Allied Warships

HMS Jersey (F 72)

Destroyer of the J class


HMS Jersey as completed

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassJ 
PennantF 72 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered25 Mar 1937 
Laid down28 Sep 1937 
Launched26 Sep 1938 
Commissioned28 Apr 1939 
Lost2 May 1941 
Loss position35° 54'N, 14° 30'E
History

HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) was mined and sunk off La Valletta, Malta in position 35º54'N, 14º30'E.

 

Commands listed for HMS Jersey (F 72)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Alec Murray McKillop, RN14 Apr 1939late 1939

2Lt.Cdr. Walter Evershed, RN30 Aug 19408 Jan 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN8 Jan 19412 May 1941

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Notable events involving Jersey include:


5 Sep 1939
HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, RN) intercepts the German merchant Johannes Molkenbuhr (5294 GRT) off Stadlandet, Norway in position 61°40'N, 03°51'E. The Germans scuttled their ship before it could be captured. The crew was taken off by HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN). The ship was then finished off by HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN).

22 Sep 1939
To conduct an operation against German shipping off the Norwegian coast the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN) and HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN) departed Scapa Flow as well as the light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) departed Rosyth.

To provide cover for this operation two forces were deployed from Scapa Flow. One force was made up of the battlecruisers HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN) and HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN).

The other force was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. E.N. Syfret, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN). Later the destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, RN) and HMS Express (Cdr. J.G. Bickford, RN) joined at sea.

The raid was abandoned when HMS Javelin and HMS Jersey collided in position 57°09'N, 03°08'W at 2038/22.

All forces returned to their port of departure on 23 September but not before HMS Hood reported an explosion at 1330/23. The destroyers HMS Firedrake and HMS Fortune were detached to investigate but no contact was obtained. In fact this was indeed an attack by a German submarine; U-24 which reported to have made a failed torpedo attack at 1328/23 on HMS Hood and two escorting destroyers.

8 Oct 1939
A force of German warships departed Kiel to operate off the south coast of Norway. They were to sink Allied shipping and lure the British Home Fleet into the range of Luftwaffe aircraft. This force was made up of the battlecruiser Gneisenau, light cruiser Köln and the destroyers Z 3 / Max Schultz, Z 5 / Paul Jacobi, Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim, Z/14 Friedrich Ihn, Z 15 / Erich Steinbrinck, Z 16 / Friedrich Eckholdt, Z 17 / Diether von Roeder, Z 20 / Karl Galster, Z 21 / Wilhelm Heidkamp. In addition, four submarines were deployed in a patrol line to attack the Home Fleet, these were U-10, U-18, U-20 and U-23.

The Admiralty took the bait and around 1600/8 the battlecruisers HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax, RN) and HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN) departed Scapa Flow for a position about 50 miles to the north-west of Stadlandet, Norway.

Around 1900 hours the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. E.N. Syfret, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN) departed Scapa Flow for a position north of Muckle Flugga. Both forces were to reach their positions by dawn the following day and then steam towards each other in a pincer movement to cut off the German ships from their home ports.

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN). They were joined at sea by the destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. T.M. Napier, RN) and HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN) which came from Grimsby. This force was ordered to operate off the western end of the Skagerrak and then sweep northwards.

At 0600/9 HMS Jaguar was ordered to return to Rosyth to refuel. En-route there she was attacked by German aircraft but she was not hit.

HMS Jervis and HMS Jupiter were ordered to search for the small Danish merchant vessel Teddy (503 GRT, built 1907) which had reported that she had picked up the crew of a German flying boat whih was shot down on the 8th. They were attacked by German aircraft at 1518/9, but neither destroyer was damaged. However, about 1.5 hours laters HMS Jupiter broke down and had to be taken in tow by her sister ship.

HMS Jaguar meanwhile had completed refuelling at Rosyth. She left that port together with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) which just finished repairs to the damage sustained in her collision of 22 September.

The were ordered to screen the withdrawal of HMS Jervis and HMS Jupiter. But it was not to be as shorty after departing Rosyth, Jaguar struck a small islet above the Forth bridge and damaged her starboard propeller shaft and HMS Jersey struck the Rosyth boom defence. Both destroyers proceeded to Leith for repairs.

