Harold Bruce Farncomb DSO, RAN

Born  28 Feb 1899Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died  12 Feb 1971(71)Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia


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Ranks

1 Sep 1918 S.Lt.
1 Oct 1919 Lt.
1 Oct 1927 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1932 Cdr.
30 Jun 1937 Capt.
8 Jan 1947 Rear-Admiral

Retired: 6 Apr 1951


Decorations

28 Mar 1935 MVO
9 Feb 1943 DSO
1 May 1945 CB
2 Jan 1948 Navy Cross

Warship Commands listed for Harold Bruce Farncomb, RAN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMAS Perth (D 29)Capt.Light cruiser29 Jun 19396 Jun 1940
HMAS Canberra (D 33)Capt.Heavy cruiser6 Jun 194024 Dec 1941
HMAS Australia (D 84)Capt.Heavy cruiser24 Dec 19418 Mar 1944
HMS Attacker (D 02)Capt.Escort Carrier12 May 194413 Nov 1944

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMAS Perth (D 29)


1 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Port of Spain, Trinidad to patrol off Aruba, Dutch West Indies. (1)

2 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) closed La Guaira, Venezuala to ascertain of any German merchant vessels were present but none were observed. (1)

3 Sep 1939
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) showed herself of Willemstad, Curacao, Dutch West Indies.

Later she commenced a patrol off the Gulf of Venezuela. (1)

4 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) showed herself of Aruba, Dutch West Indies. Four German merchant ships were observed to be at anchor off San Nicolas. (1)

5 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) showed herself of Puerto Cabello, Venzuela and Bonaire, Dutch West Indies. No German ships were observed. (1)

6 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000Q/6, HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Penzance (Cdr. A.J. Wavish, RN) made rendezvous to the north of Curacao.

They parted company again about two hours later to continue their patrols.

HMAS Perth then proceeded to patrol off Curacao and Bonaire. (1)

7 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1800Q/7, HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) left patrol and set course to proceed to Kingston, Jamaica. (1)

9 Sep 1939
Around 0700Q/9, HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

11 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Kingston, Jamaica to patrol in the Eastern Carribean. (1)

18 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

19 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Kingston, Jamaica to patrol in the Eastern Carribean. (1)

21 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) proceeded to the western end of Haiti. (1)

24 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) patrolled off the Mona Passage. (1)

28 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

4 Oct 1939

Convoy KJ 3

Convoy from Kingston, Jamaica to the U.K.
Departure date: 4 October 1939.
Arrival date: 28 October 1939.

The following merchant ships were part of this convoy; Acavus (British (tanker), 8010 GRT, built 1935), Amakura (British, 1987 GRT, built 1924), Appalachee (British (tanker), 8826 GRT, built 1930), Athelbeach (British (tanker), 6568 GRT, built 1931), British General (British (tanker), 6989 GRT, built 1922), Calgarolite (British (tanker), 11941 GRT, built 1929), Canadolite (British (tanker), 11309 GRT, built 1926), Caprella (British (tanker), 8230 GRT, built 1931), Champagne (French (tanker), 9946 GRT, built 1938), Chaucer (British, 5792 GRT, built 1929), Conus (British (tanker), 8132 GRT, built 1931), Drupa (British (tanker), 8102 GRT, built 1939), East Wales (British, 4358 GRT, built 1925), Erodona (British (tanker), 6207 GRT, built 1937), Fresno City (British, 4955 GRT, built 1929), Frimaire (French (tanker), 9242 GRT, built 1930), Gryfevale (British, 4434 GRT, built 1929), Iddesleigh (British, 5205 GRT, built 1927), Imperial Valley (British, 4573 GRT, built 1924), Iroquois (British (tanker), 8937 GRT, built 1907), Laristan (British (tanker), 6401 GRT, built 1927), Luminetta (British (tanker), 6159 GRT, built 1927), Michigan (French, 6419 GRT, built 1920), Montrolite (British (tanker), 11309 GRT, built 1926), Pellicula (British (tanker), 6254 GRT, built 1936), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Ridley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1937), Roussillon (French (tanker), 9967 GRT, built 1936), Royal Crown (British, 4367 GRT, built 1927), Sacramento Valley (British, 4573 GRT, built 1924), San Arcadio (British (tanker), 7419 GRT, built 1935), San Demetrio (British (tanker), 8073 GRT, built 1938), San Eliseo (British (tanker), 8042 GRT, built 1939), San Emiliano (British (tanker), 8071 GRT, built 1939), San Roberto (British (tanker), 5890 GRT, built 1922), Schluylkill (British (tanker), 8965 GRT, built 1928), Sheaf Holme (British, 4814 GRT, built 1929), Somme (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919), Sovac (British (tanker), 6724 GRT, built 1938), Star of Alexandria (British, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Telena (British (tanker), 7406 GRT, built 1927), Uffington Court (British, 4976 GRT, built 1929), Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

On departure from Kingston, the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN).

