOGEN at 0800.  Work on the Hoxa Boom was completed at 1900 when FOXHOUND returned toharbour.

SOMALI (Captain (D) VI) arrived at the Clyde at 1400 to join the Fleet after refit at Middlesborough.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOTSPUR and IMOGEN, left Scapa at 1515 escorting HOOD to the Clyde.

TARTAR and HOSTILE arrived at the Clyde at 1630 from Scapa.

Operation R.3 was cancelled in the afternoon, and instructions were received that the destroyersplaced under the orders of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, on Tuesday, 12th March 1940, were to be released as soon as practicable.

Convoy N.S. One), escorted by ESKIMO and PUNJABI, was ordered back to the Clyde.  MASHONA escorting R.F.A. WAR BHARATA proceeded to Scapa.

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 15th-31st MARCH 1940

 

SECRET

Subject.. Home Fleet Destroyer Command  War Diary Number II. 15th  31st March 1940

 

From:   Rear Admiral (D) Home Fleet, H.M.S. WOOLWICH

Date:   16th April 1940                                               No.368/H.D. 00571A.

To:      Secretary of the Admiralty

 

                   Be pleased to lay bore the Board, the enclosed War Diary Number II of the Home

          Fleet Destroyer Command, for the period 15th  31st March 1940

                                                                (signed) R.H.C. Hallifax

                                                                Rear Admiral

 

Friday, 15th March 1940

A.M. nets carried away in Hoxa Boom leaving a gap of 500  600 feet. KIMBERLEY proceeded to patrol  as for previous day  south of line Cantick Head, Sandwick Bay, South Ronaldshay.

MATABELE arrived Clyde after refit at Devonport.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI arrived Clyde after refit at Middlesborough, and sailed with TARTAR andMATABELE for Scapa.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, HOTSPUR, and IMOGEN escorting HOOD arrived Clyde.

MASHONA arrived Scapa escorting WAR BHARATA.

At 1900 FORESIGHT relieved KIMBERLEY on Hoxa Sound patrol.

HERO, on passage from Portsmouth to the Clyde, attacked a contact in position 50-36.2N, 1-40.4W (offNeedles Channel) which may have been a U boat.,  There was no satisfactory evidence of destruction.

Saturday, 16th March 1940

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, TARTAR, and MATABELE arrived at Scapa at 0700 from the Clyde.

KASHMIR and KIMBERLEY left Scapa at 0715 to escort Kirkwall contingent to convoy joinconvoy O.N. 20

At 0800 FEARLESS relieved FORESIGHT on Hoxa Sound patrol. Gap in boom was closed at 1100  FEARLESS returned to harbour.

Captain (D) II in HARDY with HOSTILE, HOTSPUR, and HUNTER left Clyde at 1400 escortingWARSPITE, and arrived Scapa at 1600, Sunday 17th March 1940.

From 2000 to 2100 an Air Raid was carried out on Scapa by enemy aircraft. No damage was sustained by destroyers.  Gutter Sound was closed to ships (destroyers and above) owing to danger of magnetic mines.  Aircraft had been sighted approaching and reported by KASHMIR with Convoy O.N. 20.

ESKIMO and PUNJABI arrived Greenock at 2200 having been relieved of escort of convoy N.S.One by WANDERER in North Channel.

Sunday, 17th March 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ILEX left Scapa at 0017 for Moray Firth A/S Striking Force, toreinforce IVANHOE and GALLANT.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with FORTUNE, arrived Scapa at 0700 after dispersing convoy H.N. 19(west) off Cape  Wrath, and anchored in Longhope pending clearance of Gutter Sound.

BRAZEN escorting SPEARFISH, arrived at 0700 and anchored in Longhope.

Gutter Sound declared clear of mines at 1116.

IMOGEN left Clyde at 0800 for Portsmouth  required for escort duties.

HERO arrived Clyde at 1430 to join the Fleet after refit at Portsmouth.

HYPERION and HERO left Clyde at 2015 for Scapa escorting R.F.A. PETROBUS.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with GURKHA and NUBIAN, escorting eastbound ships of convoy H.N. 19 arrivedRosyth at 1700.

At midnight, the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla was placed under the orders of the Commander in Chief, HomeFleet.

Monday, 18th March 1940

          BEDOUIN arrived Scapa A.M. to join the Fleet after refit at Newcastle.

ESKIMO and PUNJABI left Clyde at 1000 for Scapa, escorting Fleet Tender C to Scapa.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with GURKHA left Rosyth for Scapa at 1800, arriving 0930, 19th March.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ILEX arrived at Scapa from Moray Firth A/S Striking Force at2000.  Moray Firth Striking Force no longer operating.

IVANHOE and GALLANT joined Home Fleet from Vice Admiral Commanding Orkneys and Shetland command,temporarily.

These movements were necessitated by the increased commitments for destroyers.

Tuesday, 19th March 1940

HYPERION and HERO arrived Scapa at 0724.  R.F.A. PETROBUS had been sent to Stornoway as destroyers were no longer available for escorting.

IVANHOE and GALLANT arrived Scapa from Moray Firth A/S Patrol at 0730 and 0830, respectively.

JERVIS in collision with Swedish S.S. TOR at 0300 in position 55-35N, 1-26W while on passage toRosyth.  JERVIS sustained extensive hull damage above and below the water line between the stem and break of theforecastle, port side.  S.S. TOR slightly damaged.  JERVIS had two dead and fifteen missing.  JERVIS proceeded stern first to Tyne.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOTSPUR, HERO, HYPERION, HUNTER, HOSTILE, HASTY, FEARLESS, and FORESTERleft Scapa at 1500 screening Commander in Chief, Home Fleet in RODNEY, with WARSPITE and VALIANT.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ILEX, DELIGHT, DIANA, BEDOUIN, and FORTUNE, left Scapa at 1500screening Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in RENOWN with REPULSE.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with GURKHA, IVANHOE, and GALLANT, left Scapa at 1630 escorting NORFOLK toClyde.  ESKIMO and PUNJABI, escorting Fleet Tender C  to Scapa, exchanged duties with IVANHOE and GALLANTwhen in vicinity of Cape Wrath.

At 1700, Convoy O.N. 21 (twenty three ships) left Methil escorted by JAVELIN (Senior Officer), JANUS,JUPITER, and ECLIPSE.

Between 2030 and 2100 all available destroyers at Scapa proceeded to search for U boat reported at 1730and 1800 surfacing in vicinity of battery M.7, about 250 yards to seaward of block ships in Holm Sound.  FOXHOUND and FIREDRAKE searched from seaward, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI,with MASHONA, MATABELE, SIKH, and FORESIGHT search the Flow, cooperating with A/S trawlers. FAME patrolled north end of Gutter Sound.  Nothing was found and at 0030 precautions were relaxed and destroyers returned to anchor,SIKH anchoring to cover ships in the Flow and FAME to cover the entrance to Gutter Sound.

Wednesday, 20th March 1940

About 0130, CARINTHIA as in collision with CILICIA in position 56-16N, 8-35W, the latter seriouslydamaged.  GALLANT left escort for Fleet Tender C and proceeded with all dispatch to give assistance.

Convoys H.N. 20 and O.N. 21 shadowed by enemy aircraft from midday onwards.

Between 1840 and 1952, two enemy aircraft attacked convoy O.N. 21  one aircraft believed hit.  Swedish S.S. UTKAIPPAN hit by incendiary bomb.

IVANHOE escorted MANCHESTER CITY from Scapa to Kirkwall, then left Kirkwall with thirteen shipsto join convoy O.N. 21 in position B at 1900.  This portion was attacked by six enemy aircraft between 1830 and 1930  Norwegian SVINTA was hit abandoned, but remained afloat, thecrew taken on board by Norwegian CYGNUS.  Norwegian TORAELISE, Norwegian ERLING LINDOE, and British NORTH COASTwere damaged and proceeded to Kirkwall. Skuas from Hatston engaged and drove off enemy  possibly oneenemy loss.

At about 1930, the Tenth A/S Striking Force, in Moray Firth, was also attacked.  WINDERMERE was hit.  She was taken in tow by THIRLMERE and IVANHOE proceeded to escort to Aberdeen.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with GURKHA, ESKIMO, and PUNJABI, escorting NORFOLK arrived Clyde at 2230.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MASHONA, MATABELE, SIKH, FAME, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND, and FORESIGHT, leftScapa at 2330 with Second Cruiser Squadron for Operation D.U.

FORTUNE, forming part of screen of RENOWN and REPULSE, attacked a contact at 1822 in position 63-27N,0-36W, which could not have been a wreck and was probably a U boat.  Large air bursts and bubbles resulted, with thin oil with a strong smell of linseed oil and it is probable the U boatwas sunk.

Thursday, 21st March 1940

JUPITER from escort to convoy O.N. 21 arrived Scapa at 1100 with condenser trouble and berthedalongside WOOLWICH.

JUNO arrived Scapa at 1200 to join Fleet after repairs.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with GURKHA sailed from Clyde at 1200.  They were ordered to join escort for Convoy H.N. 21 during daylight on22nd March 1940.

HOSTILE, FORESTER, and DIANA arrived Sullom Voe at 0700 to refuel and sailed again at 1835 to rejoinCommander in Chief, Home Fleet, and Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron.

FEARLESS and HASTY were on the Norwegian Coast in the vicinity of 63N, 7E from 0645 to 1415, operatingagainst any German ships met outside territorial waters.  No prizes were taken as all shipping found to pass through the Hustad Viken, keeping inside territorial waters,laden German ships in certain cases having a Norwegian escort.

ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER arrived Scapa at 1500 after dispersing westbound ships of Convoy H.N. 20 offCape Wrath.

Owing to increased U boat activity in Moray Firth area, IVANHOE and three trawlers were put on patrol byVice Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands, and four minelaying destroyers of the Twentieth Destroyer Flotilla were also put under the orders of ViceAdmiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands.  Patrol to be within 25 miles of 58-08N, 2-28W between sunset and sunrise, and within 40 miles of 58-45N, 00-00E between sunrise and sunset.

ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER ordered to sea at 2316 to Skerry Sound to guard eastern entrance to Scapa Flow,battery at Tower of Cliff having opened fire on a U boat in Holm Sound.  Destroyers diverted to position 040 degrees Copinsay, 5 miles, where U boat torpedoed Norwegian SVINA (in tow of STMELLONS) at 2210.

During the evening fire broke out in DUNLUCE CASTLE in No. 3 hold. Ship later beached in Ore Bay, until fire was under control.

Friday, 22nd March 1940

 0342, number one mine loop, off Switha controlled minefield, was fired on a swing considered to be submarine

Convoy H.N. 20 arrived Methil, A.M., escorted by KASHMIR (Senior Officer), KIMBERLEY, ESCORT, andESCAPADE.

At 1050, aircraft M of 269 Squadron reported a U boat in position 59-12N, 4-36W (near Sule Skerry),and ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER proceeded from East of the Orkneys to search.

At 1830, aircraft B of 269 Squadron reported again  probably the same U boat  inposition 59-26N, 3-54W.  ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER reached position by 2000.

 DELIGHT, ILEX, FEARLESS, and HUNTER arrived Sullom Voe at 1630 from Commander in Chief, Home Fleet s screen, to refuel.  Sailed to rejoin at 0740, 23rd March 1940.

ESKIMO and PUNJABI left Clyde at 2200 escorting BELGOL and WAR PINDARI to Scapa.  PETROBUS to join from Stornoway.

ARK ROYAL, escorted by IMOGEN and ISIS sailed westward from Plymouth, P.M.

Saturday, 23rd March 1940

At 1144, Northern Patrol Trawler reported U boat in position 60-10N, 3-55W  on the surface nearwreckage and empty rafts. U boat disappeared in rain squall.  ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER in this vicinity.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR sailed from Scapa at 1500 to reinforce A/S search.  Flying boat K.5258 dropped bombs ahead of long oil patch in position 60-16N, 3-22W at 1705.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER searching.

Convoy O.N. 22 (twenty ships) left Methil escorted by ZULU, KASHMIR, KIMBERLEY, and ESCAPADE (leaderBREDA) at 1500.

After dark, force from Operation D.U. (AURORA and destroyers) arrived Orkneys but were unable to enterScapa owing to low visibility. Stood off during the night  Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with SIKH,MATABELE, and MASHONA, carrying out an independent A/S sweep. (GALATEA, ARETHUSA, and PENELOPE proceeded to Rosyth.

Sunday, 24th March 1940

At 0600, Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR left A/S search N.W. of Orkneys to proceed to Kirkwall for Kirkwallcontingent of Convoy O.N. 22.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MASHONA, MATABELE, and SIKH arrived Scapa from Operation D.U. at 0900.

FAME, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND, and FORESIGHT arrived Scapa at 1100, escorting AURORA.

NUBIAN, escorting TRIBUNE, left Rosyth for Scapa at 1900.

ESKIMO and PUNJABI, escorting BELGOL, WAR PINDARI, and PETROBUS, arrived Scapa at 1700.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with GURKHA, arrived Scapa at 1730 after dispersing west bound ships of ConvoyH.N. 21 off Cape Wrath.

HOTSPUR and HERO arrived Sullom Voe at 0900 screening Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, to refuel.  Left Sullom Voe at 1900 for A/S patrol west of Fair Island Channel.

Captain (D) IV in SOMALI, with MATABELE and SIKH, proceeded at 1330 to search for U boat that attackedBritish S.S. BECHEVILLE in position 59-21.2N, 2-27W (doubtful).  FAME, FOXHOUND, and FORESIGHT followed later.  ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER, from the search west of Orkneys, and IVANHOE, ESK, and ICARUS from Moray FirthPatrol, also proceeded direct to this position.

This search attacked a firm contact in position 58-58.5N, 2-17W  large oil patch onsurface.  Contact was stationary with no Doppler, and may have been a wreck. MATABELE remained in position. ICARUS and IVANHOE patrolled approaches to Stromsay Firth.  SOMALI, SIKH, FAME, FORESIGHT, and FOXHOUND search an area within 17 miles of 58-57N, 2-12W, during the night.

At 1930, FORESIGHT also attacked a contact with no visible results in position 58-50N, 1-51W.  It was decided that this was probably a wreck.

Monday, 25th March 1940

At 0600, Danish S.S. BRITTA torpedoed in position 40 miles N of Sule Skerry.  Weather was calm with low visibility.  All available destroyers proceeded to search, i.e. ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER, who had beenreturning to Scapa, HOTSPUR and HERO from Sullom Voe, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MATABELE, FAME, FORESIGHT, SIKH, and FOXHOUND from A/S search east ofOrkneys, Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with ESKIMO and PUNJABI, who sailed from Scapa at 0700. Wreckage of BRITTA was found in position 60-03N, 4-22W  the S.O.S. having been 18  miles in error.

ESK arrived Scapa at 0015 for repairs to bow protection gear.

JAVELIN, JANUS, JUNO, and ECLIPSE arrived Rosyth at about 1100, after escorting convoy H.N. 21 to Methil.

At 1241 ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER were ordered to leave searching forces and return to Scapa.  They arrived at 1830.  Towards evening, nothing having been found, destroyers reorganized.  Vice Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands, and Rear Admiral (D),Home Fleet, had previously ordered A/S searching to work as follows:

In areas 61N to 60N, 2W to 4W  Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with SIKH, FOXHOUND, HOTSPUR, and HERO, NUBIAN after TRIBUNE had been escorted to Scapa, and FIREDRAKE when she hadcompleted repairs alongside WOOLWICH.

In areas 60N to 59N, 3W to 5W  Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with ESKIMO, PUNJABI, MATABELE, FAME, and FORESIGHT.  Captain (D) VI further subdivided his area and put SOMALI, ESKIMO, and PUNJABI in the Eastern Halfbetween 3W and 4W, and MATABELE, FAMZE, and FORESIGHT between 4W and 5W.

NUBIAN, escorting TRIBUNE to Scapa, arrived at 1400, and departed to join A/S search.

IMOGEN, ISIS, and HAVOCK, escorting FURIOUS to Clyde, left Plymouth at 1600.

Tanker DAGHESTAN, under escort of trawler NORTHERN DAWN, to Shetlands (Sullom Voe) was torpedoed offCopinsay  58-47N, 2-50W at 2013.

FIREDRAKE proceeded from alongside WOOLWICH to search, joining ICARUS and IVANHOE of Moray Firth patrol,and trawlers.

Tuesday, 26th March 1940

At 1012, BEDOUIN, screening the capital ships in position 63-33N, 4-50W, attacked a verypromising contact which could not have been a wreck and was probably a U boat.  The attacks resulted in air and oil bubbles and it is considered that the U boat was either damaged or sunk.

HOTSPUR and HERO rendezvoused with Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in position 63-00N, 4-00W at1400 after A/S searches.

ELECTRA sailed from Scapa at 1500 for full calibre firing S.W. of Orkneys, and for Rosyth.

At 1600, a report was received from NORTHERN SKY that Norwegian COMETA (with armed guard fromKINGSTON PERIDOT) had been torpedoed 315 degrees Noup Head 67 miles, at 0100.

FURIOUS arrived Clyde at 1800, the escort IMOGEN, ISIS, and HAVOCK being diverted to Scapa.

At 1830, Vice Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands amended limits of A/S west of Orkneys.

Longitudes to be between 3W and 5W from receipt of signal.  From dawn 27 March to 0900 27 March  both areas 30 milessouth.  From 0900, 27th March dividing line of areas to be 59-20N

At dawn on 27th March, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with all destroyers (ESKIMO, PUNJABI, FAME,FORESIGHT, and MATABELE), in Southern Area to sweep to southward along west coast of Orkney from Brough head and then to westward along coast of Scotlandto longitude 4-10N (sic).

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK to remain in northern area with SIKH, NUBIAN, and FOXHOUND.

ESK left Scapa at 1945 after repairs to bow protection gear to patrol for the night between Copinsayand Brough Head, then to join Moray Firth Patrol at 0800, 27th March 1940.

Wednesday, 27th March 1940

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HYPERION, HUNTER, HOSTILE, HASTY, FEARLESS, FORESTER, HOTSPUR, and HERO, arrivedat Scapa at 1100, screening Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY, and WARSPITE and VALIANT.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ILEX, DELIGHT, DIANA, BEDOUIN, and FORTUNE, arrived Scapa at1100, screening Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron, in RENOWN and REPULSE.

JAVELIN, JANUS, JUNO, and ECLIPSE left Methil at 1400 escorting Convoy O.N. 23 (twenty three ships forNorway, one for Aberdeen, and two to join from Kirkwall).

At 1530, Moray Firth Patrol (IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE, FIREDRAKE, and ESK) proceeded to Invergordon toshelter, arriving at 1930.

IMOGEN, ISIS, and HAVOCK arrived Scapa from Plymouth at 1545.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with ESKIMO, PUNJABI, FAME, FORESIGHT, and MATABELE, arrived Scapa at 1600 fromSouthern Area A/S Patrol.

Captain (D) IV, in COSSACK, with SIKH, NUBIAN, and FOXHOUND, arrived Scapa at 1700 from NorthernArea A/S Patrol  patrols having been ordered in at 1322 to shelter on account of northerly gale.

MOHAWK arrived Scapa from Troon at 1900 to join the Fleet after repairs to collision damage.

Thursday, 28th March 1940

AFRIDI arrived Scapa at 0845 to join the Fleet after refitting.  Captain (D) IV later transferred from COSSACK to AFRIDI.

FIREDRAKE sailed from Invergordon at 0900 to meet TRIBUNE outside Switha Gate at 1400 for escort toClyde and then to proceed south to refit at Cardiff (Messrs C.H. Bailey, Ltd).

FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FOXHOUND left Scapa at 1200 for Clyde (to provide escort for HOOD.

HASTY (emergency destroyer) proceeded at 2015 to the rescue of the crew of one Skua aircraftreported forced landed in 132 degrees Copinsay, 14 miles at 1900.  Dinghy reported at 2020 in 160 degrees Copinsay 8 miles. Crew picked up at 2220 and HASTY returned to harbour.

Friday, 29th March 1940

BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, and ESKIMO sailed from Scapa at 0130 to escort two ships from Kirkwall to join Convoy O.N.23 destroyers to join local escort and BEDOUIN to take over Senior Officer from JAVELIN.

FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FOXHOUND arrived Clyde at 0700 (escort for HOOD).

HAVOCK sailed from Scapa at 1230 to reinforce GRIFFIN on Moray Firth Patrol, as two aircraft had sighteda feather as from a periscope in position 58-00N, 2-03W at 0725, tracker of feather 000 degrees, but returned to Scapa at 2000, no U boat having  been located. GRIFFIN returned to Invergordon at 1740 with leak at the rudder head.

KELVIN arrived Clyde at 1800 to join escort for HOOD after repairs at Liverpool.

KASHMIR and KIMBERLEY arrived Scapa at 1800 after dispersing westbound portion of Convoy H.N. 22 offCape Wrath.

Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI, with SIKH and MOHAWK, sailed from Scapa at 1930 for Norwegian Coast to formlocal escort for H.N. 23 A. GURKHA and ENCOUNTER, delayed, followed at 0200, 30th March 1940

Saturday, 30th March 1940

FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FOXHOUND sailed from Clyde 0340 escorting HOOD to Devonport. (KELVIN detained by defects, sailed for Scapa at 1430.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with ZULU, TARTAR, and  ESCAPADE, arrived Rosyth A.M. from close escort of H.N.. 22

NUBIAN, FAME, and FORESIGHT sailed from Scapa at 1745, first two for repairs to Asdic gear at MessrsHawthorne Leslie, Tyne, and Messrs. Doig, Grimsby, respectively, and latter to refit with Messrs. Doig, Grimsby.

Sunday, 31st March 1940

At 0100, HASTY sailed escorting WAR BHARATA to Sullom Voe.  HOSTILE, also detailed, fouled buoys of new torpedo baffle being laidinside Switha Gate and had to be cleared by divers.  FEARLESS sailed at 0400 to take HOSTILE s place in escort.

COSSACK sailed from Scapa at 0540 to join local escort for Convoy H.N. 23 A. Stood by trawler SOPHOS (disabled) from 1130 to 1415 until the arrival of another trawler to tow her into harbour.

JUPITER sailed from Scapa at 0700 to reinforce GRIFFIN on Moray Firth A/S Patrol  to rendezvous inposition 58-45N, 00E at 1400. Daylight patrol to be with 40 miles of position 58-45N, 00E and darkhours patrol within 20 miles of 58-08N, 2-28W.

FORTUNE, FORESTER, and FOXHOUND arrived Plymouth at 1100 escorting HOOD, and sailed at 1400 for theNorth.  Ships were recalled to Devonport, arriving at 1955, for two nights shore leave.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with TARTAR, ZULU, and ESCAPADE sailed from Methil at 1200 as closeescort for Convoy O.N. 24 (19 ships) (no ships to join from Kirkwall).

HOSTILE sailed from Scapa at 1350 for Sullom Voe to refuel and for Operation D.V. with HASTY andBIRMINGHAM.

HASTY and FEARLESSS, escorting WAR BHARATA, arrived Sullom Voe at 2205. HASTY sustained damaged when berthing on WAR BHARATA which rendered the ship unseaworthy.  FEARLESS replaced HASTY in Operation D.V.

KASMIR and DIANA left Scapa at 2345, escorting DEVON CITY to Rosyth.

 

Exercises from Fleet Base during March.

9th March  Full calibre day firing  HOTSPUR, MASHONA

12th March  Full calibre day firing  HARDY, HOSTILE, ESKIMO, FORESTER

26th March  Full calibre day firing  ELECTRA

A/S  Exercises

11th March  Available destroyers at Scapa, under Captain (D) II (HARDY)

23rd March  FAULKNOR and SPEARFISH

29th March  SPEARFISH  INGLEFIELD, ILEX, DELIGHT, ISIS, IMOGEN, ENCOUNTER(Salvo)\

30th March  CLYDE  HOTSPUR, HERO, HYPERION, HUNTER, HOSTILE, HASTY, JUPITER

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-15th APRIL 1940

 

SECRET

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY III

1ST TO 15TH April 1940

(enclosure in No. 490/H.D. 00571A of 7 May 1940

 

Monday, 1st April 1940

ILEX proceeded from Scapa at 0810 for A/S patrol in approaches to Hoxa Gate while two sections of theHoxa Boom were being replaced.  ILEX to keep half a mile to the south of the Cantick- The Nev, and topatrol on east and west courses.  Bad weather delayed work on boom, and ILEX was ordered to enter harbourat 2015 to anchor North of Flotta at immediate notice as weather conditions were unsuitable for night patrol of Entrance.

ISIS, while transferring five torpedoes to CLYDE in the evening after the latter s torpedo firing inScapa Flow, lost whalers and motor boat which were capsized by a heavy squall in the lee of Sandoyne Bay, Scapa Flow.  All men and torpedoes were recovered.

JUPITER arrived Scapa at 1800 from Moray Firth Patrol to shelter on account of weather, GRIFFIN makingfor Invergordon.  JUPITER had attacked a doubtful contact in position 58-31N, 0-34W at 1100.  D/F bearings obtained at 2008 and 2050 approximated to this position, and Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ISIS,IMOGEN, and JUPITER were sailed from Scapa at 0100, 2nd April, to search in case a U boat had been damaged.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MATABELE and MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 1030 to pick up Kirkwallcontingent and to join O.N. 24 as Senior Officer.  During the night, a strong easterly gale scattered Convoys O.N. 24, H.N. 23A, and the Kirkwall contingent all to the eastward of OrkneyIslands, with resultant confusion and risk of collision owning to the restricted sea room.

Tuesday, 2nd April 1940

Weather moderated and ILEX resumed Hoxa Sound patrol at 0530. Work on the Hoxa Boom was completed at 1600 and ILEX then returned to harbour.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with ZULU and ESCAPADE, were relieved at 0900 from the escortof Convoy O.N. 24 by Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MATABELE and MASHONA, proceeding thence to Scapa.

FORTUNE and FORESTER sailed from Plymouth at 1300 for Clyde for escort duties in connectionwith Plan R.4.  These two ships joined in a depth charge attack in position 49-36N, 6-46W, which was laterstated to be a well known wreck, and arrived Clyde at 2015, 3rd April.

Convoy O.N. 24 was attacked by two bombers during the afternoon. Aircraft were engaged by local escort, SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, and TARTAR.  Four bombs were dropped near the convoy and there were no hits.

HASTY, having made temporary repairs after collision damage, left Sullom Voe at 1600escorting R.F.A. WAR BHARATA to Scapa, and arrived 1330, 3rd April.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with IMOGEN, ISIS, and JUPITER returned to Scapa at 1900 afteran unsuccessful U boat search.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR sailed from Scapa at 1800 for Clyde for escort duties inconnection with Plan R.4, arriving 1300, 3rd April.

ZULU and KELVIN sailed from Scapa at 1815 for Rosyth for escort duties in connection with PlanR.4.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, and HUNTER sailed from Scapa at 1930 for SullomVoe to refuel and for Operation Wilfred One , arriving at 0700, 3rd April.

In view of Admiralty Message timed 2101 of 2nd April 1940, giving an unreliable fix of a U boat in position 59-10N, 1-40W. at 2025 and the fact that thissubmarine was probably outward bound, Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, ordered destroyers to position 59-23N, 4-55W by 0600, 3rd April to act as a striking force. MOHAWK was sent to this position from westbound Convoy H.N. 23A and JUPITER sailed from Scapa at0330, 3rd April to join MOHAWK.  Destroyers were recalled to Scapa at 1209, 3rd  April, being required for other duties.

Air raid on Scapa Flow at 2033  three aircraft were in the vicinity of Gutter Sound,one dropping two to four bombs not nearer than 300 yards from WOOLWICH.  No damage to WOOLWICH of destroyers.  It is possible that one machine was hit and damaged.

The First Destroyer Flotilla ( G class and Polish destroyers) were placed under  the orders of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, during the evening.

Wednesday, 3rd April 1940

ENCOUNTER arrived Scapa at 0420 after dispersing, with MOHAWK, westbound ships of convoyH.N. 23A (14 ships) off Cape Wrath at 1800, 2nd April.

Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI, with SIKH, GURKHA, and COSSACK, arrived at Methil at 0900 withconvoy H.N. 23A (26 ships).

FOXHOUND took over escort of TAKU at 0730 off Plymouth for passage to Clyde.

GLOWWORM arrived Rosyth from the Nore, and GREYHOUND arrived escorting S.S. CYCLOPS,both to join command of Rear Admiral (D) Home Fleet. Both destroyers sailed at 1800 escorting DEVON CITY for Scapa.

O.N. 24 were shadowed by enemy aircraft from 0940 onwards and at 1155 six Heinkel bomberscarried out a bombing raid; high level bombing.  No ships were hit, and attacking aircraft were heavily engaged in a clear sky by the local escort, SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, and TARTAR.

Captain (D) 20 in ESK, with ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, and IVANHOE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600escorting S.S. TEVIOT BANK.  Destroyers fuelled and sailed at 1100, 3rd April, for Sullom Voe, arriving at 1925, 3rd April.

HASTY sailed from Scapa at 2015 for Dundee to make good structural damage with the CaledonShip Building Company, arriving at 0800, 4th April.

DIANA left Rosyth to take part in Bomber  Command Interception Exercise and for the Humber for repairs to AsdicDirecting Gear by Messrs. Amos Smith of Hull, to arrive at 0645, 5th April, at Alexandra Dock, Hull.

JAVELIN, JUNO, and ECLIPSE detached from escort of Convoy H.N. 23B after dark to proceeddirect to Rosyth, being required for Convoy O.N. 25 on 5th April.

Thursday, 4th April 1940

MOHAWK, DELIGHT, HERO, and GRIFFIN (from Moray Firth Patrol) sailed from Scapa at 0130escorting WARSPITE to the Clyde.  ASHANTI left Clyde at 0400 to relieve HERO who was required back atScapa for an operation.

Captain (D) I in CODRINGTON left Harwich at 0600 for Scapa to join command of Rear Admiral(D), Home Fleet, arriving at 0900, 5th April.

GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM, escorting DEVON CITY, arrived Scapa at 1400.

GRENADE arrived Rosyth from Harwich to join command of Command in Chief, Home Fleet.

ELECTRA and BRAZEN sailed from Rosyth at 1030 escorting S.S. REDSTONE, in tow of tugIRISHMAN, to Scapa.

BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, and ESKIMO, escorting convoy H.N. 23B (34 ships) arrived Methil at1300.

Polish destroyers GROM, BLYSKAWICA, and BURZA left Harwich at 1200 for Rosyth to joincommand of Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, arriving 5th April.

Friday, 5th April 1940

HERO arrived Scapa at 0600 from escorting WARSPITE, after relief by ASHANTI.

MOHAWK, GRIFFIN, DELIGHT, and ASHANTI, escorting WARSPITE, arrived Clyde at 0600.

FOXHOUND, escorting TAKU, arrived Clyde at 0600.

KIMBERLEY left Scapa at 1200 too rendezvous with Convoy H.N. 24 and to escort westbound shipsto Cape Wrath.  A/S trawlers MAN O WAR and LADY ELSA also sent to assist.

JAVELIN, JUNO, ECLIPSE, and GRENADE sailed from Methil at 1200 as close escort for convoy O.N.25 (30 ships for Norway, 2 for Aberdeen, and H.M. Submarine THISTLE for Scapa).

HYPERION, HERO, GREYHOUND, and GLOWWORM left Scapa at 1830 escorting RENOWN to Sullom Voe forOperation WILFRED.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ISIS, IMOGEN, and ILEX, left Scapa at 1930, escorting S.S.TEVIOT BANK for Operation WILFRED.

Captain (D) I in CODRINGTON, with JANUS, sailed from Scapa at 1300 to search for a possible Uboat, an aircraft having reported bombing an oil track that seemed to be moving in a northerly direction at two knots, in position 59-00N, 0-52W at 1020.  It was thought this might be an outward bound U boat of whom a D/F was obtained in the North Sea on 4th April. Destroyers attacked a target with six patterns, oil rising continuously after the first attack, withseveral patches of air bubbles, and it is probable that this was a U boat, and that submarine was sunk, a new wreck being located on a later occasion inposition 59-11.4N, 1-03W.

Saturday, 6th April 1940

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, and HUNTER with minelayers (Captain (D) 20 inESK, with ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, and IVANHOE sailed from Sullom Voe at 0515 for Operation WILFRED.

JANUS spoke drifter SEABREEZE at 0710, reported in difficulty and ascertained that thelatter was making for a lee in the Shetlands Islands.  JANUS proceeded.

JUPITER sailed from Scapa at 0830 and, with JANUS, escorted ten ships from Kirkwall to joinConvoy H.N. 24 (corrected in ink to Convoy O.N. 25.)  On joining, JANUS proceeded with Local Escort, and JUPITER proceeded to search for drifter SEABREEZE who had made a later S.O.S. beingordered at 2200 to return to Scapa, SEABREEZE having reported safe in company with a trawler.

CODRINGTON left the position of depth charge attacks at daylight and proceeded to assistKIMBERLEY with westbound portion of Convoy H.N. 24.

TARTAR entered Scapa at 1200 to land a medical case, and then proceeded to Rosyth.

HYPERION and HERO arrived Sullom Voe at 1545 and sailed at 0615, 7th April, for Operation WILFRED.

ELECTRA and BRAZEN, escorting REDSTONE, arrived at Scapa at 1900.

Sunday, 7th April 1940

Captain (D) I in CODRINGTON, with KIMBERLEY arrived Scapa at 0630 after escorting westboundportion of Convoy H.N. 24 to Cape Wrath.

ESCAPADE and ELECTRA sailed from Scapa at 1030 to escort MANCHESTER CITY to Kirkwall,arriving at 1415 and then returning to Scapa.