Between 1120 and 1645/9 the Luftwaffe heavily bombed the 'Humber force' made up at that time of HMS Southampton, HMS Glasgow, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Jackal and HMS Janus which had arrived off the western entrance to the Skagerrak by that time. HMS Southampton and HMS Glasgow were near missed but were not damaged.

The German force returned to Kiel shortlyafter midnight during the night of 9/10 October. This news reached the C-in-C, Home Fleet in the afternoon of the 10th after which all ships were ordered to return to port.

HMS Nelson, HMS Rodney, HMS Hood, HMS Faulknor, HMS Firedrake, HMS Forester, HMS Fury, HMS Bedouin and HMS Punjabi proceeded to Loch Ewe arriving on the 11th.

HMS Repulse, HMS Furious, HMS Aurora, HMS Newcastle, HMS Southampton, HMS Glasgow, HMS Somali, HMS Mashona, HMS Eskimo, HMS Ashanti, HMS Fame, HMS Foresight, HMS Jervis, HMS Jackal, HMS Janus and HMS Jupiter (which by now as able to proceed under her own power) arrived at Scapa Flow on the 11th. They had been joined at sea before arrival by two more destroyers which came from Scapa Flow; HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN).

HMS Edinburgh had been detached and proceeded to Rosyth.

HMS Sheffield had already been detached on the 9th with orders to patrol in the Denmark Strait.

15 Oct 1939
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. E.N. Syfret, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax, RN), HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN).

They were to patrol north of Iceland as it was thought the German pocket battleship Deutschland was proceeding into the Atlantic. From this position they were able to support the Northern Patrol.

More destroyers later joined at sea; HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) departed Scapa Flow on the 15th. They were followed on the 16th by HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN).

On the 18th the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) departed Rosyth escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN), HMS Cossack (Capt. D. de Pass, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN). HMS Cossack and HMS Maori returned to Rosyth on the 19th. HMS Repulse, HMS Jervis and HMS Jersey joined the fleet at sea on the 20th but HMS Jervis and HMS Jersey were detached to Sullum Voe shortly afterwards.

HMS Nelson, HMS Rodney, HMS Hood, HMS Repulse, HMS Furious, HMS Aurora, HMS Belfast, HMS Bedouin, HMS Mashona, HMS Matabele, HMS Punjabi, HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake, HMS Forester, HMS Foxhound and HMS Fury arrived at Loch Ewe on 22 October.

6 Dec 1939
During the night of 6/7 December 1939 the German destroyer Z 12 escorted by her sister ship Z 10 was on an offensive mining operation off Cromer. At 0255hours, just 15 minutes after the lay had been completed, the German ships sighted the British destroyers HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) about 8000m away. The Germans turned to a parallel course and by 0310hours had closed range to 4,600m while remaining undetected themselves. Z 10 fired three torpedoes at Juno, the lead British ship while Z 12 sent four more torpedoes at Jersey. Z 10's salvo missed, but Z 12 scored with one torpedo. The blow started a large fire and caused damage that required ten months to repair. Juno turned back to assist Jersey, making smoke; apparently the British believed a submarine had attacked them. The Germans still had the advantage of surprise and fired at least five more torpedoes, but then they decided to break off the action and return for home. HMS Jersey was under repair until 23 September 1940.

10 Oct 1940
HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) set off a mine when leaving the Humber and sustained some damage, repairs were carried out in the docks in London. Jersey arrived at Plymouth on the 13th October.

6 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) departed Plymouth [presumably for a patrol but we have been unable to find confirmation for this in documents].

They returned to Plymouth the next day. (1)

7 Nov 1940
HMS H 43 (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

Upon completing these exercises HMS H 43 departed Plymouth for Holyhead. She was escorted by HMS Troubadour (Cdr.(Retd.) D.H. Milward, DSC, RNR). (2)

23 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 2052.

They were to intercept a German convoy but nothing was sighted. Speed had been limited by defects in HMS Jackal. The destroyers returned to Plymouth at 1025/24. (1)

24 Nov 1940
HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN, with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Plymouth at 2150 to patrol between the Lizard and the Scillies Islands as three German destroyers had been reported to have left Brest and were thought to be operating off the South coast between 06'W and 01.30'W. They were intially ordered to return to Plymouth at 0930/25 but his order was cancelled at 1925/24.

