Allied Warships

HMS Haydon (L 75)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type III) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type III) 
PennantL 75 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.): Parsons 
Ordered28 Jul 1940 
Laid down1 May 1941 
Launched2 Apr 1942 
Commissioned24 Oct 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped at Dunston on 18 May 1958.

 

Commands listed for HMS Haydon (L 75)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Roland Chisnell Watkin, RN20 Jul 194214 Jan 1944
2Lt. Richard George Ralph Clay, RN14 Jan 1944Jun 1945
3Cdr. James Marjoribanks Rowland, DSO, RNJun 1945

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Notable events involving Haydon include:


13 Nov 1942
HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) departed Loch Cairnbawn (Port H.H.Z.) around 1145A/13 to proceed to Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.E.C.G. Baines, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow around 0530A/13 for Loch Cairnbawn earlier that morning.

HMS Howe and her escort arrived at Scapa Flow around 1850A/13. (1)

20 Nov 1942
In the morning, HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises at Scapa Flow.

These were followed by underway refuelling exercises with the escort destroyer HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) in the afternoon. (1)

18 Dec 1942

Convoy WS 25.

The convoy was assembled off Oversay on 18 December 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930, 4955 troops), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922, 1805 troops), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929, 1882 troops), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930, 1930 troops), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922, 1897 troops), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935, 5335 troops), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928, 2598 troops) and Tarifa (Norwegian, 7229 GRT, built 1936).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), HMS Cheshire (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Rockwood (Lt. S.R. Le H. Lombard-Hobson, RN).

Around 1700Z/24, HMS Wolverine, HMS Badsworth and HMS Haydon parted company with the convoy to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores. They were not to rejoin the convoy. HMS Quilliam and HMS Rockwood had returned from fuelling at Ponta Delgada in the afternoon of the 24th, These two ships were to continue with the convoy to Freetown.

At 1225Z/26, the destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 2005Z/28, HMS Rockwood parted company to fuel at Bathurst. She rejoined the convoy around 1100Z/30.

At 0900Z/29, HMS Ilex parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown. She rejoined around around 0900Z/31.

At 0545Z/30, the corvettes HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of 31 December 1942.

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The convoy departed Freetown in the same composition on 3 January 1943.

The convoy was now escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), HMS Cheshire destroyer HMS Quilliam, escort destroyer HMS Rockwood, corvette HMS Crocus and the minesweeper HMIS Baluchistan (Lt. D.A. McDonald, RIN).

Around 0715A/6, the corvette Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

Around 1900A/6, the Highland Brigade was detached to Takoradi escorted by the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves and HMIS Baluchistan. they arrived at Takoradi on the 7th.

Between 0850A/9 and 1300A/9, HMS Quilliam was fuelled by HMS Alcantara.

At 1000A/9, HMS Crocus was detached to Pointe Noire.

Between 1330A/9 and 1915A/9, HMS Rockwood was fuelled by HMS Alcantara.

Around 1920A/9, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy to return to Freetown.

Around 1830C/14, the destroyer HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Quilliam then parted company to proceed to Simonstown.

Around 1600C/14, HMS Quilliam rejoined the convoy after having fuelled at Simonstown. By now HMS Rockwood had also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Simonstown after having been relieved by the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). On HMS Quilliam rejoining the convoy HMS Genista was detached.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 18 January 1943. (2)

6 Jan 1943

Convoy MKF 6

This convoy departed Algiers on 6 January 1943.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Exiria (American, 6533 GRT, built 1941), Gloucester (British, 8532 GRT, built 1941), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922) and Zoella Lykes (American, 6829 GRT, built 1940).

On departure from Algiers the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR), escort destroyer HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN, Senior Officer), HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

Around 0630A/8, off Gibraltar in position 35°59'N, 05°21'W, HMS Haydon parted company as did the Exiria, Ormonde, Orontes and Zoella Lykes. These ships then entered Gibraltar.

Around 1100A/8, convoy CF 10 merged with convoy KMF 6. The following (troop) transports joined the convoy; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930) and Straat Soenda (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939) as did their escort, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN). The A/S escort of convoy CF 10 did not join convoy MKF 6 but proceeded to Gibraltar.

At 1620A/10, in position 42°28'N, 15°52'W, the Straat Soenda parted company with the convoy as she had to hove to due to weather damage she had sustained.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 14 January 1943. (3)

12 Jan 1943
Around 1530A/12, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski) and the escort destroyer HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN). departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir.

' Force H ' arrived at Mers-el-Kebir around 1100A/13. (4)

20 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN). (5)

24 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN). (5)

5 Feb 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN). (6)

7 Feb 1943
Around 1100A/7, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, KBE, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), cruiser-minelayer Adventure, destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Gibraltar.

En-route to Gibraltar two more destroyers joined, these were HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski).

' Force H ' arrived at Gibraltar around 1730A/8. (4)

12 Feb 1943
Around 1100A/7, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, KBE, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN).

' Force H ' arrived at Mers-el-Kebir around 1100A/13. Shortly before arriving HMS Verity was detached to return to Gibraltar. (4)

25 Feb 1943

Convoy WS 27 / KMF 10A

This combined convoy was formed off Orsay Island on 25 February 1943.

It was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914). Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Letitia (British, 13475 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

At 1300/1, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine were detached from the combined convoy to fuel at Casablanca.

At 1900/1, the destroyer HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) joined the combined convoy.

At 1100/2, the convoy split up; Convoy WS 27 continued to Freetown and Convoy KMF 10A set course to enter the Mediterranean and proceed to Oran / Algiers.

Convoy KMF 10A.

Convoy KMF 10A was made up of the troopships / transports; Batory, Boissevain, Circassia, Franconia, Nieuw Holland and Letitia, escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Clare.

On 3 March, while transiting the Gibraltar Strait, HMS Clare was detached to Gibraltar and the convoy was joined by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) coming from Gibraltar.

The troopships Franconia and Letitia were detached and arrived at Oran on 4 March escorted by HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon, HMS Oakley and HMS Puckeridge. The escort destroyers departed Oran again later the same day to form an separate A/S force that was to operate near the remainder of the convoy during it's passage to Algiers.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Algiers on March, 5th escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Zetland.

Convoy WS 27.

Convoy WS 27 was made up of the troopships / transports; Almanzora, Antenor, Capetown Castle, Christiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, escorted by HMS Malaya, HMS Quadrant, HMS Quail and HMS Raider.

At 0030/3, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine rejoined the convoy.

Between 1033 and 1125/3, HMS Raidar was fuelled by HMS Malaya followed by HMS Wolverine between 1156 and 1215/3.

At 1115/4, HMS Quadrant parted company with the convoy to fuel at Bathurst.

At 1800/5, the troopship Almanzore parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dakar escorted by HMS Quail.

At 1110/7, HMS Quail rejoined the convoy.

The convoy arrived safely at Freetown in the morning of March, 8th.

1 Mar 1943
Around 1615A/1, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, KBE, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN).

At 0630A/2, ' Force A ' split into two groups for exercises. All ships had arrived at Gibraltar before noon. (4)

11 Mar 1943
Around 1330A/11, ' Force H ', made up of the made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski), escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir. At sea they were joined by the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN).

They were however later ordered to return. ' Force H ' entered Gibraltar around 1830A/11. (7)

12 Mar 1943
Around 1600A/12, ' Force H ', made up of the made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski), escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir.

Shortly after sailing HMS Calpe had to return to Gibraltar due to a defect to her Asdic installation. Repairs were quickly made and she was able to rejoin the force at 0800A/13.

' Force H ' arrived at Mers-el-Kebir around 1400A/13. (8)

25 Mar 1943
Around 1800A/25, ' Force H ', made up of the made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), Loyal and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Whaddon (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Gibraltar.

Before arriving at Gibraltar, HMS Tartar was detached to search for survivors from the Free French A/S trawler Sergent Gouarne that had been torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-755. HMS Tartar was able to pick up 14 survivors and landed them at Oran.

