Allied Warships

HMIS Hindustan (L 80 / U 80)

Sloop of the Folkestone class

NavyThe Royal Indian Navy
TypeSloop
ClassFolkestone 
PennantL 80 / U 80 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered15 Apr 1929 
Laid down4 Sep 1929 
Launched12 May 1930 
Commissioned10 Oct 1930 
End service 1948 
History

Transferred to Pakistan in 1948 being renamed Karsaz.

 

Commands listed for HMIS Hindustan (L 80 / U 80)

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.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Geoffrey Vance Gordon Beamish, RIN29 Aug 19396 Jul 1941
2A/Cdr. Ivan Bryan Warburton Heanly, RIN6 Jul 19411 Dec 1942
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. William Joseph Wilson, RINR1 Dec 194222 Jul 1943
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. Charles Fyfe-Smith, RINR22 Jul 19431 Jul 1944
5A/Cdr. Henry Charles Bird, OBE, RIN1 Jul 1944

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Notable events involving Hindustan include:


28 Aug 1939
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. P.A. Mare, RIN) arrived at Bombay from Trincomalee. At Bombay she was taken in hand for docking and boiler cleaning. (1)

2 Sep 1939
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) departed Bombay for the Persian Gulf. (1)

3 Sep 1939
At 1815 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Masirah Island in the Arabian Sea for patrol in the Arabian Sea. This was to provide cover for the movements of warships from the Royal Indian Navy; HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.P. Hughes-Hallet, RIN); as well as the depot ship HMS Lucia (Cdr. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) (2)

15 Oct 1939
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) arrived at Bombay for a short refit. During this refit an Asdic set was fitted. (1)

2 Nov 1939
With her refit completed, HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), departed Bombay for the Persian Gulf. (1)

11 Dec 1939
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) arrived at Aden where she joined the Perim patrol for about a month before she returned to the Persian Gulf. (3)

9 Apr 1940
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) arrived at Bombay from the Persian Gulf for a refit. (1)

5 May 1940
With her refit completed, HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), departed Bombay for the Persian Gulf. She returned however the same day due to a defect in her port 'A' bracket. (1)

8 May 1940
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) departed Bombay for Karachi. (3)

10 May 1940
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) arrived at Karachi. (3)

11 May 1940
HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) departed Karachi for the Persian Gulf. (3)

23 Jun 1940

Convoy BN 1.

This convoy departed Bombay on 23 June 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 12 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Alavi (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Anna Odland (Norwegian, 4980 GRT, built 1939), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), Svenor (Norwegian (tanker), 7616 GRT, built 1931), Turbo (British, 4781 GRT, built 1912) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN).

HMS Cathay parted company with the convoy on 2 July after the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had joined the escort.

HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy on 4 July.

The destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined the convoy on 5 July 1940. HMIS Hindustan then parted company.

Off Aden the merchant vessels Alavi and Beaconstreet parted company with the convoy. They arrived at Aden on 6 July.

Off Aden the RFA tanker Plumleaf (5916 GRT, built 1917) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) also joined the convoy.

Also off Aden the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy.

On 9 July HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston parted company with the convoy.

On 10 July HMNZS Leander, HMS Flamingo and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy being relieved as escorts by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). (4)

17 Jul 1940

Convoy BN 2.

This convoy departed Bombay on 17 July 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 5 August 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Consul (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), Clydefield (British (tanker), 7365 GRT, built 1928), Cornwall (British, 10605 GRT, built 1920), Daviken (Norwegian, 2922 GRT, built 1926), Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911), Germa (Norwegian, 5282 GRT, built 1920), Grena (Norwegian (tanker), 8117 GRT, built 1934), Hoegh Hood (Norwegian (tanker), 9351 GRT, built 1936), Jalarashimi (British, 4449 GRT, built 1918), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924),Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Nawab (British, 5430 GRT, built 1915), Olivia (Dutch (tanker), 6307 GRT, built 1939), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN) and HMAS Westralia (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN).

On 20 July two of the merchant ships parted company with the convoy to proceed to other destinations, these were the tankers British Consul (to Trincomalee) and Clydefield (to Colombo).

On 26 July the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay and HMAS Westralia parted company with the convoy while the light cruisers HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) joined the convoy.

On 27 July the sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) joined the convoy to provided A/S escort while the convoy was approaching Aden.

On the 29th the merchant vessels Jerhangir and Varsova split off from the convoy and proceeded to Aden escorted by HMS Ceres.

