Allied Warships

USS Plunkett (DD 431)

Destroyer of the Benson / Gleaves class

NavyThe US Navy
ClassBenson / Gleaves 
PennantDD 431 
Built byFederal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. (Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Ordered17 Aug 1938 
Laid down1 Mar 1939 
Launched9 Mar 1940 
Commissioned17 Jul 1940 
End service 

Decommissioned 3 May 1946.
Transferred to Taiwan 16 February 1954 and renamed Nan Yang.
Nan Yang was stricken and scrapped in 1975.


Commands listed for USS Plunkett (DD 431)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Peter Gerald Hale, USN17 Jul 194010 May 1941
2Lt.Cdr. William Arthur Graham, USN10 May 194124 Nov 1941
3Lt.Cdr. William Harrison Standley, Jr., USN24 Nov 194114 Sep 1942 (1)
4Lt.Cdr. Lewis Robinson Miller, USN14 Sep 194211 Jan 1943
5T/Cdr. Edward Joseph Burke, USN11 Jan 194315 Feb 1944
6T/Cdr. William Outerson, USN15 Feb 194413 Mar 1945
7T/Cdr. Fred Lee Ruhlman, USN13 Mar 194528 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Plunkett include:

1 Apr 1942
Around 0930A/1, HMS Edinburgh (Capt. H.W. Faulkner, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) and HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) departed Scapa Flow to make rendezvous with the US Task Force 39 made up of the heavy cruisers USS Wichita (Capt. H.W. Hill, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.C. Griffen, USN), USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. L.P. Johnson, USN) and the destroyers USS Lang (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Sterett (T/Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Sturges, USN), USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN), USS Madison (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN) and USS Plunkett (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN).

They made rendezvous on 3 April 1942 after which HMS Gambia and HMS Frobisher parted company to proceed to the Clyde.

HMS Edinburgh, USS Wichita, USS Tuscaloosa, Lang, Sterett, Wilson, Wainwright, Madison and Plunkett arrived at Scapa Flow on 4 April 1942. (2)

14 Apr 1942

Operation Calender.

Spitfire fighters to be flown off to Malta.

Around 0700A/14, ' Force W ' made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Commodore C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier USS Wasp (Capt. J.W. Reeves, Jr., USN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), USS Lang (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN) and USS Madison (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN) departed the Clyde for a mission to fly off Spitfire fighters to Malta.

At 2020A/15, ' Force W ' made a 90° emergency turn to port as HMS Partidge had obtained an A/S contact and attacked it with depth charges. The original course was resumed a little over 20 minutes later. At 2045A/15, HMS Partridge dropped more depth charges. ' Force W ' then commenced zig-zagging. HMS Partridge rejoined the screen at 2305A/15.

Around 1915A/17 all destroyers were detached to refuel at Gibraltar after they had been relieved, temporary, by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN). These destroyers had departed Gibraltar around 0001A/16.

HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Partridge, USS Lang and USS Madison arrived at Gibraltar around 1500A/18. After fuelling they departed to conduct an A/S patrol to the east of Gibraltar and then rejoin ' Force W '.

Around 0700/19 the original screen rejoined from Gibraltar as did the cruisers HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN) also coming from Gibraltar. The cruisers had departed from Gibraltar at 0145A/19 and joined with the destroyers that were on A/S patrol at 0230A/19. HMS Antelope, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler were detached around 0630A/19 to return to Gibraltar where they arrived at 1100A/19. HMS Vidette for now remained with ' Force W '. She left the formation at 1900A/19 and proceeded to Gibraltar independently.

After fuelling HMS Antelope and HMS Westcott departed Gibraltar to rejoin ' Force W ' at 1415A/19 as did HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler at 1545A/19. They rejoined ' Force W ' around 0900A/20.

At 0500A/20, in position 37°30'N, 03°20'E, USS Wasp commenced flying off 11 F4F Wildcat fighters to provide a combat air patrol whilst the Spitfires were launched. At 0545A/20 the flying off of 47 Spitfires commenced. All were successfully launched and the combat air patrol landed on around 0715A/20 when ' Force W ' reversed course and steered for Gibraltar.

At 1620A/20, HMS Vidette arrived at Gibraltar to fuel. She sailed again to rejoin ' Force W ' at 0130A/21.

At 0250A/21, HMS Cairo, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang and USS Madison arrived at Gibraltar. After fuelling they departed again at 0625A/21 to rejoin the USS Wasp at sea.

At 1630A/21, HMS Renown, HMS Charybdis, HMS Antelope, HMS Vidette, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart, HMS Wrestler, HMS Ithuriel and HMS Partridge arrived at Gibraltar after playing their part in Operation Calender.

USS Wasp now escorted by HMS Cairo, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang and USS Madison set course for Scapa Flow.

Around 1645A/25, the destroyers USS Plunkett (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN) and USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN) joined. Shortly afterwards HMS Cairo parted company and proceeded to Bangor Bay near Belfast, Northern Ireland arriving there around 0800A/26.

USS Wasp, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang, USS Madison, USS Plunkett and USS Wainwright arrived at Scapa Flow around 1200A/26. (3)

26 Apr 1942

Convoys PQ 15 and QP 11 and the sinking of HMS Edinburgh and HMS Punjabi.

Convoy PQ 15 from Iceland to Northern Russia and Convoy QP 11 from Northern Russia to Iceland. Also includes an account on the sinking of HMS Edinburgh and HMS Punjabi.

On 26 April 1942 convoy PQ 15 departed Reykjavik for Murmansk where it arrived on 5 May 1942.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alcoa Cadet (American, 4823 GRT, built 1919), Alcoa Rambler (American, 5500 GRT, built 1919), Bayou Chico (American, 5401 GRT, built 1920), Botavon (British, 5858 GRT, built 1912), Cape Corso (British, 3807 GRT, built 1929), Cape Race (British, 3807 GRT, built 1930), Capira (Panamanian, 5625 GRT, built 1920), Deer Lodge (American, 6187 GRT, built 1919), Empire Bard (British, 3114 GRT, built 1942), Empire Morn (British, CAM ship, 7092 GRT, built 1941), Expositor (American, 4959 GRT, built 1919), Francis Scott Key (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Hegira (American, 7588 GRT, built 1919), Jutland (British, 6153 GRT, built 1928), Lancaster (American, 7516 GRT, built 1918), Mormacrey (American, 5946 GRT, built 1919), Mormacrio (American, 5940 GRT, built 1919), Paul Luckenbach (American, 6606 GRT, built 1913), Seattle Spirit (American, 5627 GRT, built 1919), Southgate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926), Texas (American, 5638 GRT, built 1919) and Zebulon B. Vance (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942).

Two icebrakers were also part of the convoy, these were the Krassin (Russian, 4902 GRT, built 1917) and Montcalm (Canadian, 1432 GRT, built 1904, to be transferred to the Russians)

The RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tanker Grey Ranger (3313 GRT, built 1941) was also with the convoy.

