Richard Shelley, RN

Born  18 Jan 1892
Died  12 Jun 1968(76)


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Ranks

15 Aug 1912 S.Lt.
15 Aug 1914 Lt.
15 Aug 1922 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1927 Cdr.
31 Dec 1934 Capt.
8 Jan 1944 Rear-Admiral
21 Jan 1948 Vice-Admiral (retired)

Retired: 21 Jan 1948


Decorations

1 Jul 1941 CBE
13 Jun 1946 CB

Warship Commands listed for Richard Shelley, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Erebus (I 02)Capt.Monitor11 Nov 19393 Feb 1940
HMS Suffolk (55)Capt.Heavy cruiser23 Jun 19427 Feb 1944

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (55)


30 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) completed her refit. She is undocked and towed to North Shields. (1)

11 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) proceeded from the Tyne to Scapa Flow. En-route full power trials were carried out. (2)

15 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted D/G trials at Scapa Flow. (2)

17 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering and gunnery exercises in Scapa Flow. (2)

18 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises in Scapa Flow. She then departed Scapa Flow to conduct RIX (rangefinding and inclination) exercises together with HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, RN). (3)

24 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN), escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), USS Rodman (T/Cdr. W.G. Michelet, USN) and USS Emmons (T/Cdr. T.C. Ragan, USN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (4)

25 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

28 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the forenoon HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted underway refueling exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN).

In the fornoon HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) conducted 4" gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow.

In the afternoon HMS Sussex and HMS Aurora condcuted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (5)

29 Jul 1942
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (6)

31 Jul 1942
The battleship HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CB, CVO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet)), heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and some destroyers [unable to establish their identity [conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (7)

5 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 5/6 August 1942, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises.

The following day she joined USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. L.P. Johnson, USN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) (8)

7 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (9)

13 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 13/14 August 1942, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (9)

17 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 17/18 August 1942, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (9)

20 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 20/21 August 1942, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (9)

24 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord, Iceland. (10)

26 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord, Iceland from Scapa Flow. (10)

28 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Hvalfjord. Upon completion of the exercises HMS Cumberland set course to proceed to Scapa Flow while the other two ships returned to Hvalfjord. (11)

2 Sep 1942

Convoy operations to and from northern Russia, convoy's PQ 18 and QP 14.

Convoy PQ 18 from Loch Ewe to the Kola Inlet and convoy QP 14 from the Kola Inlet to Loch Ewe.

Convoy PQ 18 departed Loch Ewe on 2 September 1942 and arrived in the Kola Inlet on 21 September 1942.

On departure from Loch Ewe it was made up of the following merchant vessels; Africander (Panamanian, 5441 GRT, built 1921), Atheltemplar (British (tanker), 8992 GRT, built 1930), Campfire (American, 5671 GRT, built 1919), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920), Dan-Y-Bryn (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Baffin (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Beaumont (British, 7044 GRT, built 1942), Empire Morn (British, 7092 GRT, built 1941), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Stevenson (British, 6209 GRT, built 1941), Empire Trinstram (British, 7167 GRT, built 1942), Esek Hopkins (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Gateway City (American, 5432 GRT, built 1920), Goolistan (British, 5851 GRT, built 1929), Hollywood (American, 5498 GRT, built 1920), John Penn II (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Kentucky (American, 5446 GRT, built 1921), Lafayette (Russian, 5887 GRT, built 1919), Macbeth (Panamanian, 4941 GRT, built 1920), Mary Luckenbach (American, 5049 GRT, built 1919), Meanticut (American, 6061 GRT, built 1921), Nathaniel Greene (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Oliver Ellsworth (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Oregonian (American, 4862 GRT, built 1917), Oremar (American, 6854 GRT, built 1919), Patrick Henry (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Sahale (American, 5028 GRT, built 1919), San Zotico (British (tanker), 5582 GRT, built 1919), Schoharie (American, 4971 GRT, built 1919), St. Olaf (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940), Virginia Dare (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Wacosta (American, 5432 GRT, built 1920), White Clover (Panamanian, 5462 GRT, built 1920) and William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942).

The RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tankers Black Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941) and Grey Ranger (3313 GRT, built 1941) were also part of the convoy. These ships were known as ' Force Q '.

As was the rescue ship Copeland (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923).

The merchant vessel Beauregard (American, 5976 GRT, built 1920) had also sailed with the convoy but soon returned to Loch Ewe with engine trouble.

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Campbell (A/Cdr. E.C. Coats, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Mackay ( Lt. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN), escort destroyers HNoMS Eskdale (Lt.Cdr. S. Storheill), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Arab (T/Lt. F.M. Procter, RCNVR), HMS Duncton (T/Lt. J.P. Kilbee, RNR), HMS Hugh Walpole (T/Lt. J. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS King Sol (Lt. P.A. Read, RNR) and HMS Paynter (Lt. R.H. Nossiter, RANVR).

