Allied Warships

HMS Bermuda (52)

Light cruiser of the Fiji class


HMS Bermuda in 1943

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassFiji 
Pennant52 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down30 Nov 1939 
Launched11 Sep 1941 
Commissioned21 Aug 1942 
End serviceJul 1962 
History

Decommissioned in July 1962.
Scrapped by Ward, Briton Ferry, Wales starting on 26 August 1965.

 

Commands listed for HMS Bermuda (52)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Terence Hugh Back, RN14 Jul 194211 Feb 1944
2Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN11 Feb 194411 Sep 1944
3Cdr. Thomas Leslie Bratt, DSC, RN11 Sep 194410 Nov 1944
4Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN10 Nov 194410 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Bermuda include:


22 Aug 1942
HMS Otway (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with the brand new light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (1)

17 Sep 1942
HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (2)

18 Sep 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Tanatside (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Brown, RN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN). Also a practice attack was carried out on HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (3)

18 Sep 1942
HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) returned to Scapa Flow after exercises. (4)

22 Sep 1942
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. HMS Howe was escorted by the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN). (5)

24 Sep 1942
During 24/25 September 1942, HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (4)

8 Oct 1942
HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) all conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (6)

13 Oct 1942
During 13/14 October 1942, HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN, second in Command Home Fleet), HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) conducted exercises at / off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises.

In the afternoon of the 14th HMS Sheffield and HMS Scylla were joined by HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) which also had come out for exercises. HMS Rodney around that time returned to Scapa Flow.

[No details could be found on a destroyer escort of HMS Rodney] (7)

30 Oct 1942
' Force H ' departed Scapa Flow around 1630A/30 to participate in the landings in North Africa (Operation Torch). This force was made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN).

Around 1000A/31, they made rendezvous with the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and their escort of the destroyers HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN). These ships had departed the Clyde around 2300A/30.

At 1600Z/2 the destroyers HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to make rendezvous with ' Force H '. They joined around 0730Z/4 after which HMS Argonaut, HMS Milne, HMS Martin, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Partridge, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo and HMS Tartar, parted company to proceed to Gibraltar to fuel. These ships arrived at Gibraltar around 1430Z/5. Of the original screen only HMS Porcupine remained with ' Force H ' at this moment.

Around 1730Z/4, the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) joined.

Around 0830Z/5, the destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) joined from convoy KMF 1.

Around 1400Z/5, the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) joined. They had sailed from Gibraltar at 0700Z/5.

Around 1740Z/5, HMS Duke of York and HMS Renown parted company to fuel in the Bay of Gibraltar. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Panther, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune, HMS Lookout, HMS Beagle and HMS Bulldog. The remaining ships remained to the west of the Straits of Gibraltar.

Around 2200Z/5, the remaining ships; HMS Nelson, HMS Victorious, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Porcupine, HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HrMs Isaac Sweers, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge set course to the west to the Straits of Gibraltar.

On passing the Straits, HMS Nelson and the destroyer and escort destroyers parted company around 0420Z/6 and proceeded to Gibraltar. They passed through the gate around one hour later.

6 Nov 1942
On 6 November 1942, ' Force H ' was (re)assambled at sea to the east of Gibraltar to provide cover during the landings in North-Africa.

Around 0430Z/6, the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), destroyers HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) entered the Mediterranean.

They were then joined by ships coming from Gibraltar (Bay), these were the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN).

HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge were then detached to Gibraltar where they arrived around 0615Z/6.

Around 0900Z/6, the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) joined.

The orders for ' Force H ' were to support the Eastern (Algiers) and Centre Task Forces (Oran) and their follow-up convoys (TE and TF) agains seaborne attack by Vichy-French or Italian Mediterranean Fleets. ' Force H ' was not to proceed eastwards of 04°30'E except to engage the enemy. Unless strong enemy forces were reported to be at sea, HMS Rodney, escorted by HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas, HMS Bulldog were to join the Centre Task Force at 0600Z/8. HMS Bermuda might also be detached but to join the Eastern Task Force. ' Force H ' was to refuel from ' Force R ' at sea if necessary, but if the military situation permitted, it would withdraw to the westward to refuel, possibly at Oran about 13 November, in immediate readiness for further operations. Force R ' was made up of the RFA tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).

Around 1730Z/7, ' Force H ' was attacked by enemy aircraft in position 37°46'N, 02°52'E. HMS Panther was near missed and sustained damage. She had to return to Gibraltar, first steaming only 6 knots but later this could be increased to 14 knots. En-route she sighted an enemy submarine in position 37°46'N, 02°12'E and forced it to dive. This was U-458 which fired two torpedoes but apparently these were not sighted by the British. HMS Panther arrived at Gibraltar in the afternoon of November 8th.

At 1810Z/7, HMS Rodney, HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas and HMS Bulldog parted company with ' Force H ' to join the Centre Task Force. HMS Bermuda appeared to also have parted company around this time.

' Force H ' and the fuelling force, ' Force R ', cruised in the area of Algiers until 1830Z/8 when ' Force H ' turned north. It turned back at midnight when in position 39°00'N, 02°29'E and patrolled off Algiers again during the 9th. During the night of 9/10 November it steamed eastwards at 60 miles from the North-African coast, turning back 30 miles to the east of Bougie at midnight.

Shortly before 0300Z/10 (0252Z/10 according to German sources and 0258Z/10 according to British sources) the destroyer HMS Martin was torpedoed and sunk in position 37°53'N, 03°57'E by the German submarine U-431. 161 officers and ratings lost their lives. 4 Officers and 59 ratings were picked up by HMS Quentin.

By noon on 10 November ' Force H ' was in position 37°08'N, 01°36'E, between Algiers and Tenez, with ' Force R ' close at hand. From then onwards ' Force H ' patrolled 60 miles from the coast between Algiers and Cape Tenez.

' Force H ' was joined around 0630Z/12 by HMS Rodney and her destroyer screen now made of of the escort destroyers HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge.

Late in the evening of the 11th the destroyers HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) departed Gibaltar to join ' Force H '. Before joining they fuelled from ' Force R ' in the evening of the 12th. They had been ordered to remain with ' Force R ' during the night to reinforce its escort and then join ' Force H ' after dawn on the 13th. However before the joined, HrMs Isaac Sweers was torpedoed and sunk by U-431, so only HMS Porcupine joined ' Force H ' early on the 13th.

At 0615Z/14 ' Force H ' split up to return to Gibraltar; HMS Duke of York, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Argonaut, HMS Sirius, HMS Eskimo, HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar, HMS Opportune, HMS Partridge, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and HMS Porcupine arrived at Gibraltar around 0130Z/15.

HMS Rodney, HMS Renown, HMS Victorious, HMS Milne, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Lookout, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge formed the other group. They were joined at 0630Z/15 by HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN). They returned to Gibraltar around 1800Z/15 but HMS Rodney was not able to berth and had to steam up and down in Gibraltar Bay until late in the evening when she anchorded there. The destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune and HMS Tartar were sent out to patrol to the seaward of the Bay.

14 Nov 1942
Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, transferred his flag from HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) to HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (8)

24 Nov 1942
Around 0700A/24, the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Algiers. At sea they were joined by HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) which had been on A/S patrol.

They arrived at Algiers around 1630A/24. The destroyers did not enter harbour though but remained out in the bay on A/S patrol. They also provided smoke cover for transports anchored in the bay. (9)

25 Nov 1942
Around 2215A/25, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) departed Algiers for Bone. In the bay they were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN).

However, HMS Quentin and HMS Ithuriel failed to make contact.

The cruisers and HMAS Quiberon proceeded towards Bone. Around 0300A/26, they were ordered to return to Algiers where they arrived around 0830A/26. (10)

26 Nov 1942
Around 1900A/26, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Bone where they arrived around 0830A/27. (10)

28 Nov 1942
Around 1730A/28, ' Force Q ' made up of the light cruisers light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Bone to intercept a reported enemy convoy. These orders were however cancelled in the evening and they set course for Algiers where they arrived around 0730A/29. (10)

29 Nov 1942
At Algiers, Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, transferred his flag from HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) to HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN).

HMS Bermuda, which was to return to the U.K., then departed Algiers for Gibraltar. (11)

14 Dec 1942
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (12)

18 Dec 1942
In the morning, HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. She then left Scapa Flow for RIX (rangefinding and inclination exercises) in the Pentland Firth with HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (13)

23 Dec 1942
HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN) conducted 6" gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. these were followed by RIX and NEX (rangefinding and inclination and night encounter exercises) with HMS Carlisle (Capt. H.F. Nalder, RN) and several destroyers.

HMS Carlisle had earlier on the day been carrying out RIX exercises with HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (14)

30 Dec 1942

Convoy RA 51.

This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 30 December 1942.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Belorussia (Russian, 2900 GRT, built 1936), Campfire (American, 5671 GRT, built 1919), Empire Galliard (British, 7170 GRT, built 1942), Empire Scott (British, 6150 GRT, built 1941), Hopemount (British, 7434 GRT, built 1929), Hugh Williamson (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), John Walker (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Kotlin (Russian, 2545 GRT, built 1921), Meanticut (American, 6061 GRT, built 1921), Okhta (Russian, 1357 GRT, built 1918), Revolutsioner (Russian, 2900 GRT, built 1936), Richard Halvey (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Volga (Russian, 2847 GRT, built 1935).

The RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tanker Oligarch (6894 GRT, built 1918) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from the Kola Inlet the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), minesweeper HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Cape Argona (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.R. Pate, RNR), HMS Cape Mariato (T/Lt. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR), HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS St. Kenan (Lt. J. Mackay, RNR).

On 31 December 1942, the convoy was spotted by German air reconnaissance.

The destroyer HMS Montrose (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy which they did the following day.

HMS Faulknor, HMS Inglefield, HMS Fury, HMS Echo, HMS Eclipse and HMS Beagle were then detached to proceed to Seidisfjord.

Also the RFA tanker Oligarch was detached to Hvalfjord escorted by HMS Cape Mariato and HMS St. Kenan. They arrived at Hvalfjord on the 8th.

On the 7th, HMS Daneman had to be detached to Seidisfjord due to engine trouble.

The destroyer HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Juniper, RN) left Seidisfjord and joined the convoy.

On the 9th, HMS Blankney was detached from the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow arriving later the same day.

On the 10th, HMS Worcester was detached from the convoy to Stornoway due to condenser trouble.

HMS Montrose, HMS Ledbury and HMS Gleaner were detached from the convoy to Scapa Flow where they arrived on the 11th.

On the 11th, the convoy arrived at Loch Ewe escorted by HMS Cape Argona.

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A close cover force ' Force R ' was deployed. It was made up of the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) which had departed the Kola Inlet on 27 December to provide cover, first for eastbound convoy JW 51B and then for westbound convoy RA 50.

They had engaged enemy surface forces on 31 December 1942 during the defence of convoy JW 51B and then had turned west to provide cover for convoy RA 51.

On 2 January 1943 they set course to proceed to Seidisfjord where they arrived on 4 January.

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A battleforce, made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet) and HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Montrose and HMS Worcester departed Scapa Flow on 31 December 1942 and steered north to cover the passage of convoy RA 51 between latitudes 70°00'N and 71°30'N and longitude 01°00'E to 05°00'E.

