Reginald Henry Portal DSC, RN

Born  6 Sep 1894Hungerford, West Berkshire, England
Died  18 Jun 1983(88)Yeovil, Somerset, England

Ranks

15 Jan 1912 Mid.
15 May 1914 A/S.Lt.
15 Nov 1914 S.Lt.
15 Feb 1916 Lt.
15 Feb 1924 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1926 Cdr.
30 Jun 1934 Capt.
1 Jan 1943 A/Rear Admiral
8 Jul 1943 Rear-Admiral
30 May 1947 Vice-Admiral
4 Oct 1950 Admiral

Retired: 1 May 1951


Decorations

31 May 1916 DSC
11 Mar 1941 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1946 CB
1 Jan 1949 KCB

Warship Commands listed for Reginald Henry Portal, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS York (90)Capt.Heavy cruiser10 Jul 193922 May 1941
HMS Royal Sovereign (05)Capt.Battleship26 Sep 19417 Aug 1942

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS York (90)


1 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax around 1500 hours.

Around 1930 hours, she made rendez-vous with HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN).

Both cruisers then proceeded on patrol together to the south of Nova Scotia. (1)

3 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1400 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) parted companywith HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN). (2)

4 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 2300 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax. (2)

5 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0530 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (2)

6 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1400 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) made rendez-vous with HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN).

They parted company at 1920 hours. (2)

8 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0830 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax from patrol. (2)

14 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Halifax. (2)

16 Sep 1939

Convoy HX 1.

This convoy departed Halifax on 16 September 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 30 September 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Beaverford (British, 10042 GRT, built 1928), Cairnesk (British, 5007 GRT, built 1926), Capulet (British, 8190 GRT, built 1932), Carimare (French, 4459 GRT, built 1920), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Egton (British, 4363 GRT, built 1938), Gloucester City (British, 3071 GRT, built 1919), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Henri Desprez (French, 9805 GRT, built 1932), Kirnwood (British, 3829 GRT, built 1928), Mansepool (British, 4894 GRT, built 1928), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924), Springdale (British, 1579 GRT, built 1937) and Vermont (French, 5186 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

At 1530/17 HMCS St. Laurent parted company with the convoy

At 0545/18, the destroyer HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN) joined the convoy.

At 1845/18, HMS Berwick, HMS York, HMS Saguenay and HMS Skeena parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax where all four arrived on 20 September.

23 Sep 1939

Convoy HX 2.

This convoy departed Halifax on 23 September 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Beaverburn (British, 9874 GRT, built 1927), Blairmore (British, 4141 GRT, built 1928), Chrales L.D. (British, 5273 GRT, built 1933), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), Corner Brook (British, 5767 GRT, built 1925), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Languedoc (French (tanker), 9512 GRT, built 1937), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Mill Hill (British, 4318 GRT, built 1930), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Saltwick (British, 3775 GRT, built 1929), San Mateo (French, 5947 GRT, built 1931), Tower Field (British, 4241 GRT, built 195), Vandyck (British, 13241 GRT, built 1921) and Wanderer (British, 5079 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

At sea they were joined shortly after sailing by the destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

At 0800/24, HMCS Saguenay was detached.

At 1800/24, HMCS Fraser and HMCS St. Laurent were detached.

At 1200/25, HMS York parted company with the convoy and proceeded on patrol.

29 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol. (2)

2 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (3)

4 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax. (3)

8 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy HX 4.

This convoy departed Halifax on 8 October 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 22 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Box Hill (British, 5677 GRT, built 1920), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Harpenden (British, 4678 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Progress (British, 5620 GRT, built 1938), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), Rothermere (British, 5356 GRT, built 1938), Sulairia (British, 5802 GRT, built 1929), Teviotbank (British, 5078 GRT, built 1938) and Tregarthen (British, 5201 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

At noon on the 10th the escort parted company. The destroyers were to return to Halifax. HMS York proceeded on patrol.

13 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol. (3)

17 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 5.