On departure from Reykjavik the convoy was escorted by the minesweepers HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, RN), HMS Leda (Cdr. A.D.H. Jay, DSC, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Cape Palliser (Lt. B.T. Wortley, RNR), HMS Northern Pride (T/Lt. A.R. Cornish, RNR), HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. J.R. Anglebeck, RNVR) and the A/P trawler Chiltern (Ch.Skr.(ret) P. Bevans, RNR).

Around 0300Z/28, ' Force Q ' a refuelling force for the convoy escorts, made up of the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tanker Grey Ranger (3313 GRT, built 1941) departed Seidisfiord with her escort, the escort destroyer HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN). With them were the AA ship HMS Ulster Queen (Capt.(Retd.) D.S. McGrath, RN) and the submarine HMS Sturgeon (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN). They joined the convoy during the night of 28/29 April.

Around 0500Z/29, A close cover force made up of the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN), the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Steward, RN), HNoMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill, RNorN) and the escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) departed Seidisfiord to join the convoy which they did early on 30 April.

The heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) also joined the convoy (close cover force), she had departed Scapa Flow around 1645B/28.

around 0635B/1, the submarine HMS Sturgeon parted company with the convoy to take up a patrol position in the Artic Sea. ' Force Q ', the refuelling force made up of the tanker Grey Ranger and escort destroyer HMS Ledbury also parted company with the convoy on 1 May.

Around 2220B/1, Six German Ju.88 torpedo bombers attacked the convoy but no hits were obtained. One of the attackers was shot down by AA fire.

During the night of 1/2 May, HMS London was detached to provide close cover for convoy QP 11.'

At 1000B/2, HMS Nigeria also parted company with the convoy to join convoy QP 11. The Admiralty had decided that there was no need for the cruisers to proceed further to the east as the enemy destroyers operating in Northern Norway had been sunk or damaged in action with the cover force of convoy QP 11 (see below).

At 2009B/2, HNoMS St. Albans and HMS Seagull attacked an A/S contact with depth charges in position 73°01'N, 17°32'E. The submarine was forced to the surface but turned out to be the Polish submarine ORP Jastrzab (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) B. Romanowski). She was way out of position and in waters where German submarines were expected to be operating. No blame could possibly be taacked to HNoMS St. Albans and HMS Seagull. Five of the crew of the Polish submarine died while the others were picked up.

At 0120B/3, the convoy was again attacked by enemy torpedo bombers. Visibility was bad and the enemy planes were not sighted until it was too late. Also radar had not picked them up. The succeeded in sinking two merchant vessels, the Botavon (the ship of the Convoy Commodore) and the Cape Corso. A third merchant vessel, the Jutland was damaged and was abandoned by her crew. The drifting ship was shortly afterwards torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-251.

At 2230C/3, a final German air attack took place while the convoy was in position 73°00'N, 31°15'E. A bomb near missed the A/S trawler HMS Cape Palliser which sustained some slight damage. One German Ju.88 aircraft was shot down. Visibility deteriorated in the evening of the 4th and a south-easterly gale sprang up bringing heavy snow. This provided the convoy with excellent cover for the remainder of the passage. The convoy arrived in the Kola Inlet around 2100C/5.


On 28 April 1942 convoy QP 11 departed Murmansk for Reykjavik where it arrived on 7 May 1942.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Atheltemplar (British (tanker), 8992 GRT, built 1930), Ballot (Panamanian, 6131 GRT, built 1922), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Dan-Y-Bryn (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Dunboyne (American, 3515 GRT, built 1919), El Estero (Panamanian, 4219 GRT, built 1920), Eldena (American, 6900 GRT, built 1919), Gallant Fox (Panamanian, 5473 GRT, built 1918), Mormacmar (American, 5453 GRT, built 1920), Stone Street (Panamanian, 6131 GRT, built 1922), Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928), Tsiolkovsky (Russian, 2847 GRT, built 1935) and West Cheswald (American, 5711 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Murmansk the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, OBE, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Huddart, RN), HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. J. Grant, RN), corvettes HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. W. Hine, RNR), HMS Oxlip (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RNR), HMS Saxifage (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Chapman, RNR), HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Lord Middleton (T/Lt. R.H. Jameson, RNR) and HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR). Cover was provided by the light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. H.W. Faulkner, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CB, CVO, DSO, RN).

Besides these ships there was a local escort by the Russian destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchiy until at least 30°E and by the minesweepers HMS Gossamer (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Crease, RN), HMS Harrier (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO, RN), HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSC, RN) and HMS Niger (Cdr.(ret.) A.J. Cubison, DSC and Bar, RN) until the evening of the 29th.

The convoy was sighted and reported by enemy aircraft and submarines on the 29th, but no attacks took place that day. The following afternoon (30 September), however, HMS Edinburgh, then zigzagging at high speed some 15 nautical miles ahead of the convoy, in approximate position 73°09'N, 32°45'E, was struck by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-456. Her stern was blown off and her steering gear was wrecked. She was able to steam at slow speed on two shafts. The explosion was seen from the convoy and the destroyers HMS Foresight and HMS Forester were detached to her assistance, followed shortly afterwards by the two Russian destroyers. Escorted by these destroyers HMS Edinburgh started in the 250 nautical mile return passage to Murmansk.

The presence of the destroyers prevented U-456 from finishing the cruiser off. She continued to shadown and report the Edinburgh's movements. These reported tempted the German Flag Officer, Northern Waters to sent three destroyers from Kirkenes to attack convoy QP 11 with its depleted escort and the destroyers Z 7 / Hermann Schoemann, Z 24 and Z 25 put to sea and steered to the north.

Convoy QP 11, meanwhile, continued its passage. At 0540/1, being then about 150 miles to the east-south-east of Bear Island it was unsuccesfully attacked by four torpedo aircraft. At the same time an enemy submarine was sighted and forced to dive by HMS Amazon. Frequent HF/DF bearings indicated that four enemy submarines were keeping pace with the convoy on different bearings, and at 0820/1, course was altered 40° to starboard (to 320°) in an endeavour to shake them off. Then ice was sighted in large quantities ahead. This was found to extend some 20 miles to the southward of the route, and course was again altered to the westward.

The forenoon passed without incident. The weather was moderate, wind north-north-east, force 3. Frequent snow squalls caused the visibility to vary between ten and two miles.

At 1345/1, the convoy was in course 275°, skirting heavy drift ice to starboard, when HMS Snowflake reported three radar contacts bearing 185°. At the some moment, HMS Beverley, screening on the port bow, reported enemy in sight, bearing 210°. The enemy proved to be three large destroyers. In the course of the next four hours they made five separate attempts to reach the convoy, each of which wass foiled by the aggressive tactics of the escorting destroyers desipite their great inferiority in gun power to the Germans.

On receipt of the Beverley's sighting report, Commander Richmond who was on the starboard bow of the convoy, moved across to the threatened flank and ordered the destroyers to concentrate on him. The convoy (with the corvettes and trawlers) at once carried out an emergency turn of 40° to starboard, the destroyers making smoke to cover it.