Around 1400P/7, seven ships split off from the convoy to proceed towards the Mediterranean.

Around 1215P/8, HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) joined coming from Bermuda.

Around 1140P/9, two ships of the convoy parted company to proceed to New York.

Around 0800P/10, two ships of the convoy parted company to proceed to Halifax and Montreal.

Around 1030P/15, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) joined the convoy coming from Plymouth and HMS Berwick and HMAS Perth were detached to Bermuda.

From 22 October to 24 October 1939, the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) were near the convoy to provide additional cover.

On 23 October and 24 October 1939, a French force made up of the battleship Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin), light cruisers Georges Leygues (Capt. R.L. Perot), Montcalm (Capt. P.J. Ronarc’h), large destroyers Le Malin (Cdr. G.E. Graziani), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau) and L'Indomptable (Capt. P.T.J. Barnaud) was also near the convoy to provide additional cover.

Around 0800A/24, the destroyers HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. A.R.M. Black, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN) joined.

Around 0730A/25, the destroyers HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) T.A. Hussey, RN) and HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. H. Gartside-Tippinge, RN) joined.

Around 1800A/25, the convoy was split. HMS Verity and HMS Wolverine proceeded with the southern section towards the English Channel. Around the same time the convoy had split the destroyers HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN) and HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, RN) joined. Around 2200A/26, the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. R.F. Morice, RN) relieved HMS Verity and HMS Wolverine. HMS Effingham, HMS Glowworm and HMS Greyhound parted company around the same time. The southern part of the convoy arrived in the Downs on 28 October 1939.

Meanwhile the northern part of the convoy had proceeded up the Irish Sea escorted by HMS Versatile and HMS Volunteer, with the bulk of it, including the destroyers arriving at Liverpool late on the 27th.

18 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900P/18, HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) and HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Bermuda after convoy escort duty. (2)

22 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Bermuda to patrol in the North Atlantic. (1)

28 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Halifax from patrol. (1)

4 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Bermuda from patrol. (1)

6 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Bermuda for Kingston, Jamaica. (1)

9 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston from Bermuda. (1)

13 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Orion (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, RN) and HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Kingston. (1)

17 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Kingston, Jamaica to patrol in the Eastern Carribean. (1)

19 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is ordered to return to Kingston. (1)

20 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston. After fuelling she departed for Colon as she was ordered to proceed to the Pacific. (1)

22 Nov 1939
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colon. She then passed the Panama Canal westbound and proceeded to patrol in the Pacific. (1)

25 Nov 1939
The light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Chatham Bay, Cocos Island (Costa Rica).

About an hour after she had arrived the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) arrived and were then fuelled by HMAS Perth

On completion of fuelling the destroyers departed for Balboa.

HMAS Perth then sailed for Punta Arenas. (1)

26 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) entered the Gulf of Nicoya staying outside the three mile limit.

Two German merchant vessels were sighted at anchor of Punta Arenas.

She then proceeded to sea again. (1)

27 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) entered the Gulf of Dulce staying outside the three mile limit.

No enemy ships were sighted and HMAS Perth set course for Solano Bay, Colombia. (1)

28 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) inspected Solano Bay, Colombia from outside territorial waters.

Later the same day Penas Bay was also inspected. (1)

29 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) transited the Panama Canal eastbound and then set course to return to Kingston. (1)

1 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

4 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H. Layman, RN) departed Kingston, Jamaica for exercises.

On completion of the exercises HMS Hotspur set course for the Windward passage to relieve HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN) on patrol there.