This convoy departed Halifax on 17 October 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 29 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Cairnglen (British, 5019 GRT, built 1926), Cairnmona (British, 4666 GRT, built 1918), Cairnvalona (British, 4929 GRT, built 1918), Dunaff Head (British, 5258 GRT, built 1918), Floride (French, 7030 GRT, built 1921), Gracia (British, 5642 GRT, built 1921), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Malabar (British, 7976 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Norwegian (British, 6366 GRT, built 1921), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Trelissick (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919) and Vaclite (British (tanker), 5026 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

Around 0930/19 the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN).

At 1000/19, HMS York parted company with the convoy after which she proceeded on patrol. The destroyers also parted company with the convoy on this day.

At 0600/28, the destroyers HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) joined the convoy followed at 1600/28 by HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. W.A.R. Cartwright, RN). At 1700/28, HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy and set course for Plymouth.

In the early hours of 29 October the German submarine U-34 attacked the convoy and the merchant vessel Malabar was torpedoed and sunk. The survivors were picked up by HMS Grafton.

On 30 October the merchant vessel Cairnmona which had split off from the convoy was torpedoed and sunk off the west coast of the U.K. by the German submarine U-13

22 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol.

After oiling she immediately proceeded on patrol again in the North-Atlantic. (3)

30 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from patrol. (3)

31 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (4)

2 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from patrol. (4)

3 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. She was to end this patrol at Bermuda. (4)

7 Nov 1939
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Bermuda from patrol.

At Bermuda she was to undergo a repair period by the Bermuda Dockyard. (4)

8 Nov 1939
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Bermuda which continued during the night of 8/9 November. (4)

17 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Bermuda for patrol. (4)

20 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax from patrol. (4)

26 Nov 1939

Convoy HX 10.

This convoy departed Halifax on 26 November 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Alexia (British (tanker), 8016 GRT, built 1935), Anthea (British, 5186 GRT, built 1924), Ary Lensen (British, 3214 GRT, built 1930), Birchbank (British, 5151 GRT, built 1924), Blairclova (British, 5083 GRT, built 1938), British Workman (British (tanker), 6994 GRT, built 1922), C.O. Stillman (Panamanian, 13006 GRT, built 1928), Caroni River (British, 7807 GRT, built 1928), Cefn-Y-Bryn (British, 5164 GRT, built 1939), Cliona (British (tanker), 8375 GRT, built 1931), Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Gemstone (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Generton (British, 4797 GRT, built 1936), Gold Shell (British (tanker), 8208 GRT, built 1931), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Lerwick (British, 5626 GRT, built 1938), Lunula (British (tanker), 6363 GRT, built 1927), Maimoa (British, 10123 GRT, built 1920), Middleton (British, 4297 GRT, built 1935), Nailsea Lass (British, 4289 GRT, built 1917), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Newton Moore (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937), Pacific President (British, 7113 GRT, built 1928), Pacific Shipper (British, 6290 GRT, built 1924), Rothley (British, 4996 GRT, built 1936), San Gaspar (British (tanker), 12910 GRT, built 1921), Scottish Chief (British, 7006 GRT, built 1928), Stagpool (British, 4560 GRT, built 1930), Stanburn (British, 2881 GRT, built 1924), Statira (British, 4852 GRT, built 1937), Vancolite (British (tanker), 11404 GRT, built 1928) and Victor Ross (British (tanker), 12247 GRT, built 1933).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN).

At 0800/28, HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Skeena parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.

HMS York parted company with the convoy at 0920/8 shortly after the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, RN) and the sloop HMS Aberdeen (Cdr. H.P. Currey, RN) had joined the convoy.

9 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Liverpool where she was taken in hand for refit. (5)

20 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having returned from patrol and after fuelling, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Suda Bay to Piraeus. (6)

21 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her refit completed, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Liverpool for the Northern Patrol. (7)

29 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol. (7)

1 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. (8)

3 Mar 1940 (position 63.08, -14.42)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) intercepts the German passenger ship Arucas (3359 GRT, built 1927) of the south-east coast of Iceland in position 63°08'N, 14°42'W. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

Photos with thanks to Bill Murray.

10 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (8)

12 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow following which course was set for Rosyth.

13 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

25 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (8)

26 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (8)

27 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. (8)

2 Apr 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth from the Northern Patrol. (9)

7 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) embarked troops at Rosyth which were to be landed at Stavanger and Bergen in upcoming operations off Norway.