' Force H ' arrived at Gibraltar around 1630A/26. (7)

4 Apr 1943
Around 1430A/4, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Brocklesby (Lt.Cdr. G. Blackler, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir where they arrived around 0900A/5. (7)

5 Apr 1943
Around 1630A/5, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Brocklesby (Lt.Cdr. G. Blackler, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Algiers where they arrived around 0830A/6 minus HMS Brocklesby which had to return to Oran with a defective feet pump. (7)

6 Apr 1943
Around 2100A/6, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Algiers where they arrived around 1330A/7. (7)

14 Apr 1943
The battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) departed Gibraltar to patrol east of the Strait of Gibraltar. They returned to Gibraltar the following day together with ships from 'Force H' which returned to Gibraltar from the eastwards. (9)

28 Apr 1943
Around 2200B/28, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Gibraltar for exercises. [some of the destroyers / escort destroyers actually had departed earlier in the evening, presumable to conduct an A/S sweep of the exercises area.]

Around 1045B/29, the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) left Gibraltar to join ' Force H '. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN). They joined ' Force H ' around 1215B/29 after which ' Force H ' set course for Mers-el-Kebir.

' Force H ' arrived at Mers-el-Kebir around 0800B/30. (7)

3 May 1943
Around 1530A/3, ' Force H ' which was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Algiers where they arrived around 1030A/4. (10)

5 May 1943
Around 1700A/5, ' Force H ' which was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Gibraltar where HMS Nelson and apparently also HMS Venomous arrived around 0100A/7.

HMS Formidable with HMS Ilex, HMS Velox, HMS Puckeridge, HMS Wheatland and HMS Wilton arrived at Gibraltar around 1130B/7 having remained out a little longer for exercises.

HMS Rodney, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon and HMS Tynedale proceeded to the west of Gibraltar where around 0830B/7 these escort destroyers parted company to proceed to Gibraltar and the destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN) joined. HMS Rodney and her escorts then set course for the UK. (11)

19 May 1943

Combined convoy WS 30 / KMS 15.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 19 May 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 25 May 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Brisbane Star (British, 12791 GRT, built 1937), Deseado (British, 9641 GRT, built 1942), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), H.F. Alexander (American, 8357 GRT, built 1915), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Siboney (American, 6938 GRT, built 1918), Sloterdijk (Dutch, 9230 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

The landing ships HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Armstrong, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Royal Ulsterman (Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR) were also part of the convoy.

On formation off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RD, RNR), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), escort destroyers HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski), sloops HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), Cutters HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The destroyer HMS Sardonyx apparently parted company on 20 May.

HMS Cleveland fuelled from HMS Suffolk during the morning of 21 May.

At 1130Z/23, HMS Active sighted a surfaced submarine in position 42°16'N, 15°40'W at a range of about 6000 yards. Shortly afterwards HMS Ness also sighted this submarine. Both ships rushed towards to attack and the submarine was seen to crash dive. When the range was down to 2900 yards HMS Active obtained contact on the target with her Asdic. At 1143Z/23, HMS Active dropped a pattern of ten depth charges set at 150 and 300 feet. At 1150Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (150 and 300 feet). At 1158Z/23, HMS Active came back for another pattern of ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1212Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). A double explosion was then heard by the two escorts. At 1223Z/23, HMS Active dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1240Z/23, a small amount of wood and cork wreckage came to the surface as well as life-jackets, coffee tins marked 'Napoli' and a pair of fresh human lungs. At 1305Z/23, HMS Ness dropped a final pattern of ten depth charges (500, 550 and 700 feet). It is believed that the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci was sunk in this attack. The most succesful Italian submarine of the Second World War disappeared with all hands. Nine officers and fifty-four ratings perished.

At 0630Z/24, the transports Brisbane Star and Deseado were detached from the convoy.

Around 1530Z/24 a German Focke Wulf aircraft attacked and dropped some bombs near HMS Unicorn but no damage was done.

At 1040Z/25 the convoy split up. All escorts proceeded with convoy KMF 15 except for HMS Suffolk, HMS Corfu which went along with WS 30. Convoy KMF 15 was made up of the transports Arawa, Boissevain, Duchess of York, Franconia, Indrapoera, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Letitia, Ormonde, Samaria, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle. HMS Royal Scotsman and HMS Royal Ulsterman were also part of this convoy.

On the 26th, the transport Letitia proceeded to Gibraltar as did HMS Unicorn which had on board Beaufighter aircraft and aircraft spares besides two operational squadrons which she had been able to operate during the passage. The escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) had come out to escort them in although HMS Haydon was later detached to proceed to the assistance of an aircraft that had crashed into the sea. HMS Active, HMS Cleveland and ORP Slazak also put into Gibraltar.

The transports Staffordshire and Stirling Castle were detached and arrived at Oran on 26 May.

The remainder of convoy KMF 15 arrived at Algiers on 27 May.

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Convoy WS 30 continued on to Freetown and was made up of Argentina, Brisbane Star, Deseado, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Siboney and Sloterdijk. Their escort of HMS Suffolk and HMS Corfu was joined by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) which all came from Gibraltar. HMS Boadicea also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca.

In the morning of May 27th, HMS Antelope fuelled from HMS Suffolk.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 31 May 1943.

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On 3 June 1943 the convoy departed Freetown now made up of the transports Argentina, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Siboney and Sloterdijk.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk, armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), HMS Corfu, destroyers HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Boardicea, HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick.

At 1500Z/6, the transport Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, 1923) and the destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

At 1950Z/6, HMS Corfu and HMS Boadicea parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

At 1445Z/9, the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) joined the convoy coming from Pointe Noire.

At 1517Z/9, HMS Witch, HMS Wolverine and HMS Rapid parted company with the convoy to proceed to Pointe Noire.

Around 0730A/13, the transports Exceller (American, 6597 GRT, built 1941) and Santa Barbara (American, 6507 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy as did the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza which had been escorting them.

On 15 June 1943 the convoy arrived at Capetown. HMS Suffolk and HMS Carnarvon Castle then went on to Simonstown. In the approaches to Capetown the destroyer HMAS Nizam (Lt. W.F. Cook, RAN) joined the escort as an enemy submarine had been reported to be operating in the area.

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On 16 June 1943, the convoy departed Capetown for Durban. It was now made up of the transports Argentina, Cuba, Exceller, Exiria (American, 6533 GRT, built 1941), H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland, Santa Barbara, Siboney and Sloterdijk.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nizam, HMAS Norman, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.

On 18 June, the transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy presumebly coming from Port Elizabeth or East London.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 20 June.

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On 25 June 1943, the convoy departed Durban for Aden / Bombay, now made up of the transports Cuba, General Fleischer (Norwegian, 5138 GRT, built 1943), Karagola (British, 7053 GRT, built 1917), Nieuw Holland, Sagoland (American, 5334 GRT, built 1913), Santa Barbara and Sibajak.

The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman (now commanded by Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and HMS Rotherham (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN).

The armed mercant cruiser HMS Canton (A/Capt. G.N. Loriston-Clarke, RN) joined the convoy around 0900C/28 having departed Kilindini around 1745C/25.

Around 2000C/29, HMAS Norman parted company with the convoy to return to Durban via Tulear, Madagascar. HMS Rotherham and HMAS Quickmatch remained with the convoy for another 150 miles and then parted company to rejoin HMAS Norman and then proceed to Tulear.

Around 0900C/1, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alaunia (Capt. R.H.C. Crawford, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy having departed Kilindini around 1730C/29. HMS Canton then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindi taking the transports Karagola and Sagoland with her. They arrived at Kilindini around 1200C/2.

At 0310C/3, the transport Santa Barbara was detached to proceed independently to Colombo.

At 1115C/4, the transports General Fleischer and Sibajak were detached to proceed independently to Aden.

The transports Cuba and Nieuw Holland arrived at Bombay and their escort, HMS Alaunia, around 1000FG/9.

