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

NAVAL EVENTS, DECEMBER 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Sunday 15th - Tuesday 31st

HMS Roberts, monitor (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to Royal Navy Ships, January 1941

 

Note: all vessels and aircraft are British unless otherwise identified or implied - click for abbreviations

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

 


Background Events - September-December 1940

U-boat packs in Atlantic, Blitz on Britain, Attack on Taranto, German raiders at sea


 

 

1940

 

                                                           

Sunday,  15 December

 

Battleship RODNEY and destroyers MATABELE, ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, BULLDOG arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300.

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Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and her escorts arrived at Rosyth at 1330.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Methil at 1830 escorting convoy EN.41, after arriving off May Island at 1300 escorting battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH.

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Destroyers SOUTHDOWN and BRILLIANT arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100 after escorting battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH. On the passage from Rosyth, BRILLIANT picked up a fighter pilot crashed off May Island.

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Destroyer ECLIPSE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0245 after duty with Force H.

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Destroyer LEAMINGTON arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400 after escorting Convoy SL.56 with destroyer BURNHAM, and began working up at Scapa Flow.

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Minesweeper BRITOMART was in a collision with Minesweeper SEAGULL.  She was repaired at Aberdeen completing on 11 January.

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In a flying accident north of Kirriemuir, a Swordfish of 767 Squadron crashed killing Sub Lt (A) B. C. Pocock RNVR, Lt P. K. L. Odhams and Leading Airman H. V. Jones.

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British steamer N. C. MONBERG (2301grt), in convoy FS.360, was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.58 east of Yarmouth in 52‑40N, 02‑10E. Eight crew and the naval gunner were lost on the British steamer.

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Convoy SC.16 departed Halifax at 1100 with ocean escort of battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN.

 

On the 29th, destroyers ACTIVE, ANTELOPE, GEORGETOWN joined the convoy. They were detached on the 30th. Corvettes HEATHER and PICOTEE and anti-submarine trawler LADY MADELEINE joined on the 29th and escorted the convoy into Liverpool arriving on the 31st.

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Monitor TERROR bombarded Bardia from 1220 to 1717.

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British Port Said section of convoy MW.5B of steamers VOLO, RODI, PONTFIELD, ULSTER PRINCE departed Port Said in Operation HIDE.

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Light cruiser ORION departed Alexandria for Suda Bay and Piraeus.

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Free French submarine NARVAL, which had departed Malta on her third patrol on the 2nd, was lost in a mining off Kerkenah.

 

The submarine was to have arrived back at Malta on the 16th.

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Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Gibraltar from Azores patrol.

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Convoy SL.59 departed Freetown escorted by anti-submarine trawlers KELt and SPANIARD to 17 December. The convoy was joined on the 20th by armed merchant cruiser CATHAY to 31 December.

 

On 1 January, destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE, ocean boarding vessel CRISPIN, corvettes ARABIS, CLARKIA, MALLOW, anti-submarine trawlers MAN O WAR, NORTHERN DAWN, NORTHERN PRIDE, ST ELSTAN joined. The ocean boarding vessel and corvette CLARKIA were detached on 3 January. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 5 January.

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Convoy SLS.59 departed Freetown escorted by anti-submarine trawler BENGALI to 17 December.

 

On 2 January, corvettes HEARTSEASE and HOLLYHOCK joined the convoy; HOLLYHOCK was detached on 5 January. Corvettes BLUEBELL and CANDYTUFT joined on 3 January and were detached on 4 January. Destroyers AMAZON and AMBUSCADE and anti-submarine trawler LADY LILLIAN joined on 5 January. The convoy arrived on 7 January.

 

 

Monday,  16 December

 

Battleship RODNEY and destroyers ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at midnight and arrived at Rosyth at 1145/17th.

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Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM completed a refit at Liverpool begun in September.

 

The light cruiser rejoined the 18th Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow on the 27th.

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Convoy OB.260 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CALDWELL and VANSITTART, sloop SCARBOROUGH, corvettes BLUEBELL and HONEYSUCKLE. Destroyer CALDWELL was detached on the 18th and the remainder of the escort of 19 December.

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Convoy FN.360 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VORTIGERN and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 18th.

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Destroyer BLENCATHRA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300 from Liverpool to work up.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to meet convoy WN.53 in Pentland Firth.

 

The ship covered convoy WN.53 to Methil where she met convoy EN.42.

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Submarine TRIBUNE attacked German tanker KARIBISCHES MEER (6864grt) in 46-46N, 2-38E without success.

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British steamer BIC ISLAND (3921grt) was damaged by German bombing in 54‑12N, 17‑45W.

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U.37 sank Spanish steamer SAN CARLOS (223grt) off Cape Juby, thirty miles south of Jandia Point.

 

One crewman was lost from the Spanish steamer.

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German motor trawler HELTRAUD (103grt) was sunk by enemy action.

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Canadian troop convoy TC 8 departed Halifax at 0630 escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ASSINIBOINE with troopships PASTEUR (30, 447grt), CAPETOWN CASTLE (27, 000grt), PENNLAND (16,082grt) carrying 2995, 1415, 1865 troops, respectively. Liner COLOMBIA (10,782grt) was also in the convoy.

 

Ocean escort was Battleship REVENGE.

 

In Home Waters, the convoy was divided into two sections.

 

TC 8 A (fast) was escorted by destroyers OTTAWA (SO), ST LAURENT, LE TRIOMPHANT, PIORUN, WORCESTER, WATCHMAN with liners PASTEUR and CAPETOWN CASTLE.

 

TC 8B (slow) was escorted by destroyers BATH (SO), ST MARYS, MONTGOMERY, WITHERINGTON, WITCH with liners PENNLAND and COLOMBIA.

 

The liners, less CAPETOWN CASTLE which was detached to Glasgow, arrived safely at Greenock on the 25th.

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In Operation HIDE, battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, MOHAWK, GREYHOUND, DAINTY, HYPERION, ILEX, HERO, HASTY, HEREWARD departed Alexandria at 0100 to cover the MC 2 movements.

 

At 0745, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers DAINTY and GREYHOUND were detached to Suda Bay to refuel.

 

The Alexandria section of convoy MW.5B with steamers DEVIS and HOEGH HOOD and submarine PARTHIAN, escorted by destroyer HAVOCK, departed Alexandria in the morning. When it was found HOEGH HOOD could not keep up, she was detached on the 17th with destroyer HAVOCK to proceed independently.

 

Convoy MW.5 A of steamers WAIWERA and LANARKSHIRE, escorted by battleship MALAYA and destroyers DEFENDER and DIAMOND departed later in the day.

 

Light cruiser ORION arrived at Piraeus and transferred correspondence to light cruisers AJAX and SYDNEY. Cruisers AJAX and SYDNEY then departed for Suda Bay.

 

Allied convoys AS.9 and AN.10 made passage during these movements.

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS launched air attacks on Rhodes and Stampalia between 0345 and 0430/17th, but the attacks were hindered by bad weather.

 

Heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers DAINTY and GALLANT arrived at Suda Bay at 0500, refuelled, sailed at 0700. The cruisers carried out a sweep west of Kithera Channel and the destroyers carried out an anti-submarine patrol while the Fleet refuelled at Suda Bay.

 

Light cruiser ORION arrived at Suda Bay at 0600 and sailed again at 1130 joining light cruisers AJAX and SYDNEY west of Crete.

 

At 0830, the Main Fleet entered Suda Bay at 0830. Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, battleship VALIANT, destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, JANUS, MOHAWK proceeded independently at 1130. Battleship WARSPITE and the ships of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla departed at 1415. The two groups rendezvoused on the 18th.

 

Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Malta at 1600 to join the Main Force.

 

On the 18th at 1600, light cruisers ORION, AJAX, SYDNEY and destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK were detached to sweep in the Adriatic.

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers DAINTY, GREYHOUND, GALLANT, GRIFFIN were detached at 1800 for operations in MC 3.

 

In Operation MC 3, battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT fired one hundred fifteen inch shells at Italian positions at Valona from 0113 to 0120. Destroyers HEREWARD and HASTY were sweeping ahead of the battleships with minesweeping equipment.

 

At noon, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruisers GLOUCESTER, ORION, AJAX, SYDNEY, destroyers DAINTY, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, HASTY were detached to cover the convoys to Malta.

 

As a diversion for the movement of battleship MALAYA to the western basin, Greek destroyers VASILEVS GEORGIOS I, VASILLISA OLGA, HYDRA, PSARA, SPETSAI, KONDOURIOTIS made a sweep in the Adriatic towards Valona.

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Submarine TRUANT sank Italian tanker BONZO (8177grt) off Punta Stilo in 38-28N, 16-44E.

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Italian coastal steamer ARRIGONI (103grt) was lost in a marine accident at Francavilla.

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Battleship RESOLUTION, repair ship VINDICTIVE, destroyers FORTUNE and FOXHOUND arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.

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Departing Freetown on the 10th, Light cruiser NEWCASTLE arrived on the South America Station on the 16th.