As the battlefleet proceeded to the north they ran into heavy weather on 1 Janauary 1943 and they had to slow down to enable the destroyers to keep up without sustaining weather damage. HMS Kent and HMS Berwick were then detached to proceed ahead to reach the covering position at the intended time.

On the 2nd, HMS Montrose was detached to Seidisfjord where she arrived on the 3rd.

On the 3rd the battlefleet, minus HMS Kent and HMS Berwick turned back towards Scapa Flow. HMS Worcester was detached to Seidisfjord where she arrived on the 4th.

HMS King George V, HMS Howe, HMS Bermuda, HMS Raider, HMS Queenborough, HMS Musketeer and ORP Piorun returned to Scapa Flow on the 5th.

HMS Kent and HMS Berwick returned to Scapa Flow on the 6th. (15)

31 Dec 1942
Around 1530A/31, the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet) and HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Montrose (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) and HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Juniper, RN) departed Scapa Flow to provide cover for convoy RA 51.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy RA 51 ' for 30 December 1942.] (16)

5 Jan 1943
Around 0900A/5, the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet) and HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski) arrived at Scapa Flow from convoy cover operations. (15)

11 Jan 1943

Operation FC.

Attempted interception of German warships of the Norwegian coast.

Around 0600A/11, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), ORP Piorun (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) T. Gorazdowski), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) departed Scapa Flow for this operation. The German battlecruiser Scharnhorst, heeavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and a destroyer had been sighted by the British air reconnaissance, forewarned through ULTRA intercepts, near the Skaw. Actually three German destroyers were present; Z 5 / Paul Jacobi, Z 14 / Friedrich Ihn and Z 24. On being reported by the aircraft the German ships returned to the Baltic.

Around 2245A/11, when in approximate position 61°05'N, 01°44'E, unaware that the Germans had turned back, Capt. Scott-Moncrieff (Capt. 8th Destroyer Flotilla), abandoned the operation due to the bad weather conditions (gale) and set course to return to Scapa Flow. HMS Vivacious had developed steering trouble and had been detached earlier.

Around 2000A/11, the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) departed Scapa Flow to provide cover for operation FC. They turned back around 0230A/12 after the operation had been abandoned.

At 0859A/12, HMS Vivacious reported that she was stopped about 30 miles east of Lerwick in position 60°15'N, 00°10'W, due to to engine lubrication failure. From the returning destroyers HMS Inglefield and HMS Echo were detached to go to her assistance. Also the rescue tug HMS Buccaneer left Scapa Flow to go to her assistance.

Around 1135A/12, HMS Bermuda and HMS Glasgow returned to Scapa Flow.

At 1144A/12, HMS Vivacious reported that she was underway proceeding to Lerwick at 3 knots. HMS Inglefield and HMS Echo were then ordered to proceed to Scapa Flow. HMS Buccaneer was also recalled.

HMS Faulknor, HMS Queenborough, HMS Onslaught and ORP Piorun arrived at Scapa Flow late in the afternoon of the 12th.

HMS Inglefield and HMS Echo returned to Scapa Flow around 0900A/13. (17)

13 Jan 1943
HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (18)

17 Jan 1943

Convoy JW 52.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 17 January 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Atlantic (British, 5414 GRT, built 1939), Cornelius Barnett (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Dan-Y-Bryn (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Delsud (American, 4982 GRT, built 1919), El Oriente (Panamanian, 6012 GRT, built 1910), Empire Baffin (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Clarion (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Portia (British, 7058 GRT, built 1942), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tristram (British, 7167 GRT, built 1942), Gulfwing (American (tanker), 10217 GRT, built 1928), Nicholas Gilman (British, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942) and Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940).

The RFA tanker Oligarch (6894 GRT, built 1918) was also with the convoy.

On departure from Loch Ewe, around 1500A/17, the convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), minesweeper HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), corvettes HMS Lotus (Lt. H.J. Hall, DSC, RNR), HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, RNR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Northern Pride (T/Lt. A.L.F. Bell, RNR) and HMS St. Elstan (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR).

Around 1215A/21, the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Offa (Cdr. R.A. Ewing, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) joined the convoy in position 69°14'N, 03°24'W coming from Seidisfjord which the had around 0700A/21. HMS Blankney, HMS Ledbury and HMS Middleton were detached to Seidisfjord at 1220A/21 where they arrived on 22 January.

Also on 21 January the Empire Baffin was detached from the convoy to proceed to Akureyri where she arrived on 23 January. She was unable to keep up with the convoy.

On 23 January 1943, HMS Bulldog was fuelled by the Oligarch taking 74 tons.

Around 1215A/23, the convoy was sighted by a German reconnaissance aircraft.

Around 1225A/24, in position 73°18'N, 27°40'E, the convoy was attacked by four German HE 115 torpedo bombers. No damage was sustained though HMS Bulldog had to evade and two of the attackers were shot down by AA fire, one by HMS Bulldog and the other by combined fire from HMS Matchless and ships of the convoy.

U-boats were also in contact with the convoy. U 302 was driven off before she could attack around 0434B/24. At 2008B/24, U 622 fired four torpedoes at the convoy but no hits were obtained.

Arounf 0820B/25, U 622 was driven off by air cover. Around 1130A/25, a shadowing aircraft that had just been relieved dropped a bomb before returning home but no damage was inflicted as the bomb fell wide. It was ORP Piorun that was being attacked.

The convoy arrived in the Kola Inlet in the afternoon of the 27th January 1943.

HMS Britomart had towed in by HMS Lotus due to condenser trouble. They were screened by HMS St. Elstan.

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To provide close cover for the convoy ' Force R ' was deployed.

' Force R ', made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed Seidisfjord on 21 January.

At 0832B/24, the German submarine U 625 fired four torpedoes at HMS Kent and HMS Bermuda. No hits were obtained. The attack appeared to be unobserved.

' Force R ' arrived in the Kola Inlet around 0300A/26.

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To provide distant cover for the convoy a ' Battleforce ' was deployed.

The ' Battleforce ', which departed Scapa Flow on 21 January, was made up of the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Montrose (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN).

On 22 January the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) and HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord to fuel. They departed later the same day to join the Battleforce which they did around 0700A/17 in approximate position 66°12'N, 11°50'W. The original destroyer screen was then detached. HMS Inglefield and HMS Montrose to Akureyri and HMS Faulknor and HMS Eclipse were to return to Scapa Flow.

Around 1250A/23, the ' Battleforce ' was sighed by a German reconnaissance aircraft.

During the morning of the 24th, HMS Anson fuelled HMS Echo. An attempt by HMS Sheffield to fuel ORP Orkan failed.

Around 0330A/27, the ' Battleforce ' arrived at Akureyri. (19)

18 Jan 1943
The battleship HMS King George V (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by destroyers (these were possibly HMS Montrose (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN).

The exercises were carried out with the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). Upon completion of the exercises HMS King George V and the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow while the cruisers set course to Seidisfjord, Iceland. (20)

20 Jan 1943
Around 1200A/20, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from Scapa Flow. (21)

21 Jan 1943
Around 1030A/21, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed Seidisfjord to provide close cover for convoy JW 52.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy JW 52 ' for 17 January 1943.] (22)

26 Jan 1943
Around 0300A/26, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived in the Kola Inlet from convoy cover operations. (21)

29 Jan 1943

Convoy RA 52.

This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 29 January 1943.

On departure it was made up of the following merchant vessels; Beauregard (American, 5976 GRT, built 1920), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Dynastic (British, 5773 GRT, built 1919), El Almirante (Panamanian, 5248 GRT, built 1917), El Oceano (Panamanian, 6767 GRT, built 1925), Empire Meteor (British, 7457 GRT, built 1940), Gateway City (American, 5432 GRT, built 1920), Greylock (American, 7460 GRT, built 1921) and Wind Rush (American, 5586 GRT, built 1918).

The damaged destroyer HMS Onslow (Lt.Cdr. T.J.G. Marchant, RN) was also part of the convoy. She was not a part of the escort.

On departure from the Kola Inlet, around 1330C/29, the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Offa (Cdr. R.A. Ewing, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), minesweepers HMS Harrier (Cdr. A.D.H. Jay, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN), corvettes HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (Lt. S.C.B. Hickman, DSC, RNR), HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (Lt. L.A. Sayers, RNR) and the A/S trawlers Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G.Ogden, DSC, RNVR), HMS Northern Gem (Skr. H.C. Aisthorpe, RNR), HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR) and HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. J.R. Anglebeck, RNVR).

From 1 February onwards the convoy was shadowed by enemy U-boats.

At 0900A/2, HMS Onslow was detached to proceed independently to Scapa Flow where she arrived on 4 February.

At 1417A/3, the merchant vessel Greylock was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U 255.

A midnight during the night of 3/4 February, HMS Forester was detached to report the convoy's position and then proceed to Seidisfjord to fuel. Also on this day the destroyer HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy which they did around 1115A/5 in position 66°31'N, 15°18'W.

After the relief escorts had joined on the 5th, HMS Onslaught, HMS Offa, HMS Matchless, HMS Musketeer, ORP Piorun, HMS Icarus, HMS Beagle and HMS Bulldog were then detached from convoy to Seidisfiord to fuel, arriving there around 1700A/5.

At 1120A/5, HMS Seagull and HMS Honeysuckle were also detached to Seidisfjord for some repairs and fuel. They too arrived at Seidisfjord later on the 5th.

On 6 February, HMS Seagull and HMS Honeysuckle departed Seidisfjord to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1500A/8.

At 0200A/7, HMS Vivacious was detached from the convoy to join the ' Battleforce '.

On 8 February, HMS Middleton was detached from the convoy to proceed to the Clyde. HMS Blankney, HMS Harrier and HMS Seagull were detached from the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow.

Later on 8 February, HMS Honeysuckle, HMS Hyderabad, HMS Oxlip and HMS Rhododendron were detached from the convoy to proceed to the Clyde while HMS Lady Madeleine, HMS Northern Gem, HMS Northern Wave and HMS Vizalma were detached to proceed to Belfast.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on the 9th as did all the escorts at their respective destinations.

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To provide close cover for the convoy ' Force R ' was deployed.

' Force R ', made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed the Kola Inlet around 1500C/30.

' Force R ' arrived at Scapa Flow around 1700A/4.

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To provide distant cover for the convoy a ' Battleforce ' was deployed.

The ' Battleforce ', which departed Akureyri around 0630A/29, was made up of the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Obedient (Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki).

Around 1030A/1, they arrived in the covering position near 73°45'N, 12°40'E. They left this position for Hvalfjord on 2 February.

Around 1500A/3, HMS Obedient was detached to fuel at Seidisfjord.

Around 1730A/4, HMS Anson, HMS Sheffield, HMS Inglefield, HMS Oribi and ORP Orkan arrived at Hvalfjord. (15)

30 Jan 1943
Around 1500C/30, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed the Kola Inlet to provide close cover for convoy RA 52.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy RA 52 ' for 29 January 1943.] (21)

4 Feb 1943
Around 1700A/4, HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from convoy cover operations. (23)

25 Feb 1943
In the morning, HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), served as target for HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) during exercises off Scapa Flow. (24)

5 Mar 1943
HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSC, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt. W.F.B. Webb, DSC, RN) and FFS La Combattante (Lt.Cdr. A. Patou) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow.