The following merchant ships joined the convoy at Aden; Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Judge (British (tanker), 6735 GRT, built 1921), Marija Petrinovic (Yugoslavian, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Mathura (British, 8890 GRT, built 1920), Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940) and Peshawur (British, 7934 GRT, built 1919).

On 30 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy to escort it partly through the Red Sea. HMIS Hindustan and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy on 30 July.

On 3 August the following merchant vessels split off to proceed to Port Sudan; Daviken, Grena, Marija Petrinovic and Ozarda. They were escorted to there by HMS Kimberley.

Also on 3 August 1940 HMS Leander, HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Flamingo parted company with the convoy, while the sloop HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) joined the convoy to escort it on it's last leg to Suez.

16 Aug 1940
From 16 to 19 August 1940, Allied troops from Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

The troops were evacatuated by the transports Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (6491 GRT, built 1912), the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) as well as the armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN).

Cover for the evacuation was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), AA -cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN), HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN), HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN), HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN), HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and the netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN).

On 17 August, HMS Ceres bombarded Italian Army targets which temporarily halted the Italian advance.

On 18 August, HMS Caledon and HMS Kandahar bombarded enemy units on the Bulhar-Berbera road.

The evacuation was completed on the 18th. Over 7000 men had been evacuated.

The last men were taken off by HMAS Hobart at Berbera early on the 19th. She left around 0845C/19 for Aden with the last of the Army personnel and the demolition parties which had demolished the harbour facilities. HMS Indus proceeded along the coast to pick up stragglers. (4)

23 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 6.

The Karachi section of this convoy departed that place on 23 September 1940.

It was made up of the transports; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911) and Pundit (British, 5305 GRT, built 1919).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

On 26 September 1940, the ' Kararchi section ' was joined by the ' Bombay section ' which had departed that place on 25 September 1940.

It was made up of the following transports (one one tanker); Borgestad (Norwegian, 3924 GRT, built 1924), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Garmula (British, 5254 GRT, built 1920), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Marisa (Dutch (tanker), 8029 GRT, built 1937), Naringa (British, 6607 GRT, built 1923), Nizam (British, 5322 GRT, built 1914), President Doumer (British, 11898, built 1935), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928), Rhona (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Shirala (British, 7841 GRT, built 1925), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

Around 1230C/1, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) took over from the armed merchant cruisers which then parted company to proceed to Bombay.

Around 0800C/3, the sloops HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined.

Around 0830C/4, the ' Bombay / Karachi section ' merged with the ' Aden section '. On doing so, HMAS Hobart parted company and proceeded to Aden.

The ' Aden section ' was made up of the following transports / tankers; Ayamonte (British, 845 GRT, built 1899), Bencruachan (British, 5920 GRT, built 1928), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), City of Singapore (British, 1988 GRT, built 1937), Clan Ross (British, GRT, built ), Cyprian Prince (British, GRT, built ), Devis (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), El Amin (British, 746 GRT, built 1926), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Helka (British (tanker), 3471 GRT, built 1912), Hilda Moller (British, 4622 GRT, built 1912), Jalaputra (British, 4856 GRT, built 1906), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Jhelum (British, 4038 GRT, built 1936), Liss (British (tanker), 5932 GRT, built 1921), Lurigethan (British, 3564 GRT, built 1916), Quiloa (British, 7765 GRT, built 1925), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Soli (Norwegian (tanker), 5834 GRT, built 1915), Star of Alexander (Egyptian, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Strix (Norwegian (tanker), 6219 GRT, built 1930), Therese Moller (British, 3930 GRT, built 1905) and Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

The ' Aden section ' of the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division), destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN).

The convoy now proceeded northwards up the Red Sea.

At dawn on the 5th, the Ayamonte was detached to proceed to Kamaran escorted by HMAS Parramatta.

On the 5th, 6th and 7th of October convoy BN 6 was attacked by high level Italian bombers but no damage was done.

The following ships were detached to Port Sudan where they arrived on 7 or 8 October 1940; Borgestad, Devonshire, El Amin, Garmula, Jehangir, Khandalla, Pundit, Rajput, Ranee, Rohna, Strix, Takliwa and Talamba.

From the escort HMIS Hindustan arrived and left Port Sudan on 7 October 1940, HMAS Auckland arrived and left on 8 October and HMAS Yarra arrived and left on 9 October. HMS Kingston also called at Port Sudan [date currently unknown to us].