EMILE BERTIN (French) arrived Scapa at 1700, being met outside Hoxa Sound and led toanchorage by JUPITER.

Aircraft reports were received at 0848 and 1342 of German naval forces in positions tothe eastward of German declared minefields, steering north west.  One force later identified as one battle cruiser, one pocket ship, three LEIPZIG class cruisers, and twelvedestroyers.

All available units prepared for sea and proceeded as follows:

From Scapa  at 2030, Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY, VALIANT, REPULSE, withPENELOPE, SHEFFIELD, and EMILE BERTIN, screened by Captain (D) I in CODRINGTON, GRIFFIN, JUPITER, BRAZEN, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO, KIMBERLEY, ESCAPADE, andELECTRA.

From Rosyth  at 2130, Vice Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron in GALATEA, ARETHUSAwith BLYSKAWICA, BURZA, GROM, Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI, SIKH, GURKHA, COSSACK, ZULU, MOHAWK, KASHMIR, and KELVIN.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MATABELE, MASHONA, and TARTAR, sailed Rosyth at 2330 to join.

Force W.S. with TEVIOT BANK, under Captain (D) III, were ordered at 2251 to cancel minelayingoperation and steer to the northwest.

Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, at 1851, ordered Convoy O.N. 25 to reverse course. Convoy then about 61-20N, 1E.  later ordered by Commander in Chief, Rosyth to remain to westward of Shetlands until further orders from Commanderin Chief, Home Fleet.

Monday, 8th April 1940

Force W.V. (under Captain (D) II), carried out minelaying operations (Captain (D) 20 minelaying destroyers) from 0432 to 0529.

French cruiser EMILE BERTIN arrived Scapa at 0800 having lost touch with the Battle Fleetduring the night.

GLOWWORM, who was detached, at 0749 reported engaging an enemy force of at least two enemydestroyers and one unknown ship in position 65-38N, 6-50E.  Position probably only approximate.  Nothing further was heard of GLOWWORM and it was assumed that ship was sunk.

KELVIN and BURZA, while screening Second Cruiser Squadron, at 1035 carried out depthcharge attacks on a target in position 58-10N, 1-08E.  There was no visible result and the contact was probably on a wreck.

French contre torpilliers TARTU and MAILLE BREZE arrived Scapa at 0900, followed by 1300 byFOUDROYANT, BRESTOIS, and BOULONNAIS, who were led to oilers and buoys by ENCOUNTER.

EMILE BERTIN, TARTU, and MAILLE BREZE left Scapa at 1800 to rendezvous with First CruiserSquadron off Rattray Head.  Vice Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, in DEVONSHIRE, with BERWICK, YORK,and GLASGOW then to rendezvous with Vice Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron, at 0500 in position 59-30N, 2-30E.

REPULSE was detached by Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, at 1956 and, with PENELOPE,BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, and ESKIMO proceeded to Vest Fjord, to assist Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron, in RENOWN.

Tuesday, 9th April 1940

At 0350, Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron, sighted enemy force inapproximately position 67N, 10E.  Enemy were probably SCHARNHORST and HIPPER class cruiser.

Destroyers were unable to keep up in running fight to N.W. and N.E., owing to heavy weather andwere later ordered back to patrol entrance to Vest Fjord.

KELVIN and KASHMIR were in collision at 0400 in position 060-28Bm 2-25E. Both ships returned to Lerwick, KASHMIR in tow of COSSACK and SIKH escorting.

ZULU, at 1415, sighted a U boat breaking surface 1200 yards ahead. Four depth charge attacks were carried out, the submarine having dived before ZULU could ram, and large air bubbles were seen after thefirst attack, with slight oil. The target became stationary and there was no other visible result. It Is probable that the submarine was sunk.

FURIOUS left Clyde at 0001 for Scapa, escorted by MAORI, ASHANTI, and FORTUNE.  DELIGHT later suffered damage due to weather and returned to Greenock for repairs.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with FOXHOUND and FORESTER arrived Scapa at 0600 from Clyde.

French CHEVALIER PAUL arrived at 0830 and was led in by ENCOUNTER.

Force W.S.  Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ISIS, IMOGEN, and ILEX completed refueling at Sullom Voe, having arrived at 0830.

GRENADE arrived Scapa at 1230 to refuel.

JANUS, at 1355, in position 58-01N (amended in pen to 59-01N), 2-24.2W, with ECLIPSE, carriedout six depth charge attacks on a firm ( asdic inserted) contact.  Charges produced large bubbles of air, in one case seven minutes after their explosion, but it is probable that theattacks were on a wreck.

HESPERUS and HAVANT arrived Scapa at 1445, escorting WARSPITE.

MACKAY, having parted company at 1640, 8th April, to return to Liverpool.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with FOXHOUND and FORESTER, sailed from Scapa at 1500 torendezvous with Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

GRENADE and ENCOUNTER sailed from Scapa at 1600, escorting R.F.A. BRITISH LADY to VestFjord, arriving at 1700, 12th April.

HYPERION and HERO arrived Sullom Voe at 1430 to refuel.

BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS sailed from Scapa at 2100, escorting R.F.A. ALDERSDALE to SullomVoe, arriving at 1300, Wednesday, 10th April.

JAVELIN, JUNO, JANUS, and ECLIPSE arrived Scapa at 1820 from escorting Convoy O.N. 25.

JAVELIN, JUNO, JANUS, ECLIPSE, and ESCORT left Scapa at 2130, escorting WARSPITE, torendezvous with FURIOUS ten miles north of Muckle Flugga.

S.S. TEVIOT BANK (minelayer) arrived Sullom Voe at 1100.

GURKHA was sunk by bomb while in action with German aircraft off Norwegian coast during theafternoon.  The greater part of the ship s company were rescued by H.M.S. AURORA.

Captain (D) II with destroyer force were on patrol in Vest Fjord to prevent any enemy forcespresent at Narvik from escaping.

Wednesday, 10th April 1940

FEARLESS arrived Sullom Voe to refuel at 0630.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with IMOGEN, ISIS, ILEX, HYPERION, and HERO left Sullom Voe at0300 to rendezvous with Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

Captain (D) II in HARDY, with HOSTILE, HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, and HUNTER entered Narvik at dawn andfound seven or eight large German destroyers I the port.  Attacks were made on these and on shipping by torpedo and gunfire before being forced to withdraw by superiorforce.

HUNTER was sunk in Narvik Bay and HARDY grounded and became a total loss, survivors from thelatter escaping ashore.

HOTSPUR badly damaged.

Success had been achieved in sinking transports and damaging destroyers, at least one ofwhich was sunk and others damaged.

ZULU and COSSACK left Sullom Voe to rendezvous with Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

Rendezvous for WARSPITE and FURIOUS, at 0500, was position ten miles north of Muckle Flugga.

Rendezvous for Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, at 0700, was position 61-24N, 2W  course115 degrees, 16 knots.

HERO, screening the Battle Fleet, at 1007 attacked a probable U boat in deep water, and aftereach of two depth charge attacks, sighted large quantities of air bubbles suggesting that the submarine was at least badly damaged.

VANOC, WITHERINGTON, WHIRLWIND, and VOLUNTEER, escorting troop transports CHROBRY andBATORY left Greenock at 0145 for Scapa, arriving at 0700, 11th April.

French contre torpilliers TARTU and MAILLIE BREZE arrived at Scapa at 1900 with CruiserForce.

SIKH, MATABELE, and Norwegian destroyer DRAUG arrived at Sullom Voe at 1700.

Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON, MOHAWK,MASHONA, JUPITER, BRAZEN, ESCAPADE, and ELECTRA arrived at Sullom Voe to 1530 to refuel (corrected to fuel ).

HESPERUS and HAVANT proceeded from Scapa at 1430 to search for a U boat reported by aircraftin position 58-37N, 1-54W at 1235, leaving oil track on course 350 degrees.  Search was diverted at 1700 to a U boat sighted by BIRMINGHAM in position in position 59-28N,3-23W.  This area was searched without result and destroyers then proceeded to patrol North of Orkneys andShetlands.

BRESTOIS left Sullom Voe at 2000 with 65 German prisoners for Kirkwall and thence to Scapa.  BOULONNAIS left Sullom Voe escorting Norwegian DRAUG for Scapa.

GREYHOUND, while escorting HAVOCK down Vest Fjord, at 1525 in position 67-33.5N, 12-47.5EZgained an asdic contact, and sighted a U boat breaking surface.  GREYHOUND attacked with one pattern of depth charges which produced a considerable disturbance and a thick of oilafter which the contact was lost in deep water. The U boat was probably seriously damaged or sunk.

The situation at Vest Fjord in the evening was as follows:

Patrols:          BEDOUIN and ESKIMO         -         South of Tjeldoy

                   PUNJABI and KIMBERLEY   - North east of Tranoy

                   PENELOPE                      -         Off Tranoy Light

                   GREYHOUND and HAVOCK   -         Hunting U boat off Rost

                   Captain (D) 20 in ESK, with ICARUS and IVANHOE also patrolling.

Covering  Force:

                   REPULSE and RENOWN

Enemy aircraft attack Scapa Flow from 2108 to 2148  about 20 aircraft carried out highbombing in waves at about 10,000 feet, except for one diving bombing attack on searchlight positions.  No damage was reported and raid appeared abortive as it was not pressed home.

Thursday, 11th April 1940

FORTUNE arrived Kirkwall at 0530 with Danish S.S. KINA  then proceeded to Scapa

At 0001, the following were at Sullom Voe, completed with fuel:

SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, AFRIDI, SIKH, MOHAWK, CODRINGTON, BRAZEN, JUPITER, ESCAPADE,ELECTRA, GRIFFIN, and FEARLESS.

IMPULSIVE (from Narvik Force) arrived at Scapa at 0445 for repairs to P.V. Boom.

SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, AFRIDI,M SIKH, MOHAWK, ESCAPADE, and ELECTRA left Sullom Voeat 0400 for Scapa to embark ammunition, arriving at 1300.

HESPERUS and HAVANT ordered at 1600, to return to harbour in not in contact with U boat,arriving at Scapa at 2200.

PENELOPE grounded off Fleinvaer Light at 1500, KIMBERLEY and ESKIMO standing by. PENELOPE was later refloated and towed to Skjel Fjord by ESKIMO.  German ship ALSTER (in prize) also sheltered in Skjel Fjord.

Arrangements were made during the afternoon for volunteers from Norwegian DRAUG to embark inships of the Fourth and Sixth Destroyer Flotillas taking part in sweep of Norwegian coast.

HESPERUS and HAVANT sailed from Scapa at 2300 for Thorshaven (Faeroe Islands) to reconnoiterand provide A/S protection for SUFFOLK and Royal Marine Landing Party.

Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON sailed from Sullom Voe at 2300 for Scapa, arriving at 1200.Friday, 12th April.

GLASGOW, SHEFFIELD, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, MASHONA, MATABELE, Captain (D) IV inAFRIDI, SIKH, and MOHAWK sailed from Scapa for operations on Norwegian coast.  Sweeps of the Indreled were carried out by destroyers without meeting any enemy opposition.

ECLIPSE, with Battle Fleet, was hit by bomb in engine room, at 1700, and disabled.  Taken in tow by ESCORT with YORK and HYPERION standing by. Position at 2015 was 64-48N, 7-56E, course 240 degrees at 5 knots.

Friday, 12th April 1940

NUBIAN arrived Scapa at 0600 to join the Fleet after repairs to Asdic Directing Gear atMessrs. Hawthorne Leslie, Tyne.

Convoy H.N. 25 arrived Methil during the forenoon, escorted by TARTAR, GROM, BLYSKAWICA, and BURZA.

ESCAPADE and ELECTRA sailed at 1320, escorting SOUTHAMPTON (General Mackesy on board) toVaags Fjorden.

VANOC, WITHERINGTON, WHIRLWIND, and VOLUNTEER sailed from Scapa at 1300 with TroopTransports CHROBRY and BATORY to join troop convoy N.P. 1 for Vaagsfjorden.  PROTECTOR also in this force.

BRESTOIS and FOUDROYANT sailed from Scapa at 1335 for Lerwick to escort KASHMIR and KELVINto the Tyne, arriving at 2030, 13th April, KELVIN having made the passage stern first.

ACASTA and ARDENT, escorting VINDICTIVE, arrived at Scapa at 1300.

IMPULSIVE sailed from Scapa at 1900 for Immingham, bow protection boom removed byWOOLWICH carrier on upper deck.

PUNJABI, in Vest Fjord, at 1906 engaged an enemy aircraft, Dornier DO.18, with pom pom inlow visibility and secured a hit considered to have been fatal.

NUBIAN and FORTUNE sailed from Scapa at 1930, escorting WAR PINDARI to Skjel Fjord.  Later diverted to Lillesjona to refuel ships of Namsos force en route.

ASHANTI and MAORI, at Sullom Voe, completed with fuel by 2030.

FURY arrived Scapa to join the Fleet after refit at Newport, Monmouthshire.

FEARLESS, GRIFFIN, and BRAZEN sailed from Sullom Voe at 2345 to rendezvous with northbound troop convoy, then to screen VALIANT during passage north.

Saturday, 13th April 1940

TARTAR, BLYSKAWICA, GROM, and BURZA arrived Scapa at 0630 from Rosyth.

WOLVERINE and VANESSA arrived Scapa at 0800 escorting convoy N.S. One, and sailed afterrefueling for Devonport at 1200.

JUPITER arrived Scapa at 1100 from Sullom Voe.

ECLIPSE, in tow of ESCORT, and escorting ships were in position 64-10N, 4-43E at 1200 making 1knot in heavy weather.

The following ships took part in an attack on German defences and ships at Narvik WARSPITE (Flag of Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron), BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, KIMBERLEY, PUNJABI, COSSACK with HERO, FOXHOUND, FORESTER (T.S.D.S.)and ICARUS (bow protection gear).  Seven enemy destroyers were destroyed, four in the approaches to Narvikand three later that had retired up to head of Rombaks Fjord.  No opposition remained in Narvik Bay after the operation.

One U boat destroyed by WARSPITE s aircraft.

Main British casualties  COSSACK, damaged by shell forward, and aground for somehours, sustained 34 casualties; ESKIMO bow blown off by torpedo.

While screening WARSPITE down Ofot Fjord after the action, FOXHOUND attacked a U boatunsuccessfully, shore observers afterwards confirming that the submarine was seen to surface in the vicinity.

During the day, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MASHONA and MATABELE, and Captain (D) IV withSIKH and MOHAWK, entered various Norwegian fjords from Latitude 62-28N northwards, supported by GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD. Captain (D) VI s force engaged 12 enemy aircraft in the vicinity of Aalsund, 3 of which force landed in Norwegian territory.  No damage was sustained by destroyers.

French Squadron sailed from Scapa at 2000 to Clyde  EMILE BERTIN, TARTU, MAILLE BREZE,CHEVALIER PAUL, and BOULONNAIS,

The operation for occupation of Faroe Islands was completed at 2200. SUFFOLK proceeded to Vest Fjord and HESPERUS and HAVANT returned to Scapa, arriving at 1030, Sunday, 14th April.

During the night, IVANHOE embarked survivors from HARDY from the village of Ballangen.

Sunday, 14th April 1940

KIPLING arrived Scapa at 0600 to join the Fleet after repairs and strengthening.

Operations in the Narvik area, included a search of Fjords to northward of Vest Fjord, duringthe day, BERWICK and two destroyers searching And Fjord, Vaags Fjord, and Gratangsbotn; remainder of the First Cruiser Squadron proceeded direct tosearch Tromso region.

HAVOCK rendezvoused at 1200 with Commanding Officer of Norwegian submarine B.3 in VestFjord.

Captain (D) IX in HAVELOCK, arrived Scapa at 1045 to join Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, andto act as an A/S striking force with the ex Brazilian destroyers.

HEREWARD arrived Scapa at 1200 to join the Home Fleet after refit at Portsmouth.

French BRESTOIS and FOUDROYANT arrived Scapa at 1200 from Tyne, completed with fuel andproceeded to Clyde, arriving at 1930, 15th April.

JAVELIN, JUNO, and JANUS arrived Scapa 1200, escorting REPULSE from Vest Fjord.

TARTAR, GROM, and BLYSKAWICA sailed from Scapa at 1400 to carry out a sweep of Norwegiancoast from Lister to Bommel Fjord from 2200, Sunday 14th April to daylight, Monday, 15th April, with the object of destroying or capturing. If feasible, any shipping met in vicinity of Norwegian Coast.  The force was later recalled owing to adverse weather and arrived at Scapa at 0845, Monday15th April.

DELIGHT arrived Scapa at 1400 from Clyde.

GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD carried out Operation HENRY , with the object of securing NamsenFjord  destroyers in company, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, MASHONA, MATABELE, Captain (D iv in AFRIDI, SIKH, and MOHAWK. Unopposed landings were successfully carried out at Namsos by ships landing parties commencing one hour before dark.

MAORI and ASHANTI left Sullom Voe at 1840 and arrived Scapa at 0530, Monday, 15th April.

Monday, 15th April 1940

GRAFTON, FAME, and DIANA arrived Rosyth at 0700 from the Humber for escorting duties.

FEARLESS and BRAZEN, searching ahead of a troop convoy in Vaags Fjord, detected and attackedU.49 in position 68-53-30N, 16-59-30E. U.49 surrendered after one depth charge attack, and destroyers whalerswere able to recover documents of considerable value while rescuing the crew, and before the scuttling charge was fired.

FEARLESS, four hours later, while screening VALIANT in the same vicinity, attacked anotherAsdic contact in deep water which was probably a second U boat.  Oil was seen but the result of the attack is in doubt.

During the day, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI supported the landing party at Namsos andreconnoitered Namsen Fjord with military authorities.  SOMALI was heavily bombed throughout the day without being hit and expended all H.E. ammunition before dark. GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD were in support in this area.

Troop transports CHRBORY and EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, with Vice Admiral Commanding,Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron, and anti aircraft cover, proceeded to Lillesjona anchorage, 66-14N, 13-00E, with the intention that destroyers should ferrylanding parties to Namsos and other landing places. The remaining destroyers of Namsos naval force also proceeded to Lillesjona to await oiler  WAR PINDARI.

Convoy T.M. 1 (CEDARBANK) and Convoy N.M. 1 (CYCLOPS, BLACKHEATH, and CHARLBURY) sailed fromLeith at 1200, escorted by FAME, DIANA, and IMPERIAL (GRAFTON to join later). Both convoys to call at Scapa so that radiators of vehicles could be emptied. Oiler INVERARDER to join convoy at Scapa for onward passage.

MACKAY arrived Scapa at 0900, escorting A.S.I.S. and other store ships to Scapa, and proceededat 1500 to Liverpool.

JUPITER proceeded from Scapa at 1045 for Skjel Fjord with salvage pumps and equipmentfor PENELOPE.

FEARLESS, BRAZEN, and GRIFFIN sailed at 1900 from Vaags Fjord, escorting VALIANT toScapa.

 

 


 


WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 16th-30th APRIL 1940

 

SECRET

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY IV

16TH APRIL  30TH APRIL 1940

(Enclosure in No. 583/H.D. 00571A of 27th May 1940)

 

Tuesday, 16th May 1940

At 0145, ECLIPSE s tow parted in position 61-12N, 1-00E, and the ship was boarded byratings from HYPERION who again passed the tow to ESCORT.  FURY and HESPERUS proceeded from Scapa to relieve HYPERION, but the latter considered it inadvisable to shift tow fromESCORT on account of the weather, and proceeded with HESPERUS to Sullom Voe to fuel, arriving at 2100.  Tug ST MELLONS sailed from Lerwick at 0840 to assist in the tow.

ASHANTI sailed from Scapa at 0300 to relieve SOMALI with force under command of Vice AdmiralCommanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron, at Lillesjona.

Convoy F.P.1 (French ships EL MANSOUR, EL KANTARA, VILLE D ORAN, and British ship FRANCONIA)sailed from the Clyde at 0600 escorted by French TARTU, CHEVALIER PAUL, MAILLE BREZE, and EPERVIER, arriving at Scapa at 0800, 17th April.

BLACK SWAN, BITTERN, FLAMINGO, and AUCKLAND sailed from Invergordon at 1030 with PRIMROSEForce, having taken shelter on account of weather, which delayed the force by one day.

SUFFOLK sailed from Scapa at 1700 for the bombardment of Stavanger Aerodrome (Operation DUCK),screened by KIPLING, HEREWARD, JANUS, and JUNO.

During the day, Convoys T.M. 1 and N.M. 1 arrived at Scapa escorted by FAME, DIANA, andIMPERIAL.

DIANA, at 1418, was ordered to search for a Hurricane aircraft that had crashed in position 115degrees Wick 30 miles.  The aircraft had crashed within sight of Convoy T.M. 1 and although IMPERIAL hadreached the position within 10 minutes nothing was found except wreckage.

EFFINGHAM, YORK, and ASHANTI, at 2220, were ordered to proceed to the Fjords leading toAandalsnes to cover CALCUTA, already reconnoitering inside, and also the arrival of BLACK SWAN and three sloops of PRIMROSE Force  five Germandestroyers having been sighted steering 360 degrees off Stavanger at 1900.

JUPITER had been ordered to proceed with utmost dispatch to assist CALCUTTA, but when itwas found that CALCUTTA would arrive first, JUPITER was ordered to continue passage to Skel Fjord.

CALCUTTA sighted a U boat on the surface, 3 miles west of Aandalsnes and proceeded toseaward having been unable to attack the submarine with depth charges, owing to proximity to shore.

Wednesday, 17th April 1940

HIGHLANDER, while carrying out an A/S patrol for the protection of ships anchored inLillesjona Fjord, grounded at 0130 and sustained damage to all projecting underwater fittings.  The ship was later able to proceed under her own power to a repairing yard.

H.M. Submarine TAKU fired four torpedoes at ASHANTI at dawn off Aalesund. ASHANTI had sighted TAKU and was able to avoid the torpedoes, firing one depth charge from the starboard thrower inpassing. TAKU surfaced and reported the only damage to be a strained fore hatch.

Convoy N.S.M. One sailed from Scapa at 0800, escorted by DELIGHT, DIANA, and IMPERIAL.  Ships in convoy were S.S. MCGREGOR LAIRD, LOMBARDY, INVERARDER, LOCHEE, BLACKHEATH, CHARLBURY, and BALMAHA.

Convoy N.P. 1 (empty troop transports) sailed from Vaags Fjord at 0330 for Clyde, escorted byWITHERINGTON, VOLUNTEER, and AMAZON.

SUFFOLK bombarded Stavanger Aerodrome from 0500 to 0612, and then proceeded to thenorthward to intercept enemy destroyers reported p.m., Tuesday, 16th, steering northwards, possibly for a landing. SUFFOLK and screen were bombed almost continuously from 0830 to 1600, SUFFOLK sustained one hit and several near misses which causedflooding and reduced speed.  Destroyers were attacked on several occasions; the only damage was toKIPLING, by a near miss.

Captain (D) IV in HAVELOCK, with HAVANT and FAME sailed from Scapa at 0400, escorting REPULSEto Narvik area.

During the night, 16th/17th April, Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI with MATABELE, MASHONA, NUBIAN, and SIKH embarked two battalions of landing party fromtransports at Lillesjona and ferried them to Namsos where they were landed. MATABELE and SIKH reembarked GLASGOW s and SHEFFIELD s landing parties at Namsos at 0400.

FURY, ST MELLONS, and ECLIPSE in tow of ESCORT arrived Lerwick at 1130. ESCORT sailed for Scapa and FURY to join the battlecruisers proceeding to assistance of SUFFOLK.

JAVELIN, TARTAR, GROM, and BLYSKAWICA proceeded from Scapa at 1345 to the assistance ofSUFFOLK, who was making for Fair Island Channel with speed much reduced.  It was later known that RENOWN and REPULSE were proceeding through Fair Island Channel, and destroyers wereordered to join battlecruisers.

Later ESCORT reported that a U boat, sighted by aircraft in position 59-15N, 1-30W at 1233,was being hunted.  JAVELIN and TARTAR were diverted to join ESCORT and further depth charge attacks werecarried out on a contact that had been buoyed and was giving large quantities of oil.  Subsequent investigation showed that this target was probably a wreck, possibly of a U boat, attackedand buoyed on 5th April 1940, by CODRINGTON, and the aircraft had not actually sighted a submarine, but only an oil slick.

MAORI sailed from Scapa at 1345 to join escort of convoy N.S.M. One.

Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY arrived at Scapa at 1830, screened by ESK (Captain(D) XX, IVANHOE, ICARUS, and GREYHOUND.

MOHAWK, carrying extra ammunition for destroyers of Namsos Force sailed from Scapa at1830 to rendezvous with Captain (D) IV.

Sloops with PRIMROSE force arrived at Aandalsnes at 2200 and disembarked troops and stores duringthe night, then remaining in the area as A/A defence.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, arrived Scapa at 2330, from Lillesjona.

Thursday, 18th April 1940

RENOWN and SUFFOLK arrived Scapa at 0600, escorted by HYPERION, KIMBERLEY, FORESTER, FURY,KIPLING, JANUS, JUNO, and HEREWARD.

HYPERION arrived Scapa at 0600 from Sullom Voe.

Captain (D) XX in ESK, with ICARUS and IVANHOE left Scapa at 0900 for Immingham to arrive0600, Friday, 19th April.

HASTY and WHITLEY, escorting WAR NIZAM, arrived Scapa at 0800; WHITLEY then returned toRosyth.

JACKAL arrived Scapa at 0800 to join the Fleet after refit.

VALIANT, escorted by FEARLESS, GRIFFIN, and BRAZEN, arrived Scapa at 1100.

ESCORT sailed from Scapa at 1240 for Lerwick with personnel and stores for ECLIPSE.

JUNO, JANUS, HEREWARD, and HASTY sailed from Scapa at 1315 for the Clyde to escort GLORIOUSfrom Greenock to Scapa.

JACKAL and HESPERUS left Scapa at 1400 for Aberdeen to rendezvous with ST. MAGNUS and ST.SUNNIVA for escort to Aandalsnes.

French BISON and FOURDROYANT arrived Scapa at 2000, escorting French S.S. VILLE D ALGER(troop transport).

Force SICKLE commenced landing at 2100 at Aandalsnes and Molde, from GALATEA, CARLISLE,ARETHUSA, and CURACOA, with ARROW and ACHERON.  This operation was completed without opposition.

After dark, MATABELE was detached from destroyer force at Lillesjona to refuel at SullomVoe.

BASILISK, BEAGLE, CAMPBELL, BROKE, WREN, WITCH, ANTELOPE, WOLVERINE, and VANSITTARTcommenced A/S search at 0900 with air cooperation through positions (a) 59-00N, 0-45E, (b) 59-50N, 0-45E, (c) 59-50N, 0-20W, (d) 59-10N, 1-00W, (e) 58-30N,1-00W. When the report of the torpedoing of S.S. SWAINBY at 0430 in position 61-3N, 0-14W was received,BASILISK, BEAGLE, and ANTELOPE were ordered to this area.

WREN, WOLVERINE, WITCH, CAMPBELL, and VANSITTART diverted search to cover position59-12N, 0-15W, where an aircraft had sighted a U boat at 1340. The search was unsuccessful and these ships arrived at Scapa at 0715, Friday, 19th April.

BASILISK, BEAGLE, BROKE, and ANTELOPE proceeded at 2300 to recover crew of Whitleybombers N.1392 crashed in position 60-13N, 0-15W.  Four men were rescued at 0200, 19th April, and these ships arrived Scapa at 1400, 19th April.

Friday, 19th April 1940

FEARLESS, FURY, and HYPERION sailed from Scapa at 0730 to rendezvous with Convoy H.N.P. One inposition 59-00N, 5-34W at 1230 to relieve VOLUNTEER and WITHERINGTON who proceeded to Scapa and the Clyde, respectively.

ST. MAGNUS and ST. SUNNIVA left Aberdeen at 0430, escorted by JACKAL and HESPERUS, carryingtroops to Aandalsnes.

GREYHOUND, VANSITTART, WITCH, WOLVERINE, and CAMPBELL sailed from Scapa at 1700, escortingRENOWN and VALIANT to Rosyth.  On arrival at Rosyth, GREYHOUND proceeded to Sheerness to de ammunition beforerepairs by Messrs. Green and Silley of Blackwall.

KIPLING left Scapa at 1510westabout for Portsmouth to de ammunition and for Southampton forrepairs.

JAVELIN and CEDARBANK left Scapa at 1100 to join JACKAL, escorting ST. MAGNUS and ST.SUNNIVA to Aandalsnes.  HESPERUS proceeded to Scapa on relief.  CURACOA joined convoy on Sunday, 21st April as A/A escort.

During the night French landing force, escorted by French destroyers, landed at Namsos.  EMILE BERTIN sustained one bomb hit during the approach to Namsen Fjord and returned to Scapa.

Polish destroyers GROM, BLYSKAWICA, and BURZA sailed from Scapa at 2130 to rendezvouswith ESCORT off Lerwick, and to proceed to Narvik area.

WREN sailed from Scapa at 1630 for Lerwick to escort ST. ROGNVALD from Lerwick to Aberdeen withtroops on board.

HIGHLANDER arrived Humber at 1800 for repairs to grounding damage by Messrs. Brigham andCowan of Hull.

MATABELE, on passage to Scapa, was diverted to escort TEVIOT BANK from Sullom Voe to Rosyth.

Saturday, 20th April 1940

French BISON and FOUDROYANT sailed from Scapa at 0100, escorting troopship VILLE D ALGER toNamsos, and entered Namsen Fjord at 2030, 21st April, without incident.

VANOC and WITHERINGTON arrived Greenock at 0014, escorting S.S. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (empty troopship).

HASTY and ANTELOPE sailed from Scapa at 0530 at 0530 to rendezvous with ARK ROYAL and SALADIN for escortto the Clyde.

BROKE and ANTELOPE sailed from Scapa at 0530 to rendezvous with EMILE BERTIN who had sustained damagefrom a bomb hit in Namsen Fjord while covering landing of French Force. Later, these destroyers joined the escort for empty transports of Convoy F.P. One.

BASILISK, BEAGE, and HESPERUS proceeded from Scapa at 0800 to act as A/S Striking Force East ofOrkneys and Fair Island.

MATABELE joined TEVIOT BANK off Sullom Voe and proceeded West of Orkneys and Shetlands for PentlandFirth.  FORESTER sailed from Scapa at 1900 and relieved MATABELE for the remainder of passage to Humber, arrivingat 1415, 22nd April.  FORESTER then proceeded to Hull for repairs.

AFRIDI arrived Scapa at 1000 from Namsos force to fuel and embark ammunition.

FEARLESS, FURY, and HYPERION arrived Greenock at 1045, escorting empty troopships S.S. MONARCH OFBERMUDA, BATORY, and REINA DEL PACIFICO.

Polish BURZA arrived Scapa at 1100 heaving sustained weather damage to the bow during passage to Narvikarea.

BEAGLE arrived at Scapa at 1900 from the A/S Striking Force East of Orkneys  being required forescort duties.

HOTSPUR, JUPITER, PUNJABI, and BRIGAND left Skjel Fjord during the forenoon, escorting R.F.A. BRITISH LADYto Scapa.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with TARTAR left Scapa at 1300 to establish a patrol in Kraakvaag Fjorden bydusk, 21st April. ASHANTI and MOHAWK, already in the area, were ordered to patrol Trondheim Leden, bothforces to prevent reinforcements reaching Trondheim.

WREN arrived Scapa at 1815, after escorting ST. ROGNVALD, and was ordered to the Clyde, withoutentering harbour.

VOLUNTEER and BEAGLE sailed from Scapa at 2100, escorting R.F.A. ALDERSDALE to Skjel Fjord.

NUBIAN arrived Namsen Fjord to maintain communication with General de Wiart and reported that Namsostown had been continuously raided by indiscriminate bombing during the day and was in flames.  A/S Trawlers had also been bombed, RUTLANDSHIRE being sunk. British and French forces ashore were at a stand still owing to bombing and lack of transport.  NUBIAN sailed from Namsos at 0200, Sunday, 21st April.

Sunday, 21st April 1940

FEARLESS, FURY, and VANOC sailed from Greenock at 0100, escorting Convoy F.P. 2, S.S. FLANDRE, DJENNE,and PRESIDENT DOUMER, via Minches for Namsos Area.  The convoy was later diverted to Scapa to await developments, arriving at 0625, 22nd April.

PELICAN and FLEETWOOD sailed from Rosyth at 0200 with military advance parties for Aandalsnes andMolde.

BASILISK and HESPERUS, at 0535, were ordered to proceed from A/S Striking Force to the Clyde where theywere urgently required for escort duties.  Ships arrived Greenock at 2345, 21st April.

At 0427, JACKAL, escorting ST. MAGNUS, ST. SUNNIVA, and S.S. CEDARBANK, attacked an Asdic contact that wasprobably a U boat of the 250 ton type.  There was no visible result to the attack and the U boat was probably undamaged.

At 0656, CEDARBANK was sunk by explosion, possibly a torpedo, in position 62-54N, 4-39E.  JACKAL and JAVELIN search in vain for a submarine.

ST. SUNNIVA and ST. MAGNUS (carrying troops) arrived Aandalsnes in the evening without further incident.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD arrived Scapa at 1000 from Tromso area.

HYPERION, HEREWARD, and HASTY left Greenock at 1100, screening GLORIOUS for flying on and offsubsequently leaving the Clyde at 1800 for Scapa.

VETERAN and VISCOUNT sailed from Plymouth at 1200 for the Clyde to join the Home Fleet, arriving at0850, 22nd April 1940.

French MILAN arrived Scapa at 1630, escorting French oiler LOT.