Upon completion of the exercises HMS Furious, HMS Matchless and HMS Rapid proceeded to the Clyde while the other ships returned to Scapa Flow. (25)

7 Mar 1943
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord. (26)

10 Mar 1943
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from Scapa Flow.

Before entering some exercises were carried out. (26)

20 Mar 1943
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) departed Hvalfjord around 0930A/20 for Scapa Flow. En route various exercises were to be carried out with a force proceeding from Scapa Flow to Hvalfjord.

The ' opposing force ' was made up of the battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), light cruisers HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, OBE, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN), destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord around 0800A/20. (27)

22 Mar 1943
Around 2115A/22, the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Hvalfjord. (27)

13 May 1943
The battleship HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet) and the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises to the west of the Orkneys. During these exercises HMS Duke of York was, most likely, escorted by the destroyer HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (28)

25 May 1943
During 25/26 May 1943, HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (29)

27 May 1943
The aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. G. Grantham, CB, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), destroyer HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde. On departure from Scapa Flow some exercises were carried out before course was set for the Clyde.

They arrived in the Clyde the following day. (30)

31 May 1943
Around 1300B/31, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN), destroyers HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN)and the escort destroyers HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) departed Greenock for Akureyri, Iceland. (31)

2 Jun 1943
The aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN), destroyers HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN)and the escort destroyers HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) are ordered to proceed to Hvalfjord instead of Akureyri.

Heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN) and light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) continued their passage to Akureyri. (15)

3 Jun 1943
HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived at Akureyri from the Clyde. (32)

7 Jun 1943

Operation FH.

This operations had three objectives;
a) Carrying relief personnel and stores to the Norwegian Garrison in Spitsbergen.
b) Bringing back two corvettes from North Russia.
c) Carrying mail and stores to HM ships and establishments in North Russia.

The ships taking part in the operation were covered by a large battleforce which took station about 200 miles south-west of Bear Island.

The detailed movements taking part in the operation were as follows.

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' Force R ' was deployed for the relief of the garrison at Spitsbergen (Operation Gearbox III).

It was made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN).

They departed Akureyri, Iceland on 7 June for Spitsbergen where they arrived on 10 June. The cruisers commenced unloading while the destroyers conducted an A/S patrol off the entrance of the fjord. Also HMCS Athabascan fuelled from HMS Cumberland and HMS Eclipse from HMS Bermuda.

On 11 June, ' Force R ' departed Spitsbergen for Scapa Flow where they arrived on 14 June.

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On 8 June, the destroyers HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) and HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, DSC, RN) departed Seidisfjord. HMS Mahratta and HMS Musketeer were to proceed to the Kola Inlet. HMS Onslaught was to make rendezvous with the corvettes HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, RNVR) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. R.F.J. Maberley, RNVR) which departed the Kola Inlet for the U.K. on 9 June.

On 12 June, HMS Mahratta and HMS Musketeer arrived in the Kola Inlet where they unloaded, fuelled and departed to return to Seidisfjord later the same day.

On 13 June, HMS Onslaught returned to Seidisfjord having failed to meet the corvettes which passed to the south of Bear Island.

On 14 June, HMS Bluebell arrived at Aultbea.

On 15 June, HMS Camellia arrived at Liverpool and HMS Mahratta and HMS Musketeer arrived at Seidisfjord.

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On 9 June, the battlefleet, made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), USS South Dakota (Capt. L.D. McCormick, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), USS Alabama (Capt. F.D. Kirtland, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN), AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), USS Ellyson (T/Cdr. E.W. Longton, USN), USS Rodman (T/Cdr. J.F. Foley, USN), USS Emmons (T/Cdr. E.B. Billingsley, USN), USS Macomb (T/Cdr. J.C. South, USN) and USS Fitch (T/Cdr. K.C. Walpole, USN) departed Akureyi to proceed to their cover position about 200 miles south-west of Bear Island where they arrived on the 11th.

On the 12th, USS South Dakota, USS Alabama, HMS Berwick, USS Ellyson, USS Rodman, USS Emmons, USS Macomb and USSFitch were detached to proceed to Hvalfjord where they arrived on the 14th. The remaining ships set course for Scapa Flow.

On the 13th, HMS Duke of York, HMS Furious, Scylla, HMS Milne, HMS Obdurate, HMS Obedient, HMS Opportune and HMS Orwell arrived at Scapa Flow. (15)

14 Jun 1943
HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations. (33)

14 Jul 1943

Convoy MKF 18.

This convoy departed Malta on 11 July 1943.

This convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Malta the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 13 July 1943. Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922),

The convoy, now joined by the (troop) transports Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913) and Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) departed Algiers on 14 July 1943 and was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) and the frigates HMS Bann (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) and HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR).

Around 0700B/15, the convoy arrived in Oran / Mers-el-Kebir anchorage where POW's were embarked.

The convoy departed for Gibraltar around 2000B/15 minus the Empress of Russia which remained behind to coal.

At 1100B/16, HMS Wanderer parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Gibraltar to effect repairs to her machinery. She arrived at Gibraltar around 1630B/16. She was then taken in hand for repairs but these could not be completed on time and it was decided that she was replaced in the escort by the frigate HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar around 1900B/16.

The convoy departed Gibraltar for the U.K. around 0630B/17 minus the Nea Hellas and with the addition of two other ships; Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Fort Lee (American (tanker), 10198 GRT, built 1943).

The escort was reinforced by the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN).

Between around 2020B/18 and 2155B/18, in approximate position 38°15'N, 13°25'W, the convoy was attacked by two or three FW 200 aircraft but no damage was done by these enemy aircraft.

Between around 1035B/19 and 1105B/19, in position 39°30'N, 16°20'W, the convoy was attacked again by a FW 200 aircraft but no damage was done due to effective AA fire from HMS Scylla.

Around 0920B/20, in position 43°00'N, 19°30'W, the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1500B/20, in position 44°10'N, 19°30'W, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to return to Gibraltar.

Around 2200B/21, in position 50°00'N, 16°30'W, HMS Bermuda parted company with the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 23 July 1943.

25 Jul 1943

Operation Governor.

The object of this operation was again to pin down enemy forces in Norway and try to get the large German warships to intervene.

Five Force took part in the operation;
' Force A ', which was made up of the battleships HMS Anson (Rear-Admiral H.R.G. Kinahan, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN) and USS Alabama (Capt. F.D. Kirtland, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), USS Rodman (T/Cdr. J.F. Foley, USN), USS Emmons (T/Cdr. E.B. Billingsley, USN), USS Macomb (T/Cdr. J.C. South, USN) and USS Fitch (T/Cdr. K.C. Walpole, USN).

' Force B ' which was made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (R.Adm. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), USS South Dakota (Capt. L.D. McCormick, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN), HMS Saumarez (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN).

' Force C ' representing a convoy, was made up of the destroyers HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN, Senior Officer ' Force C '), HMS Ripley (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN), trawlers HMS Cedar (T/Skr. B. Godfrey, RNR), HMS Hawthorn (T/Lt. G.W. Fox, RNVR), HMS Larch (T/Skr. J.G. Mackay, RNR), HMS Lilac (T/Skr. J.W. Brown, RNR), HMS Oak (A/Skr.Lt. P. Buchan, DSC, RNR), HMS Skye (T/Lt. W.G. Burt, RNR), HMS Switha (T/Lt. L.H. Green, RNR), HMS Willow (T/Lt. J.E.W. Graves, RNVR), Motor Launches HMML 252 (T/Lt. T.R. Neale, RNVR), HMML 286 (T/Lt. J.R.T. Ward, RNVR), HMML 442 (T/Lt. R.W. Dunn, RANVR), HMML 445 (T/Lt. B.W. Kelly, RNVR), HMML 473 (T/Lt. J.C. Sargeant, RNVR), and the landing craft HMLCI(L) 167 (?).

' Force D ' was made up of the light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN).

' Force E ' which was made up of the heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN) and HMS Norfolk (Capt. D.K. Bain, RN).

On 25 July, ' Force C ' departed from Scapa Flow for Sullom Voe where it arrived the following day.

On 26 July ' Force A ' departed from Hvalfiord to pass through position ' N ' (66°30'N, 08°00' W) and then through position ' P ' (66°00'N, 01°30'E).

On 27 July ' Force E ' departed from Hvalfiord for position ' M ' (67°20'N, 02°00'W).

' Force B ' departed from Scapa Flow to pass through position ' W ' (61°40'N, 04°40'W) and then through position ' T ' (61°30'N, 01°30'E).

' Force C ' departed from Sullom Voe to pass through position ' U ' (61°45N, 00°50W) and then through postition ' S ' (61°50'N, 01°00'E).

' Force D ' (minus both destroyers) departed from Scapa Flow to proceed to position ' V ' (62°15'N, 05°20'W) where they were to rendezvous on the 28th with the destroyers coming from Skaalefiord, Faeroer Island and then to position ' R ' (62°00'N, 00°30'E).

On 28 July ' Force D ' was sighted and reported by enemy aircraft. The other forces were apparently not sighted by the Germans.

Beaufighters shot down two BV 138's in the vicinity of ' Force D ' and damaged two others.

Martlets from HMS Illustious shot down two BV 138's in the vicinity of Forces ' A ' and ' D '.

' Force D ' joined ' Force A ' in position ' Q ' (63°10'N, 01°30'E). The two destroyers from ' Force D ' were then detached to return to Skaalefiord where they arrived on the 29th.

All forces commenced to withdraw.

' Force C ' arrived at Sullom Voe, sailing PM for Scapa Flow.

' Force B ' arrived at Scapa Flow.

Forces ' A ' and ' D ' (less the two destroyers) arrived at Scapa Flow.

On 30 July ' Force C ' arrived at Scapa Flow and ' Force E ' arrived at Hvalfiord. (34)

27 Jul 1943
Around 1615B/7, the battleships HMS Duke of York (R.Adm. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), USS South Dakota (Capt. L.D. McCormick, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN), HMS Saumarez (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) departed Scapa Flow for operation Governor.

[For more information see the event ' Operation Governor ' for 25 July 1943.] (15)

28 Jul 1943

Convoy SL 134.

This convoy departed Freetown on 28 July 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aleksandar I (Yugoslavian, 5948 GRT, built 1927), Anna (Greek, 5173 GRT, built 1919), Baron Inchcape (British, 7005 GRT, built 1917), Cape Clear (British, 5085 GRT, built 1939), City of Yokohama (British, 7341 GRT, built 1922), Clan MacIlwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Clan Murray (British, 5953 GRT, built 1918), Dunelmia (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Elorn (French, 5482 GRT, built 1930), Empire Barrie (British, 7168 GRT, built 1942), Empire Geraint (British, 6991 GRT, built 1942), Empire Grebe (British, 5736 GRT, built 1918), Empire Plover (British, 6109 GRT, built 1920), Empire Ruskin (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Empire Torrent (British, 7076 GRT, built 1942), Essex Trader (British, 7237 GRT, built 1943), Ettrickbank (British, 5138 GRT, built 1937), Fort Ellice (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Halkett (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Jemseg (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Steele (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Jaarstroom (Dutch, 2480 GRT, built 1922), King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Kohistan (British, 5884 GRT, built 1930), Liberian (British, 5129 GRT, built 1936), Lida (Polish, 1387 GRT, built 1938), Lombardy (British, 3379 GRT, built 1921), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Malancha (British, 8124 GRT, built 1937), Markhor (British, 7917 GRT, built 1929), Ocean Fame (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pilgrim (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Trader (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Princ Andrej (Yugoslavian, 5041 GRT, built 1930), Royal Star (British, 7900 GRT, built 1919), Sheridan (British, 4665 GRT, built 1918), Silverlaurel (British, 6142 GRT, built 1939), Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942), Testbank (British, 5136 GRT, built 1937), Telesfora de Larrinaga (British, 5780 GRT, built 1920), Testbank (British, 5083 GRT, built 1937) Ville d'Amiens (British (former French), 6975 GRT, built 1924) and Waterland (Dutch, 6847 GRT, built 1922).