8 Apr 1940
After a German force of warships was sighted which the Admiralty thought to be proceeding to the North-Atlantic, HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN), disembarked their troops and set out to sea and proceed north to intercept.

In the evening they were joined near Rattray Head by the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) and the large destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin) and Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel).

By then it had become apparent that the Germans were proceeding to invade Norway and the cruisers were ordered to proceed towards the Home Fleet which was also at sea.

They joined the Fleet around mid-morning on the 9th.

11 Apr 1940

Damaging of the destroyer HMS Eclipse.

Around 1630/11, during heavy air attacks on Admiral Forbes main force, the destroyer HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) was hit in the engine room and badly damaged. She was abandoned but later reboarded by men from her sister ship HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN) which then took her in tow.

HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) was detached from the Commander-in-Chiefs main force to assist and she took over the tow from HMS Escort. Speed of advance for the tow was only five knots while being screened by HMS Escort and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN).

At 2015/11 (2115 hours German time), HMS York was attacked with torpedoes by the German submarine U-48 but fortunately all torpedoes prematured.

At 0800/12, the tow was slipped and it appeared to be time to abandon and scuttle HMS Eclipse. However in the end she was taken in tow again by HMS Escort.

In the morning of the 13th the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) joined.

At 1400/14, HMS York parted company and proceeded to Scapa Flow.

On the 16th the tug St. Mellons took over the tow. The destroyers HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN) arrived together with the tug. HMS Hyperion and HMS Hesperus were then detached to Sullom Voe to fuel on completion of which HMS Hesperus rejoined.

Eclipse finally arrived at Lerwick shortly before noon on the 17th.

15 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

19 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

22 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (9)

27 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

10 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (10)

17 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (10)

18 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (10)

23 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (10)

28 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (10)

17 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (11)

18 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (11)

4 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. At Rosyth she was to undergo a short refit and docking period and prepare for overseas service. (12)

5 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is docked in No.1 dock at Rosyth. (12)

15 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is undocked. (12)

18 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (12)

19 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (12)

21 Aug 1940
The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CVO, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 0730 hours to join the escort of convoy AP 1. However due to heavy weather the convoy was unable to sail the ships returned to Scapa Flow around 1430 hours.

22 Aug 1940

Convoy's AP 1 and AP 2.

This combined convoy sailed from the U.K. on 22 August 1940 and was made up of the following ships; Denbighshire (British, 8983 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Sydney Star (British, 12696 GRT, built 1936) and Waiotira (British, 11090 GRT, built 1939).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN) was also part of this convoy serving in the role as aircraft transport.

The convoy was heavily escorted, mostly by warships proceeding from home waters to join other stations.

The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CVO, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 1045/22.

From Liverpool the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) sailed around 1430/22.

From the Clyde the AA cruisers HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyer HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN) sailed around 2030/22.

HMS Ashanti, HMS Bedouin and HMS Tartar had detached on 24 August.

HMS Valiant, HMS Illustrious, HMS Sheffield, HMS Calcutta, HMS Coventry, HMS Faulknor, HMS Firedrake, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fortune and HMS Fury proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 29 August.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Freetown on 1 September escorted by HMS York. It departed for Capetown later the same day.

Convoy AP 2 (Sydney Star and HMS Argus arrived at Freetown on 2 September 1940 escorted by HMS Ajax. It departed for Durban later the same day. HMS Argus parted company with the convoy on 4 September and proceeded to Takoradi.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Capetown on 9 September. HMS York proceeed to Simonstown arriving later the same day. The convoy departed again on 10 September still escorted by HMS York.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Durban on 13 September and sailed again later the same day still escorted by HMS Ajax.

On 20 September 1940, HMS York turned over the escort of convoy AP 1 to the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) which escorted the convoy in the Red Sea. The convoy arrived at Suez on 23 September 1940. After turning over the convoy HMS York proceeded to Aden arriving in the evening of September, 20th.

Convoy AP 2 arrived off Aden on 22 September, still escorted by HMS Ajax. There it was joined by the transport Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938), heavy cruiserHMS York and the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). HMS Ajax was then detached to Aden. The AA cruiser HMS Coventry also joined later on 22 September, parting company again at 1300/23.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Suez on 25 September 1940.