French Convoy F.P. One (empty) arrived Sullom Voe at 1615 from Namsos, escorted by TARTU, CHEVALIERPAUL, and MAILLIE BREZE; BROKE and ANTELOPE.

Convoy T.M. One, DELIUS and DALLINGTON COURT, sailed from the Clyde at 1900 for Scapa, escorted byWITHERINGTON and AMAZON, arriving at 1100, 23rd April.

VALIANT sailed from Rosyth at 1930 for Scapa, escorted by GRAFTON, ARROW, and ACHERON, arriving at 0830,Sunday 21st April. (sic  if sailing on 21st, arrival should be 22nd.)

 BRAZEN sailed from Scapa at 2050, escorting S.S. ATREUS as far as Cape Wrath, subsequently returning to Scapa at 0630, 22nd April.

SIKH and MASHONA arrived Greenock at 2250, escorting empty troop transport CHROBRY.

WALKER sailed from Workington at 1330, escorting A.S.I.S. HERON to Scapa, arriving at 0800, 23rd April.

At 2028, MAORI, escorting BLACKHEATH, was ordered to stand off from Namsos and to arrive at dusk Monday,22nd April.

NUBIAN reentered Namsen Fjord at 1840 and found AUCKLAND in harbour, with little change in thesituation.  It was impossible to accept VILLE D ALGER for unloading and this transport, with BISON, was orderedout of the Fjord again.

Monday, 22nd April 1940

ASHANTI and MOHAWK left patrol in Trondheim Leden to return to Scapa for fuel and ammunition, arrivingat 0900, 23rd April.

French BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS arrived Scapa at 0700, escorting Convoy F.S. 1, French transportsAMIENOIS, CAP BLANC, and SAUMUR.

SIKH, MASHONA, and JUNO sailed from Greenock at 0700, escorting Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers in ARKROYAL to Scapa.

FEARLESS, VANOC, and FURY arrived Scapa at 0630, escorting Convoy F.P. 2  French TransportsFLANDRE, DJENNE, and PRESIDENT DOUMER, having been diverted from passage to Namsos.

KIMBERLEY and GRIFFIN sailed from Scapa at 0740 for Rosyth being required there to escort S.S.RUTLAND to Namsos.

ARROW, ACHERON, and BRAZEN sailed from Scapa at 1415 to join GLORIOUS as an addition screen during flyingon and off west of Orkneys. Destroyers were detached at 1930 for Rosyth.

JACKAL and ST. SUNNIVA left Aandalsnes at 0500 for Kirkwall, leaving JAVELIN and ST. MAGNUS to coalthe latter at Aalsund. Landing of troops had been successfully carried out during the night.

During the day, JAVELIN in Heisse Fjord, was attacked by four Junkers 88 aircraft.  Dive bombing attacks all missed and one aircraft was hit and seen to be on fire.

BASILISK, WREN, and HESPERUS sailed from Greenock at 1200, escorting RESOLUTION to the Narvik area,arriving at Harstad on 26th April.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, VANSITTART, WITCH, and CAMPBELL, with Vice Admiral Commanding,Second Cruiser Squadron, and cruiser force sailed from Rosyth with troops and stores for Aandalsnes.

NUBIAN sailed from Namsos at 1230 for Scapa for fuel and ammunition, having turned over the duties ofS.N.O. Namsos to AUCKLAND.

French Transport VILLE D ALGER, escorted by BISON and covered by CALCUTTA, proceeded back to Namsos toarrive at dusk, it being then possible to accept her for unloading. 

FOUDROYANT was detached to return to Scapa owing to shortage of fuel.

DELIGHT, Senior Officer of Convoy N.S.M. 1, was ordered to the take the convoy to Vaags Fjord.

MAORI, escorting S.S. BLACKHEATH, diverted from Namsos for Skjel Fjord and later ordered back toNamsos.

BROKE, ANTELOPE, TARTU, and CHEVALIER PAUL sailed from Sullom Voe at 1715 with empty transports ELD JEZAIR, EL KANTARA, and EL MANSOUR from convoy F.P. One for Scapa, arriving at 0700, 23rd April.  EPERVIEZR also sailed at 1800 with VILLE D ORAN for Clyde.

SIKH, MASHONA, and JUNO sailed from Greenock at 0700, escorting Vice Admiral Commanding, AircraftCarriers, in ARK ROYAL to Scapa, arriving at 0800, 23rd April.

FORTUNE sailed at 2359 from Narvik area for Namsos.

PELICAN, attacked by two Junkers dive bombers, was hit by a bomb at 1350 in approximately position62-43N, 4-33E, and sustained severe damage owing to detonation of depth charges. FLEETWOOD took PELICAN in tow and JACKAL stood by, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with TARTAR arriving insupport at 1930.Uninjured Base party from PELICAN were transferred to ST. SUNNIVA, who proceeded to Molde for fuel, escorted by SOMALI, and wounded weretaken by JACKAL and FLEETWOOD. Tug ST. MELLONS was sent to assist from Lerwick and Tug BANDIT detached fromHOTSPUR s convoy.

Captain (D) IX in HAVELOCK, with HAVANT and FAME, arrived Scapa, escorting REPULSE.

During the day, destroyers and sloops encountered probable U boats on the following occasions, on all ofwhich depth charges were dropped without any conclusive evidence that the attacks were successful:

At 0240, SOMALI in position 64-22N, 8-32E, sighted an object on the surface which dived before itcould be attacked. Depth charges were dropped by SOMALI and TARTAR.

At 1210, in position 63-43N, 7-49E, TARTAR attacked a firm Asdic contact.

At 2120, in position 59-52N, 0-10W, VANSITTART screening Vice Admiral Commanding, Second CruiserSquadron, in GALATEA with GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD, attacked a firm Asdic contact closing to attack the cruisers.

At 2150, in position 60-12N, 0-31E, BLACK SWAN attacked a good Asdic contact.

At 2307, in position 62-44N, 3-48E, JACKAL, screening PELICAN, attacked a good Asdic contact.

Tuesday, 23rd April 1940

VANOC sailed from Scapa at 0025, escorting WAR NIZAM to Sullom Voe to wait during dischargeand to escort back to Scapa.

MATABELE, BRESTOIS, and BOULONNAIS sailed from Scapa at 0700, escorting Convoy F.S. 1,AMIENOIS, SAUMUR, and CAP BLANC to Namsos.

BLACKHEATH, escorted by MAORI, arrived at Namsos with 300 vehicles and stores, and wasberthed alongside for unloading from 2330 to 0230, 24th April.  It was only possible to unload a small amount of ammunition and petrol, and then both ships held off the coast duringthe day.

BISON sailed from Namsos at 0530, escorting VILLE D ALGER after disembarking troops andstores and arrived at Scapa at 1745, 24th April.  BISON had been aground, but was towed off by MAORI, who had assisted in ferrying French troops from VILLE D ALGER tothe pier.

HAVELOCK and HAVANT sailed from Scapa at 1100 for A/S Striking Force in area bounded bylatitudes 60-20N and 60-50N and longitudes 4W and 6W, owing to U boat reports in this area at 0635 and 0745.

COSSACK sailed from Skjel Fjord at 2300, escorting R.F.A. WAR PINDARI to Scapa.

WALKER sailed from Scapa at 1215 for Sullom Voe to escort S.S. MANELA to the Clyde,subsequently proceeding to Liverpool.

HYPERION, HEREWARD, HASTY, JUNO, FEARLESS, and FURY sailed from Scapa Flow at 1230 forOperation D.X., escorting Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers, in ARK ROYAL with GLORIOUS, BERWICK, and CURLEW.

French FOUDROYANT arrived Scapa at 1800 from Namsos.

HOTSPUR, PUNJABI, and JUPITER arrived Scapa at 2200 from Narvik area, escorting R.F.A.BRITISH LADY.

At 1524, JACKAL, screening PELICAN (in tow), attacked a contact that may have been a 250ton U boat, without any visible signs of success.

JAVELIN, escorting ST. MAGNUS, arrived Kirkwall at 2230 from Aalesund.  JAVELIN proceeded to Scapa, arriving at 0315, 24th April.

JANUS, escorting EMPIRE ABILITY, sailed from Greenock at 1630 for Narvik.

WOLVERINE, KIMBERLEY, and BRAZEN sailed from Leith at 1945 for Namsos, escorting S.S.GUNVOR MAERSK carrying 166th Anti Aircraft Battery.

Vice Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron, started disembarking troops and storesfrom Cruiser Force in Romsdals Fjord at 2100.  Destroyers in company  ICARUS, IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE, VANSITTART, WITCH, and CAMPBELL.  When cleared IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE sailed for Immingham GALATEA for Rosyth, and remainder for Scapa.

NUBIAN arrived Scapa at 2230 from Namsos

Wednesday, 24th April 1940

VOLUNTEER and BEAGLE arrived Skjel Fjord at 0300, escorting R.F.A. ALDERSDALE.

Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI, with WITHERINGTON and AMAZON sailed from Scapa at 0315, escortingConvoy T.M. One  DELIUS, DALLINGTON COURT, SPANKER, and LOCH MCGOWER to Aandalsnes, intending to arrive at dusk 26th April.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, arrived Scapa at 0600 from Molde.

VETERAN and VISCOUNT sailed from Clyde at 0545, escorting S.S. CHROBRY to Namsos area.

JUPITER sailed from Scapa at 0800 to search for crashed Walrus least seen within 20 miles ofposition 59-30N, 2-00W.  The search was unsuccessful and JUPITER returned to harbour at dusk.

Convoy F.P. 2 left Scapa at 1600 for Narvik  FLANDRE, DJENNZE, and SAUMUR, escorted byFAME, MILAN, TARTU, and CHEVALIER PAUL.

Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron in MANCHESTER, with BIRMINGHAM, andYORK, escorted by ARROW, ACHERON, and GRIFFIN sailed from Rosyth at 0700 from Romsdals Fjord, expecting to disembark troops and stores at dusk, 25th April.

SIKH, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, and ASHANTI sailed from Scapa at 1800 to blockade Trondheim.  NUBIAN and ASHANTI patrolled in Kraakvaag Fjord and Fro Havet, and SIKH and MOHAWK in Trondheim Leden from0900, 26th April to daylight 28th April.

PELICAN, in tow of FLEETWOOD and Tug ST. MELLONS, arrived Lerwick at 1000 for temporaryrepairs.  JACKAL and TARTAR proceeded later to Scapa, arriving at 1500.

VANOC sailed from Sullom Voe at 1800 for Devonport to refit, arriving at 1400, 27th April.

HAVELOCK and HESPERUS, from A/S patrol, to rendezvous with JANUS and EMPIRE ABILITY and totake over escort to Narvik area.

CURACOA was hit by a bomb at Aandalsnes and escorted to seaward by FLAMINGO. SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW closed in support, but WITCH, CAMPBELL, and VANSITTART had insufficient fuel andproceeded to Scapa.

BITTERN relieved AUCKLAND at 1935 of A/A guard and wireless duties at Namsos.

HAVOCK, HOSTILE, HERO, and FOXHOUND, escorting Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle CruiserSquadron in WARSPITE from Narvik area were in position 67-41N, 13-30E at 1600, expecting to arrive Scapa at 1800, 26th April.

FORTUNE was detached at 1800 from escorting BLACKHEATH to return to Narvik area. BLACKHEATH, escorted by MAORI, arrived at Namsos at 2130 and succeeded in unloading the limited amount of motortransport required by military authorities and all vital stores, petrol, ammunition, and rations before sailing at daylight for Scapa.

Air Raid on Scapa Flow after dark by about six aircraft. Only one aircraft was sighted near Gutter Sound,  and possibly two bombs dropped on Hoy.  Parachute mines may have been laid, and the west of Cava was closed to movements until declared clear at 1530, 25th April.

Thursday, 25th April 1940

BLACK SWAN sailed from Scapa at 1000 to take over the A/A guard duties at Aandalsnes,expecting to arrived at dusk, 26th April.

MAORI, escorting S.S. BLACKHEATH, sailed from Namsos.

Convoy F.S. 2, escorted by EPERVIER and MAILLE BREZE, sailed from the Clyde at 0430 for Scapaexpecting to arrive at 1000, 27th April.

FLEETWOOD arrived Scapa at 0500 with wounded from PELICAN, having escorted S.S.HIGHLANDER from Lerwick to abreast Scapa with troops on board.

GRENADE with FORTUNE, ESCORT, ENCOUNTER, BEAGLE, and VOLUNTEER sailed from Narvik area and at 1630were in position 67-18N, 11-55E.

JANUS arrived Scapa at 1900, having been relieved of escort of EMPIRE ABILITY.

PUNJABI sailed from Scapa at 2000 westabout for Devonport for repairs, expecting to arrive at1700, 27th April.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MASHONA and TARTAR sailed from Scapa at 2015 for Rosyth, toescort ULSTER MONARCH and ULSTER PRINCE from Leith to Aandalsnes.

Friday, 26th April 1940

JUPITER sailed at 0600 for Lerwick with dynamo spares for ECLIPSE, then to escort MANCHESTERCITY leaving Kirkwall at 1800 to the Tyne.

GRENADE with destroyers in company joined Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers, in ARK ROYAL,with GLORIOUS at 0700 to relieve present screen for fuelling at Sullom Voe.

BROKE sailed from Scapa at 0800 for Devonport to refit.

Troopship FRANCONIA, proceeding unescorted from Narvik to Clyde, was attacked by a U boatat 0105 in position 59-48N, 5-59W.  Owing to the uncertainty as to damage to FRANCONIA, JANUS and ANTELOPEwere ordered to proceed to her assistance from Scapa, the movement being cancelled at 0545, when FRANCONIA reported that she had escaped from the Uboat.

GRAFTON and BURZA sailed from Scapa at 0200 escorting R.F.A. BOARDALE, Storeship BALTEAKO,and A.S.I.S. HERON for Narvik area.

HOSTILE, HAVOCK, HERO, and FOXHOUND, screening Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle CruiserSquadron in WARSPITE, arrived Scapa at 1615 from Narvik Area.

VILLE D ALGER, escorted by FOUDROYANT and ANTELOPE sailed at 1700 from Scapa to Liverpool,arriving at 2015, 27th April.

HOTSPUR sailed from Scapa at 2030 to accompany CURACOA westabout for Chatham to refit.

ARROW, while proceeding independently from Romsdals Fjord to Scapa, intercepted a trawler at0700 flying Dutch colours. This trawler, after stopping for examination, hoisted German colours and rammedARROW on the port side  inflicting damage rendering unseaworthy.  The trawler was engaged by ARROW, and finally sunk by BIRMINGHAM.  Subsequently, GRIFFIN, ARROW, and ACHERON spread to search for furtherenemy forces and at 0955 intercepted a second trawler similarly disguised.  This trawler was taken in prize by GRIFFIN and proved to be fitted as a submarine supply ship.  Valuable documents were recovered from the sea after jettisoning, and a prize crew steamed the ship to Scapa.

WITCH and CAMPBELL sailed from Scapa at 1900 to rendezvous with and take over escort ofConvoy F.S. 2, consisting of three French storeships, bound for Narvik, the French escort, MAILLE BREZE, then returned to Clyde.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE sailed from Humber at 2100 for Scapa arriving at 1900,Saturday, 27th April.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with MASHONA and TARTAR sailed from Leith at 2200, escorting ULSTERMONARCH and ULSTER PRINCE to Aandalsnes. At 0043, the convoy was diverted to Scapa to await orders, and arrivedat 1700, 27th April.

HYPERION, HEREWARD, HASTY, FEARLESS, FURY, and JUNO arrived Sullom Voe at 2130 to refuel,and proceeded to rejoin the aircraft carriers at 0400, 27th April.

JACKAL, JAVELIN, WITCH, and CAMPBELL were held in readiness to proceed at 2100 tointercept an unknown warship reported to east of Shetlands. This warship later entered Lerwick and was identified as Norwegian SLEIPNER.

BLACK SWAN arrived at Aandalsnes at 1930, and took over the duties of A/A guard shipFLAMINGO who sailed for Scapa at 2100 with all ammunition expended.

Saturday, 27th April 1940

COSSACK arrived Scapa at 0830, escorting R.F.A. WAR PINDARI from Skjel Fjord.

BEAGLE, at 0920 while screening aircraft carriers and cruisers in position 64-31N, 4-07E, attacked anAsdic contact giving every indication of being a U boat.  A very large disturbance followed and there were unconfirmed reports of the submarine breaking surface. It is probable that the U boat was at least damaged.

IMOGEN, at 1012 while screening FURIOUS in position 62-54N, 1-56W, attacked a similar contact thatappeared to be closing to attack FURIOUS.  After two depth charge attacks, there were large patches of air bubblessuggesting a submarine in difficulties, and a periscope was sighted at an angle of 45 degrees. It is probable that the U boat was badly damaged, if not sunk.

INGLEFIELD, with HERO and FOXHOUND, sailed from Scapa at 1100, escorting WARSPITE to the Clyde.

JACKAL sailed from Scapa at 1300 on completion of gunnery practices, to rendezvous withARETHUSA at 1830, in position 59N, 0E.  This force was subsequently diverted to Scapa.

HOSTILE and HAVOCK proceeded from Scapa at 1800 to Rosyth for boiler cleaning and to makegood minor defects.

Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER left Lerwick at 0900 for Scapa.

ARROW and ACHERON arrived Scapa at 0600 from operations off the Norwegian coast.  ARROW sailed from Scapa at 1630 for Middlesborough for repairs; ACHERON sailed from Scapa at 1200 for Clyde,arriving at 1300, 28th April.

DELIGHT, DIANA, and IMPERIAL were detached from FURIOUS escort at 1800 to proceed toScapa.  FURIOUS with IMOGEN, ISIS, and ILEX proceeded to the Clyde.

MATABELE, BOULONNAIS, and Transport CAP BLANC arrived Namsos at 2030.  BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS to escort AMIENOIS and SAUMUR back to Scapa.

VANSITTART sailed from Scapa at 2000 for Sullom Voe to escort WAR NIZAM to Invergordon toreload, and for passage back to Sullom Voe.

FLEETWOOD sailed from Scapa at 2100 for Aandalsnes.

WESTCOTT arrived Clyde at 1800, escorting S.S. BELLEROPHON and LYCAON.

Convoys T.S.M. 2 and F.S. 3 were diverted to Scapa at 2129.

During the day, BLACK SWAN was heavily bombed at Aandalsnes and by evening had expended 1200rounds and had only 210 rounds remaining.  There were no bomb hits and it is probable that at least four machineswere shot down.

Captain (D) IV in AFRIDI with WITHERINGTON, AMAZON, and Convoy T.M. 1 arrived Aandalsnesarea.  The convoy was bombed during the approach from 1345 to 1700, 125 bombs being dropped in high level and divebombing, many aircraft keeping above the 40 degree elevation of AFRIDI s main armament guns.  All merchant ships were sailed at 0200, Sunday 28th May (sic  should be  April), for sea to await further orders, SIKH and MOHAWK, from Trondheim blockade, being sent as additional A/Aprotection.

S.S. SCOTTISH AMERICAN was torpedoed or mined in position 58-41N, 4-40W at 2336.  The ship was towed to Loch Eriboll by a Northern Patrol trawler.  DELIGHT, DIANA, and IMPERIAL were diverted to search for U boat.

SOMALI, MASHONA, and TARTAR arrived Scapa at 1700 with ULSTER MONARCH and ULSTERPRINCE.

MAORI arrived Scapa at 1500, escorting BLACKHEATH from Namsos.

Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER arrived Scapa at 1700 from Lerwick.

Sunday, 28th April 1940

SIKH and MOHAWK withdrew from patrol in Trondheim Leden at dawn to reinforce Convoy T.M.1.  No ships had been intercepted and the scale of air attack had not been heavy.

WALLACE and VALOROUS sailed from Rosyth at 0715, escorting S.S. ORION to Scapa. VALOROUS was detached to search for a U boat reported by aircraft in position 58-31N, 2-38W. WALLACE arrived Scapa at 1530 and sailed at 1700 for Rosyth.  Later, both ships were recalled to Scapa.

Convoy T.M. 1 was again bombed from 1000 to 1400, 65 bombs being dropped without any hitsresulting.  AFRIDI, SIKH, and MOHAWK were providing A/A protection.

VETERAN and VISCOUNT, escorting S.S. CHROBRY, arrived Namsos at 1010 but owing tocongestion at the wharves it was not possible to unload and at 1315, the ship and escort proceeded down the fjord and to sea. Later, CHROBRY returned to Namsos, arriving at 2230, and destroyers ferried troops and stores from the ship to jetty until 0700, 29th April, when they sailed for Scapa.

In Romsdals Fjord, BLACK SWAN, having embarked 700 rounds of ammunition during the night,successfully engaged many enemy aircraft during the day, until 1550 when a dive bomber hit the ship after with a bomb that passed right through the ship beforeexploding.  Little damage was done and the ship continued in action, until the last attack, when only 29 roundsremained.

JANUS sailed from Scapa at 1400 with despatches for Namsos and for Skjel Fjord.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE sailed from Scapa at 1600 for Operation ZMA.

GLASGOW, JACKAL, and JAVELIN proceeded from Scapa at 2030 for Molde expecting to arriveat 2100, 29th April, and to embark His Majesty the King of Norway and Norwegian Government for passage to Tromso.

Convoy T.S.M. 2 and F.S. 3 arrived Scapa escorted by JASON, GLEANER, and A/S Trawlers, escortsubsequently returning to Clyde.

GLORIOUS arrived Scapa with FURY, FORTUNE, ESCORT, GRENADE, HASTY, and ENCOUNTER at1800.

During the day, CODRINGTON, flying the flag of the Flag Officer, Narvik, (Admiral of the Fleet,the Earl of Cork and Orrery) carried out a reconnaissance and bombardment of the Narvik area, with General Bethouart and Brigadier Fraser on board. An A/A battery, railway viaduct, and machine gun posts were bombarded with effect.

DELIGHT, DIANA, and IMPERIAL arrived Scapa at 1900.

INGLEFIELD left Clyde at 2030 for Scapa, expecting to arrive at 1100, 29th April.  WANDERER, ANTELOPE, ACHERON, WALKER, and WESTCOTT also left Clyde for Scapa, expecting to arrive at1300, 29th April.

FIREDRAKE arrived Clyde at 1700 to join the Fleet after refit at Cardiff.

COSSACK sailed from Scapa at 1510, proceeding westabout to Portsmouth for repairs to actiondamage.

Monday, 29th April 1940

Early a.m., WOLVERINE, BRAZEN, KIMBERLEY, HAZEL, and WHITETHORNE sailed from Namsos,escorting S.S. GUNVOR MAERSK to Scapa, having disembarked the 166th A/A Battery from GUNVOR MAERSK and troops from KIMBERLEY and BRAZEN. This convoy had been bombed by five enemy aircraft at 1621 and 2008 the evening before while entering the Fjord,but no damage had been sustained.  BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS also sailed from Namsos, escorting AMIENOIS andSAUMUR with approximately 840 French troops for Scapa.

WALLACE and VALOROUS sailed from Scapa at 0400 and 0700, respectively, for Rosyth.

VOLUNTEER and BEAGLE arrived Scapa at 0545 from Narvik Area.

NUBIAN and ASHANTI arrived Scapa at 0900.

Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON with ESCAPADE, sailed from Harstad at 1400, escorting tankerINVERARDER to Invergordon.

IMOGEN, ISIS, and ILEX, screening FURIOUS, arrived Greenock at 0700.

FLAMINGO sailed from Scapa at 1530 for Dundee to dock and make good defects to underwaterfittings.

AUCKLAND sailed from Scapa at 1900 for Aandalsnes to provide A/A protection.

STORK sailed from Rosyth at 1400 for Namsos.

Captain (D) V in KELLY, with MAORI, IMPERIAL, and BISON sailed from Scapa at 2000, escortingFrench Transports EL D  JEZAIR, EL KANTARA, and EL MANSOUR for Namsos Area to evacuate troops.

VALIANT, escorted by FURY, FORTUNE, ESCORT, and ENCOUNTER sailed from Scapa at 2100 togive A/A protection to ARK ROYAL and for Operation ZEAL  bombardment of approaches to Trondheim.  This operation was cancelled later.

MOHAWK, with Convoy T.M. 1, proceeded west of Shetlands and later proceeded to fuel atSullom Voe, leaving AMAZON and WITHERINGTON to escort.

At 1445, in position 61-38.5N, 0-36E, WITHERINGTON attacked an Asdic contact which gaveevery indication of being a U boat. Large air bubbles and a wash steaming at  speed of 6 knots were seen, and after the second attack wooden battens and a small stool came to the surface,but could not be recovered owning to the presence of hostile aircraft.  It is probable the U boat was seriously damaged or possibly sunk.

TARTU, MILAN, and CHEVALIER PAUL, escorting PRESIDENT DOUMER and DJENNE sailed from Narvikarea for United Kingdom.

WALKER, WANDERER, and WESTCOTT sailed from Scapa at 1700, screening Vice AdmiralCommanding, Second Cruiser Squadron, in GALATEA, ARETHUSA for Aandalsnes, and Molde area to evacuate troops.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with MASHONA and TARTAR sailed from Scapa at 1230, escorting ULSTERMONARCH and ULSTER PRINCE to Aandalsnes to evacuate troops.  SIKH followed at 1540 to join escort.

GRENADE, GRIFFIN, and HASTY sailed at 2100 from Scapa, escorting Vice AdmiralCommanding, First Cruiser Squadron in DEVONSHIRE, with MONTCALM and YORK for Namsos area to cover French transports and evacuate troops.

Tuesday, 30th April 1940

VETERAN and VISCOUNT, escorting S.S. CHROBRY from Namsos, arrived at Scapa at 0700.

BLACK SWAN arrived at Scapa at 1345, with bomb damage, requiring temporary repairs byWOOLWICH before proceeding to a repair yard.

GLORIOUS, escorted by ACHERON, ANTELOPE, BEAGLE, and VOLUNTEER sailed from Scapa at 0630to fly on aircraft and to rendezvous with ARK ROYAL.

ASHANTI sailed at 1000 for Dundee for docking and repairs.

MOHAWK arrived Sullom Voe at 0900 to refuel, and on completion sailed for Scapa, arriving at0600, 1st May.

VANSITTART sailed from Invergordon at 0600, escorting R.F.A. WAR NIZAM to Scapa, arriving1600, 30th April.

ISIS, IMOGEN, and ILEX sailed from Clyde at 0830, escorting S.S. BELLEROPHON and LYCAON tothe Narvik area.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE completed minelaying operation ZMA at 2230, 29th April, and retired towards Humber.  At 1237, this force was diverted to Scapa being required for escortduties.

Norwegian SLEIPNER sailed from Scapa at 1330 for Tyne for refit at North Shields DockCompany.  SLEIPNER was diverted to Rosyth later on account of enemy mining on the East Coast.

Captain (D) I in CODRINGTON was, at 1241, ordered to close position 68-43N, 14-24.5E, wherethe oiler BOARDALE was in need of assistance after grounding.  BOARDALE was destroyed by fire before the arrival of CODRINGTON and ESCAPADE with INVERARDER.

BITTERN was hit by a bomb at Namsos and was sunk before the port was evacuated.

WARSPITE, screened by HERO, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE, sailed from Greenock at 2020 forGibraltar.

At 2034, KIMBERLEY, escorting S.S. GUNVOR MAERSK, was ordered to Sullom Voe to refuel, embarkammunition from JUNO and proceed to join Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers, replacing JUNO in ARK ROYAL s screen.

At 1415, an explosion on board French MAILLE BREZE at the Tail of Bank, Greenock, caused byone of her torpedoes, led to fire, and the sinking of the ship.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with DELIGHT and DIANA, sailed from Scapa at 1700, escorting ViceAdmiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron in MANCHESTER with BIRMINGHAM, for evacuation of Molde.

VOLUNTEER arrived Sullom Voe at 2230 to ascertain and good defects, subsequentlyproceeding to Scapa.  While entering Sullom Voe anchorage, VOLUNTEER fouled the indicator nets,  but was cleared later by the Attendant Boom Boat with little damage to the net and none to VOLUNTEER.

WANDERER grounded in Aandalsnes area during the evacuation of troops and was towed off by SIKH.

TARTAR and S.S. ULSTER PRINCE secured alongside Molde wharf at 2300 and embarked the base staffand other military details, proceeding at 0010, 1st May.  No enemy aircraft had been sighted and the embarkation proceeded unhindered.

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-15th MAY 1940

 

SECRET

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY V

1ST  15TH MAY 1940

(Enclosure in No. 702/H.D. 00571A of 22nd June 1940)

Wednesday, 1st May 1940

During the night the first evacuation of Aandalsnes and Molde was successfully carried out by a forceunder the command of Vice Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron, GALATEA, SHEFFIELD, SOUTHAMPTON, ARETHUSA, SOMALI, MASHONA, SIKH, TARTAR, WANDERER,WALKER, WESTCOTT, and S.S. ULSTER PRINCE and ULSTER MONARCH.

VETERAN, VISCOUNT, VANSITTART sailed from Scapa at 0500, escorting Convoy F.S. 3 and MASHOBRA(carrying R.M.F.U. equipment) to join Narvik bound convoy under escort of ISIS. On meeting, VETERAN and VISCOUNT proceeded with MASHOBRA to Clyde, and VANSITTART and remaining shipsjoin the convoy to Narvik.

ESK, EXPRESS, and INTREPID already loaded with mines for the Narvik area, were ordered to return toImmingham with all dispatch. They sailed from Scapa at 0540, and arrived at 2030.

VILLE D ALGER escorted by FOUDROYANT arrived at Greenock.

KIMBERLEY sailed from Sullom Voe at 0915 after refueling.

WITHERINGTON and AMAZON arrived at Scapa at 0505 escorting Convoy T.M. 1 consisting of British steamersDELIUS, DALLINGTON COURT, SPANKER, and RONAN from Aandalsnes area.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE arrived Scapa at 0740, having been diverted from passage to Imminghambeing urgently required for screening duties with the Fleet.

WOLVERINE and BRAZEN arrived Scapa at 0525, with army details on board from Namsos area.

ECHO passed May Island at 0900 escorting BRITISH GOVERNOR to Scapa.

Convoy F.P. 3 sailed from Clyde at 0700.  Convoy consisted of S.S. COLOMBIE, MEXIQUE, CHENONCEAUX, VILLE D ALGER, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, andEMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA for Narvik, REINA DE PACIFICO, LANCASTRIA, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, BATORY, and SOBIESKI for Scapa, escorted by EPERVIER, FOUDROYANT,ATHERSTONE, WARWICK, JASON, GLEANER.  WHIRLWIND followed at 1300 to reinforce screen.

SOUTHAMPTON arrived Sullom Voe p.m. to transfer passengers to destroyers. WESTCOTT embarked 350 (approximately) and proceeded to Scapa. WALKER returned to Aandalsnes for Operation IRON  the final evacuation.

HYPERION and BEAGLE were detached by V.A. (A) from aircraft carrier force t9 refuel at Sullom Voe.

JUNO arrived Scapa at 1800 from Sullom Voe.

WANDERER searched for a U boat, reported by aircraft at 1515 in position 61-20N, 00-18E from 1744 to 2103and then had to abandon search owing to shortage of fuel, being ordered to arrive at Sullom Voe at daylight, Thursday, 2nd May, to embark passengers from WALKER.

Convoy F.S. 2 arrived Vaags Fjord, escorted by WITCH and CAMPBELL; also S.S. BALTEAKO and HERON,escorted by GRAFTON and BURZA.

MOHAWK sailed from Scapa at 2000, escorting ROYAL ULSTERMAN with troops for landing at Mo.

WITHERINGTON and WOLVERINE sailed from Scapa at 2100, escorting S.S. CHROBRY and ORION to Rosyth, arrivingat 1130 2nd May.

Thursday, 2nd May 1940

Final evacuation of Aandalsnes and Molde were successfully carried out during the night  andOperation IRDON was cancelled as German forces were expected to enter town today.

AMAZON an d BRAZEN sailed from Scapa at 0330 to rendezvous with convoy F.P. 3 as additional escort toNarvik, with WARWICK, WHIRLWIND, and EPERVIER.  FOUDROYANT, ATHERSTONE, JASON, and GLEANER provided escort for Scapa contingent to Scapa.

ECHO arrived Scapa at 0700 escorting oiler BRITISH GOVERNOR from Rosyth. Sailed at 1300 to join escort for Convoy F.P. 3, but was recalled to Scapa at 1350.

Fog during the night has preventing the evacuation from Namsos as C.S. 1 s force and French transportscould not enter fjords. Fog had also prevented JANUS from arriving at Mosjoen to land the advance party ofFrench troops from Namsos.

While waiting to enter Namsen Fjord, MAORI sustained considerable amount of minor damage and somecasualties from a near miss during a bombing attack under conditions when the attacking machine could neither be seen or heard.

BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS arrived Scapa at 1200.

HEREWARD arrived Sullom Voe at 1240 to refuel.

MATABELE arrived Scapa at 0700 escorting French transport CAP BLANC.

WESTCOTT arrived Scapa from Sullom Voe at 0800 with 350 troops and wounded.

SIKH, escorting ULSTER MONARCH, arrived Scapa at 0800 from Aandalsnes area.

WANDERER arrived Sullom Voe at 0635 to refuel and sailed again at 1020 to escort PELCAN in tow ofBRIGAND from Lerwick to Rosyth. Destination was later changed to Sheerness and all ships reached theNore without incident at 2200/5th May.

HERO, FOXHOUND, and FIREDRAKE arrived Clyde at 1600 after screening WARSPITE clear of submarinezone.

ARDENT sailed from Narvik area at 0800 escorting empty troop ship FLANDRES to Clyde via the Minches.