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Suez on 11 October 1940. on 9 October 1940, HMS Leander had been replaced as escort by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN). (5)

5 Oct 1940

Convoy BS 6.

This convoy departed Suez on 5 October 1940.

It was made up of the transports / tanker; Bahadur (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Baron Erskine (British, 3657 GRT, built 1930), British Pride (British (tanker), 7106 GRT, built 1931), Charlbury (British, 4836 GRT, built 1940), Duffield (British (tanker), 8516 GRT, built 1938), Hydroussa (Greek, 2038 GRT , built 1922), Jalapadma (British, 3935 GRT, built 1929), Jessmore (British, 4099 GRT, built 1921), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Phenix (British (tanker), 5920 GRT, built 1920, former French), Raby Castle (British, 4996 GRT, built 1925), Star of Mex (Egyptian, 1116 GRT, built 1911) and Trevarrack (British, 5270 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN).

On 8 October 1940 the transport Karoa was detached to Port Sudan.

On 9 October 1940 the two sloops were relieved by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division) and the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

Also on 9 October 1940 the convoy was joined by the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) and sloop HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) coming from Port Sudan.

Around 1030C/13, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which relieved HMS Leander. The transports Baron Erskine, Hydroussa, Phenix and Star of Mex were detached to Aden escorted by HMIS Hindustan. They arrived around 2000C/13.

At dusk, HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy and set course for Colombo.

The convoy was dispersed later the same day and HMS Auckland and HMAS Yarra proceeded to Aden arriving around 0700C/14. (4)

19 Nov 1940

Convoy BS 9.

This convoy departed Suez on 19 November 1940.

It was made up of the transports; Arundo (Dutch, 5163 GRT, built 1930), Askot (Norwegian, 1323 GRT, built 1938), Australind (British, 5020 GRT, built 1929), Bahadur (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Clan Campbell (British, 7255 GRT, built 1937), Daisy Moller (British, 4078 GRT, built 1911), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Erica (South African, 5112 GRT, built 1926), Inviken (Norwegian, 4131 GRT, built 1925), Jalakrishna (British, 4991 GRT, built 1937), Katie Moller (British, 3100 GRT, built 1919), King Arthur (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Konistra (Greek, 3539 GRT, built 1907), Marion Moller (British, 3287 GRT, built 1909), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nyco (Norwegian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Serbino (British, 4099 GRT, built 1919), Subadar (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929) and Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN).

On 22 or 23 November the transport Empire Defender (British, 5649 GRT, built 1910) joined coming from Port Sudan while the Marion Moller and Umberleigh, which had straggled from the convoy, were ordered to proceed to Port Sudan where they arrived on 23 November.

The two escorting sloops were replaced A.M. on 23 November by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division), AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

Around 1330C/26, the transports Clan Campbell, Inviken, Katie Moller, Konistra and Subadar parted company to proceed to Aden as did HMS Leander, HMS Carlisle and HMS Auckland.

At the same time, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) joined coming from Aden.

Around 0900C/27, HMIS Hindustan was detached to Aden.

Around 1200C/27, the convoy was dispersed in position 12°08'N, 46°53'E. HMAS Hobart and HMS Kingston setting course for Aden. (4)

26 Jan 1941

Convoy BNF 1.

This convoy departed Bombay on 26 January 1941 for Suez where it arrived on 6 February 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Felix Roussel (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Santhia (British, 7754 GRT, built 1925) and Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

She remained with the convoy until around 0800/31 when the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) took over the convoy.

On 31 January the sloops HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) departed Aden to join the convoy after which HMS Kingston was to proceed to Aden.

On 1 February the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) sailed from Aden to join the convoy. Also from Aden sailed four merchant ships which were to join the convoy, these were; Baluchistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Hav (Norwegian, 5062 GRT, built 1939), Peter Maersk (British, 5476 GRT, built 1932) and Rinda (Norwegian, 6029 GRT, built 1917).

HMS Kandahar, HMS Flamingo and HMAS Parramatta arrived at Port Sudan on 3 February. The merchant vessel Varela also proceeded to Port Sudan.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 6 February escorted by HMIS Hindustan. (6)

24 Mar 1941

Convoy BS 21.