On 6 September 1942 the escort was reinforced by the destroyers HMS Montrose (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Walpole (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN) which came from Hvalfjord.

On 7 September 1942 three ships which had taken passage in this convoy arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland, these were the Gateway City, Oremar and San Zotico. Also the five A/S trawlers had parted company with the convoy.

Also on this day eight more merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Reykjavik, these were the; Andre Marti (Russian, 2352 GRT, built 1918), Exford (American, 4969 GRT, built 1919), Komiles (Russian, 3962 GRT, built 1932), Petrovski (Russian, 3771 GRT, built 1921), Richard Bassett (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Stalingrad (Russian, 3559 GRT, built 1931), Sukhona (Russian, 3124 GRT, built 1918) and Tblisi (Russian, 7169 GRT, built 1912).

The Richard Bassett however soon returned to Reykjavik.

Also with this section were three motor minesweepers which were to be transferred to the Russian Navy, these were MMS 90 (Skr. J. Dinwoodie, RNR), MMS 203 ( Skr. J.H. Petherbridge, DSC, RNR) and MMS 212 ( T/Lt. W.J. Walker, RNVR).

These ships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy) Lord Teynham, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN), minesweepers HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC, RN), HMS Harrier (Cdr. A.D.H. Jay, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, RNVR), HMS Bryony (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), HMS Camellia (T/Lt. R.F.J. Maberley, RNVR), A/S trawlers HMS Cape Argona (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.R. Pate, RNR), HMS Cape Mariato (T/Lt. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR), HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS St. Kenan (Lt. J. Mackay, RNR) and the AA ships HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN) and HMS Ulster Queen (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.K. Adam, RN).

When the Reykjavik section joined the convoy the escort destroyers HNoMS Eskdale and HMS Farndale parted company and proceeded to Hvalfjord. HMS Walpole also returned to Hvalfjord with defects as did HMS Amazon. After repairs, HMS Amazon proceeded to Akureyri.

HMS Campbell and HMS Mackay arrived at Hvalfjord on the 9th, having been detached from the convoy escort. They later went on to Akureyri.

Around 0615A/8 the minesweepers HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN) departed Seidisfjord escorting the submarines HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) and HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN). All three ships joined the convoy shortly after noon on the 9th.

Around 2100A/8, ' Force A ', made up of the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. M.L. Power, OBE, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Somali (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) departed Akureyri for Spitsbergen where they were to refuel from ' Force P ' (see below).

Around 2145A/8, ' Force B ', made up of the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN) and the ' Carrier Force ' made up of the escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.de.L Brooke, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy which they did around 2200A/9.

Around 2230A/9, HMS Echo parted company with the convoy to return to Hvalfjord as did HMS Montrose which proceeded to Akureyri. Both destroyers arrived at their destinations on the 10th.

' Force A ', made up of the destroyers HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Onslaught, HMS Opportune, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo, HMS Somali and HMS Tartar, arrived at Spitsbergen on the 11th, fuelled from ' Force P ' and departed P.M. to join convoy PQ 18 which they did in the morning of the 13th.

Meanwhile HMS Scylla, HMS Milne, HMS Marne, HMS Martin, HMS Meteor and HMS Intrepid parted company with the convoy at 1130A/11 to proceed to Spitsbergen to fuel from ' Force P '. The other destroyers / escort destroyers with the convoy fuelled from ' Force Q '.

HMS Scylla, HMS Milne, HMS Marne, HMS Martin, HMS Meteor and HMS Intrepid completed fuelling in the morning of the 13th and they rejoined the convoy around 1400A/13. The escort was complete then.

Meanwhile the convoy, had been picked up again by German aircraft on the 12th. Also at 2109A/12, the destroyer HMS Faulknor attacked a contact ahead of the convoy with depth charges in position 75°04'N, 04°49'E, this meant the end of the German submarine U-88.

On 13 September the convoy was heavily attacked by the enemy resulting in the loss of ten of the merchant vessels; by U-boat (U-408) Stalingrad and the Oliver Ellsworth and by German aircraft the Wacosta, Oregonian, Macbeth, Africander, Empire Stevenson, Empire Beaumont, John Penn and Sukhona.

On 14 September the German submarine U-457 hit the tanker Atheltemplar. The tanker burst into flames and was abandoned by her crew. HMS Harrier tried to scuttle the tanker with gunfire but failed to do so and she was last seen heavily on fire but still afloat. The capsized wreck was sunk by the German submarine U-408 in the afternoon.