 

 

Tuesday,  17 December

 

Running trials after refit, destroyer ACHERON (Lt J. R. Wilson) of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla was lost in mining at 0640 off the Needles off the Isle of Wight in 50‑31N, 1‑31W.

 

Wilson, Lt J. E. H. Coleright, Lt W. J. Compton, Sub Lt G. F. Cleveland, P/T/Surgeon Lt C. L. Pretre RNVR, T/A/Boatswain R. Heany, one hundred and forty seven ratings, twenty two dockyard workers were lost in the destroyer.

 

There were only sixteen survivors, T/Sub Lt K. C. Villiers RNVR, Gunner (T) F. H. Reeve, thirteen ratings wounded, from the crew and three survivors of the dockyard workers.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0930 after covering convoy EN.41.

 

The cruiser departed Scapa Flow at 1215 to meet convoy WN.54 in Pentland Firth and cover the convoy until dark.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 2130.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Methil at 1400 with convoy WN.53.

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 2200 with convoy EN.42.

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Convoy FN.361 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 19th.

 

Convoy FN.362 did not sail.

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Convoy FS.362 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and VERSATILE. Patrol sloop SHEARWATER joined on the 18th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Convoy FS.363 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Destroyers DOUGLAS and BEAGLE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1745 after escorting armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL.

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Destroyer TARTAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 1215 after refitting at Plymouth.

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Destroyer GEORGETOWN departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Greenock. The destroyer's working up was completed.

 

The destroyer was delayed by weather, but was able to arrive at 0031 on the 19th.

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Destroyers ACTIVE and ANTELOPE with convoy HX.93 attacked a submarine contact in 55-58N, 13-34W.

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Between No.1 and No.2 Sea Reach Buoy off Southend, British steamers INVER (1543grt), MALRIX (703grt), BENEFICENT (2944grt), AQUEITY (370grt), BELVEDERE (869grt) were lost on mines.

 

Steamer INVER was lost outside the boom at Southend. Fifteen crew, the naval gunner, the pilot were lost.

 

Steamer MALRIX was lost 1.75 miles 081 from Nore Light Vessel. Eight crew were lost on the steamer.

 

Steamer BENEFICENT was lost about two cables off Southend Gate. Six crew were lost on the steamer.

 

Six crew were lost on the steamer AQUEITY.

 

Steamer BELVEDERE was lost fifty yards west, northwest from M.Boom Vessel off Southend. Four crew were lost on the steamer.

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British fishing vessel CARRY ON (93grt) was sunk on a mine east of Nore Sand Light Vessel.

 

Seven crew were missing on the vessel.

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British boom defense vessel THOMAS CONNOLLY (290grt, T/Boom Skipper A. Martell RNR) was sunk on a mine in Medway Channel off Sheerness.

 

T/Lt R. L. Langridge RNVR, was lost in the vessel. T/Boom Skipper Martell was wounded.

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T/Lt (A) C. M. Beavis RNVR, was killed when his Walrus of 701 Squadron forced landed near Dunkeld and struck a wall.

 

The remainder of the crew were badly injured.

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Greek steamer MENTOR (3050grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52‑48N, 19‑22W.

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Monitor TERROR and gunboat LADYBIRD, escorted by Australian destroyers VOYAGER and VENDETTA bombarded Bardia.

 

Italian steamers GALATA (618grt), GIUSEPPINA D. (431grt), VINCENZINO (190grt) were sunk in the bombardment.

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Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Gibraltar for the Azores patrol.

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French large destroyer ALBATROS departed Toulon escorting submarines AURORA, LA PSYCHE, OREADE. The ships called at Oran on 19 to 21 December and passed Gibraltar on the 22nd. All arrived at Casablanca on the 23rd.

 

 

Wednesday,  18 December

 

Aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE and heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Scapa Flow at 2000 to operate as Force K in the South Atlantic to search for the German heavy cruiser.

 

The aircraft carrier and heavy cruiser were escorted from Scapa Flow by destroyer BEDOUIN, MATABELE, MASHONA, ESKIMO.

 

The destroyer screen parted company in 55N, 25W.

 

The British ships travelled with convoy WS.5A for the first part of the voyage, but had been detached prior to the attack on the convoy on the 24th.

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Destroyers ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, ECLIPSE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0130 after taking battleship RODNEY to Rosyth.

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Battleship NELSON, battlecruiser REPULSE, destroyers COSSACK, SIKH, TARTAR, BRILLIANT, BULLDOG, BEAGLE, DOUGLAS, ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow to carry out tactical exercises west of the Orkneys.

 

The British force arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0930/20th.

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Destroyer TYNEDALE departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to rendezvous with British steamer BEN MY CHREE off Aberdeen at 0200/19th and take her to Kirkwall.

 

Following disembarkation, the steamer was taken to Aberdeen.

 

Destroyer TYNEDALE arrived at Scapa Flow on the 20th after this duty.

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Destroyer VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 2020 to rendezvous with armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN in 61N, 15-30W at 1200/20th.

 

Destroyer VIMY was to have met Armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN, but she could not locate her.

 

When cruiser SALOPIAN reported she had already passed the Butt of Lewis at 1900, destroyer VIMY was ordered back to Scapa Flow.

Destroyer VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 0800/22nd.

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The slow units of Convoy WS5A departed the Clyde and Liverpool on the 18th.

 

The Clyde section was escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyers BATH, ST MARYS, ST ALBANS, WORCESTER, WATCHMAN.

 

The Liverpool section was escorted by destroyers WITHERINGTON and WITCH, sloop WELLINGTON, corvettes CLEMATIS, JONQUIL, CYCLAMEN, GERANIUM. The corvettes travelled with the convoy for duty in the South Atlantic.

 

Ships from Belfast were escorted by destroyer VENOMOUS.

 

The slow units were met at daylight on the 19th by anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE and destroyers VESPER, HARVESTER, HIGHLANDER. The destroyers were detached on the 21st.

 

These steamers were British steamers TAMAROA (Commodore, 12, 405grt), auxiliary minelayer HMS ATREUS (Vice Commodore), SETTLER (6000grt), BHUTAN (6104grt), DELANE (6054grt), ORBITA (15,495grt), CITY OF LONDON (8956grt), NEURALIA (9182grt), ANSELM (5954grt), STENTOR (6148grt), MENELAUS (10,307grt), CITY OF DERBY (6616grt), ARABISTAN (5874grt), EMPIRE TROOPER (13,994grt) and CITY OF CANTERBURY (8331grt), Belgian steamer ELISABETHVILLE (8351grt), Dutch steamer COSTA RICA (8672grt). British steamer ERNEBANK (5388grt) sailed but was forced to return to Liverpool.

 

Liner RANGITIKI (16,984grt) proceeded from Avonmouth and travelled with this section.

 

Belgian steamer LEOPOLDVILLE (11,509grt) departed with this convoy and proceeded to Halifax. She arrived at 1445/28th escorted into harbour by battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN.

 

The fast units were British steamers ESSEX (11063grt), NORTHERN PRINCE (10917grt), CLAN MACDONALD (9653grt), CLAN CUMMING (7264grt), EMPIRE SONG (9228grt) which departed the Clyde and Liverpool on the 19th. The convoy was met at daylight on the 20th by escorts anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD, aircraft carrier ARGUS, destroyers OTTAWA, ST LAURENT, PIORUN from the Clyde, destroyers HIGHLANDER (SO), HARVESTER, LE TRIOMPHANT from Londonderry, Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and destroyers BEVERLEY, KELVIN, KIPLING from Liverpool. Aircraft carrier FURIOUS was carrying aircraft to Takoradi for Operation MONSOON. The destroyers were detached on the 22nd.

 

The fast section and the slow section rendezvoused on the 23rd.

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Submarine TUNA attacked Italian submarine BRIN, which was returning from Ceuta with submarine BIANCHI, in 45-28N, 2-27W. No damage was done to the Italian submarine.

 

Later in the day, submarine TUNA sank French tug CHASSIRON (172grt) off the Gironde.

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British tanker OSAGE (1010grt) was sunk by German bombing four miles northeast of Arklow Light Vessel, County Wicklow.

 

The crew of the tanker were rescued.

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British steamer TWEED (2697grt) was damaged by German bombing in 53‑40N, 04‑40W.

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Minesweeping trawler REFUNDO (258grt, T/Skipper A. S. Dorward RNR) was sunk on a mine off Harwich in 51-56-06N, 1-21-02E.

 

Two ratings were killed in the trawler.

 

The trawler was taken in tow, but sank ten yards west of Beach End Buoy.

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German steamer BIRKENFELS (6322grt) was lost on a mine, laid by British MTBs off the Schelde.

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Italian submarine VENIERO sank Greek steamer ANASTASSIA (2883grt) from dispersed convoy SC.15 in 54‑24N, 19‑04W.

 

Sixteen crew were lost, two crew were missing, ten crew were made prisoners of war.

 

British steamer FLOWERGATE (5156grt) sighted the wreck of steamer ANASTASSIA awash on the 20th.

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U.96 damaged Dutch tanker PENDRECHT (10,746grt) from convoy OB.259 in 59‑05N, 17‑47W.

 

The tanker was escorted to port by destroyer LEGION.