JAGUAR left Rosyth escorting A.S.I.S CROMARTY FIRTH for Scapa. JAGUAR rejoining the Home Fleet after refit.

BLACK SWAN sailed from Scapa at 1930 for Falmouth westabout, arriving at 1500, 4th May for repairs by Silley and Cox.

BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS sail from Scapa at 2130 for Clyde escorting French transports AMIENOIS, SAMUR,and CAP BLANC, and arrived at Greenock 1t 1800, 4th May.

JANUS, at 2350, completed the landing of troops of the advance party at Mosjoen apparentlyunobserved.  JANUS was then ordered to find, and escort clear of the coast three Norwegian ships loaded PULPwaiting about 50 miles off shore, two at Salsbruket and one at Lansless.

HYPERION arrived Sullom Voe to refuel at 2215.

ICARUS proceeded from Scapa at 1200 to meet S.S. GUNVOR MAERSK for escort to Scapa and arrived backin harbour about 1800.

WALKER arrived Scapa at 1515, escorting SOUTHAMPTON from Aandalsnes area.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI arrived Scapa at 1630 with personnel from Aandalsnes area. 

Friday, 3rd May 1940

Operation KLAXON 1 and 2 was completed at 0445  approximately 6400 troops having been evacuatedfrom Namsos by transports, cruisers, and destroyers of the force under Vice Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron. This force was heavily bombed during the day and at 1010 French contre torpilleur BISON was hit by a bomb which exploded the foremagazine and blew off the fore part of the ship. GRENADE and AFRIDI rescued survivors and the wreck was then sunk by gunfire from AFRIDI.  At 1400, on rejoining the main body, AFRIDI was attacked by dive bombers andreceived two hits.  GRIFFIN and IMPERIAL proceeded alongside and rescued survivors before AFRIDI foundered 46minutes after being hit. There was killed, in addition to the 49 British officers and ratings of AFRIDI, 3 fromIMPERIAL, about 30 from BISON, and 13 military from the Namsos mission rearguard.

DIANA expected to arrive Tromso about 1100 with Norwegian C in C, General Ruge, and staff evacuated fromAandalsnes area.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD and DELIGHT arrived Scapa at 0015 escorting BIRMINGHAM andMANCHESTER.

FURY, ENCOUNTER, FEARLESS, ACHERON, ANTELOPE, FORTUNE, KIMBERLEY arrived Scapa at 1030 escorting V.A. (A)in ARK ROYAL, GLORIOUS, VALIANT, and BERWICK.

BEAGLE arrived Scapa at 0630.

.JACKAL due Sullom Voe at 0800 to refuel and to change Asdic oscillator, and sailed again at 1115.

HYPERION and HEREWARD arrived Scapa 1330 from Sullom Voe.

AUCKLAND arrived Scapa at 1015 with troops from Aandalsnes.

Convoy of ten ships sailed from Scapa at 1100, escorted by JASON, GLEANER, and BEAGLE to Clyde.  WALKER sailed two hours later with stragglers S.S. GUNVOR MAERSK and RONAN.  WALKER and BEAGLE were detailed to take Bristol channel contingent onfrom the Clyde.

TARTU, MILAN, CHEVALIER PAUL, SIKH, and TARTAR sailed from Scapa to intercept two German transports andtwo torpedo boats expected to be in position 58-45N, 4-48E, at 2200, steering 325 degrees.  The force returned to Scapa at 0940, 4th May with nothing to report.

GLORIOUS sailed from Scapa at 1600 for the Clyde, escorted by IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE.

FLEETWOOD, WESTCOTT, VOLUNTEER, and FOUDROYANT from Scapa at 2100 with trawlers ULLSWATER and WILLOWas escort for Convoy H.K. 1 bound for Narvik  Oilers BROOMDALE, BRITISH GOVERNOR, Collier NARVA, A.S.I.S. CROMARTY FIRTH, EMILE JAVERY, and LASSOO.

FURY, FORESIGHT, ANTELOPE, and ACHERON proceeded from Scapa at 2330 to rendezvous with C.S. 1 asadditional escort for convoy of troopships from Namsos.

Saturday, 4th May 1940

MOHAWK and ROYAL ULSTERMAN completed the landing operation at Mo, at 0645, apparently unobserved by theenemy ships, then sailed for Scapa, GRAFTON taking stores, mails, etc., for Narvik area.

Polish destroyer GROM was sunk during a morning air raid on ships off Narvik  1 officer and 65ratings missing.

HAVANT and ACASTA sailed from Narvik area at 0600 escorting LOMBARDY, McGREGOR LAIRD, and EMPIRE ABILITYto United Kingdom.

Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON with ESCAPADE escorting INVERARDER arrived Invergordon at 1430.  ESCAPADE was detached to Rosyth for boiler cleaning and CODRINGTON remained to escort INVERARDER to Scapa whenloaded.

DELIGHT, FEARLESS, KIMBERLEY and FORTUNE sailed from Scapa at 0600 as escort for S.S. LANCASTRIA,BATORY, SOBIESKI, and ULSTER MONARCH, full transport for Clyde, arriving Clyde at 1230, 5th May.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with SIKH, TARTAR, MASHONA, ENCOUNTER, and JAGUAR sailed from Scapaat 1620, escorting V.A. (A) in ARK ROYAL with CURLEW to the Narvik area to give fighter protection to H.M. Ships, auxiliaries, and merchant vessels.

AUKLAND sailed from Scapa at 1700 for Rosyth, and arrived at 0700, 5th May,

JACKAL and FOXHOUND, escorting GLASGOW, arrived Greenock at 1600 from Tromso.

HERO and FOXHOUND sailed from Greenock at 1300 escorting oiler ETHELEMPRESS to Scapa, arriving at 0800,6th May.

IMPULSIVE, ICARUS, and IVANHOE arrived Greenock at 1630, escorting GLORIOUS.

ACASTA and HAVANT sailed from Vaags Fjord during the forenoon escorting S.S. LOMBARDY, McGREGOR LAIRD,EMPIRE ABILITY, and A/S trawler BUTTERMERE.  (repeated from 9 paragraphs above).

S.S. LOMBARDY and McGREGOR LAIRD to be escorted onward to Newport.

DIANA escorting R.F.A. ALDERSDALE left Skjel Fjord at 2300 for Scapa.

ICARUS, IVANHOE, and IMPULSIVE sailed from Greenock at 2100 for Scapa, and arrived at 1900, 5th May.

IMPERIAL, GRIFFIN, and GRENADE arrived at Sullom Voe at 1700 and disembarked wounded French andBritish personnel to French Hospital Ship SPHINX, sailing again at 2130 for Scapa.

KELLY and HASTY arrived Scapa at 2300 from Namsos area.

Oiler SAN TIBURCIO, being escorted by trawler LEINCESTER CITY, was damaged by explosion at 1910 andsubsequently sank off Torbat Ness. Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON proceeded to her assistance, but when itbecame apparent that the explosion had been a magnetic mine, probably laid by aircraft, CODRINGTON returned to harbour, leaving Motor A/S Boats to search.

BULLDOG sailed from Devonport at 1600 for the Clyde to join Commander in Chief, Home Fleet sCommand, arriving at 1600, 5th May.

NUBIAN arrived at Scapa at 2030 escorting YORK from Namsos area.

Sunday, 5th May 1940

JANUS arrived Scapa at 0730 after searching for pulp ships off the Norwegian coast.

ACHERON, ANTELOPE, MAORI, FURY, FORESTER, and HERWARD arrived Scapa at 0400, screening C.S. 1 s forcefrom Namsos area.

 IMPERIAL, GRIFFIN, and GRENADE arrived Scapa at 0730 with survivors from BISON and AFRIDI and military rear guard from Namsos.

WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON left the Clyde at 1400, escorting S.S. META to Scapa for onward passage to theNarvik area.

VETERAN, VISCOUNT, and FIREDRAKE sailed from Clyde at 0900, escorting S.S. ULSTER PRINCE, and ROYALSCOTSMAN to Mosjoen and Bodo respectively.

Troop convoy  S.S. EL D JEZAIR, PRESIDENT DOUMER, EL MANSOUR, EL KANTARA, REINA DEL PACIFICO,DUCHESS OF ATHOL, and DJENNE sailed from Scapa at 1800 for Clyde, escorted by Captain (D) V in KELLY, GRENADE, IMPERIAL, GRIFFIN, TARTU, CHEVALIER PAUL, andMILAN, SUFFOLK was also in company.

Monday, 6th May 1940

MAORI sailed from Scapa at 0001 to rendezvous with ECLIPSE at 0600 off Sumburgh Head and to escort ECLIPSEwho sailed from Lerwick at 0420 to Clyde, ECLIPSE steaming on one main engine after bomb damage.  MAORI then proceeded to Liverpool for repairs by Grayson, Rollop, and Choker.

NUBIAN and JUNO sailed from Scapa at 0400 and relieved VISCOUNT of escort of ULSTER PRINCE and ROYALSCOTSMAN at 1030.  VETERAN and JUNO parted company at 1540 to escort ULSTER PRINCE to Mosjoen and NUBIAN proceededwith ROYAL SCOTSMAN to Bodo.  VISCOUNT had returned to Scapa on relief, arriving at 1400, 6th May.

ESCAPADE sailed from Rosyth at 0900 to escort oiler INVERARDER to Liverpool for repairs for repairsand refit by Harland Wolff.

Convoy N.S. 2 sailed from Greenock at 0230 for Narvik consisting of MASHOBRA, BALZAC, CALUMET, andCOXWALD escorted by JAVELIN, JACKAL, BRESTOIS, and BOULONNAIS, META and escort were ordered to sail from Scapa at 1500, 7th May.

ESK, EXPRESS, and INTREPID arrived Scapa loaded for Operation D.Z.

MOHAWK, escorting British ROYAL ULSTERMAN from Mo, arrived at Scapa at 0900.

Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON escorting WAR BHARATA from Invergordon, arrived Scapa at 1700.

HERO and FOXHOUND sailed from Scapa at 1230 for Rosyth, for boiler cleaning.

IVANHOE, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE sailed from Scapa at 2130 for Immingham, to boiler clean and embarkmines.

ARDENT arrived Greenock at 1300, escorting French transport FLANDRES from Narvik area.

WALKER and BEAGLE arrived Liverpool after escort to Bristol Channel, to be taken in hand for boilercleaning.

Tuesday, 7th May 1940

          S.S. BALZAC and COXWOLD of Convoy N.S. 2 grounded south of Neist Light in LittleMinch at 0230 and were unfit to proceed with the convoy.  BOULONNAIS escorted COXWOLD to Scapa and BRESTOIS escorted BALZAC to Stornoway arriving at 1330 and subsequentlyproceeding to Scapa. 

WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON sailed from Scapa at 0500, escorting S.S. META to rendezvous with Convoy N.S. 2and for passage to the Narvik area.

After joining, WITHERINGTON proceeded to Stornoway to report on the situation and provide A/Sprotection for BALZAC.

MATABELE sailed from Scapa at 1330, escorting S.S. ROYAL ULSTERMAN to Leith.

GALLANT and BULLDOG sailed from Greenock at 0800, escorting S.S. ALMANZORA to Scapa, arriving at 1100, 8th May.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR with AMAZON and IMOGEN, escorting empty troop transports from Narvikarea reached position 66-30N, 1-00W at 0500, 8th May, routed from thence to Scapa.

ECLIPSE arrived Greenock at 1800 for repairs to bomb damage, escorted from Lerwick by MAORI, who thenproceeded to Liverpool.

ANTELOPE and ACHERON sailed from Scapa at 2030 to relieve ACASTA and BUTTERMERE escorting southboundstore ship convoy to Clyde and Newport.

Norwegian DRAUG sailed from Scapa at 1800, proceeding westabout to Portsmouth.

HAVANT, detached from escort of empty store ships, arrived Scapa at 1600 to refuel.  ACASTA remaining with the convoy.

KANDAHAR and HOSTILE sailed from Leith at 2200, escorting S.S. CHROBRY to Narvik area.

ESCAPADE sailed from Invergordon at 2030, escorting Oiler INVERARDER to Scapa, arriving at 0700, 8th May. ESCAPADE then proceeded to Liverpool to refit, arriving at 0740.

Wednesday, 8th May 1940

BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS, escorting COXWOLD, arrived Scapa at 0630, having been delayed by fog in thePentland Firth.

HYPERION, HEREWARD, and JANUS sailed from Scapa at 0500, screening BIRMINGHAM to Rosyth.

Captain (D) V in KELLY and KIMBERLEY sailed from Greenock at 0845 with all dispatch to Rosyth to form partof a force of eight modern destroyers required for duty on the East Coast. This force was later directed to proceed to Humber.

FEARLESS and FORTUNE, escorting BERWICK and GLASGOW, sailed from Greenock at 0430 for Operation FORK.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with ESCORT sailed from Scapa at 1230 to join S.S. CHROBRY and escort ship toNarvik area.  On relief, KANDAHAR and HOSTILE proceeded towards Rosyth with dispatch to join Captain (D) V sforce.

At 2200, SOMALI met a Norwegian fishing vessel making for the Faroes with twelve Norwegian Air Forceofficers.  The boat was given a boat s compass and directed to Shetlands.

Thursday, 9th May 1940

Captain (D) 20 in EXPRESS, with ESK and INTREPID, proceeded from Scapa at 0500 to carry out a lay of minesand then to return to Immingham.

ACASTA, with BUTTERMERE, arrived Scapa after having been relieved of escort of empty store ships.

FURY, FORESIGHT, GALLANT, and BULLDOG, proceeded from Scapa at 0630 to screen REPULSE, exercising west ofPentland Firth.

DIANA escorting ALDERSDALE from Narvik area arrived at the Clyde at 1500.

GRENADE sailed from Greenock at 1700 for Liverpool for boiler cleaning.

WITHERINGTON arrived Scapa at 1300 from Stornoway  trawler St CATHAN having taken over A/Sprotection of BALZAC.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR with AMAZON and IMOGEN, arrived Scapa at 1400, escorting MONARCH OFBERMUDA, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, and VILLE D ALGER from Narvik area.

At 0900, cruiser and destroyer forces in North Sea were given new dispositions to intercept aminelaying force and an M.T.B. force to the north of German declared minefield.

BIRMINGHAM, screened by HYPERION, JANUS, HEREWARD, and HAVOCK proceeded towards position 56-39N, 3-37E,to intercept enemy minelaying force.  KANDAHAR and HOSTILE and Captain (D) V in KELLY with KIMBERLEY proceededto join BIRMINGHAM.

KIMBERLEY was short of fuel and was later ordered to return to Rosyth. After fuelling, KIMBERLEY proceeded to Sheerness and arrived 2120, Friday 10th May to join the Command of Commander in Chief, Nore.

FURY, MOHAWK, FORESIGHT, BULLDOG, and GALLANT proceeded from Scapa at noon towards position 57-21N,2-22E to meet M.T.B. s

KELLY was torpedoed at 2235 in position 53-48N, 5-09E during an action with M.T.B. s in low visibilityand suffered severe damage putting main engines out of action.  BULLDOG took KELLY in tow and at 0010/10th May in thick fog, an enemy M.T.B. was in collision with BULLDOG and KELLY as a result of which she sank.

Convoy H.K. 1 arrived at Harstad.

NUBIAN, escorting ROYAL SCOTSMAN, entered Fjords at 2000 and proceeded to Bodo, fog having preventedentry on the evening of 8th May. FIREDRAKE joined at 2100 and at 2200 ROYAL SCOTSMAN berthed alongside the jetty at Bodo and the unloading oftroops and stores was successfully carried out to the shore and into small steamers. The force sailed at 0200, 10th May for Scapa.

Friday 10th May 1940

BRESTOIS with BOULONNAIS and WITHERINGTON sailed from Scapa at 0600, escorting MONARCH OF BERMUDA,EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, VILLE D JEZAIR and tanker LOT to Clyde, arriving at 1330, 11th May.

FAULKNOR sailed from Scapa at 0001 for Grimsby to refit, arriving at 1645.

MANCHESTER and SHEFFIELD sailed from Scapa at 0300 to cover and support retirement of KELLY.

Germany invaded Belgium and Holland during the morning.  BIRMINGHAM was ordered to proceed with whole force towards Terschellingleaving two destroyers to cover BULLDOG and KELLY.

KELLY at 0710 reported in position 56-56N, 4-05E in tow of BULLDOG making good 5 knots course 250degrees, escorted by KANDAHAR, FURY, and GALLANT.  C.S. 18 in MANCHESTER, with SHEFFIELD arrived at 1400 to give support.

At 0700, Force FORK landed successfully at Reykjavik from BERWICK, GLASGOW, FEARLESS and FORTUNE and Iceland was assumed to be taken underBritish protection.

Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON sailed from Scapa 0910 for Dover, arriving at 0750, Saturday, 11th May.  GRIFFIN was ordered to sail from Greenock westabout at 0910 for Dover, arriving 1136, 11th May, Saturday, 11th May.  Both ships to join Nore Command.

At 0926, BIRMINGHAM and accompanying destroyers were placed under the orders of Commander in Chief,Nore.  It was then the intention of Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, that the 1st, 5rd, and 7th Flotillas should join the Nore Command and that ships of 2nd, 4th, and 8th Flotillas that are now in the south should be released as reliefs join/

In view of the vulnerability of destroyers to air attack, it was approved in principle that 50Oerlikon A/A guns should be made available and mounted, and that lethal kites should also be fitted in certain ships.

Admiralty gave instructions at 1103 that destroyers with ULSTER PRINCE were all except one toreturn to Scapa at maximum possible speed. On the arrival of N.S. 2 at Narvik area, JACKAL and JAVELIN also to proceed to Scapa.

EPERVIER, ELECTRA, and ILEX sailed from Harstad during the forenoon escorting S.S. COLOMBIE, MEXIQUE,CHENONCEAUX, S. FIRMIN, BELLEROPHON, BRITISH LORD, and LYACON to the Clyde  French transports and EPERVIER to proceed ahead from position 70N,10E.  On arrival North Channel ILEX to escort BRITISH LORD to Liverpool.

MATABELE, escorting ROYAL ULSTERMAN, sailed from Firth of Forth at 1900 for Bodo, to arrive at 2300, 13th May.

ANTELOPE instructed to escort EMPIRE ABILITY to the Smalls and to return to Clyde when relieved byCLARKIA.

CAMPBELL and WITCH sailed from Skjel Fjord during the evening, escorting PENELOPE in tow, ISIS in tow,with S.S. SEA VALOUR and LOCHEE.

HASTY and HAVANT sailed from Scapa at 2330 for Aberdeen to rendezvous with and escort S.S. LOCHNAGAR,HORSA, and MACCLESFIELD to Lerwick.  Ships to be off Aberdeen at 0500, 11th May.

S.S. ULSTER MONARCH sailed from Scapa at 2130 unescorted for Harstad, carrying military and R.A.F. stores.

HOSTILE and FORESIGHT arrived 2140 at Humber to refuel.

GRAFTON, BURZA, and BLYSKAWICA sailed from Skjel Fjord at 2200 for Scapa.

FEARLESS and FORTUNE, escorting BERWICK and GLASGOW, sailed from Reykjavik at 1900 on completion ofOperation FORK.

ZULU closed Hemnes Pier to deal with a reported landing by German troops, and at 2050 sighted S.S.NORDNORGE unloading stores alongside.  Troops were already ashore in some force, and the transport was sunk bygunfire and torpedo, probably with the majority of stores still on board.  After leaving Hemnes, ZULU embarked the survivors of No. 3 Platoon of No. 1 Independent Company who had been hold thevillage before the landing.

VISCOUNT sailed from Scapa at 2330 for the Clyde to form part of escort for aircraft carriers, arrived at1530, 11th May.

Saturday, 11th May 1940

WALKER and BEAGLE sailed from Liverpool at 0900 after boiler cleaning and arrived Clyde at 1730.

VETERAN, escorting ULSTER PRINCE, called at Sullom Voe for fuel and water en route to the Clyde.

C.S. 18, at 0410, asked for a tug to assist towage of KELLY as FURY was unable to make good more than 3knots.  At 1609 the cruisers were ordered to return to Rosyth, aircraft having reported two submarines in thevicinity.

KANDAHAR left KELLY at 04** (not readable) to refuel at Rosyth, and sailed to rejoin at 1820.

SOMALI with corvettes escorting S.S. CHROBRY, E.T.A. Harstad at 0630.

JUNO due Scapa at 1130.

JACKAL and JAVELIN sailed from Tjelsundet (Narvik area) at 0700 for Scapa. Later diverted to Mo to make contact with GUBBINS force owing to reports of Germans being established in the Mosjoen region.

ENTERPRISE, CAIRO, FLEETWOOD, and HESPERUS with 820 troops and storeship MARGOT proceeded fromNarvik area at 1130 to effect landing at Mo or Bodo a.m., 12th May.  NUBIAN and transport WESTERMAN had already landed 300 troops at Bodo during the night.

At 2004, BEDOUIN was ordered to sail from Narvik to Scapa at best possible speed.

WITHERINGTON arrived Liverpool at 2130.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with ESCORT, arrived Harstad at 1100 escorting CHROBRY, ESCORT then sailed toreinforce escort for PENELOPE.

FIREDRAKE arrived at Scapa at 2210 from Bodo.

Convoy F.S. 2 and S.S. META arrived Narvik area during the day, the latter arriving separately underthe escort of WOLVERINE, having been detached on account of her slow speed.

Sunday, 12th May 1940

HASTY and HAVANT escorting LOCH NAGAR, HORSA, and MACCLESFIELD, arrived Lerwick at 0025, 12th May:  HAVANT to proceed direct to Clyde; HASTY to wait and escort S.S. MONARCH to Scapa.

Tugs WATERMEYER and BRAHAM reached KELLY at 0500 and 0645 and took over the tow.

WALKER and BEAGLE sailed from Clyde at 0800 escorting convoy N.S. 3. Ships in the convoy were S.S. CYPRIAN PRINCE, RUTLAND, DROMORE CASTLE, GUNVOR MAERSK, PEMBROKE COAST, HEILO, and COWRIE. S.S. ATHELSULTAN joined the convoy in the North Channel, and S.S. MARINA (cargo ex BALZAC) sailed from Stornoway andjoined in the Minches.  S.S. COWRIE and ATHELSULTAN were detached to Scapa.

NUBIAN arrived Scapa at 0030 from Bodo.

Rosyth Section N.S. 3  HERO and FOXHOUND, escorting REDCAR sailed from Leith at 0800 torendezvous with N.S. 3 at 1900, 13th May.  FOXHOUND was detached to arrive Hoxa Gate at 0700, 13th May, to escort the Scapa contingent.

IMPERIAL and VISCOUNT sailed from Greenock at 1100 escorting FURIOUS during flying on of aircraftsubsequent to rendezvous with GLORIOUS, escorted by DELIGHT and DIANA.  At 1415, both aircraft carriers were ordered to return to Clyde to await further orders.

ACHERON and ANTELOPE arrived Greenock at 0700  ACHERON to repair minor defects and boilerclean.

JACKAL landed Colonel Gubbins and military force at Bodo at 1000, and after supplying provisions andammunition, JACKAL and JAVELIN proceeded for Scapa, arriving at 1730, 13th May.

FORTUNE and FEARLESS arrived Scapa at 1010 from Operation FORK.

HAVANT arrived Greenock from Lerwick at 2230.

GRAFTON, BLYSKAWICA, and BURZA arriving Scapa at 1830 from Narvik area.  BLYSKAWICA, with steering gear out of action, required towage by tug HENDON to alongside WOOLWICH.

MASHONA and JAGUAR arrived Scapa at 2100 from Narvik.

Monday, 13th May 1940

KELLY arrived at the Tyne at 1700 in tow of WATERMEYER and BRAHMAN, escorted by KANDARHAR, GALLANT, FURY,and BULLDOG, to be taken in hand by Hawthorne Leslie.  KELLY had been 91 hours in tow and hove to in bad weather and had been subjected to bombing attacks without effect on each day of theoperation.

FIREDRAKE sailed from Scapa at 0800 to escort, with FOXHOUND, the Scapa portion of N.S. 3 OLEANDER, OIL PIONEER (oilers) and CARMINSTER (collier) and French S.S. BELFORT.

HERO, escorting REDCAR, joined Kirkwall portion, consisting of Norwegian steamships GRO, INGERFIRE, andSPICA in the Pentland Firth, intending to join N.S. 3 at 0600, 14th May. This portion was delayed by REDCAR s slow speed.  FOXHOUND proceeding to Greenock after rendezvous and escort to Narvik was provided byWALKER, FIREDRAKE, and BEAGLE, with HERO as far as 63N.

HASTY arrived Scapa at 0815, escorting cable ship MONARCH, from Lerwick.

JUNO, JAGUAR, BURZA, and GRAFTON proceeded from Scapa at 1000 for Harwich to join Command of Commanderin Chief, Nore.  JUNO was detached en route to run over D.G. range at Inchkeith.

BEDOUIN arrived Scapa at 1130 from Narvik area.

VETERAN, escorting ULSTER PRINCE, arrived Greenock at 0330.

GRENADE sailed at 1145 from Liverpool after boiling cleaning for Harwich.

A report of a crossing on the Indicator Loops outside eastern entrance to Scapa was received at 2045 andat 2036 a periscope was reported by the Military at Holm Batteries. At 2315, JACKAL and JAVELIN proceeded to patrol on the line Roseness  Grimness and NUBIAN, AMAZON, and ACASTAto search indie the Flow near Water Sound and Kirk Sound.  JACKAL and JAVELIN attacked several contacts which were probably the two portions of the wreck of oiler DAGHESTAN.

Tuesday, 14th May 1940

ARROW arrived Scapa at 0730 after repairs at Middlesbrough.

At 0800, destroyers patrolling in vicinity of Eastern Approaches to Scapa Flow were ordered toreturn to harbour  leaving AMAZON to patrol to seaward.

FOXHOUND arrived Clyde at 1100.

Ships in Convoy  PENELOPE, ISIS, BANDIT, and BUCHANEER (sic  BUCCANEER), ZULU, ESCORT,WITCH, SEA VALOUR, ST LOMAN, and LOCHEE were in position 62-45N, 4-30W at 0600.  CAMPBELL had been detached to refuel and arrived at Sullom Voe at 0600, sailing to rejoin at 1030.

BEDOUIN sailed from Scapa at 1030 for the Clyde for repairs and boiler cleaning, arriving at 0930, 15th May.

NUBIAN, with addition 1200 H.E. shell and HASTY, sailed from Scapa at 2130 and 1500, respectively forPlymouth to join Mediterranean Command.

HERO, escorting Convoy N.S. 3, proceeded to Plymouth on reaching Latitude 63N.

GLORIOUS and FURIOUS, screened by VETERAN, VISCOUNT, and DIANA, sailed from Clyde at 2130 for VaagsFjord area.

During the day, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with FOUDROYANT, were operating in the vicinity of Bodo,Ranen Fjord, Mo, and Hemnes in support of the military forces ashore, FOUDROYANT carrying out a bombardment.

GALLANT sailed from the Tyne at 1330 for Harwich to join command of Commander in Chief, Nore.  KANDAHAR sailed from Tyne at 1450 for Plymouth to join Mediterranean Command.

FOXHOUND and HAVANT sailed from Greenock at 1900, escorting S.S. FRANCONIA and LANCASTRIA to Reykjavikwith troops and stores.

FEARLESS sailed from Scapa 1800 for Middlesbrough to refit at Smith s Dockyard and arrived at 0700, 15th May.

INGLEFIELD and SIKH ordered to be released from a screen for ARK ROYAL to proceed to Plymouth;INGLEFIELD to refit, and SIKH to boiler clean.  SIKH later diverted to Scapa.

JAVELIN and JACKAL sailed from Scapa at 1830 to run over D.G. range at Inchkeith and to proceed toHarwich to join command of Commander in Chief, Nore.

AMAZON was recalled from A/S patrol to eastward of Scapa at 1155 and sailed from Scapa at 220* (notreadable) to join GLORIOUS and FURIOUS, to replaced WITHERINGTON in screen.

ACASTA sailed from Scapa to rendezvous with PENELOPE and relieve ZULU in the escort.

S.S. CHROBRY with Irish Guards on passage from Tjelsundet to Bodo, escorted by WOLVERINE and STORK, was attacked at 2350 by low dive bombing aircraft and sustained two or three hits. Ship was set afire and had to be abandoned.  1000 survivors being taken back to Harstad.

ESKIMO was towed by VINDICTIVE from Skjel Fjord to Tjelsundet when the former was abandoned as abase, then proceeding under her own power to Hol.  The ship was moved to various anchorages according to the effectiveness of enemy bombing raids, and finally berthed alongside a jetty atHarstad on 17th May.

It was the intention that the following ships, recently in the Home Fleet Command, should be detached:

To the Nore Command

1st Destroyer Flotilla  Captain (D) 1 in CODRINGTON, GRAFTON, GRENADE, GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, BURZA (and BLYSKAWICA on completion of boiler cleaning byWOOLWICH.

7th Destroyer Flotilla  JACKAL, JAVELIN, JAGUAR (and JERVIS, JERSEY, JUPITER on completion of repairs and refits.

To the Mediterranean Command

2nd Destroyer Flotilla  HYPERION, HOSTILE, HEREWARD, HAVOCK (and HASTY and HERO temporarily)

3rd Destroyer Flotilla  ILEX and IMPERIAL

4th Destroyer Flotilla  NUBIAN, MOHAWK

5th Destroyer Flotilla- KANDAHAR, KHARTOUM, KINGSTON, and KIMBERLEY

7th Destroyer Flotilla  JANUS and JUNO

At 1100, Convoy N.S. 3 divided into two sections, the Fast Section, oiler OLEANDER and five transportsescorted by WALKER and FIREDRAKE and the Slow Section consisting of the remaining 7 ships escorted by BEAGLE and 2 M/S trawlers.

Wednesday, 15th May 1940

WITCH arrived Scapa at 0130 to refuel and rejoin PENELOPE sailing again at 0730.

FURY, after towing KELLY to Tyne, proceeded to Leith to escort S.S. ORION, leaving at 1600 to PentlandFirth for onward escort to the Clyde.

HYPERION sailed from Sheerness at 0800 for Plymouth to join command of Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, arriving at 2130.

IMOGEN sailed from Scapa at 0800 for Sheerness to refit, and arrived at 1500, 16th May.

SOMALI, proceeding to the assistance of CHROBRY, at 0243 was damaged by a near miss bomb from a Junkers87, which flooded fore compartments to 30 bulkhead and rendered the ship unseaworthy.  SOMALI proceeded clear of the coast and returned to Scapa escorted by FOUDROYANT.  CURLEW was ordered to join as A/A escort.  BRIGAND sailed from Lerwick at 1930 to stand by.

At 1815, ILEX was ordered to proceed to Plymouth direct to join command of Commander in Chief,Mediterranean.

At 2102, ZULU was ordered to remain at Greenock, having arrived at 1930.

BASILISK, WOLVERINE, and BEAGLE sailed from Narvik area escorting S.S. MARGOT, S.S. SEPIA, S.S. ULSTERMONARCH, CHARLBURY, French BRESTOIS and CHATEAU PAVIE, Norwegian SADO.  FLEETWOOD provided A/A escort until 70 miles clear of the Norwegian coast.

It was the intention that Reinforcements for Mediterranean should sail from Plymouth as follows: -

Group 1  on 16th May at 2000, KINGSTON, KHARTOUM, KANDAHAR, NUBIAN, HYPERION, HOSTILE, and HASTY

Group 2 - on 16th May at 1630, AUCKLAND, FLAMINGO (EGRET to follow later)

Group 3 - on 17th May CARLISLE, KIMBERLEY, MOHAWK, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO, Captain (D) VII inJANUS, JUNO, IMPERIAL, and ILEX.

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 16th-31st MAY 1940

 

SECRET

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY VI

16TH May  31st May 1940

(Enclosure in No. 741/H.D. 00571A of 2nd July 1940)

 

Thursday, 16th May 1940

Dispositions in the Narvik area on this day were as follows:

MATABELE to Narvik to relieve FAME.  FAME to Hol until relieved by ECHO, then  to Skaanland to oil provision.

VANSITTART to B Patrol. ECHO to Hol on relief.

BRAZEN on E Patrol.

HAVELOCK to Skaanland to ammunition then to Baroy.

WREN to Harstad on relief to oil and provision.

WARWICK remains at Narvik.

VANSITTART available for return to United Kingdom on relief by WHIRLWIND.

ESKIMO at Skaanland, having been towed there from Skjel Fjord for greater protection.  Work was held up pending receipt of further supplies of oxygen, acetylene, and hydrogen.

 

BLKYSKAWICA sailed from Scapa at 1500 for Harwich to join command of Commander in Chief, Nore.

MASHONA proceeded at 0330 from Scapa to rendezvous with ORION in Pentland Firth. FURY was relieved of escort.

HEREWARD and HAVOCK sailed from Harwich at 0600 to Plymouth to join command of Commander in Chief,Mediterranean.

At 2150, Captain (D) VI in SOMALI ordered BRIGAND to return to Kirkwall, as towage was not required, andCURLEW to proceed to Scapa.  SOMALI continued under escort of FOUDROYANT towards Liverpool.

ACASTA and ESCORT, escorting PENELOPE in tow of BANDIT, arrived at Greenock at 2100 and CAMPBELLand WITCH escorting ISIS in tow of BUCCANEER, arrived at Greenock at 2359.

SIKH arrived Scapa at 1400.

Friday, 17th May 1940

ELECTRA arrived Greenock at 0700 escorting S.S. LYCAON, BELLEROPHON, BRITISH LORD, and ST. FERMAN fromNarvik area,

MASHONA arrived Greenock at 1530 after escorting ORION to 13W.

