Aubrey St. Clair-Ford DSO, RN

Born  29 Feb 1904Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire
Died  8 Apr 1991(87)Sandle Copse, Fordingbridge, Hampshire


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Ranks

15 May 1924 A/S.Lt.
15 Feb 1925 S.Lt.
15 Sep 1926 Lt.
15 Sep 1934 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1939 Cdr.
31 Dec 1945 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jan 1955


Decorations

8 Jan 1942 DSO
26 May 1942 Bar to DSO
8 Sep 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
17 Nov 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
2 Feb 1951 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
3 Oct 1951 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Aubrey St. Clair-Ford, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Encounter (H 10)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer4 Apr 19389 Nov 1939
HMS Kipling (F 91)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer15 Nov 193911 May 1942
HMS Hogue (R 74)Cdr.Destroyer12 Apr 1945Jan 1946

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Kipling (F 91)


23 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Lt.Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed her builders yard at Scotstoun for Portsmouth. (1)

25 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Lt.Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (1)

1 Jan 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth around 0230 hours for Portland for a work-up period. She arrived at Portland around 0800 hours. (2)

12 Jan 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises / torpedo discharge trials off Portland.

In the evening she assisted in an A/S hunt for a reported enemy submarine in the area during which she dropped two depth charges on a suspected contact. (2)

13 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Portland. (2)

14 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Portland. (2)

16 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Westminster (Lt.Cdr. A.A.C. Ouvry, RN) escorted the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carinthia (Capt.(Retd.) J.F.B. Barrett, RN) during her gunnery exercises off Portland.

In the afternoon the destroyers carried out gunnery exercises themselves. (2)

17 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portland to return to the Clyde to have some defects made good by her builder. (1)

18 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived in the Clyde. (1)

4 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow escorting the merchant vessels Floristan (5478 GRT, built 1928) and Kyle Fisher (604 GRT, built 1939).

5 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (1)

6 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Aberdeen. (3)

7 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) escorted the transport Cyprian Prince (1988 GRT, built 1937) from Aberdeen to Scapa Flow.

8 Feb 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

HMS Kipling departed again later the same day to hunt a reported submarine. She returned to Scapa Flow on the 9th. (3)

9 Feb 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed Scapa Flow. They returned later the same day.

14 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow to assist in an A/S hunt in Moray Firth.

15 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) picked up 12 survivors from the Danish merchant ships Sleipner and Rhone that had been torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-14 about 50 miles north of Rattrey Head around midnight during the night of 14/15 February.

18 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Scapa Flow having participated in several A/S hunts during the previous days.

20 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Hawthorn Leslie shipyard at Hebburn for repairs. Her hull needed strengthening, a defect common to the J and K class destroyers.

13 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her repairs completed, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed the Tyne for Scapa Flow.

14 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow around 0600 hours.

16 Apr 1940

Operation Duck.


Bombardment of the Sola airfield off Stavanger.

Timespan: 16 to 18 April 1940.

The heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 1700/16 for this operation.

Early on the 17th this force contacted the submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) which was to act as a beacon to home in the ships.

Between 0513 and 0602 hours, HMS Suffolk bombarded the airfield. Following this she and the destroyers were ordered to proceeded northwards to intercept a reported group of enemy destroyers, the result was that their air cover that was provided during their retirement did not sight the ships which then came under heavy air attack from the German Luftwaffe for about seven hours from 0825 hours onwards.

The result was that HMS Suffolk was heavily damaged. She suffered 32 dead and 41 wounded. HMS Kipling was also damaged by two near misses.

Air cover finally arrived at 1415 hours but even then the Germans continued to attack.

The battlecruisers HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. E.W.B. Sim, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. S.M. Nahorski, ORP) and ORP Grom (Lt.Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) rushed towards to give support. The destroyer HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN) joined later.

HMS Suffolk limped towards Scapa Flow where she arrived with a heavy list at 0545/18. She arrived at Scapa Flow escorted by HMS Renown, HMS Forester, HMS Fury, HMS Hereward, HMS Hyperion, HMS Janus, HMS Juno, HMS Kimberley and HMS Kipling (also damaged). Upon arrival HMS Suffolk was beached to prevent her from sinking.

19 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Portsmouth. (1)

22 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (1)

24 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Southampton where she was taken in hand for repairs at the Thornycroft shipyard. (1)

20 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her repairs completed HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Southampton for Immingham. (1)

21 Jul 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Immingham. She was then taken in hand for machinery and hull repairs. (1)

7 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted trials in / off the Humber. They were unsatisactory. (4)

13 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted trials in / off the Humber. Now these were conducted satisactory. (4)

14 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Immingham at 1050 hours for Scapa Flow.

15 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600 hours.

