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ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES of WORLD WAR 2

 

SOUTH AFRICA, CAPETOWN - January to June  1941

 

Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMS Devonshire left Simonstown 2 Feb 1941
(Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to South Africa, July to December 1941
back to Admiralty War Diaries

 
 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

also South Atlantic, September 1939 to March 1942

 

 

 
 

Areas of Operations (click to enlarge). Only some locations in text are shown

 

Click for Convoy Route Codes, Operation Code Names and Royal Navy  Minelaying


 

This collection only includes the PART I (A) sections.

 

 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

JANUARY 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Wednesday, 1st February 1941

 

Air Durban

 

0230 GMT, dawn A/S patrol

 

Thursday, 2nd February 1941

 

H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE left Simonstown at 1040 GMT for St Helena to fuel, and rendezvous with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W at 0800/10 January. Speed 18 knots.

 

D/F bearings gave probably position of German surface unit at 1916 GMT as 001N, 014W.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – 0230 GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 3rd January 1941

 

H.M.S. CORNWALL taken in hand, Simonstown, for refit.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – commenced deep sea patrol 250 degrees from Cape Point for 220 miles to intercept suspected ship.

 

Durban – 0230GMT dawn A/S Patrol.

 

Saturday, 4th January 1941

 

Turkish minelayer YUZBASHI HAKKI left Capetown for Durban 1428GMT, speed 14 knots. Ship is sailing under red ensign for delivery to Turkish Government.

 

 

 

H.T. NIEUW HOLLAND left Durban for Mombasa 1535GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated the presence of an enemy surface unit in vicinity of 27-30S, 06-00W, 2107GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – a.m. deep sea patrol, p.m. divergent search by 2 Ansons for HERMES, DRAGON – both sighted.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol during daylight house to southward.

 

Durban – troopship NIEUW HOLLAND screening during daylight hours. Maputa used as base.

 

Sunday, 5th January 1941

 

Force 'L', consisting of H.M.S. HERMES, H.M.S. DRAGON, arrived Simonstown 1130GMT, and Capetown 0624GMT, respectively, from St Helena and patrol. The latter subsequently docked at Capetown.

 

H.M.S. RANCHI escorting H.T. BATORY left Mombasa for Durban 0300GMT, speed 17 knots.

 

H.M. 'LL' sweepers SWONA, SKUDD III, SKUDD IV, SKUDD V arrived Walvis Bay from St Helena, 0800GMT.

 

U.S. Cruiser LOUISVILLE arrived Simonstown 1100GMT from S. America to embark bullion for New York.

 

Portuguese sloop PEDRO NUNES arrived Beira from Lourenco Marques.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – screening NIEUW HOLLAND.

 

Monday, 6th January 1941

 

H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE fuelled at St Helena.

 

H.M.S. HERMES taken in hand for installation of new P.V. winches and other defects.

 

U.S. Cruiser LOUISVILLE left Simonstown for New York 0840GMT.

 

H.M. 'LL' sweepers SWONA, SKUDD III, SKUDD IV, SKUDD V left Walvis Bay for Simonstown 1300GMT.

 

S.S. ESKBANK sighted a drifting mine in position 034-54S, 018-17 E. at 1430GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol. 2 Ansons returning from screening.

 

Tuesday, 7th January 1941

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE arrived Durban from patrol in Mozambique Channel 1057GMT.

 

R.F.A. CYPRUS and tug ST DOGMAEL undocked Simonstown.

 

H.M. Whalers SOTRA, SOIKA, SARNA and SVANA arrived Kilindini from Durban 0715GMT.

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA left Durban 1447GMT to patrol south of Madagascar and to proceed subsequently to Mauritius.

 

H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE left St Helena p.m. to rendezvous with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Wednesday, 8th January 1941

 

H.M.S. CORNWALL docked Simonstown.

 

H.M.S. PRETORIA CASTLE arrived Freetown from patrol and Capetown, 1000GMT.

 

Turkish minelayer YUZBASHI HAKKI arrived Durban from Capetown.

 

H.M.S.HAWKINS escorting convoy WS 5 A (SETTLER, BHUTAN, DELANE, ORBITA, RANGITIKI, ATREUS, CITY OF LONDON, ELIZABETHVILLE (Belgian), EMPIRE ABILITY, ADVISER, TAMAROA, COSTA RICA (Dutch), NEURALIA, BARRISTER, CITY OF CANTERBURY, ANSELM, STENTOR, BENRINNES, MENELAUS, CITY OF DERBY, ARABISTAN) left Freetown for rendezvous with DEVONSHIRE and subsequently for Durban, speed 11 knots. Force K (NORFOLK and FORMIDABLE) also acted as escort. Local escort was supplied by VELOX, VIDETTE, MILFORD, BRIDGEWATER, ASPHODEL, and CALENDULA.

 

Portuguese sloop PEDRO NUNES left Beira for an unknown destination.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol

 

Thursday, 9th January 1941

 

H.M. 'LL' sweepers SWONA, SKUDD III, SKUDD IV, SKUDD V arrived Simonstown from Walvis Bay, and were taken in for urgent defects.

 

H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE rendezvoused with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W, and relieved Force K, as escort, to continue with a sweep though H35, H34, I34.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – 2 Ansons carried out search for reputed floating mine 30 miles south of Cape Point – nil report.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 10th January 1941

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE left Durban to patrol in Mozambique Channel 1118GMT, speed 15 knows.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward of Cape Agulhas.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward of Cape St. Francis.

 

Durban – 0230 GMT, dawn A/S Patrol.

 

1 Anson investigating suspicious vessel reported by S.S. THURLAND CASTLE (subsequently cancelled.)/

 

Saturday, 11th January 1941

 

H.M.S. RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol 0544GMT

 

Mine clearance flotilla sank on floating mine 129 degrees 7.6 miles from Cape Agulhas.

 

H.T. BATORY arrived Capetown from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward. 1 Anson on West coast patrol returned.

 

Durban – 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Sunday, 12th January 1941

 

H.M.S. ENTERPRISE arrived Simonstown from River Plate area 0730GMT.

 

Convoy SW 4 B (ANDES, EMPRESS OF CANADA, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, STRATHALLAN, VICEROY OF INDIA, STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO) left Suez for Durham and Capetown.

 

D/F bearings indicated presence of enemy unit in vicinity 48S, 70-00E, 2118GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol. 1 Anson to Maputa and deep sea patrol.

 

Monday, 13th January 1941

 

H.M.S. ENTERPRISE taken in hand for self refit with dockyard assistance at Simonstown.

 

H.T. BATORY left Capetown p.m. for Lagos and Takoradi with W. African troops.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – nil

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Tuesday, 14th January 1941

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE arrived Durban from patrol, 0300GMT

 

M.V. STIRLING CASTLE arrived Durban to dock.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol

 

Wednesday, 15th January 1941

 

H.M.S. RANCHI (0928GMT) and H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE (1040GMT) left Durban to patrol in vicinity of position 030S, 035E.

 

D/F bearings indicated that an enemy unit, possibly a supply ship or a prize was southeast of Durban.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban - 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Thursday, 16th January 1941

 

S.A. Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown p.m. to continue clearance operations off Cape Agulhas.

 

Turkish minelayer YUZBASHI HAKKI left Durban for Mombasa a.m.

 

D/F indications were that raider was between St Helena and the equator.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – 0230GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 17th January 1941

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA escorting H.T. TALAMBA left Mauritius for Durban 0300GMT.

 

H.M.S. RANCHI rendezvoused with H.T. SELANDIA, Durban to Mombasa, off Durban 0600GMT, and escorted her as far as latitude 22-30S, subsequently returning to patrol.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – 0245GMT, dawn A/S patrol, and assisted by 1 extra Anson searched area round Tugela River mouth for reported submarine (native report) – no result.

 

Saturday, 18th January 1941

 

H.M.S. DRAGON left Capetown a.m. and arrived Simonstown p.m.

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE left patrol in vicinity of position 30S, 35E and proceeded for rendezvous with convoy WS 5 A.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – 0245GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Sunday, 19th January 1941

 

H.M.S. CERES left Mombasa to rendezvous with convoy SW 4 B.

 

Report received from N.O. i/c Falkland Islands that whale factory ship OLE WEGGER and transport SOLGLIMT had previously been sunk by enemy ship in position 59-00S/or 4W.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface units in approximate positions 57S, 11W and within 150 miles of 25S, 10W (2017GMT) (Unit A)+

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – 0245GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Monday, 20th January 1941

 

H.M.S. ENTERPRISE completed self refit at Simonstown.

 

Force T (HERMES and ENTERPRISE) left Simonstown at 0600GMT to carry out patrol in area bounded by positions 25S, 40E; 30S, 35E; 30S, 45E.

 

H.M.S. CERES rendezvoused with convoy SW 4 B at 0700GMT in position 5-10S, 44-40E and took over escort duties; speed 15 knots; destination Durban. When in latitude 2S, ANDES and STRATHNAVER left the convoy to proceed to Mombasa direct, subsequently sailing for Capetown and U.K.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit with 150 miles of position 12S, 08W (2128GMT) (Unit B) alternative position 15S, 1E.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea search to southward for convoy WS 5 A approaching Capetown – nothing seen.

 

Port Elizabeth –

 

Durban – 0245GMT, dawn A/S patrol

 

Tuesday, 21st January 1941

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA escorting H.T. TALAMBA arrived Durban from Mauritius 0749GMT

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE rendezvoused with convoy WS 5 A, Freetown to Durban, in position 35-45S, 19-07E at 0800GMT and relieving H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE as escort. H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE then proceeded to Simonstown, arriving 1403GMT.

 

Vichy French ship JEAN L-D, intercepted by Force K and sent into Capetown under armed guard provided by ENTERPRISE.

 

H.T. SELANDIA arrived Mombasa from Durban 1000GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward – convoy WS 5 A sighted twice approaching Agulhas Bank.

 

Durban – 0245GMT. Dawn A/S/ patrol.

 

Force K arrived Cape Ports from patrol on the western edge of Cape Trade routes. Senior Officer in H.M.S. FORMIDABLE arrived Capetown 0430GMT. H.M.S. NORFOLK arrived Simonstown 0730GMT

 

H.M.S. HAWKINS left convoy WS 5 B p.m. and proceeded to Capetown.

 

Wednesday, 22nd January 1941

 

H.M.S. DRAGON left Simonstown 0630GMT, speed 16 knots, followed by H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE at 0930GMT, speed 24 knots.

 

On H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE overtaking H.M.S. DRAGON, both ships proceeded to St Helena covering the western edge of Cape/Freetown trade route, speed of advance 18 knots.

 

Turkish minelayer YUZBASHI HAKKI was due to arrived Mombasa from Durban.

 

Further report received from N.O. i/c Falkland Islands that it was feared that whale factory ship PELAGOS and Whalecatchers had been captured by Raider D.

 

D/F bearings indicated positions of enemy units are:

 

Unit A – within 150 miles of position 13S, 13W (2136GMT)

 

Unit D – within 150 miles of position 53S, 32W.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – 0245 GMT, dawn A/S patrol.

 

Thursday, 23rd January 1941

 

Force T (HERMES, ENTERPRISE) arrived at patrol area a.m.

 

HAWKINS arrived Capetown from escorting Convoy WS 5 B 1303GMT

 

Vichy French ship JEAN L-D arrived Capetown a.m.

 

S.S. HIGHLAND MONARCH heard QQQQ in position 36-40S, 23-00E, 0416GMT.

 

H.T. ORBITA left convoy WS 5 B and arrived Port Elizabeth 0400GMT to disembark R.A.F. personnel for S. Africa.

 

M.V. STIRLING CASTLE left Durban for Capetown and U.K.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit within 150 miles of position 5-00S, 17-35W (2137GMT) (possibly Unit C).

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward and to escort ORBITA entering harbour.

 

Durban – 0245GMT dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 24th January 1941

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA left Durban 0840GMT for position 10S, 47E; speed 15 kts.

 

Rear Admiral W.F. Wake Walker, C.B., O.B.E., transferred his flag from FORMIDABLE to NORFOLK. The latter subsequently sailed for Freetown, at 1345GMT by direct route; speed 18 knots.

 

H.T. ORBITA left Port Elizabeth for Durban with aerial escort, 0900GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth and Durban provided air escort for ORBITA on leaving Port Elizabeth for Durban without ship escort.