Early in the afternoon the German submarine U-589 was hunted by Swordfish aircraft from HMS Avenger and she was sunk in position 75°40'N, 20°32'E with depth charges by HMS Onslow.

The German airforce also attacked the convoy on this day but concentrated initially on attacking the escort instead of the merchant ships. The HMS Avenger was heavily attacked but she was not hit though she had a lucky escape during a dive bomb attack. Torpedoes fired at her were dropped from long range due to effecive fire from her close escort, the escort destroyers HMS Wheatland and HMS Wilton and the AA ship HMS Ulster Queen which had also come to her aid.

In the afternoon the merchant vessel Mary Luckenbach was torpedoed. She exploded and completely vaporised due to her cargo of 1000 tons of TNT. There were no survivors.

On September 15th, German aircraft could not inflict damage to the convoy though some ships had narrow escapes. The U-boats could be kept at bay by the escorts.

In the early hours of the 16th, the German submarine U-457 tried to attack the convoy but she was depth charged and sunk by HMS Impulsive in position 75°05'N, 43°15'E.

Shortly before noon the destroyers HMS Offa and HMS Opportune conducted depth charge attacks on the German submarines U-255 and U-378 during which the former sustained some damage.

Around 1530A/16, HMS Scylla, HMS Avenger, Milne, Marne, Martin, Meteor, Faulknor, Fury, Impulsive, Intrepid, HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Onslaught, HMS Opportune, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo, HMS Somali, HMS Tartar, HMS Wheatland, HMS Wilton, HMS Alynbank, HMS P 614 and HMS P 615 parted company with PQ 18 to join the westbound convoy QP 14 (see below) which they did the following morning. The two RFA tankers from ' Force Q ' were also with them.

On September 17th, the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, and Sokrushitelny joined the convoy escort.

On September 18th, the Russian destroyers Valerian Kyubishev and Uritsky joined the convoy as did the British minesweepers HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hazard (Lt.(Retd.) G.C. Hocart, RNR), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN) joined the convoy escort. Also on this day the merchant vessel Kentucky was lost due to a German air attack.

The convoy arrived at Archangelsk on 21 September 1941. Some delay having been experienced due to heavy weather on the 19th.

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Convoy QP 14 departed Archangelsk on 13 September 1942 and arrived at Loch Ewe on 26 September 1942.

On departure from Archangelsk it was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alcoa Banner (American, 5035 GRT, built 1919), Bellingham (American, 5345 GRT, built 1920), Benjamin Harrison (American, 2191 GRT, built 1942), Deer Lodge (American, 6187 GRT, built 1919), Empire Tide (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Harmatris (British, 5395 GRT, built 1932), Minotaur (American, 4554 GRT, built 1918), Ocean Freedom (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Voice (British, 7174 GRT, built 1941), Samuel Chase (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Silver Sword (British, 4937 GRT, built 1919), Tobruk (Polish, 7048 GRT, built 1942), Troubadour (Panamanian, 6428 GRT, built 1920), West Nilus (American, 5495 GRT, built 1920) and Winston Salem (American, 6223 GRT, built 1920).

The rescue vessels Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) and Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1921) were also part of the convoy.

On departure from Archangelsk the convoy was escorted by the (Russian) destroyer Kuibyshev, Uritski, escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), minesweepers Britomart, HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, DSO, RN), Halcyon, Hazard, HMS Leda (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.H. Wynne-Edwards, RN), Salamander, HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN), corvettes HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR), HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR), HMS Lotus (Lt. H.J. Hall, RNR), HMS Poppy (Lt. N.K. Boyd, RNR), A/S trawlers HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR), HMS Lord Austin (T/Lt. O.B. Egjar, RNR), HMS Lord Middleton (T/Lt. R.H. Jameson, RNR), HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. W.J.V. Mullender, DSC, RD, RNR), and the AA ships HMS Palomares (A/Capt.(rtd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN) and HMS Pozarica (A/Capt.(rtd.) E.D.W. Lawford, RN).

In the morning of the 17th, HMS Scylla, HMS Avenger, Milne, Marne, Martin, Meteor, Faulknor, Fury, Impulsive, Intrepid, HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Onslaught, HMS Opportune, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo, HMS Somali, HMS Tartar, HMS Wheatland, HMS Wilton, HMS Alynbank, HMS P 614 and HMS P 615 joined the convoy. The two RFA tankers from ' Force Q ' were also with them.

Also on the 17th, the Kuibyshev, Uritski, Britomart, Halcyon, Hazard and Salamander parted company with the convoy to join the escort of convoy PQ 18 (see above).

