Allied Warships

HMS Kashmir (F 12)

Destroyer of the K class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassK 
PennantF 12 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid downOct 1937 
Launched4 Apr 1939 
Commissioned26 Oct 1939 
Lost23 May 1941 
Loss position34° 40'N, 24° 10'E
History

HMS Kashmir (Cdr. Henry Alexander King, RN) was bombed and sunk on 23 May 1941 by German Stuka dive bombers south of Crete in position 34º40'N, 24º10'E.

 
Former nameHMS Javelin

Commands listed for HMS Kashmir (F 12)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Henry Alexander King, RN11 Sep 193923 May 1941

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Kashmir include:


The page for this destroyer was last updated in November 2020.

14 Oct 1939
During her trial period, Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), collided with a tug. She had to return to her builders yard for repairs.

26 Oct 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) commissioned at Portsmouth. She shifted to Portland later te same day to commence her work-up period.

[As there are no logs available for HMS Kashmir, not much details are known for her work-up period.] (1)

3 Nov 1939
HMS H 49 (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN). (2)

7 Nov 1939
HMS H 32 (Lt. R.F. Jenks, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Guillemot (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN). (3)

10 Nov 1939
With her work-up period completed, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), departed Portland for Scapa Flow. (1)

12 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

While en-route from Portland she had been ordered to arrive in the Clyde on the 11th to escort the stores ship Dunluce Castle (8114 GRT, built 1904) from the Clyde to Rosyth. Kashmir however had not new codes on board and was unable to decypher the signal sent to her. It was decided she was to remain at Scapa Flow instead of being sent back to the Clyde. (1)

16 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) is ordered to leave Scapa Flow and join the Home Fleet at sea. Kashmir was however unable to do so due to defects.

20 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1240 hours to search for a reported suspicious merchant ship west of the Faroe Islands. A ship called Maas had been reported in position 61°57N 04°55'W at 0940/20 steering 115° at 10 knots. It was thought this might have been a disguised enemy vessel.

22 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) returned to Scapa Flow having escorted the Dutch merchant vessel Maas (2008 GRT, built 1920) to Kirkwall for inspection.

23 Nov 1939

Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi

Around midday on 21 November 1939 the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, escorted by the light cruisers Köln and Leipzig and the destroyers Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim, Z 12 / Erich Giese and Z 20 / Karl Galster, departed Wilhelmshaven for a raid into the North Atlantic, this was to relieve the pressure of the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee operating in the South Atlantic. Late on the 21st the escorts left the battlecruisers.

Just after 1500 hours on 23 November the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Kennedy, RN) sighted the Scharnhorst. Rawalpindi was part of the British Northern Patrol and was stationed south-east of Iceland in the Iceland-Faroe gap. Captain Kennedy at first tried to outrun the German ship, to report to the Admiralty that he sighted the German pocket battleship Deutschland, still believed to be operating in the North Atlantic, and to buy time so that other ships of the Northern patrol could come to his assistance. Just after 1600 hours, Rawalpindi came within range of the Scharnhorst and was quickly reduced to a flaming wreck. During this engagement Scharnhorst was hit by a 6in shell from Rawalpindi causing only light damage. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together picked up 27 survivors from the Rawalpindi which finally sank around 2000 hours.

The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt J. Figgins, RN), that was also part of the Northern Patrol, picked up Rawalpindi's signal and closed the scene. She sighted the Gneisenau but the Germans managed to escape in the fog.

The Admiralty also thought the ship sighted by Rawalpindi and Newcastle was the Deutschland that was trying to return to Germany. In response to the sighting and destruction of the Rawalpindi the Admiralty took immediate action;
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN) HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) escorted by 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 Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed the Clyde to patrol of Norway to cut off the way to Germany for the Deutschland.

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) was sent from Loch Ewe to the last known position of the German ship(s).

On northern patrol, south of the Faroes were the light cruisers HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN). These were joined by HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN) and HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN).

Of the ships of the Denmark strait patrol, the heavy cruisers HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, MVO, DSO, RN) were ordered to proceed to the Bill Bailey Bank (to the south-west of the Faroe Islands).

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) were already at sea patrolling north-east of the Shetlands were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) were stationed off Kelso Light to act as a night attack striking force. The destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) had just departed Belfast on escort duties. They were ordered to join Admiral Forbes. The ships they were escorting were ordered to return to Belfast.

The destroyers HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Scapa Flow with orders to locate and shadow the German ships. HMS Tartar however had to return to Scapa Flow the next day due to a damaged rudder.

Despite the British effort to intercept the German ships, both German battlecruisers returned to Wilhelmshaven on the 27th.

27 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from operations.

28 Nov 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) departed Scapa Flow. This was possibly to join the Home Fleet (Admiral Forbes) which was at sea. (4)

29 Nov 1939
German U-boat U-35 was sunk in the North Sea was spotted on the surface by the British destroyers HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN). U-35 dived and HMS Icarus dropped depth charges but due to a deective Asdic she was unable to gain contact with the submarine. Two other destroyers responded to the contact report of HMS Icarus. These were HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN). HMS Kingston then depth charged and damaged U-35. The German U-boat surfaced and was scuttled by her crew in position 60°53'N, 02°47'E. The German crew was then picked up by HMS Kingston and HMS Kashmir.

2 Dec 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) arrived in at the Clyde. (4)

2 Dec 1939
Early in the evening, HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), departed the Clyde to patrol north of the Faroer Islands to provide cover for ships of the Northern Patrol and convoy operations to and from Norway. She is escorted by HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN).

HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN). later joined at sea, probably on the 4th or the 5th.

