Arthur Wellesley Clarke DSO, RN

Born  16 Apr 1898Bramshott, Hampshire, England, U.K.
Died  3 Jan 1985(86)Southsea, Hampshire, England, U.K.


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Ranks

2 Aug 1914 Mid.
15 Nov 1916 A/S.Lt.
15 May 1917 S.Lt.
15 Oct 1918 Lt.
15 Oct 1926 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1932 Cdr.
30 Jun 1939 Capt.

Retired: 10 Jul 1948


Decorations

16 Mar 1943 DSO
1 Jan 1947 CBE

Warship Commands listed for Arthur Wellesley Clarke, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Sheffield (24)Capt.Light cruiser2 Aug 194119 Apr 1942
HMS Sheffield (24)Capt.Light cruiser6 Jul 194212 Feb 1943

Career information

Entered RN as a cadet at age of 12 years 9 months at Osborne Naval College and later at Dartmouth. WW1 service. 1930 - 1933 seconded to RN New Zealand Navy as navigating officer on light cruiser, HMNZS Diomede.

Final command as Capt of aircraft carrier, HMS Ocean. Retired 1947. Was also Asst. Naval Attache, Washington, USA. Died at Southsea 3 January 1985(or 1983)

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (24)


6 Aug 1941
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) is undocked. (1)

12 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted D/G trials in the Firth of Forth on completion of which she departed for Scapa Flow where she arrived later the same day. (1)

15 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (1)

19 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (1)

21 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted D/G trials at Scapa Flow. (1)

22 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During the night of 22/23 August 1941, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (1)

27 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted D/G trials at Scapa Flow followed by exercises at Scapa Flow. (1)

4 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from convoy escort duty. (2)

8 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted HA gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

10 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (2)

11 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow. (2)

17 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. Rear-Admiral Burrough then left the ship. (2)

20 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the destroyer HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) both departed Gibraltar to join convoy WS 11X coming from the U.K.

[For more info on this convoy and the subsequent momevents see the events ' Convoy WS 11X, Troop convoy from Liverpool / Clyde to Gibraltar ' for 17 September 1941 and ' Operation Halberd Supply convoy to Malta ' for 25 September 1941.] (3)

13 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (4)

24 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises off Scapa Flow. (4)

30 Oct 1941

Minelaying operation SN 83A.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 0920A/30, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN), HMS Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN), fast minelayer HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN) departed departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 83A. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Brighton (Cdr. (Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN) and HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN). Later they were joined by the destroyer HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN) which had sailed from Scapa Flow.

Around 0900A/31, the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) joined coming from Scapa Flow.

The minefield made up of 1118 mines, was laid in the early afternoon of 31 October, along a line joining positions, 62°33'3"N, 09°04'0"W and 62°45'0"N, 09°59'0"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Menestheus 410 mines, HMS Port Quebec 550 mines and HMS Welshman 158 mines.

Around 1500A/31, HMS Sheffield parted company to return to Scapa Flow arriving around 0830A/1.

HMS Menestheus, HMS Port Quebec and HMS Brighton arrived at Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) around 2200A/1.

HMS Onslow, HMS Offa and HMS Oribi had been detached earlier and had arrived at Scapa Flow around 1800A/1. (5)

13 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Hvalfjord for the Iceland - Faeroer patrol. (6)

20 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed her patrol area after having been relieved by HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN). (6)

21 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol. (6)

25 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord. (6)

27 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from Scapa Flow. She had been delayed by heavy weather. (7)

27 Nov 1941

Convoy PQ 5.

This convoy departed Hvalfjord for Archangelsk on 27 November 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Chulmleigh (British, 5445 GRT, built 1938), Empire Stevenson (British, 6209 GRT, built 1941), Komiles (Russian, 3962 GRT, built 1932), Petrovski (Russian, 3771 GRT, built 1921), St. Clears (British, 4312 GRT, built 1936) and Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Hvalfjord the convoy was escorted by the minesweepers HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. D. Lampen, RN), HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. J.B.G. Temple, DSC, RN) and HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. J.R.A. Seymour, RN).

The light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Seidisfjord to provide close cover for the convoy.

On 5 December 1941, the minesweepers HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, RN) and HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN) departed Murmansk to joined the convoy which the did around 0600Z/27. HMS Sheffield, HMS Hebe and HMS Hazard then parted company to proceed to Murmansk where they arrived on the 8th. HMS Sheffield had parted company with the minesweepers around 2200Z/27 and arrived ahead of them in the Kola Inlet.

The convoy, now escorted by HMS Bramble, HMS Seagull and HMS Sharpshooter arrived at Archangelsk on 13 December.

