Allied Warships

HMNZS Leander (75)

Light cruiser of the Leander class

NavyThe Royal New Zealand Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassLeander 
Pennant75 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.) : Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered18 Feb 1930 
Laid down1 Aug 1928 
Launched13 Jul 1929 
Commissioned23 Jul 1931 
End service8 May 1944 
History

The Royal Navy light-cruiser HMS Leander was loaned to the New Zealand Division from 30 April 1937 until 8 May 1944. At this time she was repairing and refitting at Boston in the USA. HMS Leander returned to service on 27 August 1945.

Decommissioned by the Royal Navy in February 1948.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 15 December 1949.
Scrapped at Blyth on 15 January 1950.

 
Career notesReturned to the Royal Navy as HMS Leander

Commands listed for HMNZS Leander (75)

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
1Capt. James William Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN14 Nov 19361 Jan 1940
2Capt. Henry Edward Horan, RN1 Jan 194028 Nov 1940
3Capt. Robert Hesketh Bevan, RN28 Nov 194026 Nov 1942
4Cdr. Stephen Wentworth Roskill, RN26 Nov 19425 Feb 1943
5Capt. Cecil Aubrey Lawson Mansergh, RN5 Feb 194330 Sep 1943
6Cdr. Stephen Wentworth Roskill, RN30 Sep 1943Feb 1944
7A/Cdr. Leslie Palmer Brindley, RNFeb 1944Dec 1944

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Notable events involving Leander include:


6 Jan 1940

Convoy US 1.

Troop convoy from New Zealand and Australia to Suez.

The convoy departed Wellington, New Zealand on 6 January 1940 and on departure was made up out of the following troopships: Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Wellington the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN).

Two more troopships joined the convoy in New Zealand waters, these were: Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939).

The convoy then set course for Australia.

On 9 January the troopships: Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orford (British, 19941 GRT, built 1928), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) and Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) departed Sydney to join the convoy which they did the next day. They were being escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN).

HMS Leander was then detached while HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN) joined the convoy on the 10th but already left again the day after when she was detached at 0238K/11 to search for a missing aircraft. As it was later reported that the aircraft had crashed on land the search was soon abandoned.

On the 12th the troopship Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming from Melbourne.

On 18 January the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) near Fremantle joined the convoy escort.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle later the same day.

On 20 January, the convoy departed Fremantle escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies and the heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) and Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard).

HMAS Canberra and HMAS Australia had departed a few hours earlier to patrol the area. They returned to Fremantle on 21 January.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 30 January and entered the harbour as did HMS Ramillies. HMS Kent and Suffren kept patrolling off the harbour until the convoy set sail again on 1 February but now escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies the aircaft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN). HMS Ramillies and HMS Sussex had sailed with the convoy from Colombo, the other two escorts came from Trincomalee. HMS Kent and Suffren then entered Colombo. At Colombo the convoy had been joined by the French troopship Athos II (French, 15276 GRT, built 1927).

On 6 February 1940 the destroyer HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) joined the convoy coming from Colombo. On joinig the convoy she was oiled by HMS Sussex.

Early on the 7th, HMAS Hobart proceeded ahead to Aden with three of the troopships.

At dawn of the 8th the convoy arrived off Aden and three more of the troop transports entered the harbour. The remainder proceeded towards the Red Sea now escorted by HMS Sussex and HMAS Hobart. Aircraft from HMS Eagle patrolled in the area while HMS Ramillies fuelled in the outer anchorage.

The transports that had entered Aden left there on 9 February escorted by HMS Sussex as this cruiser had turned back when off the Perim Strait. HMS Sussex and HMS Westcott now escorted these ships until they met HMAS Hobart which had now dispersed the first group of transports in 22°30'N.

HMS Sussex then turned back to proceed to Aden leaving the transports of the second group to HMAS Hobart which then escorted the transports to 22°30'N when they were dispersed. HMS Westcott went on to Suez with the Rangitata. HMAS Hobart then also set sourse to return to Aden. (1)

12 Jan 1940
HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Commodore H.E. Horan, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Sydney before entering harbour. (2)

16 Jan 1940
HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Commodore H.E. Horan, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN) conducted gunnery and range and inclination exercises off Sydney.

They parted company on completion of the exercises.