 

0445 Durban A/S dawn patrol – 1 Anson made forced landing at Lombazi.

 

Saturday, 25th January 1941

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE escorting Convoy WS 5 A (TAMORA, SETTLER, BHUTAN, DELANE, RANGITIKI, ATREUS, CITY OF LONDON, ELIZABETHVILLE (Belgian), EMPIRE ABILITY, ADVISER, COSTA RICA (Dutch), NEURALIA, BARRISTER, STENTOR, BENRINNES, MENELAUS, CITY OF DERBY, ARABISTAN) arrived Durban from Freetown 0400GMT.

 

CERES escorting OTRANTO, STRATHALLAN, and EMPRESS OF CANANA (Convoy SW 5B, the remainder of which has previously parted company to proceed to Mombasa and Capetown), carrying evacuee families, arrived Durban a.m. Ships of the convoy subsequently proceeded to U.K. independently.

 

RANCHI arrived East London from patrol 1200GMT, for boiler cleaning.

 

Force K (FORMIDABLE, HAWKINS) left Capetown and arrived Simonstown.

 

D/F bearings indicated possibility of U boat or auxiliary being within 80 miles of position 6S, 13W at 0317GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – pilots of reconnaissance aircraft spend a day on board H.M.S. FORMIDABLE on passage from Capetown to Simonstown.

 

Durban- dawn A/S patrol – 0245GMT.

 

WS 5 A and SW convoys screened into harbour.

 

Sunday, 26th January 1941

 

Force K (FORMIDABLE, HAWKINS) left Simonstown 0300GMT for Operation BREACH against Kismayu; speed 18 knots.

 

H.T. ORBITA arrived Durban from Port Elizabeth a.m.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Monday, 27th January 1941

 

H.T.s DUCHESS OF ATHOLL and VICEROY OF INDIA (ex convoy SW 4 B) arrived Capetown independently subsequently proceeding to U.K.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Tuesday, 28th January 1941

 

S.D.F. mine clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry on minesweeping operations off Cape Agulhas.

 

D/F bearings indicated unknown enemy unit as being with 200 miles of position 28-30S, 15W at 2330GMT. Further bearings indicated possible enemy surface unit in approximate position 1N, 17W or 20S, 11W at 1938GMT

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

1 Anson returned from reconnaissance duties from Port Elizabeth to Durban.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrol to southward.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol, A/S screen provided for troopships in outer anchorage.

 

Wednesday, 29th January 1941

 

Force T (HERMES, ENTERPRISE) arrived Durban from patrol escorting Vichy French ship SONTAY, 1002GMT

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE and H.M.S. CERES escorting convoy WS 5 A (SETTLER, ATREUS, CITY OF LONDON, TAMAROA, BHUTAN, ORBITA, ELIZABETHVILLE (Belgian), COSTA RICA (Dutch), DELANE, RANGITIKI, NIEUW HOLLAND (Dutch), NEURALIA, ADVISER, BARRISTER, CITY OF CANTERBURY, MENELAUS, ANSELM, CITY OF DERBY, TALAMBA, ARABISTAN, STENTOR, BENRINNES) LEFT Durban 1000GMT for Suez, speed 11 knots.

 

In view of there being an epidemic of streptococcas throat in H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE, H.M.S. ENTERPRISE left Durban, 1717GMT, to relieve her as escort of the convoy; H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE then proceeded for Durban.

 

H.M.S. AUSTRALIA and H.M.S. EMERALD escorting convoy WS 5 B (DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, FRANCONIA, CAPETOWN CASTLE, NEA HELLAS (Greek), ARUNDEL CASTLE, EMPRESS OF JAPAN, WINDSOR CASTLE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, ATHLONE CASTLE, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, PENNLAND, BRITANNIC, WINCHESTER CASTLE, CAMERONIA, ORMONDE, DURBAN CASTLE, SAMARIA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN, HIGHLAND PRINCESS) left Fremantle for Capetown and Durban 0745GMT, speed 13 knots.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown- deep sea patrol to southward

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol – convoy WS 5 A screened for distance of 72 miles from harbour.

 

Thursday, 30th January 1941

 

H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE arrived Durban 1115GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit as being within 300 miles of position 34S, 06E at 2317 (zone + 1).

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 31st January 1941

 

Portuguese sloop PEDRO NUNES arrived at Lourenco Marques.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit as with 30 miles of 34S, 06E at 0017GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – 0445 dawn A/S patrol.

 

 

 


 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

FEBRUARY 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Saturday, 1st February 1941

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT. Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Sunday, 2nd February 1941

 

H.M.S. DELHI left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown by direct route 1000GMT.

 

H.M.S. RANCHI left East London for Durban 1212GMT, on completion of boiler cleaning.

 

H.M.S. SYVERN (minesweeper) arrived Durban from Simonstown 0349GMT.

 

Minesweeping Group 109 (SWONA, SKUDD III, SKUDD IV, SKUDD V) left Simonstown for Durban, 0800GMT; speed 8.5 knots.

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT. Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Monday, 3rd February 1941

 

H.M.S. RANCHI arrived Durban from East London 1207GMT.

 

Fleet Victualling Store Carrier CITY OF TOKIO left Durban for Capetown 1400GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated position of enemy unit as within 200 miles of 58S, 18E at 2137GMT.

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT. Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Tuesday, 4th February

 

H.M.S. RANCHI left Durban for patrol southwest of Madagascar 1429GMT.

 

Force T (SHROPSHIRE, HERMES) left Durban for Kilindini, to take part in Operation CANVAS, 1649GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated unknown enemy unit as in approximate position 7-20S, 22-25W at 0027GMT and a German surface unit as within 150 miles of position 03S, 48E at 1843GMT.

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT. Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Wednesday, 5th February 1941

 

H.M.S. DELHI arrived St Helena from Freetown 1200GMT, fuelled and sailed again for Simonstown 1900GMT.

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA arrived Durban from patrol North and West of Madagascar 0444GMT.

 

A German unit was indicated as being in position 14S, 7-30E at 0337GMT.

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT. Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Thursday, 6th February 1941

 

Minesweeping Group 109 (SWONA, SKUDD III, SKUDD IV, SKUDD V), arrived Durban from Simonstown a.m.

 

Fleet Victualling Store Carrier CITY OF TOKIO arrived Capetown from Durban after completing refit to embark stores and provisions for Freetown naval base.

 

Hospital ship SOMERSETSHIRE left Freetown for Capetown p.m.

 

Indications were received (graded B4) that an enemy unit might have been in positions 37-30S, 26E at 1818GMT.

 

Air

 

Durban – 0445GMT – Dawn A/S patrol.

 

Friday, 7th February 1941

 

H.M.S. BRIDGEWATER left Lagos for Simonstown 1330GMT.

 

Minesweeping Group 109 (see above) left Durban for Dar es Salaam 1050GMT.

 

Air

 

Capetown – located convoy WS 5 and screened Capetown portion into Table Bay, also screened Durban portion as far as Cape Point.

 

Port Elizabeth – Aircraft from P.E. after refuelling at George RAF Aerodrome carried out a search for Dutch Ship RANTAUPANDJANE, overdue at Mossel Bay. Ship was located at Mossel Bay having arrived in the night.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol carried out.

 

Saturday, 8th February 1941

 

HMS EMERALD escorting part of Convoy WS 5 B (ATHLONE CASTLE, CAPETOWN CASTLE, ARUNDEL CASTLE, WINCHESTER CASTLE, DURBAN CASTLE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, EMPRESS OF JAPAN) from Freetown arrived Capetown 0700GMT. H.M.S. EMERALD then proceeded to Simonstown arriving 1200GMT. The remainder of WS 5 B under escort of H.M.S. AUSTRALIA proceeded to Durban.

 

H.T. SELANDIA left Durban for Mombasa 1000GMT. H.M.S. RANCHI providing cover.

 

Air

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrols were carried out. Also a search for a suspicious vessel reported by ROBIN HOOD off South Sands, but nothing was sighted.

 

Sunday, 9th February 1941

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA left Durban to patrol southwest of Madagascar 1357GMT, speed 12 knots.

 

D/F bearings at 1817GMT suggested that presence of enemy surface unit within 150 miles of position 0N, 20W, and further unit in area between 10N, 20N, 30W, 40W.

 

Air

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrols are carried out.

 

Monday, 10th February 1941

 

H.M.S. DELHI arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0810GMT

 

16th Auxiliary A/S Group (SYVERN XIV, KOS XIX, KOS XXI, KOS XXII, KOS XXIII) left Durban for Mombasa 0651GMT.

 

Air

 

Capetown – aircraft carried out deep sea patrol south of Agulhas.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrols were carried out.

 

Tuesday, 11th February 1941

 

H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE escorting Force Z (H.M.S. GLENGYLE, H.M.S. GLENROY, H.M.S. GLENEARN) left Freetown for Capetown 0700GMT.

 

Free French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC and armed trawler PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE escorting Free French ship FORT BINGER left Point Noire for Capetown, speed 6 knots.

 

H.M.S. AUSTRALIA escorting part of convoy WS 5 B (PENNLAND (Dutch), NEA HELLAS, BRITANNIC, FRANCONIA, SAMARIA, CAMERONIA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, ORMONDE, WINDSOR CASTLE, HIGHLAND PRINCESS, HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN) arrived Durban from Freetown 0723GMT. Troops from HIGHLAND PRINCESS and HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN were transferred to ORBITA and NIEUW HOLLAND (Dutch).

 

D/F bearings indicated the presence of a presumed enemy auxiliary with 150 mils of position 22S, 10W at 0358GMT.

 

Heavy explosion occurred at 2350GMT in vicinity of Cape Columbine.

 

Drifting mine reported at 0030GMT in position 34-56S, 18-23E.

 

Air

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol south of Agulhas was carried out during daylight.

 

Durban – aircraft screened WS 5 B into harbour.

 

Wednesday, 12th February 1941

 

H.M.S. CORNWALL undocked at Simonstown.

 

H.M.S. DELHI taken in hand, Simonstown for docking and interim defects.

 

H.M.S. EMERALD left Simonstown for Capetown 1230GMT and took up escort of part of convoy WS 5 B (ATHLONE CASTLE, CAPETOWN CASTLE, ARUNDEL CASTEL, WINCHESTER CASTLE, DURBAN CASTLE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, and EMPRESS OF JAPAN) and proceeded to rendezvous with remainder of convoy WS 5 B in position 29-00S, 33-30E.

 

Air

 

Capetown – an A/S patrol to the approaches to Table Bay was carried out for protection of WS 5 B prior to its departure.

 

Two searches were carried out to locate mines, reported in position

 

(1). 188 degrees Cape Point 36 miles

 

(2). Off Cape Columbine.

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrol.

 

Thursday, 13th February 1941

 

H.M.S. CORFU left Lagos for Capetown 2000GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicates the presence of enemy surface units within 150 miles of positions 10N, 20W and 25N, 27W at 0236GMT

 

Mine Clearance Flotilla (SOUTHERN BARRIER, STEENBERG, STELLENBERG, SOETVLEI, HEKTOR, KOMMETJE) left Capetown p.m. to carry out searching sweep off Cape Columbine.

 

Air

 

Durban – dawn A/S patrols were carried out.

 

Friday, 14th February 1941

 

Mine Clearance Flotilla (see above) commenced searching sweep off Cape Columbine.

 

Air

 

Durban – A/S patrols carried out at dawn.

 

Saturday, 15th February 1941

 

H.M.S. RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol 1340GMT.

 

H.M.S. AUSTRALIA escorted part of convoy WS 5 B (PENNLAND (Dutch), NEA HELLAS, NIEUW HOLLAND (Dutch), BRITANNIC, FRANCONIA, SAMARIA, ORBITA, CAMERONIA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, ORMONDE, WINDSOR CASTLE) LEFT Durban 1300GMT to rendezvous with H.M.S. EMERALD escorting remainder of convoy ex Capetown (see above) in position 29S, 33-30E.

 

Air

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Aircraft screened the convoy WS 5 B from their time of departure until dusk.

 

Sunday, 16th February 1941

 

Free French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA left Durban for Simonstown 1500GMT.