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U.100 sank British steamer NAPIER STAR (10,116grt) in 58‑58N, 23‑13W.

 

Fifty nine crew and twelve passengers, including Paymaster Midshipman N. H. Bryan, RAN, were lost on the steamer. The survivors were rescued by Swedish steamer VAALAREN (3406grt).

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Convoy HX.97 departed Halifax at 1300 escorted by Canadian corvette HEPATICA, which proceeded through for refitting and arming at Greenock.

 

Ocean escort was Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE, which was with the convoy from 18 to 18 December. Destroyers VANQUISHER, VISCOUNT, WHITEHALL and corvette GENTIAN were with the convoy from 30 December to 3 January. Corvette RHODODENDRON was with the convoy on 1 and 2 January. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 January.

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Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruiser GLOUCESTER with three destroyers were detached from the Mediterranean Fleet to sweep in the Adriatic.

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Submarine TRITON (Lt G. C. I. StB. S. Watkins) was declared lost after failing to arrive at Malta after patrol on the 17th. She was probably sunk by an Italian mine in the Otranto Strait on the 7th in 40-45N, 18-01E.

 

Lt Watkins, Lt C. J. R. Cave, Lt M. J. R. Smith, Lt R. E. Dean RNR, Warrant Engineer R. G. Milne, the forty nine ratings of the crew were lost with TRITON.

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Italian light cruisers EUGENIO and MONTECUCCOLI and destroyers PIGAFETTA, DA RECCO, PESSAGNO, RIBOTY bombarded Greek positions near Corfu.

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Convoy BN.11 departed Aden, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON and sloops AUCKLAND, FLAMINGO, SHOREHAM. These escorts were detached on the 22nd when joined by sloops CLIVE and GRIMSBY. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 25th.

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German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER captured British steamer DUQUESNA (8651grt) in the South Atlantic at 00‑57N, 22‑42W.

 

Ninety one crew and eight passengers were made prisoners of war.

 

Aircraft carrier HERMES, light cruiser DRAGON, armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE from St Helena were searching for the German cruiser.

 

Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND and light cruisers NEWCASTLE and ENTERPRISE were searching in the Rio-Montevideo area.

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE and light cruiser NEPTUNE were also searching. Heavy cruiser BERWICK was to have joined this group, but did not.

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Light cruiser DUNEDIN was refitting at Portsmouth from 18 to 23 December.

 

 

Thursday,  19 December

 

Destroyer LEGION was completed. Following working up, she was assigned to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet.

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Convoy OB.261 departed Liverpool escorted by destoyer WOLVERINE, sloop ABERDEEN, corvettes ARBUTUS, CAMELLIA, COLUMBINE. The escort was detached on the 22nd.

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Convoy FS.364 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and WALLACE. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

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Convoy FS.365 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 21st.

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Destroyers VETERAN and VERITY were damaged in a collision in Lough Foyle near Londonderry.

 

Both destroyers proceeded to Londonderry and anchored off Moville.

 

Destroyer VETERAN with slight damage to her stem was repaired at Londonderry in the Barrow yard from 19 to 21 December. She was able to depart on the 22nd.

 

Destroyer VERITY's engine room was flooded. She was repaired at Londonderry from 19 December to 6 January. Permanent repairs were done at Belfast from 7 January to 5 March.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0845 after escorting convoy EN.42 from Methil to Duncansby Head.

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Destroyer ECHO departed Greenock at 1530 after repairs.

 

The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200/20th.

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Destroyer KELLY departed the Tyne at 0830 to carry out gunnery trials and proceeded to Scapa Flow.

 

The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/20th to work up.

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Destroyer CHURCHILL arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000 to work up.

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Submarine TRIBUNE attacked a large steamer forty miles west of Belle Ile in 47-02N, 4-14W, without success.

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British tanker ARINIA (8024grt) was sunk on a mine eight miles east, southeast of Southend Pier.

 

Fifty four crew, the pilot, five gunners were lost on the tanker.

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British steamer ISOLDA (Light Vessel Tender, 734grt) was sunk by German bombing in the vicinity of Barrels Rock Light Vessel, South Wexford.

 

Six crew were lost on the steamer.

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British drifter PROFICIENT (57grt) was lost after grounding off Whitby.

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Dutch steamer TWEE GEBROEDERS (400grt) was damaged on a mine near No. 2 Yantlet Buoy, Thames Estuary.

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Norwegian steamer AROSA (5043grt) was damaged on a mine three cables 130 from Bull Fort, Humber.

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Italian submarine BAGNOLINI sank British steamer AMICUS (3660grt) from dispersed convoy SC.15 in 54‑10N, 15‑50W.

 

The entire crew of the steamer was lost.

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Force H.with battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE, DUNCAN, ENCOUNTER, ISIS, WISHART, JAGUAR departed Gibraltar on the 19th meet the forces coming from Alexandria in Operation HIDE and SEEK.

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Gunboat APHIS bombarded the Bardia area.

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U.37 sank in error Vichy French submarine SFAX and tanker RHONE (2785grt), which were travelling together from Casablanca to Dakar, off Cape Juby.

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German steamers FREIENFELS (7563grt) and GEIERFELS (7605grt) was sunk on mines near Livorno.

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Convoy BS.11 departed Suez, escorted by sloops CLIVE and GRIMSBY. The sloops were detached on the 22nd when joined by light cruiser CALEDON and sloops AUCKLAND, FLAMINGO, SHOREHAM. Sloop INDUS joined on the 24th. Sloop SHOREHAM was detached on the 26th. The convoy dispersed on the 27th.

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British troop convoy US.8 departed Wellington with British liners DOMINION MONARCH (27155grt) and EMPRESS OF RUSSIA (16810grt) escorted by New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES. The convoy safely arrived at Sydney on the 23rd.

 

On the 28th, the convoy departed Sydney with British liners QUEEN MARY (81235grt) and DOMINION MONARCH (27155grt).

 

Liner DOMINION MONARCH carried stores for Colombo.

 

Liner EMPRESS OF RUSSIA returned to Auckland on the 30th in convoy VK 1.

 

On the 30th, AQUITANIA (44786grt), MAURETANIA (35739grt), AWATEA (13482grt) with troops for Colombo departed Sydney and joined the convoy with Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA, which continued with the convoy to Colombo.

 

The convoy departed Fremantle on 4 January and departed Colombo on 12 January. The convoy arrived at Suez on 28 January.

 

 

Friday,  20 December

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser DIDO entered the Tyne dockyard for docking and refit completed on 29 January 1941.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to meet convoy WN.55 in Pentland Firth and cover her to the Firth of Forth.

 

Convoy WN.55 was attacked at 1715 off Kinnaird Head by a single German float plane. No damage was done to British ships.

 

After this duty, the cruiser proceeded to Rosyth to boiler clean.

______

 

Convoy FN.363 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 22nd.

______

 

Destroyer NAPIER departed Greenock at 1530 to work up at Scapa Flow where she arrived at 1000/21st.

______

 

Free French destroyer OURAGAN with a Polish crew arrived at Scapa Flow at noon from Plymouth to work up.

______

 

Destroyer BERKELEY was damaged by a mine exploding close aboard off outer Medway Bar.

 

The damage to the destroyer was repaired in six days.

______

 

In German air attacks on Liverpool during the night of 20/21 December, British hopper barge OVERDALE (315grt) was sunk in Huskisson Dock, British tanker JOHN A. BROWN (10,445grt), steamers EUROPA (10,224grt), LAPLACE (7327grt), EASTERN PRINCE (10,926grt), ROXBURGH CASTLE (7801grt) were damaged.

 

Three crew were lost on the hopper barge.

______

 

Italian submarine CALVI sank British steamer CARLTON (5162grt) from convoy OB.260 in 54‑30N, 18‑30W.

 

Thirty crew and one gunner was lost on the British steamer.

 ______

 

At 0102 on the 20th, Italian submarine SERPENTE claimed torpedoing and sinking a Destroyer in 37‑04N, 11‑31E.

______

 

Convoy MW.5A, battleship MALAYA, destroyers NUBIAN, DIAMOND, DEFENDER, WRYNECK arrived at Malta.

 

Destroyers GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, GALLANT, DAINTY, HASTY arrived at Malta to refuel.

 

Destroyers NUBIAN, DIAMOND, DEFENDER, WRYNECK joined the Main Force at 0800 and destroyers HYPERION, HASTY, ILEX, HEREWARD were detached to refuel.

 

Destroyers GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, GALLANT, DAINTY, HASTY rejoined the Main Fleet at 1000.

 

Battleship WARSPITE, escorted by destroyers JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO entered Malta at 1440 for a short visit;this was WARSPITE's first appearance at Malta since May.

 

Battleship MALAYA with destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, ILEX departed Malta at 1250.

 

Convoy MW.5B arrived at Malta during the afternoon. Anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA, submarine PARTHIAN, the corvettes at 1205, the rest of the ships at 1330, with the exception of steamer HOEGH HOOD and destroyer HAVOCK.

 

Convoy ME.5A of steamers CLAN MACAULAY, CLAN FERGUSON, MEMNON, MEMNON departed Malta at 1440 escorted by anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA and corvettes SALVIA, PEONY, HYACINTH. This convoy was later joined by escort ship WRYNECK.