30 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Seidisfjord to provide cover for convoy PQ 5.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy PQ 5 ' for 27 November 1941.] (6)

8 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived in the Kola Inlet after convoy cover duty. (8)

16 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed the Kola Inlet for Scapa Flow. (8)

20 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Kola Inlet. (8)

30 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow, during which she also served as target for aircraft of HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN). (8)

31 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (8)

12 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises at Scapa Flow. (9)

27 Jan 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) departed Hvalfjord to relieve HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, RN) on patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap. (10)

2 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) departed the patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap for Hvalfjord after having been relieved by HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, RN). (11)

3 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol. (12)

7 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) departed Hvalfjord to patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap. She was also to provide cover for minelaying operation SN 5B. (13)

8 Feb 1942

Minelaying operation SN 5B.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

On 8 February 1942, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Menestheus (Capt.(Retd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN) and HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN) departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 5B. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN), HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) and HMS St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN).

Late in the morning of the 9th, they were joined by the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN).

Minelaying took place in the afternoon of the 9th.

A total of 442 mines were laid along two lines;
A) From position 61°45'0"N, 06°41'7"W in a direction of 216° for 6 cables, thence 231° for 11 cables and 204° for 12 cables.
B) From position 61°42'6"N, 06°45'3"W in a direction of 236° for 9 cables, thence 233° for 22 cables, 223° for 17 cables and finally 235° for 6 cables.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Agamemnon 228 mines and HMS Menestheus 214 mines.

The ships from the 1st Minelaying Squadron returned to Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) on the 10th.

HMS Sheffield resumed her patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap. (14)

11 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol and operations. (12)

18 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Javelin (Cdr. G.E. Fardell, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (12)

19 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) departed Scapa Flow to patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap. Shortly after departed it was thought that an enemy submarine was sighted and even later some depth charges were dropped. No enemy submarine was in the area though. The escort destroyers HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), HMS Grove (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) and HMS Aldenham (Lt. J.M. Palmer, RN) were sent from Scapa Flow to conduct an A/S sweep in the area but they found nothing and they returned to Scapa Flow early the following day. (13)

26 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from patrol. (13)

2 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) departed Hvalfjord to patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap. (15)

3 Mar 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) is ordered to leave patrol, top off with fuel at Seidisfjord and then join the distant cover force for convoys PQ 12 and QP 8.

[For more info on these convoys see the event ' Convoys PQ 12 and QP 8 ' for 1 March 1942. (15)

4 Mar 1942
At 1523A/4, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord to top off with fuel. This was completed at 1820Z/4 and she then immediately departed to make rendezvous with the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet's Force.

At 2220A/4, HMS Sheffield hit a mine in position 65°49'N, 12°28'W sustaining severe damage.

At 2340A/4, She was joined by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) and HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN).

5 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1115A/5, the damaged light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and her escorting destroyers, HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) and HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), arrived at Seidisfjord. HMS Eskimo was left out to conduct an A/S patrol off the entance to the fjord. For the next few days one of the destroyers kept patrolling one at a time off the entrance of the fjord until they were relieved by A/S trawlers. (15)

12 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter CB, CVO, DSO, RN, struck his flag at Seidisfjord in the damaged light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and hoisted it in the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstong, DSC and Bar, RN).

HMS Onslow then departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow together with the destroyer HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN). (16)

26 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having completed temporary repairs, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN), conducted trials off Seidisfjord. (17)

27 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1100Z/27, the damaged light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN). (18)

29 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1200A/29, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Seidisfjord. (15)

1 Apr 1942
Around 1230A/1, the damaged light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Tyne where she arrived around 1700A/2. She had been escorted by the destroyer HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN) which then returned to Scapa Flow arriving there around 0630A/3.

HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) was to have joined HMS Marne but she was given other duties at the last moment. (19)

8 Apr 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) is docked at the Palmers Dockyard at Hebburn-on-Tyne and taken in hand for damage repairs and refit. (20)

10 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) is docked at the Palmers Shipyard for an inclination test. (21)

11 Jul 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) is undocked and then proceeded to North Shields. (21)

19 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted D/G trials off North Shields. (21)

20 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) proceeded from North Shields to Rosyth. (21)

22 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) entered the Rosyth Dockyard. (21)

24 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow where she arrived later the same day. (21)

28 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted D/F trials at Scapa Flow. (21)

29 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted compass swing trials and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (21)

31 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (21)

3 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (22)

4 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN, With Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN, on board), HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) and AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. HMS Sheffield and HMS Scylla remained out through the night for night exercises returning only back to Scapa Flow the following morning. (23)

7 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for gunnery exercises. These were however cancelled and the ship returned to Scapa Flow where she conducted A/S exercises with the submarine HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN) following which HMS Sheffield also carried out torpedo firing exercises during which HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) acted as target. (22)

8 Aug 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (22)

11 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises at Scapa Flow. (22)

13 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for a few days of exercises. She returned to Scapa Flow on the 15th. (22)

21 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) departed Scapa Flow for exercises. At sea they joined the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) hich had already been at sea since the 20th. The three cruisers then conducted exercises during the day and then returned to Scapa Flow. (24)

24 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (22)

27 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises at and later off Scapa Flow. (22)

4 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Vice-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN, struck his flag on board HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN). (11)

5 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, hoisted his flag in HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN). (11)

6 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (25)

7 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) joined HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), which was already out since the previous day, for exercises. (26)

8 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) all conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (27)

12 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (28)

20 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (27)

21 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow. (27)

22 Oct 1942

Convoys KMS 1, KMF 1 for the landings at Algiers and Oran during Operation Torch.