 

Two sections of convoy WS 5 B rendezvoused in position 29S, 33-30E at 0800GMT, and proceeded for Suez (H.M.S. EMERALD, ORMONDE, WINDSOR CASTLE, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, EMPRESS OF JAPAN to part company later and proceed to Mombasa, and subsequently to Colombo, Bombay, and Singapore) under escort of H.M.A.S. AUSTRALIA and H.M.S. EMERALD; speed 13 knots.

 

Patrol vessel sighted suspicious three funneled ship 136 degrees, 11 miles from Dassen Island at 1800GMT.

 

Subsequent air search failed to locate this ship.

 

Vichy French ship SONTAY requisitioned by Union Authorities, Durban.

 

Air

 

Capetown – a search was made to investigate the report of an enemy cruiser near Bok Point with negative result.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight to locate and report Vichy French merchant ships CAP VARELLA and VILLE DE TAMATAVE.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Monday, 17th February 1941

 

Hospital ship AMRA left Bombay for Durban

 

Hospital ship SOMERSETSHIRE arrived Capetown from Freetown 1229GMT.

 

Vichy French ship JEAN L.D. requisitioned by Union authorities, Capetown.

 

Air

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Tuesday, 18th February 1941

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE left Freetown for Capetown.

 

H.M.S. BRIDGEWATER arrived Simonstown from Lagos 0703GMT

 

Air

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out from 0600 to 1800 in search for French merchant ships.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Wednesday, 19th February 1941

 

H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE escorting Force Z (H.M.S. GLENGYLE, GLENROY, GLENEARN) arrived Capetown 0730GMT from Freetown.

 

H.M.S. RANCHI left Durban to patrol south of Madagascar 1450GMT.

 

Free French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA arrived Simonstown from Durban 1202GMT.

 

H.M.S. ALSEY left Freetown 1200GMT, for Simonstown calling at Walvis Bay to fuel in necessary; speed 9 knots.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy unit in position 31S, 40W at 1917GMT.

 

Air

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight hours south of Agulhas to locate and report Vichy French ships VILLE DE TAMATAVE and VILLE DU HADE, COMMAND DORIS, CAP VARELLA, BANGKOK.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Thursday, 20th February 1941

 

Hospital ship SOMERSETSHIRE left Capetown for Suez 1538GMT

 

H.M.S. BRIDGEWATER left Simonstown for Durban 1634GMT

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA arrived Durban from patrol to southwest of Madagascar 0301GMT.

 

H.M.S. HAWKINS rendezvoused with convoy WS 5 B in position 6-10S, 42-06E at 1200GMT

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit within 200 miles of 31S, 11W at 1817GMT.

 

A drifting mine was reported in position 240 degrees 11.5 miles from Dassen Island Lighthouse.

 

Air

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out between 0600 and 1800 to locate French merchant ships.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Friday, 21st February 1941

 

H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE escorting Force Z (GLENGYLE, GLENROY, GLENEARN) left Capetown for Durban 0530GMT. Subsequently it was decided that Force Z should not touch at Durban.

 

Free French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA left Simonstown for Durban 0545GMT.

 

Portuguese escort vessel PEDRO NUNES arrived at Lobito from the south.

 

German type X mine in new condition destroyed when drifting in position 240 degrees from Dassen Island 11.5 miles.

 

H.M.S.A.S. ALBERT HULETT and BRAKVLEI left Capetown to carry out minesweep off Cape Point.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface raider within 80 miles of position 32S, 00-W at 1717GMT.

 

H.T. SELANDIA arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air

 

Capetown – deep sea patrol during daylight located Dutch tanker ERRINA.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Saturday, 22nd February 1941

 

H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE left Force Z to proceed unescorted and herself proceeded towards position 25S, 50E. Subsequently, H.M.S. GLASGOW gave cover to Force Z.

 

H.M.S. KANIMBLA left Durban 1150GMT, to patrol southwest of Madagascar.

 

German type mine washed ashore near Cape Agulhas.

 

Air

 

Capetown – one aircraft left for search for and to identify a tanker.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Sunday, 23rd February 1941

 

Air

 

Capetown and Port Elizabeth – discontinued deep sea patrols.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Monday, 24th February 1941

 

H.M.S. BRIDGEWATER arrived Durban from Simonstown 0426GMT and was taken in hand for docking and refit.

 

H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE rendezvoused with H.M.S. GLASGOW and Force Z at 0330GMT, in position 28S, 34E and reassumed escort duties to Force Z.

 

H.M.S. DELHI left Simonstown 1655GMT for Capetown.

 

Free French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA arrived Durban from Simonstown 0930GMT.

 

Air

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Tuesday, 25th February 1941

 

H.M.S. DELHI arrived Capetown from Simonstown at 0500GMT to lay D.G. range.

 

Free French ships FORT BINGER, escorted by Free French ships COMMANDANT DUBOC and PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE, arrived Capetown from Pointe Noire 1200GMT. FORT BINGER entered dry dock.

 

Air

 

Capetown – one aircraft patrolled to southwest of the Cape for the purpose of met. Information to obtain forecast for laying of the D.G. range near Robben Island.

 

Durban – A/S patrols were carried out at dawn.

 

Port Elizabeth – patrols to seaward during daylight.

 

Wednesday, 26th February 1941

 

H.M.S. GLASGOW relieved H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE as escort to Force Z.

 

DORSETSHIRE then proceeded to Seychelles to fuel, subsequently setting course for Simonstown.

 

Air

 

Durban – A/S patrol at dawn

 

Thursday, 27th February 1941

 

H.M.S. RANCHI entered Durban to fuel and then returned to patrol to south of Mozambique Channel.

 

H.T. SELANDIA left Durban for Mombasa.

 

Air

 

Capetown – one craft started on the route west coast patrol.

 

Durban – A/S patrol at dawn

 

Port Elizabeth – patrols to seaward during daylight.

 

Friday, 28th February 1941

 

H.M.S. CORNWALL left Simonstown 0700GMT for patrol in L36b, L36a, and K36, subsequently proceeded to St Helena for fuel; speed 23 knots.

 

Mine clearance flotilla left Capetown to carryout search off Dassen Island for a suspected enemy mine field

 

Air

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight to try and intercept Vichy French merchant ships.

 

Durban – deep sea patrols were discontinued.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was provided for MODASA during daylight.

 

 

 


 

 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

MARCH 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Saturday, 1st March 1941

 

CORNWALL intercepted Vichy French ship VILLE DE MAJUNGA in position 34-09S, 10-18E, 0725GMT. Ship was sent into Capetown under armed guard.

 

H.T. DALIA left Mombasa for Durban.

 

Free French ship FORT BINGER undocked at Capetown.

 

D.F. Bearings indicated position of enemy unit as within 150 miles of 90S, 62E.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight to try and intercept Vichy French ships.

 

Durban – two aircraft from Maputa and two aircraft from Durban carried out two daily flights each to seaware of the shipping lanes laid down by C. in C., East Indies.

 

 Air escort was given to MODASA.

 

Sunday, 2nd March 1941

 

KANIMBLA ceased patrolling to southward of Madagascar and proceeded to Durban.

 

RANCHI arrived Durban 0614GMT from patrol south of Mozambique Channel.

 

SHROPSHIRE intercepted Vichy French ship VILLE DE STRASBOURG in position 26-30S, 47-00E, 1603GMT, and subsequently escorted her towards Durban.

 

H.T. DUNERA arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out to a position 180 miles south of Cape Agulhas during daylight.

 

Durban – patrols were carried out from Durban to Maputa in accordance with C in C East Indies request.

 

Monday, 3rd March 1941

 

DELHI on completion of laying of D.G. ranges left Capetown for Simonstown p.m.

 

ALSEY arrived Walvis Bay from Freetown to fuel.

 

Free French ship PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE left Capetown from Simonstown p.m.

 

Vichy French ship VILLE DE MAJUNGA arrived Capetown 1435GMT

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – three aircraft carried out a search for VILLE DE MAJUNGA but failed to make contact.

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Tuesday, 4th March 1941

 

DELHI arrived Simonstown from Capetown a.m.

 

ALSEY left Walvis Bay for Capetown a.m.

 

KANIMBLA arrived Durban from patrol 1106GMT

 

RANCHI left Durban a.m. to rendezvous with SHROPSHIRE to assume escort of VILLE DE STRASBOURG.

 

Free French ship PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE arrived Simonstown from Capetown a.m.

 

Vichy French ship VILLE DE MAJUNGA requisitioned by Union authorities Capetown.

 

Hospital ship AMRA arrived Durban from Calcutta.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request.

 

Wednesday, 5th March 1941

 

CORFU arrived Capetown from Lagos 0630GMT.

 

BULLFINCH left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown.

 

KIRRIEMOOR left Freetown for Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols during daylight were carried out.

 

Thursday, 6th March 1941

 

SHROPSHIRE arrived Durban from patrol east of Madagascar, 0456GMT, fuelled and sailed for Simonstown 1213GMT.

 

KANIMBLA, escorting H.T. DUNERA, left Durban for Mombasa 1407GMT.

 

DELHI arrived Simonstown for Durban 1800GMT, speed 11 knots.

 

Free French ship PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE taken in hand at Simonstown for refit and docking.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request.

 

Friday, 7th March 1941

 

CORNWALL arrived St Helena from Simonstown and patrol 1300GMT, fuelled and proceeded for rendezvous with convoy WS 6.

 

RANCHI arrived Durban escorting Vichy French ship VILLE DE STRASBOURG 1319GMT and sailed to patrol south of Mozambique Channel 1746GMT.

 

Mine Clearance Flotilla (H.M.S.A.S. SOUTHERN BARRIER, KOMMETJE, HEKTOR, SOETVLEI, STEENBERG, STELLENBERG) left Capetown to continue operation of clearing the enemy minefield off Cape Agulhas.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Saturday, 8th March 1941

 

SHROPSHIRE arrived Simonstown from Durban 0645GMT.

 

KING GRUFFYD left Durban to patrol in northern portion of Mozambique Channel 1430GMT.

 

ALSEY arrived Simonstown from Walvis Bay 0700GMT

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE arrived Capetown from Freetown 0615GMT.

 

BIRMINGHAM, PHOEBE, and CATHAY escorting convoy WS 6 (MATAROA, RUAHINE, YOMA, RANGITATA, NOVA SCOTIA, ASCANIUS, MULBERA, LLANDAFF CASTLE, BERGENSFJORD, LEOPOLDVILLE, CITY OF MARSEILLES, SCYTHIA, ALMANZORA, THYSVILLE, NORTHUMBERLAND, LLANGIBBY CASTLE, SALWEEN, LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE, BELLEROPHON, DALESMAN, MANCHESTER CITIZEN, OPAWA, LOGICIAN, CONSUJELO, PORT ALMA, CITY OF ATHENS, BURDWAN, HIGHLAND BRIGADE, KINA II, CITY OF HANKOW, CITY OF CORINTH, CITY OF PITTSBURGH, MAHSEER, CAPE HORN) left Freetown for Capetown 1500GMT, speed 11 knots.

 

H.T. DALIA arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Durban – patrols in accordance with C. in C. request were reduced to two daily owing to unserviceability of aircraft.

 

Sunday, 9th March 1941

 

DELHI arrived Durban from Simonstown 1334GMT.

 

ISIS and ENCOUNTER left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown p.m.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft carried out a search to locate tanker LISS approaching Simonstown.

 

Durban – patrols (two daily) in accordance with C. in C. East Indies request.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Monday, 10th March 1941

 

CARTHAGE escorting H.T. CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS arrived Durban from Mombasa 0610GMT.

 

SHROPSHIRE taken in hand for docking, refit, and alterations, Simonstown.

 

CORFU left Capetown for Simonstown 1546GMT

 

Mine clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out search for mines off seaward end of Capetown searched channel.

 

Vichy French ship VILLE DE STRASBOURG requisitioned by Union Authorities, Durban.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried in bad visibility during daylight.

 

Durban – patrols were discontinued owing to unserviceability of aircraft.

 

Tuesday, 11th March 1941

 

BULLFINCH arrived St Helena from Freetown.

 

CORNWALL rendezvoused with convoy WS 6 in position 1-30N, 7-32W and relieved CATHAY as part escort. CATHAY then proceeded for Simonstown.

 

CORFU arrived Simonstown from Capetown a.m. for docking and temporary repairs to concrete cofferdam.

 

ALSEY left Capetown for Durban 0600GMT, speed 9 knots.