On the 18th (or early on the 19th ?) the destroyers HMS Fury and HMS Impulsive were detached from the convoy for Spitsbergen. They rejoined the convoy around 1700A/19 having escorted the RFA tanker Oligarch from Spitsbergen to the convoy. The destroyer HMS Worcester was also with them.

On 20 September U-boats began to attack the convoy and the minesweeper HMS Leda was torpedoed and sunk around 0530A/20 by U-435 in position 76°30'N, 05°00'E. She sank around 0700A/20.

Shortly after noon, the submarines HMS P 614 and HMS P 615 also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Lerwick but they first swept astern of the convoy to try to attack shadowing enemy submarines. HMS P 614 attacked U-408 with four torpedoes thinking to have sunk the enemy but this was not the case.

Later that day the merchant vessel Silver Sword was torpedoed and sunk by U-255. The Silver Sword did not sink immediately, her wreck was scuttled by gunfire from the destroyer HMS Worcester.

And finally on the 20th, the destroyer HMS Somali was torpedoed and damaged around 1850A/20 by the U-703. The ship was taken in tow towards Akureyri or Seidisfjord by her sistership HMS Ashanti and screened by HMS Opportune, HMS Eskimo and HMS Intrepid but HMS Somali finally breaking in two around 0230A/24 when the weather conditions had worsened. Both halves sank quickly.

Also on this day, Rear-Admiral Burnett transferred his flag from HMS Scylla to HMS Milne. HMS Scylla, HMS Avenger, HMS Fury, HMS Wheatland and HMS Wilton then parted company to proceed to Seidisfjord where they arrived on 22 September. The destroyer HMS Onslaught was detached to escort the staggler Troubadour. They later joined the remainder of ' Force P ' (RFA tanker Blue Ranger, destroyer HMS Windsor and the escort destroyers HMS Cowdray and HMS Oakley) which had departed Spitsbergen. On 22 September they joined HMS Somali under tow by HMS Ashanti and the escorting destroyers HMS Opportune, HMS Eskimo and HMS Intrepid.

Three German submarines were attacked by the A/S escort on 20 September, these were U-378 by a Swordfish aircraft from HMS Avenger, U-212 by HMS Ashanti and finally U-255 by HMS Eskimo. All submarines managed to escape without damage.

On 21 September a Catalina (RAF(Norwegian) 330Sq./Z) attacked the German submarine U-606 but the aircraft is shot down by the enemy.

Early on 22 September, HMS Milne detached from the convoy to proceed to Seidisfjord where she arrived in the evening.

On 22 September the German submarine U-435 again attacked the convoy and managed to sink the merchant vessels Bellingham, Ocean Voyce and the RFA tanker Grey Ranger.

On 23 September, HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Worcester and the two rescue ships, were detached to Seidisfjord arriving there later on the same day.

Also on 23 September, HMS Scylla, HMS Avenger, HMS Milne, HMS Wheatland and HMS Wilton departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow where they arrived on the 24th.

The staggler Troubadour was detached from ' Force P ' on the 24th to proceed to Akureyri.

On 24 September, HMS Marne was detached to proceed to Seidisfjord to land the survivors that she had picked up from the Catalina aircraft that had been shot down on 21 September by U-606. She rejoined the convoy later the same day. HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Worcester and the two rescue ship left Seidisfjord to rejoin the convoy which they did on the 25th.

On the 25th, HMS Martin was detached to escort the staggler Winston Salem while HMS Ayrshire was detached to Seidisfjord with defects.

Around 2115A/25, HMS Ashanti, HMS Intrepid, HMS Onslaught and HMS Opportune arrived at Scapa Flow. HMS Eskimo arrived around 0700A/26. Following the sinking of Somali they had detached from ' Force P ' on the 24th.

On the 26th, HMS Faulknor, HMS Onslow, HMS Offa, HMS Marne, HMS Meteor, HMS Tartar, HMS Impulsive, HMS Worcester, HMS Blankney, HMS Middleton, HMS Bramble, HMS Seagull and the tankers Oligarch and Black Ranger were detached to Scapa Flow where they arrived on the same day.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on the 26th.

The staggler Winston Salem arrived at Loch Ewe the following day after which HMS Martin proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving around 1930A/27.

' Force P ', Blue Ranger escorted by HMS Windsor, HMS Cowdray and HMS Oakley arrived at Scapa Flow on the 27th.

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To provide cover and support for this convoy four forces were deployed.

' Force P ' was the Spitsbergen refueling force. It was made up of the RFA tankers Blue Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941) and Oligarch (6894 GRT, built 1918) and departed Scapa Flow on 3 September escorted by the destroyer HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. D.H.F. Hetherington, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, RN), HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN), and Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN).