30 May 1943
' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) and ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. (12)

1 Jun 1943
' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) and ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP) arrived at Algiers from Gibraltar. (13)

2 Jun 1943
' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) and ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP) departed Algiers for Mers-el-Kebir. (13)

3 Jun 1943
' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) and ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP) arrived at Mers-el-Kebir from Algiers. (13)

14 Jun 1943
The battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyer HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Gibraltar. (14)

15 Jun 1943
The battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyer HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Mers-el-Kebir. (14)

16 Jun 1943
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tynedale. (15)

17 Jun 1943
HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tynedale arrived at Gibraltar from Algiers. (15)

22 Jun 1943
The battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir. (16)

23 Jun 1943
The battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) arrived at Mers-el-Kebir from Gibraltar. (16)

24 Jun 1943

Convoy KMS 18B.

This convoy departed the U.K. on 24 June 1943.

The convoy was made up of the transports; Alcinous (Dutch, 6189 GRT, built 1925), Benedict (British, 4949 GRT, built 1930), City of Venice (British, 8762 GRT, built 1924), Derwenthall (British, 4934 GRT, built 1940), Devis (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Empire Cato (British, 7039 GRT, built 1942), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Elaine (British, 7513 GRT, built 1942), Fort Buckingham (British, 7122 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lajoie (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nashwaak (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Stager (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Gudrun Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Norman Monarch (British, 7005 GRT, built 1943), Orestes (British, 7748 GRT, built 1926), Prometheus (British, 6096 GRT, built 1925), St. Essylt (British, 5634 GRT, built 1941) and Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942).

The landing ship Derwentdale (Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), 8390 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.

Also with the convoy were the rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) and the rescue tug HMRT Allegiance.

The convoy was escorted by and the frigate HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), cutter HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR), HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR).

On 26 June 1943, the sloop HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN) departed Londonderry to join the convoy which she did later the same day.

On 3 July 1943, the Rathlin and HMRT Allegiance arrived at Gibraltar after having been detached from the convoy.

Around 2052B/4, in position 36°44'N, 01°25'E, the transport City of Venice was torpedoed by the German submarine U-409. The ship eventually sank the following morning.

Around 2145B/4, in position 36°44'N, 01°31'E, the transport St. Essylt was torpedoed by the German submarine U-375 which had fired a salvo of four torpedoes at the convoy. The ship eventually sank the following morning.

The escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brocklesby (Lt. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN), which were en-route from Algiers to Oran were diverted to hunt these submarines as was HMS Quantock (Lt.Cdr. R.G.L. Pennell, DSC, RN) which was en-route from Gibraltar to Algiers.

On 5 July 1943, the original escort arrived at Algiers after having been relieved by a new escort made up the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) Wszechwlad Maracewicz, ORP) and HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN).

Around 1541B/5, in position 37°01'N, 04°10'E, the transport Devis was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-593 which had fired two speads of two torpedoes at the convoy. THe destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN), USS Cole (T/Lt.Cdr. B. Chipman, USN), sloop HMS Erne and frigate HMS Teviot were sailed from Algiers to hunt this sumbarine.

With them the monitor HMS Roberts (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) and the LST's HMS LST 301 (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.F. Hoyle, RNR), HMS LST 305 (A/Lt.Cdr. R.M. Naylor, RNR), HMS LST 319 (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), HMS LST 321 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Metcalfe, RNR), HMS LST 365 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Halliday, RNR), HMS LST 366 (A/Lt.Cdr. N. Hall, RNR) and HMS LST 424 (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Grandage, RNR) also joined the convoy.

Around 1500B/6, the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Commodore W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) and HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) joined the convoy. They parted company with the convoy around 2200B/7.

On 7 July, the minesweepers HMS Fly (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN), HMS Espiegle (Lt.Cdr. G. Dibley, RD, RNR), HMS Circe (Lt.Cdr. J.H.M. Malcolm, RN) and HMS Cadmus (Lt.Cdr. (Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) joined the convoy.

Around 0515B/8, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1300B/9, the following transports parted company and joined convoy KMF 1B; Alcinous, Empire Confidence, Orestes, Prometeus, Derwentdale, HMS LST 301, HMS LST 305, HMS LST 319, HMS LST 321, HMS LST 365, HMS LST 366 and HMS LST 424. HMS Roberts Also joined convoy KMF 18.

Convoy KMS 18B arrived off Sicily in the afternoon of 10 July 1943.

14 Jul 1943

Convoy MKF 18.

This convoy departed Malta on 11 July 1943.

This convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Malta the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 13 July 1943. Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922),

The convoy, now joined by the (troop) transports Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913) and Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) departed Algiers on 14 July 1943 and was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) and the frigates HMS Bann (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) and HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR).

Around 0700B/15, the convoy arrived in Oran / Mers-el-Kebir anchorage where POW's were embarked.

The convoy departed for Gibraltar around 2000B/15 minus the Empress of Russia which remained behind to coal.

At 1100B/16, HMS Wanderer parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Gibraltar to effect repairs to her machinery. She arrived at Gibraltar around 1630B/16. She was then taken in hand for repairs but these could not be completed on time and it was decided that she was replaced in the escort by the frigate HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar around 1900B/16.

The convoy departed Gibraltar for the U.K. around 0630B/17 minus the Nea Hellas and with the addition of two other ships; Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Fort Lee (American (tanker), 10198 GRT, built 1943).

The escort was reinforced by the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN).

Between around 2020B/18 and 2155B/18, in approximate position 38°15'N, 13°25'W, the convoy was attacked by two or three FW 200 aircraft but no damage was done by these enemy aircraft.

Between around 1035B/19 and 1105B/19, in position 39°30'N, 16°20'W, the convoy was attacked again by a FW 200 aircraft but no damage was done due to effective AA fire from HMS Scylla.

Around 0920B/20, in position 43°00'N, 19°30'W, the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1500B/20, in position 44°10'N, 19°30'W, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to return to Gibraltar.

Around 2200B/21, in position 50°00'N, 16°30'W, HMS Bermuda parted company with the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 23 July 1943.

8 Sep 1943

Operations of ' Force V ' during operation Avalanche.

Around 1100B/8, ' Force V ' departed Malta for the Tyrrhenian sea. ' Force V ' was made up of the HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. W.W.P. Shirley-Rollison, RN), HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker ( Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt. F.M. Graves, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski) and ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz).

They passed through the Messina Strait during the night of 8/9 September. At dawn on the 9th ' Force V ' arrived in the assault area. The first sortie was flown off at 0615B/9 and subsequently at hourly intervals. The aircraft maintained patrols of 80 minutes until 1930B/9 when the last aircraft landed on.

' Force V ' operated in an area 30 miles square, to the southward of the assault area, approaching the island of Capri from time to time in order to obtain accurate fixes. Three types of patrol were flown;
a) A standing patrol south and east of Capri by seafires from the escort carriers.
b) A high patrol over the beaches from about sunrise until 0745 hours and from 1810 hours until just before sunset by seafires from HMS Unicorn. This was during the period that fighter cover was not provided from Sicilian airfields.
c) A standing high patrol over the low patrol in the Capri area during the remainder of the day by Seafires from HMS Unicorn.

A total of 265 sorties were flown on the first day. Cover over ' Force V ' was maintained by aircraft from the fleet carriers of ' Force H '. During the dark hours the force was withdrawn to the southward and operated to the east of a line joining Salerno and Palermo so as to keep clear of the convoy routes, returning to the flying-off area at dawn.

During 10 September the flying programme was repeated and 232 sorties were flown.

It had been hoped that ' Force V ' could be withdrawn on the 10th and that Montecorvino airfield could be used. The airfield had indeed been captured as planned but it remained under heavy enemy artillery fire and could only be used for forced landings. ' Force V ' therefore had to remain in the assault area, though its flying efficieny had decreased and the fuel situation of the escort destroyers was becoming difficult.

On 11 September the number of sorties flown decreased to 160. At 1900B/11, ' Force H ' on leaving for Malta flew 17 aircraft over to join ' Force V ', which now had to provide its own fighter cover. Montecorvino was still under fire and patrols were again flows off at dawn on 12 September. The total number of sorties flown on 12 September was 56.

