Anthony Cecil Capel Miers VC, DSO, RN

Born  11 Nov 1906


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Ranks

1 Jan 1928 S.Lt.
1 Jan 1930 Lt.
1 Jan 1938 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1941 Cdr.
31 Dec 1946 Capt.
7 Jan 1956 Rear-Admiral

Retired: 7 Jul 1959


Decorations

1 Jan 1941 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
7 Oct 1941 DSO
7 Apr 1942 Bar to DSO
7 Jul 1942 VC
12 Jun 1958 CB
13 Jun 1959 KBE

Warship Commands listed for Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Torbay (N 79)Lt.Cdr.Submarine12 Nov 194028 Oct 1942

Career information

The citation for the award of Cdr. Miers his Victoria Cross was as follows;

' For valour in command of H.M. Submarine Torbay in a daring and successful raid on shipping in a defended enemy harbour, planned with full knowledge of the great hazards to be expected during seventeen hours in waters closely patrolled by the enemy. On arriving in the harbour he had to charge his batteries lying on the surface in full moon­light under the guns of the enemy. As he could not see his target he waited several hours and attacked in full daylight in a glassy calm. When he had fired his torpedoes he was heavily counter‑attacked and had to with­draw through a long channel with anti‑submarine craft all round and continuous air patrols overhead. '

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Torbay (N 79)


15 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from the Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (1)

17 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from Sheerness to the Chatham Dockyard. (1)

19 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from the Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (1)

21 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from the Sheerness to Harwich. She was escorted by HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN). (1)

22 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from Harwich to Rosyth. She was escorted by HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN). (1)

23 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Rosyth. (1)

24 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed Rosyth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (1)

26 Jan 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

28 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted full power and steering trials in the Clyde area. (1)

29 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted speed trials on the measured half mile in Loch Long. (1)

3 Feb 1941
During working up exercises, HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN), collides with the British tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928) on surfacing in Loch Long. No serious damage was caused. (2)

4 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted exercises in Loch Long. (2)

5 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar. (2)

6 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

7 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

9 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

9 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

10 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

11 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

12 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

13 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. (2)

14 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Arrochar. Upon completion of these trials she proceeded to Rothesay. (2)

15 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (2)

16 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (2)

19 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted minelaying trials (from her torpedo tubes) in the Clyde area. (2)

20 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar where she conducted noise trials. (2)

21 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

22 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

23 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

24 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

24 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

25 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

25 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

26 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

27 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

27 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted noise trials off Arrochar. (2)

28 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) shifted from Arrochar to Holy Loch. (2)

3 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (3)

4 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (3)

6 Mar 1941
With her training completed HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Halifax, Canada. She made part of the passage west together with HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN). They were escorted out by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN) until 2034/7 when they parted company in position 57°57'N, 10°59'W.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this passage see the map below.

(3)

11 Mar 1941
While on passage to Halifax HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) was ordered to return to the U.K. (3)

16 Mar 1941 (position 56.45, -8.30)
HMS Torbay stops neutral Icelandic trawler Geir (Master Gestur Elías Jónsson) homebound from Fleetwood to Iceland. After a brief stop where the Icelandic ship's papers were inspected the trawler was let go and continued on its course. (4)

17 Mar 1941
At 0810 hours, HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN), made rendes-vous with her escort towards Holy Loch, HMCS Trillium (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Harris, RCNR). (3)

18 Mar 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (3)

22 Mar 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Holy Loch for patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Torbay left for patrol (her first) on very short notice. Half the crew was on leave and was replaced by members of the spare crew of the depot ship. The reason for this was that the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had arrived at Brest. So a patrol had to be established around this French port.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

10 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from her patrol area bound for Gibraltar. (5)

13 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Gibraltar. (5)

14 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for Malta. Early on the 15th however she was ordered to return to Gibraltar as her crew was to have a rest period as she was to make a patrol in the Tyrrhenean Sea on the the passage to Malta. She entered Gibraltar harbour late on the 15th. (5)

23 Apr 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the east coast of Sardinia and then off the North-West coast of Sicily. Afterwards she is to proceed to Alexandria to join the 1st Submarine Flotilla.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(6)

27 Apr 1941
While on submerged patrol off Cape Ferrato HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a two-masted single-funnelled merchant ship of about 4000 tons with two torpedoes. These both missed. It was the intention of Lt.Cdr. Miers to surface and attack with the deck gun when an aircraft was sighted. Lt.Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep. (6)

13 May 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Alexandria. (6)

28 May 1941
At 1230 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 2nd Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

1 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a fully laden Greek (German controlled) caique with gunfire in the Doro Channel, Greece.

The vessel was sighted at 0745 hours (time zone -3). At 0936 hours it was noticed that the vessel was wearing the German flag so Torbay surfaced and sank the vessel with five rounds of gunfire 17 nautical miles bearing 87° from Cape Doro.
The 2nd round of gunfire was a hit aft and was followed by a violent explosion which blew the stern off and a cloud of yellow smoke enveloped the target.
At 0943 hours Torbay dived and resumed patrol.

The Caique was most likely the Pi 2104 / Agios Nikolaos which went missing around this day. (7)

3 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a well laden caique with gunfire off Mitylene, Lesbos, Greece. This was the Greek Menelaos / Le 135.

The vessel was sighted at 1600 hours (time zone -3). At 1643 hours Torbay surfaced and sank the vessel with gunfire 21.5 nautical miles bearing 305° Sigri Island. Torbay submerged at 1651 hours and resumed patrol. (7)

6 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Vichy French tanker Alberta (3357 GRT, built 1938) off Cape Hellas.

At 1242 hours (time zone -3) a 3000 ton merchant was sighted. Torbay struggled with the strong current to get into an attack position but at 1415 hours a torpedo was fired, in position 3.5 nautical miles bearing 229° Cape Hellas, that hit the target aft. The ship appeared to be sinking so Torbay left the area to the North-West.

Later Torbay closed in again to finish off the ship. At 1545 hours another torpedo was fired. The target was again hit aft but as the ship was already flooded in that part not much more damage was done. After firing this torpedo Torbay once again left the area to the North-West.

At 1558 hours, Torbay sighted a 1500 ton merchant approaching the Dardanelles from the North, Torbay turned to intercept but the target was later identified as Turkish.

Torbay then turned to the west as battery power was running low. At 2115 hours Torbay surfaced in position 8 nautical miles, bearing 152° Avlaka Point (Imbros) and started to charge her depleted battery's.

See 7 June 1941. (7)

7 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 6 June 1941

At 0448 hours (time zone -3) Torbay submerged and closed the entrance to the Dardanelles once again from the west.

At 0600 hours Alberta was sighted still afloat and at anchor. The ship was just within Turkish territorial waters and not aground.

At 0751 hours Torbay spotted a merchant of about 1500 tons coming from the entrance of the Dardanelles and gave chase. The ship was later identified as Turkish so it was not attacked.

At 1130 hours Torbay was back at the position where Alberta was anchored. The ship appeared deserted. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided not to fire another torpedo but to board the ship after dark to search for valuable documents and to scuttle the ship.

At 1515 hours a small Turkish coaster emerged from the Dardanelles and went alongside Alberta but soon continued on to the south.

At 1600 hours a merchant of about 4000 tons was sighted approaching the Dardanelles from the south. The ship was identified as the Turkish Refah (3805 GRT, built 1901) so it was not attacked.