On 4 September the destroyer HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Juniper, RN), coming from Seidisfjord, Iceland, relieved HMS Bramham which then proceeded to Seidisfjord. She later went on to Akureyri.

' Force P ' arrived at Spitsbergen (Lowe Sound) on 10 September. [For futher movements of ' Force P ' see the text above and below.]

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There was also the ' Cruiser Force ' was was to provide close cover for the convoys during their passage through the most dangerous area. Also two ships of the force were to land stores, personnel and dogs on Spitsbergen (Operation Gearbox II). It was made up of the heavy cruisers HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Echo, HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN). They departed Hvalfjord around 1145Z/14.

Around 1330A/15, they were joined in position 67°40'N, 19°55'W by HMS Amazon coming from Akureyri.

Around 1200A/16, HMS Cumberland and HMS Eclipse were detached for operation Gearbox II.

In the evening of the 16th the destroyers were fuelled by the cruisers. Due to these ships having to be available to intercept and engage German surface forces in case these would come out to attack the convoys the fuel levels in the destroyers were kept as high as possible. HMS Bulldog was fuelled by HMS Norfolk, HMS Echo was fuelled by HMS London, HMS Amazon was fuelled by HMS Suffolk.

At 0600A/17, HMS Eclipse was detached by HMS Cumberland to patrol to seaward while HMS Cumberland went on to Barentsburg. She anchored there around 1420A/17 and the first boat with stores was underway at 1445A/17. At 1900A/17, HMS Eclipse came alongside to fuel. This was completed at 2110A/17 and she got underway. At 2145A/17 weighted and departed Barentsburg to rejoin the other cruisers which she did around 0600A/18.

At 2200A/17, HMS Sheffield parted company with the other cruisers for her part in Operation Gearbox II. She anchored off Barentsburg around 1530A/18 and commenced disembarking. At 1930A/18, HMS Eclipse went alongside to fuel which was completed at 2105A/18. HMS Sheffield and HMS Eclipse departed the fjord around 2130A/18. They rejoined the other ships around 1050A/19.

Meanwhile in the late afternoon / early evening of the 17th, HMS Amazon, HMS Bulldog and HMS Echo were fuelled by ' Force P ' which had come out of the fjords. The destroyers were again topped off by ' Force P ' in the later morning / afternoon of the 18th.

The ' Cruiser Force ' returned to Hvalfjord around 1730Z/22.

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And finally there was the ' Distant Cover / Battlefleet Force '. This force was made up of the battleships HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN, 2nd in Command, Home Fleet), HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN), destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Campbell, HMS Mackay, HMS Montrose and the escort destroyer HMS Bramham. They departed from Akureyri around 1700Z/11 to provide cover for convoy PQ 18. The destroyers had sailed a little earlier presumably to conduct an A/S sweep off the fjord first.

They returned to Akureyri around 0900Z/14 except for HMS Bramham which had been detached to proceed to Hvalfjord.

HMS Anson, HMS Duke of York, HMS Jamaica, HMS Keppel, HMS Campbell, HMS Mackay and HMS Montrose departed again around 0630Z/19 to provide cover for convoy QP 14. The destroyer HMS Broke (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) had meanwhile joined them at Akureyri and sailed with them. Once again the destroyers joined off the fjord presumable having conducted an A/S sweep of the fjord first.

The ' Battlefleet Force ' arrived at Hvalfjord around 2100Z/22.

25 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted full power trials off Hvalfjord. (12)

30 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Hvalfjord to search for an enemy vessel reported in the Denmark Strait. (13)

3 Oct 1942
HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN) returned to Hvalfjord from patrol. (14)

13 Oct 1942
HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN, 2nd in Command, Home Fleet), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) conducted exercises off Hvalfjord. (15)

23 Oct 1942
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Hvalfjord for Scapa Flow. (16)

25 Oct 1942
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Hvalfjord. (16)

29 Oct 1942
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (16)

3 Nov 1942
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted D/G trials at Scapa Flow followed by compass swing trials at Scapa Flow.

During the night of 3/4 November 1942 she conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (17)

4 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (17)

7 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord. (17)

9 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord. (17)

16 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN) departed Hvalfjord for Seidisfjord. (18)

17 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from Hvalfjord. (18)

17 Nov 1942

Convoy QP 15.

This convoy departed the Archangelsk on 17 November 1942 and arrived at Loch Ewe on 30 November 1942.