17 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow to relieve the escort of convoy OA 200, the Canadian destroyer HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) which then proceeded to Scapa Flow to discharge all her oil fuel which had been contaminated with seawater. Restigouche arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100/17. After taking on board new oil fuel she departed Scapa Flow again at 0600/18. She rejoined the convoy at 1315/18 after which HMS Kipling returned to Scapa Flow arriving later the same day.

24 Aug 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1230 hours to go to the assistance of the damaged British merchant vessel Beacon Grange (10119 GRT, built 1938) that ha been damaged by bombs from German aircraft in position 58°39'N, 02°27'W the day before. The merchant vessel had been taken in tow by the rescue tug HMRT Buccaneer which was later relieved by her sister ship HMRT Marauder which took the ship to Kirkwall where she was beached.

HMS Kipling returned to Scapa on the 25th.

30 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Rosyth for the Humber at 0045/30. She collided with the merchant vessel Queen Maud (4976 GRT, built 1936) from convoy FN 92 at 0301/30 south-south-west of May Island in position 56°05'N, 02°37'W. Kipling only sustained some slight damage and she continued on to the Humber where she arrived later the same day.

2 Oct 1940
After some temporary repairs had been made, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed the Humber for Plymouth. (1)

3 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth where she was taken in hand for repairs. (1)

11 Oct 1940
HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth around 1830/11 to carry out a high speed sweep along the French coast between Le Havre and Dieppe following which they were to return to Plymouth at 0800/12.

The same day the German torpedo boats Falke, Greif, Kondor, Seeadler and Wolf (5th torpedo boat flotilla) departed Cherbourg, France to conduct a raid off the Isle of Wight.

Shortly before midnight they encountered and sank two British armed trawlers HMS Warwick Deeping (Skr. J.R. Bruce, RNR) and Listrac (Lt. K.P. Kirkup, RNR) south of Bournemouth.

Shortly afterwards but on the 12th the Germans sank the (former French) chasseurs HMS CH 6 (Lt. W.B.G. Galbraith, RN) and HMS CH 7 (S/Lt. G.A. Gabbett-Mulhallen, DSC, RN).

At 0314/12, HMS Jackal had an engagement with two of the enemy torpedo boats. No damage was done to either side.

The Germans returned to Cherbourg in the morning of the 12th.

12 Oct 1940
HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

HMS Jaguar returned to Plymouth in need of repairs.

18 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. W. Franki) departed Plymouth. Presumably for a night patrol in the western Channel area. (5)

19 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. W. Franki) returned to Plymouth. (5)

23 Oct 1940
HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth. [Most likely they went on patrol in the western Channel.] (5)

24 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Plymouth.

29 Oct 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived in the Tyne area. (1)

24 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her repairs completed, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed the Tyne for Dartmouth. (1)

27 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Dartmouth for exercises. (1)

16 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 2050 hours with orders to arrive at Avonmouth at 1200/17.

23 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) made rendez-vous with convoy SL 58 (Freetown-U.K.). They remained with the convoy until 0900/23 when they and the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Plymouth.

27 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth around noon.

2 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) sailed from Plymouth at 1106 hours. She returned at 1645 hours.

[We have been unable to find out why she sailed.]

3 Jan 1941
HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 1505 hours to intercept a German tanker proceeding towards a Bay of Biscay port (most likely towards the Gironde). The tanker had been spotted by aircraft at 1115/3 in position 45°40'N, 09°10'W.

HMS Kelvin, had between returning on 27 December 1940 and sailing today, a radar installation fitted at the Devonport Dockyard.

4 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around noon HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) abondoned their search for the reported enemy tanker.

5 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1025 hours.

6 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Plymouth for Greenock around 1730 hours. She was being escorted by HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN).

8 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) and her escort; HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) arrived at Greenock around noon.

14 Feb 1941
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Londonderry.

21 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 1915 hours for a patrol in the western Channel. They returned to Plymouth the following morning.

7 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Plymouth at 0830 hours.

13 Apr 1941
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth for Milford Haven.

14 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Milford Haven.

15 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Milford Haven to escort a 15 ship coastal convoy from the Bristol Channel to Falmouth. Also part of the escort were the armed yacht HMS Viva II (Cdr.(Retd.) M.A. Blomfield, OBE, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Pearl (T/Lt. G. Pemberton, RNR) and HMS Ruby (T/Lt. N.L. Brown, RNVR) (6)

16 Apr 1941
The coastal convoy HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is escorting together with the armed yacht HMS Viva II (Cdr.(Retd.) M.A. Blomfield, OBE, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Pearl (T/Lt. G. Pemberton, RNR) and HMS Ruby (T/Lt. N.L. Brown, RNVR) is attacked north of Lands End in position 50°27'N, 05°38'W by enemy aircraft between 0228 and 0345 hours. The of the merchant vessels were sunk; Amiens (British, 1548 GRT, built 1918), Anglesea Rose (British, 1151 GRT, built 1930) and Bolette (Norwegian, 1167 GRT, built 1920). (6)

16 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth after convoy escort duty.

