Allied Warships

HMS Ultimatum (P 34)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 34 
ModThird Group 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered11 Mar 1940 
Laid down19 Jun 1940 
Launched11 Feb 1941 
Commissioned29 Jul 1941 
End service 
History

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 23 December 1949. Scrapped at Port Glasgow in February 1950.

 

Commands listed for HMS Ultimatum (P 34)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Peter Robert Helfrich Harrison, DSC, RN12 Jun 194112 Nov 1942
2Lt. Desmond Samuel Royce Martin, RN12 Nov 19423 Dec 1942
3Lt. Roger Cresswell Bucknall, RN3 Dec 194227 Jan 1943
4Lt. William Hedley Kett, RNR27 Jan 194327 Dec 1944
5Lt. Charles Henry Hammer, RN27 Dec 19445 Feb 1945
6Lt. Peter Dove Courtenay Bennett, RN5 Feb 194511 Jun 1945
7Lt. Alan Flockhart Esson, RNR11 Jun 194528 Jun 1945
8Lt. John Oldham Coote, RN28 Jun 19454 Sep 1945
9Lt. Roger Cresswell Bucknall, RN4 Sep 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Ultimatum include:


The history of HMS P 34 / HMS Ultimatum as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

This page was last updated in February 2018.

28 Jul 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed from her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (1)

29 Jul 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (1)

24 Aug 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Barrow. She was sent back to her builders yard to make good several defects before she was to be sent to the Mediterranean.

During the passage to Barrow P 34 was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR).

25 Aug 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Barrow.

16 Sep 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Barrow for Gibraltar. She was to proceed to Malta to join the 10th submarine flotilla based there.

During the passage south through the Irish Sea P 34 was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) until Bishops Rock.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed.

21 Sep 1941
While en-route to Gibraltar HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) is ordered by signal to conduct a short patrol off Cape Finisterre, Spain.

This made the passage to Gibraltar P 34's 1st war patrol.

26 Sep 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol when she arrived at Gibraltar.

1 Oct 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for passage to Malta.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (2)

8 Oct 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. (2)

17 Oct 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to intercept an enemy convoy between Kuriat and Pantelleria (patrol report is missing).

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed.

28 Oct 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

6 Nov 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) after carrying exercises with the M/S trawler HMS Justified (T/Skr. W.J.I. Beamish, RNR) and the minesweeper HMS Abingdon (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR). She was ordered to form a patrol line with HMS Upholder (Lt.Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, DSO, RN) and HMS Urge (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tomkinson, RN) in the Ionian Sea to intercept the Duisburg convoy.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(2)

20 Nov 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. The patrol had been uneventful. (2)

28 Nov 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol south of the Straits of Messina.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(2)

5 Dec 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) attacked an Italian convoy made up of the merchants Vertunno (3159 GRT, built 1905) and Tigrai (1302 GRT, built 1918). They were escorted by the torpedo-boat Giuseppe Sirtori. The torpedoes missed and Sirtori retaliated with thirty-five depth charges. The two submarines sighted just before the attack were Veniero and Mocenigo proceeding from Naples to Taranto.

(All times are zone -1)
1250 hours - Sighted masts and funnel of a ship with smoke of another ship astern. Closed to investigate.

1255 hours - Commenced attack on the leading merchant vessel. A ship of about 4000 tons. Went to 70 feet and closed at full speed.

1310 hours - Came to periscope depth. Sighted two submarines but these could not be attacked. Had P 34 not gone deep an attack would have been possible. Continued the attack on the leading merchant vessel. It was now also seen that the merchant vessels were escorted by an older type torpedo-boat.

1328 hours - In position 37°48'N, 16°05'E fired three torpedoes from 5000 yards.

1331 hours - Heard one explosion.

1335 hours - Heard two more explosions.

1337 hours - A counter attack commenced. A total of 31 depth charges was dropped. P 34 was hunted all afternoon. (2)

8 Dec 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (2)

12 Dec 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Ionian Sea in a patrol line with HMS Upholder (Lt.Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, DSO, RN), HMS P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, RN) and ORP Sokol (Lt.Cdr. B. Karnicki, ORP).

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(2)

14 Dec 1941
At 2345 hours HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) received a signal that the anticipated enemy movements did not occur and that the patrol line was dispersed.

P 34 was ordered to return to Malta after having patrolled off Augusta, Sicily on the 16th. (2)

15 Dec 1941
At 0700 hours, as P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was proceeding eastward, in a position about 110 miles west of Zante, a U-boat was observed proceeding on the surface. P 34 closed submerged to intercept but lost sight of the enemy. This was probably the Italian Ciro Menotti on a transport mission to Benghazi. (2)

17 Dec 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (2)

29 Dec 1941
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol well to the south of the Straits of Messina.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(2)

4 Jan 1942
In the evening HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was ordered to proceed to the Gulf of Taranto to form a patrol line together with other submarines. (2)

10 Jan 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. Only a Calipso class destroyer was sighted on 3 January. (2)

20 Jan 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the South of the Straits of Messina.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

25 Jan 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian passenger ship Dalmatia L. (3352 GRT, built 1903) south-west of Capo dell'Armi in position 37°45'N, 15°30'E. Dalmatia L. was escorted by the torpedo boat Giuseppe Sirtori.

Dalmatia L. was hit in the forward section and was abandoned by her crew but she did not sink immediately. Sirtori was joined by the torpedo boat Giuseppe Cesare Abba which had observed the torpedoing from a distance. Depth charges were dropped and then efforts were made to take the stricken vessel in tow. The tug Titano arrived to take in charge of the towing and part of the crew of Dalmatia L. returned aboard their ship but at 0140/26 she finally broke in two and foundered.

(All times are zone -1)
1305 hours - Sighted the upperworks of a merchant vessel and one other ship bearing 350°, range was about 10000 yards. Started attack and closed at high speed.

1326 hours - The target was a heavily laden merchant ship of about 7000 tons escorted by an older type torpedo boat.

1339 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 5000 yards.

1343 hours - Heard a torpedo explosion. H.E. of the target ceased.

1346 hours - A counter attack commenced. 9 Depth charges were dropped in the next 10 minutes. Only one was close.

1354 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The merchant vessel was seen to be stopped with a slight list to post. The torpedo-boat remained near the merchant vessel dropping a further 16 depth charges at irregular intervals until 1600 hours. (3)

1 Feb 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

14 Feb 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Kerkenah.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

16 Feb 1942
In the evening HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was ordered to form a patrol line to the East of Tripoli together with 7 other submarines. (3)

23 Feb 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) fires four torpedoes against an Italian convoy about 80 nautical miles east of Tripoli, Libya in position 32°51'N, 13°58'E. All torpedoes fired missed their targets.

The convoy attacked was made up of the Italian merchants Ravello (6142 GRT, built 1941), Unione (6070 GRT, built 1942 and brand new) and Monginevro (5324 GRT, built 1940). Escort was provided by the destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi, Lanzerotto Malocello, Nicolo Zeno, Maestrale, Strale and Premuda, and the torpedo boats Pallade and Calliope. The torpedoes were spotted by an escorting aircraft which machine-gunned them to give the alarm and the convoy altered course to avoid them. Unione was missed ahead and astern by two torpedoes. The destroyer Vivaldi depth charged the submarine.

(All times are zone -1)
1125 hours - Sighted two merchant vessels and three destroyers bearing 040°. Enemy course was 250°. Started attack.

1130 hours - The convoy appeared to consist of three modern merchant ships of 9000 tons in line ahead. Seven destroyers were seen to be the escort. They were of various types.

1149 hours - Fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 4500 yards.

1157 hours - Heard three explosions.

1158 hours - A counter attack commenced. A total of 57 depth charges were dropped some quite near. P 34 managed to escape.

1420 hours - Both hunting destroyers were now out of sight.

28 Feb 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

11 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the Calabrian coast.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

14 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Ammiraglio Millo (offsite link) in the Ionian Sea off Punta (Cape) Stilo, Calabria, Italy in position 38°27'N, 16°37'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1255 hours - Sighted the conning tower of a submarine bearing 270°. Range was about 8000 yards. Started attack.

1319 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2200 yards. Two hits were obtained and the submarine was seen to sink.

1325 hours - Surfaced and picked up fourteen survivors. These included four officers and ten ratings.

1402 hours - Dived and withdrew from the area. In the evening Lt. Harrison decided to return to Malta to land the Italian survivors.

16 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta to land the Italian survivors and to load four new spare torpedoes and provisions. (3)

17 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta to resume her patrol. She was now ordered to patrol to the south of the Straits of Messina. No suitable targets were sighted.

27 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

6 Apr 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) departed Malta for her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol near Capo Santa Maria di Leuca to operate against traffic from Taranto to the Adriatic.