 

Free French ship PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE undocked Simonstown.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Wednesday, 12th March 1941

 

DORSETSHIRE arrived Simonstown 0533GMT from Seychelles and was taken in hand for self refit.

 

DELHI left Durban for Port Louis, Mauritius, 1632GMT, on passage to Singapore to dock and refit.

 

BULLFINCH left St Helena for Simonstown p.m.

 

VULCAN left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were carried out during daylight.

 

Thursday, 13th March 1941

 

ISIS and ENCOUNTER arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0544GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft carried out a search for INGE MAERSK who had sent a QQQQ message at 0905, which was later cancelled. No suspicious ship was found.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were discontinue at noon.

 

Friday, 14th March 1941

 

Report received of a submarine being sighted by a civilian 4 miles off shore at Plattenberg Bay 0815GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – deep sea patrols were discontinued from Capetown and Port Elizabeth.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was provided for ALGORAB and ANGLO AFRICAN.

 

Saturday, 15th March 1941

 

ALSEY arrived Durban from Simonstown 0901GMT.

 

Free French ship COMMANDANT DUBOC escorting Free French ship FORT BINGER left Capetown for Durban 1500GMT, speed 7 knots.

 

H.T. DALIA left Durban for Mombasa 1500GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – aircraft gave escort to DALIA leaving Durban with S.A. troops.

 

Sunday, 16th March 1941

 

ISIS and ENCOUNTER left Simonstown for Durban 1000GMT, speed 20 knots.

 

CORFU undocked and left Simonstown for Durban 1600GMT, speed 7 knots.

 

CARTHAGE left Durban to patrol southwest of Madagascar 0857GMT, speed 15 knots.

 

DORSETSHIRE docked Simonstown p.m.

 

RANCHI closed H.T. DALIA to give her close cover.

 

n.b. no Air Operations listed on 16th March 1941

 

Monday, 17th March 1941

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE left Capetown for Port Elizabeth.

 

Dutch ship MARIPESSA reported sighting two ships without navigation lights hove to in position 31-30S, 15-31E at 0000GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – aircraft gave escort to CORFU passing Cape Agulhas during daylight.

 

Tuesday, 18th March 1941

 

ISIS and ENCOUNTER arrived Durban from Simonstown.

 

RANCHI parted company from H.T. DALIA and proceeded to Durban.

 

DELHI left Mauritius for Simonstown 1231GMT.

 

Dutch ship CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS left Durban for Capetown 1507GMT.

 

Hospital ship AMRA left Durban for Kilindini 0324GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft left for the routine West coast patrol.

 

Durban – aircraft screened CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS from time ship left Durban till dark.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort failed to locate CORFU in spite of daylight search by two aircraft.

 

Wednesday, 19th March 1941

 

CATHAY arrived Simonstown from Freetown 0730GMT

 

Hospital Ship OXFORDSHIRE arrived Port Elizabeth from Capetown 1007GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – air escort to BORSKOOP was provided from 1730 to dark.

 

Durban – two aircraft screened CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS during daylight hours, using East London aerodrome for fuelling.

 

Port Elizabeth – patrols to seaward.

 

Thursday, 20th March 1941

 

DORSETSHIRE undocked Simonstown.

 

BULLFINCH arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0730GMT.

 

CORFU arrived Durban from Simonstown 1607GMT.

 

VULCAN left St Helena for Simonstown p.m.

 

ALSEY left Durban for Kilindini 1208GMT.

 

KIRRIEMOOR arrived Capetown from Freetown 1643GMT.

 

RANCHI arrived Durban 0924GMT from escorting H.T. DALIA.

 

Portuguese escort vessel JOAO DE LISBOA arrived Lobito from north.

 

Dutch ship CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS arrived Capetown from Durban p.m.

 

D/F bearings indicated possibility of enemy surface unit being within 200 miles of position 15N, 26W at 0317GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – air escort was given to CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS from 1200 till dark, approaching Capetown.

 

Durban – one aircraft screened CORGU into Durban.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was provided for CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS from dawn till noon.

 

Friday, 21st March 1941

 

CATHAY docked Simonstown to make good urgent defects to rudder.

 

RANCHI left Durban for East London 0721GMT

 

BIRMINGHAM escorting H.T. ALMANZORA, BERGENSFJORD, LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE, RUAHINE, SCYTHIA who had proceeded ahead of Convoy WS 6 arrived Capetown from Freetown to water 1503GMT.

 

Free French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC escorting Free French ship FORT BINGER arrived Durban from Capetown 0845GMT.

 

Portuguese sloop JOAO LISBOA left Lobito for Lourenco Marques.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – two aircraft gave close A/S patrol to BIRMINGHAM and five ships from WS 6 entering Capetown.

 

Port Elizabeth – aircraft patrolled to seaward of special ship BOSKOOP.

 

Saturday, 22nd March 1941

 

RANCHI arrived East London to boiler clean 0458GMT.

 

BULLFINCH left Simonstown for Durban 0830GMT, speed 8 knots.

 

KIRRIEMOOR left Capetown for Durban 0823GMT, speed 8 knots.

 

IMPALA arrived Durban from Capetown 0815GMT.

 

DORSETSHIRE completed Simonstown.

 

H.T.s ALMANZORA, BERGENSFJORD, LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE, RUAHINE, SCYTHIA left Capetown for Durban 0820GMT. Remainder of Capetown portion of convoy WS 6 (ASCANIUS, BURDWAN, CAPE HORN, CITY OF ATHENS, CITY OF MARSEILLES, KINA II, LEOPOLDVILLE, LLANDAFF CASTLE, MULBERA, NOVA SCOTIA, OPAWA, PORT ALMA) ARRIVED Capetown 0820GMT. Escorting ship PHOEBE proceeded to Simonstown, arriving 0752GMT where she oiled, sailing once more at 1420GMT to rendezvous with the five ships that had watered at Capetown, subsequently to rejoin with them the Durban portion of convoy WS 6 under escort of CORNWALL.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft escorted CORNWALL and Durban portion of WS 6 passing Cape Point during daylight. One aircraft carried out an A/S patrol with the five ships of WS 6 that sailed from Capetown at 0820, during daylight.

 

Monday, 24th March 1941

 

CARTHAGE arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel, fuelled, proceeded on patrol once more 1908GMT.

 

BIRMINGHAM left Capetown 1145GMT to provide cover for H.T. CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS on passage from Capetown to Freetown.

 

South African Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out a search to westward of Cape of Good Hope.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft escorted S.S. ERRIA – a Special 'Forca' ship from time of sailing to dark from Capetown to south of Cape Point.

 

Durban - one aircraft was despatched to intercept WS 6 convoy approaching Durban; owing to convoy being behind schedule, contact was not made.

 

Tuesday, 25th March 1941

 

BULLFINCH arrived Durban from Simonstown p.m.

 

ISIS and ENCOUNTER left Durban for Kilindini 1052GMT, speed 20 knots.

 

DELHI arrived Simonstown from Mauritius 0715GMT.

 

CORFU docked at Durban for temporary repairs.

 

IMPALA left Durban for Kilindini 1704GMT, speed 8.5 knots.

 

Free French sloops SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and COMMANDANT DUBOC escorting Free French ship FORT BINGER left Durban for Port Sudan 1116GMT, speed 9.5 knots.

 

An unreliable D/F fix indicated the possibility of an enemy unit being in approximate position 28S, 33E.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – Aircraft carried out close A/S patrol as the Durban portion of WS 6 arrived off the port with PHOEBE and CORNWALL.

 

Port Elizabeth – aircraft carried out special escort to 'West Point'

 

Wednesday, 26th March 1941

 

DORSETSHIRE proceeded from Simonstown to Capetown a.m.

 

CORNWALL and PHOEBE escorting Durban portion of convoy WS 6 (BELLEROPHON, CONSUELO, CITY OF CORINTH, CITY OF HANKOW, CITY OF PITTSBURGH, DALESMAN, LOGICIAN, MAHSEER, MANCHESTER CITIZEN, MATAROA, NORTHUMBERLAND, RANGITATA, SALWEEN, YOMA, ALMANZORA, BERGENSFJORD, LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE, RUAHINE, SCYTHIAN), arrived Durban from Freetown and Capetown 0833GMT.

 

H.T. COSTA RICA arrived Durban from Aden.

 

H.T. CITY OF CANTERBURY arrived Durban from Aden.

 

n.b. no Air Operations listed on 26th March 1941

 

Thursday, 27th March 1941

 

KIRRIEMOOR arrived Durban from Capetown 1459GMT.

 

CITY OF DURBAN arrived Durban from patrol to south of Madagascar 1134GMT.

 

DORSETSHIRE escorting Capetown portion of Convoy WS 6 (LLANDAFF CASTLE, PORT ALMA, NOVA SCOTIA, KINA II, ASCANIUS, OPAWA, LEOPOLDVILLE, CITY OF ATHENS, BURDWAN, CAPE HORN) left Capetown 1503GMT to rendezvous with Durban portion of convoy in position 28-25S, 35-10E, speed 9 knots.

 

H.T. CITY OF LONDON arrived Durban from Aden.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – two aircraft carried out a clearance search of the approaches to Capetown and then a perimeter patrol until dark. Two aircraft carried out a close A/S patrol to DORSETSHIRE and ships of Capetown portion of WS 6 from 1530 to dark as they sailed from Capetown for rendezvous.

 

Friday, 28th March 1941

 

DELHI left Simonstown for St Helena and Freetown 0900 GMT, speed 16 knots.

 

FALK and KLO left Capetown for Durban 1255GMT, speed 14 knots.

 

ELIZABETHVILLE arrived Durban from Aden.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – close A/S escort ahead of CITY OF PARIS.

 

P. Elizabeth – seaward patrols carried out by 2 aircraft during day.

 

Saturday, 29th March 1941

 

VULCAN arrived Simonstown from St Helena 1245GMT and commenced boiler cleaning.

 

KLO left Capetown for Durban 0730GMT, speed 14 knots.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL arrived St Helena from Freetown 0700GMT on passage to Simonstown.

 

U.S.S. VINCENNES arrived Simonstown from Pernambuco 1130GMT.

 

H.T. SELANDIA arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

P. Elizabeth – air escort was given to CITY OF PARIS during daylight.

 

Sunday, 30th March 1941

 

DELPHINIUM left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown 1800GMT.

 

U.S.S. VINCENNES left Simonstown for New York 0837GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to the following ships EMPIRE TRUST, MARIETTA E., DURENDA

 

Monday, 31st March 1941

 

SAMDHUR left Capetown for Durban 1423GMT, speed 9 knots.

 

RANCHI left East London 0514GMT to patrol south of Mozambique Channel.

 

BRIDGEWATER left Durban for Simonstown 1035GMT.

 

KIRRIEMOOR left Durban for Aden 0820GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – during daylight close A/S escort was given to ROBY CASTLE

 

Durban – aircraft gave escort to CITY OF PARIS from dawn into harbour.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to TISNAREN.

 

 

 


 

 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

APRIL 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Tuesday, 1st April 1941

 

DELHI arrived St Helena from Simonstown, fuelled, and left for Freetown 2205GMT.

 

FALK arrived Durban from Capetown 1111GMT.

 

CITY OF DURBAN docked Durban.

 

CORFU undocked; Durban.

 

Portuguese sloop JOAO DE LISBOA arrived Lourenco Marques from Lobito.

 

CORNWALL and PHOEBE escorting reconstituted Durban portion of Convoy WS 6 (ELIZABETHVILLE, DALESMAN, DILWARA, MANCHESTER CITIZEN, LLANDAFF CASTLE, LLANSTEPHAN CASTLE, CITY OF LONDON, CITY OF HANKOW, BELLEROPHON, CITY OF PITTSBURGH, CAPE HORN, LEOPOLDVILLE, SALWEEN, SCYTHIA, CONSUELO, CITY OF CORINTH, LOGICIAN, BERGENSFJORD, CITY OF CANTERBURY, COSTA RICA, MAHSEER, YOMA, CITY OF ATHENS, KINA II, OPAWA, PORT ALMA, NOVA SCOTIA, ASCANIUS, BURDWAN, THYSVILLE) LEFT Durban to rendezvous with Capetown portion of the same convoy 1111GMT, speed 10 knots.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – aircraft gave escort to WS 6 with CORNWALL and PHOEBE leaving Durban from dawn till dusk.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to ALEX JOHNSON.