27 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) shifted from Alexandria to Suez for repairs.

15 Jul 1941
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) conducted post repair trials at Lake Timsah near Ismalia. On completion of these trials she proceeded to Port Said. (1)

16 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. (7)

17 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (1)

18 Jul 1941
The battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN) and the destroyers HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Alexandria for exercises. At sea they were joined by the fast minelayers HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) which had already departed Alexandria for exercises the previous day. Also at sea joined the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) which came from Haifa. (7)

19 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having completed their exercises, the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), fast minelayer HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) returned to Alexandria around noon. (7)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bulk of the fleet returned to Alexandria on 25 July. (7)

4 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. They arrived at Port Said on the 5th. (7)

5 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) departed Port Said with troops for Farmagusta. (7)

6 Aug 1941
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Farmagusta. After unloading the troops HMS Neptune, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kimberley departed for Alexandria where they arrived later the same day while HMS Kipling proceeded to Haifa where she also arrived later the same day. (7)

17 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria for a troop and supply run to Tobruk. They returned to Alexandria the following day. (7)

20 Aug 1941
The fast minelayer HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria with troops and supplies for Tobruk. Cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN).

All ships returned to Alexandria on the 21st. (7)

24 Aug 1941
The fast minelayer HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) departed Alexandria with troops and supplies for Tobruk. Cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN) and HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN).

All ships returned to Alexandria on the 25th. (7)

27 Aug 1941
Around 0815 hours, the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) departed Alexandria with troops and supplies for Tobruk. Cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN) and HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN).

All ships returned to Alexandria on the 28th.

HMS Phoebe had been hit by an aircraft torpedo at 2145/27 in position 32°15'N, 24°53'W. The destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria to escort the damaged ship.

All ships returned to Alexandria on the 28th. (7)

8 Sep 1941
HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) departed Alexandria with troops and supplies for Tobruk. A fourth destroyer HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) also took the passage but she carried no troops or supplies as she remained at sea to provide cover. (7)

9 Sep 1941
HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) returned to Alexandria from Tobruk. HMS Decoy and HMS Kipling had been slightly damaged by near misses during air attacks. (7)

12 Sep 1941
The British ferry (to be transferred to Turkey) Murefte (691 GRT, built 1941) was sunk on 10 September north-west of Haifa in position 33°12'N, 34°35'E by the Italian submarine Topazio.

The destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) departed Alexandria and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Haifa to hunt the attacker.

HMS Hasty and HMS Kipling returned to Alexandria on the 13th.

The other destroyers continued the hunt and arrived at Haifa on the 14th. (7)

30 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said to escort two important merchant vessels from Port Said to Alexandria.

They returned to Alexandria with the merchant vessels on 1 October. (7)

5 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
A submarine steering towards Alexandria had been reported by aircraft at 1245/4 in position 33°00'N, 25°30'E (north of Bardia).

In the morning of the 5th, the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN), departed Alexandria to search the area.

They returned to Alexandria on the 7th having found nothing. (7)

8 Oct 1941
HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Neptune returned to Alexandria in the afternoon. The destroyers only returned early in the afternoon of the following day.

2 Nov 1941

Operation Glencoe.

Relief of troops at Farmagusta.

The British troops on Cyprus were to be relieved by fresh British Indian and British troops.

Group A, made up of the minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Alexandria for Farmagusta at 1500 hours. HMS Abdiel had on board about 300 troops as well as 70 tons of stores. The destroyers carried around 250 troops.

Group B, made up of the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for Farmagusta at 1700 hours. Like the destroyers of Group A these destroyers also carried about 250 troops each.

Group C, departed Alexandria for Farmagusta at 1900 hours, it was made up of the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN). Like all the other destroyers these also carried around 250 troops each.

At 2300/2, HMS Kipling, on of the destroyers in Group C, broke down in position 31°46'N, 30°22'E. Her troops were taken over by HMS Jackal which then took the stricken destroyer in tow towards Alexandria. HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) departed Alexandria at 0230/3 and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Alexandria at 1000/3. HMS Jupiter took over the place of HMS Kipling in Force C while HMS Decoy took over the tow from HMS Jackal at daylight on November 3rd. HMS Kipling and HMS Decoy arrived at Alexandria in the afternoon.

Group A arrived at Farmagusta at 0730/3, Group B at 1230/3 and Group C at 1630/3.

The ships then disembarked the troops and embarked a similar number of troops that were replaced. The ships then departed for Haifa.

Groups A and B arrived at Haifa durnig the night of 3/4 November 1941 while Group C arrived early in the afternoon of November 4th.

At Haifa they embarked more troops for Cyprus. Group A sailed at 0730/4, Group B at 1230/4 and finally Group C at 1630/4.