At 2145 hours Torbay surfaced in position 4.7 nautical miles bearing 222°, Cape Hellas.

At 2305 hours Torbay secured alongside Alberta. It proved however impossible to scuttle the ship as the engine room was completely flooded.

At 2344 hours Torbay slipped and proceeded back out to sea.

At 2359 an explosion was observed aboard Alberta but this failed to sink the ship.

see 8 June 1941. (7)

8 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 7 June 1941

At 0050 hours (time zone -3) Torbay stopped in position 10.6 nautical miles bearing 120° Avlaka Point (Imbros) to charge her battery's.

At 0450 hours Torbay submerged in position 7.8 nautical miles bearing 261°, Cape Hellas.

At 0545 hours Alberta was observed chattered by fire and aground on the shoal to the North of Rabbit Island. It was decided to leave the ship there in the hope that she would break up in the next gale.

At 1920 hours, Torbay sighted a Turkish merchant ship of about 1500 tons entering the Dardanelles. As bad weather was closing in it was decided to retreat to the northward.

See 9 June 1941 (7)

9 Jun 1941
Continuation of the events of 8 June 1941

At 0130 hours (time zone -3), Torbay, in position 6 nautical miles bearing 326° Cape Hellas, sighted a large merchant ships approaching the Dardanelles from the south. Torbay closed to the limit of the territorial waters to identify the target. At 0153 hours the target was identified as Turkish. At 0157 hours Torbay submerged in position 4.8 nautical miles bearing 322° Cape Hellas.

At 0900 hours a 3000 tons merchant was sighted coming out of the Dardanelles. The ship was identified as the Turkish Tirhan (3085 GRT, built 1938). The ship proceeded towards the Alberta and attempted to tow her off.

At 1230 hours a 1500 tons merchant was sighted coming out of the straits. Once again the ship was identified as the Turkish, this time the Trak (1500 GRT, built 1938).

At 1700 hours it was observed that the Tirhan had succeeded in towing off the Alberta and was heading towards the strait with the Alberta in tow. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided that Alberta was not allowed to escape and that he had to attack again.

At 1742 hours, in position 2.3 nautical miles bearing 236° Cape Hellas, Torbay fired a torpedo that missed the target. The Turks slipped the tow and the Tirhan fled at high speed into the straits.

At 1815 hours Torbay sighted a merchant ship resembling the German Salzburg. (Torbay was warned that the German Salzburg was about the leave the Dardanelles). The ship turned towards the south and did not leave Turkish territorial waters. No positive identification could be made and Torbay did not manage the get into attack position.

At 1830 hours, as Lt.Cdr. Miers intended to surface to finish off Alberta with gunfire when an Italian torpedo boat of the Spica class was sighted only 2.5 nautical miles away. Torbay went deep and retreated to the North towards Lemnos.

At 2237 hours Torbay surfaced in position 12.5 nautical miles bearing 127° Avlaka Point (Imbros).

See 10 June 1941. (7)

10 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) finally finishes off the Alberta (see 6 June 1941). Torbay also torpedoed the Italian tanker Utilitas (5342 GRT, built 1918) and / or the Romanian merchant Alba Julia (5708 GRT, built 1922). Unfortunately the torpedo(es) failed to explode. Later she torpedoed and sank Italian tanker Giuseppina Ghirardi (3319 GRT, built 1892).

Continuation of the events of 9 June 1941.

At 0242 hours (time zone -3) Torbay fired 40 rounds and Alberta was left ablaze and in a sinking condition 17 nautical miles east of Lemnos.

At 0450 hours, Torbay submerged in position 9.7 nautical miles bearing 270° Cape Hellas.

At 0940 hours, while in position 4.8 nautical miles bearing 259° Cape Hellas a convoy of 6 ships escorted by two Italian torpedo boats was sighted bearing 280°, distance 5 nautical miles and course 080°. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to attack and put Torbay into attack position. This was however frustrated by the movements of the enemy.

At 1043 hours, Lt.Cdr. Miers finally managed to fire three torpedoes against one of the merchant ships in the convoy. After firing the torpedoes Torbay went deep. Two explosions were heard that were linked with a torpedo hitting the target. At 1049 hours five depth charges were dropped. At 1055 hours a full pattern of depth charges exploded fairly close. Between 1100 and 1125 hours more depth charges were dropped but the were not close.

At 1140 hours Torbay came to periscope depth. At 1150 hours, while Torbay was in position 6.1 nautical miles bearing 251° Cape Hellas. One of the Italian escorts was sighted patrolling off the entrance to the Dardanelles.

At 1208 hours the Italian tanker Giuseppina Ghirardi (3319 GRT, built 1892) was sighted coming out of the straits. The Italian torpedo boat patrolled a mile ahead (This was the Monzambano. Lt.Cdr. Miers at once turned to attack.

At 1259 hours, in position 8.3 nautical miles bearing 255° Cape Hellas, Torbay fired three torpedoes at a range of 700 yards at the tanker. Two torpedoes hit the target. Torbay went deep and increased to full speed to evade the counter attack. The torpedo boat only dropped two depth charges.

At 1335 hours Torbay came to periscope depth and at 1045 hours, while in position 10.6 nautical miles bearing 250° Cape Helles, sighted the enemy torpedo boat stopped bout two nautical miles to the eastward in the approximate position where the tanker was sunk. Also two MAS boats were seen approaching at high speed from the westward. Torbay went deep again and proceeded on homeward passage in accordance with her orders to leave her patrol area at 2400 hours on the 10th.

At 2200 hours Torbay surfaced in position 21.5 nautical miles bearing 356° Sigri Island (Mytilene) and proceeded south. (7)

11 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) rams and sank the Greek caique Poseidon about 15 nautical miles south of Mitylene, Lesbos, Greece.

At 0030 hours (time zone -3) Torbay, while in position 15.3 nautical miles bearing 328° Sigri Island (Mytilene), sighted a caique making for Mitylene from the west. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to destroy the vessel by ramming as he did not want to use his gun while he was escaping the area of his previous sinkings.

At 0104 hours Torbay rammed the caique and allowed the Greek crew to abandon ship before completing the destruction. (7)

12 Jun 1941 (position 39.10, 25.20)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the Italian schooner Gesu E Maria (238 GRT) with gunfire off Skyros, Greece in position 39°10'N, 25°20'E.

At 1115 hours (time zone -3) Torbay sighted a large schooner about three miles away.

At 1218 hours, Lt.Cdr. Miers surfaced and gave chase.

At 1239 hours, Torbay, in position 19 nautical miles bearing 137° Strati Island, opened fire and sank the enemy ship with 25 rounds of gunfire.

At 1252 hours Torbay dived and proceeded to the south. (7)

16 Jun 1941
At 0800 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (7)

28 Jun 1941
At 1600 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 3rd Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

30 Jun 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank a caique with gunfire off Cape Malea, Greece. This was the Greek Issodia Theotokou / Pi 492 (20 tons).

At 1810 hours (time zone -3) a laden caique of about 50 tons was spotted. The target was chased.

At 2054 hours Torbay surfaced and sank the caique with gunfire in position 264° Phalconera Island, 6 nautical miles. (7)

2 Jul 1941 (position 37.41, 24.15)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Città di Tripoli (2933 GRT, built 1915) in the Zea Channel, Greece in position 37°41'N, 24°15'E. Città di Tripoli was in convoy with the Città di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930). They were escorted by the torpedo boat Libra.

