Mervyn Somerset Thomas DSO, RN

Born  30 Aug 1900
Died  21 Aug 1947(46)


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Ranks

1 May 1917 Mid.
15 Jan 1919 A/S.Lt.
15 Sep 1919 S.Lt.
15 Sep 1921 Lt.
15 Sep 1929 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1936 Cdr.
31 Dec 1941 Capt.

Decorations

10 Sep 1940 DSO

Warship Commands listed for Mervyn Somerset Thomas, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Grafton (H 89)Cdr.Destroyer19 Feb 193821 Jan 1940
HMS Dainty (H 53)Cdr.Destroyer6 Feb 194024 Feb 1941
HMS Auckland (L 61 / U 61)Cdr.Sloop25 May 194124 Jun 1941
HMS Faulknor (H 62)Capt.Destroyer28 Sep 194324 Feb 1944

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Grafton (H 89)


29 Oct 1939
HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) picks up 70 survivors from the British merchant Malabar that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-34 about 180 miles west of Lands End in position 49°57'N, 07°37'W.


Destroyer HMS Dainty (H 53)


11 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Dakar to fuel. (1)

14 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) departed Dakar to rendez-vous with HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) off the Cape Verde Islands and then to conduct an A/S sweep of Portugese Guinea (this is now Guinea-Bissau) before proceeding to Freetown.

HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) was to have departed Dakar with HMS Dainty but was unable to do so due to defects. After repairs she departed Dakar later this day to join the other two destroyers of Freetown the next day (the 15th). (1)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Freetown. Before entering harbour oiling at sea exercises were carried out with the RFA tanker Cherryleaf (5896 GRT, built 1917). (1)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises off Freetown.

On completion of these exercises HMS Dainty set course for Monrovia. HMS Diamond returned to Freetown, picked up an Officer and proceeded to Dakar with dispatch (at 25 knots). HMS Decoy and HMS Defender set course for Dakar at 15 knots. (1)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) arrived at Monrovia. She departed again later the same day for an A/S sweep of the area. (1)

23 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) returned to Freetown. (1)

24 Feb 1940
A fire broke out inside Freetown harbour on board the merchant vessel Bruyère (5335 GRT, built 1919). Her cargo was cotton. The fire was in no.1 hold. Fire parties from HMS Albatross (Cdr. W.G. Brittain, RN) and HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) went aboard. HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) went alongside to provide additional pumping capacity. The fire was under control after about five hours. (1)

28 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Freetown to make rendez-vous the next morning with HMS Cumberland (Capt W.H.G. Fallowfield, RN) and HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) and then escort them to Freetown. (1)

29 Feb 1940
HMS Cumberland (Capt W.H.G. Fallowfield, RN), HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Freetown. (1)

29 Feb 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) and the French submarines Le Glorieux (Lieutenant de vaisseau (Lt.) J.C.P. Champel) and Le Tonnant (Lieutenant de vaisseau (Lt.) A.A.C.H.P. Secondant de Montesquie) departed Freetown for A/S exercises to the north-west of Freetown on 1 March 1940.

On completion of the exercises the British destroyers were to return to Freetown while the French submarines were to proceed to Dakar. (1)

2 Mar 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) returned to Freetown after A/S exercises with French submarines. (1)

4 Mar 1940
HMS Cumberland (Capt. the Hon. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) departed Freetown to conduct exercises before proceeding on patrol. During these exercises they were escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). During the exercises Dainty obtained an A/S contact after which the cruisers immediately made off from the area and proceeding on patrol. Dainty's A/S contact turned out to be 'non-sub' and she then returned to harbour. (1)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Kelt (Skr. W.McK. Smith, RNR), while returning from the 'outer patrol' to Freetown, obtained an A/S contact. HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR), which was on the 'inner patrol' came to assist. Depth charge attacks were carried out by the trawlers. HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) was sailed from Freetown to assist. Aircraft were also ordered to proceed to the scene as was HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. R.C. Harry, RN) from the 'outer patrol'. (1)

14 Mar 1940
HMS Maidstone (A/Capt. E.H. Longsdon, RN) departed Freetown for the U.K. She was escorted by HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) G.B. Lewis, RN). Both ships were to refit in the U.K.

Near Freetown they were escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) until 2200/14 after which the destroyers returned to Freetown. (1)

15 Mar 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived back at Freetown after escort duty. (1)

17 Mar 1940
The British troopship (liner) Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914) departed Freetown for Cape Town. She was escorted out by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN).

Shortly after departed Aquitania grounded and was unable to get off. The destroyers then tried to tow her off but these also attempts also failed.