INGLEFIELD arrived at Devonport at 1630 to refit.

Saturday, 18th May 1940

FOUDROYANT arrived at Scapa at 0400 for fuel and ammunition before proceeding to Clyde.

WITCH sailed from Clyde at 1300 escorting ISIS in tow of BUCCANEER to Falmouth. WITCH was detached to proceed to Devonport for boiler cleaning and repairs, and arrived at 1810, 21st May.

Convoy N.P. 3, escorted by DELIGHT, ANTELOPE, and MILAN arrived Narvik area at 2000, 17th May.

French FOUDROYANT sailed from Scapa at 2130 escorting French oiler TARN to Clyde.  Expected time of arrival 0400, 20th May.

FORESIGHT sailed from the Humber at 2300 for Scapa.

MASHONA sailed from Greenock at 1520 for Scapa.  Later ordered to join SABRE searching for a U boat reported by BRABANT at 1405 inposition 58-20N, 5-23W and to remain until FOUDROYANT and oiler TARN had passed the position.  MASHONA left the position at 0815, 19th May, to continue passage to Scapa and arrived at 1145.

ARROW and FURY proceeded from Scapa at 1600 to join ATHERSTONE in search for a U boat reported byaircraft in position 59-07N, 0-47W.

WARWICK, TARTAR, WESTCOTT, and MATABELE sailed from the Narvik area during the day escorting BATORY,SOBIESKI CYCLOPS, and BALMAHA. WESTCOTT and TARTAR proceeded ahead with BATORY and SOBIESKI afterpassing position 69-30N, 9E. known as fast section.  Remainder known as slow section.

Sunday, 19th May 1940

CAM PBELL sailed from Clyde at 0900 for Scapa and arrived at 1130, 20th May.

ZULU, ESCORT, WITHERINGTON, ACASTA, and ARDENT sailed from Clyde at noon to rendezvous withConvoy T.C. 4 in position 55-30N, 13-00W at 0530, Monday, 20th May. ZULU, ESCORT, and WITHERINGTON to escort ANTONIA and DUCHESS OF BEDFORD to Liverpool and ARDENTand ACASTA to escort REVENGE to the Clyde.

SALADIN and JASON left Greenock at 2300 escorting French transports CHENONCEAUX and MEXIQUE to Brest,FOUDROYANT being detached from escorting oiler TARN to relieve JASON in the North Channel.

FOXHOUND sailed at noon from Reykjavik with Royal Marine detachment to be landed at Akreyri.  This was successfully accomplished during the forenoon of Monday, 20th May.

SOMALI arrived Liverpool at 1245 for repairs to damage from near miss bomb.

WALKER and FIREDRAKE escorting S.S. MARINA, DROMORE CASTLE, PEMBROKE COAST and GUNVOR MAERSK arrivedHarstad at 0700.  Remainder of convoy N.P. 3 remained at sea awaiting orders to enter fjords.

Monday, 20th May 1940

FORTUNE sailed from Scapa at 0745 to rendezvous with RESOLUTION bound Scapa from Narvik area, and toreinforce WREN and VANSITTART on the screen.

ARROW and FORTUNE carried out a search of Scapa Flow until 0500, following a report that at 0106 a shorebattery had fired at an unidentified craft entering Scapa Flow through Water Sound.  Nothing was found and it is probable that the report was false.

At 0146 an enemy report was received of one battleship and a large number of destroyers in position53-47N, 7-15E, steering 270 degrees.  All available destroyers at Scapa raised steam to provide a screen forcapital ships.

The force returned to 2 hours notice when it was apparent that capital ship had entered Emsand only four destroyers remained at sea steering northeastward.

ASHANTI left Dundee at 1430 for Rosyth after repairs.

MAORI sailed from Liverpool at 2115 for Clyde after repairs, and arrived at Greenock at 0700, 21st May.  MAORI was the first destroyers to be fitted with lethal kite flying equipment.

Tuesday, 21st May 1940

ARDENT and ACASTA escorting REVENGE (from T.C. 4) arrived at the Clyde at 0500.

VANOC left MAIDSTONE (also escorted by WORCESTER) at the Clyde at 0500 and proceeded to rendezvous withconvoy homeward bound from Narvik, to relieve HESPERUS.  HESPEZRUS proceeded to Dundee for refit.

RESOLUTION arrived at Scapa at 1000 from the Narvik area, escorted by FORTUNE, WREN, and VANSITTART.

ZULU and WITHERINGTON arrived at the Clyde at 1700 after escorting ANTONIA and DUCHESS OF BEDFORD(from T.C. 4) to Liverpool.

VETERAN, DIANA, AMAZON, and VISCOUNT left Narvik area escorting GLORIOUS and FURIOUS to Scapa afterdisembarking R.A.F. aircraft to shore aerodromes.

ANTELOPE, BRAZEN, ENCOUNTER, and VOLUNTEER left Narvik area escorting ARK ROYAL to Scapa afterproviding fighter protection in the zone of operations.

Wednesday, 22nd May 1940

ZULU and MAORI sailed from the Clyde at 0945 escorting MAIDSTONE to Scapa, arriving at 1900, 23rd May.

ARROW and FORTUNE proceeded from Scapa at 0700 to investigate a group of two or three trawlersflying Swedish colours reported fishing in position 58-14N, 0-54W at 1405, Tuesday, 21st, these being regarded as suspicious and possibly German or Danish.  The area between 57-30N, 58-40N and 01-30W to 01E was searched without success though evidenceof recent fishing was found.

ARROW and FORTUNE were ordered to patrol on the Meridian of 01W, between 58 and 59N during the nightwith the object of intercepting suspicious vessels, fishing vessels, M.T.B. s and U boats and to leave the patrol at 0600, 23rd May. During this patrol at 2130, ARROW reported sighting a periscope. The area was searched and two depth charge attacks were carried out on a doubtfulcontact by FORTUNE.  Subsequent investigation showed that the sighting report was probably false.

The duty destroyer at Scapa was anchored in B.2 berth at 15 minutes notice from 2100 to 0600 as aprecaution against M.T.B. s or U boats entering Scapa Flow by the Eastern entrances.

HIGHLANDER, ASHANTI, and BULLDOG escorted RENOWN during D.G. trials at Rosyth. Fog prevented completion and RENOWN returned to harbour.

BASILISK, VANOC, and WOLVERINE arrived in the Clyde at 1800, escorting S.S. MARGOT, SEPIA, ULSTERMONARCH, BRESTOIS, CHARLBURY and CHATEAU PAVIE from the Narvik area.

Thursday, 23rd May 1940

TARTAR and WESTCOTT arrived Greenock at 0330 escorting empty troopships BATORY and SOBIESKI fromNarvik area.

HIGHLANDER, ASHANTI, and BULLDOG escorted RENOWN during D.G. trials on the Inchkeith Range, and thenproceeded to Scapa, arriving at 1915.

VETERAN, VISCOUNT, AMAZON, and DIANA escorting GLORIOUS and FURIOUS arrived at Scapa at 2100 from Narvikarea.

TARTAR sailed from Greenock at 2000 for Liverpool to boiler clean, arriving at 0720, 24th May.

ACASTA and ARDENT sailed from Greenock at 1800 escorting ULSTER PRINCE to the Faroe Islands.  Destroyers remained at the Faroes until required to escort a convoy homeward bound from Narvik area.

MATABELE arrived Greenock at 2000 escorting storeship CYCLOPS.

Friday, 24th May 1940

ESCORT, VANOC, and WITHERINGTON sailed from Clyde at 0300 to rendezvous with ILLUSTRIOUS off theBar Light Vessel, Liverpool at 1400.

ANTELOPE and BRAZEN arrived at Scapa at 0700 and 1900 having been detached from screening ARK ROYALwho was delayed by fog.

The following redisposition of destroyers was ordered during the day:

(a).  BASILISK, BULLDOG, and BRAZEN to reinforce Nore Command.

(b). Ninth Destroyer Flotilla (ex Brazilian) to return to Western Approaches.

(c).  Six Tribals to be joined by Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, to form a striking force based on Rosyth.

(d). Screening force of nine ships to be available  to be Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, as they becomeavailable.

(e). Boiler cleaning to be carried out at Rosyth and Scapa only. 

BASILISK and MATABELE sailed from Greenock at 1130 for Devonport. MATABELE for repairs at Falmouth, after grounding damage, and BASILISK for boiler cleaning and repairs to brickwork at Devonport, beforejoining the Nore Command.

WOLVERINE sailed from Greenock at 1430 for Plymouth to make good defects.

BULLDOG sailed from Scapa at 1600 for Harwich with moderate dispatch to join the Nore Command.

BRAZEN sailed from Scapa at 2230 for Rosyth to boiler clean and then to join the Nore Command.

VANSITTART sailed from Scapa at 1715 escorting MAIDSTONE to Rosyth, and for passage on to the Tyne forrepairs to damage sustained from a near miss bomb.  VANSITTART later attacked a suspicious contact at 2042 in position 58-14.5N, 2-28W, but was ordered to rejoin MAIDSTONE owing to theprobability that the contact was one of a number of wrecks known to be in the vicinity.

ARROW, HIGHLANDER, and WREN sailed from Scapa at 1730, escorting GLORIOUS to the Narvik area with 46Squadron, R.A.F. for disembarkation to a shore aerodrome.

Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers, in ARK ROYAL arrived at Scapa at 1940, escorted by ENCOUNTER and VOLUNTEER.

Saturday, 25th May 1940

FURY proceeded from Scapa at 1000 to investigate Italian ships BARBANA G and ANDREA, anchored inSaviskaill Bay, Westray Firth, Orkneys.  These vessels were regarded with suspicion until their identity was established,and FURY was then ordered to escort them to Kirkwall for examination.  FURY returned to Scapa at 1915.

ANTELOPE, ENCOUNTER, VISCOUNT, AMAZON, and CAMPBELL sailed from Scapa at 1545 escorting ViceAdmiral, Aircraft Carriers in ARK ROYAL and FURIOUS to the Clyde.  VOLUNTEER followed at 1615 to relieve ENCOUNTER who was required at Rosyth for boiler cleaning and repairs.

WARWICK arrived Greenock at 0530, escorting S.S. BALMAHA from Narvik area, then proceeding to Liverpoolarriving at 0130, 26th May.

FOXHOUND and HAVANT arrived at the Clyde at 0540 escorting S.S. FRANCONIA and LANCASTRIA (emptytroopships) from Reykjavik (Iceland).

BEDOUIN and FOXHOUND sailed from the Clyde at 1550 for Scapa and arrived at 1745, 26th May.  A/S sweeps were carried out from North Channel to Lower Minch and from North Minch to Pentland Firth.

Admiralty issued instructions that in order to provide H.A. armament in older destroyers one 3 H.A. mounting should be fitted in lieu of one set of torpedo tubes in A to I classes and one 12 pounder in lieu of one set of torpedo tubes in V and W classes.

In order to increase their effectiveness against dive bombing attacks, 0.5 machine guns are beingrealigned so that all barrels are parallel, as destroyers become available. In addition multi barrel pom-poms are being modified to take high velocity ammunition.

As a further protection against magnetic mines of reversed polarity, destroyers have been taken in handfor de-perming by a special staff, and up to date seven ships have been completed at Scapa.

Saturday, 25th May 1940 (second heading as in document)

ESCORT, VANOC, and WITHERINGTON arrived at Greenock at 2030 escorting ILLUSTRIOUS from Liverpool.

KELVIN sailed at 1715 from the Tyne, after refit and repairs for Scapa, calling at Rosyth for tests on theD.G. Range.

Sunday, 26th May 1940

KELVIN sailed from Rosyth at 1800 escorting A.S.I.S. NGAKAO and ARBROATH to Scapa.

ESCORT sailed from Greenock at 1000 for Plymouth.

ACASTA and ARDENT sailed from the Faroes to rendezvous with BROOMDALE and a convoy of five shipsproceeding unescorted from the Narvik area.

ESKIMO, in tow of BANDIT, sailed from Harstad in company with FLEETWOOD, LASSOO, S.S. DEVON CITY, andALSTER for United Kingdom.

ANTELOPE, VISCOUNT, CAMPBELL, AMAZON, and VOLUNTEER arrived Clyde at 1600 escorting Vice Admiral,Air Craft Carriers in ARK ROYAL with FURIOUS.

Monday, 27th May 1940

FORESIGHT sailed from Scapa at 0400 to assist KELVINB in escorting A.S.I.S. convoy to Scapa.

MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 1000 to rendezvous with R.F.A. BROOMDALE s convoy to escort S.S. MARINA andCALUMET to Scapa,

MILAN arrived at Greenock from the Narvik area at 0625 on passage to Brest.

ELECTRA sailed from Greenock at 0030 for Scapa to join the Fleet on completion of repairs.  Later ordered to investigate two suspicious merchant vessels one in Loch Indaal and on S.W. of Ame Island,Islay. ELECTRA arrived Scapa at 2300, having nothing to report.

WOLVERINE, WITCH, and ESCORT sailed from Devonport at 1100 escorting HOOD to Liverpool.

Admiralty issued instructions that ATHERSTONE and subsequent destroyers of the Hunt class, whenworked up, are to join the Home Fleet Command.

ATHERSTONE at present stationed at Lerwick to provide local defence protection until shore batteriesare erected.

HAVANT, VISCOUNT, with MILAN and SALADIN sailed from the Clyde at 1930 escorting French Troop Convoy,consisting of EL KANTARA, EL MANSOUR, and VILLE D ANGER (sic- VILLE D  ALGER) to Havre. VISCOUNT to return to Scapa and HAVANT to join Western Approaches Command.

WHIRLWIND and WALKER sustained slight damage from near miss bombs while in the Narvik area.

Tuesday, 28th May 1940

MASHONA, ACASTA, and ARDENT, having all  failed to locate BROOMDALE s convoy on account of low visibility, carried out a searchwhich was successful in finding the convoy at 0240.

FORESIGHT arrived at Scapa at 0830 escorting A.S.I.S. NGAKAO and ARBROATH. KELVIN lost touch in the fog, and remained at sea until visibility improved.

VANOC and WITHERINGTON sailed from Greenock at 0300 escorting S.S. ROYAL SCOTSMAN to the Narvik area.

KELVIN arrived off Scapa at 1200 and joined ZULU at the Hoxa entrance to screen SUSSEX for H.A. Firings,returning to harbour at 1945.

MASHONA arrived Scapa at 1600, escorting S.S. MARINA and CALUMET on passage to Narvik.

FURY, FORESIGHT, and FORTUNE proceeded to Humber, being placed under the orders of Vice AdmiralCommanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron.

WITHERINGTON was ordered to leave the escort for S.S. ROYAL SCOTSMAN and to proceed to Thorshaven.

SIKH proceeded from Scapa at 2230 to the Clyde to refit at Alec Stephen Yard, and arrived 0630, 29th June (sic  29nd May).

At 2020, ATHERSTONE at Lerwick was ordered to proceed to hunt for a U boat reported by aircraft inposition 12 miles North of North Ronaldshay.  Report later considered unreliable and the search was cancelled.  ATHERSTONE sailed at 2330 for Scapa.

A submarine was reported by a coastguard in position 285 degrees Strathie Point 10 miles at 2215.  SIKH was ordered to search in this area and to proceed to the Clyde if not in contact at 0600, 29th May. The search was unsuccessful.

ESCORT arrived at Greenock 2212 from Liverpool.

ANTELOPE sailed from Greenock at 2030 escorting S.S. MARITA and YEWMOUNT to Harstad.

AMAZON sailed from Greenock at 2300, escorting S.S. MONARCH OF BERMUDA, GEORGIC, FRANCONIA, andLANCASTRIA to Latitude 63N on passage to Harstad.

CAMPBELL sailed from Greenock at 1730 with the slow portion of Convoy N.S. 4.

Wednesday, 29th May 1940

ATHERSTONE arrived Scapa at 0600 from Lerwick and joined command of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet.  ATHERSTONE proceeded at 1430 escorting TEVIOT BANK and PLOVER to Rosyth, arriving at 1230, 30th May, and remaining to escort them for minelaying operation, with ENCOUNTER.

VOLUNTEER sailed from Greenock at 1230 with the second half of Group 1 of Transports to Harstad (S.S,BATORY and SOBIESKI).

WITHERINGTON expected to arrive Thorshaven (Faroes) at 1600 subsequently to escort S.S. ULSTER PRINCE toUnited Kingdom.

FURY and FORESIGHT arrived at the Humber at 2345.

 ACASTA and ARDENT arrived at the Clyde at 1415.

ELECTRA proceeded from Scapa at 1030 for exercises, but was unable to return owing to fog and remainedat sea during the night.

GLORIOUS, escorted by WREN and HIGHLANDER, arrived off Scapa from Narvik at 1600 but was unable to enterharbour owing to fog.

Thursday, 30th May 1940

VETERAN, escorting two A.S.I.S. to Narvik area proceeded out of Scapa Flow at 0030.  Owing to thick fog, a slight collision occurred at Switha Gate and all ships returned to harbour at 0200.

ELECTRA was ordered to proceed to rendezvous with GLORIOUS off Skule Skerry and to relieve WREN on thescreen.  WREN, being short of fuel, was ordered to return to Scapa.

WITHERINGTON, escorting ULSTER PRINCE, reported at 0425 that the latter had been attacked by a U boat,but was not hit.  WITHERINGTON obtained a doubtful contact which she attacked.

ARDENT, ACASTA, and ACHERON, escorting Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers, in ARK ROYAL, sailed fromthe Clyde at 0545 for Scapa, arriving at 0500, 31st May.

BRAZEN, on passage to Harwich, struck submerged wreckage and proceeding in to the Humber at 1030.

VETERAN sailed from Scapa at 1545 with A.S.I.S. ARBROATH and NGAKAO for Narvik to meet ANTELOPE s convoyoff Cape Wrath.

HIGHLANDER, WREN, and ELECTRA, escorting GLORIOUS, arrived Scapa at 1515.

ANTELOPE, escorting S.S. MARINA and YEWMOUNT, arrived Stornoway at 1615, to which port she was orderedto await departure of VETERAN from Scapa.

VISCOUNT arrived at the Clyde at 1200 from escorting French troopships to Havre.

WOLVERINE, WARWICK, and WITCH, escorting S.S. ANTONIA and DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, sailed from Liverpool at1845 to 15W.

ANTELOPE, with S.S. MARINA and YEWMOUNT sailed from Stornoway at 1800 and rendezvoused with VETERAN sconvoy at 0300, 31st May. ANTELOPE then proceeded to Scapa.

ESCORT and WESTCOTT sailed from Clyde at 2315 with REVENGE to 15W. thence ESOCLRT proceeded to Scapa and WESTCOTT to Clyde.

Friday, 31st May 1940

MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 0530 escorting two minesweepers of First Minesweeping Flotillawith crew of CURLEW to Scrabster. MASHONA subsequently carried out Gunnery and Torpedo exercises.

ASHANTI proceeded to Rosyth to rendezvous with S.S. ORAMA and ORMONDE at 1800.

WITHERINGTON, escorting ULSTER PRINCE from the Faroes, arrived at the Clyde at 400.

HIGHLANDER, DIANA, ACASTA, ARDENT, and ACHERON, escorting Vice Admiral, Aircraft carriersin ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS sailed from Scapa at 0830 for Narvik area.

At 1600, BEDOUIN and MASHONA, at sea exercising, were ordered to proceed east ofShetlands to establish a patrol line.

MAORI and KELVIN left Scapa at 1745 to carry out a patrol to East and North East ofOrkneys.

FORESTER left the Humber at 1900 for Scapa after refit.

ATHERSTONE and ENCOUNTER left Rosyth at 1500 escorting TEVIOT BANK and PLOVER for minelayingOperation B.S. 10, which was successfully carried out from 1302 to 1348 on Saturday, 1st June.  On completion the force proceeded to the Humber and destroyer returned to Rosyth.

WITHERINGTON and VISCOUNT sailed from the Clyde at 2030, escorting S.S. ORANSAY and linersto Harstad.

WREN proceeded from Scapa to meet ESKIMO and continue escort to Clyde, for examination ofWREN s guns.  FLEETWOOD to return to Scapa on relief by WREN.

ZULU and ELECTRA proceeded from at Scapa at 1815, to carry out a patrol to East andNorth East of Orkneys.

 

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-15th JUNE 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. WOOLWICH

20th July 1940

No. 802/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER VII

FOR 1ST TO 15TH June 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number VII of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 1st to 15th June 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral (D)

                                                                         HomeFleet.

 

 

Saturday, 1st June 1940

FLEETWOOD arrived Scapa at 0300 from Narvik and sailed for Rosyth at 1400.

ELECTRA arrived Scapa 0650 from patrol.

ASHANTI arrived Scapa from Clyde at 0700 escorting S.S. ORMONDE and ORAMA. On arrival S.S. ORAMA grounded south of Cava Island and was refloated during the afternoon, apparently with damage.

ZULU, MAORI, KELVIN arrived Scapa at 0800 from patrol, firing practices being cancelled owing toweather conditions.

MASHONA and BEDOUIN arrived Scapa at 1105 from patrol having been sent to investigate a report offive Dutch trawlers in Holm Sound.

VANOC escorting S.S. ROYAL SCOTSMAN arrived Narvik area.

WHIRLWIND escorting S.S. ROYAL SCOTSMAN left Harstad at 0400 bound South.

TARTAR sailed from Liverpool for Scapa.

FORESTER arrived at Scapa at 1600 and sailed with MAORI to Aberdeen to escort two troopships to Lerwickthen returning to Scapa.

WOLVERINE and ESCORT arrived Scapa at 1800 having escorted REVENGE and transports of Atlantic Convoywestward through submarine zone.

AMAZON arrived Clyde at 2130 after relief by WREN from escorting ESKIMO.

FOXHOUND sailed Scapa with S.S.. ORAMA and ORMONDE to rendezvous with Group II transports from Clyde offCape Wrath.

At 2300, ESKIMO received orders to proceed direct to Barrow in Furness and WREN and VOLUNTEER to returnto Clyde on completion of escorting duty.

WARWICK, WESTCOTT, WITCH arrived Clyde at 1800 from liner escort.

Sunday, 2nd June 1940

At 0100, information was received that S.S. ASTRONOMER escorted by two A/S trawlers was sinking in position58-02, 2-19w. Mine suspected.  KELVIN proceeding to the reported position.

MASHONA proceeded from Scapa to assist KELVIN, who at 0345 reported a second explosion in ASTRONOMER,then still afloat. At the same time, LEICESTER CITY reported S/M contact in vicinity. ASTRONOMER subsequently sank.

At 0640, an aircraft reported having bombed a suspected U boat in position 57-25N, 0-56W.  MASHONA and KELVIN carried out an unsuccessful search in this vicinity, which was twenty miles south ofASTRONOMER s position.

ENCOUNTER and ATHERSTONE proceeded from Rosyth at 1100, ATHERSTONE to Scapa and ENCOUNTER to assist insearch for U boat.

At 0510, MAORI, escorting two troopships to Lerwick, dropped a pattern of depth charges on asuspected U boat in position 59-10N, 1-10W.  MAORI remained and FORESTER proceeded with the convoy to Lerwick.  At 1150, Command in Chief ordered FORESTER to join MAORI and continue hunt.

FOXHOUND arrived at Scapa at 1230 after escorting S.S. ORAMA and S.S. ORMONDE to CapeWrath.

WESTCOTT, WITCH, AMAZON, and WARWICK sailed from the Clyde at 0600 for Devonportescorting ILLUSTRIOUS.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR arrived Scapa at 1700 from Liverpool.

At 1800, ATHERSTONE reported a line of mines visible in close proximity to the positionwhere ASTROMONER was sunk. First M.S.F. proceeded to the vicinity, and were joined by MASHONA and ENCOUNTER, whocarried out an A/S patrol whilst mooring buoys from ASTROMONER were being recovered.

ATHERSTONE arrived Scapa 2200.

Monday, 3rd June 1940

MAORI and FORESTER arrived at Scapa at 0400 from U boat search off Lerwick.

 KELVIN arrived at Scapa at 0315 and MASHONA and ENCOUNTER at 1130 from U boat search in Moray Firth.

WESTCOTT escorting ILLUSTRIOUS arrived at Devonport at 0700 and WITCH, WARWICK, and AMAZON proceededdirect Portsmouth to provide a screen for NELSON.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI proceeded from Scapa at 1800 for Rosyth to escort troopships Northward.

WITCH, WARWICK, and AMAZON arrived Portsmouth at 1710 to escort NELSON.

WHIRLWIND escorting S.S. ROYAL SCOTSMAN arrived Scapa at 2350 and anchored and anchored in the Flow.

CAMPBELL, escorting store ships, arrived Harstad at 1730.

Tuesday, 4th June 1940

ESCORT proceeded from Scapa at 0600 to search for a U boat reported bombed by aircraft, one hitestimated, in position 58-06NN 1-45W.

ENCOUNTER sailed from Scapa at 0900 to assist ESCORT in U boat search.

ESKIMO arrived Barrow in Furness at 1130 and WREN and VOLUNTEER proceeded to the Clyde, arriving at1600.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR and MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 1300 to assist in U boat search in MorayFirth.

FORESTER sailed from Scapa at 1415 to join Captain (D) VI in U boat search. ELECTRA departed 1635 and joined.

WOLVERINE, VISCOUNT, and WITHERINTON sailed from Scapa at 1400 escorting RESOLUTION to Longitude 13W,and then return to Scapa.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI arrived at Rosyth during the forenoon escorting S.S. ALSTER and sailed p.m.escorting nine French S/M s to the Butt of Lewis.

Wednesday, 5th June 1940

Aircraft reported a U boat at 0340 in position 58-32N, 02-04W, on investigation this report proved to bedoubtful.  Unconfirmed report that at 0700 an object resembling a conning tower of a U boat was sighted offCantick Head Sound steering west.

R.F.A. PRUNELLA at 1630 reported two ships in position 64-45N, 00-24E steering 265 degrees  20knots.  At 1730, Command in Chief ordered Battle Cruisers to raise steam with dispatch. KELVIN, FORESTER, ZULU, MAORI, and FOXHOUND were ordered to raise steam for full speed.  Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with MASHONA, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, and ELECTRAwere recalled.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR returned to Scapa at 1900 and MASHONA and ELECTRA at 2000 from A/S Patrol inMoray Firth.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI returned to Scapa at 1945 from escorting French submarines.

ZULU, FORESTER, KELVIN, MAORI, and FOXHOUND sailed from Scapa at 2100 screening Battle cruisers.

Thursday, 6th June 1944

VOLUNTEER left Clyde at 0115 for Scapa.

SEVERN reported a U boat about 60 miles WNW of Aandalsnes.

WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, and VISCOUNT arrived Scapa at 0800 and anchored off Cantick Head in thick fog.

WOLVERINE and VISCOUNT succeeded in entering harbour at 1500 during a temporary fog clearance.

S.S. CARINTHIA was torpedoed at 1312 in position 55-13N, 10-39W. WREN proceeded from the Clyde to assist and VOLUNTEER on passage to Scapa was diverted to close.

VALIANT received orders at 1645 to proceed to sea screened by Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, BEDOUIN, MASHONA,ASHANTI.  The force sailed at 2130.

WITHERINGTON arrived at Scapa at 1900.  Thick fog persisted throughout the night.

NELSON escorted by WITCH, WARWICK, and AMAZON sailed from Portsmouth at 1700 for the Clyde.

Friday, 7th June 1944

WREN and VOLUNTEER reached CARINTHIA about 0400.  Information was received that S.S. EROS was torpedoed in position 55-53N, 8-26W and wassinking.  GLEANER, standing by CARINTHIA, was ordered to detail a destroyer to proceed to assist her.  Tug BANDIT, proceeding to CARINTHIA, was diverted to her assistance.

FEARLESS sailed from Middlesbrough at 1030 for Rosyth and onward escort duty to Scapa.

S.S. STANCOURT was sunk by a U boat at 2215 5th June, in position 59-28N, 6-31W.  One lifeboat landed at Stornoway, but another was missing.

FEARLESS at 1300 reported both feed pumps broken down and returned to Middlesbrough.

ELECTRA was ordered at 1400 to proceed to search for a suspicious steamer, S.S. BLAIRESK, boarded bytrawler ( trawler inserted in ink ) KINGSTON JACINTH in position 59-48N, 4-38W and reputed to be steering 164 degrees for Scapa. The vessel was sighted by RODNEY s aircraft at 1330 and escorted to Noup Head.

WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, ATHERSTONE, and ANTELOPE raided steam to proceed on convoy duty at 1800.  This was later cancelled and steam was kept at 1 hour s notice until 2300 when the force proceeded to sea.

Brigadier Iceland reported that there was a strong rumour of large German forces having landed in vicinityof Seydisfiord.  Vice Admiral Commanding Battle Cruiser Squadron was ordered to investigate with Battlecruisers,assisted by units of Northern Patrol.

ELECTRA returned to Scapa having contacted the wrong ship and was by Commander in Chief to continuesearch, proceeded to Kirkwall and anchored off Kirkwall Bay in thick fog,

ENCOUNTER proceeded to sea from Scapa at 2100 to search for German seaplane reported down in the sea onbearing 043 degrees from Wick. ENCOUNTER was later recalled and on attempting to enter harbour at 03008th June, went ashore on Cantick Head, refloating later with only slight damage reported.

CARINTHIA sank at 1900.

While proceeding from S.S. CARINTHIA to S.S. EROS, VOLUNTEER was directed by an aircraft to a raft andrescued the Master and only survivor of S.S. FRANCES MARY, torpedoed by a U boat at 2350, 6th June, in position 310 degrees Tory Island 16 miles.

S.S. EROS was beached on Tory Island at 2230, VOLUNTEER returning to Scapa, BERKELEY proceeding inexecution of previous orders.

Saturday, 8th June 1940

Aircraft at 0840 reported a U boat in position 55-52N, 2-40E.

WITCH, WARWICK, and AMAZON escorting NELSON arrived Clyde at 1115. AMAZON was ordered to Scapa.

GLORIOUS escorted by ARDENT and ACASTA left Narvik area at 0300 for Scapa.

ENCOUNTER returned to Scapa arriving at 1245.

RENOWN escorted by ZULU and KELVIN sailed from Iceland for Scapa.

WREN arrived at the Clyde at 1830.

AMAZON sailed from the Clyde at 1630 for Scapa.

At 1900, CAMPBELL was ordered by Flag Officer in Charge, Narvik, to locate and escort the slow convoyof storeships at Narvik.  CAMPBELL searched the convoy track throughout 8th and 9th June, without success.

ELECTRA arrived at Scapa at 2100 from Kirkwall.

VOLUNTEER arrived at Scapa at 2145 and secured alongside WOOLWICH.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD arrived at Scapa at 2215 from Devonport after refit.

Sunday, 9th June 1940

RENOWN escorted by ZULU and KELVIN arrived Scapa at 0500 from Iceland.

Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron was ordered to leave Iceland Area and proceed withSUSSEX to a position off the west coast of Iceland to carry out a patrol to intercepted two merchant ships sighted by R.F.A. PRUNELLA on 5th June, should they be attempting, should they be attempting a landing on theIrish Coast (sic  west coast of Iceland or Ireland )

ESCORT and ELECTRA sailed from Scapa at 0900 to rendezvous with DEVONSHIRE to the Clyde, but were recalledto Scapa.

A report was received at 1030 through VALIANT that hospital ship ATLANTIS had seen an enemy battlecruiser engaging a 2 funnel transport in position 67-N, 3-52E at 0900 8th June.  The transport when last seen was still afloat.  It is probable that the ship referred to was ORAMA returning empty from Narvik.

GLORIOUS made a mutilated amplifying report at 1640 of 2 pocket battleships. Latest information received points to the fact that GLORIOUS, ARDENT, ACASTA have been sunk.

VALIANT being continually bombed was ordered to escort Group II transports to 59N, then return toScapa.  Group II ordered to steer due west to position 6W, thence due south to Clyde.

At 1026 Commander in Chief ordered REPULSE to sweep to the North eastward, FOXHOUND, FORESTER, and MAORIwere in company with REPULSE, also NEWCASTLE and SUSSEX.

RODNEY and RENOWN escorted by Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ZULU, KELVIN, ESCORT, and ELECTRA sailedfrom Scapa at 1245 to the northward.

At 1300, FIREDRAKE, escorting Group II transports, after a U boat had been reported in thevicinity, attacked a good Asdic contact in position 68-05N, 2-30E.  A prolonged air bubble of about half a minute duration and was and it is probable that the submarine was damaged.

VOLUNTEER and WHIRWIND sailed from Scapa at 2000 for Sullom Voe.

ENCOUNTER sailing with troopships to Aberdeen was delayed by fog.

The Admiralty ordered all Naval units to raise steam for full speed.

Admiralty reported that two unknown merchant vessels were sighted in position 63N, 20-20W, course 240degrees at 1100 on 7th June. It is assumed that these are the ships originally reported by R.F.A.PRUNELLA on 5th June.

WARWICK and WITCH proceeded from the Clyde at 2330 to Liverpool.

VETERAN and VANOC arrived at Sullom Voe at 2350.

From 2345 until 0100 10th June, ARROW s convoy of storeships was attacked by about six aircraft inposition 67-55N, 02-10E. The defensive fire of ARROW, STORK, and seven trawlers and of the ships themselvesrendered all attacks ineffective, the enemy showing little determination.

At the same time, the Norwegian steamers PRINS OLAF and ARIADNE, who were following the convoy route,but had been unable to join up with an escort, were attacked by six aircraft. Neither ship carried any armament and the attacks were pressed home with the result that both vesselswere set on fire and sunk. ARROW, on the conclusion of the attacks on the convoy, sighted smoke from the burningships, closed and picked up survivors.