Convoy KMS 1.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 23 October 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Alcinous (Dutch, 6189 GRT, built 1925), Alphard (British, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Ardeola (British, 2609 GRT, built 1912), Benalbanach (British, 7153 GRT, built 1940), Charles H. Cramp (American, 6220 GRT, built 1920), Chattanooga City (American, 5687 GRT, built 1921), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Clan MacTaggart (British, 7622 GRT, built 1920), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Edward Ruthledge (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Mordred (British, 7024 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Glenfinlas (British, 7479 GRT, built 1917), Havildar (British, 5401 GRT, built 1940), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), Jean Jadot (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), Lalande (British, 7453 GRT, built 1920), Lochmonar (British, 9412 GRT, built 1924), Lycaon (British, 7350 GRT, built 1913), Macharda (British, 7998 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Mark Twain (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Maron (British, 6487 GRT, built 1930), Mary Slessor (British, 5027 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Rider (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volga (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wanderer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Pacific Exporter (British, 6734 GRT, built 1928), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Salacia (British, 5495 GRT, built 1937), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), St. Essylt (British, 5634 GRT, built 1941), Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942), Tadorna (British, 1947 GRT, built 1928), Theseus (British, 6527 GRT, built 1908), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1942), Urlana (British, 6852 GRT, built 1941), Walt Whitman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William M. Floyd (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William M. Wirt (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Zebulon B. Vance (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

Also part of the convoy were the landing ships Derwentdale (8390 GRT, built 1941), Dewdale (8265 GRT, built 1941) and Ennerdale (8280 GRT, built 1941).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN), AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN), destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), sloops HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), corvettes HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR), HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RD, RNR), HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. L.A. Sayers, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR), HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Acute (Lt.Cdr. D. Lampen, DSO, RN), HMS Alarm (T/Lt.Cdr. R. Patterson, SANF(V)), HMS Albacore (Lt.Cdr. J.D.L. Williams, RN) and HMS Cadmus (Lt.Cdr. J.B.G. Temple, DSC, RN).

Around 1000A/4, the convoy was split up into two sections KMS A1 and KMS O1. KMS A1 was destined for Algiers and KMS O1 was destined for Oran. KMS O1 then proceeded to the westwards so as to pass the Straits of Gibraltar later.

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Convoy KMS A 1.

Convoy KMS A 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 2345A/5; it was made up of the transports; City of Worcester, Glenfinlas, Jean Jadot, Lalande, Lochmonar, Macharda, Manchester Port, Maron, Ocean Rider, Ocean Viceroy, Ocean Volga, Ocean Wanderer, Sobo, Stanhill, Tiba and Urlana.

The landing ships Dewdale and Ennerdale were also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Stork, corvettes HMS Convolvulus, HMS Marigold, HMS Pentstemon, HMS Samphire [this corvette might have already parted company though, see below] and the minesweepers HMS Acute, HMS Alarm, HMS Albacore and HMS Cadmus.

Around 0700A/5, the corvette HMS Samphire arrived at Gibraltar with defects from convoy KMS A1.

Around 0800A/5, the minesweepers HMS Algerine (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Cooke, RN), HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RNR) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

Around 1830A/5, the M/S trawlers HMS Cava (T/Lt. R.L. Petty-Major, RNVR), HMS Juliet (Lt. L.B. Moffatt, RNR), HMS Othello (T/Lt. S.C. Dickinson, RNVR), HMS Stroma (Skr. J.S. Harper, RNR), HMS Hoy (T/Lt. G.H. McNair, MBE, RNVR), HMS Inchcolm (Skr. A.C. Whitcombe, RNR), HMS Mull (Lt. J. Plomer, RCNVR), HMS Rysa (T/Lt. J.H. Cooper, RNVR) and the motor launches ML 238, ML 273, ML 283, ML 295, ML 307, ML 336, ML 338, ML 444 departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

Around 2230A/5, the monitor HMS Roberts (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN), escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN), HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN), HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) and the corvette HMS Samphire (with her repairs completed) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

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Convoy KMS O 1.