More ships then came to the assistance of Aquitania.

She was refloated in the afternoon of the next day after 1790 tons of fuel had been pumped out. (1)

18 Mar 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) returned to Freetown. (1)

19 Mar 1940
The British troopship (liner) Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914) again departed Freetown for Cape Town. She was escorted out by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) until 2200/19. (1)

20 Mar 1940
At 0600 hours HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) made rendez-vous with HMS Cumberland (Capt. the Hon. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) and then escorted them to Freetown where they arrived later the same day. (1)

25 Mar 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) departed Freetown for Dakar from where she was to conduct flying training operations. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). (1)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) and HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) arrived at Dakar. (1)

2 Apr 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) conducted flying exercises off Dakar. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). (2)

3 Apr 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) conducted flying exercises off Dakar. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN). (2)

4 Apr 1940
HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) departed Freetown for Alexandria via Gibraltar and Malta. She was escorted by HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) until the 6th when, west of Dakar, HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) took over. They remained with the ship until Gibraltar. Decoy then proceeded to Dakar while Defender returned to Freetown. (1)

6 Apr 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Dakar to take over the escort of HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) from HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). (1)

12 Apr 1940
HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (3)

19 Apr 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. (3)

21 Apr 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Malta from Gibraltar. At Malta they were both taken in hand for refit. (3)

6 Jun 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Malta for Marseilles. (3)

7 Jun 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Marseilles where they picked up a naval draft after which they immediately departed for Malta. (3)

8 Jun 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Malta. (3)

13 Jun 1940
HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) and HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) arrived at Alexandria with the survivors of HMS Calypso. (4)

29 Jun 1940 (position 35.16, 20.20)
On 29 June 1940 around 0615 hours the Italian submarine Uebi Scebeli was sunk in the central Mediterranean in position 35°16'N, 20°20'E by the British destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN). The Italian submarines Capitano Tarantini (offsite link) and Salpa were also hunted but escaped.

It is also possible that the submarine sunk might have been the Italian Argonauta.

30 Jun 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) returned to Alexandria from operations. She had on board survivors from three Italian submarines that had been sunk the last few days. (4)

20 Jul 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said where they arrived early the next day. (3)

31 Jul 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) delivered convoy AS 2 at Port Said. Both destroyers then proceeded to Alexandria where they arrived later the same day. (3)

11 Aug 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. She was escorted by HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN).

HMS Royal Sovereign was to proceed to South Africa for repairs and refit. (4)

12 Aug 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Port Said. They then passed the Suez Canal and departed for Aden later the same day. (5)

16 Aug 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Aden.

After fuelling the destroyers departed Aden for Suez later the same day. (6)

19 Aug 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Suez. They transited the Suez Canal and arrived at Port Said later the same day. They departed Port Said for Alexandria even later this day. (3)

20 Aug 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (3)

15 Sep 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. They were to proceed to the Red Sea. (3)

16 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Port Said. They transited the Suez Canal and arrived at Suez later the same day. (3)

17 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Suez for Aden. (3)

19 Sep 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Aden. (3)

22 Sep 1940
Convoy AP 2, coming from the U.K. via the Cape, passed Aden for it's last leg through the Red Sea to Suez.

The convoy was made up of two merchant vessels; Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938) and Sydney Star (British, 12696 GRT, built 1936). They were joined by a third merchant vessel of Aden; Armadale (British, 5066 GRT, built 1929).

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN).

HMS Kingston parted company with the convoy on the 24th. She arrived at Port Sudan later this day.

The convoy arrived at Suez on the 25th.

26 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
After passing the Suez Canal northwards, HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), departed Port Said for Alexandria. She was escorting a local convoy. (7)

27 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (7)

3 Oct 1940
Shortly after midnight the battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN), HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Alexandria to exert a threat upon enemy Libyan convoys and cover Crete. Also some exercises were to be carried out. (7)

6 Oct 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN), HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Defender (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) returned to Alexandria. (7)

29 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (3)

30 Dec 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said. She sailed again later this day for Alexandria (possibly on escort duty). (8)

31 Dec 1940
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) arrived at Alexandria from Port Said.

HMS Dainty sailed again later the same day escorting the river gunboats HMS Aphis (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.O. Campbell, DSC, RN) and HMS Ladybird (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, RN) from Alexandria to Sollum. (8)

1 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) captured the Italian schooners Tiberio (231 GRT) and Maria Giovanni (255 GRT) near Bardia and took them to Sollum. (9)

25 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Protector (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN) departed Alexandria for Suda Bay. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN). (9)

27 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Protector (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) arrived at Suda Bay from Alexandria. (9)

28 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Suda Bay for a patrol in the Kaso Strait. (9)

29 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) returned to Suda Bay after a patrol in the Kaso Strait. (9)

31 Jan 1941
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Suda Bay for escort duties with convoy AN 14.

HMS Dainty was later ordered to go to the aid of the damaged tanker Desmoulea (British, 8120 GRT, built 1939) hat had been damaged in attack by an Italian motor torpedo boat north of Crete in position 35°20'N, 25°34'E. (9)

1 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) towed the damaged tanker Desmoulea (British, 8120 GRT, built 1939) into Suda Bay.