In the afternoon of the 5th HMS Kashmir and HMS Khartoum parted company to refuel at Scapa Flow. They arrived there on the 6th and departed again the same day. They rejoined HMS Hood in the morning of the 7th after which HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston parted company to refuel at Sullom Voe. They rejoined in the afternoon of the 8th. (5)

10 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 1.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax at 0510 hours on 10 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 17 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2638 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1312 troops), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1235 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1303 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 961 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until 12 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). At dusk on the 10th both destroyers were detached to join the local escort. They returned to Halifax with the Canadian destroyers.

Early on the 15th, HMS Emerald was detached, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) had joined the cover force in the afternoon of the 14th to take her place.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed the Clyde on the 12th to sweep ahead of the convoy. HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) was also to have sailed but was unable to join. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was sailed in her place and later joined the other destroyers at sea.

After German warships had been reported in the North Sea, and concerned for the safety of convoy TC.1, Admiral Forbes, departed the Clyde on the 13th to provide additional cover with the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial, HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) sailed from Loch Ewe and later joined this force at sea. Three cruisers from the Northern Patrol were ordered to patrol in position 53°55’N, 25°00’W to provide cover for the convoy. These were the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes.

The destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) departed Rosyth and proceeded north at high speed to try to cut of the enemy warhips if they were to enter the Atlantic.

The light cruisers HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN) which were on the Northern Patrol were to concentrate near the Faroes where they were joined by HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) which were on passage to their patrol stations.

Nothing happened and the convoy arrived safely in the Clyde on 17 December 1939. (6)

11 Dec 1939
Around mid-morning HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) arrived in the Clyde. (5)

17 Dec 1939
Around noon the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) arrived at Greenock.

22 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 2.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 22 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 30 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1284 troops), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1358 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 806 troops), Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1045 troops) Orama (British, 19840 GRT, built 1924, carrying 935 troops), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917, carrying 1269 troops) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1455 troops).

A/S escort was provided on leaving Halifax the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN). These destroyers remained with the convoy until 24 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Ocean Escort was provided by the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN), French battlecruiser Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin and the French light cruiser Gloire (Capt. F.H.R. de Belot).

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed Greenock on the 25th to join the convoy on the 28th. On the 26th two more destroyers departed Greenock, these were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). These destroyers also joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 29th the French battlecruiser Dunkerque and the light cruiser Gloire parted company with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake and HMS Fury until they were relieved by the French large destroyers Mogador (Cdr. P. Maerte), Volta (Cdr. C.V.E. Jacquinet), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau), Le Fantasque (Capt. P.A.B. Still), and Le Terrible (Cdr. A.E.R. Bonneau).

Four more escorts joined the convoy on the 29th. These were the minesweepers HMS Jason (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Fryer, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Price, RN).and the patrol vessels HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN).

The convoy arrived safely in the Clyde area in the morning of 30 December 1939. (6)

23 Dec 1939
The battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) departed Greenock for Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was escorted until dawn on the 24th by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN). (7)

24 Dec 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN) arrived back in the Clyde.

26 Dec 1939
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed Greenock to join the escort of troop convoy TC 2.

[See the event ' Convoy TC 2 ' for 22 December 1939 for more information on this convoy.]

4 Jan 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Greenock for Rosyth. (1)

6 Jan 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Rosyth. (1)

6 Jan 1940

Convoy ON 7.

Convoy ON 7 departed Methill on 6 January 1940 for Norway where it was dissolved off Bergen on 9 January 1940.

It was made up of the following merchant ships;
Breda (Norwegian, 1260 GRT, built 1915), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Ingerois (Finnish, 1995 GRT, built 1909), Leda (Finnish, 1283 GRT, built 1908), Otto (Estonian, 1959 GRT, built 1918), Sally (Finnish, 2547 GRT, built 1896) and Vestra (British, 1141 GRT, built 1921).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN). HMS Khartoum departed from Scapa Flow on the 7th and it therefore appears that she joined the convoy at sea on the 7th. HMS Eskimo developed engine problems and was replaced by HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), Encounter herself was relieved the next day by HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN).

Also the submarine HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, RN) was part of the escort of the convoy.

Cover for this convoy was provided by the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN) which sailed from Rosyth on the 7th. (8)

9 Jan 1940

Convoy HN 7

This convoy was assembled in Norwegian waters near Bergen on 9 January 1940 and arrived at Methil on 12 January 1940.

Convoy ON 7 arrived in Norwegian waters near Bergen. After a few hours convoy HN 7 departed for the U.K. The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abisko (Swedish, 3088 GRT, built 1913), Activ (Norwegian, 507 GRT, built 1903), Basel (Norwegian, 1110 GRT, built 1924), Bauta (Norwegian, 1657 GRT, built 1919), Begonia (Estonian, 1591 GRT, built 1890), Bokn (Norwegian, 697 GRT, built 1890), Bolette (Norwegian, 1167 GRT, built 1920), Bollsta (Norwegian, 1832 GRT, built 1934), Burgos (Norwegian, 3220 GRT, built 1920), Corvus (Norwegian, 1317 GRT, built 1921), Elsa S. (Finnish, 1219 GRT, built 1910), Fintra (British, 2089 GRT, built 1918), Forsvik (Norwegian, GRT, 1248 built 1919), Gudvang (Norwegian, 1469 GRT, built 1912), Gudveig (Norwegian, 1300 GRT, built 1919), Hadrian (Norwegian, 1620 GRT, built 1919), Inari (Finnish, 2216 GRT, built 1900), Ivalo (Finnish, 2035 GRT, built 1902), Kaupanger (Norwegian, 1584 GRT, built 1930), Lysland (Norwegian, 1335 GRT, built 1907), Margo (British, 1245 GRT, built 1895), Merisaar (Estonian, 2136 GRT, built 1900), Merkur (Estonian, 1291 GRT, built 1913), Nordost (Swedish, 1035 GRT, built 1918), Risoy (Norwegian, 793 GRT, built 1918), Rolf (Swedish, 1120 GRT, built 1919), Salerno (British, 870 GRT, built 1924), Sarpfoss (Norwegian ,1493 GRT, built 1919), Skum (Norwegian, 1304 GRT, built 1916), Urd (Swedish, 1008 GRT, built 1922), Vestmanrod (Norwegian, 691 GRT, built 1919), Vienti (Finnish, 1915 GRT, built 1911), Vim (Norwegian, 1114 GRT, built 1913), Wanda (Finnish, 1902 GRT, built 1897), Wilke (Finnish, 2598 GRT, built 1909) and Wirpi (Finnish, 1227 GRT, built 1899).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) (later relieved by HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN)), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN). HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC, RN) later joined at sea. Also part of the escort was the submarine HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, RN).