Convoy KMS O 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 1630A/6; it was made up of the transports; Alcinous, Alphard, Benalbanach, Charles H. Cramp, Chattanooga City, Clan Mactaggart, Delinlian, Edward Rutledge, Empire Confidence, Empire Mordred, Havildar, Lycaon, Mark Twain, Mary Slessor, Pacific Exporter, Recorder, Salacia, St. Essylt, Thesues, Walt Whitman, William Floyd, William Wirt and Zebulon B. Vance.

The landing ship Derwentdale was also part of this convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the AA ship HMS Alynbank, sloop HMS Deptford, corvettes HMS Gardenia, HMS Rhododendron, HMS Vetch and HMS Violet.

Around 1500A/6, the minesweepers HMS Brixham (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR), HMS Bude (Lt. F.A.J. Andrew, RN), HMS Clacton (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) L.S. Shaw, RNR) and HMS Felixstowe (T/Lt. C.G. Powney, RNVR) departed Gibraltar to join the convoy KMS O1.

After dark on the 6th, the M/S trawlers HMS Coriolanus (T/Lt. N. Hunt, RNVR), HMS Eday (T/Lt. W.Y. Surtees, RNR), HMS Inchmarnock (T/Lt. C.G.V. Corneby, RNR), HMS Kerrera (Skr. R.W. Slater, RNR) and the motor launches ML 280, ML 458, ML 463, ML 469, ML 471, ML 480, ML 483 and HDML 1127, HDML 1128 and HDML 1139 departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS O1.

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Operation Crupper.

Two ships from Convoy KMS 1, the Ardeola and Tadorna formed part of Convoy KMS 1A after the convoy had split up. They were to proceed to Malta unescorted. The Admiralty had decided to make use of the expected confusion of the landings in North Africa to run two 'small' merchant ships with important cargo to Malta. These ships were considered expendable. They parted company with convoy KMS 1A on 8 November. They did not reach Malta however. When off Cape Bon on 9 November, they were taken under fire by Vichy French coastal batteries, despite the darkness, and then captured by motor torpedo boats. They were brought into Bizerta where their cargo was unloaded. The ships were later taken over by the Italians.

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Convoy KMF 1.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 26 October 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Cathay (British, 15225 GRT, built 1925), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Ettrick (British, 11279 GRT, built 1938), Exceller (American, 6597 GRT, built 1941), Leinster (British, 4302 GRT, built 1937) Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Nieuw Zeeland (British, 11069 GRT, built 1928), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Sobieski (British, 11030 GRT, built 1939), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937), Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929), Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

The headquarters ships HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN), HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR), the landing ships HMS Glengyle (Capt.(Retd.) D.S. McGrath, RN), HMS Karanja (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) D.S. Hore-Lacy, RN), HMS Keren (A/Cdr. S.E. Crewe-Read, RN), HMS Princess Beatrix (Cdr.(Retd.) T.B. Brunton, DSC, RN), HMS Queen Emma (Capt.(Retd.) G.L.D. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Armstrong, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Royal Ulsterman (A/Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR) and HMS Ulster Monarch (Lt.Cdr. N.A.F. Kingscote, RNR) and the attack transports USS Almaack (T/Capt. C.L. Nichols, USN), USS Leedstown (Cdr. D. Cook, USNR), USS Samuel Chase (Capt. R.C. Heimer, USCG) and USS Thomas Stone (Capt. O.R. Bennehoff, USN) were also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay on the 27th the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), escort carrier HMS Biter (Capt. E.M.C. Abel Smith, RN), destroyer HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN), sloops HMS Aberdeen (Lt.Cdr. H. Day, RN), HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN), HMS Ibis (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN), cutters HMS Hartland (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Billot, RNR), HMS Walney (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Meyrick, RN), frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Swale (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR) and HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR).

Around 1120A/2, the destroyers HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) joined coming from the Azores.

Around 0200A/3, the AA ships HMS Palomares (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN), HMS Pozarica (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Lord Teynham, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) departed Gibraltar to join the convoy. At 1045A/3, the destroyer HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN) also departed to join the convoy. She had been unable to depart earlier due to defects.

Around 0800A/3, the destroyer HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN) joined the convoy coming from the Azores.

Around 1300A/3, the light cruiser HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) also departed Gibraltar to join the convoy.

Around 1830Z/3, HMS Sheffield parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar where she arrived at 0815A/3, she was to fuel and then join ' Force O '.

Around noon on 4 November 1942, the convoy was split up into two sections KMF A1 and KMF O1. KMF A1 was destined for Algiers and KMF O1 was destined for Oran. KMF O1 then proceeded to the westwards so as to pass the Straits of Gibraltar later.

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Convoy KMF A 1.

Convoy KMF A 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 0100A/6; it was made up of the (troop) transports; Almaack, Awatea, Cathay, Dempo, Ettrick, Exceller, Leedstown, Marnix van St. Aldegonde, Otranto, Sobieski, Strathnaver, Viceroy of India and Winchester Castle.