25 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During the night of 25/26 September 1940, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) passed the Suez Canal northbound. (13)

26 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. (13)

27 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria where she joined the Mediterranean Fleet. (13)

18 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Port Said with troops for Suda Bay and AA guns for Pireaus. (14)

19 Nov 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) was joined by the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN). At 1020/19 they were attacked by three Italian torpedo bombers but they obtained no hits. HMS York arrived at Suda Bay shortly after noon where the troops were disembarked.

HMS York departed Suda Bay for Piraeus later the same day. (14)

20 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Piraeus where she disembarked the AA guns.

She departed for Alexandria later the same day. (14)

21 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (14)

1 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500 hours, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) departed Suda Bay for a patrol in the Aegean. (15)

2 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0800 hours, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) returned to Suda Bay from a night patrol in the Aegean. (15)

3 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay.

HMS Manchester was to proceed to Malta while HMS York was to escort her briefly. HMS York parted company at 1815 hours and then proceeded on patrol in the Aegean. (15)

13 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay for Piraeus. (6)

14 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Piraeus. She departed for patrol and convoy cover operation in the Aegean later the same day. (6)

16 Jan 1941
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Suda Bay from patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean.

She departed Suda Bay later the same day shortly after the destroyers HMS Ilex (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hereward (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Thyrwhitt, RN) for convoy cover operations and also for operation 'Blunt'. These destroyers joined HMS York at sea at 0740/17.

During this operation Commando troops from Crete were to be landed on Kaso Island. The operation was first postponed for 24 hours but was finally cancelled on the 18th.

The destroyers parted company around 1800/17 to patrol indepently. They rejoined HMS York at 0730/18.

HMS Hereward had already parted company at 1210/17 to proceed to Suda Bay with despatches. She rejoined HMS York around 1100/18 bringing orders from Suda Bay.

The four destroyers parted company again around 1715/18.

HMS York remained on patrol and returned to Suda Bay around 0715/20. (6)

21 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) sailed from Piraeus but she returned after a few hours. (6)

22 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, CB, CVO, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Piraeus to Suda Bay. (6)

21 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (16)

18 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay for patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean. (17)

20 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Suda Bay from patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean. (17)


Battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (05)


14 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) proceeded downstream from Greenock and anchored of the Tail of Bank. (18)

15 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Greenock for Scapa Flow. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN) and HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN). (19)

16 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN) and HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (19)

18 Oct 1941
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted D/G trials at Scapa Flow followed by gunnery exercises. (18)

21 Oct 1941
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

23 Oct 1941
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

24 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Matabele (Cdr. A.C. Stanford, DSC, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN). (18)

25 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow to return to Greenock. Some more work on her new radar outfit had to be done.

During the passage from Scapa Flow to the Clyde she was escorted by the destroyer HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN). (18)

26 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN) arrived in the Clyde. (18)

28 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is docked at Greenock. (18)

7 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is undocked. (20)

12 Nov 1941

Convoy WS 12Z.

[Part from the U.K. to Freetown.]

This convoy departed Liverpool and the Clyde on 12 November 1941 and arrived at Freetown on 24 November 1941.

The convoy assembled at sea on 13 November 1941 near Oversay.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Abbekerk (Dutch, 7906 GRT, built 1939), Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (British, 7516 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Empire Star (British, 13479 GRT, built 1935), Empress of Asia (British, 16909 GRT, built 1913), Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) and Sussex (British, 11062 GRT, built 1937).

Upon assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN).

The battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and destroyers HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) had departed the Clyde on the 12th to join the convoy. They were routed via Milford Haven where they were to fuel and then to the south of Ireland. On the 13th, the warships arrived at Milford Haven and departed later that day to join the convoy which they did in the early evening of the 16th in position 44°30'N, 23°30'W. The escort destroyers HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN) also joined the convoy on the 16th.

Also on the 16th, HMS Vanquisher, HMS Whitehall, HMS Witch, HMS Badsworth and HMS Exmoor parted company with the convoy.

HMS Foresight, HMS Forester and HMS Fury parted company with the convoy while in position 34°05'N, 25°50'W. They were to refuel at sea from the oiler Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941) after which they were ordered to conduct a search for a reported suspected enemy merchant ship.