All groups arrived at Farmagusta during the night of 4/5 November. After disembarking the troops they sailed for Haifa at invervals of about 4 hours.

Group A arrived at Haifa at 0400/5, Group B at 0830/5 and Group C at 1200/5.

At Haifa they loaded Indian troops and departed for Farmagusta at 0700/5 (Group A), 1200/5 (Group B) and 1630/5 (Group C).

All groups arrived at Famagusta on the 5th and sailed again with further troops that were being relieved, arriving at Haifa at 0300/6 (Group A), 0800/6 (Group B) and 1200/6 (Group C).

After embarking more troops and fuelling the groups departed Haifa again for Farmagusta later on the 6th.

All groups arrived at Farmagusta during the night of 6/7 November 1941 where they disembaked the new troops and tok on board troops that were relieved after which they departed again for Haifa where they arrived on the 7th.

There all groups embarked their final contingents of troops and departed for Farmagusta for the final time. HMS Kingston from Group B was however to depart due to defects and her troops were spread on the other destroyers of her group.

After having disembarked the last of the fresh troops at Farmagusta and embarked the last of the troops that had been relieved Group A arrived at Haifa 0300/8, Group B at 0500/8 and Group C at 1200/8.

At 1400/8, all ships (from all the groups) departed Haifa for Alexandria where they arrived on the 9th after they had carried out an A/S sweep en-route. (7)

13 Nov 1941
At 0600/13 HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) departed Alexandria to carry stores to Tobruk.

The destroyers returned to Alexandria at 1345/14. (8)

16 Nov 1941
At 0600/16, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN), departed Alexandria to carry stores to Tobruk.

The destroyers returned to Alexandria at 1515/17. (7)

30 Nov 1941
The destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Alexandria to intercept Italian convoys between Navarino and Derna. Cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.A.H. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN).

The four destroyers patrolled off Derna during the night of 30 November / 1 December but no enemy ships were encountered.

At 1300/1 in position 32°15'N, 24°41'W, while on their way back to Alexandria carrying out an A/S sweep, the destroyers were attacked by three Italian torpedo bombers. HMS Jackal was hit right aft by a torpedo and damage was severe. She was however able to continue under her own power at 14 knots steering with her engines. The Commanding Officer of HMS Jaguar was killed when a shell from HMS Jervis exploded close to her.

All ships arrived back at Alexandria during the night of 2/3 December.

HMS Jackal was taken in hand for repairs at Alexandria. These were completed at the end of April 1942. (7)

13 Dec 1941
The light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.A.H. Kelsey, DSC, RN flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Griffin (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria around 2130/13 to intercept Axis convoys to North Africa and their covering Italian warships.

At 1800/14 the destroyers HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam, HMS Kipling and HMS Havock were detached to search for a reported enemy submarine.

Shortly before the force was ordered to return to Alexandria as the enemy had been spotted returning to Italy.

While the force was returning to Alexandria HMS Galatea was torpedoed at 2359/14 when about to enter the searched channel. The destroyer screen had just been released when she was torpedoed. She sank shortly afterwards. The destroyers were able to pick up 13 officers and 131 ratings. The destroyers then conducted an A/S hunt and later also the destroyers that had been detached earlier searched the area before entering harbour but the attacker was not detected. (7)

23 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy AT 6.

This convoy departed Alexandria for Tobruk on 23 December 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alisa (Palestinian, 1072 GRT, built 1901), Varvara (Greek, 1354 GRT, built 1910) and Warszawa (Polish, 2487 GRT, built 1916). The boom defence vessel HMS Burgonet was also part of this convoy.

Escort was provided by escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and the corvette HMS Peony (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) M.B. Sherwood, DSO and Bar, RN).

Cover for this convoy was provided by the destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN).

Varvara reported her engine room flooding during the night of 23/24 December and was escorted back to Alexandria by the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN). The tug HMS St. Monance came also out from Alexandria to assist.

At 1429/26, the Warszawa was torpedoed by the German submarine U-559 in position 32°11’N, 24°44’E. The ship remained afloat and was first thought to have hit a mine. She was taken in tow by HMS Peony with HMS Avon Vale escorting. The bulk of the passengers and crew meanwhile had been taken off by HMS Burgonet as well as HMS Peony and HMS Avon Vale.

At 1930 hours (2015 hours in British sources) the ship was hit by another torpedo from U-559 which had remained in the area undected. She sank in about 10 minutes in position 32°10’N, 24°32’E. HMS Peony quickly cut the towline and picked up the skeleton crew that had remained on board. In all 23 passengers and crew lost their lives on board Warszawa.

All survivors were landed at Tobruk in the early morning hours of the 27th. (7)

27 Dec 1941

Convoy TA 6.

This convoy departed Tobruk for Alexandria on 27 December 1941. It arrived at Alexandria on 29 December 1941.