HMS Leander setting course to return to New Zealand. (2)

1 May 1940

Convoy US 3.

The troopship Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, 1508 troops) departed Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand (near Christchurch) on 1 May 1940. She was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN).

Around noon on May, 2nd, in Cook Strait they were joined by the troopships Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, 3627 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, 2047 troops) and Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930, 1554 troops) and their escorts, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) and light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN). They came from Wellington.

Early on May, 5th, HMS Leander parted company and proceeded to Sydney. During the forenoon the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936, 5059 troops) came out escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN). Shortly afterwards HMAS Canberra also entered Sydney harbour to pick up correspondence. Around 1600K/5, HMAS Canberra and HMS Leander came out together with the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939, 2616 troops). The convoy then set course for Fremantle.

At 2045K/5, HMAS Perth parted company to return to Sydney where she arrived around 0330K/6.

At 1600K/6, off Melbourne, the troopship Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922, 1615 troops) joined the convoy.

At 0630H/10, when 70 nautical miles from Rottness Island, HMS Leander parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Fremantle.

At 0800H/10, the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), joined the convoy and guided into Gage Roads. The transports berthed alongside Fremantle Harbour as arranged except for the Aquitania and Queen Mary. The other transports fuelled and took in water. All ships of the escort berther alongside except for HMAS Adelaide which patrolled in Gage Roads.

At 1200H/12, the convoy started to leave the harbour. On forming up course was set for Colombo.

At 2214G/15, the convoy altered course towards the Cape of Good Hope. It had been decided that the convoy was not to pass through the Mediterranean as the situation with Italy was deteriorating. During the night HMS Leander parted company to proceed to Colombo.

At 1529D/20, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) joined in position 28°13'S, 60°50'E. HMAS Canberra then parted company to return to Australia.

At dawn on May, 26th, the convoy started to pass down the searched channel and entered Table Bay, Capetown.

At 0743B/26, HMS Shropshire set course to proceed to Simonstown.

The Queen Mary and Aquitania anchored in Table Bay while the other troopships berthed alongside the harbour.

At 1350B/26, the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) arrived from Simonstown.

At 0300B/28, the Queen Mary and Aquitania departed Table Bay to proceed to False Bay escorted by HMS Cumberland.

At 1000B/31, the ships at Capetown, less the Empress of Japan commenced to leave the Bay led by HMAS Australia. At sea they were joined by the Queen Mary and Aquitania and their escorts HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland. They had departed from False Bay around 0815B/31. At the rendezvous HMAS Australia then parted company and proceeded to Simonstown.

Course was set for Freetown where the convoy arrived in the morning of June, 7th.

The convoy departed Freetown in the morning of the June, 8th. Still escorted by HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland but now joined by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN).

At 0035N/10, HMS Hermes parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Dakar.

Around 0900N/12, the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0800N/14, the aircraft carrier Argus joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1000/14, the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) joined the convoy coming from the U.K. HMS Dorsetshire then parted company.

around 1500N/14, the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) joined followed around 1600N/14 by the destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN).

The convoy arrived in the Clyde in the afternoon of the 16th.

4 Jun 1940
At 1640 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Port Sudan. Here Rear-Admiral Murray transferred his flag to HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN).

HMS Liverpool then departed Port Sudan for Alexandria at 2140 hours. She was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. (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)

26 Jun 1940
RAF reconnaissance reported a large Italian ship leaving Assab and proceeding Northwards. HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) which was on patrol was ordered to intercept but she did not sighted the reported ship.

She however did encounter the Italian submarine Perla which was returning to Massawa from patrol. HMS Kingston then opened fire on her. The submarine crash dived and was then hunted and depth charged by HMS Kingston.

The light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) departed Aden to search for the wreckage of the submarine which was thought to have been probably sunk and also to invite action with Italian surface ships.

The submarine was located on the 27th laying beached midway between Assab and Messina. It was then bombarded and bombed. No enemy surface craft were encountered but Leander, Kandahar and Kingston were shadowed by enemy aircraft and also bombed by them but they sustained no damage. It was thought the beached submarine was either a total-loss or if not it would at least take months to repair her. [Perla was indeed out of action for months, She ran post repair trials in mid-December.] (5)

7 Jul 1940

Convoy BS 1.