In the late afternoon of the 17th the destroyer HMS Maori was detached to Gibraltar while the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton and HMS Southwold parted company in the early evening to proceed to Ponta Delgada in the Azores to fuel there and then to rejoin the convoy.

In the morning of the 19th HMS Dulverton and HMS Southwold rejoined the convoy in position 34°05'N, 25°50'W. HMS Foresight, HMS Forester and HMS Fury then parted company with the convoy. They were to refuel at sea from the oiler Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941) after which they were ordered to conduct a search for a reported suspected enemy merchant ship.

Before dusk on 21 November the destroyers HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) joined the convoy. They came from Freetown.

In the moring of 22 November 1941 the corvette Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived safely at Freetown on 24 November 1941 escorted by HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Velox, HMS Vimy, HMS Dulverton, HMS Southwold and HMS Clover. Before it arrived the convoy had been split into two sections so as not to arrive in harbour all at once.

12 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500 hours, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) escorted by HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) departed the Clyde for Milford Haven. (20)

13 Nov 1941
Around 1000 hours, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) arrived at Milford Haven where they topped off their fuel tanks.

They departed around 1700 hours to join convoy WS 12Z at sea.

[See the event ' Convoy WS 12Z ' for 12 November 1942 for more information on this convoy.] (20)

24 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN) and Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) all arrived at Freetown after escort duty with convoy WS 12Z. (21)

28 Nov 1941

Convoy WS 12Z.

[Part from the Freetown to Durban.]

This convoy departed Freetown on 28 November 1941 and arrived at Durban on 18 December 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Abbekerk (Dutch, 7906 GRT, built 1939), Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (British, 7516 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Empire Star (British, 13479 GRT, built 1935), Empress of Asia (British, 16909 GRT, built 1913), Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) and Sussex (British, 11062 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), escort destroyers HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN), sloop HMS Falmouth (Cdr. U.H.R. James, RN) and the corvettes HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR).

The convoy was to proceed to Durban via Porte Noire.

In the afternoon of 2 December 1941, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Dulverton and HMS Southwold left the convoy to proceed ahead to Porte Noire where they arrived in the morning of 5 December and then took on board fuel. They departed again in the evening to rejoin the convoy which they did at 0600/6.

HMS Falmouth, HMS Hollyhock and HMS Verbena then proceeded to Porte Noire to fuel. They rejoined the convoy at 0630/7.

At 0700/14, while in approximate position 36°00'S, 17°00'E, HMS Dulverton and HMS Southwold detached to refuel at Simonstown. At 1400/15, while in approximate position 37°00'S, 23°00'E, the convoy was joined by the corvettes HMS Aster (Lt. W.L. Smith, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) from Simonstown. Half an hour later HMS Hollyhock and HMS Verbena were then detached to Simonstown.

At 0001/18 HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Milford were detached and proceeded ahead of the convoy to Durban where they arrived at 0600 hours the same day.

The remainder of the convoy arrived later the same day.

24 Dec 1941

Convoy WS 12Z.

[Part from Durban to their final destinations.]

This convoy departed Durban on 24 December 1941 and was split into three sections near Mombasa on 2 January 1942.

On departure from Durban the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Abbekerk (Dutch, 7906 GRT, built 1939), Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Aronda (British, 8328 GRT, built 1941), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (British, 7516 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Eastern Prince (British, 10926 GRT, built 1929), Empire Star (British, 13479 GRT, built 1935), Empress of Asia (British, 16909 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914) and Sussex (British, 11062 GRT, built 1937).

The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) until it was split up on 30 / 31 December 1941 into convoy's WS 12ZA, WS 12ZB and DM 1. HMS Royal Sovereign then proceeded to Port Victoria, Seychelles where she arrived on 2 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy WS 12ZA was formed on 31 December 1941 and was made up of troopships / transports; Aronda, Eastern Prince, Nieuw Amsterdam and Orduna. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) which had brought out the US troop transport USS Oziraba (6937 GRT, built 1918) from Mombasa.