A landing strip had been laid out at Paestrum and orders were received that all available fighters should land ashore and that ' Force V ' could then withdraw. This signal, though sent at 0909 hours was not received until 1230 hours. 26 Seafires were then flown off and ' Force V ' then withdrew arriving at Palermo around 1930B/12.

' Force V ' departed from Palermo around 0600B/13 for Bizerta arriving there around 1830B/13. (17)

16 Sep 1943
Around 0530 hours, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), returned to the assault area.

HMS Valiant took up a bombarding position off the northern beaches while HMS Warspite went to the same position as on the previous day. Once again HMS Valiant had great difficulty in obtaining contact with her forward observer and it was not until 1648 hours that she was able to open fire on the Nocera area. She ceased fire at 1728 hours having fired 19 rounds. She retired from the area at dusk screened by the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN). They eventually went to Augusta arriving there on the 17th.

Meanwhile HMS Warpite had sustained a heavy air attack. She had difficulty owing to enemy jamming in communicating with her F.O. but eventually opened fire at 1309 hours on ammunition dumps and traffic concentration near Altaville. 32 rounds were fired of which half landed dead on the target and 8 within 100 yards of it.

At 1410 hours, HMS Warspite was proceeding towards the northern area for further bombardment when she was attacked by about 10 FW 190's one of which was shot down. Immediately afterwards, three remote-controlled bombs were sighted almost overhead at 6000 to 8000 feet, their parent aircraft being at 20000 feet. No radar report of their presence had been received. The bombs dived vertically on to the ship which could take no avoiding action in this congested area. Two of the bombs near missed the ship but one hit the ship penetrating into No.4 boiler room where it burst. The concussion was terrific, five of the ships boiler rooms were flooded almost at once, though the ship was able to proceed at slow speed on the starboard engines until about 1500 hours when the last boiler room filled with water and all steam failed.

The USN tugs USS Hopi and USS Moreno arrived quickly on the spot and had the ship in tow by 1700 hours. Speed was 4 knots. Escort was now provided by the AA cruiser HMS Delhi (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN) and the destroyers HMS Panther, HMS Pathfinder and escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) and ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski).

At 1930 hours the light cruisers HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined them with HMS Euryalus taking over the tow with the intention to leave the area at a higher speed. However the cable parted and the USN again took the damaged battleship in tow. To everyone's surprise, in spite of a night of full moonlight, no air attacks were made by the enemy. In the morning, Spitfires arrived to give fighter cover, followed by two more tugs, HMS Nimble, HMS Oriana and the salvage vessel HMS Salveda. Around 2300 hours, another tug, USS Narragansett joined just as HMS Warspite was to enter the straits of Messina. It took the Warspite five hours to negotiate the Straits due to the strong current. She finally arrived safely at Malta around 0800 hours on 19 September. HMS Euryalus, HMS Scylla had parted company around 1030B/18 and arrived at Bizerta around 0145B/19. (18)

20 Sep 1943
Around 1700B/20, the light carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. W.W.P. Shirley-Rollison, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN), destroyer HMS Wishart (Lt. J.A. Holdsworth, RN) and the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) departed Bizerta for Gibraltar via Algiers.

They made a short stop at Algiers in the evening of 21 September (between around 1830B/21 and 2100B/21) before continuing their passage to Gibraltar. At Algiers they were joined by the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR).

They arrived at Gibraltar around 0430B/23. (19)

17 Oct 1943

Combined convoy MKF 24 / XIF 2A.

This convoy departed Port Said on 17 October 1943.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Glenartney (British, 9795 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1925), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).

The headquarters ship HMS Largs (Capt. H.S. Allan, RNR) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN), RHS Kanaris and RHS Themistocles.

On 18 October 1943, the (troop) transports; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Llandgibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) and Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) departed Alexandria to join the convoy which they did later the same day.

The were escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN) and HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR).

In the morning of 21 October 1943, the convoy arrived off Augusta where the Britannic, Glenartney, Largs Bay, Maloya, Martand, Stirling Castle, Stratheden, Tamaroa, and HMS Largs were detached and entered harbour.

The Aronda, Egra, Karoa, Letitia, Llangibby Castle and Nieuw Holland and the entire convoy escort then proceeded to Taranto where they arrived early in the morning of 22 August 1943.

The convoy departed Taranto in the late afternoon to proceed to Augusta. The escort destroyer HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) had joined the convoy escort. The Llangibby Castle and HMS Lamerton did not sail with the convoy.

Early in the afternoon of 23 October the convoy was back off Augusta. the Nieuw Holland was then detached and entered Augusta. The convoy was rejoined by the Britannic, Glenartney, Largs Bay, Maloya, Martand, Stirling Castle, Stratheden, Tamaroa and HMS Largs which had been detached on 21 October. More (troop) transports however joined coming from Augusta, these were; Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931) and Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927).

Late in the afternoon of 23 October the convoy was off Malta where it was joined by the damaged light cruiser HMS Cleopatra (Cdr. M.J. Ross, DSC, RN) and the landing ships HMS Prince Charles (A/Cdr. (Retd.) S.H. Dennis, DSC, RN), HMS Prince Leopold (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Lowe, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Princess Josephine Charlotte (Lt. J.E. Bromley, RNR) and HMS Princess Astrid (T/A/Lt.Cdr. (Retd.) C.E. Hall, RNR).

On 25 October 1943, the convoy arrived at Algiers. Part of the convoy however went on to Oran. These were the Aronda, Egra, Karoa, escorted by HMS Croome, HMS Tetcott, RHS Kanaris and RHS Themistocles.

On 27 October 1943, the convoy departed Algiers. It was now made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic, Duchess of Bedford, Dunnottar Castle, Durban Castle, Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Largs Bay, Maloja, Martand, Reina del Pacifico, Samaria, Sibajak, Stirling Castle, Stratheden, Tamaroa,

The light cruiser HMS Cleopatra, headquarters ship HMS Largs and the landings ships HMS Prince Charles, HMS Prince Leopold, HMS Princess Josephine Charlotte, HMS Princess Astrid, HMS Ulster Monarch (Lt.Cdr. N.A.F. Kingscote, RNR) were also part of the concoy.

The convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Colombo, escort destroyers HMS Haydon, HMS Wilton, sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Spey (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR).

The frigate HMS Evenlode (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.L. Turner, RNR) departed Algiers on the 28th to overtake and join the convoy at sea which she did on 30 October.

On 28 October 1943, the convoy passed Gibraltar and the following ships were detached from the convoy; HMS Cleopatra, HMS Prince Charles, HMS Prince Leopold, HMS Princess Josephine Charlotte, HMS Princess Astrid, HMS Colombo and HMS Haydon.

From Gibraltar the following ships joined the convoy; (troop) transports; Esperance Bay (British, 13837 GRT, built 1922), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Saturnia (Italian, 23940 GRT, built 1927), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).

The landing ship HMS Prince Albert (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Peate, RNR) also joined as did the AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN) and the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN).

On 30 October 1943, HMS Wilton was detached to return to Gibraltar where she arrived at following day.

On 1 November 1943, the convoy was joined by the frigate HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR).

On 4 November 1943, HMCS Prince Robert arrived at Horta, Azores after having been detached from the convoy earlier on it approaching 50°N.

On 4 November 1943, HMS Prince Albert and HMS Bulldog arrived at Plymouth after having been detached from the convoy earlier.

On 5 November 1943, the convoy arrived in U.K. waters. The bulk of the convoy proceeded to Liverpool.

18 Oct 1943

Convoy KMS 30.