At 1400/1, HMS Bulldog turned towards the enemy on a south-westerly course, with the destroyers in line ahead in the order HMS Beagle, HMS Amazon and HMS Beverley. The Germans were at this time in line of bearing formation, about 10000 yards distant, heading towards the convoy. At 1407/1, both sides opened fire, the Germans turning together to starboard to open 'A' arcs, and the British destroyers to port to a similar course. Both sides fired torpedoes but none of them found its mark, but a track was seen to pass close astern of HMS Bulldog. After three minutes (1410/1), the Germans turned away asnd the British destroyers returned towards the convoy, making smoke. In this brief engagement HMS Amazon was hit. Her steering gear, telegraphs and one gun being put out of action, but she managed to keep control and was stationed at the rear of the line.

A quarter of an hour after this action ceased, the convoy suffered its only loss, when the Russian merchant vessel Tsiolkovsky, which was staggling from the convoy, was hit by torpedo and sink rapidly. The survivors were rescued by the Lord Middleton.

Commander Richmond, meanwhile, was keeping his destroyers between the convoy and the estimate position of the enemy. At 1433/1 they were again sighted, bearing 160° about 15000 yards off, and the second attack developed. The British destroyers again steered for them and at 1440/1 fire was opened at 12000 yards range. No hits were obtained by either side, but after five minutes the enemy turned away and the British once more retired on the convoy. By this time the convoy was well within the ice and ' in order to maintain touch the destroyers were led through lanes of open water as opportunity offered, bearing in mind that sufficient sea room to manoeuvre in action must be maintained. The presented a nice problem.'

About an hour elapsed before the enemy's next attempt. Then at 1558/1, he was sighted six miles away coming in from the eastward, bearing 115°. Commander Richmond repeated his tactics, and both sides opened fire at 1600/1. HMS Bulldog was straddled several times and slightly damaged, but after ten minutes the enemy turned away under smoke to the southward and the British again closed the convoy, by then spread out over a distance of some seven miles, as it picked its way through the heavy drift ice in single line formation.

Shortly before 1700/1 the Germans were again sighted, following a radar report from HMS Snowflake, this time bearing 146°, 20000 yards. HMS Bulldog led round towards them, fire was opened at 1658/1 and after seven minutes the enemy made smoke and turned away.

Half an hour later the Germans made their fifth and last attempt to break through. Fire was exchanged between 1736/1 and 1742/1, when they once more turned away. The British held on towards them for a few minutes till the rear destroyer disappeared into the smoke to the south-east. This was the last seen of them, shortly afterwards they were ordered to attack the damaged Edinburgh some 200 nautical miles to the eastward, and altered course accordingly. Commander Richmond of course could not know this, and for the next three hours he kept his force cruising between the supposed direction of the enemy and the convoy, while the latter was breaking its way through the ice. By 2155/1, the convoy was in open water and the destroyer resumed their screening stations.

The remainder of the passage was uneventful. Convoy PQ 15 was sighted proceeding to the eastward at 1000/2. QP 11 arrived at Reykjavik at 0700/7.

In the meantime, while convoy QP 11 was being subjected to the attacks by the German destroyers, the damaged HMS Edinburgh had been making the best of her way towards Murmansk. The first torpedo had hit the starboard side forward, causing considarable flooding. The second torpedo hit right aft and virtually blew her stern off. She had lost her rudder and the two inner shafts, but could steam at about 8 knots with the outer propellers.

HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchiy arrived about an hour after she had been hit. An attempt by HMS Forester to take her in tow failed, with no stern and seven feet down by the bow, she came rapidly into the wind as soon as she gathered headway, and parted the tow. Further attempts to aid her were then delayed while the destroyers hunted a German submarine that was sighted on the surface four miles away.

During the night of 30 April / 1 May some progress at about three knots was made by the Edinburgh taking HMS Foresight in tow and using her to control the steering. At 0600/1, however, the Russian destroyers reported that they had to return to harbour for fuel and parted company. German submarines were known to be about and in these circumstances Rear-Admiral Bonham-Carter deemed it essential that both the remaining destroyers should be used for screeing. So HMS Foresight was cast off and HMS Edinburgh struggled on, steering as best she could with her engines. Left to her own devices, a persitent swing to port could only be countered by gathering sternway every few minutes and the speed of advance fell to two knots. Thus she proceeded for about 23 hours. That no enemy submarine succeeded in attacking during this anxious period is the measure of alterness of HMS Forester and HMS Foresight.

That afternoon the Bulldog's report of the German destroyer attacks came in. The probability of their shifting their attentions to HMS Edinburgh was at once realised and Rear-Admiral Bonham-Carter and he gave the following instructions; ' In event of attack by German destroyers, HMS Forester and HMS Foresight are to act independently, taking every opportunity to defeat the enemy without taking undue risks to themselves in defending HMS Edinburgh. HMS Edinburgh is to proceed wherever the wind permits, probably straight into the wind. If minesweepers are present they will also be told to act independently retiring under smoke screen as necessary. HMS Edinburgh had no RDF or Director working.'

At 1800/1, the Russian escort vessel Rubin joined and six hours later the minesweepers Gossamer, Harrier, Hussar and Niger arrived with a Russian tug. Disappointingly, the tug was not powerful enough to tow. Eventually at 0530/2, HMS Edinburgh was again making three knots under her own power and holding a fairly steady course of 150°. She was steered by the tug fine on the starboard bow and HMS Gossamer acting as a drogue on the port quarter. HMS Niger had been detached during the night to make rendezvous with the Russian destroyers which would return after fuelling. However they did sail long after they were expected to do so and HMS Niger rejoined at 1020/2. HMS Harrier, HMS Hussar, Rubin, HMS Foresight and HMS Forester patrolled around the damaged cruiser in a circle.

The wind was north-north-east, force three. As usual there were frequent snow squalls and the visibility varied from ten to two miles. Despite the fact that enemy submarines were known to be taking up positions to intercept, and the probability of destroyer attack there seemed to be a chance of making port. But it was not to be.

At 0627/3 gunfire from HMS Hussar, then on the starboard quarter, heralded the approach of the enemy, which proved to be the three destroyers. HMS Hussar was almost immediately straddled, and fell back on HMS Edinburgh.

There ensued a series of individual actions, ships engaging whenever visibility permitted. The Germans kept about seven miles to the north-north-east of HMS Edinburgh making full use of snow squalls and smoke to get within torpedo range, and it was seldom that more than one of them was in sight at the same time.

At the first alarm HMS Edinburgh cast off the tows and went on to her maximum speed - about eight knots. Unable to steer, she circled round to port, sometimes rapidly, sometimes on a wider curve, firing with 'B' turret whenever it could be directed from the bridge on to a fleeting target. The minesweepers remained near her, engaging the enemy with their one gun salvoes whenever they appeared and looking out for enemy submarines. HMS Foresight at once steered for the gunflashes at 24 knots while HMS Forester, which was two or three miles to the westward, went on to 30 knots and steered to join her.

First blood on either side was drawn by HMS Edinburgh, which opened fire on the Z 7 / Hermann Schoemann at 0636/2. Her first salvo fell within 100 yards. The German destroyer increased speed to 31 knots, made smike and turned away, but the second salvo scored a hit, which put both engines out of action and destroyed all control instruments. This fortunate hit had a marked effect on the events of the day. She came to a stop and remained virtually out of action, while from then onwards the efforts of her consorts were largely directed towards succouring and screening her.