Around 0630 hours (time zone -3), while in position 295° Pt. St.Nikolo (Zea Island) 4.9 nautical miles, two merchants escorted by an Italian torpedo boats of the Libra class was sighted. Overhead of the convoy an aircraft was circling. Torbay took action to get into attack position. (This convoy was made up of the Citta di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930) and Citta di Tripoli (2933 GRT, built 1915) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Libra and from 0600 (Italian official time) a German aircraft. They were on the way back from Vathi (Samos) where they had landed troops).

At 0722 hours, while in position 304° St. Nokolo 4.5 nautical miles, three torpedoes were fired at the leading merchant from 3300 yards.

At 0724 hours three torpedoes were fired at the rear ship.

At 0725 hours the leading ship was struck by one torpedo.

From 0730 to 0840 hours the escorting Italian torpedo boat dropped 18 single depth charges but none were very close.

(The escorting German aircraft sighted the torpedo tracks and signalled the ships, Citta di Tripoli attempted coming about but was not quick enough and was hit at 0623 hrs (Italian official time). Citta di Savona rescued 48 survivors, there were 11 dead). (7)

4 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Doro Channel.

At 0615 hours (time zone -3) Torbay sighted a large caique of about 100 tons on a direct course from the Doro Channel from Lemnos. The caique was well filled with troops and stores.

At 0659 hours Torbay surfaced in position 084° Doro Island 8.5 nautical miles and engaged the caique with gunfire. The caique finally sank at 0943 hours. This was most likely the Evangelistria / PI 348.

At 1425 hours, while Torbay was in position 159° Doro Island 6.4 nautical miles, a schooner flying the Nazi colours and approaching the Doro Channel from the north-east was sighted. The schooner was of about 60 tons and well loaded with troops and stores. Torbay surfaced at 1450 hours and engaged the schooner with gunfire from both Lewis guns. (7)

5 Jul 1941 (position 37.21, 25.20)
The Italian submarine Jantina (599 tons, built 1933) was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean south of Mykonos, Greece in position 37°21'N, 25°20'E by the British submarine HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN).

At 1946 hours (time zone -3), while Torbay was in position 240° Stapodia Island 11.5 nautical miles, a submarine was sighted bearing 080° 4 nautical miles away. Torbay at once turned to engage the target.

At 2016 hours 6 torpedoes were fired from 1500 yards. One minute later an explosion was heard followed by a tremendous double explosion 10 seconds later. The explosion shook Torbay violently causing some light damage. When Lt.Cdr. Miers took a look through the periscope an aircraft was seen approaching so he took Torbay deep. (7)

8 Jul 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the German sailing vessel L XIV with gunfire east off Kythera, Greece.

At 0928 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay, while in position 059° Cape Malea 7 nautical miles sights an auxiliary schooner of about 200 tons bearing 317° distance 5 nautical miles course 160°.

At 1122 hours Torbay surfaced in position 164° Cape Malea 7 nautical miles. The schooner was seen to be full of troops and stores and was wearing the German flag. After firing some rounds with the Lewis gun but before fire with the 4" gun could be opened an aircraft was spotted so Torbay dived.

The schooner now proceeded westward to flee to Kythera Island. At 1142 hours Torbay surfaced again and resumed the action. The schooner was sunk with 4" gunfire. (7)

9 Jul 1941
Around 0220 hours HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the German sailing vessels L V and L VI, with gunfire and scuttling charges about 10 nautical miles north of Antikythera, Greece.

At 0220 hours, while Torbay was in position 100° Cape Malea 24 nautical miles a caique was seen on the horizon in very good visibility. Torbay turned to close. While doing so three more caiques were seen about 2 nautical miles apart all steering the same course. As Torbay had not much ammo left for the deck gun it was decided that they were to be stopped with one well aimed round of the deck gun, then clear the decks with the Lewis gun and then scuttle them with demolition charges.

At 0320 hours, while in position 126° Cape Malea 22 nautical miles, fire was opened on the first caique with the Lewis gun and the 4" gun. Such a blazing fire was started in the caique that it was not possible to go alongside. Lewis gunfire was continued with until all the occupants were either killed or forced to abandon ship. The caique of about 100 tons was left to burn (This must have been L VI)

At 0327 hours Torbay set course to engage the 2nd caique. At 0357 hours fire was opened on the second caique. Most of the crew took to the water and those who remained on board made signals as if to surrender shouting 'captain is Greek'. The submarine came alongside and the caique was boarded. A German soldier tried to throw a grenade but he was shot before he could do so. The whole crew turned out to be Germans and they were forced to launch their rubber boat and jump into it. Another German was shot by Torbay's navigating officer when he tried to shoot this officer with a rifle from point blank range. The caique was of about 100 tons, was carrying troop, ammo and petrol. She had L V painted on her side. This caique was fitted with demolition charges. The German soldiers in the rubber boat were shot by the Lewis gun to prevent them from returning to their ship. At 0435 hours the demolition charges exploded and the caique was sunk.

Around 0530 hours HMS Torbay sank the German sailing vessel L XII with gunfire and scuttling charges about 10 nautical miles north of Anti-Kythera, Greece.

At 0445 hours a third sailing vessel was sighted, a large auxiliary schooner of about 300 tons making for Anti-Kythera. Torbay chased at full speed but as the target was making a good 10 knots it was not until 0530 that Torbay was close to the target. By that time it was daylight and boarding was out of the question.

At 0530 hours, while Torbay was in position 068° Pori Island 11.5 nautical miles, fire was opened. The schooner was filled with petrol and explosives and was quickly ablaze from stem to stern. Torbay dived soon after. This schooner was seen to sink at 0900 hours. The fourth caique escaped due to the arrival of an aircraft. (7)

10 Jul 1941 (position 37.30, 24.16)
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian oiler Strombo (5232 GRT, built 1923) in the Zea Channel in position 37°30'N, 24°16'E.

At 1355 hours (zone -3), while Torbay was in position 325° Cape Tamelos (Zea Island) 6.4 nautical miles, an Arado 95 aircraft was sighted. This aircraft appeared to be an escort for the Italian tanker Strombo that was expected to arrive in this position shortly. At 1430 hours smoke was sighted in the direction of the aircraft.

At 1446 hours the Strombo was sighted and an attack was commenced. The Strombo was escorted by the above aircraft and an Italian torpedo boat of the Curtatone class that was zig-zagging about half a mile ahead of the target (this was the Calatafimi, indeed a torpedo boats of the Curtatone class).

At 1552 hours, while Torbay was in position 269° Pt. St.Nikolo 6.6 nautical miles, four torpedoes were fired from 1200 yards. Two hits were obtained.

From 1555 to 1620 hours Torbay was counter attacked by the escort with 13 single depth charges some of which were extremely close. At 1630 hours Torbay came to periscope depth and saw that the tanker had sunk and that the aircraft and escorting torpedo boat were searching to the northward. Torbay went deep again. (According to Italian official history the tanker did not sink, she was taken in tow to Salamis by the Monzambano, there were two dead among the crew).

At 1700 hours a fairly loud explosion was heard, which might have been a bomb, Torbay went still deeper.

At 1750 hours Torbay returned to periscope depth and saw two 'destroyers' coming towards her. (this was Calatafimi now joined by the Climene). From 1800 to 1920 hours Torbay was hunted. 25 Depth charges were dropped but none were very close.