The convoy was made up the following merchant vessels; Andre Marti (Russian, 2352 GRT, built 1918), Belomorcanal (Russian, 2900 GRT, built 1936), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920), Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Baffin (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Morn (British, 7092 GRT, built 1941), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tristram (British, 7167 GRT, built 1942), Esek Hopkins (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Exford (American, 4969 GRT, built 1919), Friedrich Engels (Russian, 3972 GRT, built 1930), Goolistan (British, 5851 GRT, built 1929), Hollywood (American, 5498 GRT, built 1920), Ironclad (American, 5685 GRT, built 1919), Komiles (Russian, 3962 GRT, built 1932), Kuznetz Lesov (Russian, 3974 GRT, built 1933), Lafayette (American, 5887 GRT, built 1919), Meanticut (American, 6061 GRT, built 1921), Nathaniel Greene (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Patrick Henry (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Petrovski (Russian, 3771 GRT, built 1921), Sahale (American, 5028 GRT, built 1919), Schoharie (American, 4971 GRT, built 1919), St. Olaf (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Tblisi (Russian, 7169 GRT, built 1912), Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940), Virginia Dare (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), White Clover (Panamanian, 5462 GRT, built 1920), William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and

The rescue vessel (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) is also part of the convoy.

On departed from the Kola Inlet the convoy was escorted by the AA ship Ulster Queen, destroyers Baku, Sokrushitelny, minesweepers HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hazard (Lt.(Retd.) G.C. Hocart, RNR), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN), corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, RNVR), HMS Bryony (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), HMS Camellia (T/Lt. R.F.J. Maberley, RNVR).

The merchant vessels Ironclad and Meanticut soon returned to the Kola Inlet with defects.

On 19 November 1941 the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN) departed the Kola Inlet to overtake and join the convoy which they did the following day.

On 20 November 1941 the destroyers HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Orwell ( Lt.Cdr. N.H.G. Austen, DSO, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) and HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy from the westward.

The Russian escort parted company with the convoy to return to the Kola Inlet, these were; Baku, Sokrushitelny. They were both damaged in the heavy weather, Baku managed to reach port with difficulty while Sokrushitelny almost broke in half. She foundered and sank on 22 November.

Due to the weather conditions the convoy got scattered.

On 23 November the staggling merchant vessels Goolistan and Kusnets Lesov were sunk by the German submarines U-625 and U-601 respectively. There were no survivors from both ships.

Also on 23 November, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell and the escort destroyers HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton and HMS Oakley joined the convoy.

On 25 November, HMS Ulster Queen, HMS Icarus, HMS Bluebell and HMS Camellia arrived at Seidisfjord to fuel having parted company with the convoy the day before.

On 26 November, the Convoy Commodore with a total of nine ships set course to proceed direct to Loch Ewe. A total of seven stagglers arrived at Akureyri during the day.

Also on 26 November, HMS Faulknor, Echo, HMS Impulsive, HMS Intrepid, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell, HMS Ledbury and HMS Middleton arrived at Seidisfjord followed later by HMS Halcyon.

HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN) and HMS Impulsive departed Seidisfjord to go the the assistance of HMS Sharpshooter which had engine trouble and was still to the north-east of Iceland in position 68°05'N, 11°40'W.

On 27 November, a staggler escorted by HMS Oakley arrived at Seidisfjord. This ship later departed again escorted by HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid, HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton, HMS Bluebell and HMS Camellia to join the Convoy Commodore and his group of ships. On joining HMS Britomart, HMS Hazard, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Seidisfjord to fuel. HMS Ulster Queen later also rejoined the convoy.

Also on 27 November nine more stagglers of the convoy arrived at Akureyri.

HMS Salamander and a staggler arrived at Seidisford as did HMS Forester with HMS Sharpshooter. HMS Impulsive remainded out on patrol off Seidisfjord reinforced by HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN). On arriving at Seidisfjord HMS Sharpshooter collided with another ship. She departed to effect repairs at Hvalfjord later the same day arriving there on 28 November.

On 28 November HMS Impulsive and HMS Obdurate abandoned their patrol proceeding to Seidisfjord and Hvalfjord (arrived 29 November) respectively.

Also on 28 November HMS Faulknor departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow while HMS Forester, HMS Echo, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell, HMS Oakley, HMS Britomart and HMS Hazard departed Seidisfjord to proceed to Akureyri to pick up the stagglers there and proceed with them to Loch Ewe. Convoy QP 15M, made up of 14 merchant ships, then departed Akureyi on the 29th. They were joined off Seidisfjord by one more merchant ship and a tanker which came out escorted by HMS Impulsive, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony.

On 29 November, HMS Halcyon and HMS Salamander departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow where they arrived on 1 December.

On 30 November, the Commodore's section of convoy QP 15 (9 ships) arrived at Loch Ewe. HMS Ulster Queen and HMS Ledbury then proceeded to the Clyde arriving later the same day. HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid and HMS Middleton proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving later the same day. HMS Bluebell went to the Tyne arriving on 1 December and HMS Camellia went to Cardiff also arriving on 1 December.