The French armed merchant cruiser Quercy was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the destroyer ORP Burza (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) F. Pitulko), escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN), sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN, Senior Officer of the A/S escort) and the corvettes HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Snowdrop (T/Lt. W.A. Burnett, RNVR).

The corvette HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR) sailed a day late (29th) to overtake and join the convoy.

At dawn on the 29th, the Lida and Stancleeve were found to be missing from the convoy. These ships had to part company during the night and both returned to Freetown with defects on the 30th.

Around 1400Z/28, HMS Burdock joined the convoy.

Around 1900Z/28, in position 10°58'N, 17°10'W, the Dunelmia, Fort Halkett, King Stephen and Testbank were detached from the convoy to proceed independently to destinations in South America. During this passage the Fort Halkett was sunk by the German submarine U-185.

Around 0500Z/1, in position 14°43'N, 17°47'W, the Quercy parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dakar independently in contrary to her sailing orders as she was supposed to only part company later at the rendezvous point with the ships coming from Dakar.

Around 0630Z/1, the Dakar section of the convoy joined. It was made up of the merchant vessels Fort Douglas (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942) and Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923) and the tug Empire Oberon (British, 242 GRT, built 1943). With them was the corvette HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR) and two ML's. HMS Geranium joined the convoy. The ML's, which were to have escorted the Quercy to Dakar returned with the Empire Oberon which was found to be unable to keep up with the convoy.

Around 0800Z/1, ORP Burza was detached to Dakar to effect repairs to a defective boiler joint. At the same time HMS Blackmore was detached to St. Vincent.

Around 2000Z/1, the Jaarstroom was detached to Dakar as she was unable to keep up with the convoy.

Around 0130Z/2, ORP Burza rejoined the convoy having effected repairs at Dakar.

Around 0600Z/2, HMS Snowdrop was detached to convoy OS 52.

Around the same time the RFA tanker Fortol (2629 GRT, built 1917) joined the convoy coming from convoy OS 52. Her escort, the corvette HrMs Friso (Lt.Cdr. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN) returned to convoy OS 52.

Around 1600Z/3, the merchant vessel Chelma (French, 4968 GRT, built 1920) joined the convy from Port Etienne. She was escorted to thee rendezvous by the sloop La Grandiere which did not join the convoy.

Around 1900Z/3, HMS Blackmore rejoined the convoy coming from St. Vincent.

On 6 August 1943, HMS Rochester and HMS Azalea fuelled from the Fortol.

On 7 August 1943, HMS Balsam and HMS Geranium fuelled from the Fortol.

On 8 August 1943, HMS Blackmore and HMS Burdock fuelled from the Fortol.

On 9 August 1943, ORP Burza and HMS Mignonette fuelled from the Fortol.

Around 1000Z/9, the Chelma, Elorn, Hoggar parted company with the convoy to proceed to Casablanca. To escort them to this place the patrol vessels USS PC-472 (Lt. M. Beerman, USNR), USS PC-480 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Meyers, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-482 (Lt. N.P. Hallowell, Jr., USNR) had come out from Casablanca.

Around 1725Z/9, in position 33°58'N, 09°33'W, the Fortol escorted by HMS Blackmore parted company to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around 0600Z/10, in position 35°13'N, 09°50'W, the light (AA) cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1700Z/10, in position 35°58'N, 10°40'W, the escort destroyer HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar. She was to have joined earlier but while en-route to rendezvous with the convoy had been diverted to search the area near position 35°35'N, 06°57'W where an SOS signal from an aircraft had been sent from around 2200Z/9. She had abandoned her search, having found nothing, around 0927Z/10 and then set course to join the convoy.

At 1722Z/12, when the convoy was in position 40°12'N, 15°58'W, HMS Azalea reported contact on an enemy FW 200 aircraft. The escort closed up to provice better AA protection for the convoy. At 1750Z/12, the enemy aircraft was seen to jettison some bombs well clear of the port quarter of the convoy and at 1815Z/12, the escorts resumed their previous stations.

At 1925Z/12, the enemy aircraft commenced a bombing run at a height of 10000 feet from the port beam of the convoy. HMS Scylla opened a rapid and accurate fire. The enemy bombs fell between the second ship of the second column and the leading ship of the third column causing no damage. At 1950Z/12, HMS Scylla reported her radar screen clear of enemy aircraft.

At 1141Z/13, HMS Scylla reported contact on an enemy FW 200 aircraft. The position of the convoy at 1200Z/13 was 42°12'N, 16°15'W.

At 1306Z/13, this aircraft made a bombing run from the port quarter of the convoy at a height of 15000 feet. HMS Scylla's AA fire was impressive and the bombs again missed, falling 70 feet astern of the Royal Star which was the leading ship of the 7th column.

Around 2100Z/13, in position 43°30'N, 16°17'W, HMS Scylla parted company to join the combined convoy OS 53 / KMS 22.

At 1105Z/14, a FW 200 aircraft was sighted and it was driven off by the Liberator air escort / patrol which scored some hits on it. At 1200Z/13, the convoy was in position 45°07'N, 16°47'W.

At 1215Z/14, in position 44°58'N, 16°46'W, the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) closed the convoy to cover it against surface attack. At 1223Z/13, she reported a FW 200 in sight and directed the relief Liberator air escort / patrol to it. The enemy made off and was not seen again.

Around 2000Z/15, in position 47°40'N, 15°13'W, six ships of the convoy, capable of 12 knots, were detached to proceed ahead escorted by HMS Burdock (S.O.) and HMS Brissenden. The ships in question were the Ettrickbank, Mahout, Malancha, Markhor, Royal Star and Silverlaurel.

At 0600Z/16, in position 50°04'N, 15°32'W, HMS Bermuda parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth.

At 1320Z/17, the Empire Geraint was detached to proceed to Avonmouth escorted as far as 07°00'W by HMS Geranium.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 18 August 1943 after which the ships proceeded to their respective destinations. (35)

29 Jul 1943
Around 0830A/29, the battleships HMS Duke of York (R.Adm. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), USS South Dakota (Capt. L.D. McCormick, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN), HMS Saumarez (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from operation Governor. (15)

5 Aug 1943

Convoy TA 58 / Operation Quadrant.

This convoy was only made up of one ship, the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) which departed the Clyde on 5 August.

On board the Queen Mary was Prime Minister Churchill, Chiefs of Staff and their entourage which were en-route to the Quebec conference.

Close (A/S) escort for the convoy was provided by the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) which had departed Londonderry on 5 August. They returned to the Clyde on 8 August.

Two destroyers had already left Londonderry on the 4th, these were HMS Saumarez (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) and HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN). These probably first proceeded westwards at economical speed and later took over from HMS Matchless and HMS Scorpion. They arrived at Argentia, Newfoundland on 9 August.

Cover for this convoy was provided by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN) which was escorted by HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN). They departed the Clyde around 1230B/5 and returned there around 1000B/8.

During daylight on the 6th, the light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) provided cover for the convoy. She had departed Scapa Flow around 0300B/5 and returned there around 0630B/8.

Close escort for the convoy was provided by the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow around 0500B/5 and joined the troopship around 2200B/5. She remained with the troopship until around 0930B/7 when course was set to return to Scapa Flow where she arrived around 1600B/9.

The heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN) sailed from Hvalfjord around 0130Z/5. She first sighted the Queen Mary with HMS Bermuda in company around 1930Z/6. She remained with or near the Queen Mary until 0815Z/8 when she parted company to proceed to Argentia, Newfoundland where she arrived around 1000N/9.

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) joined HMS Kent around 0650Z/7. She parted company around 2145Z/7. HMS Glasgow had departed Plymouth around 1545B/4 and returned there around 1830B/10.

Shortly before HMS Kent parted company with the Queen Mary the heavy cruiser USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN) and the destroyers USS Isherwood (T/Cdr. R.E. Gadrow, USN), Luce (T/Cdr. D.C. Varian, USN), USS Bell (T/Cdr. L.C. Petross, USN) and Hale (T/Cdr. K.F. Poehlmann, USN) joined coming from Charleston, South Carolina which they had departed on the 4th together with the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (Capt. G. Rowe, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN) and the destroyers USS Forrest (T/Cdr. K.P. Letts, USN), USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN) and USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN) which were also in the area providing air cover with the aircraft of USS Ranger.

The convoy arrived at Halifax on the 9th.

9 Aug 1943

Combined convoy OS 53 / KMS 23.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 9 August 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alresford (British, 2472 GRT, built 1922), Antilochus (British, 9082 GRT, built 1906), Avon Coast (British, 1036 GRT, built 1923), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Botlea (British, 5119 GRT, built 1917), British Engineer (British (tanker), 6993 GRT, built 1922), Chloris (British, 1171 GRT, built 1910), Elizabeth Massey (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Empire Bardolph (British, 7063 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cabot (British, 6715 GRT, built 1941), Empire Capulet (British, 7044 GRT, built 1943), Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Empire Clarion (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Deed (British, 6766 GRT, built 1943), Empire Flame (British, 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Porpoise (British, 7592 GRT, built 1918), Empire Prince (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Prowess (British, 7058 GRT, built 1943), Empire Rain (British, 7290 GRT, built 1941), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), English Monarch (British, 4557 GRT, built 1924), Euryades (British, 5801 GRT, built 1913), Facto (Norwegian, 1522 GRT, 1921), Fenad Head (British, 5038 GRT, built 1941), Filleigh (British, 4856 GRT, built 1928), Fort Albany (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Assiniboine (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Caribou (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Carillon (British, 7129 GRT, built 1943), Fort Connolly (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Fraser (British, 7126 GRT, built 1942), Fort Glenlyon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort McLeod (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Fort St. Paul (British, 7137 GRT, built 1943), Fort Ville Marie (British, 7122 GRT, built 1941), Greathope (British, 2297 GRT, built 1926), Hilversum (Dutch, 3717 GRT, built 1920), Itinda (British, 6619 GRT, built 1938), Lanrick (British, 1276 GRT, built 1920), Leighton (British, 7412 GRT, built 1921), Lowlander (British, 8059 GRT, built 1925), MacGregor Laird (British, 4992 GRT, built 1930), Neleus (British, 6685 GRT, built 1911), New Brooklyn (British, 6546 GRT, built 1920), Norjerv (Norwegian, 5582 GRT, 1919), Northleigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Valentine (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Penshurst (British, 1454 GRT, built 1921), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Portsea (British, 1583 GRT, 1938), Selvik (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1920), Solarium (British, 6239 GRT, built 1936), St. Rosado (British, 4312 GRT, built 1937), Tigre (Norwegian, 5498 GRT, built 1926), Trojan Star (British, 9037 GRT, built 1936), Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940), Warfield (British, 6070 GRT, built 1917) and Wayfarer (British, 5068 GRT, built 1925).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) was also part of the convoy.