As Torbay was now out of torpedoes and had only 19 rounds for her deck gun left, Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to proceed to Alexandria. (7)

15 Jul 1941
At 0800 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (7)

2 Aug 1941
At 1930 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte. (This is HMS Torbay's 4th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

7 Aug 1941
An Albacore torpedo-bomber of 826 Squadron took off from Maa'ten Bagush airfield at 2200 hours on 6 August 1941 and attacked a submarine of the "ARGO" class in position 070 degrees Tobruk 40 nautical miles. The aircraft dropped a torpedo but it apparently sank after a run of about 100 yds. This was lucky as the submarine was HMS Torbay which sighted a biplane at 0032hours / 7 August and very prudently dived. Cdr. Miers does not appear to have been aware that a torpedo had been dropped by the aircraft. 826 Squadron was only informed the following morning of the presence of a British submarine in the area. (7)

12 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked an Italian convoy in position 286° Benghazi Lighthouse 4.6 nautical miles. The four torpedoes fired against the Italian merchants Bosforo (3648 GRT, built 1929) and Iseo (2366 GRT, built 1918) all miss their targets and Torbay is hunted following this attack by the Italian torpedo boat Partenope.

(All times are zone -3)
1145 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 010° at extreme visibility. Altered course to intercept ships heading for Benghazi.

1200 hours - Identified the enemy as two merchant ships of about 3000 tons escorted by an Italian torpedo boat of the Spica class, a large MAS boat and an Italian aircraft overhead.

1248 hours - Fired four torpedoed against the rear merchant ship. Torbay went deep upon firing. Five minutes later a very loud explosion was heard that was thought to be a hit. Torbay returned to periscope depth. The periscope was raised just in time to see the last torpedo explode on the rocks North of Benghazi. Also the aircraft was seen to dive towards the submarine. Torbay went deep again. It was also observed that the target was still afloat and was still heading towards the harbour entrance.

1308 hours - The aircraft dropped a bomb fairly close. Information from Italian archive give that Torbay was attacked by a CANT Z 501 (pilot S.T.V. Ugo De Biaggi) of 196 Squadriglia which dropped two depth-charges set at a depth of 30 and 50 meters respectively and claimed the submarine sunk.

1315 to 1345 hours - Hunted by the escort. She was very close at moments, but fortunately she dropped no depth charges at these moments. Torbay managed to escape undamaged. (7)

16 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) sank the sailing vessel Evangelista (28 GRT) with scuttling charges in position 106° Cape Matapan 1.3 nautical miles.

(All times are zone -3)
2025 hours - In position 149° Cape Matapan 5.3 nautical miles sighted a schooner rounding Cape Matapan heading East.

2047 hours - Surfaced to catch up with the schooner.

2107 hours - Fired at the schooner from point blank range. Gunnery was ineffective so ceased fire after 18 rounds.

2140 hours - Went alongside the schooner to place a TNT charge.

2200 hours - Proceeded to the South-East. (7)

18 Aug 1941
During the nights of 18-19 and 19-20 August 1941 HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) picked up a total of 130 Allied troops and Greeks from a beach on the coast of Southern Crete. (7)

22 Aug 1941
At 1100 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (7)

26 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (8)

27 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) arrived at Port Said. (8)

29 Aug 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) is docked at Port Said in the Suez Canal's Company floating dock. (8)

3 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.S. Brookes, RN) was undocked. She immediately returned to Alexandria where she arrived the next morning. (It is possible that Lt.Cdr. Miers rejoined Torbay at Port Said but Torbay's log does not mention the day he re-joined his ship). (9)

6 Sep 1941
At 1930 hours (time zone -2) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol in the Aegean Sea. (This is HMS Torbay's 5th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(10)

7 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) encounters the Italian submarine Dagabur. She is however unable to inflict damage on the enemy.

(All times are zone -2)
1310 hours - In position 32°29'N, 29°07'E sighted an Italian submarine. Altered course to attack.

1329 hours - The attack setup does not go as planned so at 1332 hours Torbay surfaces for gun action from 1500 yards. Torbay's first round however misfired but luckily the enemy dived and did not engage Torbay.

1337 hours - Torbay dived but contact was lost soon afterwards. (10)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German merchant Norburg (2392 GRT, built 1922) inside Candia (Iraklion) harbour, Crete. The damaged German merchant settles on the bottom of the harbour but is later salvaged. She never saw service again.

(All times are zone -2)
0605 hours - Dived in position 073°, Cape Drepano, 7 nautical miles and closed the entrance to Suda Bay.

0750 hours - Sighted smoke behind Suda Island and a little later two merchant ships of about 3000 tons each escorted by a torpedo boat. Also a flying boat circled over this convoy. Commenced attack.
(These were the German merchants Santa Fe (4627 GRT, built 1921) and Norburg (2392 GRT, built 1922) escorted by the German auxiliary patrol vessel 12 V 4 (former British minesweeper Widnes).

0842 hours - After difficulty getting into a favourable firing position three torpedoes were fired in position 048° Cape Drepano 1.2 nautical miles. Range was 1500 yards. The convoy was able to evade the torpedoes.

0850 hours - Torbay was hunted and depth charged by the escort. The convoy made off to the east with Torbay in pursuit at full submerged speed hoping to catch up on the surface during the night.

1335 hours - Surfaced and tried to catch up with the convoy, crash diving each time aircraft were sighted.

1635 hours - As the enemy was not in sight it was realised that they must have put into Candia. Decided to close the harbour of Candia.

1717 hours - Dived in position 050° Candia breakwater 5 nautical miles. Sighted the convoy in the harbour. There were three merchants present. It was noticed that the stern of one of the merchants could be hit with a torpedo through the harbour entrance.

2003 hours - Fired a torpedo from 3000 yards through the harbour entrance resulting in hit. A large splash was seen followed by smoke and fire. (10)

18 Sep 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a full laden merchant of about 2000 tons. Two torpedoes were fired but these both missed. This was probably the Italian Marconi (1191 GRT, built 1919).

(All times are zone -2)

1245 hours - In position 018° St. Georgio 6.8 nautical miles sighted a well laden merchant ship of about 2000 tons. Closed to attack.

1304 hours - In position 017° St. Georgio 7.7 nautical miles fired two torpedoes but these both missed. Possibly the speed was not estimated correctly. (10)

19 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacks a convoy of 3 merchant ships escorted by two destroyers and aircraft. Four torpedoes were fired but these all missed. Torbay is depth charged by the escorts but not damaged.

The attack was actually against the following convoy; Citta di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930) and Citta di Marsala (2480 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Barletta (1975 GRT, built 1931) and the destroyers Francesco Crispi and Quintino Sella. Crispi sighted three torpedo tracks at 1515 hours in position 37°45'N, 23°50'E. The alert was actually given by a German escorting aircraft from Group 126, giving the position as LQ 3846 (37°37.5'N, 23°55'E). They were on passage Suda Bay to Piraeus where they arrived at 1750.

(All times are zone -2)
1430 hours - In position 020° St. Georgio 9.3 nautical miles sighted a convoy of three merchant ships (one was thought to be an Armed merchant cruiser) escorted by two destroyers and aircraft. Closed at full speed to intercept.