HMAS Perth set course for the Yucatan Channel. (1)

12 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed the Yucatan area to return to Kingston. (1)

14 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston. After fuelling she immediately departed to resume patrol in the Yucatan Channel. (1)

15 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) made rendezvous with HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN). Arrengements for patrol were made to endeavour to intercept the German passenger liner Columbus (32581 GRT, built 1924) which had departed Veracruz, Mexico the day before. (1)

17 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) fuelled HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN) on completion of which both ships resumed patrol in the Yucatan Channel. (1)

19 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is ordered to proceed to the coast of Florida but later this is cancelled and she is ordered to return to Kingston instead. (1)

21 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

22 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) attempted to tow off the merchant vessel Houston City (British, 4935 GRT, built 1934) which is grounded off Plum Point lighthouse. The tow however later parted and the attempt was abandoned. (1)

28 Dec 1939
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMCS Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN) conducted exercises off Kingston.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Perth set off to patrol off Aruba, Dutch West Indies. (1)

30 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off Aruba. Four German merchant vessels were seen to be at anchor off North Point.

Later in the day, HMAS Perth was ordered to return to Kingston. (1)

1 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

2 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Kingston for patrol. (1)

3 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is ordered to proceed to the Windward passage to patrol and possibly intercept German merchant vessel if they were to escape from Aruba and Curacao. (1)

9 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed her patrol to return to Kingston. (1)

10 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. After fuelling she departed again to resume patrol in the Windward Passage. (1)

15 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed patrol for Kingston, Jamaica. (1)

16 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

20 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) left Kingston to patrol off Aruba, Dutch West Indies. (1)

21 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off Aruba where three German merchant vessels were observed at anchor.

Later HMAS Perth made rendezvous with the French light cruiser Jeanne d'Arc (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and intelligence was exchanged. (1)

22 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Aruba and shifted patrol to north-west of Curacao. (1)

24 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) returned to Aruba and noticed that the German merchant vessel Heidelberg (6530 GRT, built 1925) was no longer anchored off North Point.

The following day information was received that she had not left but had entered Oranjestad harbour for water and the ship was then indeed observed to be at Oranjestad. (1)

27 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed the Aruba area for the North coast of Haiti. She had been relieved off Aruba by HMCS Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN). (1)

28 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted speed and consumption trials over a measured distance near Baie des Cayes, Haiti on completion of which course was set to return to Kingston, Jamaica. (1)

29 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (1)

31 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) left Kingston to patrol off Aruba, Dutch West Indies. (1)

2 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off Aruba and took over patrol from HMCS Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN). (1)

4 Feb 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Aruba and shifted patrol to the Curacao area where rendezvous was made with HMS Dundee (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and information was exchanged.

Later on the day, HMAS Perth set course to return to Aruba. (1)

6 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) checked out the Gulf of Venezuela before returning to Aruba.

In the afternoon she was relieved on patrol by HMCS Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN).

HMAS Perth then set course to patrol off Curacao. (1)

8 Feb 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Dundee (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) are order to remain on patrol near Curacao as information had been received that the German merchant vessels Seattle (7369 GRT, built 1928) and Vancouver (8269 GRT, built 1930) were expected to leave within the next week.

HMS Penzance (Cdr. A.J. Wavish, RN) was also ordered to the Curacao area as was the French armed merchant cruiser Barfleur. The RFA tanker War Brahmin (5545 GRT, built 1921) was ordered to proceed to the Bonaire area so as to be in position to fuel the ships on patrol if needed. (1)

16 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) left patrol to return to Kingston, Jamaica. (1)

17 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

22 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) left Kingston to patrol off Aruba, Dutch West Indies. (1)

25 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed the Aruba area to return to Kingston. (1)

27 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) returned to Kingston, Jamaica from patrol. (1)

17 Mar 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Papeete, French-Polynesia from Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. (1)

20 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Papeete, French-Polynesia for Suva, Fiji. (1)

25 Mar 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Suva, Fiji from Papeete, French-Polynesia. (1)

27 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Suva, Fiji for Sydney. On departure from the harbour torpedo firing exercises were carried out. (1)

31 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Suva, Fiji. (1)

1 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 1 to 28 April 1940, HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) underwent a short refit and docking period at Sydney. (3)

29 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted engine trials off Port Jackson. (3)

6 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0330K/6, HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) returned to Sydney from escort duty.

Around 0930K/6, she departed to patrol off the coast of New South Wales. (3)

7 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises while on patrol. (3)

8 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises while on patrol. (3)

9 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted 4" AA gunnery exercises while on patrol. On completion of these exercises she returned to Port Jackson. (3)

15 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Port Jackson to patrol off the coast of New South Wales. Also gunnery exercises were carried out. (3)

16 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) gunnery exercises while on patrol.