Also on 30 November, HMS Orwell and HMS Oakley were detached from the escort for convoy QP 15M to proceed to Scapa Flow arriving on 1 December.

On 2 December, HMS Echo was detached from the escort of convoy QP 15M to proceed to the Clyde where she arrived on 3 December.

Also on 2 December, HMS Britomart and HMS Hazard were detached from convoy QP 15M with the tanker and escorted her to Scapa Flow where they arrived on 3 December.

On 3 December, HMS Forester, HMS Impulsive and HMS Musketeer were detached from convoy QP 15M to Scapa Flow where they arrived later the same day.

Convoy QP 15M (15 ships) arrived at Loch Ewe on 3 December, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony then went to the Tyne arriving there on 4 December.

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To provide cover for this convoy a cruiser force was deployed.

On 14 November the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) and HMS Obdurate departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord where they arrived on 17 November.

On 16 November the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and destroyer HMS Forester departed Hvalfjord for Seidisdfjord where they arrived the following day.

Also on the 16th, HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord arriving on the 18th.

On the 19th HMS London, HMS Suffolk, HMS Forester, HMS Obdurate and HMS Onslaught departed Seidisford to provide distant cover for the convoy from a position to the south-west of Bear Island.

On 23 November the destroyers were sent to Seidisfjord to refuel. They arrived at Seidisfjord on the 25th. Heavy weather had been encountered so presumably it was not possible to fuel at sea.

On 25 November HMS London and HMS Suffolk discontinued their patrol. They proceeded to Scapa Flow and Hvalfjord respectively both arriving at their destinations on the 27th. HMS Suffolk arrived at Hvalfjord with some weather damage.

Also on the 25th, HMS Onslaught departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow arriving on the 27th.

19 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN) and HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) departed Seidisfjord to provide cover for convoy QP 15.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy QP 15 ' for 17 November 1942.] (19)

27 Nov 1942
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from operations. She had sustained some weather damage. (20)

5 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN) conducted exercises west of Iceland during which HMS Norfolk and HMS Cumberland represented the German cruisers Admiral Hipper and Köln trying to break out into the Atlantic.

On completion of the exercises HMS Berwick and HMS Suffolk set course to proceed to Scapa Flow. (21)

7 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (22)

10 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Sheerness. (23)

11 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Sheerness. (23)

14 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
After de-ammuntioning, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), departed Sheerness for London where she will be docked at the Green and Silley Wear Shipyard for repairs. She was also given a refit to prepare her for service with the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean. (23)

20 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is docked at the Green and Silley Wear Shipyard in London. (23)

10 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is undocked. She then continued to undergo her refit while afloat. (17)

5 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her refit completed, HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), proceeded from London to Sheerness. (24)

8 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) proceeded from Sheerness to the Chatham Dockyard where she was immediately docked. (24)

9 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is undocked. She then proceeded from the Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (24)

14 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Sheerness for Scapa Flow. (24)

15 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow to commence a post-refit work-up period. (24)

20 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted D/F calibration and speed trials at Scapa Flow. (25)

25 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (25)

26 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (25)

28 Apr 1943
During 28/29 April, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (26)

5 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. These were followed by underway refuelling exercises. She first fuelled the destroyer HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and later HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN).

She then conducted an exercises with a submarine, which must have been HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR).

HMS Suffolk then left Scapa Flow for exercises at sea from 5 to 7 May. In the afternoon of the 6th she was joined by her sister ship HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and both cuisers then conducted exercises until returning to Scapa Flow in the morning of the 9th. (27)

12 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow.

In the evening she departed again for night exercises during the night of 12/13 May. (28)

16 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (28)

17 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Greenock. (28)

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, heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, 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 (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), 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.

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN) joined on either the 24th or the 25th.

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.

The transport Letitia proceeded to Gibraltar as did HMS Unicorn. 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. 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 Sussex, 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 Sussex and HMS Carnarvon Castle then went on to Simonstown. In the approached to Capetown the destroyer HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, 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.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN).

The armed mercant cruiser HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN) joined the convoy around 0900C/28 having departed Kilindini around 1745C/25.

The destroyers parted company with the convoy around 1830C/29 to return to Durban where they arrived in the morning of July 3rd.

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.

15 Jun 1943
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Simonstown from convoy escort duty. (29)

16 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Simonstown for Durban. (29)

19 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Durban from Simonstown. (29)

2 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) arrived at Port Louis, Mauritius from operations. (30)

3 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Mauritius for Kilindini. (30)

6 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Mauritius. (30)

17 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Kilindini. (30)

25 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Kilindini for Diego Suarez. (31)

26 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy CM 43.