Also part of the convoy were the boom defence vessels HMS Barndale (T/Lt. R.L. Jones, RNR) and HMS Barnehurst (T/Lt. T. Robb, RNR).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the frigates HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR, with Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSC, RN on board as Senior Officer of the Escort Group), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN), HMS Fal (Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rose, RANVR), HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RNR), HMS Trent (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Rankin, DSC, RNR), HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNethN) and the M/S trawlers (for passage to the Mediterranean) HMS Staffa (T/Lt. R.L. Roat, RNVR) and HMS Unst (T/Lt. F.M. Cornall, RNVR).

Around 1700Z/11, in position 51°38'N, 13°14'W, the sloop HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN) joined coming from Londonderry.

Around 1300Z/12, the sloop HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. I.M. Carrs, RN) joined the convoy coming from Milford Haven. She had the tanker Empire Bombardier (British (tanker), 8202 GRT, built 1943) with her.

Around 0715Z/13 the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived near the convoy to provide cover against surface attack. About an hour later she positioned herself well to the east of the convoy. She left the vicinity of the convoy the following day after the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) had joined around 0535Z/14 in position 43°42'N, 14°15'W. She was stationed inside the convoy for AA protection. During daylight hours, HMS Stork and HMS Redpole were also stationed inside the convoy to provide AA protection with their 4" gun batteries. During the night there were deployed in the A/S screen.

At 0915Z/15, when the convoy was in position 39°40'N, 13°33'W, it was noticed that en enemy FW 200 aircraft was shadowing the convoy.

At 1015Z/15, two FW 200's commenced high level bombing attacks on the convoy but all bombs fell wide.

Around 1745Z/15, the convoy was attacked by (16 to 18) German FW 200 aircraft from 1./KG.40 in position 38°59'N, 12°58'W. The Warfield was heavily damaged and later sank while the Baron Fairlie and Ocean Faith were both damaged. The Baron Fairlie was making water in the engine room. HMS Bazeley remained behind to assist these ships but she later rejoined the convoy. She sank the wreck of the Warfield which was beyond salvage. HMS Bazeley was near missed and slightly damaged but this was not discovered until the ship was docked for inspection.

Around 1200Z/16, HMS Trent was detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 2045Z/16, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar where she arrived around 0830B/17.

Around 0600Z/16, HMS Test was detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 0900Z/17, the convoy split into convoy OS 53 and KMS 23.

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Convoy OS 53, towards Freetown, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Antilochus, Botlea, British Engineer, Empire Bardolph, Empire Bombardier, Empire Cabot, Empire Porpoise, Empire Prowess, English Monarch, Hilversum, Leighton, MacGregor Laird, Neleus, New Brooklyn, Norjerv, Peterston, Solarium, St. Rosario, Trojan Star and Tynemouth.

They were joined by the merchant vessels; Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Dumfries (British, 5149 GRT, built 1935), Fort Alexandria (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kootenay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Glenpark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Stad Maassluis (Dutch, 6541 GRT, built 1918), Trevaylor (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940) and the boom defence vessel HMS Barbette (Skr.Lt. F. Parsons, RNR) and the rescue tug HMRT Antic which came from Gibraltar which they had departed on the 15th escorted by the destroyers HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the trawler HMS St. Nectan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.F. Broadhead, RNR).

The convoy was escorted by HMS Blackwood, HMS Bazeley, HMS Drury, HMS Fal and HMS Johan Maurits van Nassau. HMS Trent and HMS Test latr rejoined from Casablanca on the 18th and 19th of August respectively.

On 17 August 1943, the convoy was joined by the following merchant vessels coming from Casablanca which they had departed the previous day; El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Fort Nakasley (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943) and Montaigne (French, 2770 GRT, built 1920). They were escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-471 (Lt. G. Washburn, USNR), USS PC-473 (Lt. D.F. Welch, USNR) and USS PC-474 (Lt. A.D. Weekes, Jr., USNR). These patrol vessels did not join the convoy but returned to Casablanca arriving there on the 18th. They had taken the merchant vessel Empire Prowess with them.

Around 1000Z/22, the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and the corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) joined the convoy. HMS Blackwood, HMS Bazeley, HMS Drury and HMS Johan Maurits van Nassau then parted company to proceed to Dakar to fuel where they arrived the following day.

On 23 August 1943, the El-Biar, Finistere and Montaigne arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy. The merchant vessels Fort Vercheres (British, 7128 GRT, 1942) and Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Dakar.

On 24 August 1943, the British Engineer and Empire Bombardier arrived at Bathurst after having been detached from the convoy. The merchant vessel Lida (Polish, 1387 GRT, built 1938) joined the convoy the following day coming from Bathurst.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 27 August 1943. Not all merchant ships entered Freetown but continued on to their destination independently.

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Convoy KMS 23, towards the Mediterranean, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arlesford, Avon Coast, Baron Fairlie, Baron Forbes, Chloris, Elizabeth Massey, Empire Capulet, Empire Chamois, Empire Clarion, Empire Deed, Empire Flame, Empire Prince, Empire Rain, Empire Shearwater, Euryades, Facto, Fenad Head, Filleigh, Fort Albany, Fort Ash, Fort Assiniboine, Fort Caribou, Fort Carillon, Fort Connolly, Fort Drew, Fort Fraser, Fort Glenyon, Fort McLeod, Fort St. Paul, Fort Ville Marie, Greathope, Itinda, Lanrick, Lowlander, North Leigh, Ocean Faith, Ocean Valentine, Penshurst, Portsea, Selvik, Tigre and Wayfarer.

The rescue vessel Rathlin and the boomb defence vessels HMS Barndale and HMS Barnehurst were also with the convoy.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Isis, HMS Anthony, sloops HMS Stork, HMS Redpole, A/S trawler HMS St. Nectan and the M/S trawlers HMS Staffa and HMS Unst. Also joining on the split up of the combined convoy was the Mediterranean escort of the convoy. It had departed Gibraltar on 16 August 1943 and was made up of the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Hythe (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Miller, RN), HMS Romney (Lt. W.E. Halbert, RNR), HMS Rye (A/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pearson, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Whitehaven (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.A.T. Irvine, DSC, RNR), HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.J. Seymour, RAN), HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt.Cdr. J.S. McBryde, RANR(S)), HMAS Lismore (T/Lt. L.C.G. Lever, RANR(S)) and HMAS Maryborough (T/Lt. J.C.P. Boyle, RANR(S)).

On 18 August 1943, the Arlesford, Baron Forbes, Ocean Faith, Selvik, Rathlin, HMS Barndale and HMS Barnehurst arrived at Gibraltar after having been detached from the convoy. From the escort, HMS Isis, HMS Anthony, HMS Stork, HMS Redpole, HMS St. Nectan, HMS Staffa and HMS Unst also arrived at Gibraltar.

On 18 August 1943 the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Gibraltar; A.C. Bedford (British (tanker), 9485 GRT, built 1918), Balteako (British, 1328 GRT, built 1920), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Gulf of Venezuela (American, 6910 GRT, 1919) and Toorak (British (tanker), 8627 GRT, built 1927).

Around 1700B/19, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. H.F. Nalder, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar which she had departed around 1200B/19. She parted company with the convoy around 0725B/20 to return to Gibraltar where she arrived around 1915B/20.

On 20 August 1943, the Cloris, Elizabeth Massay, Greathope and Gulf of Venezuela arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Oran; Edward Richardson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Eildon (British, 1447 GRT, built 1936), Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914) and Horace Binney (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942).

Also joining from Oran were the LST's USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Lt. C.M. Brookfield, USCGR), USS LST 25 (Lt. J.P. Houlinan, USCGR), USS LST 72 (Lt. H.A Kaye, USNR), USS LST 73 (Lt. W.K. Bradbury, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. R.W. Emmons, USNR), USS LST 209 (Lt. F.J. Oberg, USNR) and USS LST 261 (Lt. L.I. Reilley, USCG).

On 21 August 1943, the Avon Coast, Baron Fairlie, Empire Chamois, Empire Flame, Empire Prince, Empire Rain, Facto, Filleigh, Fort Fraser, Grand Quevilly, Lanrick and Penshurst arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Algiers; Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922), Benedict (British, 4949 GRT, built 1930), Cape Sable (British, 4398 GRT, built 1936), Empire Cato (British, 7039 GRT, built 1942), Empire Commerce (British, 3722 GRT, built 1943), Empire Salvage (British (tanker) 10746 GRT, built 1940), Jade (British, 930 GRT, built 1938), Kingsborough (British, 3368 GRT, built 1928), Miriam (British, 1903 GRT, built 1912), Ravens Point (British, 1708 GRT, built 1918) and Ville de Djidjelli (French, 1132 GRT, built 1907).

The submarines HMS Templar (Lt. D.J. Beckley, DSO, RN) and HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) also joined the convoy off Algiers for passage to Malta.

On 22 August 1943, the Fort Ash arrived at Bougie after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 August 1943, the Benedict, Empire Cato, Fort Albany, Northleigh and Ville de Djidjelli arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 August 1943, the Empire Clarion, Empire Commerce, Empire Deed, Fenad Head, Fort Caribou, Fort Carillon, Fort Ville Marie and Ravens Point arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

Around 1800B/22, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined coming from Bizerta which she had departed around 1000B/22.

On 23 August 1943, the A.C. Bedford, Armenara, Balteako, Edward Richardson, Eildon, Empire Salvage, Horace Binney, Kingsborough, Toorak and all the LST's arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 23 August 1943, the Cape Sable arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 24 August 1943, the Belnor, Empire Shearwater, Fort Connolly, Fort Drew, Fort St. Paul, Jade, Miriam and Ocean Valentine arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Algiers; Beacon (American (tanker), 10388 GRT, built 1921), British Vigour (British (tanker), 5844 GRT, built 1943), Good Gulf (Panamanian (tanker), 7805 GRT, built 1938), Meroe (British, 3832 GRT, built 1928), Ovula (Dutch (tanker), 6256 GRT, built 1938), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927) and Shirrabank (British, 7274 GRT, built 1940).

The two submarines were detached to Malta.

Around 2230C/26, HMS Colombo parted company with the convoy to proceed to Benghazi.

On 27 August 1943 the merchant vessels Egret (British, 1391 GRT, built 1937) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming from Benghazi.

On 29 August 1943, the British Vigour, Egret, Euryades, Fort Assiniboine, Lowlander, Meroe, Ovula , Shirrabank and Trajanus arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. They were escorted by HMS Shoreham, HMS Hythe, HMS Romney, HMS Whitehaven and HMAS Gawler.

HMAS Lismore proceeded to Haifa where she arrived on 30 August 1943.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 30 August 1943.

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

5 Nov 1943
HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (36)

9 Nov 1943
The battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), USS Ranger (Capt. G. Rowe, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), heavy cruiser USS Augusta (Capt. G. Hutchins, USN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, DSC, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Hardy (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN), HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. J.C. Hibbard DSC, RCN), USS Forrest (T/Cdr. K.P. Letts, USN), USS Fitch (T/Cdr. K.C. Walpole, USN), USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN), USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN) and USS Capps (T/Cdr. B.E.S. Trippensee, USN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (37)

15 Nov 1943

Operation FT, passage of convoys JW 54A and JW 54B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 54B from Northern Russia to the U.K.