Lt. Coombe had taken command vice Lt. Harrison for this patrol in order to give Lt. Harrison a rest.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

7 Apr 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) is ordered to proceed to position 37°00'N, 16°14'E to intercept a southbound enemy merchant vessel. (3)

8 Apr 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) is ordered to proceed to her original patrol area. (3)

12 Apr 1942
At 0924 hours (zone -1) HMS P 34 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) was shaken by a violent explosion while in position 39°45'N, 18°29'5"E. The submarine was blown to the surface. The fore hatch lifted and admitted a quantity of water. All lights in the after part of the ship were extinguished. Three depth gauges in the control room were put out of action and considerable other damage was done. P 34 had a lucky escape after hitting a mine. This was most likely a mine laid by the minelayer Barletta in June 1940 (minefield 4 AS).

P 34 altered course to get clear of the coast to make good defects and to establish if she could remain on patrol. In the afternoon most damage had been repaired and it was decided to remain on patrol. P 34 had meanwhile received a signal to take up a patrol position in the Ionian Sea. (3)

13 Apr 1942
As it was likely that enemy 'heavy units' might be met Lt. Coombe decided that the depth settings of the torpedoes were to be altered. It was then found out that due to the explosion of the previous day the torpedoes could not be retracted from the tubes nor that they could be fired. The defects could not be repaired at sea so Lt. Coombe had no other choice than to abandon the patrol and HMS P 34 set course back to Malta. (3)

16 Apr 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

29 Apr 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Alexandria. Due to heavy enemy air attacks it had been decided to retire the small number of submarines currently based at Malta to Alexandria.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (4)

8 May 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (4)

11 May 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said.

12 May 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Port Said for a docking and repairs. The dates of docking are unknown to us (for the moment).

31 May 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria.

2 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (5)

6 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for her 11th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to give cover during convoy operations to Malta with HMS Una (Lt. C.P. Norman, RN), HMS P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, RN) and HMS P 35 (Lt. S.L.C. Maydon, RN) (cover of Operation VIGOROUS).

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(4)

15 Jun 1942
At 0615 hours (zone -3) HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) spotted the Italian battlefleet. An air attack was in progress and the ships were maneuvering all over the place. P 34 was unable to obtain a favourable firing position.

At 1012 hours, while approaching a damaged Trento-class cruiser this ship was seen to sink as a result of torpedo hits by HMS P 35 (Lt. S.L.C. Maydon, RN). P 35 had gone deep to evade but Lt. Harrison sat front row and was able to confirm that the cruiser had sunk. [This was indeed Trento.] (4)

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) makes a torpedo attack on German U-boat U-77 south of Crete in position 34°20'N, 24°09'E. All torpedoes fired however missed their target.

It was however thought that the target had been sunk but this was not the case.

(All times are zone -3)
0735 hours - Heard HE bearing 045°.

0740 hours - Sighted a German U-boat bearing 060° at long range. Enemy course was 140°, speed 10 knots by Asdic. Started attack.

0800 hours - In position 34°20'N, 24°09'E fired four torpedoes from 7000 yards.

0807 hours - Heard a loud explosion. HE of the target stopped immediately. Nearly two minutes later a second loud explosion was heard. This was thought to be a internal explosion on board the U-boat. It is thought the U-boat had been hit and sunk. (4)

27 Jun 1942
At 1500 hours (zone -3), in approximate position 32°31'N, 28°32'E, HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) sighted a German u-boat at a range of 9000 yards. P 34 closed submerged at high speed but the u-boat dived before a favourable attack position could be obtained.

However, there were no U-boat in this area (U-372 and U-453 were more than 60 miles to the south). This may have been HMS P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, RN) also returning to Alexandria. (4)

28 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (4)

29 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for Haifa.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this passage see the map below.

(5)

3 Jul 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Haifa. (6)

17 Jul 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Haifa for her 12th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the West of Crete and afterwards to proceed to Malta. Nothing of interest was sighted.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(4)

31 Jul 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (4)

10 Aug 1942

Convoy WS 21S, Operation Pedestal.

Convoy WS 21S and the concentration of the escort forces

Convoy WS 21S departed the Clyde on 2 August 1942. The convoy was made up of the following ships;
American freighters;
Almeria Lykes (7773 GRT, built 1940), Santa Elisa (8379 GRT, built 1941), British freighters;
Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Dorset (10624 GRT, built 1934), Empire Hope (12688 GRT, built 1941), Glenorchy (8982 GRT, built 1939), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933), Rochester Castle (7795 GRT, built 1937), Waimarama (12843 GRT, built 1938), Wairangi (12436 GRT, built 1935), and the American tanker;
Ohio (9264 GRT, built 1940).

These ships were escorted by light cruisers HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN, flying the flag of the Rear-Admiral 10th C.S., Sir H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Kenya (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Stewart, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt.Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy) Lord Teynham, RN), HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN).

A cover force made up of departed Scapa Flow on the same day. This force was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN) and HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Somali (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN). They were to rendez-vous with convoy WS 21S at sea on 3 August. HMS Penn was delayed by a defect and after topping off with fuel at Moville, Northern Ireland overtook the force and joined at sea.

The aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) meanwhile had already left Scapa Flow on 31 July 1941 to rendez-vous with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN). These ships were joined at sea on 1 August 1942 by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN), loaded with spare fighter aircraft for the operation, and her two escorts the destroyers HMS Buxton (Lt.Cdr. I.J. Tyson, RD, RNR) and HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR). HMS Argus and her two escorting destroyers had departed the Clyde on 31 July. HMS Buxton later split off and proceeded towards Canada and HMS Sardonyx proceeded to Londonderry.

The last ships to take part in the operation to depart the U.K. (Clyde around midnight during the night of 4/5 August) were the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), loaded with Hurricane fighters for Malta, and her escorts, the light cruiser HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) and the Polish destroyer ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP). They were joined at sea, around dawn, by HMS Sardonyx coming from Londonderry. The destroyers parted company around midnight during the night of 5/6 August. They arrived at Londonderry on 7 August. HMS Furious and HMS Manchester then joined convoy WS 21S around midnight of the next night but HMS Manchester parted company shortly afterwards to proceed ahead of the convoy and fuel at Gibraltar.

On 1 August 1942 the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) and the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walters, DSC, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to proceed to a rendez-vous position off the Azores.

On 5 August 1942, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the the destroyers HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN) and HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) departed Gibraltar also to the rendez-vous position off the Azores.

The convoy conducted maneuvering and AA exercises with the escorts between the Azores and Gibraltar during the period of 6 to 9 August. (Operation Berserk). Also dummy air attacks were carried out by aircraft from the carriers.

Passage of the Straits of Gibraltar and organization of escort forces.

The convoy then passed the Straits of Gibraltar during the night of 9/10 August 1942 in dense fog but despite this the convoy was detected by German and Italian spies and reported.

After passing the Straits of Gibraltar the convoy was organized as follows;
The actual convoy was protected a large force of warships until the whole force would split up before entering the Sicilian narrows after which ‘Force X’ under command of Rear-Admiral Sir H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN was to accompany the convoy to the approaches to Malta where they would be met by the Malta Minesweeping Flotilla, which was then to sweep the convoy into the harbour. Force X was made up of the following ships:
Licht cruisers: HMS Nigeria (flagship), HMS Kenya,, HMS Manchester.
AA cruiser: HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN).
Destroyers: HMS Ashanti, HMS Fury, HMS Foresight, HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid, HMS Pathfinder and HMS Penn.
Escort destroyers: HMS Derwent, HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, RN). Also the rescue tug HMS Jaunty was to be part of this force.

After the escort was to be split up cover was provided by ‘Force Z’ under Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN. This force was made up of the following ships:
Battleships: HMS Nelson (flagship) and HMS Rodney.
Aircraft carriers: HMS Victorious, HMS Indomitable and HMS Eagle.
Light cruisers: HMS Phoebe, HMS Sirius and HMS Charybdis.
Destroyers: HMS Laforey, HMS Lightning, HMS Lookout, HMS Eskimo, HMS Somali, HMS Tartar, HMS Quentin, HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN) HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair), HMS Wishart and HMS Vansittart. Escort destroyer: HMS Zetland. Also attached were the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (for Operation Bellows, the launching of Hurricane fighters for Malta. HMS Furious only carried four Albacore aircraft for A/S searches after the Hurricanes had been launched) and the ‘spare’ destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Malcolm, HMS Venomous, HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Westcott, HMS Wolverine, HMS Wrestler and HMS Amazon. These ‘spare’ destroyers were to take the place of destroyers in the screen ‘Force Z’ if needed, escort HMS Furious during her return passage to Gibraltar after she had completed Operation Bellows and / or strengthen the escort of ‘Force R’.