1510 hours - While in position 003° St. Georgio 9.6 nautical miles fired four torpedoes from a range of about 4000 yards. Obtained one possible hit. Torbay was counter-attacked by the escorts with in all 14 depth-charges. Torbay was able to slip away. (10)

21 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked a merchant ships escorted by three A/S vessels and aircraft. Two torpedoes were fired but these both missed. Torbay is depth charged by the escorts but not damaged.

(All times are zone -2)
0930 hours - In position 358° St. Georgio 7.7 nautical miles sighted a merchant ship of about 2000 tons escorted by aircraft and three A/S vessels. Commenced attack.

1030 hours - In position 015° St. Georgio 10.4 nautical miles fired two torpedoes from very close range and went deep. The target was seen to be the Rumanian Virginia wearing the German colours. No hits were obtained as both torpedoes ran under the target. Torbay was now counter attacked by the escorts with depth charges but these caused no damage.

Virginia was escorted by the German escorts 12 V 1, 12 V 4 and 12 V 5 and by the Italian Motor torpedo Boat MAS 534. This last one left the escort near Chalkis. (10)

23 Sep 1941
While on patrol off the Gulf of Athens HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) attacked a merchant ship that was towing a lighter escorted by a destroyer and aircraft. Two torpedoes were fired but these both missed. Torbay is counter attacked by the destroyer but managed to escape. The target was the Italian salvage vessel Cyclops (447 GRT, built 1905) escorted by the Italian destroyer Francesco Crispi.

(All times are zone -2)
1500 hours - In position 350° St. Georgio 10 nautical miles sighted two aircraft patrolling. Soon afterwards sighted smoke. The smoke came from a merchant ship escorted by a destroyer.

1640 hours - The enemy altered course to pass to the West of St. Georgio on a direct course towards Suda Bay. It was now seen that the target was rather small, 1000 tons but that it was also towing a large lighter. Commenced attack.

1715 hours - In position 340° St. Georgio 11.4 nautical miles fired two torpedoes. These missed. Torbay went deep and was hunted and counter attacked by the destroyer.

1911 hours - Surfaced in position 322° St. Georgio 5.7 nautical miles and gave chase at full speed in the hope of finding the target unescorted during the night.

2005 hours - In position 197° St. Georgio 9.6 nautical miles sighted the target but the destroyer was still present. The attack was broken off and Torbay set a course for base. (10)

28 Sep 1941
At 1130 hours (time zone -3) HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (10)

7 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special mission and afterwards to patrol off the Gulf of Sirte. (This is HMS Torbay's 6th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

10 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) lands Army Captain John Edward Haselden behind enemy lines on the coast of Libya. Capt. Haselden was to reconnoitre for a possible operation in conjunction with local Arabs. (7)

15 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) carries out a brief bombardment of Apollonia before withdrawing due to shore batteries fire. (7)

18 Oct 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 6th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. (7)

10 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special mission. (This is HMS Torbay's 7th Mediterranean War Patrol)

The nature of the special mission was to land party of commando troops was to be landed behind enemy lines to kill the commander of the German Africa corps. HMS Talisman also participated in this operation called 'Flipper'. For more information on Operation Flipper see this article on Wikipedia.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(11)

14 Nov 1941
On the night of 14/15 November the commandos from Torbay were landed some 250 miles behind enemy lines. (11)

21 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) carries out a brief bombardment of Ras Aamer claiming to have damaged an aircraft. (11)

24 Nov 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 7th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. (11)

9 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol of the west coast of Greece, the approaches to Navarin Bay. (This is HMS Torbay's 8th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(10)

12 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel P III with gunfire north-west of Suda Bay, Crete.

(All times are zone -2)
0622 hours - Dived in position 090° Suda Island 7.5 nautical miles.

0730 hours - In position 090° Suda Island 4.2 nautical miles sighted a 50 tons schooner (marked P 3) leaving Suda Bay on an easterly course. Torbay altered course to the eastward to intercept this schooner should she round Cape Drepano.

0814 hours - In position 080° Cape Drepano 0.8 nautical miles surfaced about 1500 yards on the port quarter of the enemy and set the schooner on fire with gunfire.

0823 hours - In position 126° Cape Drepano 1.9 nautical miles dived and set course for the harbour entrance to see what is inside. (10)

15 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank three Greek sailing vessels with gunfire off Cape Methoni. These were the:
Agios Georgios / Kal 208 (25tons)
Maria / Kal 185 (45 tons)
Kyriakula / Kal 220 (15 tons)

Torbay also torpedoed the grounded and wrecked Italian passenger / cargo ship Sebastiano Venier (6311 GRT, built 1940) off Cape Methoni.

(All times are zone -2)
0800 hours - While in position 280° Cape Methoni 1.4 nautical miles spotted three sailing vessels approaching through the Methoni Channel. They all seemed well laden.

0839 hours - The sailing vessels were now well through the channel and in deep water. Surfaced in position 292° Cape Methoni 1.0 nautical miles and sank the three sailing vessels (estimated as two of 30 tons and one of 15 tons) with gunfire (31 rounds used). All three sank very quickly without catching fire.

0851 hours - Dived and retired to the southwest. An Italian Mas boat was seen coming down the channel. It later picked up the survivors.

0936 hours - Manouvered to get into position to torpedo (and destroy) the grounded wreck of the merchant ship that was torpedoed by HMS Porpoise 6 days previously.

1031 hours - Fired a torpedo from 1800 yards at the grounded wreck. The torpedo went slightly off course and hit the rocks.

1038 hours - Fired a second torpedo from 1200 yards. It hit the wreck. The ship now seemed beyond salvage and would most likely break up in the next gale. (10)

16 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) launches a folbot (sort of folding kayak) to attack shipping in Navarin Bay. The attempt fails as they were sighted and fired at. They were able to escape and were picked up by Torbay outside the bay. (10)

20 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) attacked the Italian destroyer Vincenzo Gioberti, that is moored inside Navarin Bay with one torpedo. The torpedo had a gyro failure and so missed the target.

(All times are zone -2)
1650 hours - Fired a torpedo into the bay (through a gap between Sphacteria Island and the rocks to the south of it) against the Italian destroyer. The torpedo had a gyro failure and was seen to swerve to the right. The periscope was immediately lowered and Torbay was taken deep and away to the firing position at high speed. The torpedo passed overhead and made three complete circles round Torbay but fortunately did not explode.
(10)

21 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) again launches a folbot to attack shipping in Navarin Bay. Again the attempt fails as the swell was too heavy and the folbot could not be manned. (10)

22 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) sank the Greek caique Maria / Kalamos 185 (45 GRT) with gunfire off Cape Methoni.

Later that day the folbot was launched again to attack shipping inside Navarin Bay. Once again the attempt fails. After recovering the Folbot party Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to try to torpedo the target from outside the harbour.

(All times are zone -2)
1020 hours - While trying to attack the Italian destroyers Strale and Scirocco that had left Navarin Bay a schooner was seen to come down the Methoni Channel. The attack on the destroyers failed due to a sudden change of course by both destroyers. Lt.Cdr. Miers decided to close the schooner to engage it with gunfire but had to wait till the destroyers were out of sight.

1040 hours - Surfaced in position 176° Pylos Light 5.5 nautical miles and sank the schooner with gunfire.

1044 hours - Dived and resumed patrol.