Convoy JW 54A

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This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 15 November 1943 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Daniel Drake (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Edmund Fanning (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Carpenter (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Celia (American, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Nigel (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), Fort Yukon (British, 7153 GRT, built 1943), Gilbert Stuart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Villard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Gordon Bennett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Smith (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931), Norlys (Panamanian (tanker), 9892 GRT, built 1936), Ocean Vanity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Park Holland (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Sim Lee (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and William Windon (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Copeland (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) was also with the convoy.

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Termagant (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC, RN), ORP Burza (Cdr. F. Pitulko, ORP), escort destroyer HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.D.E. Vivian, RN), minesweeper HMS Hussar (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN) and the corvette HMS Heather (T/Lt. W.L. Turner, RNR).

On 17 November, the destroyer HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, DSC, RN) departed Seidisfjord, Iceland to join the convoy. She was escorting the Russian minesweepers T 116, T 117 and patrol vessels BO 205, BO 207 and BO 212 which were to join the convoy for passage to Northern Russia. [These were the former American minesweepers AM 143 / Arcade, AM 144 / Arch and patrol vessels SC 1287, SC 1074 and SC 721 respectively.]

Later on 17 November the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. J.C. Hibbard DSC, RCN), HMCS Haida (Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. P. Bekenn, RN) also sailed from Seidisfjord to join the convoy.

On 18 November all ships that had departed Seidisfjord the day before joined the convoy. HMS Termagant, ORP Burza and HMS Brissenden then parted company with the convoy. The British ships proceeded to Seidisfjord arriving on the 19th, ORP Burza set course to return to Loch Ewe also arriving on the 19th.

On 19 November HMS Obedient developed serious rudder defects and she returned to Seidisfjord arriving later the same day.

On 24 November eight of the merchant vessels arrived in the Kola Inlet escorted by HMS Onslow, HMS Onslaught, HMS Obedient, HMS Orwell, HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Haida, HMCS Huron and HMS Impulsive. The five small Russian craft that had been with the convoy arrived in the Kola Inlet on the 25th.

The remaining ships proceeded to Archangelsk escorted by HMS Inconstant, HMS Whitehall, HMS Hussar and HMS Heather. These were later replaced by the minesweeper HMS Seagull (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.W. Ellis, DSC, RNR), two Russian destroyers and three Russian minesweepers. On the joining of these ships HMS Inconstant, HMS Whitehall and HMS Heather parted company and proceeded to Iokanka. The remainder of the convoy arrived in the Archangelsk area on the 26th.

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Convoy JW 54B

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This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 22 November 1943 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arthur L. Perry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Empire Lionel (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stalwart (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), Eugene Field (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Fort Columbia (British, 7155 GRT, built 1942), Fort McMurray (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Poplar (American, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Horace Gray (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), John Fitch (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Strength (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), San Adolfo (British (tanker), 7365 GRT, built 1935), Thomas Kearns (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943) and William L. Marcy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

The rescue ship Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), HMS Saladin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. P.G.C. King, RNVR), HMS Skate (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), escort destroyer HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), minesweepers HMS Halcyon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.J. Martin, RNVR), HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Poppy (T/Lt. D.R.C. Onslow, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR).

On 23 November the corvette HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.F. Tognola, RNR) joined the convoy.

On 25 November the destroyers HMS Saumarez (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN), HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill), HMS Hardy (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN) and HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN) departed Seidisfjord, Iceland and joined the convoy. HMS Saladin, HMS Skate, HMS Middleton and HMS Speedwell then parted company and proceeded to Seidisfjord where they arrived on the 26th except for HMS Speedwell which went to Scapa Flow arriving there on the 29th.

On 2 December seven of the merchant vessels detached from the convoy escorted by HMS Saumarez, HMS Savage, HMS Scorpion, HMS Scourge, HNoMS Stord, HMS Hardy, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant and HMS Halcyon. They proceeded to the Kola Inlet arriving there later the same day.

The other ships continued on to Archangelsk escorted by HMS Beagle, HMS Dianella, HMS Poppy and HMS Rhododendron. They arrived at Archangelsk on 3 December.

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Convoy RA 54B

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This convoy departed Archangelsk on 26 November 1943 for the U.K.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aritgas (Panamanian, 5613 GRT, built 1920), Atlantic (British, 5414 GRT, built 1939), Bering (American, 7631 GRT, built 1920), Dover Hill (British, 5815 GRT, built 1918), Empire Scott (British, 6150 GRT, built 1941), Llandaff (British, 4825 GRT, built 1927), Marathon (Norwegian, 7208 GRT, built 1930), Norlys (Panamanian (tanker), 9892 GRT, built 1936) and Pieter de Hoogh (Dutch, 7168 GRT, built 1941).

The rescue ship Copeland (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Archangelsk the convoy was escorted by the minesweepers HMS Hussar, HMS Seagull and the A/S trawler HMS Lord Austin (T/Lt. E.L. Wathen, RNR). Also three Russian minesweepers were with the convoy escort.

On 27 November the destroyers HMS Inconstant, HMS Whitehall, minesweeper HMS Harrier (Cdr. H.E.H. Nicholls, RN) and corvette HMS Heather departed Iokanka and joined the convoy. The three Russian minesweepers were then detached.

On 28 November the destroyers HMS Onslow, HMS Onslaught, HMS Orwell, HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Haida, HMCS Huron and HMS Impulsive departed the Kola Inlet and joined the convoy. HMS Hussar and HMS Seagull were then detached to the Kola Inlet where they arrived the following day.

On 4 December HMCS Iroquois was detached to Seidisfjord to fuel. She arrived there later the same day.

On 5 December the destroyers HMS Saladin, HMS Skate and escort destroyers HMS Middleton and HMS Brissenden departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy which they did later the same day. Also on 5 December, first HMS Onslaught and HMCS Huron detached from the convoy and arrived at Seidisfiord to fuel. Then HMCS Haida and HMS Impulslive detached and arrived Seidisfiord to fuel and finally HMS Onslow and HMS Orwell also arrived Seidisfiord to fuel.

On 8 December the convoy split in two and proceeded to east and west coast harbour with local escorts (trawlers).

HMS Inconstant and HMS Whitehall proceeded to the Clyde arriving on 9 December.

HMS Saladin and HMS Skate proceeded to Londonderry arriving on 9 December.

HMS Heather and HMS Lord Austin proceeded to Liverpool arriving there also on 9 December.

HMS Middelton, HMS Brissenden and HMS Harrier proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving there later on the 8th.

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A close cover force was deployed. This was ' Force 1 ', made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) departed Seidisfjord on 19 November to provide cover for convoy JW 54A between 15°00'E and 41°00'E.

' Force 1 ' arrived in the Kola Inlet on 24 November.

' Force 1 ' departed the Kola Inlet on 27 November to provide cover for convoy JW 54B between 15°00'E and 41°00'E and RA 54B between 41°00'E and 05°00'E.

On 3 December, HMS Jamaica was detached to Hvalfjord where she arrived on 5 December.

On 4 December, HMS Kent and HMS Bermuda arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Also a distant cover force was deployed. This was ' Force 2 ', the battle force, which was made up the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN), heavy cruiser USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN) and the destroyers USS Forrest (T/Cdr. K.P. Letts, USN), USS Fitch (T/Cdr. K.C. Walpole, USN), USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN) and USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN) departed Akureyri on 19 November to cover convoy JW 54A from approximate position 73°00'N, 11°00'E.

On 24 November, while on passage back to Akureyri, USS Tuscaloosa was detached to Hvalfiord where she arriving later on the same day.

HMS Anson arrived at Akureyri also on 24 November escorted by the American destroyers which then went on to Hvalfjord.

On 28 November ' Force 2 ', now made up of the battleship HMS Anson, light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN) departed Akureyri to provide cover for convoy JW 54B and RA 54B from approximate position 73°00'N, 11°00'E.

On 29 November the destroyers had to be detached due to heavy weather as they were unable to keep up without sustaining damage. In fact, HMS Matchless had sustained damage and proceeded to Seidisfjord with defects. The destroyers rejoined on 1 December.

On 4 December ' Force 2 ' arrived at Scapa Flow. HMS Matchless also arrived there on the same day. (15)

17 Nov 1943
Around 0630A/17, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord. (38)

18 Nov 1943
Around 1530A/18, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from Scapa Flow. (38)

19 Nov 1943
Around 1830A/19, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) departed Seidisfjord to provide cover for convoy JW 54A between 15°00'E and 41°00'E.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Operation FT, passage of convoys JW 54A and JW 54B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 54B from Northern Russia to the U.K. ' for 15 November 1943.] (38)

24 Nov 1943
Around 1045C/24, HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) arrived in the Kola Inlet from operations. (38)

27 Nov 1943
Around 1445C/27, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN) departed the Kola Inlet to provide cover for convoys JW 54B between 15°00'E and 41°00'E and RA 54B between 41°00'E and 05°00'E.

[For more info on these convoys see the event ' Operation FT, passage of convoys JW 54A and JW 54B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 54B from Northern Russia to the U.K. ' for 15 November 1943.] (38)

12 Jan 1944

Operation FW, passage of convoys JW 56A and JW 56B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 56 from Northern Russia to the U.K.

Convoy JW 56A

.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 12 January 1944 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aert van der Neer (Dutch, 7170 GRT, built 1942), Andrew G. Curtin (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Charles Bulfinch (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Charles Scribner (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Edwin L. Drake (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Ploughman (British, 7049 GRT, built 1943), Fort Bellingham (British, 7153 GRT, built 1942), Fort Slave (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Jefferson Davis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John A. Quitman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph N. Nicollet (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Nathaniel Alexander (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Penelope Barker (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Richard H. Alvey (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), San Adolfo (British (tanker), 7365 GRT, built 1935), San Cirilo (British (tanker), 8012 GRT, built 1937), Thorstein Veblen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Tyler Page (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Woodbridge N. Ferris (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN), sloop HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), corvettes HMS Borage (Lt. W.S. MacDonald, DSC, RNVR), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.F. Tognola, RNR), HMS Poppy (T/Lt. D.R.C. Onslow, RNR), HMS Wallflower (Lt. G.R. Greaves, RNR) and the minesweepers Orestes (Lt.Cdr. A.W.R. Adams, RN)and Ready (Cdr. A.V. Walker, RN).

On 15 January 1944, HMS Cygnet was detached to Skaalefjord, Faeroer Islands with a defective propeller. She arrived at Skaalefjord the following day.

Also on the 15th, the convoy got badly scattered in a heavy gale.

On 16 January 1944, the destroyers HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN) and HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill) joined the convoy from Seidisfjord which they had departed earlier the same day.

Also on the 16th, the merchant vessels Charles Bulfinch, Jefferson Davis, John A. Quitman, Joseph N. Nicollet and Nathaniel Alexander turned back to Loch Ewe.

Also on the 16th the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN) and HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN) left Seidisfiord to join the convoy.

On the 17th, HMS Savage returned to Seidisfjord to fuel, sailing A.M. to rejoin the convoy.

Later on the 17th, HMS Inconstant also returned to Seidisfjord to fuel, sailing P.M. to rejoin the convoy.