Around midnight a group of three German destroyers (Z 4 / Richard Beitzen, Z 10 / Hans Lody and Z 20 / Karl Galster attacked a group of fishing trawlers near Wolf Rock. The Belgian trawler Marguetite Simonne was sunk and the British trawler Lent Lily was damaged.

Shortly afterwards they attacked a small convoy from which the Dutch merchant tanker Apollonia (2086 GRT, built 1931) was sunk and the Norwegian merchant vessel Stadion II (629 GRT, built 1914) was damaged.

The 5th destroyer flotilla however made no contact with the enemy despite that they swept towards Ushant to cut off the enemy when returning to Brest.

The destroyers were joined by HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) on the 25th. Jackal departed Plymouth at 1700/25. The Admiralty feared that German destroyers would carry out another raid during the night of 25/26 November.

During the night of 25/26 November Capt. D.5 swept with his 5 destroyers to a position to the west of Ushant.

The destroyers arrived back at Plymouth at 1030/26. (3)

27 Nov 1940
HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN, with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Plymouth at 1750/27 for patrol.

28 Nov 1940
At 1556 hours, HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN, with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), were ordered to patrol between Land's End and Start Point during the coming night. (3)

29 Nov 1940
At 0402 hours, Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) was informed that gunfire had been reported off Prawle Point.

At 0553 hours, HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), who was operating together with HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN, with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), reported sighting three unkown ships. One minute later another signal was received from HMS Jackal stating that HMS Javelin had been torpedoed.

At 0609 hours HMS Jackal engaged an enemy destroyer but she soon lost contact.

At 0637 hours HMS Jackal sent a signal asking for tugs and an air escort for her disabled sister-ship HMS Javelin

Three minutes before, at 0634 hours, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), which was in company with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), reported that they had a lost touch with the enemy after a short action.

At 0700 hours, HMS Kashmir reported that it was thought one of the enemy destroyers had been damaged.

At 0818 hours, HMS Jackal reported that HMS Javelin was still afloat but that her bow and stern had been blown off, two tugs were requested, one on either end.

At 0834 hours, HMS Kashmir, HMS Jersey and HMS Jupiter were ordered to screen HMS Javelin.

At 0850 hours the tug HMS Caroline Moller departed Falmouth followed at 0855 by HMS Retort which sailed from Plymouth.

Also at 0850 hours three Blenheim aircraft took off as air escort.

At 1010 hours the destroyer HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Dartmouth.

At 1039 hours HMS Jackal left for Plymouth with survivors from ships attacked by the German destroyers. She arrived at Plymouth at 1347 hours.

At 1419 hours HMS Kashmir reported that enemy aircraft had attacked them.

HMS Javelin in tow of two tugs arrived at Plymouth at 0425/30.

HMS Jersey had already arrived at 0150/30 followed by HMS Jupiter at 0239 hours.

HMS Kashmir and HMS Kipling arrived at 1340/30.

The German destroyers encountered were once again the Z 4 / Richard Beitzen, Z 10 / Hans Lody and Z 20 / Karl Galster. Before their encounter with the British destoyers they had sunk the British tug Aid (134 GRT, built 1914, five dead) and damaged the French tug Abeille XIV (126 GRT, built 1927. two dead). A barge that had been under tow by the Aid sank at 1145/29. Z 10 / Hans Lody was hit several times and all German destroyers had some splinter damage. (3)

8 Dec 1940
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) departed Gibraltar for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, DSO, RN) until 11 December when she was detached to Plymouth. (4)

28 Dec 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth in the late afternoon or evening to intercept a convoy of German merchant vessels that were sighted near Ushant if these would proceed up Channel. The destroyers were ordered to return to Plymouth at 1030/29.

29 Dec 1940
At 1055 hours HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

HMS Jersey and HMS Jupiter departed again at 1523 hours, presumably for patrol.

HMS Kashmir also departed Plymouth at a later time, either later on the 29th or early on the 30th.

30 Dec 1940
At 1729 hours HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

7 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1043 hours. They had not sighted the enemy transport.