Meanwhile HMS Foresight had sighted an enemy destroyer, Z 24, 10000 yards off, steering straight towards her, just as HMS Edinburgh opened fire at 0836/2. At 0640/2 the range was down to 8000 yards and Commander Salter opened fire on Z 24, altering course to the eastwards to open 'A' arcs. For the next eight minutes all three enemy destroyers were playing hide and seek in the snow and their own smoke screens. Targets were engaged as and when they came into vision, ranges varying between 6000 and 8000 yards.

HMS Forester was also fighting under much the same conditions, but shestood on to the northward when HMS Foresight turned to open her 'A' arcs. At 0650/1 she fired torpedoes. almost at the same moment she received three hits. One in No.1 boiler room brought her to a standstill. One put 'B' gun out of action and killed the Commanding Officer and one on 'X' gun shattered its breech mechanism. At 0653/2, torpedoes were seen passing underneath the ship in the direction of HMS Edinburgh which was then about five miles north-west of HMS Foresight which had just, at 0648/2, altered away from the enemy to the westward, in order to close HMS Edinburgh. Seeing HMS Forester stopped and on fire, Commander Salter steered to her assistance. HMS Forester with her sole remaining gun and her 1st Lieutenant now in Command, was engaging the stationary Z 7 / Hermann Schoemann some three miles to the northward, and shifted to the other destroyers whenever they appeared from the snow. HMS Foresight had closed to within half a mile by 0700/2, and then turned to an easterly course, so as not to foul the Forester's range, and engaged on of the destroyers which had been firing on her.

Just at this time, 0702/2, HMS Edinburgh was torpedoed. The torpedoes were seen breaking surface as they approached. These was nothing she could do to avoid them but it looked as if her eccentric gyrations would take her clear. However her 'luck' was out. One torpedo, which was running deep, struck her port side amidships at a point practically opposite one of the former hits. She immediately listed to port and gradually came to a standstill. The ship was 'open from side to side'. It was clear that she might break in two and sink at any moment, and Rear-Admiral Bonham-Carter ordered HMS Gossamer alongside to take off the wounded and passanger. HMS Edinburgh nevertheless continued to engage the enemy whenever they appeared. Her shooting was described by the Z 24 as 'extra-ordinarily good' and twice deterred her from going to the assistance of the Z 7 / Hermann Schoemann. However the list was increasing and when it reached 17° her guns would no longer bear. The Rear-Admiral then directed Captain Faulkner to abandon ship.

Meanwhile HMS Foresight after engaging her opponent for five minutes again turned to the westward and seeing HMS Forester being heavily straddled, passed between her and the enemy, drawing their fire. At 0714/2, Commander Salter, altered course to close the range, and a few minutes later fired a salvo of torpedoes (which missed) at the Z 7 / Herman Schoemann. Just afterwards he came under a heavy concentration of fire from Z 24 and Z 25 at 4000 yards range. He increased to full speed and tried to get away under smoke, but received four hits, one of them in No.3 boiler, which brought the ship to a standstill at 0724/2 in welter of steam and smoke with only one gun still in action.

The Edinburgh, Foresight and Forester were thus all stopped with their gun power much reduced. There seemed nothing to prevent the two comparatively undamaged German destroyers from sinking each of them separately and afterwards dealing with the slow, lightly armed minesweepers at their leisure. But though they made repeated attacks on the destroyers with heavy but fortunate inaccurate fire, they did not press home their advantage. Their main concern was with the Hermann Schoemann. Already thee attempts by the Z 24 to go alongside and take off her ship's company had been foiled by British gunfire, and they let the opportunity pass.

Ten minutes after HMS Foresight stopped, HMS Forester managed to get underway (0735/2). At the same time Z 24 and Z 25 again opened fire on her but they soon disappeared into smoke, emerging a few minutes later to concentrate on HMS Foresight. This gave HMS Forester an opportunity to repay the debt she owned for the respite HMS Foresight had afforded her earlier in the day, and, zigzagging between her and the enemy, she covered her with a heavy efficient smoke screen. This was the close of the action. Shortly afterwards Z 24 finally managed to get alongside Z 7 / Hermann Schoemann and took off about 200 survivors. The latter - already in a sinking condition - was then scuttled, and the Z 24 and Z 25 (which had received a hit in her wireless room) withdrew at high speed to the north-west and were lost to view by the British around 0820/2.

Meanwhile HMS Foresight had effected temporary repairs and by 0815/2 was proceeding slowly on the port engine. HMS Edinburgh had been abandoned by 0800/15, HMS Gossamer taking about 440 men and HMS Harrier, in which Rear-Admiral Bonham-Carter hoisted his flag, about 350. Meanwhile HMS Hussar was screening them and laying a smoke screen. Attempts by HMS Harrier to sink the cruiser by gunfire and depth charges failed so HMS Foresight was ordered to finish her off with her last remaining torpedo. This she did and all ships then shaped course for the Kola Inlet where they arrived without further incident the next day.


To provide distant cover for these convoys a heavy cover force was deployed which departed Scapa Flow around 2200/28 and was made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CB, CVO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), USS Washington (Capt. H.H.J. Benson, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.C. Griffen, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN), heavy cruisers USS Wichita (Capt. H.W. Hill, USN), USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. L.P. Johnson, USN), light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN), destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Sturges, USN), USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN), USS Madison (T/Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN), USS Plunkett (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN) and the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN).

At 0600/30, they were joined by the destroyers HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) which came from Seidisfiord. HMS Inglefield, USS Wilson, USS Wainwright, USS Madison and USS Plunkett then proceeded to Seidisfiord to refuel.

They rejoined the fleet in the afternoon. Another destroyer, HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), had come with them. The four escort destroyers were then detached to return to Scapa Flow.

At 1550/1, in very bad visibility, HMS Punjabi ended up in front of HMS King George V which could not avoid a collision and cut HMS Punjabi in half. The aft part sank immediately and there was no time to set the ready depth charges to safe which as a result exploded also causing damage to HMS King George V. The front part of HMS Punjabi took 40 minutes to sink during which time HMS Martin and HMS Marne managed to take off 5 officers and 201 ratings.

As a result of the damage to HMS King George V, the battleship HMS Duke of York (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN, second in command Home Fleet) departed from Hvalfiord, around 2045/1, to take her place in the cover force. HMS Duke of York was escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) and HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN). They made rendezvous with the cover force around 2330/2 after which HMS King George V parted company at 0006/3 and proceeded to Seidisfiord escorted by HMS Martin, HMS Marne and HMS Oribi. They arrived at Seidisfjord around 1100/3. HMS Martin, HMS Marne and HMS Oribi then rejoined the fleet, having also fuelled at Seidisfiord, around 0610/4.

At 1800/4, USS Washington, HMS Wichita, USS Tuscaloosa, USS Wilson, USS Wainwright, USS Madison and USS Plunkett were detached to Hvalfiord where they arrived around 0815/6.

