Allied Warships

HMIS Carnatic (J 199)

Minesweeper of the Bangor class

NavyThe Royal Indian Navy
PennantJ 199 
ModTurbine engined 
Built byWilliam Hamilton & Co. (Port Glasgow, Scotland) : Parsons 
Ordered20 Dec 1939 
Laid down28 Mar 1941 
Launched29 Jul 1942 
Commissioned27 Oct 1942 
End service 
HistoryScrapped in 1949.

Former nameHMS Newhaven

Commands listed for HMIS Carnatic (J 199)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt. Hubert John Douglas Hamilton, RIN19 Oct 194229 Mar 1943
2T/Lt. Clarence Seymour Loughnane, RINVR29 Mar 19439 Jun 1943
3T/Lt. John Urquhart Webb, RINVR9 Jun 194320 Jun 1944
4Lt. Jehangir Dady Mody, RIN20 Jun 19441 Mar 1945
5T/Lt. Alfred Edward Beeforth Park, RINR1 Mar 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Carnatic include:

17 Nov 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR), HMS Goathland (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Pumphrey, RN, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN) and HMIS Carnatic (Lt. H.J.D. Hamilton, RIN). (1)

24 Jan 1943

Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 24 January 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 26 and KMF 8 at sea on 29 January 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Pride (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rembrandt (Dutch, 8126 GRT, built 1941), Ruys (British, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Sibajak (British, 12226 GRT, built 1927), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tiwali (British, 8178 GRT, built 1931) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, RN) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton (A/Capt. G.N. Loriston-Clarke, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), destroyers HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), escort destroyers RHS Adrias, RHS Miaoulis, sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), Savorgnan de Brazza, cutters HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

On 25 January 1943 the destroyer HMS Clare parted company to return to Londonderry. The escort destroyer RHS Miaoulis had lost touch with the convoy during the night of 24/25 January 1943. She was unable to regain touch and was also ordered to return to Londonderry. Her sister ship RHS Adrias had also lost touch but apparently was able to regain contact.

Around 1730A/26, the Antenor parted company with defects to return to the Clyde. It appears that she was escorted back to the Clyde by the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza.

Around 1630A/29, the convoy split into two parts.

Convoy KMF 8 continued on towards the Mediterranean and was made up of the transports Circassia, Duchess of York, Dunnottar Castle, Empire Pride, Letitia, Samaria, Strathnaver, Tawali and the aircraft carrier HMS Argus. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Banff, HMS Fishguard and HMS Test.

Around 1630A/30, HMS Argus and the transport Letitia parted company with convoy KMF 8 to proceed to Gibraltar. They entered Gibraltar Bay around 0330A/31. Presumably they were escorted by the frigate HMS Test which also arrived at Gibraltar on this day.

On 31 January the destroyer HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) joined convoy KMF 8 having departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

Later on 31 January the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Alberni (Lt. I.H. Bell, RCNVR), HMCS Baddeck (T/Lt. J. Brock, RCNVR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. W.E. Harrison, RCNVR), HMCS Port Arthur (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.T. Simmons, DSC, RCNVR) and HMCS Summerside (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.O. Gerity, RCNR) joined the escort of convoy KMF 8. They had departed Mers-el-Kebir earlier on 31 January. On the joining of HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout, HMS Verity was detached to join convoy GUF 4 as was the corvette HMCS Port Arthur.

The transport Strathnaver was detached to proceed to Oran escorted by HMCS Alberni, HMCS Baddeck, HMCS Luneburg and HMCS Summerside.

The remainder of convoy KMF 8 arrived at Algiers on 1 February escorted by HMS Laforey, HMS Lookout, HMS Egret, HMS Enchantress, HMS Banff and HMS Fishguard.


When the convoys split up, WS 26 continued on to Freetown. It was made up of the transports . They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 31 January, the repair ship HMS Wayland (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.S. Carson, RN) and the transport Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 29 January. Also on 31 January the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

The destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and escort destroyer RHS Adrias parted company on 31 January to fuel at Casablanca from where they departed again on 1 February to rejoin the convoy. HMS Quadrant and HMS Relentless rejoined on 3 February. RHS Adrias only rejoined on 5 February.