HMS Kashmir departed again at 2039 hours together with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) to patrol between the Lizard and Start Point during the night.

9 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1100 hours having been on the western Channel patrol for two nights.

10 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for the western Channel patrol.

11 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1057 hours from the western Channel patrol.

12 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 0627 hours.

At 0843/12 they were ordered to return to Plymouth at 1030/12 by the Vice-Admiral Western Approaches.

17 Jan 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth in the late afternoon of early evening to conduct a patrol in the western Channel as far as the Scilly Isles. They were to return to Plymouth at 1030/18.

22 Jan 1941
During the night of 22/23 January 1941 HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) conducted a patrol between Land's End and Start End.

They had departed Plymouth at 1630/22 and were ordered to return around 1030/23 but they actually returned shortly before 1300/23.

6 Feb 1941

British raid on Genoa.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) left Gibraltar to the west with convoy HG-53. This was done to fool German and Italian observers in Spain. In the meantime 4 destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on an easterly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearics. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genoa. In the harbour 4 ships were sunk and 18 were damaged. Also the city itself was damaged.

The Italian fleet turned around and tried to intercept the British ships but due to the bad weather this failed.

In the meantime Ark Royal's aircraft raided Livorno and mined the harbour of La Spezia.

Force H safely returned to Gibraltar on 11 February.

23 Feb 1941
Around 1930 hours (zone -1), the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN), departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN). (5)

27 Feb 1941
Shortly after 1100 hours (zone -1), the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) and her destroyer escort of HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) made rendez-vous in approximate position 42°45'N, 16°50'W with three relief destroyers coming from Plymouth. These were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN). HMS Duncan and HMS Velox were then detached. (5)

3 Mar 1941
Around 1000 hours, HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN), and her escorting destroyers, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, RN) arrived at Spithead / Portsmouth.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kashmir, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling, HMS Jackal and HMS Jupiter departed Portsmouth for exercises off Dartmouth. They were later ordered to patrol between Ushant and Land's End. HMS Jersey was also to have sailed with them but was unable to do so due to a damaged rudder. (6)

7 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) arrived at Plymouth at 0855/7.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling, HMS Jackal and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) were ordered to depart Plymouth at 1700/7 to again patrol to the west of Brest during the night.

8 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN),vHMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1128 hours. They had sighted nothing during their patrol west of Brest except for a large number of fishing vessels off Ushant.

9 Apr 1941
At 1641 hours, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) are ordered to depart Plymouth and try to intercept a large German transport ship and three escorts off Les Casquests (west of Alderney Island). If they were not in contact with the enemy by 0300/10 they were to return to Plymouth.

10 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN),HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth having sighted nothing.

21 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar.

24 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

24 Apr 1941

Operations Dunlop and Salient.


Transfer of fighter aircraft to Malta and reinforcements for the Mediterranean Fleet.

Timespan: 24 to 28 April 1941.

24 April 1941.

At 2200/25, ‘Force S’, made up of the light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN, Senior Officer), fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. Hon. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar westwards but they soon turned eastwards again to pass Gibraltar eastwards after dark. The ships also had on board stores for Malta. Most of these on HMS Dido and HMS Abdiel.

They were followed one hour later, at 2300/25, by ‘Force H’. They departed Gibraltar and immediately turned eastwards. ‘Force H’ for this occasion was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. L.E.H. Maund, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN).

25 April 1941.

On 26 April 1941 both forces proceeded to the east independently. At 2050 hours ‘Force H’ altered course and increased speed to reach the flying off position for the Hurricanes for Malta. They were to reach approximate position 37°40’N, 06°10’E at dawn the next day.

At 2120 hours a signal was received from Malta reporting that the weather was unsuitable and that the flying off had to be postponed for 24 hours. Speed was then reduced and at 2300 hours ‘Force H’ altered course to the westwards for an area to the south-west of Ibiza.

26 April 1941.

In the morning weather reports came in from Malta which were favourable. ‘Force H’ then altered course to 220° and at 1100 hours course was altered to the north-east. The object was to remain unsighted throughout the day. This was successful due to the poor visibility. Two more favourable weather reports came from Malta throughout the day.