Dainty then departed Suda Bay again later the same day to join the escort of convoy AN 14 as originally planned. (9)

2 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) arrived at Piraeus. (3)

3 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy ASF 14.

This convoy departed Piraeus, Greece on 3 February 1941 for Alexnadria where it arrived on 5 February 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ethiopia (British, 5574 GRT, built 1922), Lanarkshire (British, 9816 GRT, built 1940), Port Halifax (British, 5820 GRT, built 1937) and Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921).

Escort was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN).

On the 4th the convoy was joined by the RFA tanker Brambleleaf (5917 GRT, built 1917).

The convoy and it’s escort arrived at Alexandria on 5 February 1941. (9)

14 Feb 1941
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) departed Alexandria to escort the transport Cingalese Prince (British, 8474 GRT, built 1929), which had departed Haifa on the 13th, to Tobruk. (9)

15 Feb 1941
The transport Cingalese Prince (British, 8474 GRT, built 1929) arrived at Tobruk. It's escort, the destroyer HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) then proceeded to Alexandria where she arrived later the same day. (9)

23 Feb 1941
HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN) are ordered to leave Tobruk to go to the assistance of the damaged monitor HMS Terror (Cdr. H.J. Haynes, DSC, RN).

HMS Dainty was delayed by defects and did not sail until 0530/24. HMS Hasty did sail but failed to make contact with the damaged monitor which sank at 0415/24, even before HMS Dainty was able to sail from Tobruk.

The destroyers then returned to Tobruk. (9)


Sloop HMS Auckland (L 61 / U 61)


24 Jun 1941
Loss of Auckland. Mr Francesco Mattesini has kindly provided us with a detailed account of the circumstances of Auckland's sinking, based on research of original archival documents as follows:

Sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) sailed from Alexandria with the Australian sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr J.H. Walker, RAN) escorting the oiler Pass of Balmaha, heading Tobruk with 750 ts of avgas.
At 1736 hrs of 24 June, when about 20 nautical miles east of Tobruk, the convoy was attacked by several single level bombers (Italian S.79s of the 5th Air Fleet) and later, and more heavily, by 2 formations of Italo-German planes: the first consisted of 2 Ju-88 of III/LG.1 and 24 Ju-87 of II/St.G.2, led by the well-known Major Walter Ennecerus; the second group was mixed with 8 Ju.87 of I/St.G.1 and 5 Italian Ju-87 of the 239th Dive-bombing Sqn (Capt. Guseppe Cenni).
The first wave of German planes, diving from the sun, concentrated on Auckland, mistaken for a light cruiser, while the Italian planes attacked the oiler.
Auckland sustained an immediate hit on the stern, lost steering and kept way for a while at 10 kn, until 3 more bombs from the planes of II/St.G.2 hit her, causing her to go dead in the water with a 30? list. Completely wrecked and badly on fire, Auckland capsized and sank after an explosion.

Pass of Balmaha was damaged by near-misses but reached Tobruk escorted by newly arrived DD Waterhen, while Parramatta rescued Auckland's 162 survivors while still under attack and reached Marsa Matruh.


Destroyer HMS Faulknor (H 62)


7 Oct 1943
The British light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, RN) and HMS Sirius (Capt. P.B.W. Brooking, DSO, RN) and the British destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN), north of Astipalea (Stampalia) in the Dodecanese, attacked a German convoy consisting of the auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2111 (667 tons, former Italian Tramaglio), cargo Olympus (5216 GRT) and 5 MFPs. All were sunk.
On the return leg of the mission, the British were repeatedly attacked by German planes while transiting Karpathos Strait (Scarpanto).

Sources

  1. ADM 199/380
  2. ADM 53/112432
  3. ADM 199/2552
  4. ADM 199/386
  5. ADM 53/113148
  6. ADM 199/383
  7. ADM 199/387
  8. ADM 187/11
  9. ADM 199/414

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


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