This convoy departed Suez on 24 March 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Afghanistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Andreas (Greek, 6566 GRT, built 1919), Arundo (Dutch, 5163 GRT, built 1930), Benalder (British, 5161 GRT, built 1919), Bosanka (Yuguslavian, 3456 GRT, built 1905), Christos Markettos (Greek, 5209 GRT, built 1919), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), City of Leicester (British, 3351 GRT, built 1926), Condylis (Greek, 4439 GRT, built 1914), Corona (Norwegian, 3264 GRT, built 1920), Doris (Greek,4604 GRT, built 1917), Efthalia Mari (Greek, 4195 GRT, built 1919), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), Empire Ability (British, 7603 GRT, built 1931), Hatasu (British, 3198 GRT, built 1921), Intrepido (Panamanian, 2130 GRT, built 1920), Irene S. Embiricos (Greek, 4164 GRT, built 1927), Leana (British, 4742 GRT, built 1914), Maliakos (Greek, 3903 GRT, built 1912), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Odysseus (British, 4577 GRT, built 1913), Rosalie Moller (British, 3963 GRT, built 1910), Spyros (Greek, 6629 GRT, built 1918), Tassia (Greek, 3034 GRT, built 1904), Vacport (British (tanker), 6774 GRT, built 1930), Wilford (Norwegian, 2158 GRT, built 1921) and Woolgar (Norwegian, 3060 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Caledon (A/Cdr. C.S. Britton, RN).

In the morning of the 28th, off Port Sudan, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

Also at that time the convoy merged with convoy SU 3.

HMS Caledon parted company with the combined convoy on 29 March 1941 and proceeded to Port Sudan arriving there on the 30th.

On the 30th the combined convoy escort was joined by the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) which then took over from HMS Capetown which then proceeded to Port Sudan arriving there on 31 March.

On 31 March the combined convoy was joined by the sloop HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

The combined convoy was dispersed on 1 April 1941.

25 Mar 1941

Convoy SU 3.

This convoy departed Suez on 25 March 1941.

it was made up of the following (troop) transports; Adviser (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Barrister (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Bhutan (British, 6104 GRT, built 1929), Clan MacAulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Nurmahal (British, 5419 GRT, built 1923), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915) and Westernland (Dutch, 16479 GRT, built 1918).

On departure from Aden the convoy was not escorted.

On 28 March 1941, off Port Sudan, the convoy merged with convoy BS 21. From then on the combined convoy was being escorted by the light cruisers HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN), HMS Caledon (A/Cdr. C.S. Britton, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

HMS Caledon parted company with the combined convoy on 29 March 1941 and proceeded to Port Sudan arriving there on the 30th.

On the 30th the combined convoy escort was joined by the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) which then took over from HMS Capetown which then proceeded to Port Sudan arriving there on 31 March.

On 31 March the combined convoy was joined by the sloop HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN).

The combined convoy was dispersed on 1 April 1941. (6)

25 Nov 1941
Around 1000 hours, HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN), intercepted the Vichy-French merchant Surcouf (1129 GRT, built 1899) of the east coast of Somalia in position 07°17'N, 52°06'E. Shortly after noon a prize crew was put on board which brought her to Aden. The Surcouf was en route from Madagascar to Djibouti with food.

From Aden the Indian sloop HMIS Hindustan (A/Cdr. I.B.W Heanly, RIN) was sent out to join HMS Cornwall and the Surcouf to provide A/S protection as it was feared that a Vichy French submarine which had recently been at Djibouti would intervene.

HMIS Hindustan joined the Surcouf in the afternoon of 27 November 1941. (7)

14 Feb 1942

Convoy JS 2X.

This convoy departed Colombo on 14 February 1942 and arrived at Rangoon on 23 February 1942.

This convoy was made up of the troopships / transports; African Prince (British, 4653 GRT, built 1939), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Birchbank (British, 5151 GRT, built 1924), Mariso (Dutch, 7659 GRT, built 1930), Tingsang (British, 2256 GRT, built 1922) and Troja (Norwegian, 8814 GRT, built 1930).

The convoy was escorted by the British heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN), the Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), the Indian sloop HMIS Hindustan (A/Cdr. I.B.W Heanly, RIN), the Australian minesweeper HMAS Lismore (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Crawford, RANR(S)) and the Indian auxiliary patrol vessel HMIS Ramdas (Lt. G.M. Hart, RINR).

The merchant vessel Tingsang was detached south-east of Ceylon to proceed to Madras escorted by HMIS Ramsdas.

HMAS Vampire, having been detached, returned to Colombo on 18 February.

HMS Cornwall returned to Colombo on 24 February.

The remainder of the convoy meanwhile had arrived at Rangoon on 23 February 1942. (8)

30 Jul 1942

Operation Stab.