On 4 February the transport Leopoldville parted company with the convoy escorted by the destroyer HMS Redoubt. They arrived at Bathurst on 5 February.

Convoy WS 26 arrived at Freetown on 6 February 1943 escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.


Convoy WS 26 departed Freetown on 9 February for South Africa. It was made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Mooltan, Orduna, Rembrandt, Ruys, Sibajak, Stratheden, Volendam and the repair ship HMS Wayland.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), destroyers HMS Quality, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 12 February HMS Corinthian and RHS Adrias parted company with the convoy.

At 1145AB(-1.5)/13, the destroyer HMS Relentless joined the convoy coming from Lagos having departed there on 12 February immediately after being undocked.

Also on the 13th the corvette FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy escort.

In the morning and early afternoon of the 14th, HMS Racehorse and HMAS Quickmatch fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 0900AB/15 the destroyers HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon arrived at Porte Noire to fuel after having parted company with the convoy around 2300AB/14. After doing so they departed again around 1230AB/15 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1700AB/15. Also on the 15th the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 2215B/20, the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) joined the convoy coming from Saldanha Bay.

Around 0630B/21, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown where they arrived around 2100C/21. They departed again around 0730C/22 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1000C/22.

Around 1000C22, the Capetown section of the convoy, made up of Arundel Castle, California, Cheyebassa, Duchess of Richmond, Highland Chieftain, Orduna, Ruys, Sibajak and HMS Wayland parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown. Part of the escort, HMS Racehorce, HMS Relentless, HMAS Quiberon and FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves went with them, some of which then went on to Simonstown.

The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) joined the Durban section as did the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). This corvette was later detached around 1000C/24 and arrived at Port Elizabeth on later 24 February. Around 1200C/22, HMS Racehorce later rejoined after having fuelled at Capetown. HMS Blackmoor then parted company.

HMS Canton proceeded to Simonstown where she arrived around 1530C/22.

The remaining ships proceeded to Durban arriving there on 25 February escorted by HMS Ceres, HMS Cicilia, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Racehorse.


On 26 February 1943 the Capetown section departed there to proceed towards Durban. It was now made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Cheybassa, Highland Chieftain, Orduna and HMS Wayland. The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton, destroyer HMS Relentless and the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Blackmore.

At 0115C/1, HMS Relentless was detached to proceed ahead to Durban to fuel.

On completion of fuelling she returned from Durban together with the corvette HMS Freesia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), and the minesweepers HMIS Carnatic (Lt. H.J.D. Hamilton, RIN) and Commandant Duboc.

Meanwhile the corvette HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR) had also joined the convoy escort.

HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick also went to Durban to fuel. They returned later together with the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) and HMS Ceres.

HMS Canton parted company with the convoy and entered Durban.

Transports that joined coming from Durban were the City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Dempo, Dilwara, Dominion Monarch, Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Maloja, Mooltan, Rembrandt, Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938) and Stratheden. The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) also joined the convoy. The Dilwara however returned to Durban with defects shortly after sailing.

Around 1830C/3, HMS Jasmine and HMS Freesia parted company.

Around 0530C/4, HMS Relentless, HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick parted company.

Around 1500D/6, the Lancashire was detached to Tamatave escorted by the Commandant Duboc.

Around 0300C/8, HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy to proceed to Diego Suarez.

Around 0800CD(-3.5)/9, HMS Resource was detached from the convoy to proceed to Kilindini escorted by HMS Birmingham. The heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) had joined just before.

Around 1200D/10, the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0700D/11, the convoy split up into the Aden section and the Bombay section.

The Aden section was made up of the Arundel Castle, City of Paris, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Orduna, Rembrandt and Selandia. They were escorted by HMS Frobisher. They arrived off Aden on 15 March 1943 where the convoy was dispersed.

The Bombay section was made up of the California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dominion Monarch, Mooltan and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins. They arrived at Bombay on 17 March 1943.

31 May 1943

Convoy PB 43.

This convoy departed Bandar Abbas on 31 May 1943 and arrived at Bombay on 5 June 1943.

