Drummond St. Clair-Ford, RN

Born  16 Dec 1907
Died  Dec 1942(34)HMS Traveller


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Ranks

1 May 1928 A/S.Lt.
1 Jan 1929 S.Lt.
1 Jan 1931 Lt.
1 Jan 1939 Lt.Cdr.

Decorations

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


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Sturgeon (N 73)Lt.Cdr.SubmarineNov 194012 Sep 1941
HMS Parthian (N 75)Lt.Cdr.Submarine28 Nov 1941Nov 1942
HMS Traveller (N 48)Lt.Cdr.Submarine26 Nov 194212 Dec 1942

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Sturgeon (N 73)


3 Nov 1940 (position 58.59, 10.22)
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. G.D.A. Gregory, DSO, RN) attacked a merchant vessel with three torpedoes near Larvik Norway. No hits were obtained. Shortly afterwards another merchant vessel was sighted and attacked. in the attack Sturgeon torpedoed and sank the Danish merchant Sigrun (1337 GRT, built 1904) about 10 nautical miles east-south-east of Larvik, Norway in position 58°59'N, 10°22'E. Sigrun was on passage from Oslo to Porsgrunn.

0946 hours - In position 58°59'N, 10°23'E fired three torpedoes at a merchant vessel of 2000 tons from 4000 yards. No hits were obtained. All torpedoes were heard to explode 7 to 8 minutes after firing.

0952 hours - Sighted another 2000 tons merchant vessel. Started attack.

1010 hours - In position 58°59'N, 10°22'E fired the three remaining torpedoes in the tubes from 4000 yards. One hit was obtained. The other two torpedoes were heard to explode after about 7 minutes.

1014 hours - The vessel was seen to be down by the bow and a lot of smoke was hanging around her.

1021 hours - The vessel was not seen anymore. She must have gone down. Two A/S trawler now were seen coming towards the area of the attack from the eastward. A counter attack was then started in which 32 depth charges were dropped. The hunt lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes. No damage was done by this counter attack. (1)

4 Nov 1940 (position 58.41, 9.21)
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. G.D.A. Gregory, DSO, RN) attacked the Norwegian merchant vessel Ulv (938 GRT, built 1921, offsite link) with two torpedoes about 5 nautical miles south-east of Risør, Norway in position 58°41'N, 09°21'E. No hits were obtained.

Sturgeon than proceeded to a new patrol area, between Lister and Obrestad.

1527 hours - In position 58°41'N, 09°21'E fired two torpedoes at the Norwegian merchant Ulv from 1000 yards. No hits were obtained.

1530 hours - The target was observed to have turned away. One torpedo was heard to detonate on hitting the land. (1)

6 Nov 1940 (position 58.34, 5.37)
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. G.D.A. Gregory, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the Norwegian merchant Delfinus (1294 GRT, built 1912, offsite link) south-west of Varhaug, Norway in position 58°34'N, 05°37'E.

1455 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the Norwegian merchant Delfinus from 1000 yards. On hit was obtained.

1502 hours - Only 10 feet of the stern of the target remained out of the water.

1506 hours - The target had sunk. (1)

9 Nov 1940
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. G.D.A. Gregory, DSO, RN) ended her 15th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

28 Nov 1940
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Blyth for her 16th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol of Bergen, Norway.

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

(1)

11 Dec 1940
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 16th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

31 Dec 1940
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Blyth for her 17th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Bud / Stadlandet, Norway.

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

(1)

13 Jan 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 17th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

6 Feb 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Blyth for her 18th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Lister, Norway.

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

(1)

12 Feb 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was ordered to patrol off Bergen. (1)

23 Feb 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 18th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

25 Feb 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was docked at Blyth. (2)

5 Mar 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was undocked. (3)

11 Mar 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Blyth for her 19th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Stadlandet / Bud area, Norway. Later she was ordered to patrol off Obrestad and even later off Lister.

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

(1)

20 Mar 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) attacked a southbound merchant vessel with two torpedoes near Obrestad, Norway. No hits were obtained.

1405 hours - Sighted a southbound merhant vessel. Started attack.

1410 hours - Visibility decreased, abandoned attack.