 

Wednesday, 2nd April 1941

 

CARTHAGE and KLO arrived Durban from Capetown 0704GMT.

 

BRIDGEWATER arrived Simonstown from Durban 1440GMT.

 

Durban and Capetown portions of convoy WS 6 (latter portion escorted by DORSETSHIRE) rendezvoused at 1200GMT in position 28-25S, 35-10E and subsequently proceeded at 10 knots, for Suez or Aden (LLANDAFF CASTLE and CITY OF ATHENS for Mombasa).

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to CITY OF PERTH.

 

Thursday, 3rd April 1941

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – 1 aircraft patrolled to Suikwagi near Tugela River to investigate report of a derelict boat but nothing was sighted.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to NESTOR and MALAYAN PRINCE.

 

Friday, 4th April 1941

 

HAWKINS escorting convoy SU 2 (SAMARIA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, FRANCONIA, ATHLONE CASTLE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA) and ILLUSTRIOUS arrived Durban from Aden 0514GMT.

 

HAWKINS docked on arrived to fit new propeller.

 

Ex whale catcher SAMBHUR arrived Durban from Capetown and BULLFINCH left for Kilindini 1630GMT.

 

D/F bearings at 1617GMT indicated the presence of enemy surface unit to southeastward of Durban, though no fix was obtained.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – air escort was given to convoy of six ships escorted by ILLUSTRIOUS and HAWKINS from dawn into port. One aircraft searched for RADFIELD overdue and located the ship 25 miles from the port.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to WELSH TRADER.

 

Saturday, 5th April 1941

 

HAWKINS undocked, Durban, and commenced self refit.

 

IMPALA arrived Kilindini from Durban 0624GMT.

 

DELPHINIUM arrived St Helena from Freetown 0700GMT to fuel.

 

CITY OF DURBAN undocked Durban.

 

CATHAY undocked Simonstown and SHROPSHIRE docked.

 

HECTOR escorting EMPRESS OF JAPAN left Bombay for Durban 0910GMT, speed 15 knots.

 

Air

 

Durban – air escort was given from dawn to NESTOR until into port.

 

Sunday, 6th April 1941

 

DELPHINIUM left St Helena for Simonstown 0600GMT.

 

BRIDGEWATER left Simonstown for St Helena 0600GMT, speed 13 knots.

 

No air operations listed for 6th April 1941

 

Monday, 7th April 1941

 

CORFU left Durban for Kilindini 1117GMT.

 

FALK and KLO left Durban for Kilindini 1446GMT.

 

DORSETSHIRE left convoy WS 6 p.m., proceeding to Durban.

 

NELSON escorting convoy WS 7 (DUCHESS OF YORK, WARWICK CASTLE, ORONTES, STRATHMORE, STRATHEDEN, ORION, VICEROY OF INDIA, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, ANDES, STRATHALLAN, EMPRESS OF CANADA, DEMPO, JOHANN VAN OLDENBARNEVELDT, STIRLING CASTLE, OTRANTO, STRATHNAVER, ORCADES, PASTEUR, GLENORCHY, DENBIGHSHIRE) left Freetown for Capetown and Durban 1600GMT, speed 15 knots.

 

D/F bearings from Simonstown and Durban indicated position of enemy surface unit within 200 miles of 33S, 12E at 1517GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – 1 Glen Martin aircraft search 200 miles south of Cape Agulhas to locate enemy surface unit plotted from D/F bearings on 4th, 5th, 6th at 1500.

 

Tuesday, 8th April 1941

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol south of Mozambique Channel 1032GMT.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0730GMT.

 

CARTHAGE left Durban 1032GMT to patrol south of Mozambique Channel, 12 knots.

 

NAPIER and NIZAM left Freetown 1900GMT for St Helena and Simonstown.

 

H.T. LLANDAFF CASTLE and CITY OF ATHENS detached from Convoy WS 6 and proceeded to Mombasa.

 

D/F bearings at 1556GMT indicated presence of enemy unit within 200 miles of 39S, 26E.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – at 0900 one Glen Martin carried out a search 400 miles 225 degrees from Cape Point on an easterly cross search for enemy surface unit plotted from D/F bearings.

 

P. Elizabeth – air escort was given to CITY OF BARODA.

 

Wednesday, 9th April 1941

 

RANCHI left Durban to escort H.T. SELANDIA towards Mombasa as far as 22S, 1313GMT.

 

Hospital ship AMRA arrived Durban from Kilindini to discharge patients.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – three aircraft carried out diverging search for possible enemy unit plotted from D/F bearings, to a depth of 240 miles to the south, without sighting any suspicious ship.

 

Thursday, 10th April 1941

 

DORSETSHIRE arrived Durban from escorting convoy WS 6 0443GMT.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL taken in hand for refit afloat at Simonstown.

 

GLASGOW escorting H.T. TALAMBA from Seychelles rendezvoused with Convoy WS 6.

 

Hospital ship ATLANTIS arrived from Aden to discharge patients.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – aircraft carried out a patrol to seaward at dawn.

 

Friday, 11th April 1941

 

BRIDGEWATER arrived St Helena from Simonstown 1700GMT.

 

CATHAY left Simonstown for Freetown 1200GMT, speed 14 knots.

 

S.S. DUCHESS OF RICHMOND and ORBITA left Durban independently for Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to CITY OF HONG KONG.

 

Saturday, 12th April 1941

 

NEWCASTLE arrived St Helena 0900GMT from South American station to join convoy WS 7, and departed at 1900GMT.

 

SAMBHUR left Durban for Kilindini p.m.

 

VULCAN left Simonstown for Durban 0900GMT, speed 8 knots.

 

DELPHINIUM arrived Simonstown from St Helena 1107GMT and commenced boiler cleaning.

 

BRIDGEWATER left St Helena 0600GMT to join Force U.

 

NAPIER and NIZAM arrived St Helena 0900GMT to fuel.

 

Free French ship PRESIDENT HOUDOUCE left Simonstown for Pointe Noire 1100GMT, speed 10 knots.

 

S.S. RUPERT DE LARRINAGA sighted burning wreck of steamship carrying deck cargo of tinder (n.b. timber ?) in position 1-51S, 22-43W at 2149GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – at 1300 to dark one Glen Martin carried out a search to south of Agulhas on an easterly cross search in latitude 38S for enemy unit plotted from D/F bearings.

 

One craft left on the routine west coast patrol.

 

Sunday, 13th April 1941

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from escorting H.T. SELANDIA 0441GMT.

 

NAPIER and NIZAM left St Helena for Simonstown 1400GMT.

 

S.S. DUCHESS OF BEDFORD left Durban independently for Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one aircraft at Swakopmund carrying out the routine west coast patrol.

 

Monday, 14th April 1941

 

HAWKINS left Durban for East London 1258GMT.

 

S.S. ANSELM left Durban independently for Freetown.

 

Portuguese sloop JOAO LISBOA left Lourenco Marques for Macao, destination subsequently being altered to Timor.

 

D/F bearings at 2357GMT indicated presence of enemy surface unit within 150 miles of 16-30S, 25W. Bearings at 2037GMT suggested surface unit within 300 miles of 25S, 25W.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – the aircraft returning from the West Coast patrol made a forced landing in bad weather at Lambert Bay.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was given to DUCHESS OF BEDFORD.

 

Tuesday, 15th April 1941

 

HAWKINS arrived East London from Durban 0510GMT and sailed for Simonstown 1348GMT.

 

DORSETSHIRE escorting H.T. MONARCH OF BERMUDA left Durban 1508GMT to rendezvous with HECTOR (escorting H.T. EMPRESS OF JAPAN from Bombay in position 29-20S, 32-50E thence to proceed to Capetown, escorting H.T. MONARCH OF BERMUDA and EMPRESS OF JAPAN.

 

S.A. Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out searching sweep at entrance to False Bay.

 

NEWCASTLE rendezvoused with NELSON and assumed escort of convoy WS 7 in position 29-20S, 13-45E 1200GMT. NELSON then proceeded to Capetown independently.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – air escort was given to DORSETSHIRE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA from the time they left port until dark.

 

Wednesday, 16th April 1941

 

VULCAN arrived Durban from Simonstown 1010GMT.

 

RANCHI left Durban to patrol south of Mozambique Channel 0746GMT.

 

HECTOR arrived Durban from Bombay 1010GMT.

 

NELSON arrived Capetown 0500GMT.

 

Capetown portion of Convoy WS 7 (DUCHESS OF YORK, STRATHMORE, STRATHEDEN, ORION, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, ANDES, STRATHALLAN, EMPRESS OF CANADA, ORCADES, PASTEUR, DEMPO) separated from remainder of convoy which then proceeded to Durban under escort of NEWCASTLE, and arrived Capetown 1042GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – at daylight 2 aircraft carried out a clearance search of Table Bay approaches and searched channel and escorted NELSON to Capetown.

 

At 0800 2 aircraft gave cover to convoy WS 7 from end of searched channel to Table Bay. During rest of daylight, 2 aircraft carried out perimeter patrol.

 

Durban – air escort given to HECTOR.

 

Thursday, 17th April 1941

 

HAWKINS arrived Simonstown from East London 0803GMT.

 

NAPIER and NIZAM arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0805GMT.

 

MILFORD arrived St Helena 0800GMT.

 

H.T. DEMPO (of Convoy WS 7) left Capetown for Durban 1045GMT.

 

Hospital ship AMRA left Durban for Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – 2 aircraft carried out a perimeter patrol of Capetown during daylight.

 

Friday, 18th April 1941

 

VULCAN left Durban for Mombasa 1630GMT.

 

NAPIER left Simonstown 0430GMT and arrived Capetown to dock 0727GMT.

 

CARTHAGE escorting H.T. NEA HELLAS arrived Durban from Bombay 1634GMT.

 

CARTHAGE escorting ILLUSTRIOUS departed again at 1800GMT to rendezvous with DORSETSHIRE, speed 17 knots.

 

DORSETSHIRE, escorting S.S. EMPRESS OF JAPAN and MONARCH OF BERMUDA arrived Capetown from Durban a.m. DORSETSHIRE proceeded again with having entered Capetown to rendezvous with CARTHAGE and ILLUSTRIOUS.

 

H.T. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA arrived Durban from Kilindini.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – aircraft kept up an inner A/S patrol of Table Bay during daylight.

 

Durban – 1 aircraft located and screened transport NEA HELLAS with CARTHAGE into Durban. 1 aircraft search to a depth of 125 miles for WS 7 but failed to locate it.

 

Saturday, 19th April 1941

 

DORSETSHIRE rendezvoused with CARTHAGE and ILLUSTRIOUS a.m. in about 33 degrees 50S, 27-40W. DORSETSHIRE then proceeded to Capetown escorting ILLUSTRIOUS and CARTHAGE returned to Durban, first searching for S.S. CERAMIC.

 

NELSON left Capetown for Durban 1200GMT, speed 14 knots.

 

NEWCASTLE escorting Durban portion of convoy WS 7 (VICEROY OF INDIA, WARWICK CASTLE, STIRLING CASTLE, JOHANN VAN OLDENBARNEVELDT, DENBIGHSHIRE, STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO, ORONTES, GLENORCHY) arrived Durban a.m.

 

NEWCASTLE proceeded to Simonstown speed 16 knots.

 

HECTOR escorting H.T. DALIA left Durban for Kilindini 1111GMT.

 

H.T.s NEA HELLAS, ORBITA, FRANCONIA, ARUNDEL CASTLE left Durban for Capetown and U.K. Independently.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – aircraft kept up an inner A/S of Table Bay during daylight.

 

Durban – 2 carried out search to locate and escort NEWCASTLE and convoy WS 7 into Durban, but railed to make contact.

 

Sunday, 20th April 1941

 

NAPIER left Capetown 0830GMT, rendezvoused with NIZAM from Simonstown and proceeded to Durban at 20 knots.

 

S.S. CERAMIC arrived Durban from Freemantle p.m.

 

ERICA and SNAPDRAGON left Freetown for St Helena and Simonstown 1451GMT.

 

HAWKINS left Simonstown 0830GMT, rendezvoused off Capetown with EMPRESS OF CANADA, STRATHEDEN, STRATHALLAN, ORCADES, STRATHMORE, DUCHESS OF YORK who sailed at 1300GMT and proceeded for rendezvous with Durban portion of convoy.