Around 2100/5, HMS Duke of York, HMS Victorious, HMS Kenya, HMS Inglefield, HMS Faulknor, HMS Escapade, HMS Eskimo, HMS Martin, HMS Marne and HMS Oribi arrived at Scapa Flow. (4)

6 Aug 1942

Convoy AT 18.

This convoy departed New York on 6 August 1942.

It was made up of the following troop transports; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Monterey (American, 148017 GRT, built 1932), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Thomas H. Barry (American, 11250 GRT, built 1930), Uruguay (American, 20183 GRT, built 1928), Wakefield (American, 24289 GRT, built 1931) and West Point (American, 26454 GRT, built 1940).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt.(Retd.) A.D. Cochrane, RN) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by Task Force 38, which was made up of the battleship 5922 Arkansas (Capt. C.F. Bryant, USN, which was also COMTASKFOR 38), light cruiser USS Brooklyn (T/Capt. F.C. Denebrink, USN) and the with destroyers USS Livermore (T/Cdr. V. Huber, USN, with COMDESDIV 21, T/Capt. T.L. Madeira, USN, on board), USS Kearny (T/Cdr. A.H. Oswald, USN), USS Plunkett (T/Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 7, Cdr. S.R. Clark, USN, on board), USS Niblack (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Dyer, USN, with COMDESDIV 13, T/Capt. P.R. Heineman, USN, on board), USS Benson (T/Cdr. C.A. Fines, USN), USS Gleaves (T/Cdr. C.L. Winecoff, USN), USS Mayo (T/Cdr. I.T. Duke, USN), USS Charles F. Hughes (Lt.Cdr. B.S. Copping, USN) and USS Hilary P. Jones (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Ellis, USN) as inner screen for the convoy. An outer screen was formed of the destroyers USS Madison (Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN, with COMDESDIV 14, ???, on board), USS Nicholson (Cdr. J.S. Keating, USN), USS Eberle (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Poehlmann, USN), USS Ericsson (T/Cdr. C.M. Jensen, USN) and USS Roe (T/Cdr. J.N. Opie, 3rd, USN).

Around 2300Q/7, Eberle, Ericsson and Roe were detached to proceed to Boston. USS Hilary P. Jones then joined the outer screen.

The convoy arrived at Halifax on 8 August 1942.


The convoy departed Halifax on 9 August 1942.

Two troop transports joined the convoy leaving Halifax, these were the; Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938).

The convoy was now escorted by USS Arkansas, USS Brooklyn, USS Plunkett, USS Niblack, USS Gleaves, USS Mayo, USS Madison, USS Lansdale (T/Cdr. D.C. Varian, USN), USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes. The above destroyers served as inner screen. Also an out screen made up of the destroyers USS Mayrant (T/Capt. C.C. Hartman, USN, which was also COMDESDIV 16), USS Rhind (T/Cdr. H.T. Read, USN) and USS Nicholson was present.

Late on the 9th, the Cameronia straggled from the convoy. USS Hilary P. Jones was ordered to escort her. They rejoined on the 10th but the Cameronia had difficulty in keeping up with the convoy and was smoking badly.

On the 10th, USS Nicholson was detached to Casco Bay. Also on this day, USS Benson departed Halifax to overtake and join the convoy. She had been unable to depart with the convoy on the 9th due to the fact that she was in dock for repairs to her sonar installation.

On the 11th USS Benson joined from Halifax. USS Mayrant and USS Rhind were detached later on the 11th. They were to proceed to Argentia.

Around 1015Z/16, HMS Queen of Bermuda and the Batory were detached from the convoy and joined convoy DS 31 proceeding from the Clyde to Iceland. One of the escorts of convoy DS 31 then joined convoy AT 18, this was the AA cruiser HMS Curacoa (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 17 August 1942. (5)

20 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Plunkett, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Madison. (6)

21 Aug 1942
During 21/22 August 1942 HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Madison, USS Lansdale, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Plunkett. These also included night exercises. (7)

21 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Plunkett, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Lansdale. (6)

23 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Lansdale, USS Plunkett, HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN) and HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR). (7)

9 Oct 1943
USS Plunkett (Cdr. E.J. Burke, USN) picks up 13 survivors of the American destroyer USS Buck that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-616 about 50 nautical miles south of Capri in position 38°57'N, 14°28'E.

3 Jun 1944

Passage of the bulk of ' Bombardment Group O ' from Belfast to the operations area.

Shortly after 0200B/3, the battleships USS Texas (Capt. C.A. Baker, USN, flying the flag of T/R.Adm. C.F. Bryant, USN), USS Arkansas (Capt. F.G. Richards, USN), USS Nevada (Capt. P.M. Rhea, USN), light cruisers Georges Leygues (Capt. J.E.A. Laurin), Montcalm (Capt. L.M.J.A. Deprez). These ships were, with the exception off USS Nevada, part of ' Bombardment Group O ' (Task Group 124.8).

They were escorted by the destroyers USS Jeffers (T/Cdr. H.Q. Murray, USN with COMDESRON 17, T/Capt. A.C. Murdaugh, USN on board), Murphy (T/Cdr. R.A. Wolverton, USN), USS Plunkett (T/Cdr. W. Outerson, USN), USS Gherardi (T/Cdr. N.R. Curtin, USN) and Murphy (T/Cdr. R.A. Wolverton, USN) and the escort destroyers Amesbury (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Wilbor, USNR) and Blessman (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Gillis, USNR). The escort vessels were not part of the actual bombardment group but of an escort group (Task Group 124.7).

Around 0730B/4, when near Plymouth, the force turned around after a signal was received that the invastion was postponed for 24 hours. Course was set to return to the northwards along the same track.

Around 2200B/4, course was reversed again to return to the southwards.

Around 0730B/5, USS Nevada was detached to join ' Bombardment Group U '. Around the same time the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. C.P. Clarke, DSO, RN) joined the group.

Around 1215B/5, the escort destroyers HMS Tanatside (Cdr. B.J. de St. Croix, RN), HMS Talybont (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN) joined.

Around 0300B/6, the group began to arrive in the operations area.

25 Jun 1944

Bombardment of German batteries off Cherbourg

Task Force 129 was ordered to bombard and take out the large calibre German shore batteries off Cherbourg.

It was decided to split the force in two and also additional ships were added. Group I (Task Unit 129.1) was to attack the German batteries to the west of Cherbourg near Querqueville. Group II (Task Unit 129.2) was to attack the German batteries to the east of Cherbourg near Fermanville.

Group I was made up of the battleship USS Nevada (Capt. P.M. Rhea, USN), heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 7 also COMTASFOR 129, T/R.Adm. M.L. Deyo, USN), USS Quincy (Capt. E.M. Senn, USN), light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. C.P. Clarke, DSO, RN) and HMS Enterprise (Capt. H.T.W. Grant, DSO, RCN) and the destroyers USS Ellyson (T/Cdr. E.W. Longton, USN, with COMDESRON 10, T/Capt. A.F. Converse, USN, on board), USS Hambleton (T/Cdr. H.A. Renken, USN), USS Rodman (T/Cdr. J.F. Foley, USN), USS Emmons (T/Cdr. E.B. Billingsley, USN), Murphy (T/Cdr. R.A. Wolverton, USN) and USS Gherardi (T/Cdr. N.R. Curtin, USN).