Diversionary operation in the Bay of Bengal.

The object of this diversionary operation in which landings on the Andaman Islands simulated was to distract Japanese naval forces in conjunction with American operations in the Solomons.

To simulate landing forces three convoys were to leave India and Ceylon. These were;
' Force V ', sailing from Vizagapatam.
Tansports Blackheath (British, 4637 GRT, built 1936), Cranfield (British, 5332 GRT, built 1919) and Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925). These ships were escorted by the sloop HMIS Jumna (Cdr. J.E.N. Coope, RIN, Senior Officer) and the destroyer HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN).

' Force M ', sailing from Madras
Transports Clan McIver (British, 4606 GRT, built 1921), Custodian (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Hoperange (British, 5177 GRT, built 1939), Tasmania (British, 6405 GRT, built 1935) and Yuen Sang (British, 3229 GRT, built 1923). These ships were escorted by the fast minelayer HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN, Senior Officer), corvette HMS Aster (Lt. W.L. Smith, RNR) and patrol vessel HMIS Sonavati (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Smith, RINR).

' Force T ', sailing from Trincomalee
Transport (RAF Tender) Shengking (British, 2999 GRT, built 1931) and the tankers Marit Maersk (Danish, 1894 GRT, built 1938), Appleleaf (Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 5892 GRT, built 1917) and Broomdale (Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 8334 GRT, built 1937). These ships were escorted by the sloop HMIS Hindustan (A/Cdr. I.B.W Heanly, RIN, Senior Officer) and the corvette HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

These forces were to proceed at best speed and reverse their course after dark at 1700Z/1 and return to their ports at best speed to arrive there before dusk on 2 August 1942.

' Force A ' of the Eastern Fleet was to sail from Colombo at 0400Z/31 so as to be eastward of Trincomalee by the time ' Force T ' was due to sail on the 1st August. Thereafter, ' Force A ' was to cover ' Force T ' from the eastward during the 1st and 2nd August. Subsequent movements of ' Force A ' were to depend on the situation, the force finally returning to Colombo about the 4th August.

During the night of 1/2 August, whilst forces are at sea, a wireless diversion (called Operation Spark) was to be carried out to simulate the following events.
1.) An imaginary collision was to occur in ' Force M '.
2.) One of the damaged ships was to make a plain language W/T signal reporting she had been in collision and is unable to proceed on the operation. One of the escort was to order her to keep silence and later to report to the Commander-in-Chief that ' Force M ' was unable to proceed. The Commander-in-Chief was then to postpone the operation and order all forces to return to their ports.
3.) Shore Wireless Stations were to carry out their normal W/T procedure.

Catalina Patrols were to be established well to the eastward to cover the three convoys during the short period they were at sea and ' Force A ' whilst operating in the Bay of Bengal.

At 2200F/30, the Commander-in-Chief received the following enemy report from the Dutch submarine HrMs O 23 (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Valkenburg, RNN) which was on patrol in the Malacca Straits: ' Two cruisers of the Takao-class and four destroyers in position 05°32'N, 98°50'E. Course 340°. Speed 14 knots. Torpedoes missed. Time of Origin of the signal of HrMs O 23 was 2352Z/28.

It seemed unlikely that the enemy cruiser force, moving northwards close to the Thailand coast, was a sign of enemy reaction to the 'planted' rumours in India that seaborne forces wear being prepared to attack the Andaman Island. A more probable reason to account for this movement was a possible raid on shipping in the northern part of the Bay of Bengal or a visit to Rangoon to coincide with the establishment of the new Burmese puppet government.

HrMs O 23 was due to leave patrol in the Malacca Straits on the 31st July and return to Colombo. In view of the enemy forces reported previously by her and the forthcoming Operation Stab, she was ordered to remain on patrol until 3rd August.

Forces ' T ' and ' M ' were provided with air cover (this was not possible for ' Force V '), both by the long range reconnaissance Catalina patrols and local fighter escort, and in addition would have Force A covering them to the eastward, but ' Force V ' would be without air cover and too far away to be covered by ' Force A '. The Commander-in-Chief therefore decided to cancel the sailing of ' Force V ', but that all preparations for its departure were to continue.

In view of the enemy cruisers reported in the Malacca Straits on 29th July, The Commander-in-Chief decided to proceed with ' Force A ' from Colombo in the afternoon of 30 July. This would enable operation Stab to be carried out on the prearranged date and also admit of intercepting the Japanese force should it venture to the southern part of the Bay of Bengal.