 

H.T. DEMPO (from Convoy WS 7) arrived Durban from Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – 2 aircraft carried out a clearance search of the approaches to Table Bay and then a perimeter patrol at 1300. 1 aircraft carried out a close A/S patrol at 1500 with convoy WS 7 until dark.

 

Durban – 1 aircraft carried out a search to report position of Danish tanker AASE MAERSK but ship was not found.

 

Monday, 21st April 1941

 

CARTHAGE arrived Durban 0512MGT and commenced boiler cleaning.

 

DORSETSHIRE and ILLUSTRIOUS arrived Capetown from Durban 0530GMT.

 

NEWCASTLE arrived Simonstown from Durban 1103GMT.

 

D/F bearings suggested

 

(i). U boat within 150 miles of 1S, 21W AT 2118GMT

 

(ii). U boat with 300 miles of 15S, 21W at 2207GMT.

 

(iii). 2 U boats in area between 6 and 10N, and 20 and 30W p.m.

 

Air operations

 

Capetown – at daylight 2 aircraft carried out clearance search to Table Bay approaches and close A/S escort to ILLUSTRIOUS and DORSETSHIRE.

 

1 Aircraft carried out inner patrol of Table Bay from 0900 during daylight.

 

Tuesday, 22nd April 1941

 

NELSON, NAPIER, and NIZAM arrived Durban from Capetown and Simonstown at 0837GMT. NAPIER and NIZAM subsequently sailed for Mombasa 1424GMT.

 

NEWCASTLE taken in hand at Simonstown for wear and waste test, docking, and minor repairs.

 

NELSON docked Durban.

 

Air Patrols

 

Capetown – 1 aircraft carried out searches for NELSON, NIZAM, and NAPIER and escorted NELSON into Durban.

 

Wednesday, 23rd April 1941

 

CITY OF DURBAN completed Durban.

 

CARTHAGE escorting Durban portion of Convoy WS 7 (EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, VICEROY OF INDIA, WARWICK CASTLE, JOHANN DE OLDENBARNEVELDT, DENBIGHSHIRE, STRATHNAVER, OTRANTO, ORONTES, DEMPO, GLENORCHY) left Durban 1438GMT to rendezvous with Capetown portion of convoy, escorted by HAWKINS in position 29-30S, 33-40E.

 

DORSETSHIRE escorting ILLUSTRIOUS and convoy CF 1 (MONARCH OF BERMUDA, EMPRESS OF JAPAN) left Capetown 0600GMT for St Helena, speed 18 knots.

 

S.S. DROGMORE CASTLE sighted low powered searchlight in position 30-45S, 14-23E at 2100GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – 2 aircraft carried out a clearance search of Table Bay approaches and then gave close escort to ILLUSTRIOUS and DORSETSHIRE.

 

Thursday, 24th April 1941

 

Durban and Capetown portions of Convoy WS 7 escorted by CARTHAGE and HAWKINS respectively rendezvoused at 0400GMT and proceeded for Aden and Suez (STRATHMORE, DUCHESS OF YORK for India).

 

DELPHINIUM left Simonstown for Durban 0937GMT, speed 12 knots.

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel.

 

S.A. Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out searching sweep off entrance to False Bay.

 

Greek ship SALAMINIA passed water logged life boats, cattle and sheep carcasses and probably one corpse in position 33-10S, 16-39E.

 

No Air Operations for 24th April 1941

 

Friday, 25th April 1941

 

ERICA and SNAPDRAGON arrived St Helena from Freetown 1500GMT.

 

H.T. SELANDIA arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft left for the routine West Coast patrol.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was provided for S.S. KING JAMES.

 

Saturday, 26th April 1941

 

ERICA and SNAPDRAGON left St Helena for Simonstown 1700GMT.

 

CITY OF DURBAN left Durban for Capetown 1529GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft from Swakopmund to the north and back, routine flight up the coast line.

 

Durban – one aircraft (Anson) was sent to investigate the report of suspicious ships sighted by MADURA, which was identified as ASPHALION.

 

Sunday, 27th April 1941

 

CARTHAGE returned to Durban from patrol south of Mozambique Channel and RANCHI left to commence similar patrol at 0711GMT.

 

ALCANTARA arrived Capetown from St Helena 1007GMT.

 

DELPHINIUM arrived Durban from Simonstown a.m.

 

DORSETSHIRE escorting ILLUSTRIOUS and convoy CF 1 (MONARCH OF BERMUDA and EMPRESS OF JAPAN) arrived St Helena from Capetown 0800GMT and departed for Freetown 1700GMT.

 

Hospital ship LLANDOVERY CASTLE arrived Durban from Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft returned from West Coast patrol.

 

Port Elizabeth – air escort was provided for S.S. JERSEY.

 

Monday, 28th April 1941

 

D/F bearings at 1817, indicated presence of enemy surface unit 150 miles of 23S, 5E; at 1857GMT of enemy surface unit with 150 miles of 26S, 02W; and at 1940GMT probably of a surface unit within 300 miles of 18S, 18W.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson air escort was provided for S.S. GLENARTNEY.

 

Tuesday, 29th April 1941

 

DELPHINIUM taken in hand at Durban for defects.

 

D/F bearings indicated presence of a U boat near 15S, 25W at 0208GMT.

 

No air Operations listed for 29th April 1941

 

Wednesday, 30th April 1941

 

CITY OF DURBAN arrived Capetown from Durban 0640GMT.

 

ALCANTARA left Capetown to patrol in Central South Atlantic prior to coming under C.C.S.A.D. 1240GMT, speed 15 knots.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft assisted in search for life boats by 5 S.D.F. vessels, reported by Greek ship SALAMINIA in 33-10S, 16-39E – nothing sighted.

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson air escort provided for S.S. BEN MOHR.

 

 

 


 

 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

MAY 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Thursday, 1st May 1941

 

MILFORD escorting IMBER as far as 4-20S, 3-10W left Freetown for St Helena 0800GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft assisted in search by 5 S.D.F. vessels for life boats reported by Greek ship SALAMINIA in 33-10S, 16-19E – nothing sighted.

 

Durban – Anson gave close A/S screen to S.S. MARWARRI from Daylight on leaving port until 50 miles to seaward.

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson aircraft escort was provided for CITY OF LILLE.

 

Friday, 2nd May 1941

 

ERICA and SNAPDRAGON arrived Simonstown from St Helena 1430GMT.

 

CITY OF DURBAN left Capetown for Freetown by direct route, speed 10 kts, 1300GMT.

 

SELANDIA left Durban for Aden and Suez 1300GMT, cover being supplied by RANCHI.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – One Anson aircraft assisted in search by 5 S.D.F. vessels for lifeboats reported by Greek ship SALAMINIA – nothing sighted.

 

Durban – one Anson aircraft gave S.S. SELANDIA an anti raider screen from time of departure from Durban till dark.

 

Saturday, 3rd May 1941

 

CARTHAGE left Durban 1236GMT escorting H.T. SONTAY bound for Halifax as far as 20S, subsequently to patrol south of Mozambique Channel.

 

D/F bearings indicated presumed German U boat probably within 60 miles of 22S, 39-30 W at 2246GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft kept up a continuous inner patrol of Table Bay to protect CARNARVON CASTLE at anchor in Bay.

 

Durban – one Anson aircraft gave escort to CARTHAGE and SONTAY leaving Durban till dusk.

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson air escort was provided for AUTOLYCUS.

 

Sunday, 4th May 1941

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft kept up continuous inner patrol of Table Bay during daylight to protection CARNARVON CASTLE at anchor.

 

Monday, 5th May 1941

 

Hospital ship LLANDOVERY CASTLE left Durban for Aden a.m.

 

D/F bearings indicated probably position of a German U Boat at 0309GMT as within 150 miles of 6N, 58W; possible enemy auxiliary within 200 miles of 11S, 12W at 1817GMT; and possible enemy auxiliary within 300 miles of 20S, 15W at 2015GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson patrolled Table Bay until 110 (n.b. as given, not chopped).

 

Tuesday, 6th May 1941

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 1300GMT.

 

CERES escorting SW 6 (CAMERONIA, TALAMBA, SCYTHIA, BERGENSFJORD, LEOPOLDVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA) left Aden for African ports 0700GMT, speed 14 knots.

 

D/F bearings suggested U boat within 150 miles of 11N, 32W at 2032GMT and further U boat within 100 miles of 22-30S, 39W at 2258GMT.

 

H.T. NIEUW HOLLAND arrived Durban from Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson air escort was given to S.S. PHRONTIS on leaving Table Bay for 4 hours.

 

Durban – patrol off approach to Durban was carried out at midday by Anson aircraft.

 

Wednesday, 7th April 1941

 

DELPHINIUM left Durban for Kilindini 0903GMT.

 

Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out sweeping sweep to southward of False Bay.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – aircraft search area near Hibberdene to investigate the report of a submarine off the coast there. One small fishing vessel was seen.

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson air escort was given to S.S. SILVER WALNUT.

 

One Anson aircraft was lost in sea through engine failure off Port Elizabeth, but crew were rescued.

 

Thursday, 8th May 1941

 

MILFORD arrived St Helena from Freetown a.m. and departed for Simonstown 1700GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – one Anson aircraft was sent to investigate the report of suspicious vessel in Plettenburg Bay. This turned out to be one of Irving and Johnson's trawlers.

 

Friday, 9th May 1941

 

EAGLE and HAWKINS arrived Durban from Kilindini 1415GMT.

 

RANCHI left Durban at 0515GMT and proceeded north to rendezvous with convoy SW 6.

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE left Port Elizabeth for Durban 0745GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated possibility of an enemy unit being with 300 miles of 20S, 02E at 1836GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – one Anson located EAGLE and HAWKINS approaching Durban.

 

Saturday, 10th May 1941

 

NELSON and EAGLE left Durban for Capetown 1236GMT.

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE arrived Durban from Port Elizabeth.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – dawn patrols were started covering an area 50 miles to NE and SE of the entrance to Durban harbour; will be carried out daily in future.

 

Sunday, 11th May 1941

 

HECTOR relieved CERES as escort of convoy SW 6 in position 3-30S, 41-50E at 0700GMT.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL left Simonstown for Capetown 1539GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – ATHLONE CASTLE with service personnel was given an anti raider screen by Anson aircraft on leaving Durban.

 

Monday, 12th May 1941

 

NEWCASTLE undocked Simonstown.

 

NELSON and EAGLE arrived Capetown from Durban 1446GMT.

 

HAWKINS left Durban 1446GMT to patrol south of Mozambique Channel; speed 12 knots.

 

CARNARVON CASTLE proceeded from Capetown to Simonstown.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL arrived Capetown from Simonstown to dock 0540GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft gave cover to NELSON and EAGLE as they approached Table Bay and kept up a perimeter patrol until dark.

 

Tuesday, 13th May 1941

 

NELSON and EAGLE left Durban for Freetown via St Helena speed 13 knots 0703GMT.

 

RANCHI rendezvoused with convoy SW 6 (SCYTHIA, BERGENSFJORD, LEOPOLDVILLE) at 0700GMT in position 14-41S, 41-50E and relieved HECTOR as escort.

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE left Durban for Capetown 0840GMT.

 

CARNARVON CASTLE docked Simonstown.

 

CARTHAGE arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel, 0625GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft gave escort to EAGLE and later NELSON leaving Table Bay for four hours.

 

Durban – Anson aircraft screened Hospital ship ATLANTIS leaving Durban.

 

Wednesday, 14th May 1941

 

NEWCASTLE left Simonstown to patrol in South Atlantic on passage to Freetown 1200GMT, speed 16 knots.

 

MILFORD arrived Simonstown from St Helena 1215GMT.

 

MAURITIUS escorting Convoy WS 8 A (IMPERIAL STAR, REINA DEL PACIFICO, ARONDA, DOMINION MONARCH, STRATHAIRD, EMPRESS OF ASIA, ABBEKERK, EMPRESS OF RUSSIA, SOBIESKI) left Freetown for Durban 1000GMT, speed 13.7 knots.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft left on the routine West Coast patrol to Swakopmund and beyond.

 

Durban – Anson aircraft went to Maputi and Lombayi, from whence deep sea patrols were carried out.