Also on the 17th, all merchant ships and were escorts ordered to proceed to Akureyri to reassemble the convoy and await better weather. HMS Hardy, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMS Virago, HMS Offa and HMS Obdurate returned to Seidisfiord to fuel as did the corvettes HMS Dianella and HMS Poppy arrived Seidisfiord to fuel.

On the 18th, HMS Hardy, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMS Virago, HMS Offa and HMS Obdurate departed Seidisfjord for Akureyri as did HMS Dianella and HMS Poppy.

Also on the 18th HMS Savage, HNoMS Stord and HMS Inconstant arrived at Akureyri, possible ahead of the convoy. The convoy also arrived at Akureyi escorted by HMS Borage, HMS Wallflower, HMS Orestes and HMS Ready.

On 21 January 1944, the convoy (now made up of 15 ships) and escorted by HMS Hardy, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMS Virago, HMS Savage, HNoMS Stord, HMS Offa and HMS Obdurate, HMS Inconstant, HMS Dianella, HMS Poppy, HMS Orestes and HMS Ready left Akureyri to continue it's passage to Northern Russia.

On 22 January 1944, HMS Orestes and HMS Ready parted company with the convoy for Skaalefjord where they arrived the following day.

On 25 January 1944, German submarines made contact with the convoy. Several attacks of which most were made with T-5 homing torpedoes on the escort vessels. The following German submarines made contact with the convoy U-278, U-314, U-360, U-425, U-601, U-716, U-737 and U-957. The results of these attacks were that first, HMS Obdurate was damaged when a T-5 torpedo, fired by U-360 exploded in her wake, one shaft was out of action. She was however to remain with the convoy. Later, on her return to England for repairs it was found out that damage was more severe then initially thought and she was out of action for more then a year. Later in the evening the merchant vessel Penelope Barker was torpedoed and sunk by U-278, HMS Savage picked up 56 surivors.

On 26 January, shortly after midnight, the merchant vessel Fort Bellingham was torpedoed and damaged by U-360 and shortly afterwards the merchant vessel Andrew G. Curtin was torpedoed and sunk by U-716, 68 survivors were picked up by HMS Inconstant. The damaged Fort Bellingham fell behind the convoy and was later finished off by U-957. The survivors were picked up by HMS Offa.

Also on 26 January 1944, a local escort made up of the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, Gromkiy, Razyarenniy, British minesweepers HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RD, RNR) and the Russian minesweepers T-111, T-114 and T-117 departed the Kola Inlet to join the convoy.

On the 27th, the local escort joined the convoy and took over the White Sea section of 9 ships which was to proceed to Archangelsk where they arrived on the 29th.

The Murmansk section of 3 ships with the original escort arrived in the Kola Inlet on the 27th.

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Convoy JW 56B

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This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 22 January 1944 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abner Nash (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Albert C. Ritchie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Charles A. McAllister (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Edward L. Grant (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Tourist (British, 7062 GRT, built 1943), Fort Crevecoeur (British, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Fort Norfolk (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Henry Bacon (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Henry Lomb (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Wynkoop (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John H.B. Latrobe (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), John La Farge (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Paul Hamilton Hayne (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Robert Lowry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samuel McIntyre (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Willard Hall (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943) and Winfred L. Smith (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), sloop HMS Cygnet, corvettes HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC, RNR), HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR) and the minesweepers Hydra (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.T.J. Wellard, RNR) and HMS Onyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.C.L. Gaussen, RNVR).

Shortly after departure the merchant vessel Henry Lomb returned to Loch Ewe.

On the 24th, the destroyers HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN) and HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy.

On the 25th, HMS Westcott and HMS Whitehall were detached and arrived at Seidisfiord to fuel. Also HMS Mahratta and HMS Scourge returned to Seidisfiord.

On the 26th, HMS Rhododendron was detached from the convoy and arrived at Seidisfiord. She was not to rejoin the convoy.

Having completed fuelling HMS Westcott and HMS Whitehall departed from Seidisfiord and rejoined the convoy.

The destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Mahratta, HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Scourge and HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN) departed Seidisfiord and joined the convoy.

HMS Wrestler and HMS Onyx were detached and proceeded to Seidisfiord. They arrived there on the 27th.

HMS Honeysuckle was detached from the convoy to the Clyde

HMS Hydra was detached from convoy to Scapa Flow.

Also on the 26th, the convoy sighted and reported by enemy aircraft.

On the 27th, the destroyer HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) departed Skaalefjord. She joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 28th, the destroyers HMS Hardy, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMS Virago, HMS Savage, HNoMS Stord and HMS Offa departed the Kola Inlet to the convoy. They joined the convoy on the 29th.

On the 29th, German U-boats were in contact with the convoy. These were U-472, U-636 and U-956. Of these U-636 was depth charged by HMS Inconstant and HMS Offa, they claimed to have possibly destroyer a U-boat but in fact U-636 was not damaged. U-956 twice attacked escort vessels with a T-5 homing torpedo but both did not hit a target. She was twice taken under fire, first by HMS Mahratta and HMS Whitehall and later by HMS Inconstant. She was also depth charged by HMS Inconstant and HMS Offa.

On 30 January 1944, U-Boats continued to attack the convoy. HMS Hardy was heavily damaged by U-278 with a T-5 Gnat acoustic torpedo. This hit was also claimed by U-957 and U-472 which had also fired T-5 torpedoes aroud the same time. U-472 in fact missed HNoMS Stord. HMS Hardy could not be salvaged and she was scuttled with a torpedo from HMS Venus. The detonation of the torpedo was heard by U-601 which had fired a T-5 torpedo around this time and thought her torpedo had hit one of the escorts.

More action with U-boats on the 30th included, depth charging of U-278 by HMS Whitehall. U-313 attacked an escort vessel with a T-5 torpedo and was subsequently depth charged by HMS Vigilant and HMS Savage, she managed to escape without damage. U-314 was sunk by depth charges from HMS Inconstant. U-425 twice attacked escort vessels with a T-5 torpedo. After the second attack she was depth charged by HMS Venus. U-601 attacked the convoy with two torpedoes but no hits had been obtained. This was before the attack lised above. U-737 attacked the destroyer HMS Milne with a T-5 torpedo which did not hit the target. Later in the day she made another attack with a T-5 torpedo but this torpedo also failed to hit a target. Following this attack she was depth charged by HMS Inconstant and HNoMS Stord. U-739 was depth charged by HMS Inconstant and HMS Offa, she managed to escape without damage. U-965 attacked an escort vessel with a T-5 torpedo which did not hit, following this attack she was depth charged by HMS Venus but she escaped without damage.

On 31 January attacks by U-boats continued. U-278 was detected and depth charged by escorts but was not damaged. U-472 was depth charged by HMS Virago but was not damaged. U-956 attack an escort vessel with a T-5 torpedo but no hit was obtained, following the attack she was depth charged but was not damaged. U-957 was detected on the surface by HMS Inconstant which then opened fire on her, the U-boat submerged and was then attacked with depth charges but she managed to escape without damage. U-990 attacked an escort vessel with a T-5 torpedo but it missed.

On 1 February the convoy split. The White Sea (Archanglesk) section of 6 merchant vessels proceeded with a local escort which had joined from the Kola Inlet. This local escort was made up of the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, Grozniy, Razyarenniy, British minesweeper HMS Gleaner, Russian minesweepers T-111 and T-117 and the Russian patrol vessels BO-201 and BO-210.

The other merchant vessels (10) made up the Kola Inlet (Murmansk) section (10 ships) arrived in the Kola Inlet with the British escort.

On 2 February the White Sea section arrived at Archangel.

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Convoy RA 56

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This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 3 February 1944 for Loch Ewe.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Statesman (British (tanker), 6991 GRT, built 1923), Brockholst Livingston (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Cardinal Gibbons (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Collins P. Huntington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Daniel Willard (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942), Empire Archer (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Lionel (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Pickwick (American, 7068 GRT, built 1943), Eugene Field (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Fort Astoria (British, 7189 GRT, built 1943), Fort Hall (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kullyspell (British, 7190 GRT, built 1943), Fort Missanabie (British, 7147 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nakasley (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Thompson (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Verscheres (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), George Weems (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Harold L. Winslow (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Horace Gray (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), James A. Farrell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Woodrow (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942), John Fitch (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John J. Abel (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Vining (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), John Wanamaker (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Lewis Emery Jr. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Norlys (Panamanian (tanker), 9892 GRT, built 1936), Ocean Gypsy (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Messenger (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pride (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Valour (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Philip Livingston (American, 7176 GRT, built 1941), Stage Door Canteen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thistledale (British, 7241 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Scott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas U. Walter (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Will Rogers (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from the Kola Inlet the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Inconstant, HMS Westcott, HMS Whitehall, HMS Milne, HMS Mahratta, HMS Meteor, HMS Musketeer, HMS Offa, HMS Opportune, HMS Savage, HMS Scourge, HNoMS Stord, HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMCS Huron, sloop HMS Cygnet, minesweepers HMS Gleaner, Halcyon, HMS Hussar (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Seagull (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.W Ellis, DSC, RNR), HMS Speedwell and the corvettes HMS Dianella, HMS Oxlip and HMS Poppy.

The destroyers HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Swift (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) left Skaalefiord to rendezvous with convoy RA 56 near Bear Island.

On 5 December, two merchant ships of the convoy, the Empire Pickwick and Philip Livingston, which were unable to keep up, returned to Kola Inlet with HMS Gleaner and HMS Seagull.

On 6 December, HMS Verulam, HMS Swift and HMS Obedient joined the convoy.

On 7 December HMS Venus, HMS Vigilant, HMS Savage, HMS Offa and HMS Opportune were detached from the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow.

On 8 December the destroyer HMS Wrestler, corvettes HMS Borage, HMS Honeysuckle, HMS Wallflower and the minesweepers HMS Cockatrice (A/Lt.Cdr. C.W. Armstrong, RNR), HMS Loyalty (Lt.Cdr. James Edward Maltby, RNR), HMS Ready and Rattlesnake (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Coles, RD, RNR) departed Skaalefiord to join the convoy which they did on the 9th.

Also on the 9th, HMS Milne, HMS Mahratta, HMS Meteor, HMS Musketeer, HMS Verulam, HMS Scourge HNoMS Stord, HMS Swift, HMS Obedient, HMCS Huron and HMS Inconstant were detached to Scapa Flow.

On 10 February 1944, the convoy was split up off Cape Wrath with most of the ships arriving at their destinations the following day.

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Cover for convoy JW 56A and JW 56B was provided by ' Force 1 ' which was made up of the heavy cruisers HMS Kent ((Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). They departed Akureyri on 23 January. HMS Berwick however returned later the same day due to defects.

On 28 January 1944, HMS Kent and HMS Bermuda returned to Akureyri.

On 3 February ' Force 1 ', including HMS Berwick which had completed repairs, departed Akureyri to cover convoy RA 56 between meridians 28'E and 5'E keeping to west of 15'E.

They patrolling in their assigned area from 5 to 7 February.

On 9 February 1944, ' Force 1 ' arrived at Scapa Flow. (39)

23 Jan 1944
' Force 1 ' made up of the heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed Akureyri to provide cover for convoys JW 56A and JW 56B. HMS Berwick however returned later the same day due to defects.

[For more info on these convoys see the event ' Operation FW, passage of convoys JW 56A and JW 56B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 56 from Northern Russia to the U.K. ' for 12 January 1944.] (40)

28 Jan 1944
HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) returned to Akureyri from operations. (41)

3 Feb 1944
' Force 1 ' made up of the heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) departed Akureyri to provide cover for convoy RA 56.