This convoy was made up several empty merchant vessels but we currently don't know which merchant vessels were part of this convoy.

Escort was provided by escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and the corvette HMS Peony (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) M.B. Sherwood, DSO and Bar, RN).

Cover for this convoy was provided by the destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN).

One of the ships in the convoy was the transport Volo (British, 1587 GRT, built 1938). This ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-75 at 0300/28 in position 31°45'N, 26°48'E. 24 of the crew were killed. 14 survivors were picked up.

HMS Kipling sank the attacker a few hours later. (7)

28 Dec 1941 (position 31.50, 26.40)
The German U-boat U-75 was sunk in the Mediterranean near Mersa Matruh, in position 31°50'N, 26°40'E, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN).

She and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) were able to pick up two officers and twenty-eight ratings.

The destroyers arrived at Alexandria later the same day.

29 Dec 1941

Convoy AT 10.

This convoy departed Alexandria for Tobruk on 29 December 1941. It arrived at Tobruk on 31 December 1941.

This convoy was made up of several merchant vessels but the identity of these is currently not known to us.

Escort was provided by escort destroyer HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and the auxiliary A/S whaler HMSAS Southern Isle (Lt. A.S. Bowyer, SASDF).

Cover for this convoy was provided by the destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN). (7)

2 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (1)

5 Jan 1942

Operation MF 2.

Passage of the transport Glengyle from Alexandria to Malta and the passage of the transport Breconshire from Malta to Alexandria.

At 2230/5 HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta. She was escorted by Force B which was made up by the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.A.H. Kelsey, DSC, RN flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) and HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN).

The transport HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939), escorted by Force C, made up of the destroyers HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) departed Malta at 1830/6.

At 1300/7 in position 33°50’N, 19°20’E both forces made rendez-vous and the transport Breconsihire and the destroyer Havock joined Force B to proceed to Alexandria and transport Glengyle and the destroyer Sikh joined Force C to proceed to Malta.

Force C arrived at Malta at 0800/8. Force B arrived at Alexandria during the night of 8/9 January 1942. (9)

9 Feb 1942
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria to go to the aid of the escort destroyer HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) which had been bombed and damaged while escorting convoy AT 27 from Alexandria to Tobruk. Both the damaged ship engine rooms were flooded and she had been taken in tow by the corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt.Cdr. A.J.C. Pomeroy, RNVR). The tug HMS St. Issey departed Mersa Matruh to take over the tow.

HMS Kipling and HMS Jaguar joined the stricken ship at daylight February 10th. All ships arrived at Alexandria on the 11th. (9)

12 Feb 1942

Operation MF 5.

Passage convoy MW 9A and MW 9B from Alexandria to Malta and passage of convoy ME 10 from Malta to Alexandria / Port Said.

Timespan: 12 to 16 February 1942.

Convoy MW 9A made up of the transports Clan Campbell (British, 7255 GRT, built 1937) and Clan Chattan (British, 7262 GRT, built 1937) departed Alexandria at 1600/12. Close escort was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. D.M.L. Neame, DSO, RN), destroyer HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, DSC, RN) and HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN).

Convoy MW 9B made up of the transport Rowallan Castle (British, 7801 GRT, built 1939) and Clan Chattan (British, 7262 GRT, built 1937) departed Alexandria at 1700/12. Close escort was provided by the escort destroyers HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN), HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN).

A cover force (Force B) for these convoys departed Alexandria at 0200/13 and was made up of the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. G. Grantham, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), HMS Griffin (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt. N.H.G. Austen, RN), HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) and HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN).

At 1730/13, the transport Clan Campbell was damaged by bombing in position 32.22’N, 24.22’E and detached to Tobruk escorted by HMS Avon Vale and HMS Eridge. The escort destroyer were ordered to rejoin the convoy as soon as possible.

Convoy MB 9B was attacked from the air but no damage was sustained.

The cover force (Force B) was also attacked by enemy bombers at dusk but no damage was sustained by any of the ships.

After dark on 13 February, convoy ME 10, made up of the transports Ajax (British, 7540 GRT, built 1931), HMS Breconshire (British, GRT, built ), City of Calcutta (British, 8063 GRT, built 1940) and Clan Ferguson (British, 7347 GRT, built 1938) departed Malta for Alexandria / Port Said. Close cover was provided by Force K made up of the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, DSC, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSC, RN), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN).

At 0700/14, convoy MW 9A, convoy MW 9B and Force B joined. They were shadowed throughout the day. High level and dive bombing attacks started at 1345 and continued until 1600 hours. The transport Clan Chatten was hit and badly damaged in position 35°01’N, 20°11’E. She was later scuttled by our own forces after all crew and passengers had been taken off.

Force K and convoy ME 10 was met at 1440/14 hours. HMS Lance then joined Force K while HMS Fortune and HMS Decoy from Force K, which had just completed repairs at Malta, joined Force B. Force K then turned back to Malta escorting Rowallan Castle.