This convoy was assembled near Oversay on 18 October 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amstel (Dutch, 2115 GRT, built 1925), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Baron Stranraer (British, 3668 GRT, built 1929), Begum (British, 5843 GRT, built 1922), Belgian Seaman (Belgian, 7023 GRT, built 1941), Blairdevon (British, 3282 GRT, built 1925), Cape Hawke (British, 5081 GRT, built 1941), Carlton (British, 7210 GRT, built 1942), Celtic Monarch (British, 5824 GRT, built 1929), Corfirth (British, 1803 GRT, built 1934), Coulmore (British, 3670 GRT, built 1936), Cydonia (British, 3517 GRT, built 1927), Dan-Y-Bryn (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Ballad (British, 6700 GRT, built 1942), Empire Cameron (British, 7015 GRT, built 1941), Empire Copperfield (British, 6013 GRT, built 1943), Empire Tern (British, 2479 GRT, built 1919), Eridan (French, 9928 GRT, built 1928), Errington Court (British, 4913 GRT, built 1925), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Livingstone (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Reliance (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Tadoussac (British, 7129 GRT, built 1941), Greathope (British, 2297 GRT, built 1926), Harberton (British, 4585 GRT, built 1930), Lech (British, 1568 GRT, built 1934), Ledaal (Norwegian, 3076 GRT, built 1899), Lodestone (British, 4877 GRT, built 1938), Marwarri (British, 8067 GRT, built 1935), Nolisement (British, 5084 GRT, built 1928), Olga E. Embiricos (Greek, 4677 GRT, built 1922), Riverton (British, 7307 GRT, built 1943), Sinnington Court (British, 6910 GRT, built 1928), Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942), Topdalsfjord (Norwegian, 4271 GRT, built 1921) and Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN), HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and the corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Pennywort (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR). The corvette HMS Clover (Lt. T.E. Fanshawe, RNR) was unable to join them due to defects but sailed later to overtake and join the convoy at sea which she did on 20 October.

The Blairdevon and Fort Livingstone collided in position 55°39'N, 07°21'W, not long after assembly of the convoy. Both ships being heavily damaged and the Blairdevon was even in a sinking conditiom but both ships were successfully towed to Moville where they arrived on 19 October. HMS Pennywort remained behind with the damaged ships but later rejoined the convoy.

The convoy encountered heavy weather conditions and several ships were forced to turn back, these were; Amstel, Baron Forbes, Begum, Empire Ballad and Nolisement. The Begum had to be towed back as she had lost her propeller.

On 23 October 1943, the merchant vessels Corfell (British, 1802 GRT, built 1934), Scottish Monarch (British, 7004 GRT, built 1943) departed Ponta Delgada, Azores to join the convoy around 1200Z/26 in position 41°53'N, 18°30'W. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) which was not to join the convoy.

From 26 to 28 October 1943, HMS Warwick and HMS Asphodel were not with the convoy as they had to fuel at Ponta Delgada and then rejoin the convoy.

During their absence the destroyer HMS Warwick (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Buttercup (T/Lt. R.J. Jonckheere, RNR) and HMS Lavender (Lt. L.G. Pilcher, RNR) were with the convoy.

Also joining the convoy were the destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, DSC, RN) and HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. J. Smallwood, RN). They had departed Gibraltar on 27 October with orders to join the convoy around 1800A/28 in position 37°37'N, 18°00'W. On these destroyers the three escorts from the Azores were then to part company and return to the Azores.

The convoy arrived off Gibraltar during the night of 31 October / 1 November 1943. The Corfirth arrived at Horta on 3 November after having been detached from the convoy. [or straggled from the convoy ?.] The Cydonia arrived at Lisbon on 1 November after having been detached from the convoy.

The following ships were detached to Gibraltar; Cape Hawke, Carlton, Corfell, Dan-Y-Bryn, Empire Copperfield, Esneh, Fort Tadoussac, Greathope, Lech, Olga E. Embiricos, Scottish Monarch and Stancleeve.

The original escort also proceeded to Gibraltar and was replaced by a new escort made up of the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN), escort destroyer HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), frigate HMS Barle (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR), corvettes HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS La Malouine (Lt. W.A. Ives, RNR) and the A/S trawler L'Ajacienne.

The following merchant ships joined the convoy off Gibraltar; Benjamin Huntington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), British Merit (British (tanker), 8093 GRT, built 1942), Empire Derwent (British, 4026 GRT, built 1930), Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927), F.T. Freylinghuysen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Bancroft (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Mary Odin (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Jonathan Trumbull (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Joseph Warren (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Montaigne (French, 2770 GRT, built 1920), Nemours (French, 673 GRT, built 1935), Norjerv (Norwegian, 5582 GRT, 1919), Orminster (British, 5712 GRT, built 1914), Puck (Polish, 1065 GRT, built 1935), Wearfield (British (tanker), 9795 GRT, built 1943), William B. Woods (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Coddington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

On 2 November 1943 the following ships were detached to Oran; Coulmore, Empire Tern, George Bancroft, Joseph Warren and Montaigne while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Oran; Alexander Graham Bell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Augustus S. Merrimon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Caid (British, 255 GRT, built 1906), Fort de Douaumont (French, 5266 GRT, built 1918), Francis L. Lee (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), George B. McClellan (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), George M. Bibb (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943), Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914), Joseph Hewes (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Kemp P. Battle (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915), Leland Stanford (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Mont Viso (French, 4531 GRT, built 1921), Robert Dale Owen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Robert F. Stockton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Selvik (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1920), William C. Endicott (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), William F. Cody (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Zebulon Pike (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942). The minesweeper HMS BYMS 2186 (?) also joined the convoy.

Around 0051A/3, the merchant vessel Mont Viso was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-593. HMS Bryony went to the assistance of the torpedoed ship but it sank in two minutes. The corvette then picked up the survivors and later obtained an asdic contact on the enemy and attacked with depth charges during which the German submarine sustained damage due to which she was to return to Toulon for repairs.

Around 0900A/3, HMS Colombo was detached to return to Gibraltar. Between around 1100A/3 and 1410A/3 she was in the area where the Mont Viso had been sunk searching for survivors but none were found. She arrived at Gibraltar around 0805A/4.

On 3 November 1943 the following ships were detached to Algiers; Belgian Seaman, Caio, Empire Trent, Eridan, Fort Fairford, Fort Reliance, Lodestone, Orminster and Topsdaldjord as was HMS Haydon, while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Anna Capano (Italian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Chateau Pavie (French, 2047 GRT, built 1930), Empire Daring (British, 7059 GRT, built 1943), George C. Childress (American, 7245 GRT, built 1943), Lars Kruse (British, 1807 GRT, built 1923), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Pan-Delaware (American (tanker), 8128 GRT, built 1918), Richmond Mumford Pearson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Ronan (British, 1489 GRT, built 1938). HMS Bryony also made a short stop at Oran to land the survivors of the Mont Viso before rejoining the convoy. The corvette HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR) also joined the convoy off Algiers.

On 4 November 1943, the Empire Daring arrived at Bougie after having been detached from the convoy.

On 4 November 1943 the following ships were detached to Philippeville; George C. Childress, Letitia and Sinnington Court while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Philippeville; Afghanistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Cap Padaran (British (former French), 8009 GRT, built 1922), Fort Fork (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Lawrence (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Norman Monarch (British, 7005 GRT, built 1943) and Prometheus (British, 6095 GRT, built 1925).

On 4 November 1943 the following ships were detached to Bone; Empire Derwent, F.T. Freylinghuysen, John Mary Odin, Jonathan Trumbull, William B. Woods and William Coddington while the following merchant vessel joined the convoy coming from Bone; Yenangyaung (British, 5447 GRT, 1937).

On 5 November 1943 the following ships were detached to Bizerta; Anna Capano, George M. Bibb, Grand Quevilly, Kemp P. Battle and Wearfield while the following merchant vessel joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Spero (Norwegian, 3619 GRT, built 1919).

On 5 November 1943 the Errington Court was detached to Bizerta.

On 6 November 1943 the Fort Liard, Puck and Selvik were detached to Malta as was HMS BYMS 2186.