She returned to Port Jackson from patrol in the evening. (3)

17 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Port Jackson to patrol off Cape Moreton, Queensland, so as to be ready to intercept the Italian passenger / cargo ship Romolo (9780 GRT, built 1926) if she sailed from Brisbane. (3)

22 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is ordered to return to Sydney. (3)

23 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Port Jackson from patrol. (3)

25 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is docked in the Sutherland Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard for repairs to leaking rivets and her Asdic dome which had been damaged by a paravane. (3)

26 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is undocked. (3)

27 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Sydney for Western Port Bay and then on to Melbourne. (3)

28 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) enterend Western Port Bay where she anchored for the night. (3)

29 May 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Western Port Bay and proceeded to Port Phillip (this is the bay south of Melbourne).

4" AA gunnery exercises were then carried out on a sleeve target towed by an aircraft followed by torpedo firing exercises during which HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN) served as target.

HMAS Perth then anchored off Point Cook. (3)

30 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted 4" AA and .5" AA gunnery exercises firing on a sleeve target towed by an aircraft followed by torpedo firing exercises during which HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN) again served as target. (3)

4 Jun 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted 4" AA and .5" AA gunnery exercises firing on a sleeve target towed by an aircraft.

On completion of the exercises she departed Port Phillip for Sydney together with HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN). (3)

5 Jun 1940
HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) both arrived at Sydney from Melbourne. En-route exercises had been carried out. (3)


Heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (D 33)


6 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra is taken in hand for a short refit at Sydney.

Also on this day Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN, was relieved by Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN. (4)

20 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted D/G trials at Sydney. (5)

21 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1300K/21, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Sydney for Port Phillip. (5)

23 Jun 1940
Around 0020K/23, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) dropped anchor in Port Phillip. En-route from Sydney heavy weather had been encountered for which speed had to be reduced. HMAS Canberra had also sustained some minor weather damage.

HMAS Canberra got underway around 1100K/23 to make rendezvous with the troopship Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935). (5)

29 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0740H/29, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troopship Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) departed Fremantle for Capetown. (5)

11 Jul 1940
Around 0845B/11, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troopship Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) arrived at Capetown from Fremantle. (6)

12 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700B/12, the troopship Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) departed Capetown for Freetown. She was escorted by HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) until 1830AB/13 when HMAS Canberra parted company in position 27°00'S, 10°15'E and set course for Simonstown. (6)

15 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0945B/15, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Simonstown. (6)

18 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0800B/18, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Simonstown to patrol in the South Atlantic. (6)

22 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1340ZA/22, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) sighted a merchant vessel and closed to investigate.

At 1421ZA/22, the merchant vessel Dramatist (British, 5443 GRT, built 1920) made a raider distress message and reported being pursued.

At 1433ZA/22, the Dramatist made a signal in plain language that she was being pursued by a three funnelled naval vessel.

At 1442ZA/22, HMAS Canberra finally succeeded in contacting the Dramatist and ordered her to stop making distress messages. (6)

28 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1015B/28, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Simonstown from patrol.

As vibration had been reported since 21 July divers examined the port outer propeller shaft and found that the shaft had dropped due to excessive wear in the 'A' bracket bearing. It was decided to dock HMAS Canberra at the earliest possible opportunity. (6)

30 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is docked in the Selborne dry dock at the Simonstown Dockyard. (6)

4 Aug 1940
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is undocked. It had been decided that she was to return to Australia for repairs to her port outer shaft.

She departed Simonstown around 0840B/4 for Fremantle. She was to proceed on three shafts at a maximum speed of 24 knots. (7)

13 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0715H/13, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Simonstown.

After fuelling she departed for Sydney around 1630K/13. Maximum speed could be 26 knots. (7)

17 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700K/17, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Fremantle. She was immediately docked in the Sutherland Dry Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. (7)

28 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is undocked. (7)

30 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troopship Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914) departed Sydney to make rendezvous with and join convoy US 4.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 4 ' for 27 August 1940.] (7)

4 Sep 1940
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle with convoy US 4. She then fuelled from the Australian Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Kurumba (3798 GRT, built 1916). (8)

5 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle with convoy US 4.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 4 ' for 27 August 1940.] (8)

14 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700EF/14, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo from escort duty with convoy US 4. (8)

15 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700EF/15, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for Fremantle. (8)

21 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900H/21, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Colombo. (8)

22 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1300H/22, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting convoy US 5.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 5 ' for 14 September 1940.] (8)

1 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000EF/1, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo with convoy US 5. (9)

3 Oct 1940
Around 0900EF/3, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with convoy convoy US 5A.

Around 1330H/9, in approximate position 27°00'S, 109°50'E HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) made rendezvous with the convoy. One hour later, it's current escort, HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) parted company with the convoy and set course for Cocos Island.