Group II was made up of the battleships USS Texas (Capt. C.A. Baker, USN, flying the flag of COMBATDIV 5, T/R.Adm. C.F. Bryant, USN) and the destroyers USS Barton (T/Capt. J.W. Callahan, USN, with COMDESRON 60, T/Capt. W.L. Freseman, USN, on board), USS Laffey (T/Cdr. F.J. Becton, USN), USS O'Brien (T/Cdr. W.W. Outerbridge, USN), USS Plunkett (T/Cdr. W. Outerson, USN) and USS Hobson (T/Cdr. K. Loveland, USN, with COMDESDIV 20, T/Cdr. L.W. Nilon, USN, on board).

To enable this bombardment, the area had to be swept for mines for which Task Units 129.3.1 and 125.9.3 was deployed.

Task Unit 129.3.1 was made up of the following minesweepers; HMS Sidmouth (Cdr. R.W.D. Thomson, RN), HMS Bangor (Lt. H. Sobey, RNR), HMS Blackpool (A/Lt.Cdr. G.H. Bird, RNVR), HMS Boston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.L. Choppin, DSC, RNVR), HMS Bridlington (T/Lt. E.M. Betts, RNR), HMS Bridport (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.G. Rogers, RD, RNR), HMS Eastbourne (T/Lt. R.A. Aldred, RNVR) and HMS Tenby (A/Cdr. R.W. Wainwright, RN).
Danlayers (M/S trawlers); HMS Bryher (T/Lt. F.C.C. Knight, RNVR), HMS Dalmatia (A/Skr.Lt. C. Dale, RNR), HMS Ijuin (Skr. T.W. Doddington, RNR) and HMS Signa (T/Skr. J. More, RNR).
Motor minesweepers; HMS BYMS 2032 (T/A/Skr.Lt. P.S. Farmery, RNR), HMS BYMS 2052 (T/Lt. C.E. Haste, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2055 (T/Lt. S.R. Wakefield, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2070 (T/A/Skr.Lt. J. Hobbs, RNR), HMS BYMS 2071 (T/Lt. W.M. Dougall, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2157 (T/Lt. D. McGrath, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2173 (T/Lt. A.L. Mulcare, DSC, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2211 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.E. Davies, DSC and Bar, RNR).
Motor launches; [Four in number, identity currently not known to us.]

Task Unit 125.9.3 was made up of the following minesweepers; USS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. H.I. Pratt, USNR, with CTU 125.9.3, T/Cdr. H. Plander, USN, on board), USS Auk (Lt. D.L. Brantley, USNR), USS Broadbill (Lt.Cdr. O.B. Lundgren, USNR), USS Chickadee (Lt. W.D. Allen, USNR), USS Nuthatch (Lt.Cdr. R.A.L. Ellis, USNR), USS Swift (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Cockey, USNR), USS Threat (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Ferrill, USNR) and HMCS Thunder (A/Cdr. H.D. MacKay, RCNR). This last ship acted as danlayer. Also part of this Task Unit were three motor launches; HMML 139 (T/S.Lt. J.B. Foxlee, RNVR), HMML 257 (T/Lt. G.W. Lambert, RNVR) and HMML 275 (T.S.Lt. F.E.T. Dann, RNVR).

Movements of Group I.

Group I departed Portland around 0500B/25.

Around 1015B/25, Group I arrived in the assigned bombardment area. The minesweepers were still clearing the area at at this time.

At 1208B/25, gun flashes were seen on the beach.

At 1211B/25, HMS Enterprise opened fire. USS Rodman reported the coordinates of a battery which was firing on minesweepers sweeping in the area for the bombardment force. [We have been unable to find a detailed report of HMS Enterprise during this operation.]

At 1212B/25, USS Nevada opened fire with her main battery. Direct hits were obtained at 1221B/25. Rapid fire was then ordered. By 1229B/25 more hits had been reported. At 1232B/25, it was reported that out of the 8 guns of this target, 6 had been destroyed. By 1236B/25, more hits had been obtained and the Germans showed a white panel but Nevada was told to ignore this as there had been a previous deception. Fire was ceased on this target at 1327B/25. By then 32 two-gun salvos had been fired with excellent results. Fire was only ceased so that the main battery could also be used to engage the battery firing on USS Nevada at that time.

At 1213B/25, HMS Glasgow opened fire on an enemy shore battery that was initially firing on the minesweepers. Fire was ceased on this target at 1257B/25 after a total of 96 rounds of high explosive had being fired. Results were inconclusive according to the air spotter as it had been very difficult to observe the fall of shot as multiple ship had been firing at the same target.

At 1215B/25, more gunflashes were seen on the beach. Also the 5" battery of USS Nevada opened fire. Fire was ceased on this target at 1224B/25.

At 1216B/25, smoke was laid ahead of the minesweepers which were still being fired upon.

At 1218B/25, USS Nevada was straddled.

At 1220B/25, USS Nevada's part of 5" guns opened fire on another target. Fire was ceased after 5 minutes as the results could no longer be observed due to the smoke in the target area. It is believed that this battery was firing at HMS Glasgow.

At 1222B/25, USS Nevada was again straddled.

At 1228B/25, USS Quincy opened fire with 5" firing white phosphorus over one of the Allied destroyers laying a smoke screen which had come under enemy fire.

At 1236B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire. Fire was ceased at 1252B/25.

At 1237B/25, USS Nevada was again straddled. Two shells landing 300 yards away on her port quarter. USS Nevada manoeuvred to get clear as enemy gunnery became more accurate.

At 1237B/25, enemy shells fell close astern of HMS Glasgow which took evasive action.

At 1240B/25, USS Nevada was straddled once more, now by an enemy salvo of four guns. All landed within 300 yards. Shortly afterwards and enemy three gun salvo landed 100 to 400 yards from the ship.

At 1241B/25, Four more splashed were observed close to USS Nevada landing at range between 100 and 400 yards.

At 1242B/25, a shell was seen to straddle HMS Enterpise at a distance of only 50 yards. USS Nevada was once again straddled by two shells, distance 400 yards.

At 1243B/25, two more shells landed within 50 yards of HMS Enterpise. Six splashes were seen from USS Nevada near HMS Glasgow.

At 1245B/25, a shell landed with 50 yards of USS Nevada.

At 1246B/25, HMS Glasgow was straddled. USS Nevada opened fire with 5" guns on an enemy battery of four 6" guns. Nevada's gunfire was aided by air spotting. Fire on this target ceased at 1311B/25, with undetermined results.

At 1248B/25, both USS Nevada and HMS Glasgow were straddled followed by a hit amidships on HMS Glasgow which reported being hit in the hangar. Also USS Nevada commenced firing on another target with her 5" guns. Fire was ceased on this target at 1305B/25.

At 1250B/25, an enemy shell straddled USS Nevada by 25 yards. HMS Glasgow was hit again by enemy gunfire. She reported being hit on the after superstructure.