On 6 November 1943 the Afghanistan, Alexander Graham Bell, Augustus S. Merrimon, Baron Stranraer, Benjamin Huntington, British Merit, Cap Padaran, Celtic Monarch, Empire Cameron, Fort de Douaumont, Fort Fork, Fort Lawrence, Francis L. Lee, George B. McClellan, Harberton, Joseph Hewes, Kosciuszko, Lars Kruse, Leland Stanford, Norman Monarch, Pan-Delaware, Prometheus, Richmond Mumford Pearson, Riverton, Robert Dale Owen, Robert F. Stockton, Ronan, Wearwood, William C. Endicott, William F. Cody and Zebulon Pike were detached to Augusta while the following merchant vessel joined the convoy coming from Augusta; Brighton (British, 7345 GRT, built 1943), City of Windsor (British, 7218 GRT, built 1923), Comliebank (British, 5149 GRT, built 1924), Fort la Traite (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Pembina (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Newbrough (British, 5255 GRT, built 1941), Pellicula (British (tanker), 6254 GRT, built 1936) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

On 11 November 1943 the Brighton, City of Windsor, Comliebank, Fort la Traite, Fort Pembina, Norjerv, Talma and Yenangyaung arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. They took HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony with them.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said also on 11 November escorted by HMS Barle and HMS La Malouine. HMS Barle then continued on toward Haifa where she arrived on the 12th.

28 Oct 1943

Convoy KMF 25A

This convoy was formed off Oversay on 28 October 1943.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Anne Arundel (American, 7796 GRT, built 1941), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Dorothea L. Dix (American, 6736 GRT, built 1940), Edmund B. Alexander (American, 21329 GRT, built 1905), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Hawaiian Shipper (American, 7775 GRT, built 1941), Henry Gibbons (American, 12097 GRT, built 1943), James Parker (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monterey (American, 148017 GRT, built 1932), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Santa Elena (American, 9135 GRT, built 1933), Santa Paula (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Sloterdijk (Dutch, 9230 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937), Thomas H. Barry (American, 11250 GRT, built 1930) and Thurston (American, 6509 GRT, 1942).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyers USS Davison (T/Cdr. J.D. Collett, USN, with COMDESRON 15, T/Capt. C.C. Hartman, USN on board), USS Parker (T/Cdr. J.W. Bays, USN, with COMDESRON 16, T/Capt. C.J. Cater, USN on board), USS Mervine (T/Cdr. D.R. Frakes, USN), USS Boyle (T/Cdr. B.P. Field, Jr., USN), USS Champlin (T/Cdr. C.L. Melson, USN), USS Laub (T/Lt.Cdr. A.G. Hay, USN), USS McLanahan (T/Lt.Cdr. N.C. Johnson, USN), USS Nields (T/Cdr. A.R. Heckey, USN), USS Ordronaux (T/Cdr. R. Brodie, Jr., USN), USS Beatty (T/Cdr. W. Outerson, USN) and USS Tillman (T/Cdr. C.S. Hutchings, USN).

Around 1440A/4, the Strathmore parted company with the convoy to make a short call at Gibraltar. She rejoined the convoy around 1830A/4 having been escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) which also joined the convoy.

Around 0500A/5, USS Davison, USS Laub and USS Tillman parted company to proceed to Oran to fuel. They rejoined the convoy around 1345A/5.

Around 1415A/5, USS Minerve parted company to make rendezvous with the attack cargo ships USS Oberon (T/Cdr. D.G. Greenlee, Jr., USN), USS Andromeda (T/Cdr. W.A. Fly, USN) and the destroyer escorts USS Frederick C. Davis (Lt.Cdr. O.W. Goepner, USNR) and USS Herbert C. Jones (Lt.Cdr. A.W. Gardes, Jr., USN) coming from Oran. They (re)joined the convoy around 1800A/5.

Around 0630A/6, the Anne Arundel, Aorangi, Dorothea L. Dix parted company with the convoy to proceed to Algiers escorted by USS Ordronaux.

Around 0800A/6, the escort destroyers HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), RHS Kanaris and RHS Themistocles joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

Around 0815A/6, USS Boyle, USS Champlin and USS Nields parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Algiers.

Around 1800A/6, the convoy was attacked in position 37°13'N, 06°12'E by 35 German aircraft from KG.26 (Major Klümper). They attacked with glider bombs and torpedoes. The result of the attack was that the Marnix van St. Aldegonde, Santa Elena and USS Beatty were hit and heavily damaged. USS Parker, USS Tillman and HMS Croome were ordered to assist them. They all sank later, USS Beatty around 2304A/6, the Marnix van St. Aldegonde and Santa Elena sank in the late afternoon / early evening of the following day after attempts to tow them to Philippeville had failed. They actually even collided with each other while under tow. To tow these ships the tugs HMRT Hengist, HMRT St. Day and salvage vessel HMS Salveda were sent out from Philippeville. USS Mervine and the Ruys were detached from the convoy to remain in the area of the attack to take over troops from the damaged ships.

Around 2110A/6, the Hai Lee and Thomas H. Barry were detached from the convoy and proceeded to Philippeville.

Around 0810A/7, USS Oberon and USS Andromeda left the convoy to proceed to Bizerta.

Around 0950A/7, the Palermo/Naples section of the convoy parted company. This section was made up of the Hawaiian Shipper, Henry Gibbons, James Parker, John Ericsson, Monterey, Santa Paula, Santa Rosa, Sloterdijk and Thurston. They were escorted by HMS Colombo, USS Davison, USS McLanahan, USS Frederick C. Davis and USS Herbert C. Jones.

Around 1645A/7, the destroyer USS Wainwright (T/Cdr. W.W. Strohbehn, USN) joined coming from Palermo.

Around 2215A/7, the Hawaiian Shipper, Henry Gibbons, James Parker, Santa Paula, Santa Rosa and Sloterdijk parted company to proceed to Palermo escorted by USS Wainwright.

The Naples section, made up of the John Ericsson, Monterey and Thurston arrived at its destination around 1030A/8 escorted by HMS Colombo, USS Davison, USS McLanahan, USS Frederick C. Davis and USS Herbert C. Jones.

Meanwhile the remaining ships of the convoy had continued eastwards escorted by HMS Haydon, HMS Tetcott, RHS Kanaris and RHS Themistocles.

On 8 November 1943, the Argentina, Aronda and Edmund B. Alexander arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 9 November 1943, the (troop) transport Devonshire (11275 GRT, built 1939) joined the convoy coming from Taranto.

On 11 November 1943, the Almanzora, Staffordshire, RHS Kanaris and RHS Themistocles arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 12 November 1943.

15 Nov 1943
Around 1530/15, the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN), destroyer HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Malins, DSC and Bar, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR) departed Alexandria for the Limmasol. They had on board some troops, ammunition and stores.

They arrived at Limmasol around 0630/16. (20)

18 Nov 1943
Around 2100/17, HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) departed Paphos to make rendezvous with the destroyer HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Malins, DSC and Bar, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR) which were en-route to the Aegean. HMS Penelope was to escort them part of the way.

Rendezvous was effected around 1410/18. Cdr. Orbay, Turkish Navy was then transferred to HMS Pathfinder.

HMS Pathfinder, HMS Haydon and HMS Tetcott parted company around 1730/18 and then went on their way.

HMS Penelope then set course to proceed to Limmasol arriving there around 0300/19. (20)

3 Feb 1944

Combined convoy MKF 28A / XIF 9.

This convoy departed Port Said on 3 February 1944.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Pride (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski (S.O. of the escort)), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz), HMS Catterick (Lt. D.P. Willan, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN).

On 4 February 1944 the convoy was joined by the (troop) transport Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) coming from Alexandria. she was escorted by the destroyer HMS Termagant (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Mendip (Lt. P.D. Davey, RN) which also joined the convoy.

On 7 February 1944, the Arundel Castle and Stirling Castle arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy. Thy departed the following day for Algiers taking passage in convoy SNF 14.

On 8 February 1944, convoy XIF 9, made up of the (troop) transports Batory, Dilwara, Durban Castle, Empire Pride and Staffordshire arrived at Taranto with the entire escort.

29 Feb 1944
HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Alexandria.

These were followed by A/S exercises with the submarine Alagi (T.V.(Lt.) S. Puccini). The Alagi also made a practice attack on HMS Caledon.

Finally HMS Caledon conducted RIX (rangefinding and inclination) exercises with the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. D.P. Willan, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN) on completion of which they all returned to harbour. (21)

2 Mar 1944

Convoy MKF 29.