1510 hours - Sighted merchant vessel of about 3000 tons bearing 058°, range 3 nautical miles. Enemy course was 140°. Started attack.

1529 hours - In position 58°35'N, 05°23'E, fired two torpedoes from 4500 yards. No hits were obtained. The torpedoes were heard to explode after 8 minutes when they most likely hit the shore. (1)

25 Mar 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 19th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

4 Apr 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Blyth for Portsmouth. Passage was made in coastal convoys. (4)

9 Apr 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (4)

12 Apr 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 20th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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

(1)

30 Apr 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 20th war patrol at Portsmouth. (1)

2 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was docked at Portsmouth. (5)

4 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was undocked. (5)

14 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (5)

16 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth for Dartmouth where she was to participate in A/S exercises. (5)

17 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Dartmouth. En-route A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Maori (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, RN). (5)

18 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Dartmouth. (5)

19 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Dartmouth with HMS Maori (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, RN). (5)

20 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Dartmouth. (5)

22 May 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 21th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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

(1)

10 Jun 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 21th war patrol at Portsmouth. (1)

24 Jun 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 22th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay. (1)

25 Jun 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) developed a crack in the pressure hull. She then returned to Portsmouth abandoning her 22th war patrol. (1)

27 Jun 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was docked for repairs at Portsmouth. (6)

21 Jul 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was undocked. (7)

26 Jul 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 23th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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

(1)

9 Aug 1941
At 0715 hours HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) made rendez-vous with her escort HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). They then proceeded north through the Irish Sea towards the Clyde. (1)

11 Aug 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 23th war patrol at Holy Loch. (1)

15 Aug 1941
HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Troon where she was immediately docked to be taken in hand for a refit. (8)


Submarine HMS Parthian (N 75)


15 Feb 1942
With her refit completed HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed the Portsmouth Navy Yard for New London, Connecticut, U.S.A. (9)

16 Feb 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at the U.S.N. submarine base at New London for a period of trials and training. (9)

20 Feb 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is put on the slipway at New London. (9)

25 Feb 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is put back in the water. (9)

7 Mar 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed New London for Gibraltar.

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

(10)

9 Mar 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to New London with defects she had developed the previous day. (10)

13 Mar 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is put on the slipway at New London. (10)

23 Mar 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is put back in the water. (10)

17 Apr 1942
With repairs completed HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) started another period of trials and training off New London. (11)

23 Apr 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed New London for Gibraltar and a patrol off Chaucer Bank (42°45'N, 29°00'W). (11)

28 Apr 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) again developed mechanical problems. Course was set towards Bermuda to effect repairs. (11)

30 Apr 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Bermuda. (11)

30 May 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted trials off Bermuda. (12)

31 May 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was docked at Bermuda to repair her fuel tanks that were leaking. (12)

4 Jun 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was undocked. (13)

7 Jun 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Bermuda with HMS Castle Harbour. (13)

8 Jun 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Bermuda for Gibraltar.

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

(13)

20 Jun 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (13)

8 Jul 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. This was her 2nd storage trip.

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

(14)

18 Jul 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Malta. Unloading of the cargo commenced immediately (36 tons of aviation spirit, 33 tons of miscellaneous stores and 47 tons of ammunition, most of them for HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN).

As Parthian had developed engine problems she remained at Malta for repairs. (14)

31 Jul 1942
With her engine repairs completed HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. She had on board 45 passengers. This was her 3rd storage trip.

For the daily positions of HMS Parthian during this passage see the map below.
No position Is known for 9 August 1942.

(14)

10 Aug 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (15)

5 Sep 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was docked at Gibraltar. (16)

9 Sep 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) was undocked. (16)

22 Sep 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Lord Hotham and HMS Coltsfoot. (16)

23 Sep 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted attack exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Lookout.

26 Sep 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. Before proceeding she carried out practice attacks on HMS P 48.