 

Steamer HOEGH HOOD and destroyer HAVOCK arrived at Malta at 0700/21st.

 

Destroyer HAVOCK remained at Malta for refitting.

 

Destroyers HYPERION, HERO, HEREWARD, ILEX arrived at Malta at 1000.

 

Destroyers HYPERION, HASTY, HEREWARD, HERO, ILEX departed Malta at noon on the 21st with convoy MG 1 of empty merchant ships CLAN FRASER (7529grt), CLAN FORBES (7529grt), ULSTER PRINCE. This group joined battleship MALAYA and proceeded to join Force H.

 

Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO departed Malta at noon on the 21st to sweep ahead of MALAYA and on their return to Malta for Operation SEEK, a sweep in the Skerki Channel.

 

Light cruiser SYDNEY was detached to Suda Bay at 0845/21st to refuel and collect her damaged aircraft. The cruiser then proceeded to Malta where she arrived on the 23rd for repairs.

 

Destroyer HYPERION (Cdr H. St L. Nicolson DSO) was torpedoed by Italian submarine SERPENTE at 0156 on the 22nd and badly damaged 24 miles 087 from Cape Bon Light.

 

Two ratings were lost on the destroyer. Gunner (T) G. A. Rogers and thirteen ratings were injured.

 

Battleship MALAYA and destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD, HERO continued with the convoy.

 

After unsuccessful attempts to tow her, Captain Mack, senior officer of the escort on destroyer JERVIS, ordered Destroyer ILEX to take off the crew of destroyer HYPERION.

 

Destroyer JANUS scuttled HYPERION off Pantelleria.

 

The destroyers proceeded to Malta. The survivors were divided between ILEX and JANUS which then took them to Alexandria.

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS launched air raids on Tripoli with fifteen aircraft at 0515 and 0615.

 

Battleship MALAYA and destroyers HEREWARD, HASTY, HERO with steamers CLAN FRASER (7529grt) and CLAN FORBES (7529grt) joined Force H.on the 22nd for passage to Gibraltar where they safely arrived on the 24th.

 

On the 22nd, destroyers GREYHOUND and DAINTY were sent into Malta to refuel.

 

Destroyers GREYHOUND, ILEX, DAINTY departed Malta at 1700 to rejoin the Main Fleet, but were delayed due to a defective steering gear in destroyer GREYHOUND. The destroyers rejoined at 1315/23rd.

 

Convoy ME.5 with light cruisers ORION and AJAX arrived at Alexandria on the 23rd.

 

At 1400/23rd, destroyers DEFENDER and GRIFFIN were detached to escort convoy AS.9 of nine ships, two British, including troopshire ULSTER PRINCE, which were departing Piraeus on the 24th.

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruiser GLOUCESTER arrived at Piraeus on the 23rd. The cruisers departed the next day to cover convoy AS.9.

 

British Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria on the 24th.

 

Oiler BRAMBLELEAF from Suda Bay joined convoy AS.9 on the 25th.

 

At 0900/26th, cruisers YORK and GLOUCESTER arrived at Suda Bay.

 

The Alexandria ships of convoy AS.9 were detached at dusk on the 26th and troopship ULSTER PRINCE proceeded independently to Port Said.

 

Convoy AS.9 arrived at Port Said on the 28th.

 

On the 30th, cruisers YORK and GLOUCESTER departed Suda Bay to return to Alexandria, arriving on the 31st.

 

 

Saturday,  21 December

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to meet convoy WN.56 in Pentland Firth and cover it as far as Buchanness.

 

The anti-aircraft ship returned to Scapa Flow arriving at 0730/22nd.

______

 

Destroyers BEDOUIN, MATABELE, MASHONA, ESKIMO were sent at 0957 to search for a German submarine reported by aircraft carrier ARGUS in 56-20N, 16-25W.

 

The search was unsuccessful and the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow at 0530/24th.

______

 

Convoy OB.262 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers BROKE, SARDONYX, SHIKARI, corvettes ANEMONE and HELIOTROPE, anti-submarine trawlers ST KENAN and ST ZENO. The escort was detached on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy FN.364 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy FS.366 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VORTIGERN and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy FS.367 departed Methil, escorted destroyers WESTMINSTER and EXMOOR. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 24th.

______

 

In German air raids on Liverpool, Ocean boarding vessel MAPLIN was set afire, British steamers SILVIO (1293grt) was sunk in the Alexandra Dock and ALPERA (1777grt), CITY OF CORINTH (5318grt), DEMETERTON (5251grt) and Dutch tanker ONOBA (6256grt) were damaged.

 

One crewman was lost on the steamer SILVIO.

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA in dry dock was near missed by a heavy bomb which landed in the dock off the cruiser's port quarter.

 

In German air attacks on Liverpool during the night of 21/22 December, British steamers LLANGIBBY CASTLE (11,951grt), MAHRONDA (7926grt), DEUCALION (7516grt) and Dutch steamer MARISO (7659grt) were damaged.

______

 

British steamer INNISFALLEN (3071grt) was sunk on a mine at the entrance to Canada Dock, River Mersey.

 

Four crew were lost on the British steamer.

______

 

British barge TIC.12 (118grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑28N, 00‑46E.

 

The entire crew of the barge was rescued.

______

 

Tug RIVER THAMES (88grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑28N, 00‑46E.

 

The entire crew, except the Master, was lost on the tug.

______

 

Tug SUN IX (196grt) was sunk on a mine between 1 and 2 Buoys, Yantlet Channel, Thames Estuary.

 

Three crew were lost on the tug.

______

 

German minelayers ROLAND, COBRA, KAISER, SKAGERRAK, escorted by torpedo boats GREIF, FALKE, SEEADLER, laid minefield SWa in the western North Sea.

______

 

U.65 sank Panamanian tanker CHARLES PRATT (8982grt) at 08‑26N, 16‑50W.

 

Two crew were lost on the tanker. The survivors were rescued by British steamers GASCONY (4716grt) and LANGLEEGORSE (4524grt).

______

 

Italian submarine MOCENIGO in attacks on convoy OG.47 sank Swedish steamer MANGEN (1253grt) in 40‑45N, 16‑50W and claimed sinking one other and damaging another ship in the convoy with torpedoes, but no confirmation is available.

 

British steamer SARASTONE (2473grt) was shelled by the Italian submarine, but sustained only splinter damage.

 

Eight crew were lost on the Swedish steamer. The survivors were rescued by Swedish steamer GARM (1231grt).

______

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS aircraft with nine aircraft of the 815 and 819 Squadron attacked an Italian convoy escorted by torpedo boat VEGA east of Kerkenah Bay.

 

Italian steamers NORGE (6511grt), PEUCETA (1926grt), LUIGI RIZZO (382grt) and torpedo boat VEGA were attacked and steamers NORGE and PEUCETA were sunk in 34-39N, 10-48E.

 

Lt (A) D. C. Garton - Stone, Lt J. H. R. Medlicott - Vereker, Naval Airman 1/c W. E. Sperry of the 819 Squadron were lost when their Swordfish was shot down.

 

Steamer LUIGI RIZZO arrived at Tripoli on the 22nd.

______

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Gibraltar from Azores patrol. After refuelling, she departed later in the day to join Cruiser Squadron 15 escorting convoy WS.5 A.

______

 

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.

 

 

Sunday,  22 December

 

Destroyer FORESIGHT in drydock at Liverpool for repairs was damaged by a near miss.

 

The fore superstructure and the hull above the water line was holed by splinters.

______

 

Destroyer KEPPEL arrived at Scapa Flow at 2230 from Rosyth after repairs.

______

 

Destroyer COTSWOLD departed Scapa Flow after working up at 1730 for Rosyth.

 

From Rosyth, the destroyer continued to the Nore.

______

 

Convoy FN.365 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 24th.

______

 

Convoy FS.368 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers PYTCHLEY and VANITY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 25th.

______

 

Corvette COLUMBINE was in a collision with sloop ABERDEEN in 61-08N, 14-25W.

 

The corvette proceeded to Stornoway escorted by destroyer WOLVERINE. Tug SUPERMAN was also sent to assist.

 

Sloop ABERDEEN was able to proceed to meet convoy HX.95.

______

 

Destroyers SHIKARI and SARDONYX in convoy OB.262 attacked a submarine contact in 56-38N, 13-34W.

______

 

Submarine H.31 sank at Campbeltown due to a loss of bouyancy. The submarine flooded from the engine room aft.

 

The submarine was refloated and arrived at Rothesay on the 25th.

 

Submarine H.31 was repaired at Elderslie from 13 to 25 January.

______

 

Motor Attendant Craft MAC.7 was sunk at Portsmouth.

 

The craft was raised in 1940, but was declared unfit in January after a fire.

______

 

Tug POOLGARTH (179grt) was sunk on a mine off Canada Dock, S. Pier Head, Liverpool.

The entire crew of the tug was lost.

______

 

British tanker ELAX (7402grt) was damaged on a mine off No. 10 Buoy, Liverpool.