Then there was also ‘Force R’, the fuelling force. This force was made up of the following ships:
Corvettes: HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR), HMS Spiraea (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR).
Rescue tug: HMS Salvonia.
RFA tankers: RFA Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, Master D.B.C. Ralph) and RFA Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, Master R.T. Duthie).

Before we give an account of the passage of the main convoy we will now first describe the operations taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean (Operations MG 3 and MG 4), the launching of the Hurricane fighters for Malta by HMS Furious (Operation Bellows) and the return convoy from Malta (Operation Ascendant) as well as on submarine operations / dispositions.

Diversion in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As part of the plan for Operation Pedestal the Mediterranean Fleet had to carry out a diversion in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. Before we go to the operations in the Western Mediterranean we will first give an account of the events in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It was at this time not possible to sent any supplies from Egypt to Malta as all supplies and forces were much needed for the upcoming land battle at El Alamein it was agreed that ‘a dummy convoy’ would be sent towards Malta with the object of preventing the enemy to direct the full weight of their air and naval power towards the Western Mediterranean.

In the evening of 10 August 1942 a ‘convoy’ (MG 3) of three merchant ships departed Port Said escorted by three cruisers and ten destroyers. Next morning one more merchant ship departed Haifa escorted by two cruisers and five destroyers. The two forces joined that day (the 11th) and then turned back dispersing during the night. The Italian fleet however did not go to sea to attack ‘the bait’.

The forces taking part in this operation were:
From Port Said:
Merchant vessels City of Edinburgh (8036 GRT, built 1938), City of Lincoln (8039 GRT, built 1938) and City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937) escorted by the light cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. R.J.R. Dendy, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Paladin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton(Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, DSC, RN), HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN) and HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN).

From Haifa:
Merchant vessel Ajax (7797 GRT, built 1931) escorted by the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. G. Grantham, DSO, RN, flagship of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), the destroyers HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J. A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. H.C. Simms, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Tetcott (Lt. H.R. Rycroft, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN).

After dark on 11 August 1942 the force turned back and the City of Pretoria returned to Port Said escorted by HMS Eridge and HMS Hursley. The City of Edinburgh, escorted by HMS Beaufort and HMS Belvoir proceeded to Haifa. The City of Lincoln escorted by HMS Dulverton and HMS Hurworth proceeded to Beirut and finally the Ajax, escorted by HMS Tetcott and HMS Croome returned to Haifa. HMS Dido had to return to Port Said with hull defects. She was escorted by HMS Pakenham, HMS Paladin and HMS Jervis.

HMS Cleopatra, HMS Arethusa, HMS Sikh, HMS Zulu, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin then proceeded to carry out another diversion (Operation MG 4). They bombarded Rhodos harbour and the Alliotti Flour Mills during the night of 12/13 August but did little damage. On the way back HMS Javelin attacked a submarine contact in position 34°45’N, 31°04’E between 0654 and 0804 hours. She reported that there was no doubt that the submarine was sunk but no Axis submarines were operating in this area so the attack must have been bogus. This force returned to Haifa at 1900/13.

Operation Bellows.

During operation Bellows, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, started 37 Spitfire which were to proceed to Malta, when south of the Balearic Islands. The Admiralty had decided to carry out this operation at the same time as Operation Pedestal.

HMS Furious remained with the convoy until 1200/11. She then launched the Spitfires for Malta in 5 batches between 1230 and 1515 hours. During these flying off operations she acted independently with the destroyers HMS Lookout and HMS Lightning. After having launched the last batch of Spitfires she briefly re-joined to convoy until around 1700 hours when she split off and set course for Gibraltar escorted by the destroyers HMS Malcolm, HMS Wolverine and HMS Wrestler. These were joined shortly afterwards by HMS Keppel and HMS Venomous.

Around 0100/12, HMS Wolverine, rammed and sank the Italian submarine Dagabur which was trying to attack HMS Furious. Around 0200 hours, HMS Wolverine reported that she was stopped due to the damage she had sustained in the ramming. HMS Malcolm was detached to assist her.

At 1530/12, the destroyer HMS Vidette joined the screen. The force then entered Gibraltar Bay around 1930/12. The damaged HMS Wolverine arrived at Gibraltar at 1230/13 followed by HMS Malcolm around 1530/13.

Operation Ascendant

On 10 August 1942 the empty transports Troilus (7648 GRT, built 1921) and Orari (10107 GRT, built 1931) departed Malta after dark for Gibraltar. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN). They first proceeded to the south of Lampedusa, then hugged the Tunisian coast as far as Galita Island. Near Cape Bon they encountered the Italian destroyer Lanzerotto Malocello that was laying a minefield. They had a brief gunfight but this was soon ended as both sides were thinking the enemy was Vichy-French. The remained of the passage to Gibraltar was uneventful and the convoy arrived at Gibraltar shortly before noon on 14 August 1942.

Submarine operations / dispositions.
Eight submarines took part in the operation; these were HMS Utmost (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN), HMS P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, DSO, RN), HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN), HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN), HMS P 44 (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN), HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN), HMS P 222 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. MacKenzie, RN). Two of these were to carry out normal dived patrol to the north of Sicily, one off Palermo, the other off Milazzo which is futher to the east. The other six submarines were given alternative patrol lines south of Pantelleria, one od which they were to take up at dawn on 13 August 1942, according to the movements of enemy surface ships that might threathen the convoy from the westward. When the convoy had passed the patrol line, which it should have done by that time, the submarines were to proceed on the surface parallel to the convoy as a screen and to dive away clear of the convoy at noon. It was expressly intended that they should be seen on the surface and reported by enemy aircraft in order to deter enemy warships from attacking the convoy.

Enemy warships did go to sea but as soon as it was clear that the enemy ships could not reach the convoy the sunmarines were ordered to dive and retire. These six sumarines had no contact with the enemy. One of the the two submarines off the north coast of Sicily, HMS P 42, managed to torpedo two Italian cruisers near Stromboli on the morning of 13 August 1942.

Now we return to the main convoy to Malta.

Passage eastwards after passing the Straits of Gibraltar.

10 and 11 August 1942.

After passing through the Straits of Gibraltar in the early hours of 10 August 1942, in dense fog, the convoy was first sighted by an Italian passenger aircraft, which sighted the convoy in the afternoon of the same day. German reconnaissance aircraft started shadowing the convoy from dawn on the 11th, and thereafter they or Italian aircraft kept the convoy under continuous observation, despite the effort of the fighters from the carriers to shoot them down or drive them off. At 1315 hours, HMS Eagle, was hit an sunk by torpedoes from the German submarine U-73 which had penetrated the destroyer screen. At that moment there were thirteen destroyers in the screen, the remainder was away from the main convoy, escorting HMS Furious during the flying off operations of the Hurricane fighters for Malta or oiling from and screening ‘Force R’ which was several miles away. Between 1430/10 and and 2030/11 no less then three cruisers and twenty-four destroyers fuelled from the two oilers of ‘Force R’.

At the time of the torpedoing of HMS Eagle the convoy was in four columns, zigzagging at 13 knots, with the heavy ships stationed close round it and a destroyer screen ahead. HMS Eagle was on the starboard quarter of the convoy. She was hit on her starboard side by four torpedoes which had dived through the destroyer screen and the convoy columns undetected and then torpedoed and sank the Eagle in position 38°05’N, 03°02’E (Another source gives 03°12’E but this might be a typo). The carrier sank quickly in about 8 minutes, 926 of her crew, including the Commanding Officer, were rescued by the destroyers HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout and the rescue tug HMS Jaunty. At the time of her sinking, HMS Eagle had four aircraft on patrol. These landed on the other carriers. All other aircraft were lost with the ship. The survivors picked up were later transferred to the destroyers HMS Keppel, HMS Malcolm and HMS Venomous that were to escort HMS Furious back to Gibraltar. The tug HMS Jaunty that had been involved in picking up survivors was never able to rejoin the convoy due to her slow speed.

Late in the afternoon air attacks were expected so Vice-Admiral Syfret ordered the destroyer to form an all-round screen. Indeed the air attacks started around sunset, 2045 hours. The last destroyers had just returned from oiling from ‘Force R’. The enemy aircraft that were attacking were 36 German bombers and torpedo aircraft, Ju 88’s and He 111’s, most of which attacked the convoy but a few attacked ‘Force R’ to the southward. The Junkers arrived first, diving down from 8000 feet to 2000 / 3000 feet to drop their bombs. They claimed to have hit an aircraft carrier and one of the merchant ships. Then the Heinkels attacked, they claimed to have torpedoed a cruiser but during the attacks no ship was hit. The British fighter cover was unable to attack / find the enemy in the failing light. Four enemy aircraft were claimed shot down by the ships AA fire but it appears only two JU 88’s were in fact shot down.