Convoy WS 12ZA was dispersed off Aden on 4 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy WS 12ZB was formed on 31 December 1941 and was made up of troopships / transports; Adrastus, Capetown Castle, Deucalion, Duchess of Bedford, Empire Star, Empress of Asia, Empress of Japan, Indrapoera and USS Oziraba. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN).

Convoy WS 12ZA arrived at Bombay on 6 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy DM 1 split off from convoy WS 12Z on 30 January 1942 and was made up of troopships / transports; Abbekerk, Aorangi, USS Mount Vernon, Narkunda and Sussex. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) which had brought out the US troop transport Mount Vernon (24289 GRT, built 1932) from Mombasa.

Convoy DM 1 arrived at Addu Atoll (Port T) on 4 January 1942. It departed from there, with a strengthened escort, for Singapore on 5 January 1942.

Convoy DM 1 arrived at Singapore on 13 January 1942. (22)

2 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles after convoy escort duty. (23)

3 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Port Victoria for Mombasa. (23)

6 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Mombasa. (23)

17 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Mombasa to make rendezvous with convoy WS 14. (24)

19 Jan 1942
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) made rendezvous with convoy WS 14 in approximate position 08°00'S, 42°30'E and a section of that convoy split off and formed convoy DM 2 which was to proceed to the Sunda Strait. HMS Royal Sovereign was to escort the convoy for part of the way.

Convoy DM 2 was thus formed at sea on 19 January and was made up of the following transports / troopships; City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), City of Pretoria (British, 8049 GRT, built 1937), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Malancha (British, 8124 GRT, built 1937), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921) and Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930).

At 0900/26, in position 01°12'S, 73°11'E, the convoy was joined by the armed merhant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN). HMS Royal Sovereign and Empress of Australia entered. The last ship quickly fuelled (she had reported fuel shortage) and then rejoined the convoy which then continued on its voyage.

On 28 January, the convoy made rendez-vous and merged with convoy BM 12. HMS Ranchi was then detached. (24)

26 Jan 1942
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Addu Atoll (Port T) after convoy escort duty. (23)

5 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN) departed Addu Atoll (Port T) for Trincomalee. (25)

6 Feb 1942
Around 0830 hours, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN), were joined in approximate position 00°30'N, 75°36'E, by the Australian minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (Lt.Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)) and HMAS Lismore (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Crawford, RANR(S)) which were to escort them to Trincomalee. (25)

7 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Early in the morning, HMAS Bathurst (Lt.Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)), developed engine problems which reduced her speed. HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) then parted company with HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN), HMAS Bathurst and HMAS Lismore (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Crawford, RANR(S)), and proceeded to Trincomalee unescorted. (25)

8 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (25)

28 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.H. Spurgeon, RAN) and the destroyers HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) departed Trincomalee to join the escort of convoy SU 1. (25)

7 Mar 1942
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) returned to Trincomalee. (26)

11 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Ramillies (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, DSO and Bar, RAN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) departed Trincomalee for exercises.

On completion of the exercises HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Express and HMS Tenedos parted company and proceeded to Ceylon.

The other ships returned to Trincomalee. (27)

13 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) arrived at Colombo. (28)

23 Mar 1942
Around 0800 hours, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), departed Colombo to run over the DG range. Upon completion of her DG trials she set course for Addu Atoll. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN).

Around 1340 hours, the destroyer HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) joined.

Around 1450 hours, HMS Arrow parted company.

Around 1700 hours, HMS Ramillies (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN) and her escorting destroyers, HMS Griffin (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. W. Harmsen, RNN). These ships were coming from Trincomalee joined company. (28)

27 Apr 1942

Convoy WS 17.

Convoy from South Africa to several destinations in the Far East.

On 27 April 1942 the Capetown section departed. It was made up the following transports / troop transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), City of Edinburgh (British, 8036 GRT, built 1938), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Dunedin Star (British, 11168 GRT, built 1936), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Kina II (British, 9823 GRT, built 1939), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) and Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921).

On departure the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (A/Capt. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN).

Off Port Elizabeth the convoy was joined by the transports; Brazil (American, 18298 GRT, built 1928), Monterey (American, 18017 GRT, built 1932) and Mormactide (American, 7773 GRT, built 1941).