At 1252B/25, both USS Nevada and HMS Glasgow were straddled again.

At 1256B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire on another now active battery. fire was ceased at 1302B/25. The battery could not be observed by the spotter aircraft but the salvos were observed from the ship to explode near the enemy gun flashes.

At 1257B/25, USS Nevada was straddled again.

At 1258B/25, USS Emmons opened fire on a small fort where flashes of gunfire were observed. At 1308B/25, he came under fire from another shore battery and was forced to retire to the north making use of smoke that was being laid by USS Rodman. USS Emmons ceased fire at 1313B/25. 64 rounds had been expended.

At 1259B/25, USS Quincy opened fire with her 5" battery. 56 rounds were fired into the target area and hits were reported.

At 1300B/25, three enemy salvos landed 400 yards from USS Quincy. Which then opened fire on a target with her 8" main battery. Fire was ceased at 1310B/25. 10 rounds had been fired and the result was reported as successful.

At 1301B/25, an enemy three gun salvo was seen to straddle HMS Enterprise from USS Quincy.

At 1302B/25, the plane which was spotting for USS Tuscaloosa reported that it had been hit by enemy AA fire and that it was returning to her base.

At 1303B/25, HMS Enterprise was straddled twice.

At 1304B/25, USS Nevada was straddled again. It landed so close on the unengaged side that it was a miracle that it did not hit the ship. Splinters landed on No.4 gun turret.

At 1305B/25, an enemy shell landed 100 yards off the beam of USS Nevada.

At 1310B/25, it appeared that the enemy battery that had been firing on HMS Enterprise shifted target to USS Quincy.

At 1311B/25, HMS Glasgow opened fire on a new target. Fire was ceased at 1337B/25 after 54 rounds of HE had been expended. The results were not known.

At 1312B/25, enemy salvos landed astern of USS Quincy which was just ahead of USS Tuscaloosa. Both ships had to take evasive action.

At 1313B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire. She ceased fire 4 minutes later to shift target.

At 1315B/25, USS Ellyson was ordered to lay smoke near HMS Glasgow.

At 1316B/25, USS Nevada was straddled by an enemy salvo that landed 200 yards short.

At 1319B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire. Fire was ceased at 1324B/25 but fire was resumed 2 minutes later for 4 minutes. At 1332B/25 fire was re-opened again for another 4 minutes. Spotting had been very difficult due to smoke and haze near the target.

At 1320B/25, USS Quincy was straddled by an enemy salvo by 50 yards.

At 1320B/25, USS Murphy was ordered to conduct a fire support mission and commenced closing her assigned target at high speed. Before fire could be opened USS Murphy came under enemy fire and she was straddled several times. At 1405B/25, USS Murphy retired under smoke.

At 1323B/25, enemy shells landed only 100 yards ahead of USS Tuscaloosa.

At 1324B/25, USS Nevada is straddled again.

At 1329B/25, an enemy salvo landed 200 yards short of USS Nevada's beam. USS Nevada went full speed ahead to throw of the enemy's aim.

At 1335B/25, USS Quincy was straddled by an enemy salvo which landed ahead at a range of 100 yards. A minute later three more salvos followed. Closest one was only 50 yards off.

At 1337B/25, USS Nevada opened fire with her main battery on the enemy gun positions currently firing on her. Range was 21900 yards. Fire was ceased at 1415B/25. Individual results could not be observed as many ships were firing on the same target. During the period that USS Nevada was firing on this target, radical manoeuvring had been necessary due to accurate enemy fire. This continued on until 1434B/25.

At 1337B/25, USS Tuscaloosa established communications with a relief spotting plane.

At 1337B/25, USS Quincy was straddled by an enemy three gun salvo. It landed close under her stern.

At 1339B/25, USS Quincy was straddled. HMS Ellyson was ordered shortly afterwards to cover her with a smoke screens.

At 1342B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire. It was hoped that the air spotter would be of use now, however at 1343B/25 the aircraft had to make a forced landing. Fire was ceased at 1350B/25 but re-opened 3 minutes later to be checked again at 1355B/25. After reversing course fire was re-opened again as soon as possible but was checked once more at 1414B/25. Yet another aircraft had taken over the spotting but she reported being unable to see anything due to the haze and smoke near the target. Later it was reported that the air spotter operating for HMS Glasgow, which was not firing at this time, had observed a direct hit on the target by USS Tuscaloosa.

At 1342B/25, the damaged HMS Glasgow was ordered to retire to the north. USS Ellyson and USS Emmons laid smoke to cover her.

At 1345B/25, USS Quincy was straddled again, enemy rounds landed 200 yards off. USS Emmons laid smoke to cover her. She too came under fire and was near missed by two salvos.

At 1345B/25, USS Gherardi opened fire on a shore target she had been ordered to engage. Fire was shifted to another target, close to the first one, at 1400B/25. Both targets were reported neutralised by the shore fire control party and fire was ceased at 1405B/25. 110 round of 5" HE had been expended.

At 1348B/25, USS Hambleton laid a smoke screen and two minutes later she opened fire on an enemy battery from a range of 14250 yards. On opening fire she ceased making smoke. Only two salvos were fired as USS Hambleton came under heavy fire with many near misses. She quickly retired out of range of the battery manoeuvring radically while doing so.

At 1356B/25, USS Rodman opened fire on an enemy shore battery. 8 salvos were fired before the range became to great.

At 1435B/25, HMS Glasgow was missed by some enemy shells falling ahead. Course was altered to the south-east.

At 1347B/25, USS Quincy was near missed with an enemy shell landing near her starboard bow. USS Emmons commenced to lay smoke to shield the cruiser from the enemy.

At 1405B/25, USS Ellyson commenced laying a smoke screen and then fired 27 rounds of 5" at a German shore battery near Querqueville. Fire was ceased after only one minute because of the inability to observe the fall of shot.

At 1410B/25, USS Gherardi came under enemy fire and then retired northward under smoke.

At 1421B/25, HMS Glasgow opened fire on an enemy battery. Fire was ceased at 1443B/25 when the target was no longer in range. 57 rounds of HE had been expended. Several hits had been obtained within 100 yards of the target area.

At 1423B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire on an enemy battery. Fire was ceased after two minutes.

At 1426B/25, USS Quincy opened fire on an enemy battery. Fire was ceased at 1455B/25.

At 1432B/25, USS Hambleton opened fire on a shore target from 14350 yards. While engaging this target radical manoeuvring was carried out to evade return fire. Fire was ceased after six salvos at 1440B/25. She had been forced out of range by enemy fire and retired under smoke.

At 1437B/25, USS Nevada had to radically change course due to a drifting mine being sighted which she just managed to miss.

At 1437B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire on an enemy battery. The air observed reported he had been able to see the battery but it soon became obscured by smoke so fire was ceased after 6 rounds had been fired.

At 1441B/25, HMS Glasgow was straddled. She turned away and streamed a smoke float.

At 1444B/25, USS Nevada opened fire with her main battery on a new target. Fire was ceased at 1455B/25, after the air spotter reported that gunfire had been excellent and that there was no need for further firing on that target.