It was made up of the following transports; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Brangaza (Norwegian, 6327 GRT, built 1924), British Fusilier (British (tanker), 6943 GRT, built 1923), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Valentijn (Dutch, 2071 GRT, built 1928) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. G.F. Stevens-Guille, DSO, OBE, RN) and the minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (T/Lt. C. Macdonald, RANR(S)) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. C.S. Loughnane, RINVR). (2)

6 Jul 1943

Convoy PB 47.

This convoy departed Khasab Bay on 6 July 1943.

On departure from Khasab Bay the convoy was made up of the following ships; Barjora (British, 3164 GRT, built 1912), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Sincerity (British (tanker), 8538 GRT, built 1939), British Zeal (British (tanker), 8532 GRT, built 1937), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), George Wythe (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Horace Gray (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), John A. Sutter (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Lykes (American, 6829 GRT, built 1941), Masimpur (British (tanker), 5586 GRT, built 1927), Nigerstroom (Dutch, 4639 GRT, built 1939), Norfjell (Norwegian (tanker), 8129 GRT, built 1942), Olynthus (British (tanker), 6888 GRT, built 1918), Polarsol (Norwegian (tanker), 10022 GRT, built 1939), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), Santhia (British, 7754 GRT, built 1925), Steaua Romana (British (tanker), 4969 GRT, built 1916), Straat Malakka (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939), Thorshavn (Norwegian (tanker), 6869 GRT, built 1930), Valentijn (Dutch, 2071 GRT, built 1928), Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) and the minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (T/Lt. C. Macdonald, RANR(S), HMAS Burnie (T/Lt. T. Christie, RANR(S)) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. J.U. Webb, RINVR).

At 0735Z/7 the transport Barala (British, 3148 GRT, built 1912) joined the convoy.

At 0100Z/8, the Nordfjell was detached from the convoy.

At 1250Z/8, six ships were detached. These were the British Zeal, George Wythe, Horace Gray, John Sutter, Olynthus and Steaua Romana.

At 1130Z/9, ten ships were detached to Karachi were they arrived on 10 July 1943. These were the Barala, Barjora, British Sincerity, El Madina, El Segundo, John Lykes, Nigerstroom, Santhia, Straat Malakka and Varsova. They were escorted by HMS Ceres and HMAS Burnie for a while but these later rejoined the ' Bombay section '.

The remaining ships, British Architect, British Chemist, British Hope, Carelia, Masimpur, Polarsol, San Alvaro, Thorshavn, Valentijn and Varela proceeded to Bombay where they arrived on 12 July 1943 as did the escorts.

12 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN), HMAS Bathurst (T/Lt. C. Macdonald, RANR(S), HMAS Burnie (T/Lt. T. Christie, RANR(S)) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. J.U. Webb, RINVR) arrived at Bombay from convoy escort duty. (3)

17 Aug 1945

Operations Jurist and Beecham.

In the morning a big portion of the Eastern Fleet departed Trincomalee for ' Operation Jurist ' which was were the intended landings at Penang and ' Operation Beecham '. were intended landings at Sabang. Borth operations were part of the planned, larger, ' Operation Zipper ' which was the occupation of Malaya including Singapore. (Note, some of the Forces listed below had departed Ceylon earlier then 17 August).

The Fleet was organised into six Forces;
Force 11 was made up of the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. C. Caslon, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.C.T. Walker, CB, RN), light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. H.A. King, DSO, RN), HMS Ceylon (Capt. K.L. Harkness, DSC, RN), escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. G.F. Renwick, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. A.D. Torlesse, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. L.C. Sinker, DSC, RN), HMS Shah (Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN), destroyers HMS Tartar (Capt. B. Jones, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN) and HMS Volage (Cdr. R.T. Paul, CBE, RN) and the landing ships HMS Princess Beatrix (A/Cdr. J. Stretch, RD, RNR) and HMS Queen Emma (A/Cdr. T.L. Alkin, RN).

Force 12 was made up of the destroyers HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, DSC, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, DSC, RN) and 8 BYMS type minesweepers from the 166th Minesweeping Flotilla; HMS BYMS 2060 (T/Lt. R. Conde, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2162 (A/Skr.Lt. W. Sutherland, RNR), HMS BYMS 2168 (T/Lt. R.O. Tyrer, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2181 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.C. Butcher, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2203 (T/Lt. D.A. Turner, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2204 (T/Lt. R.A. Latrielle, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2232 (T/Lt. J. Mason, DSC, RNVR) and HMS BYMS 2236 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.C. Cooper, RNVR).