' Force A ', comprising the battleship HMS Warspite (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral D.W. Boyd, CBE, DSC, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) and the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN), HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) and HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) sailed from Colombo at 1700F/30.

Course was shaped to keep out of sight of land and to be in a position 35 miles to eastward of Trincomalee by 1000F/1.

Two air searches were sent out from ' Force A ' on 31st July. The first at 0800F to cover the section 050° to 080° ahead of the fleet to a depth of 150 miles; and the second at 1500F to search the sector 000° to 110° to a depth of 160 miles. Nothing was seen in either search.

Since no further information of the enemy cruiser force had been received, the Commander-in-Chief decided at 1100F/31 to postpone the sailing of ' Force M ' until 4 hours later and ordered a Catalina patrol to the north eastward of this force whilst at sea so as to give warning of approach of any possible enemy forces.

' Force T ' sailed from Trincomalee at the prearranged time, 0900F/1. At that time ' Force A ' was 40 miles north-east of Trincomalee, course south-west. At 1000F/1 course was altered to north-east, parallel to that of ' Force T ', and throughout the day, ' Force A ' maintained a covering position to the north-east of ' Force T '.An air reconnaissance was flown off at 0830F/1 to cover the section 340° to 000° to 130° to a depth of 150 nautical miles. This search saw nothing.

At 1040F/1, when ' Force A ' was in position 09°00'N, 21°42'E, 40 nautical miles north-east of Trincomalee, course northeast, an RDF contact was obtained on an aircraft bearing 100° range 73 miles. This was at first through to be one of the reconnaissance aircraft returning, but the absence of IFF indication being the unfortunately the rule rather than the exception. This aircraft was tracked around the fleet and passed astern at 1130F/1 on a bearing 220°, range 24 miles thence proceeded to the north-westward and finally faded on bearing 060° at 60 miles at 1215F/1. The aircraft was sighted by HMS Formidable and identified by two officers and an air lookout as a Catalina and reported as such. HMS Formidable did not send out fighters to investigate. Although the prearranged programme of the Catalina reconnaissance did not suggest one of these aircraft should be acting in this manner, the possibility was accepted in view of the lack of training of many of the newly arrived Catalina crews. Subsequent investigations and a warning of the presence of British forces broadcast from Tokyo established this was an enemy aircraft.

At noon a fighter umbrella of two Martlets was maintained by HMS Illustrious. One Martlet crashed into the barrier on deck landing. The need to economise on the fighter umbrella was governed by the necessity of conserving the Martlets. Had the aircraft referred earlier not been wrongly identified as a Catalina, The Commander-in-Chief was convinced that it could have been intercepted by Martlets that were ranged at readiness in both aircraft carriers.

A further air search was sent out at 1500F/1 to cover the sector from 000° to 110° to a depth of 150 miles but nothing was seen.

At 1800F/1, one of the Fulmar search aircraft made an emergency landing on HMS Illustrious, but crashed on desk due to a fractured oil pipe spraying the pilot’s windscreen, and was badly damaged.

At 1830F/1, all the search aircraft except two Fulmars had returned to their carriers. The two missing aircraft reported to HMS Formidable by wireless that they were lost and requested D/F bearings. The Commander-in-Chief at once ordered wireless silence to be broken to home these aircraft. The fleet was turned at 1840F/1 to close one of the aircraft when bearing had been definitely established by D/F and RDF. Searchlights were burned at dusk to assist returning aircraft and at 1920F/1 Very’s lights were sighted to the south-west. A few minutes later one of the aircraft was sighted and closed the carriers. Unfortunately, the aircraft by this time so short of petrol that it had to force land in the sea. The crew were picked up by HMAS Norman.

By 2000F/1. ' Force A ', which had become somewhat dispersed during reversal of course and whilst locating the crew of the aircraft, was reformed and course altered to the north west. Unfortunately nothing further was heard or seen of the other missing Fulmar with the exception of one report that a light had been seen to the eastward. A night search for the survivors of this aircraft was considered, but as they would have left the convoy uncovered to the northeast, The Commander-in-Chief decided it was preferable to return to this area at dawn and carry out a daytime air search. The Commander-in-Chief therefore continued to the north-west and at 0100F/2 in position 11°30'N, 82°15'E, course was reversed to the south-east and at daylight course was altered to south.

The wireless diversion (Operation Spark) was carried out as previously arranged during the night at 2300F/1 and appears to have been fully effective.