This convoy departed Suez on 7 July 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 15 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922), Arabistan (British, 5874 GRT, built 1929), Athelmere (British (tanker), 5566 GRT, built 1918), British Colonel (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1921), British Commodore (British (tanker), 6865 GRT, built 1923), Bronxville (Norwegian, 4663 GRT, built 1929), Bullmouth (British (tanker), 7519 GRT, built 1929), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Egyptian Prince (British, 3490 GRT, built 1922), Ganges (British, 6246 GRT, built 1930), Ganymedes (Dutch, 2682 GRT, built 1917), Gogra (British, 5190 GRT, built 1919), Herstein (Norwegian, 5100 GRT, built 1939), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Khosrou (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Orwell (Norwegian (tanker), 7920 GRT, built 1905), Ross (British, 4878 GRT, built 1936) and Zamzam (Egyptian, 8299 GRT, built 1909).

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

On 10 July 1940, HMIS Clive and HMS Grimsby parted company with the convoy as escort was taken over by the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and the sloops HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

The merchant vessel Khosrou parted company (on the 10th ?) to proceed to Port Sudan arriving there on the 11th. (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.

25 Jul 1940
The light cruisers HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden for escort duty with convoy BN 2.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BN 2 ' for 17 July 1940.] (6)

31 Jul 1940

Convoy BS 2.

This convoy departed Suez on 31 July 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 9 August 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; African Prince (British, 4653 GRT, built 1939), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Esneh (British, 1928 GRT, built 1919), Hopecastle (British, 5178 GRT, built 1937), Manaqui (British, 2802 GRT, built 1921), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919), Novasli (Norwegian, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Ovula (Dutch (tanker), 6256 GRT, built 1938) Tweed (British, 2697 GRT, built 1926) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On depature from Aden the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) until position 21°30'N, 63°37'E on 3 August.

Two more merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Port Sudan on 3 August, these were the Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930).

Escort was then taken over by the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, 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) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

The convoy was dispersed on 9 August 1940. Three of the merchant vessels proceeded to Aden as did the escorts. (4)

10 Aug 1940

Convoy BN 3.

This convoy departed Bombay on 10 August 1940.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Acadia (Norwegian, 5002 GRT, built 1938), Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Ethiopia (British, 5574 GRT, built 1922), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Khedive Ismael (Egyptian, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rhona (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) and HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) H.C. Legge, DSC, RN).

Around 1245D/15, the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) joined the convoy. Both armed merchant cruisers then parted company with the convoy.

On 16 August 1940, the sloop HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) joined the convoy, she parted company on the 17th.

Off Aden the transports Ethiopia and Khandalla were detached to the port.

Off Aden, on the 17th, seven more transports / tankers joined the convoy, these were the following; British Fusilier (British (tanker), 6943 GRT, built 1923), British Pride (British (tanker), 7106 GRT, built 1931), City of Keelung (British, 5186 GRT, built 1919), Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911), Jessmore (British, 4099 GRT, built 1921), Malayan Prince (British, 8953 GRT, built 1926) and Raby Castle (British, 4996 GRT, built 1925).

The destroyers HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) coming from Aden. The sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) also joined the convoy, she had already been at sea.

On the 19th, a patrolling Wellesley aircraft crashed into the sea near the convoy. The entire crew of the aircraft was rescued by HMS Kingston.

On 21 August 1940 the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) joined. HMS Leander, HMS Kimberley, HMS Kingston and HMAS Parramatta then parted company.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 23 August 1940. (4)

23 Aug 1940

Convoy BN 4.

The Karachi section of this convoy departed Karachi on 23 August 1940.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Khosrou (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Nizam (British, 5322 GRT, built 1914), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925) and Rizwani (British, 5448 GRT, built 1930)).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) R.W.M. Lloyd, DSO, RN).

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The Bombay section of the convoy departed Bombay on 25 August 1940.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938), Bankura (British, 3185 GRT, built 1912), Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Erinpura (British, 5143 GRT, built 1911), Islami (British, 5879 GRT, built 1934), Jaladuta (British, 4966 GRT, built 1927), Jalakrishna (British, 4991 GRT, built 1937), Jalamohan (British, 5100 GRT, built 1925), Jalavihar (British, 5330 GRT, built 1911), Karagola ((British, 7053 GRT, built 1917), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Nurmahal (British, 5419 GRT, built 1923), Subadar (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) H.C. Legge, DSC, RN).