Force 13 was made up of the destroyer HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Diack, DSC, RN) and the tank landing ship HMS LST 383 (A/Lt.Cdr. H.B. Cadogan, RNR). The LST was loaded with motor transport.

Force 14 was made up of the escort destroyer HMS Calpe (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) and the chartered tanker (RFA) Empire Salvage (British (tanker) 10746 GRT, built 1940)

Force 68 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN, flying the Broad Pendant of Commodore A.L. Poland, CB, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN).

Force 157 was made up of the sloop HMIS Godavari (A/Cdr. H.M.S. Choudry, RIN), repair ship HMS Mull of Galloway (cdr. E.C. Hicks, RD, RNR), depot ship HMIS Barracuda (T/A/Cdr. L.G. Bingham, RINR), chartered gasoline tanker Cromwell (British, 1124 GRT, built 1943), 26 motor launches (ML's) of the 34th Flotilla; ML 194 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.F.W. Morley, RNVR), ML 187 (T/Lt. H.L. Langley, RNVR), ML 189 (T/Lt. W.J. Court, RNVR), ML 193 (T/Lt. J.T.C. Hastings, RNVR), ML 214 (T/Lt. B.H. Taylor, RNVR), ML 230 (T/Lt. J.K. Cook, RNVR), ML 245 (T/Lt. J Winthorpe-Young, RNVR), ML 907 (T/Lt. H W Perring, RNVR), ML 923 (T/Lt. S.E. Fowler, RNVR), 38th Flotilla; ML 851 (?), ML 850 (?), ML 897 (?), ML 898 (?), ML 899 (?), ML 900 (?), ML 4001 (?), ML 4002 (?), 56th Flotilla; ML 412 (T/Lt. J. Kent, RNVR, with T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Howard, RINVR on board), ML 390 (T/S.Lt. J.H. Birtwhistle, RINVR), ML 413 (T/Lt. L.C.A. Green, RINVR [???]), ML 416 (T/Lt. A.J. Adam, RINVR), ML 417 (T/Lt. R.H. Kilbey, RINVR), ML 419 (T/Lt. L.C.A. Green, RINVR [???]), ML 843 (?), ML 844 (?), ML 872 (?) and 9 harbour defence motor launches (HDML's) from the 110th Flotilla; HMDL 1105 (T/Lt. H.J. Stanley, KRNVR), HDML 1080 (T/S.Lt. C. Turnbull, RNVR), HDML 1082 (T.S.Lt. R.S. Franck, SANF(V)), HDML 1086 (T/S.Lt. R.A.J. Webb, RNVR), HDML 1098 (), HDML 1106 (Lt. F.H. Barnes, KRNVR), HDML 1107 (T/S.Lt. F.J. Marks, RNVR), HDML 1108 (T/S.Lt. K.S. Ingram, RNVR) and HDML 1150 (T/Lt. R.R. Harvey, SANF(V)).

It was while these forces were on passage eastward that delays in negotiations with the Japanese, and in the arrival of the Japanese Emperor's orders to case hostilities in South East Asia became apparent. The day set for the landings had, therefore, to be postponed and on 20th August all forces concentrated at Trinkat Champlong on the north east coast of Great Nicobar Island. This bay provided shelter from wind and swell, and ML's, HDML'S and the BYMS minesweepers were able to refuel at the anchorage while larger units remained at sea in the immediate vicinity.

By this time it had also become apparent that no landings in this theatre would be permitted by the Allied High Command until the final instrument of surrender had been signed at Tokyo. According, all plans had to be adjusted.