Cover for this convoy, like with convoy ON 7, was provided by the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN).

HMS Kharthoum split off from the convoy on the 11th with five merchant vessels she was to take to the Clyde. Off Scapa Flow they were joined by two tankers; Arndale (RFA, 8296 GRT, built 1937) and Scottish American (6999 GRT, built 1920). They arrived in the Clyde on 13 January 1940. (8)

12 Jan 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Rosyth from convoy escort duty. (1)

14 Jan 1940

Operation to intercept the disabled German merchant vessel Trautenfels.

On 14 January the German merchant vessel Trautenfels (6418 GRT, built 1921) was reported to be off the coast of Norway with her rudder lost and unable to steer.

The light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) departed Scapa Flow almost immediately the same day to try to intercept this vessel.

On the 15th the light cruiser HMS Manchester (Capt. H.H. Bousfield, RN) was also sailed from Scapa Flow for this purpose.

Also on the 15th the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) sailed from Rosyth and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed the Clyde.

On the 16th yet another light cruiser was sailed from Scapa Flow, this was HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN).

Also on the 16th the destroyers HMS Kelvin and HMS Kimberley collided with each other. Kimberely sustained no serious damage and proceeded to Scapa Flow. Kelvin was damaged and returned to the Clyde for repairs.

The operation was cancelled on the 17th when it was reported that the Trautenfels had arrived at Narvik being towed there by the German merchant vessel Rauenfels (8460 GRT, built 1928).

HMS Aurora and HMS Manchester then proceeded to patrol to the south-east of Iceland.

HMS Maori, HMS Tartar and HMS Inglefield were ordered on the 17th to patrol off the Norwegian coast to intercept German ore ships coming from the north.

HMS Newcastle returned to Scapa Flow on the 18th.

19 Jan 1940

Convoy HN 8

This convoy was assembled in Norwegian waters near Bergen on 19 January 1940 and arrived at Methil on 22 January 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Almora (Norwegian, 2433 GRT, built 1905), Baltanglia (British, 1523 GRT, built 1921), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Brott (Norwegian, 1583 GRT, built 1937), Bruse (Norwegian, 2205 GRT, built 1933), Canopus (Finnish, 1592 GRT, built 1911), Castor (Finnish, 1225 GRT, built 1906), Cygnus (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1921), Delfinus (Norwegian, 1293 GRT, built 1912), Erica (Norwegian, 1592 GRT, built 1919), Folda (British, 1165 GRT, built 1920), Galatea (Norwegian, GRT, 1151 built 1912), Granfoss (Norwegian, 1461 GRT, built 1913), Graziella (Norwegian, 2137 GRT, built 1917), Havborg (Norwegian, 1234 GRT, built 1924), Helfrid (Swedish, 719 GRT, built 1922), Komet (Norwegian, 1147 GRT, built 1912), Kongshaug (Norwegian, 1156 GRT, built 1898), Libra (Norwegian, 1536 GRT, built 1917), Nina (Norwegian, 1371 GRT, built 1917), Nydalen (Norwegian, 625 GRT, built 1920), Oinaas (Finnish, 1423 GRT, built 1910), Parma (Finnish, 2010 GRT, built 1898), Pluto (Norwegian, 1598 GRT, built 1918), Rosenborg (Finnish, 1512 GRT, built 1919), Rym (Norwegian, 1369 GRT, built 1919), Saxen (Swedish, 1135 GRT, built 1921), Sitona (Norwegian, 1143 GRT, built 1920), Skum (Norwegian, 1304 GRT, built 1916), Snyg (Norwegian, 1326 GRT, built 1918), Solhavn (Norwegian, 1630 GRT, built 1918), Spes (Norwegian, 1142 GRT, built 1918), Svanholm (British, 1321 GRT, built 1922), Sverre Nergaard (Swedish, 1030 GRT, built 1900), Thyra (Norwegian, 1655 GRT, built 1918), Torbrand (Norwegian, 308 GRT, built 1918), Veni (Norwegian, 2982 GRT, built 1901), Vespasian (Norwegian, 1570 GRT, built 1935), Vesta (Norwegian, 1310 GRT, built 1930) and Vestra (Norwegian, 1422 GRT, built 1904).

Escort was provided by the following destroyers; HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) which all joined at sea.

Cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN).

24 Jan 1940

Convoy ON 9.