______

 

British steamers PARDO (5400grt) and ALMEDA STAR (14,935grt) and hopper barge No. 9 (671grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.

______

 

British steamer LLANDILO (4966grt) was damaged by a mine between No. 2 and 3 Yantlet Buoys, Thames Estuary.

______

 

Convoy HX.98 departed Halifax at 1300, escorted by destroyers ASSINIBOINE and RESTIGOUCHE which were detached the next day. The ocean escort was Armed merchant cruiser LACONIA.

The convoy was diverted to Sydney, C.B. where it arrived on the 29th.

 

The convoy departed Sydney on 2 January escorted by armed merchant cruiser LACONIA and escort ships LAURIER, RAYON DOR, VENOSTA. The escort ships were detached later that day. On 13 January, destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE and corvette MALLOW joined the convoy. Destroyer SKATE was detached on 15 January and the other two escorts on 16 January. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 17 January.

______

 

American heavy cruiser TUSCALOOSA departed Norfolk carrying the US Ambassador to Vichy France to Portugal.

 

Destroyers UPSHUR and MADISON provided local escort from Norfolk.

 

The Ambassador was delivered and the heavy cruiser arrived back at Norfolk on 11 January 1941.

______

 

Greek submarine PAPANICOLIS damaged Italian steamer SAN GIORGIO (364grt) with gunfire and sank Italian steamer ANTONIETTA (70grt) by rumming off Brindisi.

______

 

Convoy SL.60 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE BAY to 7 January, sloop BRIDGEWATER to 24 December, anti-submarine trawlers BENGALI to 24 December and SPANIARD to 26 December.

 

On 9 January, destroyers WILD SWAN to 9 January and WITCH, ocean boarding vessel CAVINA, sloop ABERDEEN, corvettes CAMPANULA, FLEUR DE LYS, GARDENIA, PERIWINKLE joined the convoy. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 13 January.

______

 

Convoy SLS.60 departed Freetown on the 22nd and arrived at Liverpool on 15 January.

 

 

Monday,  23 December

 

Destroyers WILD SWAN and WARWICK departed Liverpool to refuel at Londonderry prior to joining convoy OB.263.

 

However, off Bar Light Vessel, destroyer WARWICK struck a mine and was badly damaged. Destroyer WILD SWAN towed her back to Liverpool and WARWICK was intentionally beached.

 

Destroyer WARWICK was under repair at Liverpool until 9 March 1942.

______

 

Convoy OB.263 departed Liverpool escorted by destoyer WILD SWAN, sloop ROCHESTER, corvettes CAMPANULA, FLEUR DE LYS, GARDENIA, PERIWINKLE. The escort was detached on the 26th.

______

 

Convoy FN.366 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WOLSEY and patrol sloop SHEARWATER.

 

In attacks on convoy FN.366, the German 1st Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron with S.26, S.28, S.29, S.34, S.56, S.58, S.59, Dutch steamer STAD MAASTRICHT (6552grt) was badly damaged at 2255 by S.59 in 52‑35N, 02‑03E and minesweeping trawler PELTON (358grt, Skipper J. A. Sutherland DSC RNR) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.28 alongside  5 Buoy, north of Aldeburgh.

 

Sutherland, A/T/Lt Cdr H. R. Walker RNVR, eighteen ratings were lost on trawler PELTON.

 

Destroyer VERDUN reported sinking one of the S.boats.

 

Patrol sloop SHEARWATER stood by steamer STAD MAASTRICHT which was later taken in tow by tugs NORMAN and KROOMAN from Yarmouth and tug KENIA from Harwich.

 

The entire crew from the Dutch steamer was rescued.

 

However, she sank on the 25th in 3.6 miles 340 from Gunfleet Light Vessel. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 25th.

______

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to meet convoy WN.57 in Pentland Firth and escort the convoy to Buchanness.

 

At 2245 while leaving the convoy, the anti-aircraft ship was damaged in a collision with an unknown vessel.

 

A tug was requested, but later was found not to be needed.

 

The damaged ship arrived off May Island at 0900/24th. She was taken to Rosyth for repairs.

 

Due to other commitments in the repair yard, repairs were not begun until 2 February. Repairs were completed and the ship arrived at Scapa Flow on 1 April 1941 for duty.

______

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS and KEPPEL departed Scapa Flow at 2359 to meet Armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA, CHITRAL, LETITIA ten miles east of the Butt of Lewis and escort them north.

 

The destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1600/26th.

______

 

Dutch steamer BREDA (6941grt) was sunk by German bombing in 56-29-12N, 5-25W.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

______

 

Dutch trawler YSTROOM (400grt) was sunk on a mine in 53-37N, 3-25W, but all her crew was rescued.

______

 

Steamer PACIFIC PIONEER (6734grt) was damaged by German bombing at Manchester.

______

 

Trawler IWATE (314grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52‑55N, 12‑20W.

______

 

British steamer FLYNDERBORG (2022grt), drifter LUPINA (88grt) and Dutch steamer TUVA (4652grt) were damaged by German bombing at Oban.

______

 

Convoy SC.17 departed Halifax at 1100. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser MALOJA, which detached on 3 January. On the 7th, destroyers VETERAN, WOLVERINE, sloop DEPTFORD, corvettes ARBUTUS, DELPHINIUM, ERICA joined the convoy, which arrived at Liverpool on the 8th.

______

 

Australian light cruiser SYDNEY arrived at Malta to refit. She then departed Malta on 8 January with Australian destroyer STUART for Alexandria.

______

 

Italian torpedo boat CAIROLI was sunk on a mine NE of Tripoli laid by submarine RORQUAL on 5 November.

 

 

Tuesday,  24 December

 

Battlecruiser HOOD, light cruiser EDINBURGH, destroyers COSSACK (D 4), ESCAPADE, ECHO, ELECTRA departed Scapa Flow at 1730 to patrol east of the Iceland Faroes Passage to intercept outbound or inbound raiders.

______

 

Light cruisers PHOEBE and AURORA were sent to Oban to give anti-aircraft protection to the port after a raid. AURORA departed two days later, but PHOEBE was there until 7 January.

______

 

Destroyers KELLY, BLENCATHRA, TYNEDALE departed Scapa Flow at 2000 to search for a German submarine bombed by a Walrus in 60-25N, 02-34W off Muckle Flugga at 1530. KELLY was ordered on the 25th to return to Scapa Flow where she arrived at 0730/26th.

______

 

Convoy OB.264 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers ACTIVE, ANTELOPE, GEORGETOWN, corvettes HEATHER and PICOTEE, anti-submarine trawler LADY MADELEINE. The escort was detached on the 29th.

______

 

Convoy FN.367 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 26th.

______

 

Convoy FS.369 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer COTSWOLD and sloops FOWEY and PELICAN, and arrived at Southend on the 26th.

______

 

Destroyer MONTGOMERY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1420 from Stornoway to work up.

______

 

Destroyer VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to meet British steamer BEN MY CHREE off Aberdeen and escort her to Lerwick.

 

After disembarkation, the steamer was returned to Aberdeen and destroyer VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700/27th.

______

 

Auxiliary minesweeper MERCURY struck one of her own mines south of Ireland. She was taken in tow by minesweeper GOATFELL, but sank in tow on the 25th.

______

 

Drifter LORD HOWARD (98grt) was sunk in a collision in Dover Harbour.

______

 

Steamer PETERTON (5221grt) was damaged by German bombing in 54‑51N, 13‑13W.

______

 

U.65 sank tanker BRITISH PREMIER (5872grt) at 06‑20N, 13‑20W, 200 miles southwest of Freetown. Thirty one crew and the naval gunner were lost. Four survivors were picked up by destroyer FAULKNOR on 3 February.

______

 

Convoy WS.5A, being escorted by light cruiser NAIAD, was turned over to heavy cruiser BERWICK. NAIAD turned back to England.

______

 

Destroyers HERO, HEREWARD, FIREDRAKE, VIDETTE, VELOX were ordered to meet convoy WS.5A on the 27th.

______

 

Submarine REGENT unsuccessfully attacked an Italian steamer off the Libyan coast.

______

 

Greek submarine PAPANICOLIS (Lt Cdr Milton Aatrides, RHN) sank Italian steamer FIRENZE (3952grt) east of Saseno in the Adriatic in 40-34N, 19-02E.

 ______

 

Convoy SLS.60 departed Freetown escorted by sloop BRIDGEWATER for that day.

 

 

Wednesday,  25 December

 

Destroyers INTREPID (Cdr D.20) and ICARUS arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900 from Immingham.

______

 

Convoy FS.370 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and VERSATILE, and arrived at Southend on the 27th.

______

 

Convoy FS.371 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 28th.

______

 

Convoy WS.5A was escorted by heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser BONAVENTURE, which was en route to the Mediterranean Fleet, via Cape Horn, light cruiser DUNEDIN and corvettes GERANIUM, JONQUIL, CYCLAMEN, CLEMATIS, which were en route to the South America Station, also escorted the convoy.

 

Seven hundred miles west of Finisterre, German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER attacked the convoy. She first made contact by radar during the afternoon of 24 December, but did not realize at this time that it was a strongly escorted troop convoy. After an unsuccessful torpedo attack at 0353, the decision was to wait until dawn to attack.