Any operations to the southward of the One Fathom Bank in the Malacca Straits were dependent on establishing a safe channel through the minefield in the area, so all available fleet minesweepers were sailed from Ceylon on 15 August to proceed eastward. These consisted of 4 fleet minesweepers and 2 danlayers of the 6th M/S Flotilla; HMS Friendship (Cdr. D.L. Johnston, RN), HMS Lennox (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Walton, RNR), HMS Lightfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.S. Drysdale, RNVR), HMS Persian (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Woollcombe, RN), HMS Imersay (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.H.A. Winfield, RNR) and HMS Lingay (T/Lt. P.W. Jequier, RNVR) as well as 7 fleet minesweepers of the 37th M/S Flotilla; – HMIS Orissa (T/Lt. C.S. Ahmad, RINR, with A/Cdr. G. Bailey, RIN on board), HMIS Rajputana (A/Lt.Cdr. A. Chakraverti, RIN), HMIS Kathiawar (T/Lt. R.J. Ward, RINR), HMIS Oudh (T/Lt. K.Y. Eccles, RINVR), HMIS Khyber (T/Lt. W.D.F. Clayton, RINR), HMIS Baluchistan (T/Lt. N.N. Pettitt, RINR) and HMIS Kumaon (T/Lt. U.J.S. Chopra, RINR).

On 17th August, the fleet minesweepers HMS Pelorus (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Bourgat, RN, with A/Capt.(Retd.) R.H.V. Sivewright, DSC, RN) and HMS Gozo (Lt.Cdr. T.T. Euman, RN) departed Colombo to overtake the 6th M/S Flotilla. They were joined by the fleet minesweeper HMIS Bengal (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.L. Scurr, RINVR) and the RFA tanker Cherryleaf (5896 GRT, built 1917) from Trincomalee. HMS Gozo however returned to Trincomalee on 23 August with condenser trouble.

The above fleet minesweepers and attendant oiler were subsequently formed into Force 155.

In view of the delays already referred to above, the fleet minesweepers were ordered to proceed to the lee of Simalur Island, the most northerly of the chain of islands off the west coast of Sumatra, where they anchored in Lugu Sibabu PM on 22 August.

On 25 August the RFA tanker Orangeleaf (5927 GRT, built 1917) departed Colombo to join Force 155. On the 26th the fleet minesweepers HMS Melita (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.R. May, RNR), HMIS Rohilkhand (?) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. A.E.B. Park, RINR) also sailed from Colombo to augment Force 155 and were joined by HMS Gozo from Trincomalee which had made repairs there but now HMIS Carnatic had to return with defects.

A meeting of was held at Rangoon on 26 August 1945, in which representatives of the Supreme Allied commander, South East Asia and plenipotentiaries from the Japanese Southern Area Command.

As a result of this meeting all ships left their concentration points at Great Nicobar Island and Simalur on 27th August.

Vice Admiral Walker, CB with Force 11 and Commodore Poland with Force 68 anchored off Penang and Sabang respectively AM on 28 August. The remainder of the forces arrived off the Malayan shore on 29th August. Bad weather forced the small ships to anchor in the lee of Langkawi Island.

Also on 27 August 1945 more fleet minesweepers had departed Ceylon to join Force 155. These were HMS Recruit (A/Cdr. A.E. Doran, DSC, RN), HMS Chameleon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. D.P. Richardson, RNVR), HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR), HMS Plucky (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G. Wallis, RNVR), HMS Rifleman (Lt. C.L. Carroll, DSC, RNR), HMIS Punjab(Lt. A.V. Baker, RIN) and HMS Deccan (?) and HMIS Bihar (T/Lt. J. Vendrell, RINR).

Senior Japanese officers at Penang came on board HMS Nelson on 28 August and signed an agreement that no attack would be made on the Fleet. Further meetings were held on the 29th, 30th and 31st. The Japanese proved cooperative and provided the necessary information relative to their minefields, including those at Singapore and other areas.

All arrangements were completed for the occupation of Penang and preparations made to land as soon as the instrument of surrender was signed at Tokyo. On 30th August, BYMS minesweepers began to sweep the northern approach channel to the harbour.

At Sabang, guarantees and information similar to that obtained at Penang were supplied by the Japanese during meetings on board HMS London. Arrangements were also made for all Japanese forces and Sumatran coolies to evacuate Pulu-Wei and proceeded to Kota Raja on the Sumatran mainland.

On 27 August, the Commander in Chief, East Indies, Admiral Sir A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, departed Colombo in HMS Cleopatra (Capt. B.I. Robertshaw, CBE, RN) arriving at Sabang on 29th August, and subsequently proceeding to Penang.


  1. ADM 173/17255
  2. ADM 53/117421 + ADM 199/636 + ADM 199/643
  3. ADM 53/117179 + ADM 199/643

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

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