The headquarters ship HMS Bulolo and the landing ships HMS Karanja, HMS Keren, HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch and the attack transports USS Samuel Chase and USS Thomas Stone were also part of the convoy.

[exactly which ships of the escort went on with this part of the convoy will have to be researched further.]

In the morning of 5 November, HrMs Isaac Sweers parted company with the convoy to join ' Force H '. HMS Escapade and HMS Marne were apparently detached to Gibraltar on the convoy passing the Strait of Gibraltar.

Also on 5 November, the corvettes HMS Spiraea (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR) and HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF A1.

Around 0200A/6, the destroyers HMS Broke (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF A1 and relieve HMS Achates, HMS Antelope, HMS Amazon and HMS Wivern. After having been relieved these destroyers arrived at Gibraltar around 0545A/6. Also arriving at Gibraltar were the Leinster, HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch.

Around 1000A/6, HMS Broke, HMS Malcolm, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wrestler joined ' Force O ' while the screen on ' Force O ' joined the convoy, the destroyers / escort destroyers involved were ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN). The AA ship HMS Tynwald (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN) also joined the convoy from ' Force O ' at the same time.

Around 0535A/7, in position 37°34'N, 00°01'W, the attack transport USS Thomas Stone was torpedoed and damaged by an enemy aircraft. HMS Spey remained with the damaged ship. At 2040A/7, the destroyers HMS Wishart and HMS Velox joined and the ship was taken in tow by HMS Wishart. HMS Spey by that time had departed with the ships 24 landing craft in which the ships troops had embarked. She was to escort them to Algiers but all had to be scuttled and the troops were taken on board HMS Spey. At 0535A/8 the tug St. Day joined which also passed a tow. The damaged ship anchored off Algiers around 1030A/11 being towed there by HMS Wishart and HMS St. Day.

Around 0725Z/7, HMS Clare parted company to join ' Force O ' which she did around 0913Z/7.

Around 1815A/7, the section destined for ' C Sector ' (Charlie Sector) parted company with the convoy. It was made up of the USS Almaack, USS Leedstown, USS Samuel Chase, Exceller and Dempo. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Tynwald, escort destroyers HMS Cowdray, HMS Zetland, sloop HMS Enchantress, minesweepers HMS Algerine, HMS Hussar, HMS Speedwell, corvettes HMS Pentstemon, HMS Samphire, MS trawlers HMS Cava, HMS Othello and the motor launches HMS ML 273 and HMS ML 295. At 2135A/7, the beacon submarine HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) made contact with the force and the ships were guided to their positions for the landings. From convoy KMS A1 the transports Macharda and Maron were destined for Charlie sector. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Stork and the corvettes HMS Pentstemon and HMS Samphire.

Around 1900A/7, The remainder of convoy KMF A1 split into two sections, one for ' A Sector ' (Apple Sector) and one for ' B Sector ' (Beer Sector).

The force for ' A Sector ' was made up of HMS Karanja and the Marnix van St. Aldegonde and Viceroy of India. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Pozarica, escort destroyers HMS Bicester, HMS Bramham, frigate HMS Rother, minesweeper HMS Cadmus, MS trawlers HMS Juliet, HMS Rysa, HMS Stroma and the motor launches HMS ML 283, HMS ML 336 and HMS ML 338. At 2214A/7, the made contact with their beacon submarine HMS P 221 (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN). A few minutes later they stopped and the landings commenced. From convoy KMS A1 the following ships were assigned to ' A Sector '; Dewdale, Lalande, Manchester Port, Ocean Viceroy and Ocean Wanderer. They were escorted by the corvettes HMS Convolvulus and HMS Marigold.

The force for ' B Sector ' was made up of HMS Bulolo, HMS Keren and the Awatea, Cathay, Otranto, Sobieski, Strathnaver and Winchester Castle. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Palomeres, destroyer ORP Blyskawica, escort destroyers HMS Lamerton, HMS Wheatland, HMS Wilton, minesweepers HMS Acute, HMS Alarm, HMS Albacore, MS trawlers HMS Hoy, HMS Incholm, HMS Mull and the motor launches HMS ML 238, HMS ML 307 and HMS ML 444. They made contact with their beacon submarine HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) around 2220A/7 hours and landing operation commenced shortly afterwards. From convoy KMS A1 the following ships were assigned to ' A Sector '; City of Worcester, Ennerdale, Glenfinlas, Jean Jadot, Lochmonar, Ocean Rider, Ocean Volga, Sobo, Stanhill, Tiba and Urlana. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Stork and the corvettes HMS Pentstemon and HMS Samphire which then went on with the ships for the ' Charlie sector '.