Both forces continued to be attacked by enemy aircraft and at 1515/14 Rowallan Castle was near missed in position 35°34’N, 19°40’E. Her engines were disabled and she was taken in tow by HMS Zulu but she could not make sufficient speed to reach Malta safely and the transport had to be sunk which was done at 1956/14.

HMS Penelope, HMS Lance and HMS Lively were ordered to continue to Malta where they arrived on the 15th, while HMS Sikh, HMS Zulu and HMS Legion were ordered to join Force B.

Meanwhile two ships of the close escort of convoy ME 10, HMS Carlisle and HMS Eridge had sustained some minor damage in enemy air attacks in the afternoon of the 14th.

Force B and convoy ME 10 were bombed throughout the day on the 15th by single aircraft but no damage was done to any of the ships.

During the day, HMS Beaufort, HMS Dulverton, HMS Hurworth and HMS Southwold were detached to Tobruk. They left there at 1830/15 escorting the damaged transport Clan Campbell back to Alexandria.

Light cruisers HMS Naiad, HMS Dido, HMS Euryalus, destroyers HMS Sikh, HMS Zulu, HMS Legion, HMS Hasty, HMS Havock, Griffin, HMS Decoy, HMS Arrow and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Heythrop arrived at Alexandria at 0130/16 with the transport HMS Breconshire.

The transports Ajax, City of Calcutta and Clan Ferguson continued on to Port Said escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling and HMS Fortune. They arrived at Port Said P.M. on the 16th. HMS Kelvin, HMS Jaguar and HMS Fortune then immediately proceeded to Alexandria (arriving on February, 17th), while HMS Jervis and HMS Kipling remained at Port Said.

The damaged transport Clan Campbell and the escort destroyers HMS Beaufort, HMS Dulverton, HMS Hurworth and HMS Southwold arrived at Alexandria P.M. on the 16th coming from Tobruk. (9)

17 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The troop transport Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) departed Port Said for Farmagusta, Cyprus with relief troops. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN). (9)

18 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transport Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and her escorting destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Farmagusta. (9)

19 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transport Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and her escorting destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) departed Farmagusta for Alexandria. (9)

20 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transport Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and her escorting destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (9)

27 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The fleet tanker RFA Derwentdale (8398 GRT, built 1941) that was outfitted to carry landing craft departed Alexandria for the Far East. She was to join the Eastern Fleet as she was urgently required there. She was escorted from Alexandria to Port Said by the destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN). (9)

28 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The fleet tanker RFA Derwentdale (8398 GRT, built 1941) and her escorting destroyers HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said. The destroyers returned to Alexandria later the same day. (9)

10 Mar 1942
Reports had been received about Axis convoy movements in the Central Mediterranean. Then a report was received that an Italian cruiser had been disabled in an air attack and in response Allied warships sailed from Alexandria to intercept. Also they could then bring out a light cruiser and a destroyer which had completed repairs at Malta.

The force that sailed from Alexandria departed at 0400/10 and was made up of the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. G. Grantham, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt. N.H.G. Austen, RN), HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN).

During the night of 9/10 March the light cruiser HMS Cleopatra (Capt. M.S. Slattery, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) sailed from Malta to the westward to attack another enemy convoy. The convoy was however not sighted following which they returned to Malta. They sailed again at 2000/10 to join the force coming from Alexandria.

Both forces met at 0800/11 and in the absence of further reports on the damaged Italian cruiser they set course for Alexandria at high speed. Throughout the day the force was attacked by about 80 enemy aircraft but no ship sustained any damage.

Then at 2005/11, HMS Naiad was hit amidships by a torpedo from the German submarine U-565. The cruiser immediately took up a heavy list and sank after 20 minutes. Survivors were picked up by HMS Jervis, HMS Kipling and HMS Lively. HMS Zulu attacked the U-boat but without result.

At 0800/12, HMS Dido (now flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Vian), HMS Euryalus, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Sikh, HMS Hasty, HMS Havock, HMS Hero, HMS Kelvin and HMS Kingston arrived at Alexandria shortly afterwards followed by HMS Kipling and HMS Lively.

HMS Zulu and HMS Jervis continued to hunt the U-boat until daylight on the 12th. They arrived at Alexandria at 1400/12. (9)

13 Mar 1942
As it became apparent that enemy submarines were operating in the Levant the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S sweeps of Levant ports by day and along the shipping routes at night. Also A/S aircaft were sent to Haifa to assist the destroyers. (9)

17 Mar 1942
HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Beirut at daybreak. They had fist operated in the Haifa and later in the Beirut area but no enemy submarines had been detected.

They departed again later the same day for Alexandria. (9)

18 Mar 1942
HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) returned to Alexandria. (9)

20 Mar 1942

Operation MG 1 and the resulting second Battle of Sirte.