Monday, 10th June 1940

MAORI, FOXHOUND, and FORESTER arrived at Sullom Voe at 0100.

WOLVERINE, VISCOUNT, WITHERINGTON, ANTELOPE, and ATHERSTONE arrived at the Clyde at 0600 escortingGroup I transports from Narvik area.

ESCAPADE sailed from Liverpool at 1200 for Sullom Voe at 20 knots.

Aircraft reported at 1030, one Scharnhorst class, two Hipper class, one large destroyer anchored inTrondjhem Road and one pocket battleship 6 miles east of the town

MAORI, FOXHOUND, and FORESTER sailed from Sullom Voe at 0800 to join RENOWN. FOXHOUND reported starboard H.P. turbine defective and returning to Sullom Voe for examination.

ENCOUNTER proceeded from Scapa at 1345, escorting troopships to Aberdeen.

WHIRLWIND sailed from Sullom Voe at 1530 to join REPULSE instead of FOXHOUND.

Aircraft reported a U boat which dived on being sighted in position 60-04N, 1-50E at 0633.  WHIRLWIND was ordered to continue hunt for 24 hours.

Submarine CLYDE at 1400 reported one Pocket Battleship, one cruiser HIPPER class in position 64-35N,9-45E, steering 300 degrees.

ESCAPADE sailed from Liverpool at 1500 for Scapa.

Orders were received at 1800 to commence hostilities against Italy at 0001/11 June.

WOLVERINE, VISCOUNT, WITHERINGTON sailed from the Clyde at 1600 for Sullom Voe.

ATHERSTONE and ANTELOPE sailed from the Clyde at 1930 for Scapa.

WHIRLWIND at 2048 attacked a U boat in position 61-42N, 3-56W.

CAMPBELL gained touch with the slow Tromsoy Convoy at 1730 but owing to loss of fuel, it was necessary toproceed independently to Sullom Voe.  Later, touch was gained with Command in Chief, Home Fleet, in RODNEY andMASHONA was detached to accompany CAMPBELL.

Tuesday, 11th June 1940

ENCOUNTER, escorting troopships from Scapa, arrived Aberdeen at 0430 and sailed for Scapa.

At 0540, VETERAN and VANOC at Sullom Voe, were ordered to assist Vice Admiral, Northern Patrol, inrounding up Italian merchant vessels.

Aircraft at 1004, reported three cruisers and four destroyers in Trondjhem.

ATHERSTONE and VOLUNTEER, at 1030, were ordered to proceed to Scapa.

ECHO arrived at Scapa at 1130 to oil with orders to rejoin Group II Convoys and sailed again at 1530.

ATHERSTONE arrived at Scapa at 1315.

WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, on passage to Sullom Voe, proceeded at 1310 to position 59-58N, 0-10W to rescuecrew of Sunderland down in water.  At 1330 Admiralty informed Rear Admiral (D) Home Fleet that Sunderlandhad taken off again and WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON arrived Sullom Voe at 1900.

FEARLESS, ANTELOPE, AMAZON, ESCAPADE ordered to proceed from Sullom Voe and provide screen forCommander in Chief at 2230.

FOXHOUND sailed from Sullom Voe for Scapa, arriving at 2100.

VOLUNTEER sailed from Sullom Voe at 1300 for Scapa Flow arriving at 2200, and sailing for Liverpoolfor repairs and boiler clean.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, MAORI, DIANA, ACHERON, and FORESTER arrived at Scapa at 2200escorting REPULSE and VALIANT.

Wednesday, 12th June 1940

ATHERSTONE and ENCOUNTER sailed from Scapa at 0600 escorting Convoy HEBREW consisting of S.S. DROMORECASTLE, RUTLAND, HERON, ALBERTE LE BORGNE, JAVORY, VULCAN, LOMBARDY, CYPRIAN PRINCE, ST CLAIR, and INVERSHANNON to the Clyde with trawlers LE TIGRE andLEICESTER CASTLE as additional escort.

WOLVERINE, VANOC, WITHERINGTON, and WHIRLWIND sailed from Sullom Voe at 0200 and at 1230 relievedATHERSTONE and ENCOUN TER and A/S trawlers of escort duties north east of Cape Wrath, the latter ships returning to Scapa.

S.S. NAILSEA LASS joined the convoy from Stornoway and S.S. ARMENIER, who should have been in company,had to be escorted independently by WITHERINGTON.

MASHONA and CAMPBELL arrived Sullom Voe to refuel at 0745.

VETERAN, MASHONA, and CAMPBELL sailed from Sullom Voe at 0745/13th and FORESTER from Scapa Flow at 2100/12th to rendezvous with the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet in position 63-00N, 4-00W at 1300, 13th June.

HIGHLANDER and ASHANTI arrived at Scapa to refuel at 1600.

HIGHLANDER sailed from Scapa at 2200 and proceeded to Plymouth with despatch to join the command ofCommander in Chief, Western Approaches.

FIREDRAKE, FAME, HAVELOCK, BEAGLE, DELIGHT, and ECHO arrived Clyde at 2300 escorting Group II transportsfrom Narvik area  ORONSAY, ARANDORA STAR, ULSTER PRINCE, ULSTER MONARCH, ROYAL ULSTERMAN, DUCHESS OF YORK, ORMONDE, with COVENTRY as A.A. escort.

AMAZON sailed from Sullom Voe at 1700 and arrived Scapa at 0500/13th June.

ATHERSTONE arrived Scapa at 1645 and ENCOUNTER at 1745.

Thursday, 13th June 1940

Captain (D) IX in HAVELOCK, BEAGLE, WREN, HAMBLEDON sailed from Greenock at 0500 escorting S.S.DUCHESS OF YORK, GEORGIC, SOBIESKI, and BATORY (Convoy FF One) to Brest.  HAMBLEDON was later detached to return to Clyde, being require for escort duties and arrived at 1800, 14th June.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, BEDOUIN, MAORI, and ASHANTI sailed from Scapa with moderate dispatch at 1130 torendezvous with Commander in Chief, Home Fleet in position 65N, 4W.

SCOTSTOUN was torpedoed at 0600 in position 57-00N, 9-51W.  The ship remained afloat and DELIGHT and ECHO sailed from Greenock at0900 to her assistance.  HIGHLANDER also being diverted.  SCOTSTOUN later sank, and HIGHLANDER recovered survivors from lifeboats.  DELIGHT and ECHO returned to Clyde.

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL raided enemy units in Trondjem Fjord at dawn, but when flying on, RODNAY andARK ROYAL ran into fog. And ANTELOPE and ELECTRA of the screen were in collision.

INGLEFIELD stood by ANTELOPE, ZULU took ELECTRA in tow, ARK ROYAL proceeded to Scapa, and RODNEYremained in support.

ATHERSTONE sailed from Scapa at 1345 for Aberdeen to escort S.S. LOCHNAGAR and MACCLESFIELD carryingmilitary and R.A.F. personnel to Lerwick.  ATHERSTONE to return to Scapa on completion.

DIANA and ACHERON sailed from Scapa at 1800 to search for U boat reported by aircraft in position59-07N, 0-30W at 1505 diving on a course of 315 degrees.  U boat was considered to be either on patrol or outward bound. There was a further report of another U boat in position 59-54N, 00-10E at 1904.

FAULKNOR sailed from Humber at 2000 for Rosyth after refit, subsequently to escort WAR PINDARI fromMethil to Scapa.

Friday, 14th June 1940

ENCOUNTER sailed from Scapa at 0300 to escort store carrier FOSSBECK and tanker BRITISH LADY toRosyth, subsequently proceeding to Chatham for refit.

HIGHLANDER sailed from Greenock at 0400 for Plymouth to join command of Commander in Chief, WesternApproaches.

ARROW, WALKER, and STORK arrived Scapa at 0500 with NEWCASTLE, SUSSEX, and store convoy from Narvikarea.

VISCOUNT arrived at Scapa at 0400 with store ships from Narvik area.

WOLVERINE, WHIRLWIND, and VANOC arrived Greenock at 0630, escorting Convoy HEBREW from Scapa and NAILSEALASS from Stornoway.  WITHERINGTON with S.S. ARMENIER arrived at 0915.

By 1530, DIANA and ACHERON had carried the A/S search to position 59-08N, 5-06W without success and wereordered to return to Scapa.  Ships arrived at Scapa at 0100m 15th June.

KELVIN, ESCORT, and CAMPBELL arrived at Scapa at 1515, escorting Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers inARK ROYAL.

STORK sailed from Scapa at 1930 for Rosyth to join command of Commander in Chief, Rosyth.

HAMBLEDON, ECHO, and WITHERINGTON sailed from the Clyde at 2030 escorting FURIOUS with DEVONSHIRE tolongitude 15W.  Escort to carry out A/S sweep to Skerryvore on return passage and then ECHO to proceed to Scapa andHAMBLEDON and WITHERINGTON to Clyde.

VETERAN and FORESTER were detached from Commander in Chief, Home Fleet s screen to proceed to Faroes andto provide escort for onward passage of Norwegian ships and to embark survivors of GLORIOUS and ACASTA,

ATHERSTONE arrived Scapa at 1740 after escorting LOCHNAGAR and MACCLESFIELD to Lerwick.

Saturday, 15th June 1940

DIANA and ACHERON arrived Scapa at 0100 from U boat search.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, escorting ANTELOPE, damaged by collision arrived at Scapa at 0330.

ATHERSTONE, ACHERON, WALKER, and VISCOUNT sailed from Scapa at 0600 escorting convoy of ninestoreships to the Clyde with four A/S trawlers as additional escort.

AMAZON and KELVIN left Scapa Flow at 0945 escorting NEWCASTLE during firing practices in PentlandFirth.

FAULKNOR arrived Scapa at 0830 escorting WAR PINDARI from Methil.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, MASHONA, ASHANTI, MAORI, and FEARLESS arrived Scapa at 1650escorting Commander in Chief in RODNEY and RENOWN.

Tug BRIGAND proceeded to ELECTRA, and at 2000 these ships escorted to ZULU were in position 60-36N,4-00W, making good 8 knots to the southward.

AMAZON sailed from Scapa at 2100 escorting oiler ROSEWOOD, with A/S trawlers SCOTTISH and LOCH OSKAIG toSullom Voe.

ANTELOPE sailed from Scapa at 2200 for the Tyne to repair collision damage.

ANDANIA was torpedoed while on Northern Patrol at 2330 in position 62-36N, 15-09W.  FORESTER proceeded to her assistance from Faroe Islands, AMAZON from Sullom Voe Convoy, and KELVIN from Scapa at0200, 16th June.



 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 16th-30th JUNE 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. WOOLWICH

                                                      

                                                       8th August 1940

No. 874/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY NUMBER VIII FOR

16TH  30TH JUNE 1940

          Be pleased to lay before the Board, the enclosed War Diary Number VIII of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 16th  30th June 1940.

                                                       (signed) E.C. Thornton

                                                       For Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet

 

 

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND  WAR DIARY NUMBER VIII FOR

PERIOD 16TH  30TH JUNE

(Enclosure in No. 874/H.D. 00571A, dated 8th August 1940

 

Sunday, 16th June 1940

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI sailed from Scapa at 0240 for Reykjavik.  During the passage endeavour was made to locate Icelandic SKALLAGRIMURbut without success in low visibility.

VETERAN sailed from Thorshaven, Faroes, at 0600 escorting Norwegian fishery vessel FRIDTJOF NANSEN,Norwegian submarine B.1, and five minor warships to Rosyth, routed through the Pentland Firth.

At 2349, Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet ordered KELVIN to join VETERAN with Faroes Convoy.  KELVIN and VETERAN to join Command of Commander in Chief, The Nore, as soon as released from Rosyth.

ZULU, ESCAPADE, and BRIGAND, escorting ELECTRA, damaged in collision with ANTELOPE, arrived Scapaat 1430.

FORESTER met Icelandic trawler SKALLAGRIMUR with 347 survivors from ANDANIA but weather was too roughto effect a transfer. These were embarked the following day and FORESTER arrived at Scapa at 2230, 17th June.

Monday, 17th June 1940

At 0047, Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, ordered BEDOUIN and ASHANTI to proceed to Reykjavik to hunta U boat reported at 2058, 16th June, in position 64-09N, 22-16W and subsequently to escort EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA. These destroyers carried out an A/S search in the approaches without success.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR, with FEARLESS and ESCAPADE sailed from Scapa at 1445 escorting ViceAdmiral, Aircraft Carriers, in ARK ROYAL to the Clyde,  FOXHOUND returning to Scapa, joined the screen later.

Tuesday, 18th June 1940

HOOD sailed from Greenock at 0400, screened by FRASER, RESTIGOUCHE, SKEENA, ST LAURENT, and WANDERER torendezvous with Vice Admiral, Aircraft Carriers for onward passage to Gibraltar.  ATHERSTONE followed at 0520.  Destroyer escort to be detached to eastbound convoy T.C. 5. Screen to Gibraltar to be FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, ESCAPADE, and FOXHOUND. FOXHOUND called at Milford Haven to refuel.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI arrived in Icelandic waters and thereafter maintained a constant A/S patrol ofone destroyer and one trawler off Reykjavik.

ZULU sailed from Scapa at 1200 for Aberdeen to meet S.S. LOCHNAGAR at 1800 to provide escort to Lerwick.

Wednesday, 19th June 1940

Following reports at 1304 and 1335 from Burgh Head Deerness that eight unknown destroyers and three escort vessels had been sighted to the eastward of Orkneys.  RENOWN, screened by Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with MAORI, and MASHONA proceeded to investigate.  The cause of the reports was probably ZULU, proceeding south from Lerwick, and three minesweepers in the swept channel, and at 1500 this force returned to harbour.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with MASHONA, and MAORI sailed Scapa at 1720 for the Faroe Islands on accountof the arrival there of four Swedish destroyers, recently purchased from Italy and bound for Sweden.

Thursday, 20th June 1940

CAMPBELL was ordered at 1316, with ATHERSTONE, to close position 56-16N, 8-10W where a merchant shiphad been torpedoed.

At 1100, Captain (D) VI took over Swedish destroyers PUKE, PSILANDER, ROMULUS, and REMUS at SkaaleFjord, Faroes, the crews being transferred to their tanker CASTOR, and depot ship PATRICIA.

ARROW sailed from Scapa at 1430 for Harwich to join the Command of Commander in Chief, The Nore.

At 1105, ZULU, ESCORT, and FORESTER were ordered to proceed from Scapa to search for a U boat bombed andpossibly damaged by aircraft in position 60-32N, 5-18W at 1030.  U boat was first sighted by the aircraft on a course of 260 degrees, but the position was such that the U boatmight have be homeward bound.  The search was unsuccessful.

Friday, 21st June 1940

ATHERSTONE met MONTCLARE in the North Channel at 0045 to escort her to 13-40W on account of U boatactivity North of Ireland.

CAMPBELL remained in the vicinity of the recent sinkings north of Ireland until 0800, then proceed withsurvivors to Liverpool before going on to Sheerness

Following the report H.M. Submarine CLYDE that one enemy battle cruiser, accompanied by one battleship,and one destroyer, had been attacked by torpedo at 2234, 20th June, in position 64-43N, 9-53E.

(a).  ZULU, ESCORT, and FORESTER returned to Scapa with all despatch arriving at 0800.

(b). MAORI and MASHONA reembarked steaming parties from Swedish destroyers and proceeded at 0620 fromthe Faroes for Scapa with all despatch.

(c). Fleet at Scapa came to one hour s notice for steam.

Captain (D) in INGLEFIELD with DIANA, ZULU, FORESTER, and ESCORT sailed from Scapa at 1220 escorting RearAdmiral Commanding, Battle Cruisers, in RENOWN and REPULSE, proceeding eastwards in view of an aircraft report at 1120 of an enemy battle cruiser andsix destroyers in position 61-00N, 4-14E, course 190, speed 25 knots.  Also at sea were NEWCASTLE and SUSSEX from Scapa and Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron inMANCHESTER, with SHEFFIELD, BIRMINGHAM, YORK, and GALLANT from Rosyth.  All forces closed to intercept until at 1850, the enemy was finally reported as being inside the Fjords in the vicinityof Haugesund.

Reorganisation of destroyers under Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, was ordered as follows:

Third Destroyer Flotilla

INGLEFIELD (Captain (D)), ISIS, IMOGEN, DELIGHT, DIANA, HOTSPUR, ECLIPSE, and ELECTRA.

23rd Division (HUNT class)

ATHERSTONE et seq.

Fourth Destroyer Flotilla

COSSACK (Captain (D)), SIKH, ZULU, MAORI, ESCAPADE, ECHO, ESCORT, and ENCOUNTER

Sixth Destroyer Flotilla

TARTAR (Captain (D)), ASHANTI, MATABELE, MASHONA, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO, and SOMALI

Eighth Destroyer Flotilla

FAULKNOR (Captain (D)), FURY, FORESTER, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FAME, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE, and FIREDRAKE\

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR sailed from the Faroes escorting the ex Swedish PUKE and REMUS to Scapa.  PUKE later broke down in position 61-15N, 6-06W and was taken in tow by KINGSTON PERIDOT.  Tug SAUCY sailed from Kirkwall at 0340, 22nd June to assist.

Saturday, 22nd June 1940

The forces off the Norwegian Coast, having failed to make contact with the enemy, withdrew to thewestward at 0240 at high speed.

WALPOLE sailed at 1400 escorting SEA MONARCH to Aberdeen and DEVON CITY and ARBROATH to Rosyth.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ZULU, FORESTER, ESCORT, and DIANA arrived at Scapa at 1120escorting Rear Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in RENOWN with REPULSE from North Sea operation.

At 1100, the Naval Officer in Charge, Faroes, reported that the Swedish depot ship and tanker had returnedto Thorshavn and were demanding the return of the four destroyers. As a result, MASHONA was ordered to proceed to the Faroes and MAORI sailed from Scapa at 1345 to assist Captain (D)VI. MASHONA arrived at Thorshavn at 2230 and the situation was then reported as satisfactory.

MAORI took PUKE in tow  tug SAUCY s tow having parted.

Sunday, 23rd June 1940

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR arrived at Scapa at 0115 with ex Swedish destroyer REMUS in company.  MAORI with tug BRIGAND towed ex Swedish destroyer PUKE arrived at 1200.  Both Swedish destroyers were berthed on WOOLWICH for overhaul andrepairs before steaming parties should arrive for the passage South.

ECHO sailed from Scapa at 0950 with NEWCASTLE to intercept an enemy destroyer reported by aircraft at0600 in position 58-45N, 04-20E steaming 225 degrees at 20 knots and to cover Polish submarine WILK proceeding damaged to Rosyth in position 57-10N, 4-10E at0600.

SHEFFIELD, BIRMINGHAM, and GALLANT also proceeded from Rosyth.  WILK later reported that she could dive, and forces returned to harbourwithout having made contact with the enemy.

Monday, 24th June 1940

PUNJABI and FIREDRAKE sailed from Greenock at 0100 escorting ARGUS and S.s. ANDES to Reykjavik.

ECHO arrived Scapa at 0430 with NEWCASTLE from North Sea operations.

FORESIGHT sailed from Scapa at 0615 for Sullom Voe to escort S.S. ATREUS, leaving at 1715, to Scapa.

DIANA proceeded from Scapa to Aberdeen to rendezvous at 2000 with A/S trawler STOKE CITY and to escorttransport S.S. LOCHNAGAR to Lerwick with Store Carrier S.S. KYLE BROOK for Scapa.

Crews for ex Swedish PUKE and REMUS arrived at Scapa at 2330 to take over the ships and prepare them forpassage south.

COSSACK and ATHERSTONE sailed from the Clyde at 2330 escorting EMERALD, on passage to Halifax, tolongitude 12W.  On release COSSACK to proceed to Scapa and ATHERSTONE to Clyde.

Tuesday, 25th June 1940

FORESIGHT, escorting ATREUS, arrived Scapa at 0500.

Instructions were received that the ex Swedish destroyers PSILANDER and ROMULUS from theFaroes and PUKE and REMUS from Scapa were to be returned to their Swedish crews at Kirkwall, ships proceeding there as soon as ready for steaming.  MASHONA sailed from the Faroes at 1830 with A/S whalers and ST. MAGNUS escorting PSILANDER and ROMULUS to Kirkwall,arriving at 1330, 26th June.

DIANA with STOKE CITY escorting S.S. LOCHNAGAR arrived at Lerwick at 1440 and thenproceeded to Scapa arriving at 2130.

Wednesday, 26th June 1940

ASHANTI sailed from Scapa at 0940 to search for crew of one Gladiator aircraft reported downin position S.E. Pentland Skerries 2 miles.  The search was unsuccessful and ASHANTI returned to Scapa at 1410.

ESCORT, FORESTER, and FORESIGHT sailed from Scapa at 1900 escorting VALIANT toGibraltar.

FURY and VANSITTART sailed from Rosyth escorting PORT QUEBEC and PORT NAPIER to Port Z.A.

FIREDRAKE and PUNJABI escorting ARGUS and ANDES arrived Reykjavik at 2015, 26th June.

Thursday, 27th June 1940

IMOGEN arrived Greenock at 1030 escorting H.M. submarine TALISMAN from Liverpool.

ATHERSTONE and FERNIE, with GLEANER, sailed from the Clyde at noon for an A/S search of theNorth Channel, following a report that a U boat had been operating there during the night.

PUNJABI and FIREDRAKE, escorting the Transport ANDES, sailed from Reykjavik at 1900 forAkureryi Fjord, arriving at 1320, 28th June.

At 1300 MAORI and ECHO proceeded from Scapa to intercept a U boat reported at 0700 inposition 60-24N, 5-59W on a course of 030 degrees, probably damaged by aircraft bombs and probably homeward bound.

Friday, 28th June 1940

FORTUNE with A/S trawler HAZEL sailed from Methil at 1200 escorting S.S. ARIEL and FOSSBECKto Scapa.

At 1030, MAORI and ECHO were recalled from the U boat search to the northward of Muckle Fluggahaving failed to make contact.

ATHERSTONE and FERNIE arrived at Greenock at 1130 after an unsuccessful search for a U boatreported in North Channel.

Saturday, 29th June 1940

FAME and FURY with ST LAURENT and SKEENA sailed from the Clyde escorting NELSON to Gibraltar.

ATHERSTONE and FERNIE sailed from Greenock at 1050 escorting S.S. QUEEN MARY to join ConvoyW.S. 1 in the North Channel, subsequently proceeding to Liverpool.

WALKER sailed from Greenock at 1400 escorting S.S. CITY OF AUCKLAND, CITY OF FLORENCE,MARINA, DALLINGTON COURT, and LYCAON to Belfast, subsequently returning to the Clyde.

PUNJABI and FIREDRAKE escorting S.S. ANDES sailed from Akreyri at 1020 having completed landing of troops for Seydisfjord (Iceland). Fog delayed the passage and the Fjord could not be entered until 1000, 30th June.

FORTUNE, with A/S trawler HAZEL, escorting S.S. ARIEL and FOSSBECK, arrived at Scapa at1500.  FORTUNE then proceeded to join WHITE BEAR, who at 2300, 28th June had depth charged a U boat in position 58-23.5N, 5-33W and had expended all depth charges. FORTUNE fired three patterns with no result and without a contact, on a position marked by a mark buoy, before beingrecalled to Scapa.

At 2024, battleships, battle cruisers, cruisers, and destroyers at Scapa were ordered toraise steam for immediate notice, and FORTUNE was recalled.  At 2121, this notice was increased to one hour s notice. At 0110, 30th June, these ships reverted to normal notice for steam.

Sunday, 30th June 1940

BEDOUIN sailed from Scapa at 0800 escorting ex Swedish PUKE and REMUS to Kirkwall, andreturned to harbour at 1350.

PART II

SUMMARY

          During this period destroyers have not been required to convoy duties on the scalethat was necessary during the Norwegian campaign, and it has been possible to arrange for training practices to take place from Scapa for ships maintainedthere for screening duties with the capital ships.  A submarine has been available for A/S exercises.

2.  Destroyers accompanied battle cruisers and cruisers on a sweep to the vicinity of Stavanger on 21st, for the interception of an enemy battle cruiser, believed to be SCHARNHORSTproceeding south off the Norwegian coast. No contact was made with the enemy.

3.  Captain (D) VIII, with certain destroyers of the E and F classes, was detached from the Home FleetCommand, to join Force H to be based on Gibraltar.

4.  Captain (D) VI, with ships of the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, took over Swedish destroyers PUKE, PSILANDZER, ROMULUS andREMUS in the Faroe Islands.  British crews steamed these to the Orkneys, subsequently returning themto their own crews at Kirkwall.

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-15th JUNE 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. WOOLWICH

17th AUGUST 1940

No. 919/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER VII

FOR 1ST TO 15TH June 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number IX of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 1st July to 15th July 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral (D)

                                                                         HomeFleet.

 

(Enclosure in No. 919/H.HD.00571A of 17th August 1940)

 

 

Monday, 1st July 1940

IMOGEN, ATHERSTONE, WARWICK, and FERNIE sailed from Liverpool at 0900 escorting BARHAM to Scapa.

WALKER sailed from Greenock at 0700 escorting EMPRESSF BRITAIN to Liverpool, subsequentlyreturning to the Clyde.

ECHO sailed from Scapa at 0800 escorting S.S. ATREUS to Greenock.

At 0251, NELSON and escort on passage to Gibraltar were ordered to return to Scapa.

Aircraft having reported bombing a submerged U boat in position 58-21N, 2-51W at 0600, ASHANTI proceededfrom Scapa and Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with MAORI and ECHO were ordered to join. Subsequent information from the pilot of the aircraft on landing showed that there was some doubt as toreliability of the report and ships were recalled.

BERKELEY arrived Greenock at 1730 escorting S.S. KOHISTAN.

At 2226, WALKER with JASON was ordered to proceed to search for a U boat sighted and bombed by an aircraftat 2115 in position 55-02N, 5-38W.  The aircraft reported having seen objects resembling mines below thesurface in that position and it was considered probable that the U boat had been minelaying. The search was unsuccessful.

PUNJABI and FIREDRAKE completed the landing of troops at Seydis Fjord, Eski, and Reyder Fjord, andsailed from Iceland at 1400 escorting S.S. ANDES to the Clyde, arriving at 1000, 3rd July.

Tuesday, 2nd July 1940

At 0610 S.S. ARANDORA STAR reported torpedoed in position 50-20N, 10-52W. WALKER and JASON were ordered by F.O. i/c Greenock to proceed to her assistance, and ST LAURENT proceeded from NELSON s screen, andECHO from escorting ATREUS.

FIREDRAKE as also detached by PUNJABI to proceed to assist, but was ordered to rejoin at 1631, when it wasknown that ST LAURENT had arrived and was rescuing survivors from lifeboats.

BERKELEY sailed from Greenock at 1055 escorting S.S. SOUTHERN PRINCE to Port ZA, subsequently proceeding toScapa.

IMOGEN, WARWICK, ATHERSTONE, and FERNIE arrived at Scapa at 2200 escorting BARHAM fromLiverpool.

Battlecruisers, RODNEY, SOUTHAMPTON, NORFOLK, COVENTRY, and destroyers at Scapa kept steam at twohours notice from 2200 to 0500, Wednesday, 3rd.

Swedish destroyers REMUS, ROMULUS, PUKE, and PSILANDER were handed back to Swedish crews at Kirkwall.

Wednesday, 3rd July 1940

FAME and FURY with SKEENA, arrived at Scapa at 0530 escorting NELSON.

MASHONA and BREDA passed May Island at 0700 escorting S.S. SHOAL FISHER to Scapa.

ST LAURENT arrived Clyde at 0730 with survivors from ARANDORA STAR.

PUNJABI and FIREDRAKE escorting S.S. ANDES arrived Greenock at 1030. PUNJABI sailed for Scapa at 1530, arriving 0900, 4th July.

HAMBLEDON arrived at Scapa at 2000 from Portland to join Home Fleet Command.

WARWICK and SKEENA sailed from Scapa at 2245 to relieve MASHONA and BREDA in the Pentland Firth escortingS.S. SHOAL FISHER to the Clyde.  Destroyers to rejoin Western Approaches Command on arrival.

Thursday, 4th July 1940

MASHONA at 0047 was ordered to proceed from Scapa to investigate a Swedish ship reported in thevicinity of Clyth Ness at 1915 with the markings G.G. 156.  Ship was found to be British RAGNHILL holding a fishing permit and was escorted into Wick by MASHONA who thenreturned to Scapa.

Aircraft having at 1125 reported bombing a U boat in position 59-24N, 1-15W, Captain (D) III inINGLEFIELD with IMOGEN, ATHERSTONE and FERNIE who were ordered to abandon A/S exercises to the westward of Hoy and to carry out a search assuming thesubmarine to be outward bound.  Pilot of aircraft on landing reported sighting only a trail of oil withbubbles and that about two hours later a float and pole and red flag appeared on water proceeding slowly on a course 335 degrees. Destroyers were ordered to investigate this, but by midnight had found nothing and returned to Scapa.

Another aircraft at 1310 reported attacking another U boat in position 59-10N, 5-35W.  Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, and MASHONA were ordered to abandon gunnery firings and carry out asearch for the submarine whose course was given as 035 degrees.  Pilot of the aircraft on landing stated that he had only seen an oil trail headed by bubbles. Destroyers were ordered to sweep toward Fair Isle Channel at 0600 5th July.

Friday, 5th July 1940

GARTH sailed at 0545 from Greenock with BONAVENTURE and JASON escorting S.S. MONARCH OF BERMUDA, BATORY,and SOBIESKY (sic) to join REVENGE and escort for passage to Hallifax (sic). GARTH then returned to the Clyde and sailed at 1300 with H.M.S. MENESTHEUS for Port ZA and Scapa.

WARWICK and SKEENA arrived at Greenock escorting SHOAL FISHER.

Saturday, 6th July 1940

H.M. Submarine SHARK reported that at 2250, 5th July, in position 58-51N, 4-50E she was unable to dive and was making 10 knots on the surface on a course of 230degrees. Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with MAORI, FAME, and FORTUNE proceeded from Scapa at 0215 to meet SHARK and escort to Rosyth. Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron in SOUTHAMPTON with COVENTRY also proceeded in support.

By 1000, the destroyer force had searched along SHARK s track to the further back taken at 6 knotswithout success, and divided twice visibility distance to northwest and southeast, for a further search.

Destroyers were heavily bombed during the day and at 1240 FAME sustained damage aft from a near missand speed was reduced to 20 knots.  The search for SHARK having been unsuccessful, ships proceeded towardsRosyth, arriving at 2330.  FAME required docking for repairs, and had suffered 23 casualties.

GARTH arrived Scapa at 1840 to work up before joining Home Fleet Command.

Sunday, 7th July 1940

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with MAORI and FORTUNE sailed from Rosyth at 2030 escorting Rear Admiral,Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron in SOUTHAMPTON with COVENTRY to Scapa.

Monday, 8th July 1940

DIANA proceeded from Scapa at 2230 to rendezvous with Finnish LAHTI at 0400, Tuesday, 9th July in position 064 degrees Rattray Head 3 miles to escort to Rosyth.

Tuesday, 9th July 1940

ECHO and FIREDRAKE sailed from the Clyde at 0030 escorting S.S. ORMONDE and ULSTER PRINCE with troops toIceland.

Air search failed to locate Finnish S.S. LAHTI and DIANA remained in the vicinity of the rendezvousduring the forenoon. At 1234, DIANA was ordered to search for a Blenheim in the sea in position 58-14N,1-04W.  The search was unsuccessful and DIANA returned to Scapa arriving at 0200 10th July.

Wednesday, 10th July 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with IMOGEN, ATHERSTONE, HAMBLEDON, and FERNIE sailed from Port ZAescorting Rear Admiral (ML) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER, and PORT QUEBEC for minelaying operation S.N. One

At 1245 it was reported by ST LAURENT with Convoy OA.180 that Dutch ship ALWAKI was sinking as a result ofan explosion in the engine room, in position Northeast of Cape Wrath 10 miles.  In view of reports of U boats west of Thurso and off Scourie Point (North Minch), ZULU, MAORI, andBERKELEY abandoned their A/S exercises west of Hoy and Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, with ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, and MASHONA, exercising in Scapa Flow, proceededto search.  Later reports from ST LAURENT and escorting aircraft showed that the explosion was internal andprobably due to sabotage, the Dutch crew making little effort to save their ship.  ALWAKI sank at 2107.

Thursday, 11th July 1940

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, and FERNIE arrived at Port ZA escorting minelayers from Operation S.N. One at 1100and sailed at 1430 for Liverpool.  Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with IMOGEN arrived Scapa at 1645.

ECHO and FIREDRAKE escorting ORMONDE and ULSTER PRINCE arrived Reykjavik at 2030.

BEDOUIN and MASHONA remained in vicinity of Cape Wrath until evening when the westbound convoy hadpassed the position of the explosion in S.S. ALWAKI, then returned to Scapa.

Friday, 12th July 1940

ECHO sailed from Reykjavik at 1430 escorting ULSTER PRINCE to Akreyri with troops.

Saturday, 13th July 1940

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR sailed from Scapa at 1015 for Liverpool for docking for repairs to Asdicinstallation and damage to propellers.

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, and FERNIE sailed from Liverpool at 1800 escorting FURIOUS to Prestwick to fly onaircraft and thence to Scapa.

ECHO escorting ULSTER PRINCE arrived at Akreyri (Iceland) and sailed for Seidisfjord.

The following redisposition of destroyers was ordered:

(a).  DOUGLAS, ACTIVE, WATCHMAN, KEPPEL, and VORTIGERN leave North Atlantic Command to join Home Fleet Command.

(b). Three worked up HUNT class destroyers to leave Home Fleet command and join Dover Command.