In the evening a signal was received from HMS Dido stating that ‘Force S’ had also postponed their passage to Malta by 24 hours.

At 2100 hours ‘Force H’ was in position 38°35’N, 02°14’E. They then altered course to 106° and increased speed to 24 knots to again reach the flying off position for the Hurricanes at dawn.

27 April 1941.

Two more favourable weather reports were received during the early hours of the night. Weather in ‘Force H’ position was however not so good and at 0445 hours, in position 37°40’N, 05°55’E the destroyers had to be detached as they had difficulty keeping up with the other ships in the rising sea.

Flying off started at 0515 hours and was completed at 0613 hours. A total of 23 Hurricanes were flown off in two batches of eight and one of seven. These were all led by a Fulmar. On completion of flying off the Hurricanes an A/S patrol was launched as well as some Fulmars for fighter protection while the ships retired to the northwest on course 300° at 27 knots.

Though visibility was poor, a lone Heinkel appeared from the clouds over HMS Renown at 0850 hours and fire was opened on it. The enemy aircraft then made off the north-east with some of the Fulmars chasing it. The enemy was able to get back in the clouds before the Fulmars could overtake it. This aircraft reported the position, course and speed of the formation.

At 1000 hours a new section of Fulmars was flown off to relieve the others and at 1036 hours a signal was received from Malta that all the Hurricanes and their escorting Fulmars had landed safely.

At noon the destroyers rejoined and formed an A/S screen. Speed was reduced to 18 knots. ‘Force H’ remained in a position to support ‘Force S’ if needed. Aircraft for A/S and fighter protection were flown off during the day.

By 2000 hours all aircraft had returned to HMS Ark Royal and course was set to return to Gibraltar.

28 April 1941.

At dawn nine Swordfish were flown off for a practice attack on ‘Force H’. However one of the Swordfish hit the bridge of HMS Ark Royal and crashed into the sea. HMS Sheffield was able to pick up two of the three crew members. There was now sign of the air gunner and he was missing, presumed killed in the crash.

More air exercises were carried out during the day.

At 1130 hours, HMS Sheffield was detached to proceed to Gibraltar for a docking.

All ships of ‘Force H’ arrived at Gibraltar later on the day.

The ships of ‘Force S’ arrived safely at Malta on the 28th. (7)

1 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Malta to intercept an important Axis convoy off the Kerkenah Bank. They however could not do so and the convoy arrived safely at Tripoli.

This Axis convoy was made up of the German transports Marburg (7564 GRT, built 1928), Kybfels (7764 GRT, built 1937), Reichenfels (7744 GRT, built 1936) and the Italian transports Birmania (5305 GRT, built 1930) and Rialto (6099 GRT, built 1927). Close escort for this convoy was provided by escorted by the Italian destroyers Fulmine and Euro and the torpedo boats Canopo, Castore, Orsa and Procione.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by two heavy cruiser from the Italian 3rd Cruiser Division; Trieste and Bolzano, the light cruiser Eugenio di Savoia (from the 7th Cruiser Division) and the destroyers Ascari, Carabiniere and Vincenzo Gioberti.

Another convoy was reported to the northward but a heavy head sea made it's interception impossible.

This convoy was probably the one made up of the German transport Tilly M. Russ (1600 GRT, built 1926), Brook (1225 GRT, built 1927), and the Italian Bainsizza (7933 GRT, built 1930), San Andrea (?) and tug Max Behrendt escorted by the torpedo-boats Generale Carlo Montanari, Clio, Centauro and Polluce and the armed merchant cruiser Ramb III, they were on passage Trapani to Tripoli. (8)

2 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Malta having failed to intercept two Axis convoys to Tripoli.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kelvin and HMS Jackal had entered the harbour. HMS Jersey was the next destroyer to enter but hit a mine and sank. HMS Gloucester, HMS Kashmir and HMS Kipling therefore were unable to enter the harbour and had to proceed to Gibraltar instead. (9)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


The Kellys

Langtree, Christopher


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 187/10
  2. ADM 173/16313
  3. ADM 199/372
  4. ADM 53/112671
  5. ADM 53/114985
  6. ADM 53/114986
  7. ADM 199/656
  8. ADM 199/413
  9. ADM 199/413 + ADM 199/414

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


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