 

When visual contact was made with the convoy at 0808, it came as a surprise to sight BERWICK.

 

The German cruiser took heavy cruiser BERWICK under fire at 0839. Due to poor visibility, complicated by smoke and spray, she then shifted to the merchant ships damaging troopship EMPIRE TROOPER (13,994grt, former German CAP NORTE captured in October 1939) in 43‑58N, 24‑15W. British steamer ARABISTAN (5874grt) was slightly damaged by ADMIRAL HIPPER gunfire.

 

When the convoy scattered, damaged troopship EMPIRE TROOPER was escorted by corvette CYCLAMEN to Ponta Delgada, arriving on the 27th. The ships for Gibraltar proceeded directed to their destination.

 

Between 0842 and 0956, Heavy cruiser BERWICK, three miles ahead of the convoy, was in action intermittently for thirty three minutes, light cruiser BONAVENTURE, on the starboard side of the convoy, for twenty four minutes, corvette CLEMATIS briefly.

 

Light cruiser DUNEDIN laid smoke. Aircraft carrier FURIOUS flew off Skuas to attempt to locate ADMIRAL HIPPER, but was unable to do so in poor visibility.

 

German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER was able at 0905 to damage heavy cruiser BERWICK with hits to her X turret, abreastB turret below the waterline, disablingB turret, amidships putting a four inch gun out of action, on the side belt where it was deflected into the bulgeHowever, ADMIRAL HIPPER was forced to break off the action at 0914.

 

Cruiser BERWICK sustained four Marines killed and one seriously wounded in the engagement.

 

As she withdrew, ADMIRAL HIPPER contacted and sank independent steaming British steamer JUMNA (6078grt) in 44‑51N, 27‑45W.

 

Steamer JUMNA was from dispersed convoy OB.260 and bore the Commodore of convoy OB.260 Rear Admiral H.B. Maltby Rtd which was lost with the steamer.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, DUNCAN, WISHART, HERO, HEREWARD departed Gibraltar to intercept ADMIRAL HIPPER.

 

However, battlecruiser RENOWN sustained hull damaged from high speed running in heavy seas.

 

Destroyers DUNCAN and HERO were detached to assist troopship EMPIRE TROOPER. When sufficient screen arrived at the troopship, the destroyers returned to Gibraltar. Before arriving, they were ordered to join battlecruiser RENOWN and aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL.

 

Light cruiser NAIAD was ordered to rejoin the convoy.

 

Light cruiser KENYA departed Plymouth 25 December to escort convoys SL.59 and SLS.59.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE and light cruiser NIGERIA with destroyers SOMALI (D 6), MATABELE, MASHONA, ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to protect two of the western most convoys HX.97 and SC.16 then at sea.

 

On the 29th, the REPULSE group met armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE which was escorting convoy HX.97.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers SOMALI and MATABELE arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0600/31st.

 

Battlecruiser HOOD and light cruiser EDINBURGH with destroyers COSSACK, ESCAPADE, ECHO, ELECTRA was already at sea. The force patrolled north of the Shetlands and east of the Faroes until 29 December, when they arrived back at Scapa Flow.

 

Light cruiser EDINBURGH was detached to the battleship NELSON force on the 28th.

 

Light cruisers BONAVENTURE and DUNEDIN arrived at Gibraltar on the 26th.

 

Light cruiser NAIAD arrived at Scapa Flow on the 27th.

 

Destroyers SOMALI and ESKIMO arrived at Scapa Flow for refuelling on the 31st.

 

Destroyers MASHONA and MATABELE arrived at Scapa Flow for refuelling on 1 January.

 

British troopship EMPIRE TROOPER put into Ponta Delgada and was joined by four corvettes on the 27th.

 

Light cruiser KENYA and corvettes GERANIUM, JONQUIL, CYCLAMEN, CLEMATIS escorted troopship EMPIRE TROOPER from Ponta Delgada on the 30th for Gibraltar. These ships were sighted by Submarine TRIDENT later that day and first identified as enemy.

 

The British ships were identified before an attack could be made.

 

Destroyers DUNCAN and HERO, which joined troopship EMPIRE TROOPER and at 1000/29th, were ordered to join Force H. The convoy reassembled on the 28th, less damaged troopship EMPIRE TROOPER, arrived at Freetown on 6 January 1941.

 

On 8 January, the convoy departed Freetown for Capetown. The convoy now included British steamers EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt), ADVISER (6348grt), BARRISTER (6200grt), BENRINNES (5415grt).

 

The local escort from Freetown was Sloops MILFORD and BRIDGEWATER, destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE, corvettes CALENDULA and ASPHODEL. The ocean escort was British cruisers NORFOLK, DEVONSHIRE, HAWKINS. Heavy cruisers HAWKINS and NORFOLK took the Capetown section into Capetown arriving on 22 January. The Durban section arrived on 26 January escorted by heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE. The convoy departed Capetown on 27 January and rendezvoused with the Durban section off Durban. British steamer TALAMBA (8018grt) and Dutch steamer NIEUW HOLLAND (11,066grt) joined at Durban.

 

Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE departed as an escort from Durban and continued with the convoy until 30 January when she was relieved by light cruiser ENTERPRISE.

 

Light cruiser CERES also departed with the convoy from Durban and continued until relieved by armed merchant cruiser HECTOR on 4 February. Light cruiser CERES took steamers ORBITA and NIEUW HOLLAND to Mombasa. Armed merchant cruiser HECTOR was detached on 11 February.

 

Sloop GRIMSBY was escorting from 6 to 7 February.

 

Light cruiser CALEDON, sloops GRIMSBY and FLAMINGO, Indian sloop INDUS joined the convoy on 11 February for the Red Sea passage.  The convoy arrived at Aden on 14 February and Suez on 16 February.

______

 

Gunboats APHIS and LADYBIRD arrived at Alexandria.

______

 

Submarine OTUS attacked a submarine in 33‑20N, 22‑43E north of Derna.

 ______

 

Convoy BS.11A departed Suez, escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE and destroyers KIMBERLEY and KINGSTON. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 29th.

 

 

Thursday,  26 December

 

Light cruiser MANCHESTER departed Scapa Flow to rendezvous with light cruiser NIGERIA to operate in support of armed merchant cruisers LETITIA and CHITRAL in the Denmark Strait.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Rosyth after boiler cleaning and escorted convoy EN.47 to Pentland Firth.

 

The cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow at 2300/27th.

______

 

Convoy OB.265 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VISCOUNT and corvettes GENTIAN and RHODODENDRON. Destroyer VISCOUNT was detached on the 28th. On the 29th destroyers VANQUISHER, WHITEHALL, WINCHELSEA joined the escort. On the 30th, the escort was detached.

______

 

Destroyers SOUTHDOWN and TYNEDALE departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for the Tyne to escort light cruiser MAURITIUS to Pentland Firth.

______

 

Destroyers LEAMINGTON and CHURCHILL departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to meet armed merchant cruisers WOLFE and CILICIA in 63-50N, 24-40W and escort them to the North Minches.

 

The destroyers arrived at Scapa Flow on the 30th.

______

 

Sloop PELICAN collided with anti-submarine trawler CAPE PORTLAND (497grt) near Newarp Light Vessel.

 

The sloop was able to continue with her duties, but was later repaired at London completing in January.

______

 

Motor attendant craft MAC 5 (A/T/Lt Cdr F. L. Laloe RNR) was sunk on a mine northeast of Gunfleet.

 

Laloe, Sub Lt W. A. Edmenson RNVR, three ratings were killed in the craft.

______

 

British drifter TRUE ACCORD (92grt, T/Skipper R. H. Alexander RNR) was sunk in a collision with armed trawler SARONTA (316grt) at Yarmouth.

______

 

The U.95 badly damaged British steamer WAIOTIRA (12,823grt) in 58‑06N, 17‑10W.

 

Steamer WAIOTIRA sank on the 27th.

 

One crewman was lost on the steamer. Eighty nine survivors were picked up by destroyer MASHONA. The destroyer arrived in the Clyde with the survivors at 0900/28th.

 

Destroyer MASHONA went on to Scapa Flow arriving at 1645/29th.

______

 

Italian submarine CALVI attacked a British steamer in 55N, 19W and claimed sinking her, but no confirmation is available.

______

 

Convoy HX.99 departed Halifax at 1300, escorted by destroyer COLUMBIA and auxiliary patrol boat OTTER. Ocean escort was Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA and submarine PORPOISE.

 

The submarine was detached on 5 January and the armed merchant cruiser on 6 January.

 

On 7 January, destroyer SHIKARI and corvettes ANEMONE and LA MALOUINE joined. ON 8 January, destroyer SARDONYX and anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA and DERBY COUNTY joined. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 11 January.

______

 

Ocean boarding vessel MARON intercepted French trawler JOSEPH DUHAMEL (928grt), which was en route from Port St Pierre to Casablanca, in 34‑30N, 15‑22W.

 

The trawler was taken to Gibraltar.

______

 

Convoy AN.11 of eleven steamers, four British, departed Port Said, escorted by corvettes PEONY, SALVIA, HYACINTH.