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The two sections joined company around 1230E/27 in approximate position 19°00'N, 69°52'E.

Around 1200D/1, the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) joined the convoy in position 14.46'N, 53.02'E. Both armed merchant cruisers then parted company to return independently to Bombay patrolling en-route.

On 4 September 1940 the convoy arrived off Aden where the Khosrou, Nizam and Rajput were detached as planned. Also the Bankura had to be detached due to engine defects.

From Aden 18 more vessels joined the convoy. These were the; Atlas (Greek (tanker), 4008 GRT, built 1909), Ayamonte (British (tanker), 845 GRT, built 1899), Bahadur (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929), Baron Erskine (British, 3657 GRT, built 1930), Brattdal (Norwegian, 4968 GRT, built 1935), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 193), Dramatist (British, 5443 GRT, built 1920), El Amin (British, 746 GRT, built 1926), El Hak (British, 1022 GRT, built 1929), Jalapadma (British, 3935 GRT, built 1929), Northmoor (British, 4392 GRT, built 1928), Polyktor (Greek, 4077 GRT, built 1914), Star of Cairo (Egyptian, 4555 GRT, built 1924), Trevarrack (British, 5270 GRT, built 1919), Vacport (British (tanker), 6774 GRT, built 1930), Velho (British (tanker), 1100 GRT, built 1905), Warlaby (British, 4875 GRT, built 1927) and Westbury (British, 4712 GRT, built 1928).

On 6 September 1940, the convoy was attacked three times by Italian aircraft but no damage was done.

Also on 6 September 1940, the small Greek tanker Atlas, which had straggled from the convoy due to her slow speed, was torpedoed and sunk in position 15°50'N, 41°50'E by the Italian submarine Guglielmotti.

On 8 September 1940, the following ships were detached to Port Sudan. Amra, Erinpura, Jaladuta, Jalakrishna, Jalavihar, Karagola, Nevasa, Subadar, Varela and Varsova. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) which had joined the convoy earlier [furher research is required to find out exactly when].

The remainder of the convoy continued on towards Suez arriving there on 11 September 1940.

On 8 September 1940, HMS Leander parted company after the sloop HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) had joined.

[It is possible the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had also been with the convoy at times but further research is required.] (4)

10 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 5.

This convoy departed Bombay on 10 September 1940.

On departure from Bombay is was made up of the following transports; Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Jalaganga (British, 4981 GRT, built 1936), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Santhia (British, 7754 GRT, built 1925) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

On departure from Bombay she was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) and HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) R.W.M. Lloyd, DSO, RN).

Around 1230D/16, the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) took over the escort duties from both armed merchant cruisers which then set course to return to Bombay.

Around 0600D/18, the sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) joined the convoy.

on the 19th, the following merchant vessels joined coming from Aden; Alavi (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Ancylus (British (tanker), 8017 GRT, built 1935), Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Bankura (British, 3185 GRT, built 1912), Bhima (British, 5280 GRT, built 1939), British Emperor (British (tanker), 3663 GRT, built 1916), City of Christiania (British, 4940 GRT, built 1921), Clearpool (British, 5405 GRT, built 1935), Cyclops (British, 9076 GRT, built 1906), Glenlea (British, 4252 GRT, built 1930), Guido (British, 3921 GRT, built 1920), Heron (British, 2374 GRT, built 1937), Nils Moller (British (tanker), 6907 GRT, built 1922), Ovington Court (British, 6095 GRT, built 1924), Pellicula (British (tanker), 6254 GRT, built 1936), Theseus (British, 6527 GRT, built 1908), Tomislav (Yugoslavia, 5387 GRT, built 1928), Treminnard (British, 4964 GRT, built 1922) and Westralia (British, 4568 GRT, built 1937).

The captured Italian submarine HMS X 2 (?) were also part of the convoy. [The netlayer HMS Protector is often also listed as being with this convoy but this must be incorrect as she was in the Mediterranean at this given time, perhaps there was a tug with the name Protector present with the convoy.]

They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and the sloops HMS Indus (Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN). HMAS Parramatta had actually conducted an A/S sweep ahead of the convoy and then joined it.