At 0630F/2, a thorough air search was sent out to look for survivors of the Fulmar which had been lost the previous evening. Whilst this attack was continuing, ' Force A ' was manoeuvred in the area in which it was estimated that the survivors might have landed. No survivors were located and it must be presumed with regret that the crew of two was lost. Catalinas which would be operating through this area were requested to keep a good lookout for survivors.

At 1030F/2, despatches were transferred by HMAS Norman from HMS Warspite to HMS Illustrious and thence sent by aircraft to Trincomalee for onward transmission. At 1100F/2, HMS Formidable flew off two Martlets as fighter umbrella. At 1112F/2, both carriers reported RDF contact on an aircraft bearing 055°, range 55 miles. HMS Formidable directed two Martlets onto this aircraft. When the fighters sighted the enemy flying boat at 10000 feet they first thought it was a Catalina, but on approaching closely identified it as a Japanese flying boat Navy Type 97, and promptly shot it down in approximate position 09°26'N, 83°16'E. The flying boat, which appeared to be taken completely by surprise, gave no return fire and after the second burst of fire from the Martlets, caught fire, disintegrated and fell in flames. No survivors were seen.

In the meantime at 111F/2 a further two Martlets each were flown off by the carriers. One of these Martlets from HMS Formidable crashed into the sea on taking off. The pilot was rescued by HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck.

A fighter umbrella of two Martlets was maintained for the rest of the day by HMS Illustrious. At 1530F/2 one of these Martlets appeared to have an engine failure and crashed into the sea whilst approaching to land on. The pilot was lost.

At about 1100F/2, the Commander-in-Chief had received information from the Flag Officer, Ceylon that Air Headquarters Bengal considered there were indications of naval activity south of the Andamans at 2300Z/31, that pointed to the possibility of an attack on Madras at dawn on the 3rd August and that the information on which this was based was from a most secret source. Flag Officer, Ceylon, had also informed Admiralty and the Deputy Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet.

There was nothing in Air Headquarters Bengal signal to indicate what was the nature of the naval activity which had been reported nor the reliability of the source. The Commander-in-Chief immediately requested Flag Officer, Ceylon to obtain amplification of this report.

Although a dawn attack by this Japanese naval force on Madras on 3rd August was possible, The Commander-in-Chief considered the following factors would make it very improbable.
1.) ' Force A ', probably having been sighted by the Japanese flying boat A.M. 1st August.
2.) ' Force A ', breaking wireless silence to endeavour to recover aircraft on the evening of 1st August. 3.) The wireless diversion (Operation Spark), carried out on the night of 1st/2nd August.

Nevertheless the Commander-in-Chief felt that he could not disregard Air Headquarters Bengal report and he therefore decided to proceed at once to Trincomalee and refuel destroyers in preparation for an extension of the present operation. he informed Their Lordships of his intentions in his signal 1215Z/2. Course was altered at 1215F/2 to the westward and speed increased to reach Trincomalee before dark.

' Force A ' entered Trincomalee at 1915F/2 and refuelling of destroyers commenced at once and as completed at 2200F/2 when it had been intended that ' Force A ' should sail again.

Additional Catalina patrols had been arranged to cover the approaches to Madras from the east and south-east, from p.m. 2nd August until daylight 3rd August.

It was not until ' Force A ' arrived at Trincomalee at 1900F/2 that the Commander-in-Chief received a message from Air Headquarters India (Flag Officer Ceylon’s 0744/2) stated that they did not agree with the deductions nor authorize the message from Air Headquarters Bengal. After discussion with Rear Admiral Commanding, Aircraft Carriers and Rear Admiral Commanding Fourth Cruiser Squadron, the Commander-in-Chief decided that there was no real basis for this report and in view of HMS Formidable and HMS Birmingham being required at an early date to return to Kilindini for Operation Streamline Jane, the Commander-in-Chief decided the ' Force A ' should return to Colombo.

The Commander-in-Chief informed Their Lordships of his revised intentions in his message 1649Z/2.

' Force A ' sailed accordingly from Trincomalee at 0600F/3 and shaped course for Colombo keeping out of sight of land. During the day a safety patrol of one aircraft was maintained 30 miles ahead of the Fleet. This patrol was carried out by Walrus aircraft from cruisers during the afternoon but had to be cancelled owing to rising wind and sea. A fighter umbrella of two Martlets was maintained throughout the day.

At 1030F/3, HMS Manxman, who was returning from Madras to Colombo, as about 30 miles south-west of ' Force A '. An aircraft was sent to order her to join ' Force A ', which she did at 1300F/3.