2215 hours - Launched the folbot again to attack shipping inside Navarin Bay. Due to the very calm weather it proved impossible to approach the target without being spotted. The folbot was recovered around 0240 hours the next day. (10)

23 Dec 1941
It is often stated that on this day HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) torpedoed and further damaged the Italian destroyer Aviere (1645 tons) at Navarino harbour. It is stated that Aviere was already grounded after being damaged on 19 November 1941 by the Polish submarine ORP Sokol.

Torbay attacked on this day what Lt.Cdr. Miers identified as an Clio-class (Spica-class) torpedo boat that was anchored in Navarino harbour. The target was however the destroyer Granatiere (a sister ship of the Aviere) that was not damaged in the attack as the torpedo hit the boom).

Later this day another torpedo was fired into the bay. The target was a merchant ship. The torpedo was heard to explode to soon. It most likely also hit the harbour defences.

(All times are zone -2)
0645 hours - Dived in position 220° Pylos Light 6 nautical miles.

1022 hours - In position 247° Pylos Light 2.0 nautical miles fired a torpedo. 6 minutes later the torpedo hit the target that was later observed with a hole in it's bow. (this was not the case).

1708 hours - In position 246° Pylos Light 2.3 nautical miles fired a torpedo. The torpedo was heard to explode 4 minutes later and most likely hit the harbour defences. (10)

27 Dec 1941
HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 8th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. (10)

8 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special operation on the south coast of Crete. After completing the special mission she was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Taranto. (This is HMS Torbay's 9th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(12)

12 Jan 1942
During the nights of 12/13 and 13/14 January 1942 HMS Torbay (Lt.Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) lands 8 men and stores on a beach on the south coast of Crete. (12)

22 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) fires 6 torpedoes from 8000 yards against a force of three Italian cruisers escorted by 6 destroyers. All torpedoes missed their targets.

These were most likely the Italian cruisers Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta, Muzio Attendolo and Raimondo Montecuccoli escorted by 4 destroyers, the Alpino, Bersagliere, Carabiniere and Fuciliere. (12)

31 Jan 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 9th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. (12)

20 Feb 1942
After a short period in a floating dock at Port Said HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol off the west coast of Greece. (This is HMS Torbay's 10th Mediterranean War Patrol). At the end of this patrol she was diverted to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto, then to Southern end of the Straits of Messina. She returned to Alexandria by the North coast of Libya.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(12)

27 Feb 1942
While on patrol off Cape Dukato in heavy weather HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) attacked but misses the Italian tanker Proserpina (4870 GRT, built 1926) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Antonio Mosto. Torbay was counter attacked by the escort with depth charges.

Later this day Torbay heavily damaged the Italian merchant Lido (1243 GRT, built 1889) with gunfire about 15 nautical miles south of Antipaxe, Korfu, Greece. The Lido was grounded to prevent her from sinking. She was later declared a total loss.

(All times are zone -2)
0200 hours - Sighted the enemy tanker (that was reported earlier so was expected) bearing 275° heading for the channel. Turned towards to attack. Torbay was on the targets port bow.

0207 hours - Sighted a torpedo boat about a mile on the port bow of the tanker. The torpedo boat was identified as Curtatone-class (this was not a correct identification) and was zig-zagging with a mean line of advance direct towards Torbay.

As the rain had now ceased and the moon, which was high, kept coming it was considered to be suicidal to press on across the escorts bows. It was far too late to cross over to the targets starboard side, where possibly another escort may be, and yet not clear and calm enough to make a submerged periscope attack. Cdr. Miers had to decide to fire from deep by Asdic or to follow the target and attack later on the surface from the quarter. In view of the slow speed of the target Cdr. Miers decided for the latter.

0218 hours - Dived in position 282° Cape Dukato 2.4 nautical miles.

0232 hours - Surfaced and pursued the enemy through the channel at full speed on both engines keeping to the starboard side of the target to avoid detection by the torpedo boat that was now seen to be the only escort. As the tanker was closed the varying visibility made it very hard to judge the range and in the end both engines had to be stopped as the submarine, despite reducing speed, ran right up the starboard quarter of the target (to close to fire torpedoes).

0308 hours - In position 144° Cape Dukato 2.4 nautical miles, a torpedo was fired from 400 yards. In the heavy swell the bow of Torbay yawed to port at the moment of firing and so the torpedo missed about 5 yards astern of the target. The enemy must have seen the torpedo wake as it started signalling to the escort and kept beam on to Torbay making it impossible to fire another torpedo without gaining bearing.

0312 hours - The destroyer turned to port and crossed to bow of the tanker. Torbay also turned to port to keep end on but could not turn fast enough and 4 minutes later the escort spotted the submarine and turned towards. Torbay dived at full helm. While diving Cdr. Miers was unable to shut the upper conning tower hatch despite the most vigorous efforts to do so. There was off course no time to sort out the problem so only the lower hatch could be closed. Some circuits shortened out resulting in the klaxon and the alarm to go off so that the fuses had to be withdrawn.

0320 to 0400 hours - Torbay was counter attacked by the torpedo boat that dropped 11 depth charges in all. Only the first few were close.

0448 hours - Surfaced in position 232° Cape Dukato 4.3 nautical miles. The bridge was reached by the gun platform. It was now found out that the hatch could not be closed due to the fact that is blocked by the pillow that was used by Cdr. Miers to sleep when he was on the bridge. It was brought out to soon and had not been used so it was forgotten during the dive. It was decided to proceed to the North to investigate the Corfu to Levkas route. After the conning tower was drained repairs were made to the fuses.

1340 hours - In position 39°05'N, 20°30'E sighted a small coaster of about 1200 tons three miles inshore steering 150° (it obviously came out of Corfu). Torbay closed at full speed and it was seen that the ship was followed by a somewhat smaller vessel (800 - 1000 tons) and a small trawler (unarmed). Neither of the ships was worth more than one torpedo.

1437 hours - Surfaced in position 359° Cape Dukato 30 nautical miles and engaged the second ship with the deck gun. All three ships initially turned towards the shore. Later the trawler turned towards Corfu and the first ship steered to the South at high speed. The progress of the second ship towards the shore was arrested by the crew abandoning ship. Despite many direct hits the ship refused to sink. Cdr. Miers decided to fire a torpedo but just as he was about to do so a large fire broke out on the ship. The ship was left blazing, with her steering gear shot away and with about 50 holes in her side.

1500 hours - Gave chase at full speed after the first ship that was now heading at full speed for Prevenza. Torbay had to abandon the chase when shore batteries opened fire with remarkable accuracy.

1524 hours - Dived in position 011° Cape Dukato 27 nautical miles and abandoned the chase. (12)

1 Mar 1942
While on patrol off Cape Dukato HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) is detected and depth charged. No damage is caused.

(All times are zone -2)
0139 hours - In position 279° Cape Dukato 3.6 nautical miles a Clio class torpedo boat was sighted about a mile away. Torbay was turned end-on but too late to avoid being sighted. The torpedo boat was seen to turn towards at high speed.

0141 hours - Dived and went deep.

0143 to 0240 hours - Hunted and attacked by the enemy. Later a second vessel joined the hunt. In all seven depth charges were dropped but only the first few were close. The enemy was eventually shaken off and Torbay vacated the area.

So far no record of this attack has been found in Italian archives. (12)

2 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) tries to attack the Italian torpedo boat San Martino off Cape Dukato, Greece. Torbay is detected and depth charged.