The tanker Crista was detached from the original convoy from Bombay and arrived at Aden on the 19th.

Soon after departure both engines of HMS X 2 broke down and she had to be towed back to Aden arriving on the 20th.

On 20 September 1940, the convoy was attacked by Italian aircraft but no damage was done.

On 21 September 1940, Italian aircraft again attacked and the merchant vessel Bhima was hit and had to return to Aden being towed by the merchant vessel Ashbury. HMS Caledon and the sloop HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) were sent from Aden to escort them back there.

On 23 September 1940, six ships from the convoy arrived at Port Sudan having been detached from the convoy the previous day. These were Akbar, Alavi, Bankura, British Emperor, Santhia and Talma. They had been escorted to Port Sudan by HMAS Parramatta.

On 23 September 1940, HMS Leander, HMS Auckland and HMIS Indus parted company with the convoy and sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) joined.

The eight fastest ships of the convoy arrived at Suez on 26 September 1940 escorted by HMS Grimsby, the remaining eight (slower) ships arrived the following day. They had been unescorted during the last part of their voyage. (4)

19 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 5A.

This convoy departed Bombay on 19 September 1940 for Suez where it arrived on 29 September 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).

On departure escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN).

The Ormonde was not ready to depart on the 19th and she departed one day later with orders to overtake the convoy. Until she made rendez-vous with the convoy she was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

The convoy arrived off Aden on 25 September and HMS Kanimbla was relieved as escort by the light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

Light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) had also been with the convoy (briefly) but parted company on 26 September 1940.

On 27 September the southbound convoy SW 1 was sighted and the destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Kimberley and sloop HMS Flamingo joined that convoy as escorts. The convoy then continued northwards escorted by HMS Ajax and HMS Coventry.

Çonvoy BN 5A arived at Suez safely on 29 September 1940. (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.) R.W.M. Lloyd, DSO, 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 GRT, 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 (tanker), 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). (7)

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)

10 Oct 1940

Convoy BN 7.

This convoy departed Bombay on 10 October 1940.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Ethiopia (British, 5574 GRT, built 1922), Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Karagola (British, 7053 GRT, built 1917), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Nurmahal (British, 5419 GRT, built 1923), Subadar (British, 5424 GRT, built 1929) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) and HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) H.C. Legge, DSC, RN).

Around 1330D/16, the light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) joined the convoy. The armed merchant cruisers then parted company.

On the 18th, the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) joined.

On 19 October the Varsova was detached from the convoy and proceeded to Aden.

Also on the 19th, 24 more transports / tankers joined the convoy off Aden, these were the following; Arundo (Dutch, 5163 GRT, built 1930), Askot (Norwegian, 1323 GRT, built 1938), Australind (British, 5020 GRT, built 1929), British Colonel (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1921), Cranfield (British, 5332 GRT, built 1919), Egero (Norwegian (tanker), 7590 GRT, built 1929), Erica (South African, 5112 GRT, built 1926), Hannah Moller (British, 2931 GRT, built 1911), Hatarana (British, 7522 GRT, built 1917), Inviken (Norwegian, 4131 GRT, built 1925), Jalakrishna (British, 4991 GRT, built 1937), King Arthur (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Mandalay (British, 5529 GRT, built 1911), Marcella (British, 4592 GRT, built 1928), Margot (British, 4545 GRT, built 1926), Marion Moller (British, 3287 GRT, built 1909), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nyco (Norwegian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Nyholm (Norwegian (tanker), 5843 GRT, built 1927), Odysseus (British, 4577 GRT, built 1913), Serbino (British, 4099 GRT, built 1919) and Tyndareus (British, 11361 GRT, built 1916).

The Turkish minelayer Sivrihisar that had been built in the U.K. and was on passage to Turkey for delivery was also part of the convoy.

Also the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and the minesweepers HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and HMS Huntley (Lt.Cdr. H.R.A. King, RNR) joined the convoy.

On 19 October 1940 and also on 20 October 1940 the convoy was attacked by Italian aircraft but no damage was done.

During the night of 20/21 October 1940, the Italian destroyers Pantera, Leone, Nazario Sauro and Francisco Nullo. No damage was done and the destroyers were driven off by the escort.