At 1444B/25, USS Rodman opened fire on an enemy shore battery. Fire was ceased at 1545B/25 after a total of 50 rounds had been fired from range between 15000 and 17500 yards. USS Rodman then retired under smoke having come under accurate enemy fire.

At 1446B/25, HMS Glasgow was straddled again. This was a very close call. The cruiser went full speed ahead and took evasive action.

At 1458B/25, CTF 129 ordered all ships to withdraw through swept channel 'No.3' and join up at buoy 'Charlie'.

At 1503B/25, USS Nevada came under fire again and was straddled. Fire was then opened with the main battery on the battery firing on Nevada. One hit on this battery was later reported.

At 1505B/25, USS Quincy opened fire on an enemy target aided by a shore fire control party. Fire was ceased at 1510B/25.

At 1507B/25, a three gun salvo straddled USS Nevada by 300 yards followed one minute later by a three gun salvo which was just 200 yards off.

At 1510B/25, USS Nevada had another close straddle. This one was a large calibre shell which missed by only 25 yards. Large pieces of shrapnel and splinters landed on the deck but there was no damage nor casualties. The main battery of USS Nevada now ceased firing on her current fire and intended to shift target to another enemy gun battery which was believed to be the one now straddling the battleship. The spotting aircraft however had difficulty locating the target due to enemy AA gunfire.

At 1511B/25, USS Quincy opened fire on an enemy target aided by an air spotter. Fire was ceased at 1530B/25.

At 1513B/25, an enemy salvo landed within 100 yards of USS Nevada which subsequently altered course to evade then enemy's aim.

At 1513B/25, USS Ellyson and USS Hambleton commenced laying smoke to cover the withdrawal of Group I.

At 1515B/25, USS Tuscaloosa opened fire on a casemated gun emplacement from a range of 25400 yards. Fire was ceased at 1540B/25. A direct hit was reported with more rounds hitting the immediate area around the casemate.

At 1520B/25, the aircraft spotting for USS Nevada finally located the enemy battery firing on the battleship. Fire was opened with the main battery on this target at 1522B/25. Range was 26300 yards. Fire was ceased after 6 rounds at 1525B/25. All rounds had straddled the target. Fire was ceased upon receiving the order to retire.

Around 1540B/25, Group I entered approach channel 'No.1' to return to Portland.

At 1820B/25, HMS Enterprise was detached to proceed to Portsmouth to re-ammunition there.

Around 1945B/25, Group I arrived at Portland.

Movements of Group II.

Group II departed Portland around 0330B/25. Around 0945B/25, Group II arrived in the assigned bombardment area. The minesweepers were still sweeping the area at this time.

At 1208B/25, USS Arkansas opened fire on an enemy battery from a range of 18000 yards. Results were unknown but two hits were thought possible. Fire was ceased at 1245B/25.

At 1228B/25, Group II and accompanying mineweepers were taken under fire by German shore batteries. Their first salvo landed near USS Barton, USS O'Brien and some of the minesweepers. At 1229B/25, USS Barton and USS O'Brien immediately opened counter battery fire after USS Barton had located the source of the enemy gunfire.

At 1230B/30, USS Barton was straddled and also suffered a hit in her after diesel engine room. Fortunately the projectile was a dud.

At 1232B/30, USS Laffey was straddled and also suffered a hit in her port bow near the anchor. This projectile was also a dud.

At 1234B/30, USS Texas was straddled several times and evasive action had to be taken.

At 1235B/30, USS Barton commenced counter-battery fire.

At 1237B/30, USS Barton was ordered to draw further ahead and be prepared to make smoke.

At 1238B/25, USS Texas opened fire on a shore battery. Range was 19200 yards. The results were doubtful as it is believed the spotter aircraft was in error as to the location of the target. Only six rounds were fired.

At 1241B/25, USS Barton, USS O'Brien, USS Laffey and USS Plunkett were now covering the minesweepers with counter-battery fire as indicated by flashes on the beach. The destroyers fire was intermittent due to the difficulty in spotting due to the heavy smoke in the target area.

At 1242B/25, USS Texas was straddled close to starboard.

At 1244B/25, USS Texas shifted fire to another shore battery.

At 1245B/25, USS Texas was straddled by two salvos followed by four more as the enemy had apparently found the range and commenced rapid firing. USS Arkansas reversed course to avoid USS Texas and therefore had to cease firing.

At 1246B/25, USS Texas was straddled to port.

At 1252B/25, USS Arkansas opened fire on a new target. 1000 yards from her previous target. Range was 20000 yards. Fire was ceased on this target at 1325B/25.

At 1254B/25, USS O'Brien was straddled followed by a hit which carried away the aft portion of the bridge. 13 of the crew were killed and 19 were injured.

At 1254B/25, USS Texas and USS Arkansas turned to the northwards with USS Hobson and USS Plunkett making smoke and screening. The minesweepers also retired to the northward making smoke.

At 1255B/25, USS Barton positioned herself between the minesweepers and the enemy laying smoke.

At 1256B/25, USS Texas was straddled astern. She then turned westwards with USS Arkansas following.

Between 1302 and 1500B/25, USS Texas fired 170 rounds with her main battery on an enemy shore battery believed to be. Many shells landed in the target area and one direct hit was observed by the air spotter.

At 1316B/25, USS Texas was hit by a large calibre enemy shell which wrecked the pilot house and all control equipment. She immediately altered course to the northward to asses the damage. There was 1 dead and 12 wounded.

At 1317B/25, USS Texas was straddled. She then took avoiding action and the escorting destroyers started to make smoke again.

At 1323B/23, a fire broke out on the stern of USS Texas which was quickly extinguished.

The enemy then concentrated on USS Arkansas which was straddled several times until smoke screens, laid by USS Plunkett and USS Hobson became too dense and the enemy fire was lifted around 1325B/25.

Around 1339B/25, USS Texas turned to the south-east after control of the ship had been transferred to the conning tower.

At 1401B/25, USS Arkansas re-opened fire from 19000 yards. Fire was ceased after 6 minutes when USS Arkansas was straddled. 8 rounds had been fired.

At 1443B/25, both USS Texas and USS Arkansas opened fire. Both fired on different targets.

At 1447B/25, USS Texas was hit by a did on the port side near frame 19 tearing a hole 3" by 2" above the waterline.

At 1454B/25, both USS Texas and USS Arkansas were straddled. It was then decided to retire northwards. USS Plunkett and USS Hobson laying smoke to cover the battleships.

At 1500B/25, both battleships ceased fire.

At 1504B/25, Group II was ordered to return to Portland by CTG 129.

Around 2230B/25, Task Unit 129.2 arrived in Portland Bay after an uneventful passage. (8)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore


  2. ADM 199/427
  3. ADM 199/662
  4. ADM 234/359
  5. ADM 53/116482
  6. ADM 173/17252
  7. ADM 173/17216
  8. COMCRUDIV 7, Report of bombardment of Cherbourg, Normandy, France on 25 June 1944 + Reports of individual ships participating

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

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