 

Anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA departed Alexandria on the 27th to provide support. The convoy arrived at Suda Bay on the 28th. On the 29th, Greek destroyers took over the escort of the convoyand arrived at Piraeus on the 30th.

 

On the 30th anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA and corvettes PEONY, HYACINTH, SALVIA departed Suda Bay to return to Alexandria, arriving on the 31st.

______

 

Australian destroyer WATERHEN captured Italian schooner TIREREMO DIRITTO, which was attempting to enter Bardia with supplies and mail from Tobruk.

 

After taking off the crew, the destroyer scuttled the schooner.

______

 

Convoy BN.11A departed Port Sudan, escorted by sloop YARRA. The convoy arrived at Suez on the 28th.

______

 

German steamer BADEN (8803grt) had departed Teneriffe during the night of 15/16 December to return to Germany. The steamer scuttled herself in 44‑00N, 25‑07W when intercepted by Light cruiser BONAVENTURE, which was en route to assist damaged British steamer ARABISTAN.

 

Light cruiser BONAVENTURE torpedoed steamer BADEN to scuttle her.

______

 

Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE arrived at Simonstown.

 

 

Friday,  27 December

 

Destroyers BEDOUIN, TARTAR, SIKH, KEPPEL were brought to two hours notice at Scapa Flow at 1825.

______

 

Convoy CE.20 was shelled off Dover, and armed trawlers BLACKTHORN (530grt) and DEODAR (530grt)  damaged.

______

 

Convoy FN.368 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 29th. FN.369 did not sail.

______

 

Convoy FS.372 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and WALLACE, and arrived at Southend on the 29th.

______

 

Convoy FS.373 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WOLSEY. Corvette SNAPDRAGON joined on the 28th, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 29th.

______

 

Steamer ARABY (4936grt) was sunk on a mine nine cables west of Nore Light Vessel, with the loss of six crew .

______

 

Steamer KINNAIRD HEAD (449grt) was sunk on a mine off Southend, seven cables north of  2 Buoy, also with the loss of six crew.

______

 

Steamer LADY CONNAUGHT (2284grt) was damaged on a mine in 53‑37N, 03‑43W.

______

 

Steamer VICTORIA (1641grt) was damaged on a mine eight miles 290 from Bar Light Vessel, Mersey.

______

 

Dutch tanker WOENSDRECHT (4668grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑40N, 01‑18E.

______

 

U.38 damaged steamer ARDANBHAN (4980grt) in convoy OB.263. Thirteen hours later, Italian submarine TAZZOLI finished her off with the loss of all her crew.

______

 

U.65 sank Norwegian steamer RISANGER (5455grt) at 12‑30N, 21‑30W, but all her crew were rescued.

______

 

German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER arrived at Brest after a cruise in which she sank one ship for 6078 tons.

______

 

Australian light cruiser PERTH was at Alexandria for camouflage painting on the 27th and 28th, and on the 30th replaced sister ship SYDNEY in the 7th Cruiser Squadron.

______

 

New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Bombay with steamers for convoy BN.12, which she escorted into the Red Sea until 6 January when relieved, and took over convoy BS.12. On the 14th, she departed Aden and arrived at Colombo on the 21st for refitting.

______

 

Convoy BN.12 departed Bombay, escorted by sloop LEANDER. The convoy was joined on 2 January by destroyer KIMBERLEY, sloops FLAMINGO and HINDUSTAN, anti-submarine trawler AMBER.

 

Destroyer KIMBERLEY was detached on 6 January when the convoy was joined by sloops CLIVE and GRIMSBY. Sloops FLAMINGO and HINDUSTAN were detached on 6 January. The convoy arrived at Suez on 9 January.

______

 

Convoy BS.11B departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. Sloop YARRA joined on the 28th. The convoy arrived at Port Suden on the 29th.

______

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Freetown with Force K.

______

 

German raider KOMET shelled the phosphate loading equipment and oil tanks on the British island of Nauru.

 

 

Saturday,  28 December

 

Battleship NELSON and destroyers BEDOUIN, TARTAR, SIKH, BEAGLE departed Scapa Flow at 1415 to patrol eastward of the Iceland Faroes Channel.

 

Light cruiser EDINBURGH was ordered to join this force in 63N, 03-55W at noon on the 29th.

 

This force remained at sea until 1100/31st when it returned to Scapa Flow.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1000 and escorted convoy WN.60 from the Pentland Firth.

 

The cruiser was detached after dark, but due to poor visibility, she could not enter Scapa Flow until the next morning.

______

 

Convoy OB.266 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE, corvette CLARKIA, armed boarding vessel CRISPIN, anti-submarine trawler MAN O WAR. The convoy was joined on the 29th by corvettes ARABIS and MALLOW, anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN DAWN, NORTHERN PRIDE, ST ELSTAN.

 

The escort, less the armed boarding vessel, were detached on the 31st. CRISPIN was detached the next day.

______

 

Convoy FN.370 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer GARTH. Destroyer VERSATILE and patrol sloop WIDGEON joined on the 29th.

 

The convoy arrived at Methil on the 30th.

______

 

Polish destroyer PIORUN departed Greenock at 1315 to work up at Scapa Flow.

 

The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1230/29th.

______

 

Destroyers VIMY and BULLDOG departed Scapa Flow at 0845 to meet light cruiser MAURITIUS in Pentland Firth and escort her to the Clyde, arriving on the 29th.

 

Destroyers SOUTHDOWN and TYNEDALE, which had been escorting cruiser MAURITIUS proceeded to Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer VIMY left the Clyde to refit at Portsmouth where she arrived at 1050/31st.

 

Destroyer BULLDOG left the Clyde to refit at Liverpool where she arrived on the 30th.

______

 

In a German bombing raid on the Thornycroft yard at Southampton, destroyers NORSEMAN and OPPORTUNE, under construction, were badly damaged.

 

Destroyer NORSEMAN was almost blown in half.

______

 

Destroyer VALOROUS was damaged in a collision with Minesweeping trawler LIBYAN (202grt) in Sheerness Harbour.

 

The destroyer was repaired at Chatham completing on 11 January.

______

 

British steamer LOCHEE (964grt) was damaged on a mine four miles northeast by north of Bar Light Vessel, Mersey.

______

 

Tug CANUTE (271grt) was damaged by German bombing at Southampton.

______

 

German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU departed Kiel to raid in the Atlantic.

 

However, the German ships had to return to Kiel on 2 January when GNEISENAU was damaged by heavy weather.

______

 

Ocean boarding vessel CAMITO intercepted French trawler SENATEUR DUHAMEL (913grt) in 33‑44N, 10‑26W.

 

The trawler was taken to Gibraltar.

______

 

Monitor TERROR bombarded the Bardia area.

______

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON after joining convoy WS.4B in mid-December at 22S, arrived at Suez with the convoy on the 28th.

______

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR and FIREDRAKE arrived at Gibraltar on the 28th.

 

The destroyers FAULKNOR and FIREDRAKE with HASTY and JAGUAR immediately went back out to sea at 1100/29th and escorted aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL and RENOWN into Gibraltar the next day.

 ______

 

Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Freetown.

______

 

Heavy cruiser CORNWALL arrived at Simonstown.

 

 

Sunday,  29 December

 

Hunt-class escort destroyer COTTESMORE was completed, and following working up, was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla operating from the Nore.

______

 

Destroyer BLENCATHRA departed Scapa Flow at 0130 to search for a British aircraft in the sea 10 east of South Ronaldsay. The aircraft was not located and she was ordered to return to Scapa Flow at 1300 that day.

______

 

Destroyer ESKIMO, escorting battlecruiser REPULSE, was detached in 60-05N, 21-50W to escort destroyer WORCESTER to the Minches. ESKIMO arrived at Scapa Flow at 1050/31st.

______

 

Convoy FN.371 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 31st.

______

 

Convoy FS.374 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIMIERA, WORCESTER and sloops HASTINGS and WESTON, and arrived at Southend on 1 January.

______

 

Convoy FS.375 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VESPER, VORTIGERN and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived at Southend on 1 January.

______

 

Submarine TRIDENT stopped Panamanian steamer ROUTER off Ponta Delgada and fired torpedoes at her when she tried to enter port.

______

 

German steamer ADRIANA (997grt) was sunk on a mine off the Elbe.

______

 

Steamer TREVARRACK (5270grt), straggling from convoy SLS.58, was damaged by German bombing in 55‑34N, 09‑30W. Destroyers HIGHLANDER and HARVESTER went to her assistance.

______

 

Steamer CATRINE (5218grt) was damaged by a mine in Liverpool Bay and next day, the 30th, struck a second one near Q.1 Buoy, Queen's Channel, Liverpool.

______

 

Tug MONARCH (41grt) was sunk by German bombing off Radcliffe Cross Buoy.

______

 

A total of 31 ships of convoy OG.48 joined up from Liverpool, Oban, Glasgow and Bristol, and were escorted by destroyer WESTCOTT and corvette CANDYTUFT  from 29 December to 2 January. Sloop SCARBOROUGH escorted the convoy from 29 December to 4 January when she was detached.