[For more info on these convoys see the event ' Operation FW, passage of convoys JW 56A and JW 56B from the U.K. to Northern Russia as well as convoy RA 56 from Northern Russia to the U.K. ' for 12 January 1944.] (42)

9 Feb 1944
HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations. (42)

8 Mar 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts attack exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (43)

16 Mar 1944
The light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, CB, RN), HMS Sheffield (Cdr. G.M. Sladen, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and HMS Diadem (Capt. E.G.A. Clifford, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (44)

28 May 1944

Operations Tiger Claw, Cambridge and Lombard.

Operation Tiger Claw was a FAA attack on the German battleship Tirpitz. Operation Cambridge was a reconnaissance operation of the Narvik area. In the event, of both these operations being cancelled owing to weather, Operation Lombard, airstrikes on enemy shipping in the Aalesund area was planned.

Around 1300B/28, Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN, struck his flag in HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN) and hoisted it in HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN).

Around 1400B/28,' Force 7 ', made up of the aircraft carriers Victorious, HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. D.K. Bain, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN) and HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN).

Around 0355B/29, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. M. Richmond, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, DSC, RN) joined coming from Skaalefjordl, Faeroer Islands. HMS Whelp and HMS Nubian then parted company to return to Scapa Flow.

Before reaching the flying off position for operation Tiger Claw a sighting report from an enemy U-boat was intercepted on 30 May by HMS Milne and judged to be within 30 miles. In view of this and the quite unsuitable weather reports of the target area, Vice Admiral Moore decided to abandon operations Tiger Claw and Cambridge and turned southwards to carry out Operation Lombard in the Aalesund area. The report of HMS Milne was indeed correct as the German submarine U-957 had sighted and reported ' Force 7 ' and had even fired a T-5 acoustic torpedo at it.

Meanwhile a battle force made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, CBE, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson, light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN), and the destroyers HMS Whelp, HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Nubian had departed Scapa Flow around 1745B/29 and proceeded north passing 40 nautical miles east of the Faroer Islands on 30th May in order to be sighted by the German air reconnaissance and thus create a diversion for ' Force 7 '. In this the force was successfully as it was sighted early on the 30th by an enemy aircraft which was heard to make a signal immediately afterwards. The battleforce then returned to Scapa Flow arriving there around 2115B/30.

In the evening of 1 June, ' Force 7 ' arrived in the flying off position and the weather was found to be favourable. A strikeforce of 6 Barracudas and 22 Corsairs from HMS Victorious and 10 Barracudas and 12 Seafires from HMS Furious was flown off and a convoy, reported during the afternoon by an RAF Mosquito, was found and attacked. All three merchant ships were hit by bombs and the escorting flak ships were nearly all hit by the fighters. It is believed that two merchant ships and one escort vessel subsequently sank. (The ammuniton ship Hans Leonhardt (4170 GRT, built 1938) was sunk and the Florida (5542 GRT, built 1944) and Sperrbrecher 181 (1864 GRT, built 1943) were bombed and caught fire following which they were run aground). No German aircraft were encountered either over the target or the Fleet. One Corsair from HMS Victorious and one Seafire from HMS Furious failed to return.

' Force 7 ' arrived back at Scapa Flow around 2045B/2.

Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN, then struck his flag in HMS Victorious and hoisted it again in HMS Anson. (39)

29 May 1944
1745B/29, the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, CBE, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson, light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Whelp, HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Nubian had departed Scapa Flow for operations.

[For more info see the event ' Operations Tiger Claw, Cambridge and Lombard ' for 28 May 1944.] (45)

30 May 1944
2100B/30, the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, CBE, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson, light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Whelp, HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Nubian returned to Scapa Flow from operations. (45)

2 Jun 1944
HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (46)

10 Jun 1944
A group of six cruisers went into the North Sea with the intention to be sighted by German air reconnaissance on the 11th. Object was to create a diversion for the operations off Normandy.

The following ships were taking part, heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. D.K. Bain, DSO, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.T. Addis, DSO, RN), HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN).

They returned to Scapa Flow in the afternoon of the 11th. They appear not to have been sighted by the enemy. (47)

16 Jun 1944
HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.T. Addis, DSO, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) all conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (48)

20 Jun 1944
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (49)

22 Jun 1944

Operation Blues.

The object of this operation was that this force was to be detected by the enemy through direction finding. Purpose was to create a diversion for the operations off Normandy.

Ships taking part in this operation were the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. D.K. Bain, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and the destroyer HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN). They departed Scapa Flow in the afternoon of 22 June 1944.

It appears the enemy did not take notice of this operation.

The force returned to Scapa Flow early in the evening of 23 June 1944. (50)

29 Jun 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSO, RN) conducts attack exercises at/ off Scapa Flow for the Commanding Officer Qualifying Course with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (51)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Scorcher (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt. K. Hess). (52)

25 Apr 1945
HrMs Dolfijn (Lt.Cdr. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Bermuda. (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. C.G.H. Brown, DSC, RN) and HMS Carysfort (Lt.Cdr. L. St.G. Rich, DSO and Bar, RN). (53)

3 May 1945
HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and HMS Cleopatra (Capt. B.I. Robertshaw, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Malta and Gibraltar respectively. (54)

8 May 1945
HMS Cleopatra (Capt. B.I. Robertshaw, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) proceeded on to Malta. (54)

19 May 1945
HMS Anson (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (55)

5 Jun 1945
Rear-Admiral R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN, hoisted his flag in HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (56)

17 Jul 1945
HMS Duke of York (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, CBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) conducted exericises in the Jervis Bay area. (57)

18 Jul 1945
HMS Duke of York (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, CBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) both conducted independent exericises in the Jervis Bay area. (57)

27 Jul 1945
During 27/28 July 1945, the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (58)

15 Aug 1945
The aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CB, CBE, RN), light carriers HMS Colossus (Capt. G.H. Stokes,CB, DSC, RN), HMS Venerable (Capt. W.A. Dallmeyer, DSO, RN), HMS Vengeance (Capt. D.M.L. Neame, DSO and Bar, RN), light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. A.S. Pomeroy DSC, RN), HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) and HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) departed Sydney for Manus where they arrived on 19 / 20 August 1945.

The following vessels arrived at Manus on 19 August 1945; HMS Illustrious, HMS Venerable, HMS Swiftsure, HMS Kempenfelt, HMS Whirlwind and HMS Ursa. The remaining vessels arrived on 20 August 1945. (59)

20 Aug 1945
Around 1800K/20, Task Unit 111.3, made up of the light cruiser carrier HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of R.M Servaes, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), light aircraft carrier HMS Colossus (Capt. G.H. Stokes,CB, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. A.S. Pomeroy DSC, RN) and HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) departed Manus for Leyte.

Around 2100K/20, HMS Tyrian and HMS Tuscan parted company to return to Manus. (60)

23 Aug 1945
Around 1930I/23, Task Unit 111.3, made up of the light cruiser carrier HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of R.M Servaes, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), light aircraft carrier HMS Colossus (Capt. G.H. Stokes,CB, DSC, RN) and the destroyer HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. A.S. Pomeroy DSC, RN) arrived at Leyte.

[They were later to be deployed in the Formosa / Shanghai area.] (60)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17339
  2. ADM 53/11682
  3. ADM 173/17241
  4. ADM 53/116682
  5. ADM 53/116069
  6. ADM 53/116098 + ADM 53/116631
  7. ADM 53/ + ADM 53/116597 + ADM 53/116619 + ADM 53/116631
  8. ADM 53/116632 + ADM 199/662
  9. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942
  10. ADM 53/116663 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942
  11. ADM 199/652
  12. File 2.12.03.6397 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  13. ADM 53/115418
  14. ADM 53/115418 + ADM 53/115530
  15. ADM 199/632
  16. ADM 53/115428 + ADM 53/116072 + ADM 53/116118 + ADM 53/116142 + ADM 199/427 + ADM 199/429 + ADM 199/644
  17. ADM 53/117571
  18. ADM 53/117571 + ADM 53/117689
  19. ADM 199/73 + ADM 199/632
  20. ADM 53/117571 + ADM 53/117689 + ADM 53/117713 + ADM 53/118624
  21. ADM 53/117571 + ADM 53/117689 + ADM 199/632 + ADM 199/766
  22. ADM 53/117572 + ADM 53/117689 + ADM 199/632 + ADM 199/766
  23. ADM 53/117572 + ADM 53/117690 + ADM 199/632 + ADM 199/766
  24. ADM 53/118273
  25. ADM 53/118274
  26. ADM 53/116898 + ADM 53/117024 + ADM 199/632
  27. ADM 53/116898 + ADM 53/117024 + ADM 53/117691 + ADM 199/632
  28. ADM 53/117026 + ADM 53/117398
  29. ADM 53/117026 + ADM 53/117039 + ADM 53/117283
  30. ADM 53/117026 + ADM 53/117283 + ADM 53/117669
  31. ADM 53/117026 + ADM 53/117283 + ADM 53/117553 + ADM 199/632
  32. ADM 53/117284 + ADM 53/117027
  33. ADM 53/117027 + ADM 53/117284 + ADM 199/632
  34. ADM 199/766
  35. ADM 199/585 + ADM 199/963 + ADM 199/964 + ADM 199/2101
  36. ADM 53/117032 + ADM 53/117057 + ADM 53/117568
  37. ADM 53/117032 + ADM 53/117404 + ADM 53/117523 + ADM 53/117639
  38. ADM 53/117032 + ADM 53/117684 + ADM 53/117699 +ADM 199/632 + ADM 199/766
  39. ADM 199/1427
  40. ADM 53/118982 + ADM 53/118993 + ADM 53/119630 + ADM 199/1427
  41. ADM 53/118982 + ADM 53/119630 + ADM 199/1427
  42. ADM 53/118983 + ADM 53/118994 + ADM 53/119631 + ADM 199/1427
  43. ADM 173/19123
  44. ADM 53/118965 + ADM 53/118984 + ADM 53/119260 + ADM 53/120484
  45. ADM 53/118820 + ADM 53/118986 + ADM 53/119293 + ADM 53/119622 + ADM 199/1426 + ADM 199/1427
  46. ADM 53/118987 + ADM 53/119556 + ADM 53/119635
  47. ADM 53/118987 + ADM 53/118998 + ADM 53/119251 + ADM 53/119623 + ADM 53/119635 + ADM 53/120487 + ADM 199/1427
  48. ADM 53/118987 + ADM 53/119635 + ADM 53/120487
  49. ADM 173/19393
  50. ADM 53/118987 + ADM 53/119251 + ADM 53/119473 + ADM 53/119635 + ADM 199/1427
  51. ADM 173/19126
  52. ADM 173/19572
  53. File 2.12.03.5655 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  54. ADM 53/120979 + ADM 53/121108
  55. ADM 53/120836 + ADM 53/120979
  56. ADM 53/120980
  57. ADM 53/120981 + ADM 53/121277
  58. ADM 53/120838 + ADM 53/120981
  59. ADM 53/120982 + ADM 53/121564 + ADM 53/122451 + ADM 53/122463 + ADM 187/51
  60. ADM 53/120872 + ADM 53/120982 + ADM 53/121142

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


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