The convoy continued its passage now escorted by HMAS Canberra.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 5A ' for 1 October 1940.] (9)

17 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000EF/17, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo with convoy US 5A. (9)

25 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900EF/17, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for gunnery exercises. On completion of these exercises she set course to make rendezvous with convoy US 6 coming from Australia. While proceeding to the rendezvous she was to show herself of the Cocos Islands.

Rendezvous was affected around 1200H/30, when HMAS Canberra took over the escort duties from HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN). (9)

4 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700EF/4, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off the entrance of the Bombay swept channel with convoy US 6. The ships then entered harbour. (10)

6 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700EF/6, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Bombay for Fremantle. (10)

20 Nov 1940
Around 0900H/20, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Bombay.

After having fuelled she departed for patrol in the Indian Ocean around 2230H/20. 80 ratings had not returned to the ship on time for sailing after they had been recalled.

Around 1700H/20, a distress message from the merchant vessel Maimoa (British, 10123 GRT, built 1920) had been received. She reported being attacked by an enemy surface raider in position 31°50'S, 100°21'E.

Around 2309 hours on 21 November a distress message was received from the merchant vessel Port Brisbane (British, 8315 GRT, built 1923) that reported that she was being attacked in position 29°22'S, 95°36'E. At 2322 hours, course was altered for this new position.

Around 0730 hours on 22 November a lifeboat was seen in position 30°41'S, 100°19'E. It was closed but was found to be unnamed and empty.

Around 1827 hours also on 22 November three lifeboats were seen in position 29°05'S, 95°30'E. These too were closed and were found to be from the Port Brisbane. On board were 1 officer, 3 engineers and 23 other ratings which were taken on board. The lifeboats were then left to sink with their plugs removed.

Around 1500 hours on 24 November, HMAS Canberra turned to the east to return to Fremantle. (10)

28 Nov 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN) departed Fremantle escorting convoy US 7.

Later the same day, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) also departed to overtake and join the convoy at sea.

[For more info this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 7 ' for 14 November 1940.] (11)

3 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500F/3, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) was relieved as escort of convoy US 7 by HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN). (12)

6 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
On board, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN), a signal was received which was from the Commander-in-Chief, China Station to the Australian Naval Board suggesting that HMAS Canberra to be diverted to search for the Vichy-French transport Sontay (8917 GRT, built 1921) which had passed the Sunda Strait and was en-route to Madagascar.

Before being ordered to do so Rear-Admiral Crace acted accordingly.

HMAS Canberra searched until 9 December 1940 but the Vichy ship was not sighted. (4)

10 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) again experienced vibration problems in her port outer propeller shaft. Speed was reduced to 15 knots and the Navy Board was informed by signal. (4)

14 Dec 1940
Around 0645H/14, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) arrived at Fremantle from convoy escort duty and patrol.

After having fuelled she departed for Sydney to dock around 1700H/14. (4)

18 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, and some members of his staff departed HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) in the ships Seagull plane to proceed to Melbourne for a meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff. They later flew on to Sydney. (4)

19 Dec 1940

Convoy US 8.

This convoy departed Wellington, New Zealand on 19 December 1940.

It was made up of the troop transports; Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939) and Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Achilles (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN).

The convoy arrived at Sydney, Australia on 22 December 1940.

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On 28 December 1940, the convoy departed Sydney.

It was now made up of the troop transports; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914) Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch and Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN).

On 30 December the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939) joined west of Bass Strait in position 39°45'N, 142°20'E. She was coming from Melbourne.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 3 January 1941.

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The convoy departed Fremantle for Colombo on 5 January in the same composition and with the same escort.

On 11 January 1941, the Queen Mary parted company with the convoy to proceed to Trincomalee.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 12 January 1941.

In Ceylon most of the troops were disembarked and then embarked on other (smaller) troop transports for onward passage to the Middle East.

20 Dec 1940
Around 0730K/20, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney. She was then immediately docked in the Sutherland Dry Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

[Note: the exact day when she left the dock is not known to us.] (4)

28 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN, transferred his flag from HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) to the shore establishment HMAS Rushcutter.

HMAS Canberra then left Sydney escorting convoy US 8.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 8 ' for 19 December 1940.] (13)

3 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived off Fremantle with convoy US 8. The convoy then anchored in Gage Roads.