12 August 1942

At 0915/12 another wave of German aircraft attacked the convoy. Some twenty or more JU 88’s approached the convoy out of the sun ahead. They were intercepted by fighters about 25 miles from the convoy. About a dozen got through to the convoy, making high-level or shallow dive-bombing attacks individually but without any result. Eight German aircraft were claimed to be shot down by the fighters and two more by AA guns from the ships. The fighters meanwhile were also busy dealng with shadowers, three of which are claimed to have been shot down before the morning attack. Around this time destroyers were also busy with numerous submarine contact which were attacked by depth charges.

Around noon the enemy launched heavy air attacks from the Sardinian airfields. Seventy aircraft approached which were heavily escorted by fighters. They attacked in stages and employed new methods.

First ten Italian torpedo-bombers were each to drop some sort of circling torpedo or mine a few hundred yards ahead of the British force, while eight fighter bombers made dive-bombing and machine-gun attacks. The object at this stage was clearly to dislocate the formation of the force and to draw anti-aircraft fire, making the ships more vulnerable to a torpedo attack which soon followed with over forty aircraft. They attacked in two groups, one on either bow of the convoy. The next stage was a shallow dive-bombing attack by German aircraft, after which two Italian Reggiane 2001 fighters, each with a single heavy armour-piercing bomb were to dive bomb on one of the aircraft carriers, whilst yet another new form of attack was to be employed against the other carrier, but defects in the weapon prevented this attack from taking place.

The enemy attack went according to plan besides that the torpedo attack was only made half an our after the ‘mines’ were dropped instead of five minutes. British fighters met the minelaying aircraft, they shot down one of them as they approached. The remaining nine aircraft dropped their ‘mines’ at 1215 hours in the path of the force, which turned to avoid the danger. The mines were heard to explode several minutes later. Only three of the fighter-bombers of this stage of the attack appear to have reached as far the screen, but HMS Lightning had a narrow escape from their bombs.

The torpedo-aircraft appeared at 1245 hours. Their number were brought down a bit due to British fighters. The remaining aircraft, estimated at 25 to 30 machines, attacked from the port bow, port beam and starboard quarter. They dropped their torpedoes well outside the screen some 8000 yards from the merchant ships which they had been ordered to attack. The force turned 45° to port and then back to starboard to avoid the attack.

In the next stage, around 1318 hours, the German bombing attack, the enemy scored their one success. These aircraft were also intercepted on their way in but about a dozen of about twenty aircraft came through. They crossed the convoy from starboard to port and then dived to 3000 feet. They managed to damage the transport Deucalion which was leading the port wing column. More bombs fell close to several other ships.

Finally, at 1345 hours, the two Reggiane fighters approached HMS Victorious as if to land on. They looked like Hurricanes and HMS Victorious was at that time engaged in landing her own fighters. They managed to drop their bombs and one hit the flight deck amidships. Fortunately the bomb broke up without exploding. By the time HMS Victorious could open fire both fighters were out of range.

The Deucalion could no longer keep up with the convoy and was ordered to follow the inshore route along the Tunisian coast escorted by HMS Bramham. Two bombers found these ships late in the afternoon, but their bombs missed. At 1940 hours, however, near the Cani Rocks, two torpedo aircraft attacked and a torpedo hit the Deucalion. She caught fire and eventually blew up.

The convoy passed some 20 miles north of Galita Island and spent the afternoon avoiding enemy submarines which were known to be concentrated in these waters. There were innumerable reports of sightings and Asdic contacts and at least two submarines proved dangerous. At 1616 hours, HMS Pathfinder and HMS Zetland attacked one on the port bow of the convoy and hunted her until the convoy was out of reach. HMS Ithuriel, stationed on the quarter, then attacked, forced the enemy to surface and finally rammed her. She proved to be the Italian submarine Cobalto. Meanwhile HMS Tartar, on the starboard quarter, saw six torpedoes fired at close range at 1640 hours, and the next destroyer in the screen, HMS Lookout sighted a periscope. Together they attacked the submarine, continuing until it was no longer dangerous. There was no evidence this submarine was sunk.

At 1750 hours, HMS Ithuriel, which was on her way back to the convoy after sinking the Italian submarine Cobalto was attacked by a few dive-bombers, when still a dozen miles astern of the convoy. At this time the convoy came under attack by aircraft stationed on Sicily. This force numbered nearly 100 aircraft. Ju.87 dive-bombers as well as Ju.88’s and SM-79’s all with a strong escort of fighters. The enemy started attacking at 1835 hours, the bombers attacking from both ahead and astern which last was the direction of the sun. The torpedo aircraft came from ahead to attack on the starboard bow and beam of the convoy.

The Italian SM-79’s torpedo bombers dropped their torpedoes from ranges of about 3000 yards outside the destroyer screen, and once again the convoy turned away to avoid them. However the destroyer HMS Foresight was hit by a torpedo and disabled. The bombers chose HMS Indomitable as their main target. She was astern of HMS Rodney at the time on the port quarter of the convoy. Four Ju.88’s and eight Ju.87’s came suddenly out of the sun and dived steeply towards HMS Indomitable from astern. Some of the Ju.87 came down to 1000 feet and the carrier received three hits and her flight deck was put out of action. Her airborne fighters eventually had to land on HMS Victorious. HMS Rodney meanwhile had a narrow escape when a bomber attacked from ahead. One enemy aircraft was claimed to have been shot down by AA fire from the ships while the fighters claimed nine more although there were about twice as much enemy fighters in the air then British.

HMS Tartar took the damaged HMS Foresight in tow and proceeded westward for Gibraltar. Next day, as they were shadowed by enemy aircraft, and enemy submarines were known to be in the area, it was decided to scuttle the cripple before both ships might be lost. HMS Tartar then torpedoed HMS Foresight a few miles from Galita Island.

Passage through the narrows, 12-13 August 1942, and the loss off HMS Manchester.

These last air attacks took place about 20 nautical miles west of the Skerki Channel and at 1900 hours, when the attacks were clearly over, Vice-Admiral Syfret turned away with ‘Force Z’. It was now up to Rear-Admiral Burrough with ‘Force X’ to take the convoy to Malta.

At 2000 hours, when the convoy was changing it’s formation from four to two columns, the convoy was attacked by Italian submarines. The submarine Dessie attacked a freighter with four torpedoes and claimed three hits. The sound of the torpedo hits was however not caused by her attack but by an attack by the Axum which hit three ships, HMS Nigeria, HMS Cairo and the tanker Ohio.

HMS Nigeria had to turn back to make for Gibraltar escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Derwent, HMS Wilton and HMS Bicester. Rear-Admiral Burrough transferred his flag to the destroyer HMS Ashanti. The stern of HMS Cairo had been blown off and she had to be sunk as she was beyond salvage with both engines also out of action. She was scuttled by HMS Pathfinder. The Ohio meanwhile managed to struggle on.

At this time the convoy was still trying to form up the the submarine attacks messed things up and right at thus time the convoy was once more attacked from the air in the growing dusk at 2030 hours. About 20 German aircraft, Ju-88’s made dive bombing and torpedo attacks, hitting the Empire Hope with a bomb and the Clan Ferguson and Brisbane Star with torpedoes. The first of these ships had to be sunk (by HMS Bramham, the second blew up but the last eventually reached Malta. Soon after this attack, at 2111 hours, HMS Kenya was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Alagi. She was able to evade three of the four torpedoes but was hit in the bow by the fouth. She was however able to remain with the convoy.

The situation was then as follows. HMS Kenya and HMS Manchester with two merchant ships, and with the minesweeping destroyers HMS Intrepid, HMS Icarus and HMS Fury sweeping ahead, had passed the Skerki Channel and were steering to pass Zembra Island on the way to Cape Bon. HMS Ashanti, with Rear-Admiral Burrough on board was fast overhauling these ships. The other two destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and the escort destroyer HMS Ledbury, were rounding up the remaining nine merchant ships. The escort destroyer HMS Bramham was also catching up after having escorted the single Deucalion until she sank.

On learing about the fate of HMS Nigeria and HMS Cairo, Vice-Admiral Syfret detached HMS Charybdis, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali to reinforce Rear-Admiral Burrough. It would take these ships several hourse to catch up with the convoy.

The main body of the convoy passed Cape Bon around midnight. Fourty minutes later enemy Motor Torpedo Boats appeared and started to attack. Their first victim was HMS Manchester which was torpedoed at 0120/13 by the Italian MS 16 or MS 22. She had to be scuttled by her own crew. Many of her ships company landed in Tunisia and were interned by the Vichy-French but about 300 were picked up by destroyers (first by HMS Pathfinder, and later by HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali. These last two destoyers then set off towards Gibraltar.)

