Ernest John Spooner DSO, RN

Born  22 Aug 1887
Died  15 Apr 1942(54)Chibia Island, Netherlands East Indies


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Ranks

30 May 1904 Mid.
30 Jul 1907 S.Lt.
30 Jan 1909 Lt.
30 Jan 1917 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1922 Cdr.
30 Jun 1930 Capt.
25 Jun 1940 Rear-Admiral

Decorations

21 Jun 1919 DSO

Warship Commands listed for Ernest John Spooner, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Repulse (34)Capt.Battlecruiser19 Dec 193818 Jun 1940

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Battlecruiser HMS Repulse (34)


7 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0730 hours the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. E.N. Syfret, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow to operate off the Norwegian coast as far north as 63°00'N to intercept German shipping.

They returned to Scapa Flow on the 10th having sighted no German ships. Visibility had been bad throughout.

12 Sep 1939
Around 1930/12, the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe (Port A).

En-route, HMS Bedouin, HMS Punjabi and HMS Tartar were detached for A/S purposes.

HMS Nelson, HMS Repulse, HMS Somali and HMS Mashona arrived at Loch Ewe around 0730/13.

12 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1730 hours, HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. She was escorted by HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN). (1)

13 Oct 1939
Around 0600hours, HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), arrived at Rosyth for boiler cleaning. She had been escorted by HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN). (1)

23 Oct 1939
In the evening, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), left Loch Ewe (Port A) for the Clyde where they arrived the following morning.

26 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0430/26, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) departed the Clyde to provide cover for convoys in the North Atlantic.

The destroyers parted company around dawn on the 27th.

HMS Repulse and HMS Furious arrived at Halifax on 3 November.

10 Nov 1939
In the evening, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), departed Halifax for patrol in the North Atlantic providing cover for convoys.

They returned to Halifax in the morning of the 17th. HMS Repulse had sustained some weather damage and HMS Furious had engine trouble which limited her speed to around 23 knots. (2)

24 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the late afternoon, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), departed Halifax for patrol in the North Atlantic providing cover for convoys.

They returned to Halifax in the morning of the 26th. HMS Repulse had sustained weather damage to 'Y' turret on the 25th. (2)

27 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the early morning, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), departed Halifax for patrol in the Atlantic providing cover for convoys.

They returned to Halifax in the morning of December, 3rd. (2)

29 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) returned to the Clyde independently. (3)

4 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed Greenock to patrol near the Shetland Islands to provide distant cover for the Northern Patrol and convoys to and from Norway.

10 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) returned to Greenock from patrol.

27 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, DSO, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed Greenock to patrol near the Shetland Islands to provide distant cover for the Northern Patrol and convoys to and from Norway.

31 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, DSO, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) returned to Greenock from patrol.

2 Mar 1940
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth for the Clyde. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN). (4)

3 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) arrived at Greenock. (4)

7 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the late afternoon, the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), battlecruisers HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN) and HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow.

They were joined shortly after noon on the 8th by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN).

At 1730/8, they arrived off the Hoxa entrance to Scapa Flow but was could not enter due to the possible threat from aerial laid magnetic mines. The force remained steaming up and down in the Pentland Firth whilst minesweepers started to clear the entrance.

The ships were only able to enter Scapa Flow around 1000/9.

7 Apr 1940
In the evening, ships from the Home Fleet; battleships HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN), Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet), with destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed from Scapa Flow to patrol in Norwegian waters near position 61°00'N, 01°00'E.

8 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 0915/8, the C-in-C Home Fleet, detached HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) to proceed at high best speed to go to the assistance of the destroyer HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN) which had reported being in action with enemy warships.

At 1956/8 HMS Repulse, HMS Penelope, HMS Bedouin, HMS Eskimo, HMS Punjabi and HMS Kimberley were ordered north to join the 'Renown' force off Vestfjord.

9 Apr 1940
At 1400/09 HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN) made rendez-vous, off Vestfiord, with the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN). Her escorting destroyers were not with her at that moment, they had been unable to keep up with HMS Renown during the action with the German battlecruisers early in the morning and had been ordered to patrol the entance of the Vestfiord. The destroyers involved in this were the following; HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN), HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN), HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H. Layman, RN), HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) [the last four destroyers were in their minelaying configuartation].

HMS Penelope was then detached to patrol the entrance to Vestfiord to support the destroyers patrolling there and the remainder of the force moved to patrol about 30 nautical miles to the west of HMS Penelope.

In the evening the Admiralty ordered the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, HMS Hardy, HMS Havock, HMS Hostile, HMS Hotspur and HMS Hunter to proceed up the Vestfjord and attack ships at Narvik.

Also on this day HMS Impulsive was ordered to proceed to Scapa Flow to repair a serious defect.

10 Apr 1940

To cover the retreat from Narvik of the remaining destroyers from the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) had proceeded up the Vestfiord.

In the evening the dispositions of the 'Renown' force was as follows;

Battlecruisers HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) were patrolling unescorted to the west of the Vestfiord.

The destroyers HMS Bedouin and HMS Eskimo were patrolling south of Tjeldøya.

The destroyers HMS Punjabi and HMS Kimberley were patrolling north-east of Tranøy.

The light cruiser HMS Penelope was nearby patrolling off the Tranøy Lighthouse.

The destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN) and HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN) were conducting an A/S hunt off Røst.

The destroyers HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, RN, with Capt. J.G. Bickford, DSC, RN, Capt. D.10 onboard), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) were patrolling in the Vestjord.

The destroyers HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H. Layman, RN) were anchored in the Skelfjord, Flakstadøya.

During the night of 10/11 April, the two remaining seaworthy German destroyers at Narvik, Z 9 / Wolfgang Zenker and Z 12 / Erich Giese tried to break out but off Tranøy they encountered British ships that were patrolling there (HMS Penelope, HMS Punjabi and HMS Kimberley). The German destroyers then returned to Narvik undetected.

14 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around noon, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN), arrived at Scapa Flow.

17 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Havant (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN) departed Scapa Flow to provide cover for the French troop convoy FP 1 to Narvik.

22 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Havant (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

3 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (5)

9 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (5)

22 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (5)

4 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (6)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/110192
  2. ADM 53/110193
  3. ADM 53/110194
  4. ADM 53/113082
  5. ADM 53/113084
  6. ADM 53/113085

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


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