At dawn on 21 October one of the Italian destroyers, Francisco Nullo, was seen to be aground on Harmil island. She had been in battle with HMS Kimberley which then closed to finish off the damaged and grounded Italian destroyer. However HMS Kimberley was taken under fire by Italian shore batteries and sustained damage in her engine room. She was towed clear by HMS Leander during which both ships were unsuccessfully bombed. Later the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) took over the tow and she towed her damaged sistership to Port Sudan.

HMS Derby and HMS Huntley arrived at Port Sudan on 22 October 1940.

On 23 October 1940, HMS Auckland, Cranfield, Erica, Felix Roussel, Hatarana, Nevasa and Nurmahal arrived at Port Sudan. After taking on board water the Felix Roussel sailed again to rejoin the convoy.

Also on 23 October 1940, the remaining escorts parted company and the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) had joined.

On 24 October 1940, HMAS Yarra arrived at Port Sudan.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 26 October 1940. (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)

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.

9 Feb 1941
Around 0930/9, HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), departed Penang and shortly afterwards made rendezvous with the troopship Narkunda (British, 16227 GRT, built 1920) which had departed Singapore on the 6th.

HMS Dauntless escorted the troopship until around 1300/11, when the escort was turned over in approximate position 05°57'N, 85°35'E to HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN). At the rendezvous position both cruisers then conducted some exercises with each other.

Narkunda and HMNZS Leander arrived at Colombo on the 12th.

HMS Dauntless returned to Penang around 1530/14. (8)

22 Feb 1941
At 0515Z/22, the Dutch merchant vessel Rantaupandjang (2542 GRT, built 1922) sent out a raider signal from position 08°24'S, 51°35'E.

Then at 0818Z/22, a Walrus aircraft from the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) reported a German pocket battleship in position 08°30'S, 51°35'E.

In response the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) were sailed from Kilindini / Mombasa for the area the raider was spotted. The light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) was sent to the Seychelles.

The heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) was operating off Somaliland. She was ordered to joined HMS Hermes and HMS Emerald.

The heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) was sent to the area the raider was spotted from escort duty with convoy WS 5B. HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN) remained with this convoy.

Heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN), which was en-route to the Maledive Islands from Colombo was ordered to proceed towards position 06°00'S, 60°00'E.

Heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was with ' Z Force ' near Durban. She was ordered to join the East Indies command to search for the enemy. She was ordered to return to Durban the following day to continue escorting ' Z Force '.

Light cruiser HMS Leander (from the New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) was ordered to proceed southwards from Bombay. (9)

27 Feb 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) sank the Italian armed merchant cruiser Ramb I (3667 GRT, Lt.Cdr. Bonezzi) west of the Maldives Islands in position 01°00'N, 68°30'E after a short gun duel. 103 men were captured.

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. (10)

23 Mar 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) intercepts and captures the Vichy-French merchant Charles L.D. (5267 GRT) in the Indian Ocean between Mauritius and Madagascar.

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.

19 Jun 1941
At 1845C/19 the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa for a patrol off Syria. They returned to Haifa at 0845C/20. (11)

20 Jun 1941
HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and several destroyers [the logbook of HMS Naiad gives the number of destroyers as eight, their exact identity are currently unknown to us but most likely they must have been HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) as these were the ones operting in the area at that time] departed Haifa around 1945C/20 for a patrol off the coast of Syria. They returned to Haifa around 0900C/21. (11)

22 Jun 1941
The light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa around 1915C/22 for a patrol off the Syrian coast.

While on patrol off Syria, two Vichy French destroyers were encountered around 0150C/23 (actually on the Guépard was present) and engaged 'them'.

The Guépard was damaged by British gunfire but managed to escape to Beirut after an action which lasted barely 15 minutes.

The British ships, of which none had sustained any damage, returned to Haifa around 0645C/23. (11)

23 Jun 1941
Around 2030C/23, HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) departed Haifa to patrol off Beirut.

Around dawn the following morning (24 June), the ships bombarded the Damur area.

They returned from patrol around 0845C/24. (12)

25 Jun 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa late in the evening for a sweep to the north of Beirut.

At dawn the following morning (26th), the ships bombarded the Damur area. (13)

10 Jul 1941
HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (14)

22 Jul 1941
Around 2100C/22, the Mediterranean Fleet, made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), fast minelayers HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria to proceed to a position to the west of Crete.