 

Thursday, 15th May 1941

 

CILICIA escorting HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN left Freetown for Capetown 1801GMT.

 

SHROPSHIRE when carrying out full power trials, developed defects in her main engines.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – two Anson aircraft gave close A/S cover to SHROPSHIRE during daylight as she broke down off Cape Point.

 

Friday, 16th May 1941

 

RANCHI escorting convoy SW 6 (SCYTHIA, LEOPOLDVILLE, BERGENSFJORD) arrived Durban from Aden 1128GMT.

 

Hospital ship OXFORDSHIRE arrived Capetown from Durban a.m.

 

HECTOR escorting CAMERONIA bound for Durban, left Mombasa a.m.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft returned from West Coast patrol.

 

Durban convoy of three transports escorted by RANCHI was located by Anson aircraft and screened into port.

 

Saturday, 17th May 1941

 

RANCHI docked Durban

 

OXFORDSHIRE left Capetown for Freetown 1045GMT.

 

CARTHAGE left Durban at 0822GMT to rendezvous with HECTOR escorting H.T. CAMERONIA in about 21S.

 

CAPE SABLE arrived Capetown from Aden 0620GMT.

 

n.b no air operations listed for 17th May 1941

 

Sunday, 18th May 1941

 

NELSON and EAGLE arrived St Helena to oil 1400GMT and departed for Freetown 2359GMT.

 

HAWKINS arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 1135GMT.

 

NEWCASTLE intercepted Vichy French ship LIEUTENANT ST LOUBERT BIE in position 21-31S, 5-56W.

 

n.b. no air operations listed for 18th May 1941

 

Monday, 19th May 1941

 

PRETORIA CASTLE took over escort of Vichy Ship LIEUTENANT ST LOUBERT BIE from NEWCASTLE.

 

CARTHAGE relieved HECTOR as escort of H.T. CAMERONIA in about 21S. HECTOR proceeded to Mombasa, CARTHAGE and CAMERONIA for Durban.

 

SNAPDRAGON left Simonstown for Durban 1300GMT speed 11.5 knots.

 

GOS VI and HEKTOR VII left Durban for Kilindini 1400GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were carried out by Anson aircraft during daylight to locate and report Vichy French ship ERIDAN if sighted.

 

Tuesday, 20th May 1941

 

THORGRIM and THORBRYN, ex Whalecatchers, left Capetown of Durban 1315GMT, speed 12 knots.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft patrolled to 200 miles south of Agulhas during daylight to try to locate and report Vichy French ship ERIDAN.

 

Port Elizabeth – deep sea patrols were continued during daylight to search for ERIDAN.

 

Wednesday, 21st May 1941

 

Hospital ship ATLANTIS left Durban for Aden 0535GMT.

 

CARTHAGE left H.T. CAMERONIA entrance to Durban and proceeded to patrol to south of Mozambique Channel.

 

ERICA left Simonstown for Durban, 0840GMT, speed 11.5 knots.

 

H.M.S. PRIMULA left Lagos for Simonstown 0800GMT.

 

S.A. Mine Clearance Flotilla left Capetown to carry out searching sweep so south of False Bay.

 

D/F bearings indicated probable enemy surface unit within 100 miles of 9N, 25W at 2115GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft was sent out to locate and identify Panamanian ship PONCE who reported she had run out of fuel. PONCE was located at 0817 250 degrees Robben Island 83 miles, course 076, speed 2 knots.

 

Durban – H.T. CAMERONIA escorted by CARTHAGE was located by Anson aircraft off the port.

 

Thursday, 22nd May 1941

 

HAWKINS left Durban 0826GMT to rendezvous with convoy WS 8 A in position 35S, 17-05E.

 

CAPE SABLE left Capetown for Freetown 1500GMT, speed 9 knots.

 

SNAPDRAGON arrived Durban from Simonstown 1343GMT.

 

H.T. STRATHAIRD was detached from convoy WS 8 A and increased speed to proceed direct to Capetown to disembark Lord Harlech, U.K. High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – one Anson aircraft was sent to investigate a report of an unidentified ship off Port Shepstone – this was not located but turned out to have been SNAPDRAGON. Dawn patrols were discontinued for the time being.

 

n.b. no entries naval or air operations for 23rd May 1941

 

Saturday, 24th May 1941

 

HAWKINS rendezvoused with convoy WS 8 A at 1300GMT in position 35S, 17-05E and relieved MAURITIUS as escort. HAWKINS and convoy proceeded to Durban and MAURITIUS to Simonstown.

 

CARNARVON CASTLE undocked Simonstown.

 

ERICA arrived Durban from Simonstown and THORGRIM and THORBYRN from Capetown 1025GMT.

 

H.T. STRATHAIRD ex convoy WS 8 A arrived Capetown, disembarked Lord Harlech, U.K. High Commissioner to the Union of South Africa and sailed to rejoin convoy.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – two Anson aircraft carried out a clearance search of the approaches to Table Bay and gave close escort to H.T. STRATHAIRD. Later in the day one Anson gave escort to this transport when she left until dark.

 

Sunday, 25th May 1941

 

CILICIA escorting HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN arrived Capetown from Freetown 0830GMT.

 

CARTHAGE arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 0614GMT.

 

CORNWALL arrived Durban from Mauritius 1311GMT.

 

MAURITIUS docked Simonstown.

 

H.T. EMPRESS OF ASIA left convoy SW 8 A south of Cape Agulhas and returned to Capetown owing to trouble amongst the engine room complement. Because of weather conditions, she was unable to enter harbour.

 

No air operations reported 25th May 1941.

 

Monday, 26th May 1941

 

CARNARVON CASTLE proceeded from Simonstown to Capetown.

 

CARTHAGE left Durban to resume patrol south of Mozambique Channel 0836GMT.

 

CORNWALL taken in hand, Durban, for repairs resulting from action with enemy.

 

SNAPDRAGON left Durban for Kilindini 1325GMT, speed 11.5 knots.

 

Hospital ship AMRA arrived Durban from Kilindini.

 

H.T. EMPRESS OF ASIA entered Capetown.

 

D/F bearings indicated position of enemy surface units within 200 miles of 30S, 00E at 1800GMT

 

No air operations reported 26th May 1941

 

Tuesday, 27th May 1941

 

EMPRESS OF RUSSIA, ARONDA, SOBIESKI, DOMINION MONARCH, STRATHAIRD, REINA DEL PACIFICO, ABBEKERK (convoy WS 8 A), escorted by HAWKINS arrived Durban from Freetown 1016GMT.

 

THORGRIM and THORBRYN left Durban for Kilindini p.m. speed 11 knots.

 

H.T. CAMERONIA left Durban for East London 1500GMT.

 

Free French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC left Aden for Durban 1327GMT, speed 12 knots.

 

D/F bearings indicated possibility of enemy surface units being within 150 miles of position 37S, 05E at 2051GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft was sent to search in a position 125 miles south of Agulhas for a suspicious ship reported to be stopped with navigation lights on . S.S. FORBIN was located who made the report.

 

Durban – Anson aircraft intercepted convoy of 6 ships escorted by HAWKINS. H.T. CAMERONIA was escorted by aircraft when leaving Durban until dark.

 

Wednesday, 28th May 1941

 

Hospital ship DORSETSHIRE left Aden for Durban

 

CARNARVON CASTLE and CILICIA left Capetown for patrol in K1, 1550GMT.

 

H.T. CAMERONIA arrived East London from Durban.

 

PRETORIA CASTLE escorting Vichy French ship LIEUTENANT ST. LOUBERT BIE arrived Durban 1610GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated possibility of enemy surface unit being within 60 miles of 30S, 7W at 0917GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – one Anson left to overtake and screen H.T. CAMERONIA but was recalled as Port Elizabeth was supplying an aircraft.

 

Port Elizabeth – Anson aircraft carried out close S/S escort for CAMERONIA from daylight until the ship entered East London.

 

Thursday, 29th May 1941

 

PRETORIA CASTLE left Durban at 1539GMT to rendezvous with H.T. CAMERONIA off East London.

 

Vichy French ship LIEUTENANT ST. LOUBERT BIE was requisitioned by Union Authorities, Durban.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – one Anson aircraft left to search for S.S. TAUBATE from whom an S.O.S. had been received. This ship was located off East London to which port she was towed with her steering gear out of order.

 

Friday, 30th May 1941

 

MAURITIUS undocked and MILFORD docked Simonstown.

 

ERICA left Durban for Kilindini 1400GMT, speed 12 knots.

 

PRIMULA arrived Simonstown from Lagos 1245GMT.

 

PRETORIA CASTLE rendezvoused with H.T. CAMERONIA off East London at 0500GMT and escorted her to Capetown.

 

CERES escorting convoy SW 7 (VICEROY OF INDIA, ORONTES, STRATHMORE, STRATHNAVER, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA) left Aden ; part of convoy bound for Mombasa, remainder to Durban.

 

D/F bearings indicated U boat within 60 miles of 12-30W, 56-30W at 0230GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft left for West Coast patrol, spending night at Swakopmund.

 

Durban – one Anson searched for suspicious vessel; report originated by S.S. CYPRIA – report referred to CARTHAGE which was located by aircraft.

 

Saturday, 31st May 1941

 

HAWKINS escorting WS 8 A (EMPRESS OF RUSSIA, ARONDA, SOBIESKI, STRAITHAIRD, ABBEKERK) left Durban for Suez at 1530GMT, 12 knots.

 

SHROPSHIRE proceeded from Simonstown to Capetown.

 

PRETORIA CASTLE arrived Simonstown 2200GMT.

 

H.T. CAMERONIA continued to Capetown but was unable to enter owing to weather conditions.

 

No air reports listed for 31 May 1941

 

 

 


 

 

 

ADM199/402

 

SOUTH AFRICA WAR DIARY

 

JUNE 1941

 

Part I (a). Chronological Operations Section

 

Sunday, 1st June 1941

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – coastal patrols twice a day at dawn and returning to Durban at dusk by one Anson to Maputa and one Anson to East London, where arranged to start on 2nd June, until further notice

 

Course and distances as follows:

 

Datum Cape Natal:

090 degrees 115 miles

133 degrees 60 miles

036 degrees 130 miles

203 degrees 75 miles

305 degrees 125 miles

223 degrees 150 miles

368 miles to Maputa

292 degrees 65 miles

 

350 miles to East London

Returning by reciprocal courses to Durban.

 

Monday, 2nd June 1941

 

LATONA left St Helena for Simonstown 1400GMT

 

H.T. CAMERONIA arrived Capetown from Durban 0651GMT

 

H.T. EMPRESS OF ASIA left Capetown for Durban 1122GMT.

 

Air Operations

 

It was decided that daily patrols to seaward of normal shipping routes along the south and east coast of the Union of South Africa by the coastal Anson aircraft was the best method of giving protection to shipping. This was to be brought into force on 2nd June.

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft gave close A/S cover to EMPRESS OF ASIA from time of leaving until dark.

 

Tuesday, 3rd June 1941

 

Air Operations

 

Aircraft returned from West Coast patrol having been held up by fog and bad weather at Luderitz for two days.

 

Durban – the daily patrol to East London was abandoned owing to head winds.

 

Port Elizabeth – coastal patrols twice daily at dawn and returning to Port Elizabeth at dusk by one Anson aircraft to East London and one Anson to George were restarted.

 

Courses and distances as follows:

 

Datum Cape Receiffe:

180 degrees 66 miles

191 degrees 71 miles

063 degrees 186 miles

255 degrees 140 miles

306 degrees 70 miles

356 degrees 110 miles

322 miles to East London

321 miles to George

Returning by reciprocal course to Port Elizabeth.

 

Capetown – a regular coastal patrols started – a flight of one Anson aircraft to the west and one to the south leaving at dawn and again in the afternoon timed to return to base at dark.

 

The following courses and distances are the patrols:

 

Datum Green Point, Capetown

270 degrees 30 miles

232 degrees 16 miles

198 degrees 60 miles

198 degrees 50 miles

321 degrees 120 miles

135 degrees 120 miles

070 degrees 70 miles

090 degrees 23 miles

133 degrees 75 miles

000 degrees 53 miles

355 miles to Robben Island

315 degrees 85 miles

 

347 miles to Cape Hangklip

RANCHI left Durban to patrol south of Mozambique Channel 0750GMT, speed 12 knots

 

SHROPSHIRE left Capetown 1300GMT to in South Atlantic whilst on passage to Freetown.