HMAS Canberra remained out for 8" gunnery exercises and entered harbour to fuel around 1300H/3. (14)

5 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle with convoy US 8.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 8 ' for 19 December 1940.] (14)

12 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo with convoy US 8.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 8 ' for 19 December 1940.] (14)

13 Jan 1941
Around 2100E/13, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo to proceed to the aid of the auxiliary patrol vessel HMIS Hiravati (T/Lt. P. Munday, RINR) which was escorting the rockbreaker Nautilus and had got into trouble due to the heavy weather.

They were sighted around 1125E/14 in position 07°10'N, 77°56'E and it was found that HMIS Hiravati had the Nautilus in tow and that everything was under control.

At 1240E/14, HMAS Canberra parted company to return to Colombo where she arrived around 1715E/14. (14)

19 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1800E/19, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) returned to Colombo from escort duty. Before entering harbour she had carried out 8" gunnery exercises on a target that was towed by the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917). (14)

20 Jan 1941
Around 0845E/23, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for Fremantle. On departure gunnery exercises were carried out. (14)

24 Jan 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) was informed that an enemy raider had attacked the merchant vessel Mandasor (British, 5144 GRT, built 1920) to the east of the Seychelles in position 04°18'S, 61°00'E. [The enemy raider had been the German Atlantis.]

HMAS Canberra was ordered to change course to 235° and increase speed to 25 knots to participate in the hunt for the enemy raider.

The light cruisers HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) were also given orders to search for this enemy raider. (14)

28 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) fuelled at Addu Atoll from the RFA tanker Pearleaf (5911 GRT, built 1917) before departing for Fremantle. (14)

3 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1600H/3, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Colombo and patrol. (14)

4 Feb 1941

Convoy US 9.

This convoy departed Sydney on 4 February 1941 and arrived at Bombay on 22 February 1941.

The convoy was made up of the troopships; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938) and Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Sydney, around 1420K/4, the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN).

Off Melbourne, at 1650K/6, the convoy was joined by the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939).

The convoy arrived at Fremantle around 0800H/10 and departed again on 12 February 1941 but now escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN).

Around 1500G/16 the convoy made rendezvous with the light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) in position 08°12'S, 104°00'E which took the Queen Mary with her to Singapore where they arrived on the 18th.

Around 0900E/20, HMAS Canberra was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) in position 06°44'N, 77°27'E.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 22 February 1941.

12 Feb 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting convoy US 9.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 9 ' for 4 February 1941.] (15)

20 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500E/20, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo after escort duty with convoy US 9. (15)

22 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000E/22, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for Male, Maledive Islands. (15)

26 Feb 1941
Around 0930D/26, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel.

After having fuelled from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) she departed again to make rendezvous with HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) in position 04°00'S, 74°00'E.

On the 28th, the rendezvous position was altered to 01°30'S, 75°00'E.

Around 1600E/2, rendezvous was made and they then proceeded in visual distance of each other towards position 08°00'S, 63°00'E. (16)

4 Mar 1941
Around 1636E/4, a Walrus reconnaissance aircraft from HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) reported having sighted a merchant vessel and a tanker. HMAS Canberra immediately commenced to close and the ships were sighted around 1650E/4 in position 08°40'S, 61°25'E. HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) had apparently parted company earlier that afternoon but was still nearby so she was recalled.

At 1707E/4, HMAS Canberra opened fire on the merchant vessel and suspecting it might be an enemy raider she did so from long range. After the ship was set on fire amidships, gunfire was ceased.

The aircraft meanwhile had dropped some bombs near the tanker and she was subsequently scuttled by her crew. She was later found to be beyond salvage and was subsequently sunk by gunfire from HMAS Canberra.

Survivors from the ships, which turned out to be the German merchant vessel Coburg (7400 GRT, built 1928) and the Norwegian tanker Ketty Brovig (6970 GRT, built 1918), were picked up by both cruisers which then set course for Mauritius.'

The Coburg had left Massawa in February and the Kitty Brovig had been captured by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer on 2 February 1941. (17)

8 Mar 1941
Around 0930D/8, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) arrived at Port Louis, Mauritius to fuel from the RFA tanker Olcades (6891 GRT, built 1918).

Here the German POW's were landed. (18)

10 Mar 1941
Around 0600D/10, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) departed Port Louis, Mauritius to patrol to the south-east of Madagascar in approximate position 33°00'S, 50°00'E to search for enemy supply vessels.