This convoy was formed off Methill on 24 January 1940. It arrived in Norwegian waters near Bergen on 27 January 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anna (Finnish, 1043 GRT, built 1897), Basel (Norwegian, 1110 GRT, built 1924), Bolette (Norwegian, 1167 GRT, built 1920), Fanefjeld (Norwegian, 1354 GRT, built 1920), Helder (Dutch, 3629 GRT, built 1920), Kalix (Swedish, 2801 GRT, built 1913), Kurikka (British, 3106 GRT, built 1918), Majorca (British, 1126 GRT, built 1921), Minorca (British, GRT, 1123 built 1921), Pollux (Finnish, 1284 GRT, built 1898), Sekstant (Norwegian, 1626 GRT, built 1919), Transport (Norwegian, 1998 GRT, built 1921) and Wanda (Finnish, 1902 GRT, built 1897).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

The submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was also part of the escort.

HMS Tartar was relieved on the 25th by HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) which in turn was relieved later that day by HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN).

Close cover for this convoy was provided by the light cruisers HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) which departed Rosyth on the 25th.

The convoy arrived safely off the Norwegian coast on the 27th.

27 Jan 1940

Convoy HN 9A.

This convoy was formed near Bergen, Norway on 27 January 1940. It arrived at Methill on 31 January 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Albert (Swedish, 1745 GRT, built 1922), Carbonia (Swedish, 1918 GRT, built 1916), Ceres (Finnish, 996 GRT, built 1889), Edna (Norwegian, 915 GRT, built 1905), Eikhaug (Norwegian, 1436 GRT, built 1903), Ergo (Finnish, 1928 GRT, built 1893), Favorit (Norwegian, 2826 GRT, built 1920), Haardrade (Norwegian, 750 GRT, built 1922), Helios (Estonian, 1309 GRT, built 1894), Inga (Finnish, 2410 GRT, built 1907), Ingaro (Swedish, 1999 GRT, built 1916), Inger (Norwegian, 1409 GRT, built 1930), Ingerfire (Norwegian, 3835 GRT, built 1905), Julia (Greek, 4352 GRT, built 1914), Juta (Estonian, 1559 GRT, built 1908), Kjell Billner (Norwegian, 1128 GRT, built 1907), Knoll (Norwegian, 1151 GRT, built 1916), Kul (Norwegian, 1310 GRT, built 1907), Lab (Norwegian, 1118 GRT, built 1912), Ledaal (Norwegian, 3076 GRT, built 1899), Leonardia (Swedish, 1583 GRT, built 1906), Louis de Geer (Swedish, 1847 GRT, built 1916), Makefjell (Norwegian, 1567 GRT, built 1932), Mammy (Norwegian, 1656 GRT, built 1911), Namdo (Swedish, 2738 GRT, built 1907), Nordia (Swedish, 1316 GRT, built 1921), Nurgis (Norwegian, 700 GRT, built 1919), Ramava (Latvian, 2141 GRT, built 1900), Rigel (Nowegian, 3828 GRT, built 1924), Skotfoss (Norwegian, 1465 GRT, built 1917), Tautra (Norwegian, 1749 GRT, built 1920), Torne (Swedish, 3792 GRT, built 1913), Torni (British, 2044 GRT, built 1918), Vaga (Norwegian, 1612 GRT, built 1924), Veni (Norwegian, 2982 GRT, built 1901), Vesla (Norwegian, 1107 GRT, built 1913) and Vestfoss (Norwegian, 1388 GRT, built 1909).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

Close cover for this convoy was provided by the light cruisers HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The destroyer HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) joined on 30 January and then split off from the convoy together with HMS Inglefield and twelve ships from the convoy to proceed to the west coast of the U.K.

The bulk of the convoy arrived safely at Methill on 31 January.

1 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) departed Rosyth escorting the transport Sardis (970 GRT, built 1928) to Scapa Flow. The destroyers were then to continue to the Clyde.

HMS Khartoum picked up survivors from the Swedish merchant vessel Fram (2491 GRT, built 1897) that had been torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-13 off Rosehearty Buoy in Aberdour Bay, Scotland. (9)

3 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) arrived in the Clyde from Rosyth. (9)

5 Feb 1940
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) departed the Clyde for Plymouth (Devonport Dockyard). She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN).

At sea they were joined by HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN).

The next day they were joined by HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) which apparently took the place of HMS Forester in the screen as this destroyer returned to the Clyde that day (6 February 1940). (10)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) had been detached off Falmouth where she was to refit. (10)

8 Feb 1940

Convoy HN 10.