Four and possibly five of the merchant ships were also hit by the Motor Torpedo Boats. These were the Wairangi, Rochester Castle, Almeria Lykes, Santa Elisa and probably the Glenorchy. They were attacked between 0315 and 0430 hours about 15 nautical miles south-east of Kelibia whilst taking a short cut to overhaul the main body of the convoy. Four were lost, only the Rochester Castle survived and she managed to catch up with the main body of the convoy at 0530 hours. The Glenorchy was sunk by the Italian MS 31, the other four, of which the Rochester Castle survived as mentioned earlier, were hit by the German S 30 and S 36 as well as the Italian MAS 554 and MAS 557.

Shortly before 0530 hours HMS Charybdis, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali had joined the main body of the convoy making the force now two cruisers and seven destroyers with the transports Rochester Castle, Waimarama and Melbourne Star. The damaged tanker Ohio was slowly catching up. With her was the escort destroyer HMS Ledbury. Astern of the main body was the Port Chalmers escorted by the destroyer HMS Penn and the escort destroyer HMS Bramham. The destroyers recued the crew of the Santa Elisa when the passed by the abandoned ship which was afterwards finished off by a German bomber. The Dorset was proceeding without escort and lastly the damaged Brisbane Star was still keeping close to the Tunisian coast independently, intending to steer towards Malta after nightfall.

At 0730 hours, Rear-Admiral Burrough, sent back HMS Tartar and HMS Somali to Kelibia to assist HMS Manchester and then go to Gibraltar. When they arrived they found out that the Manchester had been scuttled several hours earlier so they rescued those of her crew that had not reached the shore yet and then made off to Gibraltar as ordered. Besides crew of the Manchester they also picked up survivors from the Almeria Lykes and Wairangi.

The next encounter with the enemy was an air attack on the main body of the convoy at 0800 hours by German bombers. About 12 Ju.88’s made a shallow diving attack coming down from 6000 feet to 2000 feet to drop their bombs. Two dived on the Waimarama hitting her several times and she blew up immediately, one of the bombers was even destroyed in the explosion. HMS Ledbury saved some of her crew out of the blazing sea. At 0925 hours, when the Ohio, Port Chalmers and Dorset where with the main body again, a few Ju.87’s escorted by Italian fighters attacked. They dived down to 1500 to 1000 feet. HMS Kenya leading the port column, and the Ohio last ship but one in the starboard column, had narrow escapes. One of the enemy aircraft crashed on board the Ohio just after having released it’s bomb after being damaged by gunfire from the Ohio and HMS Ashanti. Another aircraft was claimed to have been shot down by fighters from Malta that had been patrolling overhead since daybreak.

Arrivals at Malta 13-15 August 1942.

At 1050 hours, about 20 bombers, mostly Ju.88’s with a few Ju.87’s, came in to attack. Target was the Ohio and she received four or five near misses and her engines were disabled. At the same time the Rochester Castle in the port column was near-missed and set on fire but she continued with the convoy. The Dorset which was astern of her was hit and stopped. The convoy went on leaving the Dorset behind with the Ohio and two destroyers.

At 1125 hours the last air attack on the main body took place. Five Italian SM.79’s attacked with torpedoes and almost hit the Port Chalmers as the torpedo got stuck in the paravane. Further attacks on the main body were held of by fighters from Malta. At 1430 hours, four minesweepers from Malta joined the main body of the convoy, these were HMS Speedy (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Doran, RN, with the group’s commander A/Cdr. H.J.A.S. Jerome, RN on board), HMS Hebe, HMS Rye and HMS Heyte. Also with them were seven Motor Launches; ML 121, ML 126, ML 134, ML 135, ML 168, ML 459 and ML 462. HMS Rye and two of the ML’s were sent towards the damaged Ohio which was ‘vital for Malta’, according to A/Cdr. Jerome.

At 1600 hours, Rear-Admiral Burrough, set course to the west with his two cruisers and with five destroyers. The Port Chalmers, Melbourne Star and Rochester Castle arrived in Grand Harbour around 1800 hours with the force of A/Cdr. Jerome. The Rochester Castle was by that time very low in the water, she had just made it into port on time.

Out were still the Ohio, Dorset and the Brisbane Star. The valuable Ohio had been helpless with HMS Penn and HMS Bramham. When HMS Rye arrived at 1730 hours, HMS Penn took the Ohio in tow. Meanwhile HMS Bramham was sent to the Dorset but soon afterwards German bombers came again and the ships were attacked repeatedly until dark. Both merchantman were hit around 1900 hours and the Dorset sank.

At daylight on the 14th HMS Ledbury arrived to help bringing the Ohio to Malta. HMS Speedy also soon arrived on the scene with two ML’s. The rest of his force he had sent to search for the Brisbane Star. At 1045 hours, enemy aircraft made their last attempt, causing the parting of the tow. Fighter from Malta shot down two of the attackers. The tow was passed again and the slow procession went on and in the morning of the 15th the vital tanker finally reached Malta.

The Brisbane Star had by then also arrived. She left the Tunisian coast at dusk on the 13th. Aircraft had attacked her unsuccessfully and one of the attackers was shot down by a Beaufighter escort that had been sent from Malta. She arrived at Malta in the afternoon of the 14th.

Italian surface ships to operate against the convoy ?

The convoy had experienced the violence of the enemy in every shape except that of an attack by large surface ships. Yet Italian cruisers and destroyers had been at sea to intercept and attack it. Two light cruiser had left Cagliari in the evening of 11 August 1942 and the heavy cruisers Gorizia and Bolzano from Messina, and a light cruiser from Naples had sailed on the morning of the 12th. That evening reconnaissance aircraft reported one heavy and two light cruisers with eight destroyers about 80 nautical miles to the north of the western tip of Sicily and steering south. It would have been possible for this force to meet the convoy at dawn on the 13th so the shadowing aircraft was therefore ordered in plain language to illuminate and attack. This apparently influenced the Italians as they had limited air cover and they turned back at 0130/13 when near Cape San Vito. At 0140 hours the aircraft reported that it had dropped its bombs but no hits had been obtained. Similar orders were signalled, in plain language, to relief shadowers and to report the position of the enemy force to the benefit of imaginary Liberator bombers in case the Italians would change their minds and turn back. They however held on to the eastward.

The submarine HMS P 42 sighted them around 0800/13 off Stromboli and attacked with four torpedoes claiming two hits. She had in fact hit the heavy cruiser Bolzano which was able to proceed northwards and the light cruiser Muzio Attendolo which managed to reach Messina with her bows blown off. The other cruisers went to Naples. Following the attack P 42 was heavily depth charged by the destroyers but managed to escape.

In fact the following Italian ships had been at sea; heavy cruisers Gorizia, Trieste, Bolzano, light cruisers Eugenio di Savoia Raimondo Montecuccoli, Muzio Attendolo. They were escorted by eleven destroyers; Ascari, Aviere, Camicia Nera, Corsaro, Fuceliere, Geniere, Legionaro, Vincenzo Gioberti, Alfredo Oriani, Grecale and Maestrale.

The return to Gibraltar.

The British ships returning to Gibraltar had better fortune. Having left the convoy off Malta in the afternoon of the 13th, they rounded Cape Bon around 0130/14 and from that point until past Zembra Island they successful ran the gauntled of E-boats laying in wait.

at 0450/14, near the Fratelli Rocks, a submarine fired torpedoes at HMS Ashanti from the surface. She was nearly rammed by HMS Kenya, which was next astern of the ‘flagship’ (Rear-Admiral Burrough was still in HMS Ashanti). The inevitable shadowers arrived soon after daylight to herald their air attacks that began at 0730 hours. They lasted until around 1315 hours. German bombers came in first with three attemps by a few Ju.88’s. This was followed by a more severe attack with about 30 bombers, Ju-88’s and Ju-87’s between 1030 and 1050 hours. An hour later 15 Savoia high-level bombers attacked followed until 1315 hours by torpedo-carrying Savoia’s. Around 20 aircraft attacking single or in pairs. Also aircraft are though to be laying mines ahead. Several ships were near missed, but no further damage was sustained. After these attacks the British were left alone and in the evening they joined ‘Force Z’.

Vice-Admiral Syfret had gone as far west as 01’E where he ordered the damaged carrier HMS Indomitable to proceed to Malta with HMS Rodney and a destroyer screen (which). He then turned back to the east to make rendez-vous with Rear-Admiral Burrough. They arrived at Gibraltar on the 15th.

A few hours before they arrived the damaged HMS Nigeria and her escort had also entered port, as had HMS Tartar, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali. On her way back HMS Nigeria had been attacked by torpedo-bombers and a submarine but she had not been hit.