On 9 November the ships involved in the landings anchored in Algiers Bay.

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Convoy KMF O 1.

Convoy KMF O 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 2230A/6; it was made up of the (troop) transports; Batory, Duchess of Bedford, Durban Castle, Letitia, Llangibby Castle, Monarch of Bermuda, Mooltan, Nieuw Zeeland, Orbita, Reina del Pacifico, Tegelberg and Warwick Castle.

The headquarters ship HMS Largs and the landing ships HMS Glengyle, HMS Princess Beatrix and HMS Queen Emma were also part of the convoy.

Around 1950A/4, the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF O1.

For the landings at Oran three main beaches were selected. ' X ', ' Y ' and ' Z ' beach. There was also one subsidiary beach, ' R '.

The fast convoy, KMF O1, would, after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar make rendezvous with the slow convoy, KMS O1 in position 36°26'N, 01°15'W.

The convoys would then be diverted into nine groups, these were;
For ' X ' beach
Group I, 1st Division; Batory, HMS Princess Beatrix, Queen Emma, 2nd Division; Benalbenach, Mark Twain, Mary Slessor and Walt Whitman. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora, destroyer HMS Wivern, corvettes HMS Gardenia, HMS Vetch and the motor launch HMS HDML 1139.
Group VIII, LST HMS Bachaquero (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. McMullan, RNR) escorted by the M/S trawler HMS Horatio (T/Lt. C.A. Lemkey, RNR).

For ' Y ' beach
Group II; HMS Glengyle, Monarch of Bermuda, Llangibby Castle, Clan Mactaggart and Salacia. They were escorted by the destroyers Brilliant, HMS Verity, M/S trawlers HMS Coriolanus, HMS Eday, HMS Inchmarnock, HMS Kerrera and the motor launches HMS ML 458, HMS ML 463, HMS ML 469, HMS ML 471 and HMS HDML 1128.

For ' Z ' beach
Group III, 1st Division; Duchess of Bedford, Durban Castle, Ettrick, Warwick Castle. 2nd Division; Derwentdale, Reina del Pacifico and Tegelberg. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Jamaica, escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), minesweepers HMS Brixham, HMS Bude, HMS Clacton, HMS Felixtowe, HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR), HMS Rothesay (Cdr. A.A. Martin, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Rhyl (Cdr. L.J.S. Ede, DSO, RN), HMS Stornoway (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Fraser, RNR) and the motor launches HMS ML 280, HMS HDML 1127.

Group V; Alcinous, Alphard, Charles H. Cramp, Chatanooga City, Delilian, Recorder and Zebulon B. Vance. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Deptford, cutters HMS Hartland, HMS Walney, corvettes HMS Rhododendron, HMS Violet and the motor launches HMS ML 480 and HMS ML 483.

Group VI, 1st division; Derbyshire, Letitia, Mooltan and Nieuw Zeeland. 2nd division, Empire Confidence, Lycaon and Theseus.

Group VII, 1st division, Empire Mordred, Havildar, Pacific Exporter and St. Essylt. 2nd division; Edward Rutledge, William Floyd and William Wirt. Groups VI and VII were escorted by the light (AA) cruiser HMS Delhi (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN), destroyer HMS Vansittart, sloop HMS Aberdeen and the frigates HMS Exe and HMS Swale.

Group IX; LST's HMS Misoa (T/Lt. K.G. Graham, RNR) and HMS Tasajera (Lt.Cdr. W.E. Gelling, DSC, RD, RNR). They were escorted by the M/S trawlers HMS Fluellen (T/Lt. B.J. Hampson, RNR), HMS Ronaldsay (T/Lt. A. Stirling, RNR) and HMS Shiant (T/Lt. A.C. Elton, RNR).

For ' R ' beach
Group IV; HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and HMS Ulster Monarch. They had the same escort as Group III.

Two submarines were stationed off the beaches as beacons, these were HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) and HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN).

24 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN) and HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. On completion of the exercises HMS Sheffield proceeded to Belfast. (29)

25 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) departed the Clyde for escort duty with convoy KMF 1.

[See the event ' Convoys KMS 1, KMF 1 for the landings at Algiers and Oran during Operation Torch ' for 22 October 1942 for more info.] (25)

10 Nov 1942

Operation Perpetual.

Landings at Bougie at dawn on 11 November.

At 1830A/10, the landing ship HMS Karanja (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) D.S. Hore-Lacy, RN) and the troopships Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936), Cathay (British, 15225 GRT, built 1925) and Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930) departed Algiers Bay for Bougie. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Tynwald (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN), escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN), frigates HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RNR). The troops were to be landed on 'Duff White' beach east of Cape Aokas, outside the range of shore batteries.