This convoy was formed off Bergen, Norway on 8 February 1940. It arrived at Methil on 11 February 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ada Gorthon (Swedish, 2405 GRT, built 1917), Asgerd (Norwegian, 1308 GRT, built 1924), Avance I (Norwegian, 1300 GRT, built 1912), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Brisk (Norwegian, 1838 GRT, built 1913), C.A. Banck (Swedish, 1838 GRT, built 1913), Castor (Norwegian, 1683 GRT, built 1920), Dagmar Bratt (Swedish, 1421 GRT, built 1920), Edda (Swedish, 1451 GRT, built 1919), Edle (Norwegian, 654 GRT, built 1916), Falken (Swedish, 1308 GRT, built 1893), Frisia (Swedish, 1059 GRT, built 1909), Gallia (Swedish, 1436 GRT, built 1926), Glen Tilt (British, 871 GRT, built 1920), Gunny (Panamanian, 1367 GRT, built 1882), Halse (Norwegian, 2136 GRT, built 1910), Hermes (Estonian, 1545 GRT, built 1901), Karen (Norwegian, 750 GRT, built 1900), Keret (Norwegian, 1718 GRT, built 1927), Kuressaar (Estonian, 2283 GRT, built 1914), Lake Lucerne (Estonian, 2317 GRT, built 1909), Meero (Estonian, 1866 GRT, built 1918), Minorca (British, 1123 GRT, built 1921), Nea (Norwegian, 1877 GRT, built 1921), P.G. Halvorsen (Norwegian, 1101 GRT, built 1912), Raftsund (Norwegian, 610 GRT, built 1919), Rask (Norwegian, 632 GRT, built 1890), Regin (Norwegian, 1386 GRT, built 1917), Salonica (Norwegian, 2694 GRT, built 1912), Selbo (Norwegian, 1778 GRT, built 1921), Sjofna (Norwegian, 619 GRT, built 1918), Sollund (Norwegian, 941 GRT, built 1908), Stargard (Norwegian, 1113 GRT, built 1915), Ubari (Estonian, 1392 GRT, built 1899), Uranus (Estonian, 1329 GRT, built 1906), Varmdo (Swedish, 2956 GRT, built 1901), Vienti (Finnish, 1715 GRT, built 1911) and Wirma (Finnish, 2609 GRT, built 1903).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and the submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN).

The convoy was split into two sections on the 10th. The west coast section was joined by the destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN). On this day the HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed the Clyde to meet this section and take over escort duties from the other destroyers on the 11th. This section of the convoy arrived in the Clyde on the 12th.

9 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) departed Plymouth for the Clyde.

10 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) arrived in the Clyde from Plymouth.

They departed again later the same day with HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) to take over the escort of the west coast section (12 ships) of convoy HN 10 [see the event: ' Convoy HN 10 ' for 8 February 1940 for the details of this convoy.] coming from Norway from HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) the next day.

HMS Kingston was detached on the 11th to hunt a submarine off Dubh Artach. (9)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) returned to the Clyde from escort duty. (9)

13 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed the Clyde to make rendez-vous with HMS Circassia (Capt.(Retd.) H.G.L. Oliphant, DSO, RN) off the Northern Patrol to the south of Iceland / west of the Faroer Islands. (9)

14 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) returned to Scapa Flow but departed again later the same day. (1)

16 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) returned to Scapa Flow but departed again later the same day. (1)

17 Feb 1940
At 0930Z/17, HMS Manchester (Capt. H.H. Bousfield, RN), is joined by the British destroyer HMS Gurkha (Cdr. A.W. Buzzard, RN).

At 1400Z/27, HMS Gurkha, parted company and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) took over the escort duties until 0710Z/20. (11)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. Her Asdic was defective and a docking was required for repairs. (1)

22 Feb 1940
Despite her defective Asdic gear, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), departed Scapa Flow for patrol.

25 Feb 1940
HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (12)

27 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock.

28 Feb 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) arrived at Greenock.

HMS Kashmir was taken in hand for repairs by Harland & Wolff, Govan.

14 Mar 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN) departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow.

15 Mar 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

15 Mar 1940

Convoy ON 20.

This convoy was formed off Methill on 15 March 1940. It arrived in Norwegian waters near Bergen on 18 March 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ask (Norwegian, 1541 GRT, built 1917), Batavia (Norwegian, 962 GRT, built 1922), Bygdoy (Norwegian, 1251 GRT, built 1921), Cimbria (Danish, 2653 GRT, built 1921), Fritz S. (Finnish, 1475 GRT, built 1907), Fulton (Norwegian, 1109 GRT, built 1905), Glen Tilt (British, 871 GRT, built 1920), Gogovale (British, 4586 GRT, built 1927), Hardingham (British, 5415 GRT, built 1933), Iberia (Swedish, 1399 GRT, built 1903), Ingaro (British, 1999 GRT, built 1916), King (Norwegian, 645 GRT, built 1918), Leka (Norwegian, 1599 GRT, built 1922), Leo (British, 1127 GRT, built 1908), Leo (Norwegian, 1367 GRT, built 1924), Listro (Norwegian, 1998 GRT, built 1918), Lysaker IV (Norwegian, 1551 GRT, built 1924), Majorca (British, 1126 GRT, built 1921), Maria Gorthon (Swedish, 1572 GRT, built 1930), Marvel (Norwegian, 1566 GRT, built 1921), Namdo (Swedish, 2738 GRT, built 1907), Otto (Finnish, 1343 GRT, built 1907), Rimac (Norwegian, 942 GRT, built 1919), Ringhorn (Norwegian, 1298 GRT, built 1919), Sando (Swedish, 1334 GRT, built 1902), Storesund (Norwegian, 563 GRT, built 1890), Tordenskjold (British, 921 GRT, built 1906) and Valborg (Danish, 847 GRT, built 1914).

These were joined later at sea by 12 merchant vessels that departed Kirkwall in the morning of March 16th, these were; Ada Gorthon (Swedish, 2405 GRT, built 1917), Baron Blythswood (British, 3668 GRT, built 1929), Baron Vernon (British, 3642 GRT, built 1929), Basra (Panamian, 3196 GRT, built 1915), Bera (Swedish, 11286 GRT, built 1939), Havbris (Norwegian, 1315 GRT, built 1918), Koster (Swedish, 973 GRT, built 1913), La France (Norwegian, 617 GRT, built 1909), Llanberis (British, 5055 GRT, built 1928), Lovaas (Norwegian, 1891 GRT, built 1917), Mary (Panamanian, 1524 GRT, built 1884) and Stancliffe (British, 4511 GRT, built 1936).

Escort was provided by destroyers HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) and HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN).