 

H.M.S.A.S. SEKSERN, IMHOFF, TREERN, GRIBB left Capetown for Durban (subsequently ordered to Port Elizabeth to be degaussed). 1115GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated enemy surface unit within 150 miles of 21-30S, 08-30E at 2157.

 

Wednesday, 4th June 1941

 

CARNARVON CASTLE and PRETORIA CASTLE proceeded to patrol in K1B.

 

R.F.A. RAPIDOL left Capetown for St Helena 0900GMT speed 11 knots.

 

CARTHAGE arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 0543GMT.

 

PRETORIA CASTLE left Simonstown 0445GMT rendezvoused with H.T. CAMERONIA off Capetown and escorted her to rendezvous with CILICIA on passage to Freetown.

 

No Air operations listed for 4 June 1941.

 

Thursday, 5th June 1941

 

H.M.S.A.S. SEKSERN, IMHOFF, TREERN, and GRIBB arrived Port Elizabeth from Capetown.

 

MAURITIUS left Simonstown for Durban 0920GMT, speed 20 knots.

 

H.T. EMPRESS OF ASIA arrived Durban from Capetown.

 

Air Operations

 

No. 61 Air School, R.A.F. George, where the coastal command's final training center is situated was asked to cooperate with the Coastal Flights of the S.A.A.F. in the protection of shipping. The following courses and distances were given to the school and they undertook to fly when they had aircraft available, making a regular patrol twice daily by one or more Anson Aircraft.

Datum

Distance

183 degrees

113 miles

255 degrees

98 miles

036 degrees

150 miles

 

361 miles, returning to George

 

Friday, 6th June 1941

 

Hospital ship AMRA left Durban for Kilindini 1100GMT

 

PRETORIA CASTLE escorting H.T. CAMERONIA rendezvoused with CILICIA who then assumed escort duties in position 24-30S, 08-00E at 0800GMT.

 

LATONA arrived Simonstown from St Helena 0540GMT.

 

ANSON and ALBATROSS left Freetown for St Helena and Cape ports 1530GMT.

 

EXETER escorting convoy SW 8 B (GEORGIC, ALMANZORA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, MARTAND, ORDUNA) left Freetown for Durban 1530GMT>

 

COLOMBO left Mombasa to rendezvous with CERES and to relieve her as escort to part of Convoy SW 7 in position 4-30S, 41-50E (convoy consisted of DUCHESS OF ATHOLL, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA). Convoy bound for Durban. CERES escorted remainder of convoy, renamed SW 7 A to Mombasa.

 

Air Operations

 

At all stations (Capetown, Durban, and Port Elizabeth) the coastal flights carried out daily patrols in accordance with D.D.C.A.F.'s instructions set out previously, when weather permitted, during this week. No special operation was undertaken.

 

Saturday, 7th June 1941

 

MAURITIUS arrived Durban from Simonstown and left again at 1600GMT escorting convoy CM 11 (JOHANN DE WITT, NOVA SCOTIA, ELIZABETHVILLE, DUNERA, DILWARA, LLANDAFF CASTLE, NIEUW HOLLAND), ELIZABETHVILLE subsequently returned to Durban with boiler defects (n.b. entry continued 'to Aden').

 

COLOMBO and CERES rendezvoused (see 6th June).

 

LATONA left Simonstown for Durban 1415GMT, speed 29 knots.

 

Free French sloop COMMANDANT DUBOC arrived Durban from Aden for docking and refit, 1306GMT.

 

CARTHAGE escorting EMPRESS OF ASIA left Durban 1914GMT to Aden.

 

No air operations entry for 7th June 1941.

 

No entries afloat or air operations for 8th June 1941.

 

Monday, 9th June 1941

 

LATONA arrived Durban from Simonstown 2116GMT.

 

Portuguese sloop GONCALO VELHO left Beira for Lourenco Marques.

 

No air operations entry for 9th June 1941.

 

Tuesday, 10th June 1941

 

LATONA left Durban for Kilindini 0521, speed 22 knots.

 

BALTAVIA parted company with NEWCASTLE off River Plate and sailed for Capetown 1900GMT.

 

CORNWALL left Durban escorting Convoy CM 12 (MAURETANIA, ILE DE FRANCE, NIEUW AMSTERDAM) for Suez, 1500GMT, speed 20 knots.

 

No air operations entry for 10th June 1941.

 

Wednesday, 11th June 1941

 

Portuguese sloop GONCALO VELHO arrived Lourenco Marques from Beira.

 

No air operations entry for 11th June 1941

 

Thursday, 12th June 1941

 

COLOMBO escorting convoy SW 7 arrived Durban 0556GMT.

 

ANSON arrived St Helena from Freetown a.m. and departed for Capetown 2230GMT.

 

D/F bearings indicated position of enemy surface unit within 100 miles of 10N, 21W at 2214GMT.

 

No air operations entry for 12th June 1941

 

Friday, 13th June 1941

 

D/F bearings at 0016GMT suggested an enemy surface unit was within 100 miles of a line joining 5N, 17W and 20S, 12W.

 

Air Operations

 

All stations (Capetown, Durban, and Port Elizabeth) of the coastal flights carried out daily patrols as during the previous week in each direction, morning and afternoon when weather permitted.

 

Saturday, 14th June 1941

 

ALBATROSS arrived St Helena from Freetown 1200GMT.

 

CERES escorting convoy SW 7 A (VICEROY OF INDIA, DUCHESS OF YORK, STRATHNAVER, STRATHMORE, ORONTES) arrived Durban from Mombasa 0920GMT. Ships of convoy subsequently proceeded for Durban independently.

 

Hospital ship DORSETSHIRE arrived Durban from Aden.

 

No air operations entry for 14th June 1941

 

Sunday, 15th June 1941

 

NEPTUNE escorting convoy WS 8 X (DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, WAIWERA, PORT WYNDHAM) left Freetown 0900GMT for Capetown, 15 knots.

 

No air operations entry for 15th June 1941

 

Monday, 16th June 1941

 

COLOMBO left Durban 1300GMT to patrol south of Mozambique Channel.

 

Portuguese sloop GONCALO VELHO left Lourenco Marques for Lisbon via Portuguese West African ports.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft left for the routine West Coast patrol, spending the night at Swakopmund.

 

Tuesday, 17th June 1941

 

ALBATROSS left St Helena for Simonstown 0600GMT.

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol to southward of Mozambique Channel.

 

PRIMULA proceeded from Simonstown to Capetown.

 

Report received at 2040GMT that S.S. TOTTENHAM was being shelled in position 7-39S, 19-12W.

 

D/F bearings at 2118W, indicated enemy surface unit as within 150 miles of position 6S, 20W; at 2136GMT enemy auxiliary within 60 miles of 1-30S, 20W; and at 2357GMT, a possible enemy raider within 150 miles of 10S, 01W.

 

Air Operations

 

Durban – special anti raider escort was provided by one Anson aircraft to H.T. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA leaving Durban until dark.

 

Wednesday, 18th June 1941

 

ANSON arrived Capetown from St Helena 1630GMT.

 

CERES left Mombasa for Seychelles.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft returned from West coast patrol.

 

Port Elizabeth – Anson gave anti raider escort to H.T. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA during daylight, proceeding from Durban to Capetown with 25,000 (n.b. pen correction to 2500) troops on aboard. No patrols were carried out this day.

 

Thursday, 19th June 1941

 

ANSON left Capetown for Durban 0326GMT, speed 11 knots.

 

BARHAM arrived Durban from Aden 0957GMT to dock.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – Anson aircraft picked up H.T. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA to the south Agulhas and gave anti raider escort to Capetown. No patrols were carried out during the day owing to lack of a/c.

 

Friday, 20th June 1941

 

EXETER escorting convoy WS 8 B (GEORGIC, ALMANZORA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, ORDUNA, MARTAND) arrived Durban from Freetown 0610GMT.

 

BIRMINGHAM escorting convoy WS 9 A (CAPETOWN CASTLE, LLANGIBBY CASTLE, DURBAN CASTLE, SAMARIA, EMPRESS OF JAPAN, FRANCONIA, MOOLTAN, HIGHLAND BRIGADE, ORBITA, EASTERN PRINCE, BERGENSFJORD, AAGTEKERK, EMPIRE CONDOR, EMPIRE CURLEW, EMPIRE EGRET, EMPIRE WIDGEON, CHRISTIAAN HUYGENS (ex WS 8 B) left Freetown for Cape ports, 1130GMT, speed 13.5 knots.

 

Norwegian tanker GLARONA docked Simonstown.

 

Air Operations

 

At Capetown, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, the daily morning and afternoon patrols were carried out as previously detailed.

 

Saturday, 21st June 1941

 

NEBB and KAI left Capetown 0645GMT for Durban, speed 8 knots.

 

MILFORD left Simonstown for Duala 0845GMT, calling at Capetown to pick up absentees, speed 13 knots.

 

No air operations reported for 21st June 1941

 

Sunday, 22nd June 1941

 

ANSON arrived Durban from Capetown 1313GMT.

 

RANCHI left Durban to patrol south of Mozambique Channel 1413GMT.

 

No air operations reported for 22nd June 1941

 

Monday, 23rd June 1941

 

EXETER escorting convoy WS 8 B (GEORGIC, ALMANZORA, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, ORDUNA, MARTAND, NIEUW ZEELAND) left Durban for Aden 1337 GMT.

 

ANSON left Durban for Kilindini 0800GMT, speed 13 knots.

 

COLOMBO arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 1045GMT.

 

ALBATROSS arrived Simonstown from Freetown 1305GMT for refit and docking.

 

No air operations report for 23rd June 1941

 

Tuesday, 24th June 1941

 

Convoy WS 8 X escorted by NEPTUNE and consisting of DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, WAIWERA, PORT WYNDHAM arrived Capetown from Freetown 1055GMT. NEPTUNE proceeded to Simonstown.

 

Air Operations

 

Capetown – one Anson aircraft was sent out to investigate and report on Panamanian ship steaming into False Bay at 1700. This turned out to be NORTH KING sheltering for the night.

 

Wednesday, 25th June 1941

 

DIDO arrived Durban from Mombasa 1004GMT.

 

PRIMULA proceeded from Capetown to Simonstown.

 

BALTAVIA arrived Capetown from Falkland Islands 1203GMT for dry docking and repairs.

 

Norwegian tanker GLARONA undocked Simonstown.

 

No air operations reported for 25th June 1941

 

Thursday, 26th June 1941

 

NEBB and KAI arrived Durban from Capetown 0749GMT.

 

No air operations reported for 26th June 1941

 

Friday, 27th June 1941

 

PHILOMEL left Falkland Islands for Simonstown, speed 8 knots.

 

COLOMBO left Durban to patrol south of Mozambique Channel 1456GMT.

 

HAWKINS left Mauritius p.m. to rendezvous with BIRMINGHAM and convoy WS 9 A

 

Air Operations

 

At Capetown and Port Elizabeth and Durban the daily morning and evening patrols were carried out as detailed previously. Owing to weather conditions the patrols at Port Elizabeth were abandoned.

 

Saturday, 28th June 1941

 

RANCHI arrived Durban from patrol to south of Mozambique Channel 0622GMT.

 

Convoy WS 8 X (DUCHESS OF BEDFORD, WAIWERA, PORT WYNDHAM left Capetown 1015GMT for Aden. NEPTUNE left Simonstown, rendezvoused with convoy and assumed escort duty; speed 15 knots.

 

PRETORIA CASTLE escorting Vichy French ship DESIRADE arrived Walvis Bay 0958GMT.

 

U.S.A. Ship OHIAN passed, suspected drifting mine in position 34-14S, 25-19E.

 

Air Operations

 

Port Elizabeth – the weather was too bad to allow the patrols to take place.

 

Sunday, 29th June 1941

 

PRETORIA CASTLE escorting Vichy French DESIRADE left Walvis Bay for Capetown 1700GMT.

 

QUEEN OF BERMUDA arrived St Helena and departed on patrol.

 

No air operations reported on 29th June 1941

 

 

No afloat or air operations report on 30th June 1941.

 

 
 

on to South Africa, July to December 1941
back to Admiralty War Diaries

revised 10/2/12