At 1430F/3, HMS Illustrious obtained an RDF contact on an aircraft bearing 60° and at 1440F/3, HMS Warspite obtained a doubtful contact on the same bearing at a range of 50 miles. Both contacts faded ten minutes later. At that time ' Force A ' was in position approximately 06°40'N, 82°10'E. The RDF contact may have been a Japanese flying boat, but more probably an aircraft operating from China Bay as no Catalina were know to be in that area. The uncertainty and short duration of the contacts rendered fighter interception impracticable.

Before leaving Trincomalee the Commander-in-Chief had proposed to Air Officer Commanding, Ceylon that opportunity should be taken to exercise that Fighter Direction of shore based fighters from HM ships and any other air exercises he might wish to carry out.

From 1645F/3 to 1800F/3, successful fighter direction exercise was carried out using two Fulmars from HMS Illustrious as the enemy. R/T communication was obtained quickly and no difficulty experienced in directing the Hurricanes on to their target. From 1800F/3 till dusk these two Fulmars took over the duties of fighter umbrella.

The next air exercise was a night shadowing exercise and a night torpedo and bombing attack on the fleet.

At 1850F/3, HMS Illustrious reported an aircraft in sight bearing 190° and directed the fighter umbrella of two Fulmars to investigate. This aircraft which was clearly in sight from HMS Warspite was a flying boat just visible above the horizon and though it presented characteristics of a Catalina, it could not definitely be identified as such. HMS Illustrious directed the Fulmars on to the target, a warning being given by R/T that the aircraft was possibly friendly. Unfortunately the designation 'Bandit' i.e. enemy aircraft, as opposed to 'Bogey' i.e. unidentified aircraft, was employed by the Fighter Directing Officer. For this and other reasons which are being investigated by a Board of Enquiry one of the Fulmars opened fire on this flying boat, which proved to be a Catalina. Fire was ceased directly the pilot realized his mistake but the Commander-in-Chief regret to report that one airman was killed and two injured and the Catalina’s rudder damaged. The Fulmars returned to HMS Illustrious and from subsequent signals it appeared that the Catalina was still airborne and returning to her base. As a safety measure HMS Mauritius and HMS Manxman were detached to search the area in case the Catalina was forced to land, but were recalled when it was clear from RDF bearings that the Catalina was proceeding to Koggala.

During the night of 3rd/4th August the shore based reconnaissance aircraft were unable to locate ' Force A ' and in consequence no attacks were delivered. From 0530F/4 to 0645F/4 another fighter direction exercise with shore based aircraft was successfully carried out.

' Force A ' arrived at Colombo at 0900F/4. (9)

15 Jun 1943

Convoy KR 5.

This convoy departed Kilindini / Mombasa on 15 June 1943.

it was made up of the following (troop) transports; Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Cap Tourane (British, 8009 GRT, built 1923), City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Llanstephan Castle (British, 11348 GRT, built 1914) and Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN).

On 20 June 1943, the destroyer HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) joined. She had departed Port Victoria earlier that day.

On 24June 1943, the sloop HMS Hindustan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Wilson, DSO, RINR) and the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) joined. HMS Hindustan had departed Colombo on 22 June 1943 for Addu Attol to collect the Appleleaf and then join the convoy.

On 27 June 1943 the convoy arrived at Colombo.

22 Jul 1943
During 22/23 July 1943, HMS Kenya (Capt. D.P. Evans, RN) and HMS Hindustan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Wilson, DSO, RINR) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. (10)

21 Sep 1944
HMS Surf (Lt. D. Lambert, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Colombo with HMIS Hindustan (A/Cdr. H.C. Bird, OBE, RIN) and HMAS Geraldton (Lt.Cdr. L.M. Carter, RANR). (11)

23 Sep 1944
HMS Surf (Lt. D. Lambert, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Colombo with HMIS Hindustan (A/Cdr. H.C. Bird, OBE, RIN) and HMAS Geraldton (Lt.Cdr. L.M. Carter, RANR). (11)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/368
  2. ADM 53/109582
  3. ADM 199/2556
  4. ADM 199/383
  5. ADM 199/383 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for October 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Parramatta for October 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Yarra for October 1940
  6. ADM 199/408
  7. ADM 53/113987 + ADM 199/408
  8. ADM 199/426
  9. ADM 199/1389
  10. ADM 53/117707
  11. ADM 173/18906

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


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