Cover was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) which departed Scapa Flow on the 16th. She joined the convoy the next morning but soon had to depart again due to damage she sustained in the heavy seas. She arrived at Sullom Voe later the same day. She was then replaced by the licht cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) which departed the Tyne on the 17th.

The Kirkwall section was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN).

The convoy arrived safely off the Norwegian coast on the 18th where it was dissolved.

16 Mar 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed Scapa Flow to proceed to Kirkwall where they were to pick up 12 merchant vessels and then join convoy ON 20 to Norway at sea with these merchant vessels.

[See the event ' Convoy ON 20 ' for 15 March 1940 for more info on this convoy.]

18 Mar 1940

Convoy HN 20.

This convoy was formed near Bergen, Norway on 18 March 1940. It arrived at Methill on 22 March 1940

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anneberg (Finnish, 2537 GRT, built 1902), Ardanbhan (British, 4980 GRT, built 1929), Basel (Norwegian, 1110 GRT, built 1924), Bessheim (Norwegian, 1774 GRT, built 1912), Bokn (Norwegian, 697 GRT, built 1890), Bollsta (Norwegian, 1832 GRT, built 1934), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Cetus (Norwegian, 2614 GRT, built 1920), Clarissa Radcliffe (British, 5754 GRT, built 1915), Colombia (Norwegian, 794 GRT, built 1893), Dalveen (British, 5193 GRT, built 1927), Delaware (Finnish, 2441 GRT, built 1902), Edna (Norwegian, 915 GRT, built 1905), Eros (Norwegian, 974 GRT, built 1922), Flimston (British, 4674 GRT, built 1925), Flowergate (British, 5161 GRT, built 1911), Grelrosa (British, 4574 GRT, built 1914), Gulhaug (Norwegian, 1243 GRT, built 1910), Gunborg (Swedish, 1572 GRT, built 1930), Haga (Swedish, 1296 GRT, built 1918), Hannah (Swedish, 1196 GRT, built 1898), Hundvaag (Norwegian, 690 GRT, built 1908), Jacob Christensen (Norwegian, 3594 GRT, built 1920), Karin Thorden (Finnish, 1789 GRT, built 1919), Keret (Norwegian, 1718 GRT, built 1927), Knud Villemoes (Finnish, 1582 GRT, built 1905), Korsfjord (Norwegian, 1620 GRT, built 1913), Lotte (Danish, 1420 GRT, built 1906), Mammy (Norwegian, 1656 GRT, built 1911), Mangen (Swedish, 1253 GRT, built 1922), Milos (Swedish, 3058 GRT, built 1898), Nordhav I (Norwegian, 664 GRT, built 1915), Orania (Norwegian, 1182 GRT, built 1919), Sitona (Norwegian, 1143 GRT, built 1920), Sjofna (Norwegian, 619 GRT, built 1918), Skarv (Norwegian, 852 GRT, built 1923), Snyg (Norwegian, 1326 GRT, built 1918), Stella (Swedish, 1189 GRT, built 1905), Trio (Swedish, 1482 GRT, built 1922), Varoy (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1892) and Vestanvik (Swedish, 1213 GRT, built 1906).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN).

Close cover for this convoy was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) from 20 to 22 March.

On 21 March the west coast section of the convoy split off escorted by HMS Electra and HMS Encounter.

The bulk of the convoy arrived safely at Methill on 22 March 1940.

22 Mar 1940
HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) arrived at Rosyth after escort duties.

24 Mar 1940

Convoy ON 22.

This convoy was formed off Methill on 24 March 1940. It arrived in Norwegian waters near Bergen on 27 March 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anna (Finnish, 1043 GRT, built 1897), Asiatic (British, 3741 GRT, built 1923), Barosund (Finnish, 1015 GRT, built 1920), Breda (Norwegian, 1260 GRT, built 1915), Ek (Norwegian, 995 GRT, built 1911), Eldrid (Norwegian, 1712 GRT, built 1915), Finse (Norwegian, 1618 GRT, built 1916), Gallia (Swedish, 1436 GRT, built 1926), Harlaw (British, 1141 GRT, built 1911) (To Invergordon only), Havnia (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1888), Hill (Norwegian, 496 GRT, built 1920), Iris (Norwegian, 1171 GRT, built 1901), Jaerden (Norwegian, 902 GRT, built 1918), Kalix (Swedish, 2801 GRT, built 1913), Lysaker (Norwegian, 910 GRT, built 1919), Maurita (Norwegian, 1569 GRT, built 1925), P. L. Pahlsson (Swedish, 1533 GRT, built 1916), Pan (Norwegian, 1309 GRT, built 1922), Roald Jarl (Norwegian, 1404 GRT, built 1913), Romanby (British, 4887 GRT, built 1927), Sarp (Norwegian, 1113 GRT, built 1916), Sekstant (Norwegian, 1626 GRT, built 1919), Strait Fisher (Norwegian, 573 GRT, built 1917) (To Scapa Flow only), Union (Norwegian, 607 GRT, built 1893) and Vigo (Norwegian, 710 GRT, built 1920). These were joined later at sea by 7 merchant vessels that departed Kirkwall in the morning of March 16th, these were; Birk (Norwegian, 3664 GRT, built 1920), Hulda Thorden (Finnish, 2255 GRT, built 1900), Kaupanger (Norwegian, 1584 GRT, built 1930), Riverton (British, 5378 GRT, built 1928), Standard (Norwegian, 1264 GRT, built 1930), Tora Elise (Norwegian, 721 GRT, built 1919) and William Blumer (Norwegian, 3604 GRT, built 1920).

Escort was provided by destroyers HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN).