Around 0345A/11, the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) took station to seaward of the convoy and by 0430A/11, the convoy was approaching the release position 4 miles off 'Duff White' beach. HMS Sheffield closed right in under Cape Buac where the fort's guns could not depress and the monitor HMS Roberts (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN) escorted by the corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR), which had parted company with the slow convoy (see below), took up a good position to carry out a bombardment, if required. HMS Tynwald joined them.

By 0446A/11, HMS Karanja was off Cape Aokas and started lowering her landing craft which proceeded to collect troops from the Cathay. As it had been decided to land all troops on 'Duff White' beach, the landing force from the Marnix van St. Aldegonde set off for that beach at 0500A/11. However it was thought that opposition would be encountered on that beach the flotilla of landing craft made for a beach further east. They were however, diverted by one of the escorts back to 'Duff White' beach where the troops were landed despite the heavy surf. The arrival of the Allied Force had not escaped the notice of the Vichy-French, for at 0522A/11 a searchlight at Bougie signalled 'what ship' but this signal was ignored.

Meanwhile the Awatea, carrying RAF petrol and stores had proceeded to Djidjelli to land troops with orders to capture the airfield. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Bicester and HMS Wilton. Heavy swell however made landing impracticalble and the Awatea steered for 'Duff White' beach where the sea was almost flat, thought the swell was breaking in heavy surf on the beach. By this time the troops landed earlier, treating all French as hostile, were marching on the town of Bougie. The flotilla of landing craft from the Marnix van St. Aldegonde proceeded inshore and at 0533A/11 landed too far east and shortly before 0600A/11, Karanja's landing craft also set out for 'Duff White' beach.

Earlier at 1430A/10, a slower convoy, made up of the landing ship Dewdale and the transports Glenfinlas (British, 7479 GRT, built 1917), Ocean Volga (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942) and Urlana (British, 6852 GRT, built 1941) had departed Algiers Bay so as to arrive with supplies after the initial landings had been made. On departure the were escorted by the monitor HMS Roberts, escort destroyers HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN), HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN), corvettes HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Samphire and the M/S trawlers HMS Hoy (T/Lt. G.H. McNair, MBE, RNVR), HMS Inchcolm (Skr. A.C. Whitcombe, RNR), HMS Mull (Lt. J. Plomer, RCNVR) and HMS Rysa (T/Lt. J.H. Cooper, RNVR). The slow convoy was sighted by the other ships and around 0609A/11 they were in company.

When the first wave of landing craft returned from 'Duff White' beach they reported a strong undertow and that four landing craft had stranded. They were ordered not to return to the beach and at 0702A/11, HMS Bramham and HMS Wilton were instructed to ascertain the intentions of the French and reported that the Garrison Commander had agreed to permit the ships to enter the Bay. By this time all landing craft had been hoisted and the ships had closed the harbour. At 1000A/10, HMS Karanja and the Awatea, Cathay and Marnix van St. Aldegonde anchored off the port followed shortly afterwards by the ships of the 'slow convoy'. The 36th Infantry Brigade then landed unopposed at Bougie, and although the idea of assauling Djidjelli airfield from the sea had to be abandoned on account of the surf (see above), the airfield was attacked by paratroops.

The delay in operating Djidjelli airfield had far-reaching effects though, for it restricted fighter protection and for a time the landing forces were subjected to heavy bombing attacks. The first took place at dusk on the 11th when the upper dock of HMS Roberts was seriously damaged and set alight. The Cathay was severely damaged at the same time and was abandoned at 1745A/11 when 1200 military personnel remaining on board were landed and her ships company had been transferred to HMS Karanja. At 2200A/11 she caught fire and finally settled on the bottom 12 hours later.

Meanwhile around 1700A/11, the Awatea had been bombed and after catching fire she was finally abandoned off Cape Carbon. In the course of these attacks only one enemy bomber was shot down. During a dawn bombing attack next day, 12th November, HMS Karanja was sent on fire and sank later. The anchorage off Bougie was again heavily attacked by more then 30 bombers between 1110A/12 and 1200A/12 but no damage was done this time and 3 enemy bombers were destroyed. There was another fierce but abortive air attack at dusk. That day, HMS Tynwald, which was standing by the damaged HMS Roberts was shaken by a heavy explosion attributed to a torpedo and sank in seven fathoms of water with the loss of three officers and seven ratings. This was actually a torpedo attack by the Italian submarine Argo. For nearly two days the landing force had been virtually without air cover and had borne the brunt of devastating air attacks, but much needed rerief was at hand. Early next day, the 13th, RAF Spitfires were operatating from Djidjelli airfield and the situation improved so rapidly thet when the enemy again attacked shipping off Bougie on the 14th, eleven raiders were destroyed and others were damaged.