 

Sloop FOLKESTONE escorted the convoy from 30 December to 9 January. Corvette BLUEBELL joined the convoy on the 30th and was detached on 2 January. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 9 January.

______

 

Destroyer NEWPORT was out of service with only one engine working.

______

 

Destroyer SALISBURY was out of service with condenser problems.

______

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS and light cruiser DUNEDIN with destroyers FORTUNE and FOXHOUND arrived at Gibraltar with steamers NORTHERN PRINCE, CLAN MACDONALD, EMPIRE SONG of the WS.5 A convoy on the 29th.

______

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruiser DUNEDIN, destroyers FORESTER and FURY departed Gibraltar for Freetown.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE arrived at Gibraltar.

______

 

Submarine UNIQUE departed Gibraltar for Malta, arriving 6 January.

______

 

Convoy HG.49 of twenty eight ships departed Gibraltar. The convoy was given a local escort by anti-submarine trawlers KINGSTON JACINTH, KINGSTON CHRYSOLITE, KINGSTON TURQUOISE, KINGSTON TOPAZE on the 29th.

 

Sloop LEITH escorted the convoy from 29 December to 15 January.

 

Sloop BRIDGEWATER from convoy SLS.60 escorted the convoy on 3 January before transferring to convoy SW 5B.

 

Destroyers GEORGETOWN and ANTHONY, CAM ship PEGASUS, corvettes HEATHER and PICOTEE, anti-submarine trawlers LADY MADELEINE and ARAB joined the convoy from convoy OG.49 on 11 January. These ships remained with the convoy until its arrival at Liverpool on 15 January.

______

 

Italian steamers SARDEGNA (11,452grt), ITALIA (5203grt), PIEMONTE (15,209grt) departed Valona for Brindisi for Valona escorted by torpedo boat ANTARES on the 29th.

 

Greek submarine PROTEUS sank Italian steamer SARDEGNA east of Saseno in 40-31N, 19-02E in the Southern Adriatic.

 

However, torpedo boat ANTARES sank PROTEUS (Lt Cdr M. Hatsikostantis) in the counterattack.

______

 

Destroyers JERVIS, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, JUNO, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN departed Alexandria to carry out an anti-submarine sweep.

 

The sweep was covered by light cruiser PERTH and anti-aircraft ship COVENTRY.

 

Ship COVENTRY's T/bow fell off in heavy seas and she was forced to return to Alexandria.

 

The destroyers returned to Alexandria on the 30th after making no contact.

______

 

Australian destroyer VOYAGER intercepted and brought in Italian ketch ZINGARELLA (190grt) which was transporting British prisoners of war from Bardia to Tobruk.

______

 

Convoy BN.11B departed Aden, esoctted by light cruiser CALEDON and sloops AUCKLAND and SHOREHAM. Sloop YARAA joined on the 31st. The escorts were detached on 1 January. The convoy arrived at Suez on 4 January.

 

 

Monday,  30 December

 

Destroyer VENOMOUS, which had departed the Clyde on the 29th, was mined at the entrance to Liverpool harbour near the B.2 Buoy.

 

Destroyer VENOMOUS was repaired at Liverpool completing on 18 February.

______

 

Convoy OB.267 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers AMAZON and AMBUSCADE, corvettes HEARTSEASE, HOLLYHOCK, MARGUERITE, anti-submarine trawler LADY LILLIAN. The escort was detached on 2 January.

______

 

Convoy FN.371 A departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on 1 January.

______

 

Hunt-class destroyer MEYNELL was completed.

 

Following working up, destroyer MEYNELL was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla operating from the Nore.

______

 

British steamer CALCIUM (613grt) was sunk on a mine in 53‑25N, 03‑45W.

 

One crewman was killed on the British steamer.

 

Steamer CALCIUM collided with British steamer SODIUM (608grt) while she was alongside providing assistance.

______

 

British tanker DORCASIA (8053grt) was damaged on a mine three miles 250 from Bar Light Vessel, Mersey.

______

 

British steamer CITY OF BEDFORD (6402grt) of convoy SL.58 was sunk in an accidental collision south of Ireland with British steamer BODNANT (5342grt) of convoy OB.264 in 60‑03N, 23‑01W when the two convoys converged.

 

Rear Admiral J. C. Hamilton Rtd, convoy Commodore in steamer CITY OF BEDFORD, was lost in the steamer.

______

 

Force H, battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, destroyers FAULKNOR, DUNCAN, HASTY, HERO, JAGUAR, FIREDRAKE arrived at Gibraltar.

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived escorting steamer ESSEX.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN had suffered weather damages and went directly into dock at Gibraltar.

______

 

Heavy cruiser HAWKINS arrived at Freetown.

______

 

Australian destroyer WATERHEN sank Anti-submarine trawler BANDOLERO (913grt, Lt Cdr F. M. W. Harris RNR) in an accidental collision in the Gulf of Sollum.

 

There were no casualties in the trawler.

 

Destroyer WATERHENwas escorted from the area by destroyer MOHAWK and arrived at Alexandria on 1 January. The destroyer was repaired at Port Tewfik in a month.

______

 

As a result of the German raider attacks on shipping in the Nauru Island area on 6 to 8 December, shipping was organized into the convoys to pass through the Tasman Sea.

 

Convoy VK 1 departed Sydney for Auckland on the 30th with steamers EMPIRE STAR (11093grt), PORT CHALMERS (8535grt), EMPRESS OF RUSSIA (16810grt), MAUNGANUI (7527grt) escorted by New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES.

 

 

Tuesday,  31 December

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1000 to escort convoy WN.61 from Pentland Firth until dark.

 

The anti-aircraft cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow at 2300.

______

 

Destroyer WHITSHED departed the Nore at 1015 to work up at Scapa Flow.

______

 

Convoy FN.372 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at Methil on 2 January.

______

 

Convoy FS.376 departed Methil. The convoy arrived at Southend on 2 January.

______

 

Sgt D. A. Stockton, RAF, was killed when his Tiger Moth of 14 EFTS crashed near Hockley Heath.

 

A/Leading Airman A. Armstrong, also in the aircraft, died of injuries on 1 January.

______

 

U.38 sank Swedish steamer VAPARAISO (3760grt), a straggler from convoy HX.97, in 60‑01N, 23‑00W.

 

There were no survivors from the steamer. Included in the loss was a survivor from the British steamer ANGLO SAXON.

______

 

U.65 damaged British tanker BRITISH ZEAL (8532grt) at 15‑40N, 20‑43W.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent to search. Dutch tug HUDSON departed Freetown to tow the steamer.

______

 

German steamer PORJUS (764grt) was sunk in a collision near Brunsbuttel.

______

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK, escorted by destroyers FORESTER and FURY, arrived at Gibraltar to land her wounded from the 25 December encounter with German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER.

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Portsmouth on 17 January for repairs continuing until 10 May. She proceeded to Rosyth arriving on 11 May and completed repairs on 23 June.

______

 

Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE departed Gibraltar for Freetown.

______

 

Destroyers JAGUAR, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE, DUNCAN, HERO departed Gibraltar to intercept French ships entering the Straits of Morocco and bring them to Gibraltar for contraband control.

______

 

During the night of 31 December/1 January, destroyer DAINTY captured Italian schooners TIBERIO (231grt) and MARIA GIOVANNI (255grt) running between Bardia and Tobruk.

 

Destroyer DAINTY took the schooners to Sollom.

______

 

British Submarine Flotilla 8 was formed at Gibraltar with shore establishment HMS PIGMY.

 

Submarine OLYMPUS arrived at Gibraltar for operations on the 29th, OTUS on 4 January, PANDORA on 14 January.

______

 

Light cruiser AJAX and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Alexandria to take over Aegean duty and cover the passage of troopship ULSTER PRINCE, which departed Port Said escorted by destroyer GALLANT.

______

 

Monitor TERROR and destroyer DIAMOND arrived at Alexandria.

 

Gunboats APHIS and LADYBIRD, escorted by destroyer DAINTY, departed Alexandria for Sollum.

______

 

Submarine PARTHIAN attacked an Italian convoy off Spartivento, without success.

______

 

Greek submarine KATSONIS (Lt Cdr Spanides, RHN) sank Italian tanker QUINTO (531grt) with gunfire at Antivari in the Bay of Valona.

______

 

Repair ship VINDICTIVE and destroyers ISIS and ENCOUNTER, which departed Gibraltar on the 25th, arrived at Freetown.

 

 

December, miscellaneous

 

Light cruiser COLOMBO and armed merchant cruiser CARTHAGE patrolled the north approaches to the Mozambique Channel for most of December.

______

 

Free French sloops SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and COMMANDANT DUBOC were ordered to the Red Sea for duty as convoy escorts.

______

 

The US Sound School at Key West, Florida was established with Destroyer Division 54 destroyers ROPER (DD.147), HERBERT (DD.160), JACOB JONES (DD.130), DICKERSON (DD.157), and submarines S.22 (SS.127), S.25 (SS.130) and S.29 (SS.134).  

 
 

on to Royal Navy Ships, January 1941
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revised 7/4/12
further editing is required