This convoy departed Port Said on 2 March 1944.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Ascania (British, 14013 GRT, built 1924), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Dunnotar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Mormacswan (American, 7194 GRT, built 1939), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932). They were escorted by the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN), HMS Mendip (Lt. P.D. Davey, RN) and RHS Themistocles.

The troop transport Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) departed Port Said later the same day to overtake and join the convoy. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. D.P. Willan, DSC, RN) and RHS Miaoulis.

In the afternoon of 5 March 1944, the troop transport Duchess of Richmond (British, 22022 GRT, built 1928) joined the convoy coming from Augusta which she had departed earlier the same day escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. G. Ransome, DSC, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN).

Around the same time the troop transport Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924) joined the convoy coming from Malta which she had departed earlier the same day escorted by the AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNethN) and the escort destroyers HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR) and RHS Kriti.

On these ship joining the troop transports Ascania, Derbyshire and Sobieski parted company with the convoy to proceed through the Messina Strait towards Naples where they arrived on the 6th. They were escorted by HMS Farndale, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra and RHS Kriti and RHS Themistocles.

HMS Tetcott returned to Augusta.

Also on 5 March the Naples section of the convoy departed that place. Convoy SNF 16 also formed part of the Naples section which was then made up of the following troop transports; Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), LLangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937) and the following from convoy SNF 16; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Champollion (French, 12546 GRT, built 1924), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Letitia ((British, 13595 GRT, built 1925) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

The Naples section was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN) and the frigates HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN, HMS Burges (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Byard (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.M. Ferris, RNVR), HMS Calder (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR), HMS Curzon (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Diggins, DSC, RN) and HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN).

On the 6th, off Palermo, the Naples section was joined by the troop transport Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931).

The Naples section merged with the main convoy around 1745A/7. The troop transport Leopoldville then proceeded to Bone while the Hai Lee arrived at Philippeville later the same day after having straggled from the convoy.

On 8 March 1944, the troop transport Winchester Castle was detached to Algiers while the troop transports Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917) joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

On 8 March 1944, the (troop) transports Almanzora, Champollion, Circassia,Letitia and Mormacswan were detached to Oran.

On 9 March 1944, the convoy arrived at Gibraltar where part the current escort; HMS Colombo, HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck, ORP Slazak, HMS Catterick, HMS Mendip and RHS Miaoulis. ORP Krakowiak and HMS Haydon had already arrived at Gibraltar the previous day after having proceeded ahead of the convoy.

Coming from Gibraltar the folling (troop) transports joined the convoy; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Columbia Star (British, 8293 GRT, built 1939), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914).

Also joining from Gibraltar were the battleship HMS Warspite (A/Capt. D. Edwardes, RN), escort carriers HMS Activity (Capt. G. Willoughby, RN), HMS Nairana (Capt. R.M.T. Taylor, RN), AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN), destroyer HMS Winchelsea (Lt. C.T. Shuttleworth, RNVR) and the sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, RN), HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RN), HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. I.M. Carrs, RN) and HMS Woodcock (Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, DSO, RN).

On 11 March 1944, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. C.P. Clarke, DSO, RN) joined the convoy coming from Horta, Azores which she had departed the previous day. She parted company with the convoy early on 15 March and arrived at Greenock later the same day.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 16 March 1944.

23 May 1944
Around 1815B/23, the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Cdr. J.G. Farrant, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt. D.P. Willan, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.I. Pilditch, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.C. Lapage, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir where they arrived around 0915B/24. (22)

24 May 1944

Convoy NSF 23.

This convoy departed Oran Bay on 24 May 1944.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Ascania (British, 14013 GRT, built 1925), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934) and Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Oran Bay the convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Cdr. J.G. Farrant, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt. D.P. Willan, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.I. Pilditch, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.C. Lapage, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN).

Around 0730B/25, the (troop) transports; Champollion (French, 12546 GRT, built 1924), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Ville d'Oran (British, 10172 GRT, built 1936) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming off Algiers.

Around 0800B/26, the (troop) transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) joined the convoy coming off Benghazi.

The convoy arrived at Naples on 27 May 1944.

The Ville d'Oran had been detached to Taranto where she too arrived on 27 May 1944 escorted by HMS Atherstone

28 May 1944

Convoy SNF 23.

This convoy departed Naples on 28 May 1944.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Ascania (British, 14013 GRT, built 1925), Champollion (French, 12546 GRT, built 1924), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934) and Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Ville d'Oran (British, 10172 GRT, built 1936) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Naples the convoy was escorted by AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Cdr. J.G. Farrant, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.C. Lapage, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN).

On the same day the (troop) transport Ville d'Oran (British, 10172 GRT, built 1936) departed Taranto escorted by HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.I. Pilditch, DSC, RN). They joined the convoy the following day.

On 29 May 1944, the Hai Lee arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 30 May 1944, the Champollion and HMS Atherstone arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy.

The remaining (troop) transports of the convoy arrived at Oran / Mers-el-Kebir on 31 May 1944 escorted by HMS Aldenham, HMS Cleveland and HMS Brecon.

HMS Caledon and HMS Haydon continued on to Gibraltar arriving there on 31 May 1944.

9 Sep 1944
Between 0730C/9 and 0830C/9, ' Force A ' of the ' British Aegean Force' departed Alexandria to operate of Crete and the Dodecanese Islands to attack the (retiring) German forces in the area.

The Force was made up of the light cruiser HMS Royalist (Capt. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN, flying the flag of R.Adm. T.H. Troubridge, DSO and Bar, RN), escort carriers HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Searcher (Capt. G.O.C. Davies, RN), HMS Khedive (Capt.(Retd.) H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, DSO, MVO, RN, Capt. D.24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagant (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC, RN) and HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. A.C. Behague, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, DSC, RN), HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), ORP Garland (Kmdr.ppor.(Cdr.) B.J. Biskupski) and RHS Navarinon.

On 10 September 1944, ' Force A ' operated south of Crete during the entire day.

On 11 September 1944, ' Force A ' remained to the south of Crete.

On 12 September 1944, ' Force A ' remained to the south of Crete and starting around 0700C/12, some ships were fuelled,HMS Royalist and RHS Navarinon were fuelled by HMS Hunter and HMS Tuscan by HMS Searcher.

At 1445C/12, HMS Tenacious and HMS Tumult were detached to Malta.

During the night of 12/13 September 1944, (Group 1) HMS Royalist with RHS Navarinon, (Group 2) HMS Troubridge and HMS Tuscan and (Group 3) HMS Tyrian and HMS Teaser conducted anti-shipping sweeps in the Aegean.

Group 1, drew blank.

Group 2, encountered a convoy of one cargo ship, two escorts and three caiques between Santorin and Candia. The entire convoy was destroyed. Among these ships were the transport Toni (638 BRT, built 1911) and the caiques Specht / PI 17 and Agios Demitrios / PI 687. HMS Tuscan sustained some minor damage in the action.

Group 3, conducted a sweep from Pigadia Bay on Karpathos and then along the east side of Rhodes. They sighted nothing.

At 0630C/13, Groups 1 and 2 made rendezvous in position 35°30'N, 25°36'E and then set course to rejoin the remainer of ' Force A '. Fighter cover was provided by aircraft from HMS Pursuer.

Around 0930C/13, HMS Tuscan parted company with ' Force A ' to return to Alexandria where she arrived around 0700C/14.

Around 1330C/13, HMS Termagant, HMS Terpsichore and ORP Garland commenced fuelling from HMS Searcher, HMS Pursuer and HMS Khedive respectively.

Around 1830C/13, HMS Khedive was detached to proceed to the vicinity of position 37°30'N, 19°30'E. She was escorted by ORP Garland. They were then to make rendezvous on the 15th with the landing ship HMCS Prince David (T/Cdr. T.D. Kelly, RCNR) and the destroyers HMS Tenacious and HMS Tumult and provide air cover for these ships. HMCS Prince David was to land a force which were to establish a coastal forces base on Kythira Island.

