HMS Roysterer (W 91)
Rescue Tug of the Rollicker class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Thornycroft (Southampton, U.K.)|
|Launched||4 Feb 1919|
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Notable events involving Roysterer include:
19 Dec 1941
In the evening of the 18th, the Italian submarine Scirè launched three SLC (Siluro Lenta Corsa = Slow moving torpedo also known as Maiale = pig) near Ras El Tin.
These managed to pass through the gate with ships entering harbour. The boom had been opened several times; Around 2359B/18 the boom was ordered to be closed after the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, RN) and the tugs HMS Roysterer and HMS St. Monance had just entered.
At 0024B/19, the boom, which had not yet been completely closed was ordered to be opened again. It was open by 0040B/19 after which first the light cuisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.A.H. Kelsey, DSC, RN flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN). Followed not long after by the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN). The destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) had been with them but was a little behind and entered at 0120B/19 after which the boom was ordered to be closed which was completed at 0150B/19.
At 0225B/19 the boom was ordered to be opened again which was completed at 0242B/19 after which the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) entered and the boom was ordered to be closed at 0300B/19. It was reported shut at 0315B/19.
One of the Maiale crew mentioned in interrogation that they had been able to get in together with three big destroyers, this might therefore have been HMS Sikh, HMS Maori and HMS Legion.
All three crews of the Maiale managed to place the explosive warheads. Warheads were attacked to the main targets, the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN) and the tanker Sagona (Norwegian, 7554 GRT, built 1929).
At 0325B/19, two Italians were picked up which were on HMS Valiant's mooring buoy. Interrogation produced no result.
At 0547B/19, an explosion occured under the stern of the Sagona causing massive damage to the tanker. The bow of the destroyer HMS Jervis who was alongside was also damaged by the explosion.
At 0606B/19, an explosion occured under the "A" turret of HMS Valiant. She was heavily flooded forward and was down by the bow.
At 0610B/19, HMS Queen Elizabeth was rocketed by an explosion underneath the boiler rooms and as a result three boiler rooms were flooded. She was unable to raise steam and the submarines HMS Triumph (Lt. J.S. Huddart, RN) and HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN) were brought alongside either side to provide electricity. HMS Trusty leaves after a few hours but HMS Triumph remained alongside until 22 December.
Neither battleship could be docked immediately due to their current draught.
All six crew of the Maiale were captured by the British.
16 Nov 1942
Convoy MW 13.
This convoy departed Port Said on 16 November 1942 and arrived at Malta on 20 November 1942.
The convoy was made up of the following transports; Bantan (Dutch, 9312 GRT, built 1939), Denbighshire (British, 8983 GRT, built 1938), Mormacmoon (American, 7939 GRT, built 1940) and Robin Locksley (British, 7101 GRT, built 1941).
The convoy was escorted on departure from Port Said by the light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Paladin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, CB, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN).
At 0700/17, while off Alexandria all destroyers parted company and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, DSO, RN), HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN), HMS Hursley (Lt.Cdr. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, RN) and Pindos joined the convoy.
The seven fleet destroyers arrived at Alexanrdria at 0745/17.
Shortly after 1300/17 the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J. Power, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN) and HMS Orion (Capt. G.C.P. Menzies, RN) departed Alexandria to join the convoy at dawn the following morning. They were escorted by the seven fleet destroyers that had arrived at Alexandria a few hours before.
At 1110/18, air attacks commenced on the convoy but no damage was done.
At 1700/18, the cruisers (minus HMS Euryalus) and the fleet destroyers parted company with the convoy to take up a position to the north of the convoy during the night.
At 1805/18, in a dusk torpedo attack, when in position 33°36'N, 20°44'E, HMS Arethusa was hit abreast 'B' turret and took on heavy list to port. HMS Jervis, HMS Javelin and HMS Petard stood by the damaged cruiser. HMS Jervis and HMS Javelin however soon rejoined the cruiser force. HMS Arethusa and HMS Petard were to try to make it back to Alexandria.
Around 1400/19, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Dido, HMS Orion, HMS Pakenham, HMS Paladin, HMS Nubian, HMS Jervis, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin set course to return to Alexandria.
At 2045/19, the corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR) joined HMS Arethusa and HMS Petard.
The convoy and the ramaining escort arrived safely at Malta in the early hours of November, 20th.
Around 0800/20, the destroyer HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN) joined HMS Arethusa and her escorts.
Around 0600/21, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Dido, HMS Orion, HMS Pakenham, HMS Paladin, HMS Nubian, HMS Jervis, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin arrived at Alexandria.
HMS Arethusa, her escorts and the two tugs arrived at Alexandria in the late afteroon of 21 November. (1)
- ADM 53/ + ADM 187/22 + ADM 199/651
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.