HMS Leander returned to Mauritius on 22 March and HMAS Canberra on 25 March. No emeny ships had been sighted. (18)

27 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0930D/27, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Mauritius to patrol in the area of the Nazareth and Saya de Malha Banks (to the north-east of Mauritius). (18)

1 Apr 1941
Around 0830D/1, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Mauritius from patrol. (19)

4 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0630D/4, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Mauritius for Port Victoria, Seychelles escorting the troop transport Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924). (19)

7 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0730D/7, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troop transport Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles from Mauritius.

After fuelling from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917), HMAS Canberra departed for patrol around 1345D/7. She was to patrol near position 05°30'S, 45°00'E. (19)

10 Apr 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is ordered abandon her patrol and return to Port Victoria, Seychelles giving distant cover for convoy WS 6, which was passing through the area, en-route. (19)

12 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0715D/12, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles from patrol.

After fuelling from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917), HMAS Canberra departed for Colombo around 1400D/12. (19)

14 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN), which is en-route from the Seychelles to Colombo, is ordered to reconnoitre the Chagos Archipelago. Course was set accordingly and the reconnaissance was carried out during 15 and 16 April 1941. (19)

18 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1100E/18, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo. (19)

24 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000E/24, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for 4" HA gunnery exercises on completion of which course was set for position 03°10'N, 84°25'E where she was to make rendezvous with convoy US 10 coming from Australia.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 10 ' for 7 April 1941.] (19)

26 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troop transports Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) and Queen Elizabeth (British, 83673 GRT, built 1939) arrived at Trincomalee. (19)

27 Apr 1941

Convoy US 10A.

This convoy departed Trincomalee on 27 April 1941.

It was made up of the troop transports Queen Elizabeth (British, 83673 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936). On departure from Trincomalee the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN).

The Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) was delayed and sailed later to overtake the other ships at sea which she did early on the 28th.

The convoy was disbanded around 0040B/2 when north of Perim. (19)

2 May 1941
Around 0040B/2, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) parted company with convoy US 10A, made up of the troop transports Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) and Queen Elizabeth (British, 83673 GRT, built 1939) to the north of Perim. The troop transports then continued on towards Suez, unescorted. HMAS Canberra set course for Aden where she arrived around 1100B/2. (20)

6 May 1941

Convoy US 10B.

This convoy departed Colombo on 6 May 1941.

It was made up of the troop transports Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914), Ile de France (British, 43450 GRT, built 1926, former French) and Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN).

Around 1000E/7, the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) made rendezvous with the convoy coming from Aden. HMS Leander then parted company to proceed to the Socotra area in search of an enemy raider.

Around 0500C/11, HMAS Canberra parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden. The troopships then continued on to Suez unescorted.

11 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1600C/11, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (20)

14 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0930C/14, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Aden to patrol between the Equator and 02°00'N, and 55°00E to 62°00'E.

Before proceeding on patrol 4" HA gunnery exercises were carried out on a sleeve target. (20)

25 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel from the charted tanker British Genius (British, 8553 GRT, built 1939). (20)

28 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Port Victoria, Seychelles to patrol near position 00°01'N, 50°00'E. On arriving in this position she commenced to patrol towards the Eight Degree Channel.

On 2 June 1941, HMAS Canberra was ordered to proceed to position 00°50'N, 70°00'E to make rendezvous with the troop transport Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929). (20)

4 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1230E/4, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) make rendezvous with the troop transport Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929) in approximate position 00°53'N, 70°23'E.

She then took over the escort duties from the troopships current escort, HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN). (20)

9 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900C/9, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troop transport Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929) arrived at Mombasa. (21)

16 Jun 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Mombasa for Colombo.

She was to provide cover for the transport Benalbanach (British, 7153 GRT, built 1940) between positions 09°43'S, 43°00'E and 03°00'S and 45°00'E. This ship had on board important military stores.

PM on the 18th, HMAS Canberra set course for Colombo via the Eight Degree Channel. (21)

24 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1330EF/24, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo from escort duty and patrol. (21)

28 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is docked at Colombo. (21)

2 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is undocked. (22)

4 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
A.M. on 4 July, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous at the end of the Madras swept channel with the transport Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911) and then to escort her to a rendezvous with HMS Danae (A/Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN).

HMAS Canberra made rendezvous with the Ellenga off Madras P.M. on the 5th.