Off Durban the convoy was joined by the transports / troop transports; Elizabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Mendoza (British (former French), 8199 GRT, built 1920), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926) and Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

The submarine depot ship HMS Adamant (Capt. R.S. Warne, RN) also joined the convoy off Durban.

The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) also joined off Durban to escort the convoy.

On 8 May 1942 the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN) departed Mombasa to take over the escort of the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. W. Harmsen, RNN).

They joined the convoy at 1600/8 after which HMS Revenge proceeded to Mombasa escorted by the two destroyers. They arrived at Mombasa around 1300/9.

At 1900/8, HMS Dauntless was detached for Mombasa taking Almanzora, Cameronia, Khedive Ismael, Mendoza, Nova Scotia and Samaria with her. They also arrived at Mombasa around 1300/9.

HMS Adamant had already arrived at Mombasa on 8 May. She had parted company in the early afternoon of 7 May and proceeded ahead of the convoy.

HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Corfu then proceeded further north with the remainder of the convoy.

On 10 May the following vessels departed Mombasa for Bombay; Almanzora, Cameronia, Chantilly (British (former French), 9986 GRT, built 1923), Khedive Ismael, Mendoza, Nova Scotia and Samaria. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN).

Aound 0900/11, HMS Corfu parted company with the convoy taking with her the City of Edinburgh, City of Lincoln, Elizabethville and Glaucus. These ships were to proceed to Aden.

HMS Royal Sovereign meanwhile continued on to Bombay with the Dunedin Star, Johan van Oldebarnvelt, Kina II, Nieuw Holland and Windsor Castle.

HMS Royal Sovereign with her part of the convoy arrived at Bombay on 16 May 1942.

HMS Ranchi with her part of the convoy arrived at Bombay on 19 May 1942. (29)

16 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Bombay. (30)

22 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Bombay for Kilindini. (31)

30 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Kilindini. (31)

22 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 22/23 June 1942, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN), HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN), conducted exercises off Kilindini. (32)

25 Jun 1942
During 25/26 June 1942, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN), HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN), conducted exercises off Kilindini. (32)

1 Jul 1942

Convoy CM 29.

This convoy departed Durban on 1 July 1942 and arrived at Aden on 17 July 1942.

The following transports / troopships were part of this convoy; Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Diomed (British, 10374 GRT, built 1922), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Pulaski (Polish, 6516 GRT, built 1912), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939).

On departure from Durban the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) and the corvette HMS Fritillary (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Barker, RD, RNR) and the netlayer HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN).

On 9 July the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Kilindini to rendezvous with the convoy. She did so on 11 July and relieved HMS Frobisher, HMS Fritillary and HMS Guardian which then proceeded to Kilindini.

On the 14th the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN) took over from HMS Royal Sovereign which then set course to return to Kilindini.

The bulk of the convoy arrived at Aden on 17 July 1942.

9 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Kilindini for convoy escort duty with convoy CM 29.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CM 29 ' for 1 July 1942.] (33)

19 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Kilindini after convoy escort duty (33)

7 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 7/8 August 1942, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN , flying the flag of A/Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, DSO, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Kilindini during which they were escorted by the destroyers HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN). (34)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/111293 + ADM 199/367
  2. ADM 53/111293
  3. ADM 53/111294
  4. ADM 53/111295
  5. ADM 53/111296
  6. ADM 53/115233
  7. ADM 53/113501
  8. ADM 53/113502
  9. ADM 53/113503
  10. ADM 53/113504
  11. ADM 53/113506
  12. ADM 53/113507
  13. ADM 53/113508
  14. ADM 53/113510
  15. ADM 53/113511
  16. ADM 53/115234
  17. ADM 53/115235
  18. ADM 53/115043
  19. ADM 53/105043
  20. ADM 53/115044
  21. ADM 199/395
  22. ADM 199/408
  23. ADM 53/116602
  24. ADM 53/116602 + ADM 199/426
  25. ADM 53/116603 + ADM 199/426
  26. ADM 53/116604
  27. ADM 53/116490 + ADM 53/116604 + ADM 199/426
  28. ADM 53/116604 + ADM 199/426
  29. ADM 199/426
  30. ADM 53/116606
  31. ADM 53/116606 + ADM 199/426
  32. ADM 53/116607
  33. ADM 53/116608
  34. ADM 199/429

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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