This was her 4th storage trip. Parthian had on board:
4 tons of canteen stores
8 Mk VIII torpedoes
80 bags of mail
16400 gallons of diesel oil
2300 gallons of lubricating oil and
a Dachsund dog for the Princess Ali Khan

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

(17)

3 Oct 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Malta where the unloading of stores and mail started immediately. (17)

5 Oct 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Malta for Beirut. She had on board 16 passengers and
736 lbs of wardroom stores
100 hammocks and bedding
12 cases of flares
O, P and R-class submarine spare gear

This was her 5th storage trip.

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

(17)

13 Oct 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Beirut. A few hours before her arrival an air bottle exploded and killed a rating. (17)

25 Oct 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) conducted exercises off Beirut. (18)

26 Oct 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. This was her 6th storage trip.

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

(17)

2 Nov 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Malta where the unloading of the stores started immediately.

Parthian had on board
5 tons of dehydrated cabbage
5 18" torpedoes
80 bags of mail
3000 gallons of diesel fuel
6 passengers (17)

4 Nov 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the east and south-east coast of Sicily.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Parthian during this patrol see the map below.
The positions had to be taken from the patrol report as there is no log available, therefore not all days have positions.

(17)

12 Nov 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) is ordered to a new patrol area, near Marettimo Island to the west of Sicily. (17)

13 Nov 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel north of Marettimo Island. This was the Italian freighter Sivigliano (1270 GRT, built 1921) escorted by the torpedo boat Giuseppe Sirtori on a trip from Palermo to Bizerta. Three torpedo tracks were observed and avoided.

(All times are zone -1)
1614 hours - Sighted a large merchant ship escorted by a three funnelled torpedo-boat with an aircraft flying overhead bearing 074°, range 6 nautical miles. Started attack.

1637 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 4000 yards. One loud explosion was heard 3 m 16s after firing.

1643 hours - A counter attack by the torpedo-boat started.

1756 hour - The last depth charge was dropped by the torpedo boat. 23 Depth charges in all had been dropped. Some were quite close causing some minor damage.

[The patrol report does not mention an attack position and as there is no log available the position of the attack is not known to us for the moment]. (17)

16 Nov 1942 (position 38.03, 11.51)
HMS Parthian (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) fires four torpedoes against a large unescorted merchant vessel to the north-west of Marettimo Island in position 38°03'N, 11°51'E. No hits were obtained. This was the Italian auxiliary D 16 / Barletta (1975 GRT, built 1931) on a trip from Messina to Tunis. She reported to have been missed by two torpedoes and reacted by dropping five depth charges for intimidation purposes.

(All times are zone -1)
1045 hours - Sighted a large merchant vessel hull down bearing 005°, range 8000 yards. Altered course to attack.

1051 hours - Enemy now right ahead. Enemy course was 260°. She was a large single funnel armed merchant vessel, possibly an Armed Merchant Cruiser.

1118 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 4000 yards. One explosion was heard that might have been a torpedo hit. (17)

20 Nov 1942
HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. D. St. Clair-Ford, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

Parthian had returned from patrol with a whole lot of serious defects. By now it had become clear that the refit at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in the U.S.A. was not thoroughly carried out. (17)


Submarine HMS Traveller (N 48)


28 Nov 1942
HMS Traveller (Lt.Cdr. D. St.Clair-Ford, RN) sailed from Malta for her 5th war patrol. She was to pass through positions 35°16' N, 15°12' E and 39°34' N, 17°48' E to carry out a preliminary reconnaissance of Taranto for Special Operation Principal (projected attacks on Italian ports by Chariot human torpedoes).

Lt.Cdr. St.Clair-Ford had taken over from Lt. St.John as the latter had developed desentery.

Captain S.10's signal timed 0955A/8 December ordered her to withdraw at once and report by at 0100A/9 when clear of the Gulf of Taranto. She never answered and she is believed to have been mined.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1837
  2. ADM 173/16991
  3. ADM 173/16992
  4. ADM 173/16993
  5. ADM 173/16994
  6. ADM 173/16995
  7. ADM 173/16996
  8. ADM 173/16997
  9. ADM 173/17345
  10. ADM 173/17346
  11. ADM 173/17347
  12. ADM 173/17348
  13. ADM 173/17349
  14. ADM 173/17350
  15. ADM 173/17351
  16. ADM 173/17352
  17. ADM 199/1832
  18. ADM 173/17353

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


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