Rendezvous with HMS Danae was made A.M. on the 9th in position 10°00'N, 92°30'E. (22)

10 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
A.M. on the 10th, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN), which was now en-route to Fremantle, was ordered to return to Colombo instead. Course was changed accordingly. (22)

12 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
A.M. on the 12th, HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo. (22)

13 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for Fremantle. (22)

20 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Colombo. (22)

21 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting the transport Duntroon (Australian, 10346 GRT, built 1935) towards Adelaide.

On the 25th they parted company and HMS Canberra then set course for Melbourne. (22)

26 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Port Melbourne. (22)

31 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Port Phillip on completion of which she departed escorting the troop transport Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930) and then make rendezvous at sea with convoy US 11B which was made around 1550K/31.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 11B ' for 29 July 1941.] (22)

14 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Singapore with convoy US 11B. (23)

20 Aug 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Singapore for Fremantle. It had originally been the intention that she was to have escorted the (troop) transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) to the vicinity of Melbourne.

The Sibajak was however not able to depart due to defects so HMAS Canberra departed independently. (23)

26 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Singapore. (23)

3 Sep 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle for gunnery exercises on completion of which she was to depart to make rendezvous with convoy US 12B coming from Sydney.

On completion of the gunnery exercises, HMAS Canberra however first returned to harbour to land a damaged Walrus aircraft following which she departed for the rendezvous which was made around 0700K/6. HMAS Canberra then took over the escort duties from HMAS Sydney (Capt. J. Burnett, RAN).

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 12A ' for 3 September 1941.] (24)

8 Sep 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle with convoy US 12B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 12A ' for 8 September 1941.] (24)

9 Sep 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle with convoy US 12B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 12A ' for 8 September 1941.] (24)

15 Sep 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee with convoy US 12B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 12A ' for 8 September 1941.] (24)

16 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Trincomalee for Colombo. (24)

17 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Colombo from Trincomalee. Before entering harbour she ran over the degaussing range for D/G trials. (24)

19 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Colombo for Fremantle. Upon departure 4" AA gunnery exercises were carried out on a sleeve target. (24)

27 Sep 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Colombo.

After fuelling she departed for Sydney later the same day. (24)

3 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Fremantle. (25)

6 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Sydney to patrol in the Tasman Sea to provide cover for shipping movements through the area. (25)

10 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) returned to Sydney from patrol. (25)

16 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Sydney on completion of which she set course for Auckland providing cover for the transport Mariposa (American, 18017 GRT, built 1931). (25)

19 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Auckland. (25)

21 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Auckland for Sydney. (25)

25 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Auckland. (25)

2 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Sydney for Jervis Bay escorting the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936). They arrived at Jervis Bay later the same day. A/S protection for both ships anchored in the bay was provided during the night of 2/3 November 1942 by HMAS Ballarat (T/Lt.Cdr. A.D. Barling, RANR(S)). (26)

3 Nov 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) departed Jervis Bay to join convoy US 13.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 13 ' for 3 November 1941.] (26)

15 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from escort duty. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (26)

16 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Fremantle escorting the (troop) transport Katoomba (Australian, 9424 GRT, built 1913) towards Adelaide. (26)

20 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) parted company with the (troop) transport Katoomba (Australian, 9424 GRT, built 1913). HMAS Canberra then set course for Williamstown. (26)

22 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Williamstown.

After fuelling she departed for Sydney later the same day. (26)

24 Nov 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Sydney from Williamstown.

She is then taken in hand for a short refit. (26)

27 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is docked in the Sutherland Dry Dock at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. (26)

1 Dec 1941
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) is undocked at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard and proceeded to the Garden Island naval base. (27)

11 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Sydney. (27)


Heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (D 84)


4 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN, transferred his flag from HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) to HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN). (28)

Sources

  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth from September 1939 to March 1940
  2. ADM 53/107742 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth from September 1939 to March 1940
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth from 1 April to 6 June 1940
  4. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron
  5. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for June 1940
  6. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for July 1940
  7. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for August 1940
  8. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for September 1940
  9. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for October 1940
  10. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for November 1940
  11. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth for November 1940
  12. ADM 53/111701 + Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron
  13. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for December 1940
  14. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for January 1941
  15. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for February 1941
  16. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for February 1941 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for March 1941
  17. ADM 199/2225 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for March 1941
  18. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for March 1941
  19. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for April 1941
  20. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for May 1941
  21. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for June 1941
  22. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for July 1941
  23. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for August 1941
  24. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for September 1941
  25. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for October 1941
  26. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for November 1941
  27. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for December 1941
  28. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1942

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


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