Cover was provided by the licht cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN), HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) and the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN).

The Kirkwall section was escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN).

27 Mar 1940

Convoy HN 22.

This convoy was formed near Bergen, Norway on 27 March 1940. It arrived at Methill on 30 March 1940

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ara (Norwegian, 965 GRT, built 1919), Ascania (Finnish, 838 GRT, built 1901), Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Ask (Norwegian, 1541 GRT, built 1917), Audun (Norwegian, 1304 GRT, built 1925), Balder (Norwegian, 1129 GRT, built 1901), Balticia (Swedish, 1966 GRT, built 1905), Berto (Norwegian, 1493 GRT, built 1918), Bissen (Swedish, 1514 GRT, built 1920), Bolette (Norwegian, 1167 GRT, built 1920), Bruse (Norwegian, 2205 GRT, built 1933), Canopus (Finnish, 1592 GRT, built 1911), Demeterton (British, 5251 GRT, built 1926), Devon (Swedish, 926 GRT, built 1925), Ena de Larrinaga (British, 5200 GRT, built 1925), Freden (Swedish, 1172 GRT, built 1924), Fylla (Danish, 792 GRT, built 1906), Gudrun (Norwegian, 1128 GRT, built 1919), Hammarland (Finnish, 3875 GRT, built 1911), Hedera (Swedish, 2327 GRT, built 1900), Heilo (Norwegian, 989 GRT, built 1921), Helle (Norwegian, 2467 GRT, built 1918), Lyng (Norwegian, 953 GRT, built 1920), Mari (British, 1372 GRT, built 1918), Marianne (Danish, 1239 GRT, built 1924), Norita (Swedish, 1516 GRT, built 1924), Oinas (Finnish, 1423 GRT, built 1910), Osric (Swedish, 1418 GRT, built 1919), Paris (Danish, 1509 GRT, built 1927), Phonix (Danish, 895 GRT, built 1921), Rask (Norwegian, 632 GRT, built 1890), Ring (Swedish, 1314 GRT, built 1927), Risoy (Norwegian, 793 GRT, built 1918), Sedgepool (British, 5556 GRT, built 1918), Selbo (Norwegian, 1778 GRT, built 1921), Sigrid (Norwegian, 965 GRT, built 1920), Sirius (Swedish, 1832 GRT, built 1889), Skagerak (Danish, 1283 GRT, built 1921), Tautra (Norwegian, 1749 GRT, built 1920), Tora (Norwegian, 851 GRT, built 1918), Varanberg (Norwegian, 2842 GRT, built 1915), Varia (Swedish, 828 GRT, built 1908) and Wallonia (Swedish, 1435 GRT, built 1919

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN).

On the 29th, six merchant ships split off from the convoy to proceed to the west coast of the U.K. these were escorted by HMS Kashmir and HMS Kimberley. This convoy was then dispersed off Cape Wrath. Kashmir and Kimberley then entered Scapa Flow.

The bulk of the convoy arrived safely at Methill on 30 March 1940.

29 Mar 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow after convoy escort duty.

31 Mar 1940
Shortly before midnight, HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. They were escorting the merchant vessel Devon City (4928 GRT, built 1933).

1 Apr 1940
HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and the merchant vessel Devon City (4928 GRT, built 1933) arrived at Rosyth.

2 Apr 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) is damaged at Rosyth while coming alongside a tanker to fuel. Repairs were needed and were completed by 7 April. (1)

7 Apr 1940
The light cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN), the British destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. P.L. Vian, RN), HMS Cossack (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. A.W. Buzzard, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN), the Polish destroyers Burza (Lt.Cdr. W. Francki), ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. S.M. Nahorski, ORP) and ORP Grom (Lt.Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) departed Rosyth in the evening for operations of Norway. They were to proceed to a position west of Stavanger and then were to sweep northwards.

9 Apr 1940
At 0400/9, HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) ran into the stern of her sister-ship, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN). One of the crew of HMS Kashmir was killed and the ships sustained heavy damage. Both destroyers parted company with the force they were escorting at that time. Kashmir was unable to proceed under her own power, she was being towed to Lerwick by HMS Cossack (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN). Escort was provided by HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford) and the damaged HMS Kelvin.

They arrived at Lerwick later this day but not before, at 1415/9, the German submarine U-19 was detected on the surface by HMS Zulu. She was then depth charged and sustained some light damage.

12 Apr 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) departed Lerwick for the Tyne. HMS Kelvin had to proceed stern first. They were being escorted by the French destroyers Brestois (Capitaine de Fregate (Cdr.) J.L.C. Kraft) and Foudroyant (Capitaine de Fregate (Cdr.) P.L.A. Fontaine).

13 Apr 1940
The damaged british destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) and their escorts, the French destroyers, Brestois (Capitaine de Fregate (Cdr.) J.L.C. Kraft) and Foudroyant (Capitaine de Fregate (Cdr.) P.L.A. Fontaine), arrived at the Tyne. Both damaged British destroyers were then taken in hand for repairs at Wallsend.

17 Jun 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) shifted from the Tyne to the Humber (Immingham). (13)

25 Jun 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) departed Immingham to patrol off the Humber light vessel relieving HMS Jackal (Cdr. T.M. Napier, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) on the same patrol. HMS Jackal and HMS Jaguar then proceeded to Rosyth. (13)

27 Jun 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) returned to Immingham from patrol. They had been relieved by HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN). (13)

29 Jun 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) departed Immingham to patrol off the Humber light vessel. (13)

1 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) returned to Immingham from patrol. They had been relieved by HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN). (1)

2 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) departed Immingham to patrol off the Humber light vessel. (1)

4 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) returned to Immingham from patrol. (1)

6 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) departed Immingham for patrol. They also reinforced the escort of convoy FN 215.