Operation MG 1, passage of convoy MW 10 to Malta.

At 0700/20 convoy MW 10 departed Alexandria for Malta. This convoy was made up of the transports HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939), Clan Campbell (British, 7255 GRT, built 1937), Pampas (British, 5415 GRT, built 1941) and Talabot (British, 6798 GRT, built 1936). Close escort was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. D.M.L. Neame, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. N.H.G. Austen, RN), HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN).

Cover for this convoy was provided by Force B, made up of the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. G. Grantham, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN). This cover force departed Alexandria at 1800/20.

At daylight on 21 March the convoy escort was reinfored by the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, DSC, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN). These escort destroyers had departed Alexandria already on the 19th to proceed to Tobruk while conducting an A/S sweep and fuel there before joining the convoy. A sixth escort destroyer joined later as she had been delayed at Tobruk with a fouled propeller. This was HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN) and she sailed from Tobruk at 0945/21. Another escort destroyer, HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN), was torpedoed at 1100/20 in position 32°22'N, 25°28'E by the German submarine U-652 while the escort destroyers were conducting their A/S sweep. The stricken ship was taken in tow towards Tobruk by HMS Eridge but she sank at 1600/20 in position 32°13'N, 25°33'E.

Shortly after the escort destroyers had joined the convoy escort, Force B made contact with the convoy. The fleet destroyers that had been escorting the convoy the joined that force.

After dark on March 21st, the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyer HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSC, RN) departed Malta and joined Force B in the morning of March 22nd.

At 0130/22, the submarine HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) reported enemy heavy ships leaving Taranto.

In the forenoon light enemy air attacks commenced on the convoy. These developed into heavy air attacks in the afternoon. A total of about 150 enemy aircraft were counted attacking. They concentrated mainly on the convoy but no ships were hit.

At 1430/22 Force B sighted four enemy cruisers to the north-east in position 33°53'N, 17°47'E. These were then driven off.

At 1640/22 Force B sighted a Littorio class battleship, two heavy cruisers and some destroyers to the northward. A delaying action was then fought by the cruisers and destroyers of Force B making full use of smoke while the convoy continued on to the westward. Destroyers pressed home a torpedo attack to 6000 yards and reported a hit on the battleship (this was not the case). The battleship was also hit by gunfire and was seen to be on fire aft. One enemy cruiser was seriously damaged and the other was also hit. HMS Cleopatra was hit on the bridge but only sustained minor damage. HMS Kingston was hit in an engine room and HMS Havock in a boiler room. Both destroyers had their speed reduced to 15 knots. HMS Lively was hit forward but was not seriously damaged.

At 1900/22 (dusk) the enemy, who had never got within range of the convoy, withdrew to the northward while the convoy was dispersed to Malta with the escorts proceeding with the individual ships. HMS Penelope, HMS Havock, HMS Kingston and HMS Legion were also detached to Malta. Force B set course to Alexandria.

The Italian ships encountered were the following; battleship Vittorio Veneto, heavy cruisers Bolzano, Trento, light cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere and the destroyers Alpino, Bersagliere, Fuciliere, Lanciere, Ascari, Aviere, Geniere, Grecale, Alfredo Oriani and Scirocco.

From daylight on March 23rd the ships of the convoy were again subjected to heavy air attacks as they were approaching Malta. At 1040/23 Clan Campbell was bombed and sunk in position 35°33'N, 14°35'E. HMS Eridge rescued 113 men. Breconshire was hit in the engine room at 1030/23 wen about eight miles from Grand Harbour. She was disabled and attempts by HMS Penelope to take her in tow failed. She drifted towards the shore and came to anchor. Owning to the gale and heavy swell attempts to tow her had to be abandoned.

Pampas and Talabot arrived in harbour safely. HMS Legion was hit but reached Marsaxlokk Harbour and anchored in shallow water.

HMS Carlisle and the Hunt class escort destroyers remained at Malta to provide AA protection for Breconshire. HMS Avon Vale was damaged when she collided with Breconshire and by a near miss. She was unseaworthy. The damaged HMS Kingston and HMS Havock were able to reach Malta safely.

Force B, on their passage east, were delayed by heavy weather. Some of the destroyers sustaining weather damage. The force was bombed during the day but no ship sustained any damage due to the bombing.

An aircraft search for the Italian fleet failed to find any enemy ships.

Shortly after noon on the 24th HMS Cleopatra, HMS Dido, HMS Euryalus, HMS Sikh, HMS Zulu, HMS Hasty, HMS Hero, HMS Jervis, HMS Kelvin and HMS Kipling entered harbour at Alexandria. All ships had sustained some form of weather damage. HMS Lively arrived later due to flooding forward. HMS Zulu and HMS Lively were out of action for some weeks.