During the night of 13/14 September 1944, (Group 1) HMS Tyrian with HMS Teazer and (Group 2) HMS Termagant and HMS Terpsichore conducted anti-shipping sweeps in the Aegean. Both groups sighted nothing.

Around 0730C/14, Groups 1 and 2 rejoined ' Force A '.

Around 0930C/14, a small caique was sighted in the vicinity of position 35°25'N, 26°15'E. HMS Termagant boarded and remover 1 German officer and 23 German naval ratings as well as 2 Greeks. The caique was then sunk. The prisoners stated that they were evacuating from Scarpanto to Crete.

Around 1445C/14, the escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), HMS Emperor (A/Capt. T.J.N. Hilken, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyer HMS Tuscan departed Alexandria to join ' Force A '.

Around 1730C/14, HMS Searcher, escorted by HMS Tyrian and RHS Navarinon were detached to proceed to the vicinity of position 35°40'N, 22°20'E.

Around 2000C/14, HMS Hunter and HMS Troubridge were detached to Alexandria where they arrived around 1400C/15.

During the night of 14/15 September 1944, HMS Royalist and HMS Teazer conducted an anti-shipping sweep in the Aegean. HMS Royalist also directed night fighters. These two ships sank two German transports around 20 miles north-east of Suda Bay around 0400C/15. These were the transport Erpel (834 GRT, built 1944, former KT 26) and the auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2171 / Heidelberg (former transport KT 4).

On 15 September 1944, HMS Searcher and HMS Khedive provided air cover over the Kythira area.

Around 0900C/15, a number of dinghies were sighted near position 35°37'N, 25°52'E. HMS Teazer then was sent to this location and picked up 10 Germans. These were survivors from the action during the night of 12/13 September.

Around 1200C/15, HMS Attacker, HMS Emperor, HMS Black Prince and HMS Tuscan joined ' Force A ' in position 35°02'N, 26°28'E. But 15 minutes later, HMS Black Prince, which had refridgerator trouble was ordered to return to Alexandria where she arrived around 0700C/16.

Around 1300C/15, HMS Termagant and HMS Terpsichore commenced fuelling from HMS Emperor and HMS Attacker.

Around 1800C/15, HMS Teazer and HMS Tuscan commenced fuelling from HMS Emperor and HMS Attacker.

At the same time HMS Termagant and HMS Terpsichore were detached for an anti-shipping sweep in the Aegean.

Around 1900C/16, the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. G. Bernard, CBE, DSO, RN) and the destroyer HMS Troubridge departed Alexandria to join ' Force A '.

Around 0630C/16, HMS Termagant and HMS Terpsichore rejoined ' Force A '. They had sighted nothing.

Around 1215C/16, HMS Aurora and HMS Terpsichore joined from Alexandria.

Around 1230C/16, HMS Aurora and HMS Terpsichore parted company to bombard Milos around 1600C/16. Fighter protection and air spotting would be provided by aircraft from HMS Pursuer.

Around 1700C/16, HMS Teazer was detached to Alexandria where she arrived around 0730C/17.

Around 1820C/16, HMS Aurora and HMS Terpsichore were ordered to remain in the Aegean to patrol off Milos.

Around 2000C/16, HMS Royalist, HMS Troubridge and HMS Termagant were detached to the Aegean. HMS Royalist was to direct night fighters, HMS Troubridge was to patrol off Candia and HMS Termagent was to patrol off Suda Bay.

Around 0700C/17, HMS Troubridge and HMS Termagant rejoined. They had sighted nothing.

Around 0950C/17, HMS Royalist, which had now also rejoined ' Force A ' commenced fuelling from HMS Attacker.

Aircraft reported the the German minelayer Drache had arrived at Milos. HMS Aurora then opened fire on the harbour with HMS Terpsichore blockading the harbour entrance. The target however proved to be elusive but shore istallations, including the radar station, were hit.

HMS Troubridge bombarded caiques seen in Santorin harbour.

Around 1500C/17, the escort destroyers HMS Zetland (Lt. C.R. Bax, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN) departed Alexandria to join ' Force A '.

Around 2030C/17, HMS Khedive and ORP Garland rejoined.

During the night of 17/18 September 1944, HMS Troubridge and HMS Tuscan blockaded Suda Bay and Standia respectively.

On 18 September, HMS Aurora and HMS Terpsichore carried out a harassing bombardment of W/T and radar stations on Milos with the assistance of air spotting.

HMS Troubridge, HMS Termagant, HMS Terpsichore, HMS Tuscan and ORP Garland fuelled from HMS Attacker and HMS Khedive.

15 Enemy flying boats were seen in Suda Bay and an air strike of 16 dive bombers attacked them but the results are unknown due to the weather conditions did not made it possible to conduct a photographic reconnaissance after the attack.

At 1730A/18, ORP Garland sighted a schnorkel from a submerged U-boat. She was joined by HMS Troubridge, HMS Terpsichore and the escort destroyers HMS Zetland and HMS Brecon. These last two ships had just joined ' Force A '. This U-Boat was subsequently destroyed after a long hunt and 48 prisoners were taken.

During the night of 18/19 September 1944, HMS Aurora bombarded Candia harbour and Heraklion airfield.

On 19 September, HMS Terpsichore, HMS Teazer and HMS Zetland fuelled from HMS Attacker, HMS Emperor and HMS Khedive respectively.

Around 0815C/19, the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN) departed Alexandria to join ' Force A '. At sea they joined the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) which had already departed around 0630C/19 and had first conducted exercises.

Around 1020C/19, an air strike force of 45 fighter bombers was sent to Rhodes. They destroyed several enemy ships and caused damage to the harbour facilities.

Around 0500C/20, HMS Colombo, HMS Farndale and HMS Haydon joined.

HMS Terpsichore, HMS Termagant, HMS Zetland and HMS Brecon then fuelled from HMS Attacker and HMS Emperor.

Around 1340C/20, HMS Colombo and HMS Termagant were detached to blockade Candia, HMS Teazer and HMS Farndale to blockade Suda Bay and HMS Zetland to blockade Santorin.

Around 1910C/20, the remainder of ' Force A ' set course for Alexandria.

Around 1400C/21, HMS Attacker, HMS Pursuer, HMS Emperor, HMS Khedive, HMS Royalist, HMS Troubridge, HMS Terpsichore, HMS Tuscan, HMS Brecon arrived at Alexandria.

Around 1815C/21, HMS Searcher, HMS Tyrian and RHS Navarinon arrived at Alexandria.

Around 1930C/21, HMS Colombo, HMS Teazer, HMS Termagant, HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon and HMS Zetland arrived at Alexandria.

During the entire time ' Force A ' had been off Crete aircraft from the escort carriers had attacked numerous enemy targets. (23)

21 Sep 1944
Around 1930C/21, HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Termagant (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.G.R. Clay, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. C.R. Bax, RN) arrived at Alexandria from operations.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/116071
  2. ADM 199/1211
  3. ADM 199/720 + ADM 199/975
  4. ADM 199/637
  5. ADM 173/18142
  6. ADM 173/18143
  7. ADM 199/638
  8. ADM 53/638
  9. ADM 53/117879 + ADM 199/767
  10. ADM 199/639
  11. ADM 53/117517 + ADM 53/118252 + ADM 53/118479 + ADM 199/639
  12. ADM 53/117517 + ADM 53/117633 + ADM 53/117717 + ADM 199/639 + ADM 199/767
  13. ADM 53/117518 + ADM 53/117634 + ADM 53/117718 + ADM 199/639
  14. ADM 53/117518 + ADM 53/117718 + ADM 199/639
  15. ADM 53/117634
  16. ADM 53/117634 + ADM 53/117718 + ADM 199/639
  17. ADM 53/117495 + ADM 53/118664 + ADM 199/641 + ADM 234/358
  18. ADM 234/358
  19. ADM 53/118574 + ADM 53/118664 + ADM 199/641 + ADM 199/767
  20. ADM 53/118345
  21. ADM 53/119059
  22. ADM 53/119062
  23. ADM 199/297 + ADM 199/1429 + ADM 199/1434

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


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