This convoy departed Durban on 26 July 1943 and arrived at Durban on 7 August 1943.

The convoy was made up of the troop transports; Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN).

Around 1200D/30, the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) joined the convoy taking over the escort duties from HMAS Nizam but not before HMAS Nizam was oiled by her between 1400D/30 and 1500D/30.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 7 August 1943.

27 Jul 1943
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Diego Suarez from Kilindini.

She departed later the same day to make rendezvous with convoy CM 43.

[See the event ' Convoy CM 43 ' for 26 July 1943 for more information on this convoy.] (31)

9 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is docked at Bombay. (32)

14 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is undocked. (32)

16 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Bombay for Trincomalee. (32)

19 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (32)

21 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Trincomalee for Fremantle. (32)

27 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Fremantle from Trincomalee. (32)

30 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy US 22.

This convoy departed Fremantle on 30 August 1943 and arrived at Bombay on 10 September 1943.

The convoy was made up of the (troop)transports; Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), (American, 6736 GRT, built 1940), (American, 23254 GRT, built 1925) and Uruguay (American, 20183 GRT, built 1928).

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN).

13 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Bombay for Kilindini. (33)

18 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Bombay. (33)

7 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Durban from Kilindini. (34)

14 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is docked at Durban. (34)

21 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) is undocked. (34)

24 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Durban for Kilindini. (34)

28 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Durban. (34)

15 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Kilindini for Colombo. (35)

21 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Colombo from Kilindini. (35)

25 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Colombo for Bombay. (35)

27 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Bombay from Colombo. (35)

29 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted bombardment exercises off Bombay. (35)

1 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) conducted bombardment exercises off Bombay. (36)

2 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. (36)

4 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Colombo from Bombay. (36)

5 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Colombo for Trincomalee. (36)

6 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from Colombo. (36)

13 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Trincomalee to make rendezvous with convoy US 23.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy US 23 ' for 14 December 1943.] (36)

14 Dec 1943

Convoy US 23.

This convoy departed Fremantle on 14 December 1943 and arrived at Bombay on 26 December 1943.

The convoy was made up of the (troop)transports; Hermitage (American, 23254 GRT, built 1925) and Uruguay (American, 20183 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Fremantle the convoy was escorted by the light (AA) cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN). HrMs Van Galen parted company with the convoy in the morning of the 15th to return to Fremantle.

Around 1200FG/18, they made rendezvous with the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN). HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck parted company to return to Fremantle around 1330FG/18.

Around 1000FG/25, the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) joined.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 26 December 1943.

3 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. (37)

5 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Colombo from Bombay. (37)

7 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) departed Colombo for Trincomalee. (37)

8 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from Colombo. (37)

13 Jan 1944
HMS Suffolk (Rear-Admiral R. Shelley, CBE, RN) arrived at Colombo. (37)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/116674
  2. ADM 53/116675
  3. ADM 53/116616 + ADM 53/116675
  4. ADM 53/115322 + ADM 53/116675
  5. ADM 53/115405 + ADM 53/116675
  6. ADM 53/115405 + ADM 53/116387 + ADM 53/116676
  7. ADM 53/116137 + ADM 53/116675
  8. ADM 53/116096 + ADM 53/116676
  9. ADM 53/116676
  10. ADM 53/116388 + ADM 53/116676 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/644
  11. ADM 53/115688 + ADM 53/116388 + ADM 53/116676
  12. ADM 53/116677
  13. ADM 53/116389 + ADM 53/116390 + ADM 53/116677 + ADM 53/116678 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/429 + ADM 199/644
  14. ADM 53/116390 + ADM 53/116678 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/429 + ADM 199/644
  15. ADM 53/115325 + ADM 53/116678
  16. ADM 53/116678
  17. ADM 53/116679
  18. ADM 53/116679 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/429
  19. ADM 53/116177 + ADM 53/116679 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/429 + ADM 199/644
  20. ADM 53/116679 + ADM 199/644
  21. ADM 53/115428 + ADM 53/115692 + ADM 53/116392 + AMD 53/116680 + ADM 199/644
  22. ADM 53/116680 + ADM 53/116680 + ADM 199/644
  23. ADM 53/116680
  24. ADM 53/116681
  25. ADM 53/118581
  26. ADM 53/117038 + ADM 53/117692 + ADM 53/118581
  27. ADM 53/117039 + ADM 53/118582
  28. ADM 53/118582
  29. ADM 53/118583
  30. ADM 53/118584
  31. ADM 53.118584
  32. ADM 53/118585
  33. ADM 53/118586
  34. ADM 53/118587
  35. ADM 53/118588
  36. ADM 53/118589
  37. ADM 53/120568

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


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