Earlier that day the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Leander (New Zealand Division) (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) had departed Haifa to rendez-vous with the fleet at 0600C/23.

At daylight on 23 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (A/Cdr. W. Pope, RN) also joined the fleet.

After dark on 23 July the fleet turned eastwards. HMS Neptune, HMS Abdiel and HMS Kimberley were then detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where they arrived on 24 July.

HMS Latona, HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar and HMS Kandahar were detached on the 24th to make rendez-vous off Alexandria with the damaged aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.la T. Bisset, RN) and escort her to Port Said. HMS Formidable arrived at Port Said on the 25th. HMS Latona and the destroyers then proceeded to Haifa.

On the 24th HMS Leander was also detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where she arrived on 25 July to embark troops together with HMS Latona and HMS Jaguar.

The bulk of the fleet returned to Alexandria around 1800C/24. (13)

10 Jan 1942

Convoy ZS 6.

This convoy departed Auckland on 10 January 1942.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Port Montreal (British, 5882 GRT, built 1937), Rangitira (New Zealand, 6152 GRT, built ) and Wahine (New Zealand, 4436 GRT, built 1913).

On departure from Auckland the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN).

Around 1330M/11, the convoy was sighted by the Australian Squadron which was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN) and the light cruisers HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN). The Australia Squadron then patrolled ahead of the convoy.

Around 1800M/13, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Achilles parted company with HMAS Australia and proceeded one hour later with the Rangitira to Lautoka, Fiji where they arrived around 0800M/14. The cruisers then set course for Suva where they arrived around 1300M/14.

Meanwhile the remainder of the convoy had proceeded to Suva escorted by HMAS Australia and HMNZS Leander. They had arrived in the morning of the 14th. (15)

15 Jan 1942
Around 0600M/15, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), light cruisers HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyer FSS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) departed Suva for Sydney.

Around 1100M/15, FFS Le Triomphant was detached to return to Suva to escort the chartered tanker Falkefjell (Norwegian, 7927 GRT, built 1931) to Brisbane.

Around 1130L/17, HMNZS Achilles was detached to proceed to Auckland for docking.

Around 1400K/19, HMAS Australia, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Leander arrived at Sydney. (15)

23 Jan 1942
HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (15)

27 Jan 1942
HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) departed Sydney to proceed eastwards to provide cover for a US troop convoy proceeding to Melbourne. HMAS Adelaide was to join the close escort of the convoy.

HMAS Australia, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Leander returned to Sydney on 31 January 1942.

The convoy continued on and arrived at Melboune on 1 February 1942 escorted by USS Phoenix and HMAS Adelaide.

Rendezvous with the US Convoy was made around 1130L/29. The US convoy was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the (troop) transports Mariposa (18017 GRT, built 1931) and President Coolidge (American, 21936 GRT, built 1931). HMAS Adelaide then join the close escort while HMAS Australia, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Leander patrolled ahead of the convoy.

(15)

31 Jan 1942
Around 1730K/31, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) departed Sydney to proceed to the eastward to make rendezous with HMNZS Achilles (Capt. H.M. Barnes, RN) coming from Auckland and to provide cover for an American transport enroute to Australia.

Plans were however changed and around 2330K/1, HMAS Perth was detached having been ordered to proceed to Melbourne.

HMNZS Leander was ordered to escort / provide cover for the transport while HMAS Australia was ordered to proceed to Wellington. (15)

13 Jul 1943
During the Battle of Kula Gulf, HMNZS Leander (Capt. C.A.L. Mansergh, DSC, RN) is torpedoed by Japanese warships. Leander is severely damaged with an engine room, a boiler room and a 4-inch gun destroyed. After making temporary repairs Leander proceeded to Boston, USA for major restoration and a refit.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/382
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Sydney for January 1940
  3. ADM 53/112610 + ADM 199/383
  4. ADM 199/383
  5. ADM 199/378
  6. ADM 53/111772
  7. 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
  8. ADM 53/114035 + ADM 199/411
  9. ADM 199/408
  10. ADM 199/2225 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for March 1941
  11. ADM 53/114751
  12. ADM 53/114527
  13. ADM 199/415
  14. ADM 53/115212 + ADM 199/415
  15. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth for January 1942

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


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