Conclusion.

Out of the fourteen ships that had sailed only five arrived ‘safe’ at Malta. This was not a very high score also given the very heavy escort that had been provided also taken in mind that an aircraft carrier, a light cruiser, an AA cruiser an a destroyer had been lost and two heavy cruiser had been damaged. But the convoy had to meet very heavy air attacks by over 150 bombers and 80 torpedo aircraft, all in the space of two days. Also these aircraft were protected by fighter in much greater strength that the carriers and Malta could provide. And there were also the enemy submarines and E-boats.

The spirit in which to operation was carried out appears in Vice-Admiral Syfret’s report: ‘ Tribute has been paid to the personnel of His Majesty’s Ships, both the officers and men will desire to give first place to the conduct, courage, and determination of the masters, officers, and men of the merchant ships. The steadfast manner in which these ships pressed on their way to Malta through all attacks, answering every maneuvering order like a well trained fleet unit, was a most inspiring sight. Many of these fine men and their ships were lost. But the memory of their conduct will remain an inspiration to all who were privileged to sail with them. ‘ (7)

11 Aug 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 13th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was to provide cover during 'Operation Pedestal'.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

13 Aug 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was ordered to form a patrol line with HMS P 44 (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN), HMS P 222 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. MacKenzie, RN), P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, DSO, RN), HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) and HMS Utmost (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) near Pantelleria. (8)

23 Aug 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. Only vessels out of range were observed. (8)

2 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 14th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Greece but had to return the same evening because of defects.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

3 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN), having completed her repairs, sailed again to resume her patrol. (8)

7 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) fired four torpedoes against an enemy convoy in the central Mediterranean about 45 nautical miles south-west of Schiza Island, Greece in position 36°17'N, 21°03'E. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

The convoy consisted of Ravello (6142 GRT, 1941), Manara (7124 GRT, 1942), Sestriere (7991 GRT, 1942) and Ankara (4768 GRT, 1937) escorted by the destroyers Aviere, Legionario, Fuciliere, Bombardiere, Geniere, Camicia Nera, Corsaro, Freccia and Lampo and the torpedo boats Pegaso, Partenope and Procione. Ravello and Sestriere reported to have been missed by the torpedoes, Lampo dropped intimidation depth charges and Aviere who had sighted the torpedo tracks carried a depth charge attack but signalled the results as negative.

(All times are zone -2)
0823 hours - Sighted patrolling aircraft to the North-West. The convoy we were warned about must be approaching.

0835 hours - Sighted masts and funnels of the approaching convoy bearing 305°.

0840 hours - Started attack on the convoy which was soon seen to be made up of three large merchant ships in line ahead. Many destroyers formed the escort. Several aircraft were also overhead. The leading merchant vessel was an older type of about 6000 tons, the other two were modern ones of 9000 tons.

0921 hours - In position 36°17'N, 21°03'E fired four torpedoes at the rear ship from 7000 yards. Seventeen seconds after firing the first torpedo there was a very heavy explosion just ahead of P 34. The first torpedo must have prematured after running off its safety range.

0927 hours - Heard a torpedo exploding giving a running range of 8000 yards corresponding with the range on firing of 7000 yards.

0936 hours - A counter attack commenced by three destroyers using hydrophones. Several patterns of depth charges were dropped rather close but to shallow. P 34 was at 120 feet at the time.

1030 hours - An Asdic fitted destroyer took over the hunt from the other three.

1056 hours - The destroyer passed overhead and dropped a pattern of four depth charges very close causing some damage.

1226 hours - After hearing no HE and no Asdic transmissions for a while started to return to periscope depth.

1236 hours - Head Asdic transmissions on the starboard beam.

1238 hours - At periscope depth. Saw a destroyer at a range of 2500 yards on our starboard beam. Went deep again. The destroyer was in Asdic contact.

1258 hours - The destroyer passed overhead and dropped a pattern of 5 depth charges which were again very close causing some more damage. This was followed by another pattern a bit further off about one minute later. P 34 remained deep for the remainder of the afternoon.

1700 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. During the counter attack a total of 83 depth charges had been counted.

1715 hours - Went ahead on the port shaft. This resulted in clouds of black smoke which soon filled the submarine. A fire had started, as a result of damage from the depth charging, when starting up the motor so the port motor was placed out of action.

1744 hours - Surfaced for 5 minutes to clear the boat of the smoke.

2124 hours - Surfaced and set course to return to Malta as a result of the damage inflicted by the depth charging. (8)

13 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was to proceed to Gibraltar as she was to return to the U.K. to refit. En-route she was ordered to patrol of the south-west coast of Sardinia.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

9 Oct 1942
As HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) approached Gibraltar, she was detected by the RDF station on the Rock as she was west of 05°W and submarines had been instructed not to cross the 7°W meridian before 0700. The destroyer HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) was sent to intercept but fortunately her ASDIC set was not working and a tragedy was averted. A few hours later, the submarine ended her 15th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (8)

18 Oct 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K.

For the daily positions of HMS P 34 during this passage see the map below.

(8)

29 Oct 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) spent the entire day near Bishops Rock waiting to establish contact with her escort, HMS Egilsay (T/Lt. W.E. Belgrave, RNVR). Visibility was very bad. Finally, at 1751 hours contact was made. Both ships were to proceed to Falmouth but as they were unable to enter that port it was decided to proceed directly to Portsmouth.

30 Oct 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (8)

31 Oct 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was docked at Portsmouth. (9)

2 Nov 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) was undocked. (10)

16 Nov 1942
P 34 (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) departed Portsmouth for Plymouth where she was to refit at the Devonport Dockyard. (10)

17 Nov 1942
P 34 (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) arrived at Plymouth. As she could not be accepted for refit immediately she first participated for several days in special RDF trials. (10)

18 Mar 1943
With her refit at the Devonport Dockyard completed HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted trials off Portsmouth. (11)

19 Mar 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (11)

22 Mar 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (11)

28 Mar 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (11)

1 Apr 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. She was to rendez-vous with HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) off the Scilly Islands for onward passage north through the Irish Sea.

3 Apr 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of training.

En-route from Plymouth she had suffered from engine defects.

20 Apr 1943
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.W. McCoy, DSC, RN) served as target in the Clyde area for members of the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with were embarked in HMS Sealion (Lt. D.S.M. Verschoyle-Campbell, DSC, RN).

Upon completion of these exercises HMS Oberon served as target for HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR). (12)

30 Apr 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. Passage north through the Minches was made together with HMS Truculent (Lt.Cdr. R.L. Alexander, RN), HNoMS Ula (Lt. R.M. Sars) and HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). They were escorted by HMS Dornoch (Lt. H.E. Jackson, RN).

2 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Scapa Flow to participate in A/S and attack exercises. (13)

3 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted attack exercises off Scapa Flow. Practice attacks were made on HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN) and HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN). (13)

4 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted attack exercises off Scapa Flow. (13)

5 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN). (13)

6 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted attack exercises off Scapa Flow. (13)

8 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (13)

12 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), HMS Charlestown (Lt. W.F.B. Webb, DSC, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN). (13)

13 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN). (13)

15 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Scapa Flow for Lerwick. At sea she joined HMS Tuna (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) and HMS Seadog (Lt. C.R. Pelly, RN) and escort HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR). (13)

16 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Lerwick. (13)

18 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lerwick with aircraft. (13)

21 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Lerwick for her 16th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Norwegian Sea for an anti-Uboat patrol. Nothing was seen.

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

(8)

3 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) ended her 15th war patrol at Lerwick. (8)

4 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Tuna (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) and HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN).

The next morning they were joined by HMS Syrtis (Lt M.H. Jupp, DSC, RN). (14)

6 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Holy Loch. (14)

14 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN). They were escorted by HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN). (14)

16 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Scapa Flow. (14)

19 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Scapa Flow for Blyth. At sea she joined HMS Satyr (Lt. T.S. Weston, RN) and her escort HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) that were en-route to Dundee. (14)

20 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) arrived at Blyth. (14)

21 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) shifted from Blyth to Wallsend where she was to undergo repairs at the Swan Hunter shipyard. (14)

26 Jun 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) was docked at Wallsend. (14)

15 Jul 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. (15)

5 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) shifted from Wallsend to Blyth. (16)

6 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (16)

7 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (16)

9 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Blyth. (16)

11 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR), HMS Una (Lt. W.G. Meeke, DSC, RN) and HMS Uther (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) departed Blyth for Holy Loch. They were escorted by HMS ML 300 (T/Lt. F.C.R. Piesse, RNVR) until Dundee where HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) took over the escort. (16)

14 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Holy Loch. (16)

16 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Kingfisher (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.H. Gandy, RN) serving as target. Also gunnery exercises were carried out. (16)

17 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted attack exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Scott (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Sharpey-Schafer, RN) serving as target. Also gunnery exercises were carried out. (16)

17 Aug 1943
HMS Varangian (Lt. J. Nash, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Scott (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Sharpey-Schafer, RN), HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) and FFS Curie (Lt. P.M. Sonneville). (17)

20 Aug 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Holy Loch for her 17th war patrol. She was to patrol in the Bay of Biscay (A/S patrol) and to proceed to Gibraltar upon completion of this patrol.

Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN), FFS Curie (Lt. P.M. Sonneville) and FFS Minerve (Lt. H.F.D. Simon-Dubuisson). They were escorted by HMS Kingston Amber (T/Lt. Richard Adams, RNR).

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

(8)

9 Sep 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 16th war patrol at Gibraltar. The patrol had been uneventful. (8)

16 Sep 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises with the harbour defences of Gibraltar. (18)

18 Sep 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Gibraltar for her 18th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Lions.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

30 Sep 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) attacked a German convoy of self propelled barges. Two torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

These were probably M 6041, M 6043, M 6044, M 6045, M 6046 and M 6047 escorting three lighters from Marseille to Toulon.

(All times are zone -1)
1224 hours - Sighted a vessel bearing 340°, close to the land. Altered course towards.

1230 hours - Next look revealed that target consisted of four large self propelled supply barges escorted by seven armed patrol vessels. Continued to close.

1247 hours - In position 43°02'N, 05°44'E started firing a salvo of four torpedoes from very close range. After two torpedoes had been fired a violent explosion shook Ultimatum. One of the torpedoes must have hit. Depth control was lost and Ultimatum started to descend. The remaining two torpedoes of the salvo were not fired.

1250 hours - Ultimatum came to rest on the bottom at 160 feet. Both motors were stopped, all machinery was stopped and the ship was shut off for depth charging. Many listening charges were dropped by the enemy for the next 7 hours but no depth charges were dropped during this period.

2000 hours - A depth charge was dropped but it was not very close.

2230 hours - Started blowing main ballast.

2245 hours - Ultimatum came of the bottom.

2300 hours - Obtained a good trim at 90 feet. Cleared the area not surfacing until 0120 hours the next day.

Actually no hit was obtained, possibly the torpedo prematured. (8)

4 Oct 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 17th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (8)

12 Oct 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was docked at Algiers. (19)

15 Oct 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. (19)

19 Oct 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Algiers for her 19th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Southern France.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

27 Oct 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) attacked a German convoy made up of the German merchant Nicoline Maersk (4194 GRT, built 1925), the German passenger ship Canosa (3823 GRT, built 1936, former French) and the German tanker Arpino (584 GRT, built 1935). They were escorted by the German patrol vessels SG 15, UJ 2210, UJ 2211 and the German motor minesweepers R 10, R 14, R 15. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
1110 hours - Heard A/S impulses ahead but sighted nothing.

1120 hours - Heard HE ahead. Several barrage balloons were sighted. Closed at speed.

1144 hours - Sighted a convoy of four or five ships. Range was about 8 nautical miles. They were making for Toulon.

1154 hours - Two merchant vessels escorted by two trawlers were seen to have left the convoy which was then entering Toulon Bay. The Merchants and trawlers proceeded to the westward, apparently towards Marseilles. Ran in to attack on of these two merchant ships.

1219 hours - In approximate position 42°58'N, 05°56'E fired four torpedoes at the second merchant ship from 7000 yards. Went deep on firing.

1225 hours - Heard a torpedo explosion.

1228 hours - Heard the other three torpedoes explode against the land.

1229 hours - Heard the A/S trawlers hunting.

1240 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted only the two trawlers and the first merchant vessel of the line. Assumed the other ship to have sunk. Retired to seaward to reload. (8)

30 Oct 1943
On this day HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) attacked a German U-boat the Mediterranean southeast of Toulon, France, in position 43°04'N, 05°57'E. This attack was against U-73 but it inflicted no damage. HMS Ultimatum is often credited to have sunk U-431 in this attack. However U-431 was sunk with all hands on 21 October 1943 in the Mediterranean off Algiers in position 37°23'N, 00°35'E, by depth charges from a British Wellington aircraft (Sqdn. 179/Z). U-431's fate was revised in November 1987 by the Foreign Documents Section of the British Ministry of Defence.

(All times are zone -1)
0707 hours - Sighted a 500 tons U-boat bound for Toulon. Closed to attack.

0716 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 7000 yards. A fourth torpedo could not be fired as one of the torpedo tube was defective.

0721 hours - One torpedo explosion thought to be a hit on the target giving a range of 6600 yards. The U-boats HE ceased and could not be seen when the periscope was raised it is thought the submarine was sunk.

0723 hours - Retired from the scene at 80 feet. (8)

2 Nov 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 18th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (8)

3 Nov 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Algiers for passage to Malta. She made the passage in convoy KMS-30 together with HMS Ultor (Lt. G.E. Hunt, DSC, RN).

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

(8)

6 Nov 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Malta to join the 10th submarine flotilla. (8)

21 Nov 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Ultor (Lt. G.E. Hunt, DSC, RN). (20)

24 Nov 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was docked at Malta for repairs to her main motors. (20)

4 Dec 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. (20)

4 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) completed repairs at Malta. (21)

6 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Malta. (21)

8 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Malta for Beirut where she was to join the 1st Submarine Flotilla. The passage was uneventful.

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

(8)

14 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Beirut. (8)

17 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted noise trials of Beirut. (21)

23 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Beirut for Port Said where she was to be docked for a propeller change. (21)

24 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Port Said where she was immediately docked. (21)

26 Jan 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. She then departed Port Said for her 20th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in south-east Aegean. Enemy vessels were sighted on the nights of 30/31 January and 1/2 February but could not be attacked.

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

(8)

6 Feb 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 19th war patrol (16th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut. (8)

20 Feb 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Beirut for her 21th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut. She was ordered to patrol in the northern Aegean.

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

(8)

3 Mar 1944
At 0100 hours, HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) stopped a small caique in position 39°34'N, 25°22'E but then released it after boarding. (8)

5 Mar 1944
At 0353 hours, HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) fired ten rounds in Kandeluisa harbour for target practise. (8)

10 Mar 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 20th war patrol (17th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

25 Mar 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Malta for her 22th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the South-West Aegean.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

5 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) sank the Greek sailing vessel (in German service) Agios Georgios / PI 2659 with gunfire off Suda Bay, Crete, Greece. The German coastal guns of 10. Battr. M.A.A. 520 opened fire on the submarine which was hit by fragments on the casing.

(All times are zone -2)
0555 hours - Sighted the mast of a caique bearing 040°. Range was 7 nautical miles. Altered course to intercept.

0642 hours - Surfaced in position 35°34'N 24°20'E and opened fire with the 3" gun from 2000 yards. Fired 15 rounds for 10 hits. The target was seen to break up and catch fire aft. The crew of six abandoned ship and pulled away in a small boat.

0645 hours - Dived. (8)

6 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) sank the Greek sailing vessel (in German service) Agios Nikolaos / PI 2326 with gunfire off Anti-Kithera, Greece.

(All times are zone -1)
0630 hours - Sighted a caique bearing 290°. Range was 6 nautical miles. Closed for gun action.

0651 hours - Surfaced in position 35°53'N, 23°20'E and opened fire with the 3" gun from 1000 yards. Fired 11 rounds for 7 hits. the crew of 3 abandoned ship in their small boat. The caique soon sank.

0655 hours - Dived. (8)

12 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 21th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Malta. (22)

26 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Malta for her 23th war patrol (19th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the South-West Aegean.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

1 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) sank the small Greek sailing vessel MYT 687 / Elevtheria with gunfire off Cape Matapan, Greece.

(All times are zone -2)
2141 hours - Sighted a dark object. Closed.

2201 hours - In position 36°21'N, 22°35'E opened fire on a caique.

2223 hours - Took three survivors on board. The caique sank. Set course towards Levadia Point. (8)

2 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) shells the harbour of Koroni, Greece. Two sailing vessels were claimed sunk, five were claimed destroyed on the slips and one was claimed to be damaged. Three shells fell in the village, killing one Greek was killed and wounding two more.

(All times are zone -2)
1919 hours - Surfaced 1400 yards from the breakwater to bombard Koroni harbour where several caiques had been sighted as well as three shipyards that were building caiques.

1937 hours - Completed the bombardment. 62 Rounds had been fired. Dived and retired seawards.

The next morning the harbour was examined for the results of the bombardment. Two caiques were seen to have sunk, five were destroyed on the slipways and one was seen to be holed and damaged. (8)

10 May 1944
In the early morning hours HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was detected by two German A/S vessels near Suda Bay. She was depth charged by them sustaining some damage. After several hours she managed to escape.