(c). HOTSPUR and ENCOUNTER from Home Fleet Command and three G class destroyers from Nore command tojoin North Atlantic Command.

Sunday, 14th July 1940

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, and FERNIE escorting FURIOUS arrived at Scapa at 0615.

Monday, 15th July 1940

HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE proceeded from Scapa at 1315 to rendezvous with S.S. HIGHLANDER andR.F.A. PRESTOL off Aberdeen at 2000 for escort to Lerwick and Scapa, respectively.

ECHO escorting S.S. ULSTER PRINCE sailed from Seidisfjord (Iceland) for Reykjavik.

 

SUMMARY

          The first fortnight of July was a quiet period during which destroyers retained atScapa for fleet screening duties, etc. carried out Gunnery, Torpedo, and A/S practice.

2. Destroyers of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla with SOUTHAMPTON and COVENTRY carried out the onlyoperation of a major nature, a sweep to locate and escort H.M. Submarine SHARK, returning home damaged from the Norwegian coast. This was unsuccessful as SHARK was sunk by enemy action before a rendezvous was made.  FAME was damaged by a near miss during the fairly heavy aerial bombardment to whichthis force was subjected.

3. Escorts were provided for capital ships on passage, troop transports to and from Iceland, to and fromLerwick (Shetlands), and for the first of the minelaying operation under the command of Rear Admiral (ML).

4.  Searches for U boats reported by aircraft were carried out by such destroyers as could be made available, but inno case was contact gained with the enemy.

5.  It was decided the HUNT class destroyers should join the Nore Command on completion of working up at Scapa,owing to the unsuitability of these ships (both as regards endurance and seakeeping qualities) for operations in the Orkneys and Shetlands area.  In return, certain destroyers of the A , V  and  W  classes were to join the Home Fleet Command.




 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 16th-31st JULY 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. MAIDSTONE

19th September 1940

No. 1002/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER X

FOR PERIOD 16TH TO 31ST JULY 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number IX of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 16th July to 30th July 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral (D)

                                                                         HomeFleet.

 (Enclosure in No. 1002/H.D. 00571A of 18th September 1940)

 

Tuesday, 16th July 1940

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, ZULU, MAORI, FURY, FORTUNE, Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD andIMOGEN, sailed from Scapa at 0900 with Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron in SOUTHAMPTON, and GLASGOW, SUSSEX, and SHROPSHIRE. These ships were known as Force C.  The Force swept to the southeastward until 1543 when course was reversed to return to Scapa in view of negative airreports.

At 2355, in low visibility, GLASGOW was in collision with IMOGEN in approximate position58-34N, 02-54W.  The latter was severely damaged and had to be abandoned owing to an outbreak of fire whichcould not be controlled, and contributed to the loss of the ship.  GLASGOW recovered survivors, but owing to fog, the hulk was not seen to sink.

In view of reports of outward bound U boats, instructions were received for the disposition ofdestroyers:

(A). Four in 59-00N, 00-00W at 1500/17.

(B). Two in 60-20N, 01-00E at 1700/17

(C). Two Hunt class to augment convoy escorts between Cape Wrath and Rattray Head.

ECHO and FIREDRAKE escorting ARGUS, S.S. ORMONDE, and ULSTER PRINCE sailed fromReykjavik at 1030 for the Clyde, arriving at 0500, 18th July.

HAMBLEDON, escorting oiler PRESTOL, arrived at Scapa and was unable to enter until fogcleared at 1100.

BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and PUNJABI, screening NELSON, entered harbour at 1640 after fullcalibre firings.

Wednesday, 17th July 1940

At 1120, BEDOUIN with PUNJABI proceeded from Scapa to Position B and ASHANTI withMASHONA to position A to carry out A/S patrols for the interception of outward bound U boats.

HAMBLEDON and FERNIE sailed from Scapa at 1830 to meet east bound convoy W.N. 1 off CapeWrath to reinforce the escort, convoy being expected to reach Cape Wrath about midnight.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, MAORI, ZULU, FURY, FORTUNE and Captain (D) III inINGLEFIELD arrived at Scapa at 1800 after an unsuccessful search for the wreck of IMOGEN which was possibly still afloat, Stroma lighthouse keepers havingreported a ship drifting westwards through Pentland Firth at 0235.

British S.S. MANIPUR in convoy HX 55 A was torpedoed in position 58-41N, 5-14W at 2315.  HAMBLEDON and FERNIE remained to hunt and DIANA, BERKELEY, and GARTH proceeded from Scapa at 0645 to assist in thesearch, which was unsuccessful.

Thursday, 18th July 1940

Positions of A/S patrols at 0600 were BEDOUIN and PUNJABI in 60-16N, 1-34E, ASHANTI andBEDOUIN in 59-08N, 00-12E.

In view of D/F reports from the Admiralty that two U boats were in the vicinity of Cape Wrathat 0940, ZULU with FORTUNE and FURY sailed from Scapa at 1515 to carry out an A/S sweep towards Cape Wrath and then to search area bounded by Cape Wrath,North Rona, Butt of Lewis.  No U boat contacts were made.

ATHERSTONE sailed from Scapa at 1440 to carry out a further search of the mainland southof Stroma from (sic  for) the wreck of IMOGEN. This search was unsuccessful and ATHERSTONE returned to harbour at 1730.

PUNJABI was detached by BEDOUIN at 1230 to investigate a trawler reported by aircraft at1132 in position 60-13N, 0-45E steering 270 degrees and flying the signal I have sighted mine in position indicated.  The trawler, manned by Norwegians, was escorted towards Lerwick until2115 when PUNJABI parted company and returned to Scapa.

At 1415, BEDOUIN and PUNJABI were ordered to Scapa and ASHANTI and MASHONA to move thepatrol position to 58-30N, 1-45W to cover the passage of convoys across Moray Firth.

At 1725, GARTH and BERKELEY were ordered to return to Scapa from the A/S search off Cape Wrathand arrived at 0045, 19th July.

At 2346, ASHANTI and MASHONA were ordered to return to Scapa by 1000, 19th July.  Delayed by fog, they arrived at 1110.

Friday, 19th July 1940

ECHO and FIREDRAKE sailed from the Clyde at 1130 for Scapa. At 0005, 20th July, these ships were ordered to reinforce the escort of convoy W.N. 2 when overtaken and to remain in companyuntil reaching Rattray Head, when they were to join the escort for convoy O.A. 187 outward bound.

BEDOUIN and PUNJABI sailed from Scapa at 1410 for the Tyne to provide escort for NAIAD ontrials.  Owing to enemy mining off the Tyne during the night, NAIAD was unable to sail and destroyers remainedunder way off the river entrance.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ASHANTI and MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 1800 escortingGLASGOW to Liverpool for repairs. DIANA joined the escort off Cape Wrath and ASHANTI and MASHONA then returnedto Scapa arriving at 0445.

At 1800, ZULU, HAMBLEDON, and FERNIE left A/S patrol in the Cape Wrath area to return toScapa.  FORTUNE and FURY remained on patrol to cover convoys passing between Pentland Firth and the Minches.

Saturday, 20th July 1940

MAORI sailed from Scapa at 0700 for Invergordon to embark Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cork andstaff at 1200 for passage to Lerwick to take over duties of Flag Officer, Shetlands. MAORI sailed from Invergordon at 2100 and arrived Lerwick at 0700, 21st July.

WATCHMAN arrived at Liverpool at 1500 to join Home Fleet Command.

NAIAD with Rear Admiral, Fifteenth Cruiser Squadron, sailed from the Tyne at 1600 to beescorted during trials by BEDOUIN and PUNJABI.

In view of a report that GNEISENAU had possibly left Trondjeim at 0900, the Fleet came toshort notice for steam and destroyers at sea were recalled at 1938.

(a).  ECHO and FIREDRAKE with COVENTRY from escorting convoy W N. 2 arrived Scapa at 0010, 21st July.

(b). FORTUNE and FURY from A/S patrol off Cape Wrath arrived Scapa at 2320.

The Fleet was detailed in two forces:

Force (D)  Battlecruisers, cruisers, COSSACK, SIKH, ZULU, MASHONA, FORTUNE, andFURY.

Force (E)  RODNEY, NELSON, BARHAM, FURIOUS, COVENTRY, ECHO, FIREDRAKE, HAMBLEDON,ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, GARTH, and BERKELEY.

Sunday, 21st July 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with DIANA escorting GLASGOW arrived at Liverpool at 1200.  These ships, with WATCHMAN, sailed at 1405 to rendezvous with FIJI and ILLUSTRIOUS and to provide escort to theClyde.

Monday, 22nd July 1940

ZULU and FIREDRAKE proceeded from Scapa at 1200 and 1215 to assist in hunt of a U boatreported bombed by aircraft in position 58-19N, 2-31W.  The pilot later reported that an oil streak only had been sighted and it is probable that this emanated from a wreckof which there were many in the vicinity. ROCHESTER and ST LAURENT had already carried out depth charge attacksand ZULU and FIREDRAKE depth charged targets in the vicinity before being recalled to Scapa.

Tuesday, 23rd July 1940

At 0851 of 23rd July, 1940, DIANA, screening FIJI and ILLUSTRIOUS reported the Asdic domestruck by a fish and the gear out of action owing to extensive damage, while leaks into the fore store limited the speed to twenty two knots.

ARROW, ANTHONY, AMAZON, and ACHATES sailed from Harwich at 1800 to join the Home Fleet Commandas reinforcement during the laying of the Western Approaches minefield.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with DIANA and WATCHMAN, escorting FIJI and ILLUSTRIOUS, arrivedat Greenock at 1945.

In view of an aircraft report that eight enemy destroyers and six camouflaged merchantvessels were in position 57-18N, 04-23E at 1958, steering 315 degrees, all cruisers at Scapa raised steam for full speed and Captain (D) IV in COSSACK,with ZULU, MAORI, FORTUNE, FURY, FIREDRAKE also came to immediate notice.  At 2256, notice for steam for these vessels was lengthened to one hour, and remaining destroyers were kept at twoand a half hours notice.  All ships reverted to four hours notice for steam at 0930/24th July.

Wednesday, 24th July 1940

ANTHONY and AMAZON were diverted to rendezvous with S.S. LOCH NAGAR off Aberdeen at 1800 toprovide escort to Lerwick.  At 1421, ARROW and ACHATES were ordered to search for a U boat reported byaircraft at 1255 in position 57-58N, 3-17W.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD sailed from Greenock at 1700 for Port ZA arriving at 0825, 25th July.

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, and GARTH sailed from Scapa at 2100 escorting COVENTRY toPort ZA, then to join Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD and to act as escort (in log as escort  typed twice) for minelayers during Operation S.N. 31.  Ships arrived at Port ZA at 0745, 25th July.

BEDOUIN and PUNJABI escorted NAIAD during gun trials in the Firth of Forth area, and oncompletion sailed for Scapa.  At 2249, these ships were diverted to search for a U boat in position 59-25N,0-45W, steering 260 degrees.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR sailed from Liverpool for Scapa at 2100 after repairs to AsdicInstallation, arriving at 2210, 25th July.

DIANA sailed from the Clyde for Sheerness for refit and repairs by Green and Silley Weir ofAlbert Dock, London.

Thursday, 25th July 1940

ANTHONY and AMAZON, escorting S.S. LOCHNAGAR, arrived at Lerwick at 1030 and sailed forScapa.  At 1055, these destroyers were ordered to carry out an A/S sweep through North Fair Isle Channel toposition 60-00N, 03-30E as a U boat had been reported by aircraft in position 60-55N, 00-53E at 2105, 24th July, probably outward bound, and a further aircraft search was being carried out. No further reports were received and ANTHONY and AMAZON proceeded to Scapa, arriving 2150.

 At 1110, BEDOUIN and PUNJABI, and ARROW and ACHATES were ordered to proceed to Scapa, no U boat contacts having beenmade.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD WITH HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, and GARTH sailed from Port ZAat 1130, escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with PORT QUEBEC, PORT NAPIER, MENESTHEUS, and SCOTT for Operation S.N. 31

Friday, 26th July 1940

ZULU and MAORI sailed from Scapa at 1300 to search for a U boat sighted by aircraft in position 60-55N,00-53E at 2105, 24th July, and in position 61-00N, 00-20E at 2105, 24th July, apparently on patrol in this area.  The search was unsuccessful.

FORTUNE and FURY sailed from Scapa at midnight to carry out an A/S sweep to the North Minch and then toprovide additional escort for convoy W.N. 3, escorted by ST ELSTAN and KING SOL to Rattray Head, subsequently joining the escort for convoy O.A. 191 for thereturn passage to Cape Wrath.  No U boat contacts were made.

Saturday, 27th July 1940

KEPPEL on passage from Western Approaches to Scapa was diverted at 0827 to the Clyde for escortduties, arriving at 1600.

At 1248, battle cruisers, cruisers, and destroyers at Scapa came to two and a half hours notice forsteam and at 1628 eight destroyers were brought to immediate notice as a screen for battle cruisers and cruisers, the remainder coming to one hour s notice forsteam.

At 1630, FORTUNE and FURY, with convoy W.N. 3 were ordered to return to Scapa and arrived at 1800

Force A sailed from Scapa at 1915 for a sweep towards the Norwegian coast. ASHANTI and MASHONA screened Vice Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron in DEVONSHIRE with YORK, AUSTRALIA, and SHEFFIELD, and Captain(D) VI in TARTAR with PUNJABI, FIREDRAKE, ARROW, ANTHONY, and ACHATES screened Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in RENOWN with REPULSE.

At 2201, ZULU and MAORI, on A/S patrol North East of Shetlands were instructed to rendezvous with ForceA at 0400, 28th July, in position 60-00N, 01-50E.

Sunday, 28th July 1940

WATCHMAN with NORFOLK sailed from Greenock at 0200 escorting GEORGIC and KONIGEN EMMA toReykjavik.  VORTIGERN after refueling sailed from Belfast to join WATCHMAN off Mull of Kintyre at 0500.

BERKELEY and AMAZON proceeded from Scapa at 0530 to investigate a report from the shore atStraithie Point that ship was on fire bearing 330 degrees on the horizon.  This was S.S. ORLOCH HEAD bombed (three hits) and machine gunned by enemy reconnaissance aircraft at 0230 in position58-44N, 4-21w.  Survivors were landed at Thurso and destroyers were unable to find wreck.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, detached from escorting minelayers, arrived at the Clyde at 1750.

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, and GARTH arrived at Port ZA at 1830 escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) inSOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT QUEBEC, PORT NAPIER, and MENESTHEUS from Operation S.N. 31.

Monday, 29th July 1940

SIKH and AMAZON sailed from Scapa at 0400 to rendezvous with troop convoy T.C. 6 in position 57-12N,21-50W at 2000, 30th July, 1940.  Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with KEPPEL sailed from the Clyde at 0535 for the same rendezvous.  HIGHLANDER, VISCOUNT, VANQUISHER, and WANDERER also proceeded from theWestern Approaches Command to join this escort.

Force A (battle cruisers and cruisers) returned to Scapa at 0620 screened by Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with PUNJABI, MASHONA, ASHANTI, ZULU, MAORI, FURY, FIREDRAKE, and FORTUNE.

HAMBLEDON, FERNIE, GARTH, and ATHERSTONE arrived at Scapa at 0740 from minelaying operation S.N. 31

At 0905, the Fleet at Scapa reverted to four hours notice for steam. 

FERNIE sailed from Scapa at 1315 for Dover to join the Dover Command, later being diverted to Portsmouth. 

DELIGHT sailed from Portsmouth at 1500 for the Clyde, and was attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft when off Portland. 

ZULU sailed from Scapa at 1600 for the Tyne for docking and refit, arriving at the Tyne at 0700, 30th Jul 

Tuesday, 30th July 1940

MAORI and FURY proceeded from Scapa at 0010 to search for a U boat reported by A/S trawler LE TIGER(sic)  at 2050 in position 58-42N, 05-33W where it had been sighted astern of a convoy off Cape Wrath.

FORTUNE, ECHO, and FIREDRAKE proceeded from Scapa at 1800 to screen REPULSE during L.A. and H.A.full calibre firings.

Wednesday, 31st July 1940

Blank

 

SUMMARY

          The second fortnight of July was a quiet period and destroyers at Scapa for fleetscreening were able to carry out Gunnery, Torpedo, and A/S exercises.  Hunt class destroyers were also working up at Scapa and were employed, when necessary, for A/S searches and escortingconvoys.

2.  Sweeps into the North Sea and towards the Norwegian Coast were carried out on 16th and 27th July, by forces of cruisers and battle cruisers screened by destroyers.  On return from the first of these, fog was encountered to the South Eastward of the Orkneys, and IMOGEN was sunk incollision with GLASGOW.

3.  There was an increase in U boat activity on the homeward and outward bound routes in the vicinity of theOrkneys and Shetlands.  Destroyers, when available, were sent to search on reports resulting from merchant vesselsinkings and aircraft sightings; to patrol the Cape Wrath focal area, and to provide addition A/S protection for convoys passing through the dangerarea.  All searches were unsuccessful and no U boat contacts were gained.

4.  Escorts were also provided for minelaying operations by the First Minelaying Squadron, for capital ships onpassage, and cruisers doing trials, and for troop transports to and from Lerwick (Shetlands).  Four A class destroyers were detached from the Nore Command as reinforcement for theHome Fleet in view of these commitments, having replaced in the Nore Command by Hunt class on completion of working up.

 


 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 1st-15th AUGUST 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. MAIDSTONE

27th SEPTEMBER 1940

No. 1029/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER XI

FOR 1ST TO 15TH AUGUST 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number XI of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 1st to 15th August 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral (D)

                                                                         HomeFleet.

 

(Enclosure in No. 1029/H.D.00571A of 27th September 1940)

 

Thursday, 1st August 1940

DUNCAN sailed from Rosyth at 1500 to rendezvous with MAORI and to escort S.S. LOCHNAGAR from Aberdeen toLerwick.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with SIKH, AMAZON, KEPPEL, WANDERER, VISCOUNT, HIGHLANDER, andVANQUISHER arrived at the Clyde at 1430 escorting Troop Convoy T.C. 6.

Friday, 2nd August 1940

          Home Fleet Destroyer Flotillas were reorganized as follows from 0800:

Third Destroyer Flotilla

INGLEFIELD, ISIS, DUNCAN, ECHO, ELECTRA, ECLIPSE (on return to United Kingdom  ESCAPADE

Fourth Destroyer Flotilla

COSSACK, ZULU, SIKH, MAORI, FAME, FORTUNE (on return to United Kingdom  FOXHOUND).  Temporarily attached  FURY and FIREDRAKE

Sixth Destroyer Flotilla

TARTAR, ASHANTI,, MATABELE, MASHONA, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO, SOMALI

Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla

KEPPEL, DOUGLAS, ARROW, ACHATES, ACTIVE, ANTHONY, AMAZON.  Temporarily attached  VORTIGERN and WATCHMAN

MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 0145 to relieve DUNCAN escorting S.S. LOCHNAGAR. DUNCAN was delayed entering Scapa owing to fog.

After arrival at Lerwick at 1300 MAORI and MASHONA proceeded to carry out an A/S search in the vicinityof 100 fathom line north of Shetlands.  No U boat contacts were obtained.

BEDOUIN and PUNJABI sailed from Scapa at 1315, carried out an A/S search in the North Minch and thenjoined convoy W.N. 4, as addition escort to Rattray Head, subsequently transferring to convoy OA. 193.

ECHO with GARTH and BERKELEY sailed from Scapa at 2050 and Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD fromGreenock at 1830 for Port ZA for Operation S.N. 32.

Fog in the vicinity of the Orkneys interfered considerably with destroyer movements and practices duringthe day.

Saturday, 3rd August 1940

Enemy aircraft were over Scapa between midnight and 0100 and convoy W.N. 4 being bombed in the vicinityof Cape Wrath, S.S. STATIRA being set on fire.  Survivors were picked up by PUNJABI and unsuccessful attempts were made to extinguish the fire.

PUNJABI escorted S.S. STATIRA, in tow of tug THAMES, towards Stornoway until relieved by SIKH.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ECHO, BERKELEY,  and GARTH sailed from Port ZA at 1130 escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) inSOUTHERN PRINCE with PORT QUEBEC and PORT NAPIER for Operation S.N. 32.

Captain (D) XII in KEPPEL arrived at Scapa at 1930 to join the Home Fleet Command.  SIKH and AMAZON also in company from Greenock.  DUNCAN arrived at 1730 to rejoin the Fleet after repairs to collision damage.

Sunday, 4th August 1940

ACHATES and FIREDRAKE sail from Scapa at 0730 to search for a U boat bombed by aircraft at 0510 inposition 59-48N, 5-30W. This may have been the submarine reported at 1315, 3rd August 1940, in position 59-41N, 00-06E, and for which MAORI and MASHONA had beensearching.  No contact was made with the enemy and in absence of further reports, ACHATES and FIREDRAKE proceededtowards the Fair island Channel and then returned to the South West to reach position 59-10N, 5-00W by 0600, 5th August 1940.

MAORI and MASHONA arrived at Scapa at 2200 having been unsuccessful in their search and in a furthersweep for another U boat expected to pass through North Fair Island Channel on the evening west going tide.

BEDOUIN and PUNJABI left convoy O.A. 193 on arrival at Cape Wrath at 2200 and returned to Scapa.

FORTUNE and FURY sailed from Scapa at 1050 for the Clyde to act as escort for Convoy W.S. 2.

Monday, 5th August 1940

ACHATES and FIREDRAKE patrolled in area of Cape Wrath  North Rona  Butt of Lewis inview of U boat reports in this vicinity.

It was decided that, in view of the heavy losses to shipping from U boat attack in the NorthernApproaches, five destroyers (KEPPEL and A Class destroyers) should reinforce Commander in Chief, Western Approaches Command, and that a division of theFifth Destroyer Flotilla ( J and K classes) should join the Home Fleet from the Nore Command.

ASHANTI and MASHONA proceeded to Lerwick to escort S.S. LOCHNAGAR, sailing at 1705 with militarypersonnel for Aberdeen.

Tuesday, 6th August 1940

FORTUNE, FURY, WATCHMAN, and VORTIGERN with SHROPSHIRE and EMERALD sailed from the Clyde at 0630 with Clydeportion of convoy W.S. 2 to rendezvous with Liverpool portion.

AMAZON proceeded from Scapa at 0240 to investigate a suspicious merchant ship in position 080 degreesWick 2 miles.  Area between Wick and Stronsay was searched to a depth of 15 miles without success.

Instructions were received that, in view of improved underwater defences at Scapa Flow, the emergencydestroyer would only be required to anchor in D.2 berth for protection of the eastern entrances when there was a combination of calm weather, a moonlightnight, and a suitable tide.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD on passage from Port ZA to Scapa, and ANTHONY screening FURIOUS forpractices, proceeded to intercept two Dutch motor coasting vessels proceeding westward through Pentland Firth.  The ships were turned over to trawler REGAL to be brought in for examination.

FIREDRAKE and ACHATES patrolled Cape Wrath area until 2200 when they joined convoy H.X. 60 A, passingeastbound, to give additional A/S cover to Pentland Firth.

Captain (D) XII in KEPPEL with ANTHONY and AMAZON from Scapa at 2200 and with ACHATES from Convoy H.X. 60A, proceeded to the Clyde to reinforce the Western Approaches Command.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH proceeded to carry out an A/S patrol in Fair Island Channel from 1700,in view of possibility of a U boat passing westbound on the evening tide. No reports were received and no contacts were made.

Wednesday, 7th August 1940

JAVELIN and JAGUAR, on passage from the Humber to join Home Fleet Command, were diverted to meet S.S.ST. MAGNUS and ST. ROGNVALD off Aberdeen at 1400 for escort to Kirkwall and Lerwick, respectively.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, were to the north of mined area QZX 131 at 0600 to act on aircraftreports of U boats, should any be received, and subsequently proceeded to the Minches to meet convoy W.N. 5 near Trodday Island and to escort to the PentlandFirth.

FIREDRAKE arrived at Scapa at 1000 after covering convoy H.X. 60 A to Pentland Firth.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN and PUNJABI, sailed from Scapa at 2000 to carry out an A/S sweeppassing to northward of the North Rona mined area to Rockall and thence rendezvous with HOOD, ARETHUSA, and FOXHOUND to provide escort to Scapa.  No U boat contacts were obtained during this sweep.

Thursday, 8th August 1940

JAGUAR and JAVELIN, on arrival at Lerwick, embarked ten officers and 115 other ranks of the BritishArmy repatriated from Petsamo (Finland) by Swedish steamer GOTEBORG. These were landed at Scrabster and JAGUAR and JAVELIN proceeded to Scapa to join Home Fleet Command.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH provided A/S cover for convoy W.N. 5, passing Cape Wrath at 0400 eastbound, and convoy O.A. 195, passing Pentland Firth at 0615 westbound, to Cape Wrath, where theyarrived at 1515.  COSSACK and SIKH then returned to Scapa.

BERKELEY sailed from Scapa at 2015 to overtake convoy W.N. 5 and to provide additional cover to Methil,thence to proceed with Southbound convoys to Harwich to join the Nore Command.

Admiralty issued instructions that four ships of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla (Nore Command)were to be kept at the disposal of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, being relieved in rotation for boiler cleaning maintenance, and general duties on theEast Coast.

Friday, 9th August 1940

 ASHANTI sailed from Scapa at 1000 for the Clyde to form part of the escort for convoy Z A with four destroyers detailed from WesternApproaches.

JAVELIN sailed from Scapa at 1415 for Lerwick to escort S.S. ROGNVALD from Aberdeen to Lerwick.

Polish destroyer BURZA arrived at Scapa at 1900 to work up before joining Nore Command.  BURZA had carried out three depth charge attacks in position 52-21N, 5-6.5W, 1940, on an Asdic target givingevery indication of being a U boat.  As a result the U boat was probably seriously damaged.

Saturday, 10th August 1940

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, MAORI, and DUNCAN proceeded from Scapa to meet Convoy O.A. 196,forty four ships, escorted by ROCHESTER and PRIMROSE at Duncansby Head at 0630, provided additional A/S cover to Cape Wrath and then proceeded to Port ZA toact under the orders of Rear Admiral (M.L.) for Operation S.N. 13

FEARLESS reported at 0312 having been in a collision with British S.S. FLYING WING in position 55-14N,5-58W and proceeded to Clyde for repairs.

At 0215, ASHANTI, on passage to the Clyde, was ordered to the assistance of TRANSYLVANIA, torpedoedand sunk in position 55-50N, 8-03W at 0011.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, with BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESCAPADE, and FOXHOUND, screening HOOD (Flag OfficerForce H) and ARETHUSA, arrived Scapa at 0600.

JAGUAR and CATTISTOCK, after exercises west of Orkneys proceeded to Cape Wrath to provide additionalescort for Convoy H.X. 61 from Cape Wrath to Pentland Firth.  JAGUAR rescued the crew of S.S. ALBULA of convoy O.A. 196 which was in collision in position 58-38N, 4-35.5W and wasabandoned in a sinking condition.

Captain (D) VIII in FAULKNOR with FORESIGHT and FORESTER screening VALIANT and ARGUS of Force H,arrived at Liverpool at 1530 for boiler cleaning and leave.

ARROW sailed from Scapa at 2200 for the Clyde to join the Western Approaches Command.

ASHANTI and FORTUNE arrived Greenock at 1915 in company with ACHATES, ANTHONY, and HAVELOCK, afterA/S searches in the North Western Approaches.

Sunday, 11th August 1940

FOXHOUND, with ARETHUSA, sailed from Scapa at 0630 for Chatham for refit and repairs.

HOLDERNESS, on passage north to work up at Scapa,, was diverted to Rosyth to act as part escort forTITANIA to Belfast.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK, with SIKH, MAORI, and DUNCAN, joined Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERN PRINCEwith PORT QUEBEC, PORT NAPIER, and MENESTHEUS sailing from Port ZA at 0230 for Operation S.N. 13.

JAGUAR and CATTISTOCK having failed to make contact with Convoy H.X. 61, which had been delayed by afull northerly gale in the Minches, returned to Scapa at 0900.  CATTISTOCK had been unable to make headway against the heavy seas experienced to westward of the Pentland Firth.

ASHANTI with GRIFFIN, WATCHMAN, and VORTIGERN sailed from the Clyde at 1030 escorting Convoy Z A withREVENGE and ASTURIAS.

JAVELIN, escorting LOCHNAGAR, arrived Lerwick at 1345 and sailed for Scapa.

Monday, 12th August 1940

GARTH sailed from Greenock at 1750 to overtake Convoy W.N. 7 and provide additional escort to Methil.

Ships lash-up magnetic minesweeps were brought to a quarter of an hour s notice at 2142.

At 2217, orders were issues that the Home Fleet at Scapa was to keep steam at two and a half hours notice.

Tuesday, 13th August 1940

At 0440, Home Fleet at Scapa raised steam at one hour s notice.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, MAORI, and DUNCAN arrived at Scapa at 0700, after escortingminelayers for Operation S.N. 13 back to Port Z A.

At 1031, Admiralty issued instructions that no ships are to be taken in hand for boiler cleaning or refituntil further orders and that those in hand ere to be completed as already arranged.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, with BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and PUNJABI, sailed from Scapa at 1600 escorting FlagOfficer Force H in RENOWN to the westward until clear of submarine zone.

Wednesday, 14th August 1940

ESCAPADE and CATTISTOCK sailed from Scapa at 0100 to arrive position 59-00N, 5-30W by 0530 to carry outan A/S sweep in that vicinity for a U boat reported bombed by aircraft in position 60-47N, 2-22W at 1803, 13th May 1940 on a course of 225 degrees.  No U boat contact was obtained.

At 0553, an aircraft reported bombing a U boat in position 60-00N, 4-13W on a course of 230degrees.  This was probably the same submarine.  Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with FIREDRAKE proceeded from Scapa at 1115 to a preliminaryposition ten miles north of Sulisker (59-06N, 6-10W) to search for this U boat. No U boat contact was obtained.

The aircraft that had reported this U boat made a crash landing at 0854 while returning to Hatston.  DUNCAN and JAGUAR, carrying out A/S exercises west of Hoy, proceeded to search, but were unsuccessful aftersearching 30 miles to the North West of Orkneys in deteriorating weather.

KIPLING sailed from the Humber at 1050, after repairs and refit, for Scapa, arriving at 0600, 15th August 1940.

HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, and ECLIPSE sailed from the Clyde escorting ILLUSTRIOUS to Scapa, arriving at 0600,15th August 1940.

ASHANTI arrived Clyde after escorting Convoy Z A and sailed again with ECHO at 2000 escorting ULSTERMONARCH to the Faroes.

WATCHMAN and VORTIGERN arrived Scapa at 1945 from escorting Convoy Z.A. When securing on oiler, VORTIGERN sustained damage requiring repair by WOOLWICH and was unable to proceed to join the Nore Command as intended.

WATCHMAN sailed from Scapa at 0045 to overtake and provide additional escort for Convoy W.N. 7 to Methil,thence to be sailed to the Humber with a suitable convoy to join the Nore Command.

Thursday, 15th August 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ESCAPADE, FIREDRAKE, CATTISTOCK were ordered to return toharbour from A/S search if no enemy report had been received by 0800.

At 0630, Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and PUNJABI arrived at Scapa after escortingRENOWN and carrying out an A/S sweep on return passage.

O.R.P. BLYSKAWICA sailed from Portsmouth at 2100 for Scapa to work up before joining First Flotilla.

HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE sailed from Switha at 2330 to be n position 60-30N, 3-30W by 0530, 16th August 1940. No U boat report having been received by 0700, 16th August 1940, they then proceeded to Thorshaven (Faroes) to provide escort for ULSTER MONARCH to the Clyde.

 

SUMMARY

          No major operations were carried out during the first fortnight of August, andexercises and working up practices were continued at Scapa for Fleet and Hunt  class destroyers

2.  As a result of the increase of U boat activity in the Atlantic and North Western Approaches, A class destroyers andKEPPEL of the Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla were placed under the orders of Commander I Chief, Western Approaches to provide A/S escorts and striking forces, working from Greenock.  The Home Fleet Command was reinforced with four J or K class destroyers of theFifth Destroyer Flotilla, Nore Command, being relieved in rotation for boiler cleaning at Immingham.

3.  Destroyers not required for Fleet screening duties at Scapa were employed as additional escorts for ocean convoyspassing between Cape Wrath and Pentland Firth, and on A/S searches for U boats reported by aircraft or expected homeward or outward bound in the vicinity ofOrkneys and Shetlands.  Numbers available were small and no contacts were made with the enemy.

4.  Escorts were also provided for the minelaying operations of the First Minelaying Squadron, for troop movements between Aberdeen and the Shetlands, and for capital ships on passage and exercising from Scapa.

 


 

 

WAR DIARY

HOME FLEET DESTROYERS, 16th-31st AUGUST 1940

 

SECRET

H.M.S. MAIDSTONE

6th October 1940

 

No. 1054/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER XII

for 16th to 31st August 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number XI of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 16th to 31st August 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral                                                                  

 

(Enclosure in No. 1054/H.D.00571A of 6 October 1940)

 

Friday, 16th August 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with FIREDRAKE, JAVELIN, and JAGUAR sailed from Scapa at 0700 forPort ZA for minelaying operation S.N. 12.

Captain (D) IV in COSSACK with SIKH, MAORI, and VORTIGERN sailed from Scapa at 0620 to screen HOOD (ViceAdmiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron) to Rosyth.  Destroyers of Fourth Flotilla remained at Rosyth as reinforcement to Rosyth Escort Force and VORTIGERN proceeded tothe Humber to join the Nore Command.

HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE arrived at Thorshavn (Faroes) at 1400 to escort S.S. ULSTER MONARCH to Clyde,sailing again at 1800.

ASHANTI and ECHO arrived at Scapa at 1615 after escorting S.S. ULSTER MONARCH to Thorshavn.

Saturday, 17th August 1940

At 0800, ARROW, ACHATES, AMAZON, and ANTHONY of the Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla were placed under thecontrol of Captain A/S, Belfast, to act as an A/S Striking Force in the North Western Approaches.

KIPLING and O.R.P. BURZA sailed from Scapa at 2130, KIPLING to relieve RESTIGOUCHE escorting westboundconvoy O.A. 200, and BURZA to meet eastbound convoy W.N. 8 in the Minches and provide additional A/S cover to Rattray Head. RESTIGOUCHE arrived at Scapa at 2100 and discharged oil fuel contaminated with seawater, sailing again at 0600, 18th August.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with JAGUAR, JAVELIN, and FIREDRAKE sailed from Port ZA at 0530escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, and MENESTHEUS, for Operation S.N. 12.

O.R.P. BLYSKAWICA arrived at Scapa at 1630 to work up before joining First Destroyer Flotilla in the NoreCommand.

Sunday, 18th August 1940

ACTIVE arrived at Scapa at 0600 to work up before joining Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla.

DUNCAN and CATTISTOCK sailed from Scapa at 1000 for Liverpool to provide escort, with two destroyersof Western Approaches Command, for convoy MP to Scapa.

ECHO proceeded from Scapa at 1030 to rendezvous off Pentland Skerries and relieve FIREDRAKE escortingminelayers, FIREDRAKE then proceeding to Scapa.

KIPLING, escorting convoy O.A. 200 was relieved by RESTIGOUCHE at 1315 and returned to Scapa.

HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE arrived at Greenock at 0630 escorting S.S. ULSTER MONARCH from the Faroes.

Monday, 19th August 1940

JAVELIN and JAGUAR arrived at Scapa at 0630 from Port ZA after escorting First Minelaying Squadron.  Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD and ECHO remained at Port ZA for the next operation.

HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE sailed from Greenock at 1800 escorting PENELOPE north about to the Tyne, thence to join the Nore Command.

Tuesday, 20th August 1940

Enemy aircraft in small numbers raided the Orkneys between 0115 and 0315 and movements of all shipslarger than trawlers were prohibited in Scapa Flow and in the Stromness vicinity owing to the probability of minelaying. At 0945, the Flow was declared clear of mines north of the latitude of the Barrel of Butter, the Fleet channel was swept, and it waspossible to continue destroyer movements.

At 2230, ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE sailed from Scapa for Port ZA to act as escort for minelaying OperationS.N. 2.

Wednesday, 21st August 1940

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and FIREDRAKE sailed from Scapa at 0730 escorting RearAdmiral Aircraft Carriers (Mediterranean) in ILLUSTRIOUS to join Force H.  Owing to a North Westerly gale, it was not possible for the Liverpool portion of this Force to sail, and ILLUSTRIOUSand screen returned to Scapa, arriving at 1430.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ECHO, ESCAPADE, and ECLIPSE sailed from Port ZA at 1140escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT QUEBEC, PORT NAPIER, and MENESTHEUS for Minelaying Operation S.N. 2.

Thursday, 22nd August 1940

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, and FIREDRAKE, sailed from Scapa at 1045escorting Rear Admiral Air Craft Carriers (Mediterranean) in ILLUSTRIOUS with SHEFFIELD and YORK rendezvoused with the Liverpool portion of Force H.  FORTUNE with COVENTRY and CALCUTTA sailed from the Clyde for the same rendezvous.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ECHO, ECLIPSE, and ESCAPADE arrived at Scapa at 2040 after escorting First Minelaying Squadron to Port ZA.

Friday, 23rd August 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ESCAPADE, ECHO, and JAVELIN sailed from Scapa at 0640escorting RODNEY to Rosyth.

PUNJABI sailed from Scapa at 1130 for Aberdeen and escorting S.S. LOCHNAGAR carrying troopsfrom Aberdeen to Lerwick.

While at Lerwick, PUNJABI recharged 21 torpedoes and spare reservoir for the local defenses.

Saturday, 24th August 1940

MASHONA sailed from Scapa at 1830 for Liverpool for docking and refit by Cammell Laird ofBirkenhead.

KASHMIR sailed from the Humber at 1430 for Scapa to join Home Fleet Command temporarily.

DUNCAN and CATTISTOCK sailed from Liverpool at 1600 escorting troop convoy M.P., SOBIESKI,ETTRICK, and KENYA to Scapa,

KIPLING sailed from Scapa at 1230 and escorted British ship BEACON GRANGE, in tow fromClythness to Kirkwall, this ship having been bombed and set on fire in an attack on Convoy O.A. 203 on the night of Friday, 23rd August 1940

Sunday, 25th August 1940

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD, with ESCAPADE, ECHO, and JAVELIN arrived at Scapa at 0640escorting Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in HOOD from Rosyth.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN and ASHANTI, proceeding to Port ZA after screeningILLUSTRIOUS, were diverted to meet SALOPIAN, returning from patrol, and provided escort to Liverpool.

At 2310, the Home Fleet at Scapa, except BERWICK, raised steam with all despatch and then,at 0140, 26th August, reverted to usual notice.

Monday, 26th August 1940

The enemy carried out a minelaying air raid in the Orkneys area during the nightresulting in mines being found and exploded in the fleet anchorage during the afternoon.  No movement of ships in the Flow was permitted.

In view of U boat attacks on convoy H.H. 65 A in position 58-52N, 6-34W at 2254 of 25th August, JAVELIN and JAGUAR were sailed from Scapa at 0320 to provide additionalescort past Cape Wrath to the Pentland Firth.

VERSATILE, VIMY, ANTELOPE, and AMBUSCADE left the Nore Command to reinforce the HomeFleet.  VERSATILE and VIMY proceeded to Rosyth and ANTELOPE and AMBUSCADE to the Tyne to releasedestroyers of the Fourth Flotilla for return to Scapa.

DUNCAN and CATTISTOCK, with WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER, arrived at Scapa at 0700, escortingconvoy M.P.

EGLINTON arrived at Scapa at 0930 to work up before joining Nore Command after providingaddition escort for convoy O.A. 204.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with ASHANTI and BEDOUIN arrived Liverpool escorting SALOPIAN frompatrol and sailed later for Port ZA for minelaying operation S.N. 14

Tuesday, 27th August 1940

JAVELIN and JAGUAR left convoy O.A. 204 at dawn and proceeded to Lerwick to escort S.S.LOCHNAGAR with troops to Aberdeen from Lerwick at 1730.

Enemy aircraft again carried out a minelaying raid on Scapa during the night resulting inprohibition of movements in Scapa Flow. Gutter Sound and Switha were clear of mines and it was possible for destroyers to proceed for A/S exercises west ofHoy.

AMBUSCADE and ANTELOPE sailed from Rosyth to overtake convoy O.A. 205 and provide additionalA/S escort to Cape Wrath, thence proceeding to Scapa.

WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER sailed from Scapa at 1600 and carried out an A/S sweep west ofFlannan Islands and East of St. Kilda subsequently meeting convoy S.L. 43 A and providing additional A/S escort to Pentland Firth.

ACTIVE, on completion of exercises off Scapa, proceeded to rendezvous off NorthernEntrance to Inner Sound, Port ZA at 0600 28th August for Operation S.N. 14.

Captain (D) III in INGLEFIELD with ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE sailed from Scapa at 2000 escortingBARHAM to Gibraltar to join Force H.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, with BEDOUIN and ASHANTI sailed from Port ZA at 2130 escorting RearAdmiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with MENESTHEUS, PORT QUEBEC, and PORT NAPIER for minelaying operation S.N. 14 later joined by ACTIVE.

Wednesday, 28th August 1940

ECHO sailed from Scapa at 0100 to overtake Captain (D) III having been delayed in order totake urgent despatches.

JAVELIN, JAGUAR, and ANTELOPE proceeded from Scapa at 1700 to position 360 degrees SuleSkerry 14 miles and carried out an A/S sweep to Sumburgh Head to search for a U boat sighted at 1200 in position 270 degrees Sumburgh Head 10 miles, steering270 degrees, probably outbound to the South Westward. No further reports were received and no contacts made and at dawn, 29th August, ships returned to Scapa.

Thursday, 29th August 1940

MATABELE arrived at Scapa at 1450 to join the Home Fleet after refit and repairs.

At 2051, a patrol trawler in the Hoxa Sound, Scapa, dropped depth charges on a U boatcontact, and later a submarine was suspected at Hoxa Boom.  Ships at Scapa took up stations for protecting the anchorage from submarine attack. Destroyer patrols were stated at the Nevi Skerry entrance, Hoxa Sound, between Nevi Skerry and Fara, and between Cava and Barrel ofButter.  KASHMIR and KIPLING escorted MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM to sea until clear of Pentland Skerries.

Precautions were relaxed at 0742, 30th August.

Friday, 30th August 1940

In view of the torpedoing of three ships in convoy H.X. 66 A at 0136 in position 58-48N,6-49W, WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER were sent from convoy S.L. 43 A to reinforce the escort and KASHMIR and KIPLING were sailed from Scapa to replace them withconvoy S.L. 43 A.

VERSATILE and VIMY sailed from Scapa at 0800 escorting Fleet Tenders A, B, and C to Rosyth.

O.R.P. BLYSKAWICA and BURZA sailed from Scapa to provide additional escort for convoyO.A. 206 from the Pentland Firth to the North Western Approaches, subsequently proceeding to Portsmouth to join the First Destroyer Flotilla.

Instructions were received that the emergency destroyer at Scapa, acting as a mine lookout,should in future anchor in position 046 degrees Nevi Skerry Beacon 1.5 miles during dark hours.

ZULU, SIKH, and PUNJABI proceeded from Scapa at 2300 to position 60-00N, 4-00W by 0400, 31st August, to carry out an A/S sweep in an 050 degrees direction to intercept a Uboat reported by aircraft at 0720 in position 60-29N, 1-08E steering 300 degrees, probably outward bound north of Shetlands.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with BEDOUIN and ASHANTI, escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERNPRINCE with MENESTHEUS and PORT QUEBEC arrived Port ZA at 2145 after minelaying operation S.N. 14.  ACTIVE proceeded to the Clyde with PORT NAPIER, then to join the Twelfth DestroyerFlotilla.

At 1843, KASHMIR and KIPLING, returning from escorting convoy S.L. 43 A to Rattray Head,were ordered to search for an open boat containing four men that had been sighted by an aircraft at 1738 in position 58-18N, 00-24E.

Saturday, 31st August 1940

WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER arrived Scapa at 0600 after acting as additional escort for convoyH.X. 66 A.

KASHMIR and KIPLING arrived at Scapa at 1800, having embarked five Norwegian refugees andthe boat in which they were crossing the North Sea.

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR, with BEDOUIN and ASHANTI sailed from Port ZA at 0600. It had been intended to carry out an A/S sweep to the westward of the Hebrides, but the weather was unsuitable forthis, and TARTAR returned to Scapa, while BEDOUIN and ASHANTI proceeded to meet convoy H.X. 67 to provide additional escort for the northbound portion toBuchanness.

ANTELOPE, AMBUSCADE, WOLVERINE, VOLUNTEER, with FIJI, sailed from Scapa at 1300,escorting the Scapa portion of convoy M.P. to rendezvous with Liverpool section.

At 2233, the Home Fleet at Scapa was ordered to raise steam at immediate notice in view ofan enemy report of a large number of merchant vessels off the Helder, steering 270 degrees. ZULU, SIKH, and PUNJABI were ordered to return to Scapa with despatch and arrived at 0345, 1st September.  Nothing further came of this report and 0102, 1st September, the Fleet reverted to half an hour s notice and at 0726 to four hours notice.

 

SUMMARY

          No major operations were carried out during the second fortnight of September.

2.  Home Fleet destroyers were mainly employed on screening duties, and during the period provided escorts for sevenH.M. ships on passage, Fleet Tenders A, B, C, proceeding to Rosyth, three troop transports to the Faroes and Shetlands, three minelaying operations by theFirst Minelaying Squadron, and additional A/S cover for ten ocean convoys while in the Cape Wrath  Pentland Firth area.

3.  Two searches were carried out for U boats sighted by aircraft on outward bound routes in the vicinity of Orkneysand Shetlands.  Three destroyers took part in each and both were unsuccessful in locating the enemy.

4.  Enemy aircraft carried out minelaying raids on the Orkneys between 20th and 27th August, which interfered with the free movement of destroyers until channels could be swept, and whichresulted in Scapa Flow not being available for G., T., and A/S exercises.

5.  Four destroyers of the Third Destroyer Flotilla, under Captain (D) III proceeded with BARHAM to join Force H.

6.  Working up practices were arranged for newly build Hunt class and for Fleet Destroyers joining after large repairs and refits.



 


SECRET

H.M.S. MAIDSTONE

          15th October 1940

 

No. 1101/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER XIII

for 1st to 15th September 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number XIII of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 1st to 15th September 1940.

                                                                         (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral                                                                  

 

(Enclosure in No. 1101/H.D.00571A of 15th October 1940)

Sunday, 1st September 1940

Captain (D) VI in TARTAR with PUNJABI, JAVELIN, and JAGUAR sailed from Scapa at 1930 with all dispatchto the assistance of FIJI, torpedoed at 1725 in position 58-10N, 12-55W. BEDOUIN and ASHANTI, escorting convoy HX 67 also proceeded to assist.

VERSATILE and VIMY sailed from Rosyth at 1700 escorting S.S. MANCHESTER CITY to the Clyde, and arrived at2100, 3rd September.

Monday, 2nd September 1940

DUNCAN sailed from Scapa at 1330 to rendezvous with MAORI at 2100 off Aberdeen to escort S.S.BEN-MY-CHREE and LADY OF MANN to Kirkwall and Lerwick, respectively.

Destroyers in the Atlantic were redisposed as soon as FIJI was found to be able to steam and not in needof assistance:  TARTAR and PUNJABI escorting Convoy 67 A, BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, ANTELOPE, and ANTELOPE escortingFIJI.  WOLOVERINE, AMBUSCADE, JAVELIN, JAGUAR escorting Convoy T.C. 7.

Tuesday, 3rd September 1940

All movements at Scapa held up owing to minelaying by enemy aircraft in Southern entrances during thenight.  DUNCAN remained at sea after escorting LADY OF MANN to Lerwick, and HOLDERNESS was delayed sailing toprovide additional escort for W.N. 12 to Methil until 1230.

ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, and KIPING sailed for Port ZA at 1200 to provide escort for minelaying operation S.N. 5 A, arriving at Port ZA at1900.

BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, ANTELOPE, and VOLUNTEER arrived at the Clyde at 1600, escorting FIJI.  BEDOUIN and ASHANTI then sailed for Scapa

Wednesday, 4th September 1940

JAVELIN, JAGUAR with OTTAWA and REVENGE arrived at the Clyde at 0600 escorting Convoy T.C. 7,composed of S.S. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, GEORGIC, DUCHESS OF YORK, SCYTHIA, ORONSAY, and PASTEUR. At 1805 JAVELIN sailed for the Humber and JAGUAR to Rosyth.

Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet was transferred to GREENWICH at 0800 and the Office of Rear Admiral (D),Home to the office block occupied by Vice Admiral Commanding, Orkneys. WOOLWICH, escorted by MAORI and DUNCAN, sailed for Liverpool at 1700 for docking and short refit by Messrs. Harland andWolff.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI arrived Scapa at 1635 after escorting FIJI to the Clyde.

ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, KIPLING sailed from Port ZA at 1400 escorting Rear Admiral, Rear Admiral (M.L.)in SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT QUEBEC, and MENESTHEUS for Operation S.N. 5 A

 Thursday, 5th September 1940

VERSATILE and VIMY sailed from Clyde at 2000 as additional escort for Convoy B .A.S. 3, consisting offour ships routed to Reykjavik.\

Friday, 6th September 1940\

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ASHANTI, ESKIMO, MATABELE sailed from Scapa at0900, escorting Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, in NELSO with FURIOUS, and NAIAD and BONAVENTURE for operation off the Norwegian coast.

JACKAL and JAGUAR, escorting H.M.S. FORTH and TUNA to Clyde, left Rosyth 1800 after sailing hadbeen delayed by minelaying in Forth.

WOOLWICH, escorted by MAORI and DUNCAN, arrived Liverpool 1200.  DUNCAN and MAORI then sailed for Lough Foyle to escort TITANIA toRosyth.

ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, KIPLING arrived Scapa at 1400 from Port ZA.

Saturday, 7th September 1940

At 0048/7, cruisers and destroyers were brought to one hour s notice for steam owing to possibilitiesof invasion by the enemy.

At 1300, REPULSE, BERWICK, NORFOLK, screened by ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, and KIPLING, proceeded from Scapa fora sweep towards the East Coast of Iceland.

DUNCAN and MAORI escorting TITANIA sailed from Lough Foyle at 1030 for Rosyth.

DOUGLAS sailed from Portsmouth for Scapa at 1900 to join the Home Fleet Command.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI, with TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ASHANTI, ESKIMO, MATABELE escorting Command inChief, Home Fleet in NELSON with FURIOUS, NAIAD and BONAVENTURE arrived Scapa at 2000.

Destroyers ordered to keep steam at half an hour s notice during dark hours.

Sunday, 8th September 1940

DOUGLAS ordered to proceed to Port ZA.

Home Fleet reverted to one hour s notice for steam at 1000, but cruisers and destroyers ordered to be athalf an hour s notice during dark hours.

VERATILE (sic VERSATILE) left Convoy B.A.S. 3 during the afternoon and returned to Scapa.

Monday, 9th September 1940

JACKAL and JAGUAR, escorting FORTH, arrived Greenock at 0600.

BEDOUIN was docked in floating dock at Scapa for repairs to Asdic directing gear.  This was the first destroyer to use the newly constructed dock based at Scapa for small ships.  Further defects to rudder were found after docking.

JACKAL and JAGUAR left Greenock at 1530 for Port ZA and Scapa, respectively.

ELECTRA sailed from Greenock at 1900 for Port ZA.

DOUGLAS arrived at Scapa at 1730 with defective boiler tubes and secured on GREENOCK for repairs.  VERSATILE and VIMY were ordered to proceed to Port ZA.

Destroyers ordered to keep steam at half an hour s notice during dark hours, reverting to one hour snotice at 0600.

Tuesday, 10th September 1940

DUNCAN and MAORI sailed from Rosyth at 0815 to search for aircraft reported force landed in the NorthSea.  At 1041, ships were ordered to return to harbour.

JAGUAR arrived Scapa at 0850.

ZULU, with SIKH, KASHMIR, and KIPLING, escorting REPULSE, BERWICK, and NORFOLK, arrived Scapa at 2130.

Wednesday, 11th September 1940

MATABELE, ASHANTI, TARTAR, and PUNJABI sailed from Scapa at 0600 for Rosyth.

JACKAL, ELECTRA, VERSATILE, and VIMY sailed from Port ZA at 0730 escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.)in SOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS for minelaying operation S.N. 41.

DUNCAN and MAORI arrived at the Tyne at 1800 to provide escort for S.S. KYLE FISHER to Rosyth.

Thursday, 12th September 1940

EGLINTON sailed from Scapa at 0600 to stand by tug SALVAGE KING, aground one and a half miles west ofDuncansby Head.  Attempts to refloat with fleet tugs were unsuccessful and SALVAGE KING was finallyabandoned, ships returning to Scapa at 2200.

DUNCAN and MAORI sailed from the Tyne at 1200 escorting S.S. KYLE FISHER.

JACKAL, ELECTRA, VERSATILE and VIMY arrived at Port ZA at 1300 escorting Rear Admiral (M.L.) in SOUTHERNPRINCE, MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER, and PORT QUEBEC from Operation S.N. 41. Destroyers sailed at 1915 for Scapa arriving at 0630, 13th September 1940.

Friday, 13th September 1940

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with SIKH, ZULU, KIPLING, KASHMIR, and ESKIMO, sailed from Scapa at 0700screening Commander in Chief, Home Fleet in NELSON with HOOD, NAIAD, and BONAVENTURE to Rosyth.

JACKAL and ELECTRA, after refueling at Scapa, proceeded to join Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

Saturday, 14th September 1940

The flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, was transferred to REPULSE at 0800 for the operation of ScapaForce.

MAIDSTONE, escorted by MATABELE and ESKIMO, arrived  Scapa from Rosyth at 1200 to take over duties as Home Fleet Destroyers Depot Ship.

The Administrative Staff of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, embarked in MAIDSTONE.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI escorting S.S. KYLE FISHER, left Rosyth at 1500 for Scapa.

MATABELE and ESKIMO proceeded from Scapa at 1600 to search for a U boat reported by aircraft 20miles north of Cape Wrath.

EGLINTON proceeded at 1630 to join the search.

Sunday, 15th September 1940

MATABELE, ESKIMO, and EGLINTON returned to harbour having carried out the A/S search, withoutsuccess.

DOUGLAS sailed from Scapa during the forenoon to rendezvous with SOMALI in Pentland Firth and to takeover escort of S.S. KYLE FISHER to Clyde.  SOMALI, after carrying out B.P.T. Firing, entered Scapa.

BEDOUIN undocked from the Scapa Floating Dock at 1600 and proceeded at 1945 to Rosyth.

DUNCAN sailed from Rosyth at 0000, 15th September 1940, and, after being delayed by heavy weather on passage, arrived at Scapa at 1830.

 

SUMMARY

SUMMARY FOR THIS FORTNIGHT IS NOT INCLUDED IN MY COPIES.

 

 


 

 

SECRET

H.M.S. MAIDSTONE

          11th November 1940

 

No. 1175/H.D. 00571A

SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY

HOME FLEET DESTROYER COMMAND WAR DIARY NUMBER XIV

for 16th to 30th September 1940

 

          Be pleased to lay before the Board the enclosed War Diary Number XIV of the HomeFleet Destroyer Command for the period 16th to 30th September 1940.

                                                                        (signed)R. H.C. Hallifax

                                                                         RearAdmiral  

 

 

Monday, 16th September 1940

DUNCAN, returning with FURIOUS from practice west of Orkneys, sank a British mine in position ***(notreadable) N, 3-05.0W.

Tuesday, 17th September 1940

VERSATILE undocked from the Scapa Floating Dock at 1800 after repairs to stern glands and sailed at2200 to Aberdeen to escort S.S. LADY OF MANN to Lerwick.

DOUGLAS and S.S. KYLE FISHER arrived at Greenock at 0700 and DOUGLAS proceeded up river to be takenin hand for repairs to boilers by Messrs. Barkley Curle, Govan.  DOUGLAS grounded on entering harbour.

Wednesday, 18th September 1940

S.S. LADY OF MANN on passage to Lerwick sustaining damage to forecastle due to weather returned toAberdeen with VERSATILE, who had damaged D.G. gear.

TARTAR and MAORI sailed from Rosyth to the Tyne to screen NIGERIA during trials.

Thursday, 19th September 1940

VERSATILE, escorting S.S. LADY OF MANN sailed from Aberdeen at 1600 for Lerwick, thence proceeding toScapa.

TARTAR and MAORI, escorting NIGERIA from the Tyne for trials, then proceeded to Rosyth.

SOMALI sank four British mines in Area C , three of which were identified as Mark IV.

CAIRO proceeded from Scapa at **00 (not readable) to give A/A cover to W.N. 17.

Friday, 20th September 1940

VIMY proceeded from Scapa to Lerwick, arriving at 2330, and escorted S.S. LADY OF MANN with troops toAberdeen.

Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with MATABELE and ESKIMO screening FURIOUS with BERWICK and NORFOLK sailed fromScapa at 1230 for Operation D.T against shipping at Trondheim.

ISIS sailed for Devonport at 1100 and after carrying out full calibre shoot, proceeded to Scapa to workup.

CAIRO transferred to Convoy O.A. 217 and covered to the Pentland Firth, there transferring to ConvoyHX 71 A and giving cover till dark, thence returning to Scapa.

Saturday, 21st September 1940

VIMY arrived Scapa at 1900 after escorting S.S. LADY OF MANN to Aberdeen.

PUNJABI sailed from Rosyth in the afternoon for the Tyne to escort S.S. EMPIRE TROOPER to Liverpool northabout.

ISIS, on passage to Scapa, closed vessels, torpedoed in North Channel the previous evening, and gaveassistance to tug SUPERMAN in taking S.S. EMPIRE ADVENTURE in tow, the ship having her back broken.  ISIS arrived at Scapa at 0600, 22nd September.

Sunday, 22 September 1940

During the night, S.S. EMPIRE TROOPER found she was unable to keep water in her boilers and returnedto Tyne escorted by PUNJABI. PUNABI sailed later for Scapa to dock for repairs to rudder, arriving at0600, 23rd September.

VERSATILE proceeded from Scapa at 2000 to search for an aircraft from Hatston, which had landed in thesea west of Fair Isle Channel. The search was unsuccessful, and VERSATILE returned to Scapa at 1030, 23rd September 1940.

Operation D.T. was carried out at dawn by aircraft from FURIOUS who attacked shipping and oil tanks atTrondheim.  Bad visibility and low cloud ashore spoiled the operation and no positive results were observed,attacking Trondheim.  Heavy anti air craft fire was met and five Swordfish and one Skua failed to return.

HESPERUS, having completed satisfactory long range indirect bombardment practices, was considered workedup and sailed for Sheerness, escorted by EGLINTON.  EGLINTON then proceeded to Harwich and joined the Nore Command.

CAIRO sailed at noon to give Anti Aircraft cover to Convoy O.A. 218 from Buchanness to Duncansby Head.

Monday, 23rd September 1940

 BERWICK and FURIOUS, escorted by TARTAR, ESKIMO, and MATABELE arrived at Scapa at 1100, returning from Operation D.T.  NORFOLK arrived at 1300.

ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa from the Clyde to join the Home Fleet Command and provide A/A cover for convoysbetween Pentland Firth and Methil.

Tuesday, 24th September 1940

Owing to presence of floating mines to westward of the Orkneys, it was not longer practicable tocarry out A/S exercises in the usual area.  Scapa Flow being clear, restricted exercises were started inside the Flow.

The Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, was transferred from REPULSE to MAIDSTONE at 1* (not readable)00.

DUNCAN and ISIS sailed from Scapa at 1200 for Skolpen Fjord, Faroes, where they met S.S. ULSTER MONARCH and provided escortto Invergordon.

GLASGOW sailed from Scapa at 2030 proceeding to Humber to join the Nore Command.

ASHANTI and BEDOUIN sailed from Rosyth at 2300 southwards to recover airmen reported in dingy in position55-00N, 10-30E.

Wednesday, 25th September 1940

Captain (D) in SOMALI with ESKIMO, sailed from Scapa at 0220 for search for a German aircraft reportedforce landed in the sea at 2000, 24th September on position 090 degrees Kinnaird Head 22 miles.  A German safety ship left Stavanger at 2100 on 24th September.  The search was continued until 1800 without success and ships then returned to Scapa, arriving at 2300.

CAIRO arrived Scapa at 1003 after giving anti aircraft cover for convoy O.A. 219 on East Coast ofScotland.,

VERSATILE sailed from Scapa at **** (not readable) for Middlesbrough to make good defects and torefit by Smith s Dock Company, Middlesbrough.

Thursday, 26th September 1940

DUNCAN and ISIS escorting S.s. ULSTER MONARCH, arrived at Invergordon at 0815, and then proceeded toScapa.

CURACOA sailed from Scapa at 1100 and met Convoy O.A. 213 at 1730 in position 57-21n, 1-01w to give anti aircraft cover to Pentland Firth.  This convoy was attacked by enemy aircraft at 2000 off Buchanness, S.S  PORT DENISON being hit by torpedo, subsequently sinking, and WELSHPRINCE being damaged by a near miss bomb and having to put in to Scapa for repairs.  Survivors of S.S. PORT DENISON were brought to Scapa by PENTLAND FIRTH.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI rescued three Norwegian aviators in an open boat. This was not the dinghy for which they were searching and both ships proceeded westward in Gap A down the swept channel, to the WesternEnd of Gap E to await results of the air search on Friday, 27th September 1940.

VERSATILE arrived Middlesbrough at 0900 and Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, then gave orders forrefit to be suspended and the ship to proceed to Rosyth, there she arrived at 1700, 26th September 1940.

Friday, 27th September 1940

VERSATILE proceeded from Rosyth to rendezvous with S.S. EMPIRE TROOPER off the Tyne at 1200 andthen to escort to Pentland Firth.

CAIRO proceeded from Scapa at 1600 to overtake Convoy W.N., 18 to provide anti aircraft cover to Methil,then to Rosyth to complete defects and to boiler clean.

CURACOA arrived at Scapa at 1200 after providing antiaircraft cover for Convoy O.A. 220.

BEDOUIN and ASHANTI recovered one alive and one dead from an R.A.F. dinghy in position 54-12N,1-38E and proceeded to Newcastle to land survivor, then to Rosyth, arriving at 0800 Saturday, 28th September 1940.

SIKH, alongside at Rosyth, suffered damage from tug FLAMER which rendered the ship unseaworthy untiltemporary repairs were completed by noon, 29th September 1940.

Saturday, 28th September 1940

ALYNBANK proceeded from Scapa at 0500 to join Convoy H.X. 73 A in Pentland Firth to provideantiaircraft cover to vicinity of Buchanness. This convoy was attacked by enemy aircraft at 2025 in position 56-02N, 2-09W, one ship being hit.

Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron in NIGERIA arrived at Scapa at 1016 to join the HomeFleet Command.

Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet was transferred to REPULSE at 1 (unreadable) at  and at 1 (unreadable) Scapa Force proceeded to sea.

REPULSE, screened by Captain (D) VI in SOMALI with ESKIMO, PUNJABI, DUNCAN, and MATABELE, BERWICKand NORFOLK sailed from Scapa and proceeded towards position 62-00N, 03-30E to intercept an enemy force which possibly included HIPPER and merchant vesselsand which had been reported 60 miles of Stavanger at 1400.  Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in HOOD with NAIAD, with ZULU, TARTAR, and ELECTRA proceeded from Rosythtowards the same position.  No further reports of the enemy were received and at 0909, Sunday, 29th September 1940, Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, ordered both forces to return,Hood and screen proceeding to Scapa, REPULSE, and three destroyers to Rosyth, NAIAD to Rosyth, remaining destroyers a, BERWICK and NORFOLK to Scapa.

VIMY sailed from Scapa and relieved VERSATILE, escorting S.S. EMPIRE TROOPER in the Pentland Firth at2359, VERSATILE returning to Invergordon.  VIMY continued the escort to Liverpool, arriving at 1830, 30th September.

Sunday, 29th September 1040

KENYA arrived Scapa at 1000 to join Home Fleet Command.

ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa at 1230 after covering Convoy O.A. 221 from Buchnness.

Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, detached MATABELE at 1130 to proceed at best speed to vicinity of MuckleFlugga to transmit a message ordering NORFOLK, who had lost touch, to return to Scapa.  MATABELE then proceeded to Scapa, arriving at 2120.

Vice Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron in HOOD, screened by ZULU, TARTAR, and ELECTRA arrivedat Scapa at 1920, as Senior Officer, Scapa Force.

Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet in REPULSE with BERWICK, SOMALI, PUNJABI, ESKIMO, and DUNCAN arrived atScapa at 2320.

Monday, 30th September 1940

The Flag of Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, was transferred from REPULSE to MAIDSTONE at 0045.  REPULSE sailed from Scapa at 0130 for Rosyth screened by DUNCAN, ZULU, and ELECTRA.

KIPLING sailed from Rosyth at 0045 for the Humber, and JUPITER arrived to join the Home Fleet Command,temporarily.

JAGUAR, JAVELIN, and KELVIN were transferred from the Nore Command to the Western Approaches Commandin view of enemy destroyer activity in that area.

CURACOA sailed from Scapa to cover Convoy S.L. 47 A from Duncansby Head to Buchanness, subsequentlytransferring to Convoy O.A. 222.

Home Fleet ships at Scapa were ordered to keep steam daily from 0730 to 1930 at four hour s notice, andfrom 1930 to 0730 at one hour s notice.

REPULSE arrived Rosyth at 1300, ZULU and ELECTRA having  been sent ahead at high speed from Gidra Island as an anti acoustic mine precautionand DUNCAN having  been detached to augment the escort of convoy O.A. 222 to Pentland Firth.

QUORN arrived at Scapa at 1600 to work up before joining the Nore Command.

A further redistribution of destroyers was ordered, whereby four destroyers of the Fifth DestroyerFlotilla were transferred from the Nore Command (lent Home Fleet) to the Western Approaches, being replaced by three B  class from the First DestroyerFlotilla.

The Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, issued instructions that, as an anti mining precaution, when mainunits of the Fleet accompanied by destroyers are approaching or leaving port in water under twenty fathoms, some destroyers should precede the main units athigh speed in line ahead three cables apart from or to the position where the anti submarine screen becomes necessary.

Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, took over administration of the Anti Air Craft Cruisers and theoperation of any A/A cruisers attached to the Home Fleet at Scapa.

Convoy S.L. 47 A was attacked by enemy aircraft from 1955 to 2030 in position 57-25N, 1-35W, threebombs being dropped. CURACOA reported that bursts of blind fire had some deterrent effect.

CURACOA transferred to Convoy O.A. 222 and covered to Pentland Firth, then transferring to Convoy W.N.19 Fast.

 


SUMMARY

SUMMARY FOR THIS FORTNIGHT IS NOT INCLUDED IN MY COPIES.


 
 

on to Home Fleet Destroyers, April-December 1942
or back to Admiralty War Diaries

revised 9/1/15