(All times are zone -2)
In position 279° Cape Dukato 5 nautical miles sighted a Curtatone class torpedo boat 7 nautical miles to the South steering directly towards. Decided to attack with torpedoes as the destroyer was not zig-zagging.

1807 hours - In position 286° Cape Dukato 4.8 nautical miles when Torbay was manoeuvring into a firing position it was seen that the enemy turned towards and headed straight for Torbay. Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep as it was obvious she had been detected.

1815 hours - The enemy passed overhead and dropped a pattern of 6 depth charges. At 1823 hours another pattern was dropped but this was not so close as the first one.

1823 to 2013 hours - Torbay crept away to the South-West and later to the West. In all 18 depth charges were dropped by the enemy.

2107 hours - Contact with the enemy was lost.

2146 hours - Surfaced in position 260° Cape Ducato 11 nautical miles and proceeded Northwards. (12)

5 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Maddalena G. (5212 GRT) inside Korfu roads, Greece.

All times are zone -2)
4 March 1942 0925 hours - In position 330° Cape Dukato 27.2 nautical miles sighted a Northbound convoy made up of 4 large troopships escorted by 3 destroyers and 2 aircraft. Torbay was not able to get into an attack position as she was not in the selected patrol position due to an earlier pursuit of a small convoy. Cdr. Miers was disgusted about this that he decided to make up for, what he thought was an error of his and follow the convoy into Corfu roads. This convoy was made up of the Italian transports Galilea (8040 GRT, built 1918), Francesco Crispi (7600 GRT, built 1926), Viminale (8657 GRT, built 1925) and Piemonte (15209 GRT, built 1918). The were escorted by the destroyer Turbine and the torpedo boats Generale Carlo Montanari and Antonio Mosto and were travelling from Patras to Bari and stopped in Corfu. They were carrying Italian troops being withdrawn from Greece.

1330 hours - In position 116° Novara Point (Anti-Paxos) 3.5 nautical miles set course to the South channel that leads to Corfu roads.

1942 hours - Surfaced in position 234° Sivota Island 1.4 nautical miles and proceeded on the main motors past Sivola Light and then proceeded on one engine (and used the other one for charging the batteries)

2018 hours - In position 316° Sivota Island 3.8 nautical miles sighted a small merchant (or large trawler) close to the starboard quarter overhauling the submarine so dived and altered course to avoid. Apparently Torbay was not sighted. The enemy's speed was 15 knots.

2044 hours - After the enemy HE (hydrophone effect) had faded out in the direction of Corfu, surfaced and resumed passage, still charging with one engine.

2158 hours - Reached position 086° Cape Sidero 5 nautical miles. Stopped, trimmed right down and charged with both engines keeping the stern on the moon.

5 March 1942
0050 hours - Heard and immediately sighted a patrol vessel approaching from Corfu. Broke charge and dived to periscope depth. The moon was now right overhead and it was feared that the submarine had been seen as the small trawler had been clearly visible and could now be seen through the periscope laying stopped less than a mile away. The Battery was now fairly well up and it was decided to remain submerged for the remainder of the operation. Set course to close the harbour.

0116 hours - The patrol vessel got under way to the South and was lost to both sight and sound by 0135 hours.

0204 hours - The lights at the Northern entrance to Corfu harbour were seen to be switched on and a merchant ship could be seen entering the harbour from that direction. In addition to her reciprocating engines the rapid revolutions of a motor launch could be heard.

0217 hours - The motor launch heard earlier approached and lay stopped about a mile to the North.

0235 hours - In position 000° Cape Sidero 0.5 nautical miles altered course to port and steered 120°. The rest of the night was a fairly harassing experience endeavouring to remain in position and at the same time being continually on the lookout to avoid being rammed by the trawlers and motor launches which were on patrol.

0346 hours - a reciprocating engine was heard and the lights at the Northern entrance were on again so it appeared another merchant had entered the harbour.

0640 hours - The approach at high speed of a patrol vessel forced Cdr. Miers to turn away to avoid being rammed just when Torbay was approaching the harbour on the firing course. This delay meant that the attack now had to be made in broad daylight in a glassy calm sea, probably with an air patrol overhead and certainly surrounded by small craft. It was also now that it was seen, to the intense disappointment to all that the convoy was not in the harbour and had probably gone straight through without spending the night in Corfu. Instead a small destroyer or torpedo boat and two supply vessels (estimated at 8000 and 5000 tons respectively). Both ships were seen to be heading South between Vido Island and Cape Sidero. It was hoped that the hour was still too early for aircraft as no watch for them could be kept since the periscope could only be raised for very short moments and the rapid movements of the patrol vessels demanded all attention. Across the Northern entrance to the harbour a line of buoys could be seen which were being hauled across by a large auxiliary schooner.

0731 hours - In position 051° Cape Sidero 1.2 nautical miles two torpedoes were fired at the most northerly merchant ship (5000 tons). One of the torpedoes appeared to run on the surface.

0733 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the second merchant ship (8000 tons).

0734 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the destroyer / torpedo boat which unfortunately ran under. At this moment one torpedo struck the first ship fired at. Torbay went deep and turned at full speed to 145°. This was the direct course for the South channel. Cdr. Miers thought it was now time to get out and not to overstay their 'welcome'.

0735 hours - A second explosion was heard which was undoubtedly the other merchant being hit although this was not actually seen.

0740 hours - Reduced speed to 5 knots.

0800 hours - Came to periscope depth in position 115° Cape Sidero 2.2 nautical miles to observe the pursuers. Small craft could be seen searching the firing position.

0825 hours - Came to periscope depth in position 131° Cape Sidero 4.6 nautical miles and fixed the ships position. A destroyer was now seen astern and an aircraft overhead.

0826 to 1003 hours - About 40 depth charges were dropped but none were close.

0837 hours - In position 133° Cape Sidero 5.8 nautical miles, heard a patrol vessel approaching from the South. Torbay continued at 6 knots to the South. The patrol vessel passed close down the port side on an opposite course.

0930 hours - In position 012° Lefkimo Point 1.4 nautical miles came to periscope depth to check the ships position before entering the narrow entrance.

1020 hours - In position 291° Sivota Island 3.4 nautical miles heard a patrol vessel approach from the South-East on an opposite course. Continued at 6 knots and also this enemy passed close down the port side on an opposite course to the North-West.

1030 hours - In position 279° Sivota Island 2.4 nautical miles came to periscope depth for a fix to clear Bianco Shoal. Observed the two patrol vessels on the port quarter heading for Corfu.

1033 hours - Sighted a large schooner which was trying to pull across the entrance but as there was no wind it was obvious that Torbay would pass him before he could succeed in doing so.

1120 hours - In position 170° Sivota Island 3.2 nautical miles resumed patrol at periscope depth, set course to the southward and reduced speed to 3 knots.

1130 hours - In position 166° Sivota Island 3.9 nautical miles sighted a A/S trawler towing a motor launch towards Corfu. No attack was made as there so few amps remaining that another high speed dash would have placed Torbay in jeopardy with eight hours of daylight still to go before dark.

1250 hours - In position 184° Sivota Island 7.5 nautical miles sighted a schooner of about 40 tons heading for Paxos Island. Altered course to head him off but at the critical moment, just before surfacing, an aircraft saved the fate of this schooner.