(All times are zone -2)
0355 hours - Sighted two ships.

0402 hours - Dived to carry out an attack.

0408 hours - The two ships were seen to be UJ boats (auxiliary submarine chasers) zig zagging on a main course of 130 degrees. Approached at slow speed keeping end on. The vessels were sweeping on Asdics.

0418 hours - Both vessels altered towards and appeared to gain contact. Lights were seen flashing aft on both vessels. Went deep and shut off for depth charging.

0421 hours - A pattern of five depth charges was dropped close as Ultimatum reached 100 feet causing some damage. Went to 200 feet.

0512 hours - After successfully avoiding several attempted attacks a second pattern was dropped causing some more damage.

0530 hours - Several bursts of high speed became necessary to assist in depth keeping. Ultimatum was becoming heavy despite constant pumping. Despite large alterations of course both vessels remained in contact but they did not drop depth charges unless they were very certain of their attack.

0640 hours - A pattern of five depth charges fell close causing a fire in the motor room besides causing more damage. Increased speed and checked the descent at 400 feet. Returned to 270 feet and restored trim.

0720 hours - A pattern of four depth charges was dropped. Some minor electrical damage was sustained. Both vessels were now, for the first time on the port side and by constant altering of course kept them there.

0740 hours - The vessels appeared to have lost contact. A third vessel was now also heard transmitting on Asdics. They all failed to regain contact and Ultimatum withdrew to the north-east.

0840 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (8)

13 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 22th war patrol (19th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (8)

19 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was docked at Malta. (23)

29 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. (23)

15 Jun 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Malta for Bone, Algeria.

No log of this period is available so her exact movements are uncertain. She sailed to join convoy M.K.S.52 on passage from Port Said to Gibraltar. She received orders to leave the convoy off Bone on the 16th and proceed to La Maddalena but it appears that she went to Bone instead, perhaps to remedy to some defects. (24)

16 Jun 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Bone. (24)

18 Jun 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Bone for La Maddalena where she was to join the 10th submarine flotilla. (24)

20 Jun 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at La Maddalena. (24)

23 Jun 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed La Maddalena for her 24th war patrol (20th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Southern France.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

3 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) fired two torpedoes at the German auxiliary patrol vessel UJ 6073 / Nimeth Allah south of Cannes, southern France. The torpedoes however missed their target.

(All times are zone -1)
0059 hours - Sighted a white light flashing morse bearing 340°.

0104 hours - Two darkened ships were made out steaming on a course of 200° distance 2000 yards. As the vessels were at close range and were signalling, Lt. Kett thought he might be sighted. He turned his submarine stern on to watch events unfold.

0109 hours - The vessels were identified as a destroyer and a UJ boat, and as they showed no sign of taking action against Ultimatum Lt. Kett altered course to attack.

0114 hours - In position 43°24'N, 06°57'E fired four torpedoes. 40 seconds later one torpedo was seen to hit causing a column of water rise 50 feet into the air completely enveloping the target (this actually was not a hit, the torpedo exploded prematurely). Six seconds later a second torpedo was heard to explode but this was not observed as the submarine was now diving towards 150 feet. The target is thought to be destroyed.

UJ 6073 was on an A/S patrol together with UJ 6079. (8)

6 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 23th war patrol (20th in the Mediterranean) at La Maddalena. (8)

17 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed La Maddalena for her 25th war patrol (21th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Lions.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Ultimatum during this patrol see the map below.

(8)

27 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) fired four torpedoes against a group of small German vessels. The German landing barge F 811 was hit and sunk south of La Ciotat, France in position 43°03'N, 05°34'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0050 hours - Obtained a radar echo bearing 045°, range 6000 yards. Altered course towards.

0100 hours - The bearing was steady, range decreasing, went to action stations.

0117 hours - Turbine HE was picked up bearing 050°. Made out dark shapes against the land.

0130 hours - The contact was seen to be one escort vessel and four 'F-boats' on an estimated course of 280°, speed 6 knots.

0148 hours - Fired three torpedoes at an almost continuous target of 2 'F-boats'. Radar gave a range of 1500 yards.

0150 hours - One of the 'F-boats' was seen to explode with a bright yellow flash and a column of sparks and smoke. It was thought one of the other torpedoes hit the other 'F-boat' but this was not the case.

0151 hours - The escort was seen to turn towards.

0154 hours - An aircraft was seen to fly down the torpedo tracks. Dived and continued withdrawal submerged.

0155 hours - Heard breaking up noises.

0247 hours - All quiet. Surfaced. (8)

30 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) ended her 24th war patrol (21th in the Mediterranean) at La Maddalena. (8)

3 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed La Maddalena for Algiers. Ultimatum was to return to the U.K. to refit.

For the daily positions of HMS Ultimatum during the passage to the U.K. see the map below.

(25)

5 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Algiers. (25)

6 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Algiers for Gibraltar. At sea she joined convoy MKS 57. (25)

8 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Gibraltar. (25)

18 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Gibraltar for the U.K. She made the passage in convoy MKS 58 together with HMS Ultor (Lt. G.E. Hunt, DSC and Bar, RN). (8)

29 Aug 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Rothesay.

It was not possible to take Ultimatum in hand for refit before the end of October. Later this was postponed until mid-December. (8)

1 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Rothesay for Plymouth. She made the passage together with HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) (until Fishguard). They were escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (26)

3 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Plymouth. (26)

4 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) and HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) shifted from Plymouth to Portland. They were escorted by HMS Cotillion (T/Lt. H.J. Howard, RNR). (26)

5 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) and HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth. They were escorted by HMS Cotillion (T/Lt. H.J. Howard, RNR). (26)

11 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

12 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

17 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

19 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

24 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

26 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (26)

1 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

2 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

6 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted noise trials off Portsmouth. (27)

7 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

8 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was docked at Portsmouth. (27)

9 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) was undocked. (27)

10 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

11 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted noise trials off Portsmouth. (27)

14 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

17 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (27)

20 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Portsmouth for Fishguard. She was escorted by HMS Darthema (T/Lt. C. Brunning, RNVR). (27)

22 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Fishguard. (27)

26 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Fishguard. (27)

27 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Fishguard. (27)

29 Nov 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Fishguard. (27)

4 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Fishguard with HMS Fitzroy (A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. McCullogh Miller, DSC, RNVR). (28)

5 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Fishguard with HMS Fitzroy (A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. McCullogh Miller, DSC, RNVR). (28)

7 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Fishguard for Portland. She was escorted by HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR). (28)

8 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Portland. (28)

11 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Brontes (Skr. A.E. Wood, RNR). (28)

15 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) participated in special trials off Portsmouth. (28)

21 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) departed Portsmouth for Sheerness. (28)

22 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) arrived at Sheerness. (28)

23 Dec 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) shifted from Sheerness to Tilbury where she was to refit. (28)

14 Apr 1945
With her refit completed HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) shifted from Tilbury to Sheerness. (29)

16 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) shifted to Chatham Dockyard to embark ammunition. (29)

17 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) shifted from Chatham Dockyard to Sheerness. (29)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) conducted trials at Sheerness. (29)

19 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) conducted trials at Sheerness. (29)

21 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) shifted from Sheerness to Tilbury. (29)

25 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) conducted engine trials off Tilbury. (29)

27 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) shifted from Tilbury to Sheerness. (29)

29 Apr 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) departed Sheerness for Dundee. She made the passage together with HMS Surf (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Sheerness for Dundee. They were escorted by HMS Kingston Olivine (Lt. E.P. Evers, RANVR). (29)

1 May 1945
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. P.D.C. Bennett, RN) arrived at Dundee. HMS Ultimatum was assigned to training duties mainly based at Blyth. After the Japanese surrender she moved to the Scottish west coast and at the close of 1945 she was based in the Channel area. (24)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16871
  2. ADM 199/1120
  3. ADM 199/1224
  4. ADM 199/1225
  5. ADM 173/17369
  6. ADM 173/17370
  7. ADM 199/651 + ADM 234/353
  8. ADM 199/1825
  9. ADM 173/17373
  10. ADM 173/17374
  11. ADM 173/18315
  12. ADM 173/17867
  13. ADM 173/18316
  14. ADM 173/18317
  15. ADM 173/18318
  16. ADM 173/18319
  17. ADM 173/18446
  18. ADM 173/18320
  19. ADM 199/1919
  20. ADM 173/18321
  21. ADM 173/19157
  22. ADM 173/19160
  23. ADM 173/19161
  24. ADM 199/2573
  25. ADM 173/19162
  26. ADM 173/19164
  27. ADM 173/19165
  28. ADM 173/19166
  29. ADM 173/20089

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


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