In the meantime an unopposed landing had been made at Bone, 125 miles east of Bougie, at 0300A/12, when the 6th Commando and two companies of the 3rd Battalion Royal West Kents landed from the escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN). The escort destroyers fortunately escaped damage in spite of frequent dive-bombing attacks. (30)

14 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0830A/14, ' Force O ', now made up of light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN), escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN), AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from operations. (31)

14 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, transferred his flag from HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) to HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (32)

14 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 2135A/14, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K.

En-route they were to conduct an anti-blockade breaker patrol west of the Bay of Biscay. (33)

20 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0915A/20, HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol and passage which had started at Gibraltar. (34)

2 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (35)

3 Dec 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow.

These included a RIX (rangefinding and inclination exercise) during which the battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) served as target. The battleship was escorted by the destroyers HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walter, DSC, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett DSO and Bar, DSC, RN). (36)

7 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises at Scapa Flow. (35)

12 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) conducted underway refuelling exercises at Scapa Flow with the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN). (35)

13 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN, transferred his flag from Tyne (Capt. C.T.M. Pizey, CB, DSO and Bar, RN) to HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN). (37)

14 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) proceeded from Scapa Flow to Loch Ewe so that the Rear-Admiral could be present at the convoy conferance for convoy JW 51A. (35)

16 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) departed Loch Ewe for convoy cover operations for convoy JW 51A.

[For more info see the event ' Convoy JW 51A ' for 15 December 1942.] (38)

24 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
' Force R ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) and the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived in the Kola Inlet after convoy cover duty. (39)

27 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
' Force R ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) and the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN) departed the Kola Inlet for convoy cover duty for convoys JW 51B and RA 51.

[For more info on these convoy's see the events ' Convoy JW 51B and the Battle of the Barents Sea ' for 22 December 1942 and ' Convoy RA 51 ' for 30 December 1942.] (39)

4 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord after convoy cover duties. (40)

5 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow. (40)

6 Jan 1943
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Seidisfjord.

Rear-Admiral Burnett then struck his flag in HMS Sheffield and hoisted it in Tyne (Capt. C.T.M. Pizey, CB, DSO and Bar, RN). (40)

8 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde for minor repairs and to give leave to her crew. (41)

9 Jan 1943
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow. (42)

12 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) proceeded from Greenock to Dalmuir. (42)

17 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) proceeded Dalmuir to Greenock. She departed from Greenock for Scapa Flow later the same day. (42)

18 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde. (42)

30 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
A ' Battleforce ', which was made up of the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Obedient (Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) departed Akureyri to provide distant cover for convoy RA 52.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy RA 52 ' for 29 January 1943.] (43)

4 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) arrived at Hvalfjord from operations. (44)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/115057
  2. ADM 53/115058
  3. ADM 53/115058 + ADM 199/661
  4. ADM 53/115059
  5. ADM 53/115059 + ADM 115060 + ADM 199/411 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  6. ADM 53/115060
  7. ADM 53/115060 + ADM 199/396
  8. ADM 53/115061
  9. ADM 53/116622
  10. ADM 53/116622 + ADM 199/644
  11. ADM 199/644
  12. ADM 53/116623
  13. ADM 53/116623 + ADM 199/644
  14. ADM 53/116623 + ADM 199/421 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 199/234/561
  15. ADM 53/116624 + ADM 199/644
  16. ADM 53/116624 + ADM 199/429 + ADM 199/644
  17. ADM 53/116624
  18. ADM 53/116624 + ADM 199/429
  19. ADM 53/116625 + ADM 199/429
  20. ADM 53/116625
  21. ADM 53/116628
  22. ADM 53/116629
  23. ADM 53/115406 + ADM 53/116096 + ADM 53/116617 + ADM 53/116629
  24. ADM 53/115354 + ADM 53/116617 + ADM 53/116629
  25. ADM 53/116631
  26. ADM 53/115356 + ADM 53/116631
  27. ADM 53/116098 + ADM 53/116631
  28. ADM 53/116619 + ADM 53/116631
  29. ADM 53/115367 + ADM 53/116631 + ADM 53/116742
  30. ADM 199/904 + ADM 234/359
  31. ADM 199/662 + ADM 199/904
  32. ADM 53/116632 + ADM 199/662
  33. ADM 53/116099 + ADM 53/116632 + ADM 199/662
  34. ADM 53/116099 + ADM 53/116632
  35. ADM 53/116633
  36. ADM 53/116072 + ADM 53/116633
  37. ADM 53/116633 + ADM 53/116711 + ADM 199/427
  38. ADM 53/116633 + ADM 199/427
  39. ADM 53/116100 + ADM 53/116633 + ADM 199/427
  40. ADM 53/117674 + ADM 53/118524 + ADM 199/644
  41. ADM 53/118524 + ADM 199/644
  42. ADM 53/118524
  43. ADM 53/115327 + ADM 53/118524 + ADM 199/644
  44. ADM 53/115328 + ADM 53/118525 + ADM 199/644

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


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