Meanwhile at Malta weather was still unsuitable to tow Breconshire into the harbour. HMS Southwold was mined while operating near her. She sank while under tow to the harbour. Breconshire was finally towed into the harbour in the morning of the 25th. (9)

29 Mar 1942
Troop transports Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and Antwerp (British, 2957 GRT, built 1920) departed Alexandria for Farmagusta. They had on board Indian troops which were to relieve other Indian troops on Cyprus. The troopships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN). (9)

30 Mar 1942
Troop transports Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and Antwerp (British, 2957 GRT, built 1920), and their escorts, the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Farmagusta. The troopships departed again later the same day for Alexandria escorted by HMS Kipling. HMS Kelvin departed Farmagusta for Beirut arriving there later this day. (9)

31 Mar 1942
Troop transports Princess Marguerite (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and Antwerp (British, 2957 GRT, built 1920) and their escort, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN), arrived at Alexandria. (9)

3 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria at 1600 hours for Port Said. She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. N.H.G. Austen, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN) and HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN). (9)

4 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) and her escort; the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. N.H.G. Austen, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN) and HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN) arrived at Port Said. HMS Jervis and HMS Kipling immediately returned to Alexandria where they arrived later the same day. (9)

5 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transports Princess Kathleen (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925) and Malines (British, 2969 GRT, built 1921) departed Alexandria with troops for Farmagusta, Cyprus. They were escorted by HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN). (9)

6 Apr 1942
Troop transports Princess Kathleen (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925), Malines (British, 2969 GRT, built 1921) and their escort, HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN), arrived at Farmagusta. After disembaring their troops and embaring troops that were being relieved they departed for Haifa later the same day escorted by HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN), which had just arrived from Beirut after she had completed repairs there. HMS Kipling remained at Farmagusta. (9)

8 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transports Princess Kathleen (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925), Malines (British, 2969 GRT, built 1921) departed Farmagusta for Alexandria. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN). (9)

9 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Troop transports Princess Kathleen (Canadian, 5875 GRT, built 1925), Malines (British, 2969 GRT, built 1921) and their escort; the destroyer HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Dulverton (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), arrived at Alexandria. (9)

15 Apr 1942

Operation 'Lighter'.

Raid on enemy wireless station on Koufonisi Island (south of Crete).

Timespan: 15 April 1942 to 16 April 1942.

The destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, DSO, RN) embarked two platoons of 11th Royal Marines Battalion and then departed Alexandria for a raid against an enemy wireless station on Koufonisi Island to the south of Crete.

The Royal Marines were landed during the night of 15/16 April and later re-embarked without a loss. They were successful in destroyer the wireless station which was the main objective of the raid.

The enemy retreated inland and no prisoners could be taken. Documents and gear have been captured but unfortunately these were lost overboard during the re-embarkation.

Kelvin and Kipling returned to Alexandria at 1630/16. (9)

24 Apr 1942
HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria to provide cover for a convoy sailing from Port Said to the Levent ports.

The convoy arrived at Beirut and Tripoli (Syria) on the 27th following which HMS Sikh and HMS Kipling proceeded to Haifa. (9)

28 Apr 1942
HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, DSO, RN) departed Haifa to hunt an enemy submarine reported at 1500/22 [this seems to be an error to me, as this report was six days old by the time the destroyers sailed but this is what is stated in ADM 199/650] in position 33°42'N, 33°34'E.

At daylight on the 29th both destroyers joined a convoy to Port Said. (9)

30 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said with the convoy they were escorting.

They departed again later the same day escorting the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. R.J.R. Dendy, RN) to Alexandria. (9)

1 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Coventry (Capt. R.J.R. Dendy, RN), HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria from Port Said. (9)

10 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
An enemy convoy with destroyer escort only was reported leaving Taranto for Benghazi. In response the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, DSO, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSO, DSC, RN) were sailed at 2000/10 from Alexandria in an attempt to intercept the convoy when it approached Benghazi at dawn on the 12th if they could remain undetected.

The destroyer force was detected by enemy aircraft and turned back at 1445/11 in accordance with the orders. Enemy air attacks developed at 1600 hours and continued until after 2000 hours. At 1645 hours HMS Lively was hit forward and sank at once in position 33°24'N, 25°38'E.

At 2007 hours, both HMS Jackal and HMS Kipling were hit in position 32°38'N, 26°20'E. HMS Kipling quickly sank and HMS Jackal was taken in tow by HMS Jervis. HMS Jackal was heavily on fire and she had to be scuttled at 0455/12 in position 32°33'N, 26°25'E. HMS Jervis returned to Alexandria carrying 630 officers and men from the three sunk ships. (9)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/2558
  2. ADM 53/112552
  3. ADM 187/6
  4. ADM 199/375
  5. ADM 187/10
  6. ADM 199/655
  7. ADM 199/415
  8. ADM 53/115215 + ADM 199/415
  9. ADM 199/650

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


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