1918 hours - Surfaced in position 322° Cape Dukato 31.5 nautical miles and set course to return to Alexandria. Also charged the almost exhausted battery. (12)

18 Mar 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) ended her 10th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. (12)

2 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO, RN) departed from Alexandria with orders to patrol off the West coast of Greece. (This is HMS Torbay's 11th Mediterranean War Patrol)

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this patrol see the map below.

(12)

8 Apr 1942
While on patrol near Cape Dukato HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) is bombed and slightly damaged by two CA.311 of 31 Squadriglia which dropped four and two bombs respectively. A Cant Z.501 also bombed her later but was wide of the mark. (12)

9 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel R 113 / Avanguardista (34 GRT) with gunfire off Anti-Paxos, Greece.

(All times are zone -3)
1120 hours - In position 094° Anti-Paxos 8 nautical miles, sighted two Northbound minesweepers carrying out a magnetic sweep of the Southern Channel to Corfu. The leading sweeper was of the RD-1 class (armed with a machine gun), the rear one was a converted schooner of about 250 tons. As they were bound to approach within one mile of Torbay's position Cdr. Miers decided to attack.

1200 hours - When about to surface close to the rear minesweeper, three more small craft were observed inshore. One of these was a trawler which might have been armed. The prospect of being engaged by both sweepers and this trawler from different angles made Cdr. Miers hesitate.

1221 hours - Surfaced in position 080° Anti-Paxos 7.8 nautical miles and engaged the rear minesweeper which soon abandoned it's gear, turned away and made for the shore. The leading sweeper turned towards and opened fire with the machine gun. But as soon as her consort began to receive hits she also made for shallow water. The range, about a mile, and the fact that the target turned end on made hitting it difficult so closed the range.

1222 to 1230 hours - Fired 54 rounds resulting in many hits. The schooner was dismasted and completely wrecked before sinking at 1230 hours in position 087° Anti-Paxos 9 nautical miles. Cdr. Miers took Torbay into deeper water again and dived at 1243 hours in position 064° Anti-Paxos 8.5 nautical miles and withdrew to the South-West. (12)

11 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the Italian sailing vessel Gesu Crocifisso (137 GRT) with gunfire north-west of Corfu.

(all times are zone -3)
1640 hours - In position 032° Fani Island 14.7 nautical miles sighted to the Northward two small sailing vessels which were keeping close inshore in line abreast making for Corfu. Course was set to close and make and attack from close range.

1712 hours - When just about to surface sighted two larger schooners approaching from the Northward and one smaller sailing vessel approaching from the South. The attack was therefore broken off as the schooners were far more profitable targets.

1750 hours - Surfaced in position 039° Fano Island 16.5 nautical miles to engage the nearest schooner that was flying the Italian flag and was fully laden. As it took quite some rounds and time to sink this schooner, she sank at 1807 hours after almost 50 rounds, the other schooner managed to escape. (As per Italian records; the other schooner was the Natalina (39 GRT, built 1900) that beached herself and was a total loss.)

1820 hours - Dived in position 036° Fano Island 16.3 nautical miles and retired to the Westward. (12)

18 Apr 1942 (position 38.52, 18.15)
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) torpedoed and sank the German army cargo ship Bellona (1297 GRT, built 1929) in the Ionian Sea about 50 nautical miles east-south-east of Capo Colonna, Italy in position 38°52'N, 18°15'E.

(All times are zone -3)
0556 hours - In position 38°58'N, 18°17'E sighted a darkened ship on a Southerly course about a mile to the North-Eastward. Alarm was sounded and during the next 20 minutes the contacts identity could not be established. The officer of the watch and the yeoman of signals thought it to be a submarine while Cdr. Miers thought, after considerable doubt, it was a small destroyer / torpedo boat. (It was actually the Italian destroyer Strale) No H.E. could be heard and its speed was dead slow which was very puzzling.

0818 hours - Dived as it will soon be getting light.

0858 hours - Sighted the enemy bearing and steering South-East. It was due to the bad visibility still not possible to identify the contact.

0751 hours - In position 38°58'N, 18°17'E H.E. was heard fine on the port bow (the contact had been to starboard) and a fully laden merchant ship was seen to be crossing the bow from port to starboard on a south-westerly course at a range of about 3000 yards. At the same time the original contact came round to a similar course and could at last be identified as a single-funnelled destroyer. Thus it appeared that Torboy had stumbled upon a rendezvous of a merchant ship from the Adriatic with its escort from Taranto so the slow speed of the latter was accounted for. Torbay followed the enemy.

0825 hours - In position 38°46N, 18°17E fired two torpedoes at the merchant ship. Both torpedoes hit their target after 3,5 minutes. It was now also sighted that two aircraft were present at the scene. Cdr. Miers took Torbay deep and set course for Souda Bay, Crete. (12)

21 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) sank the German auxiliary submarine chaser 13 V 2 / Delpa II (170 GRT) with gunfire north of Crete in position 36°36'N, 24°15'E.

(all times are zone -3)
1045 hours - In position 032° Cape Drepano sighted to the south-eastward what was thought to be a small tanker steering north-westward. Closed. Later it was seen to be a naval auxiliary.

1236 hours - Surfaced in position 012° Cape Drepano 10 nautical miles on the starboard quarter of the enemy and closed at full speed on the motors. The first round of the deck gun misfired. In the meantime the enemy also opened fire but the shooting on both sides was not accurate, all rounds fired went over. Cdr. Miers fired two torpedoes at the enemy ship but one missed and one was a circler due to a gyro failure. The excellent shooting with the Bren gun prevented the enemy from manning its foremost gun. Later it also took out the crew of one of the enemy's amidships gun before this gun was knocked over the side by a direct hit from Torbay's deck gun. Further hits followed immediately and the ships cargo of petrol caught fire. The enemy started to abandon ship.

1245 hours - The enemy was now on fire from end to end and was obviously a total loss. Torbay was now taken under fire from the shore so Cdr. Miers dived in position 012° Cape Drepano 9 nautical miles. In all 23 rounds with the deck gun were fired, many of these being hits. Torbay retired to the East but was hunted by two German Motor Torpedo Boats. Course was later set to the North-East to shake them off which was successfully done. (12)

24 Apr 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) ended her 11th Mediterranean War Patrol at Alexandria. This was the last Mediterranean patrol of her first commission. She is now sent back to the U.K. for a refit. (12)

12 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Alexandria bound for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the U.K. for refitting.

For the daily positions of HMS Torbay during this passage see the map below.

(6)

27 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (6)

29 May 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Gibraltar bound for the U.K. (6)

7 Jun 1942
At 1100 hours, HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) made rendes-vous with HMS Unbeaten (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Woodward, DSO, RN) and their escort towards Portsmouth HMS Kingston Jacinth (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR). (6)

8 Jun 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (6)

26 Jun 1942
HMS Torbay (Cdr. A.C.C. Miers, DSO and Bar, RN) departed from Portsmouth bound for the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth where she is to refit. She arrived at Devonport the next day. She was escorted by HMS Lord Essenden (Skr. J.W. Shell, RNR). Most of the passage was made in convoy. (13)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17049
  2. ADM 173/17050
  3. ADM 173/17051
  4. Icelandic Ministry of Justice, captains sea report
  5. ADM 173/17052
  6. ADM 199/1868
  7. ADM 199/1152
  8. ADM 173/17056
  9. ADM 173/17057
  10. ADM 199/556
  11. ADM 173/17059
  12. ADM 199/1218
  13. ADM 173/17625

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


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