7 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) reported at 1648/7 that she had been attacked by enemy aircraft north-north-west of Cromer in position 53°15'N, 01°05'E. She had sustained no damage.

9 Jul 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) returned to Immingham from patrol.

[Due to two pages being missed while photographing file ADM 199/375 some details for the month of July are currently missing. These missing pages will be photographed during the next trip to the National Archives at Kew by the editor of the Allied Warships Section. Unfortunately due to the 2020 Corona Crisis it is currently not known when this trip can take place.]

29 Jul 1940
HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) departed Immingham for patrol.

HMS Kelvin was sailed to patrol only during the night, she returned to Immingham the following day. (13)

31 Jul 1940
In the early hours of the day, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), collided with the Auxiliary M/S trawler HMT Kurd (Skr. J.H. Petherbridge, RNR). HMS Kashmir, which was on patrol off the Humber had to return to Immingham. She later went to Hull for repairs which were completed on 21 August. (13)

21 Aug 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN, with Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN = Capt.(D.5) on board), HMS Jackal (Cdr. T.M. Napier, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN) conducted exercises off the Humber. (13)

24 Aug 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Immingham for Scapa Flow. (13)

25 Aug 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (13)

30 Aug 1940
The light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) both shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. On leaving Scapa Flow they were briefly escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN).

Having returned to Scapa Flow from escorting the cruisers for part of their trip to Rosyth, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed Scapa Flow to reinforce the escort of convoy SL 43. (14)

31 Aug 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Scapa Flow. On their return trip from their convoy escort duty they had been ordered to search for an open boat reported in position 60°29'N, 01°08'E (east of the Shetland Islands). They located the boat and picked up five Norwegians which were trying to escape from Norway to the U.K. (15)

3 Sep 1940
HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Port ZA (Loch Alsh). (15)

4 Sep 1940
At 1400 hours the auxiliary minelayers Menestheus (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN), Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN), Southern Prince (A/Capt. E.M.C. Barraclough, RN) departed Port ZA for minelaying mission SN 5A. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN). (15)

6 Sep 1940
Having completed minelaying mission SN 5A, the auxiliary minelayers Menestheus (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN), Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN), Southern Prince (A/Capt. E.M.C. Barraclough, RN) and their escort, the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), arrived at Port ZA (Loch Alsh) at 0715 hours.

The destroyers then departed for Scapa Flow where they arrived around 1400 hours. (15)

7 Sep 1940
The battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1300 hours to patrol to the east of Iceland. (15)

10 Sep 1940
The battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and the destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Scapa Flow at 2130 hours. Their patrol to the east of Iceland had been uneventful. (15)

13 Sep 1940
The battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN), battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Bonaventure (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. They were escorted HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), and HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN). At sea they were joined by the light cruiser (AA cruiser) HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN). (16)

1 Oct 1940
At 0200 hours, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) departed Rosyth for Plymouth where they were to join the Western Approaches Command. (15)

2 Oct 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (1)

8 Oct 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Plymouth early in the evening to patrol between Start Point and Lizard Head. They were to return to Plymouth by 0700/9.

At 2057/8 they were enformed that there was probably enemy E-boat activity in the area. (17)

10 Oct 1940

Operation Medium.


Bombardment of Cherbourg.

10 October 1940.

The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) departed Plymouth for a night bombardment of Cherbourg during the night of 10/11 October. She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN).

A cover force was also sailed from Plymouth on the same day. This force was to provide cover to the east of the bombardment force and was made up of the light cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN), the British destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, DSC, RN and the Polish destroyers Garland (Cdr. K. Namiesniowski, ORP) and Burza (Cdr. A. Doroszkowski, ORP).

The light cruiser HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) departed Portsmouth to provide cover for the operation to the west of the bombardment force.

A flotilla of MA/SB boats was sailed from Plymouth to provide anti E-boat protection. These were HMS MA/SB 40, HMS MA/SB 42, HMS MA/SB 43, HMS MA/SB 44, HMS MA/SB 45, HMS MA/SB 46 and HMS MA/SB 51.

During the bombardment HMS Revenge fired 120 rounds of 15” in eighteen minutes from range between 14000 and 16000 yards. Her escorting destroyers fired 801 rounds of 4.7” during the first four minutes of the bombardment and then formed a screen on the battleship.

Large fires were seen to erupt in the target area. Shore defences opened up as for being under air attack. The ships were fired on only after the bombardment had ceased. No ships were hit though despite the enemy fire being accurate.

The western cover group returned to Plymouth at 0800/11.

The bombardment force and the eastern cover group arrived at Portsmouth around the same time.

15 Oct 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Plymouth. (1)

17 Oct 1940
After German destroyers proceeding westwards in position 48°24'N, 05°33'W had been reported at 0719 hours, the light cruisers, HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 1100 hours to intercept them.

Contact with the enemy was made at 1610 hours HMS Newcastle reported enganging the enemy at extreme range in position 49°29'N, 06°40'W. The enemy turned back at the British started to chase. Around 1800 hours they were ordered to return to Plymouth as adequate air protection could not be given.

The German destroyers had sortied from Brest to conduct a raid against shipping in the west entrance to the Bristol Channel. The destroyers were the Z 10 / Hans Lody, Z 14/Friedrich Ihn, Z 15 Erich Steinbrinck and Z 20 / Karl Galster. A fifth destroyers, the Z 6/Theodor Riedel had to return to Brest shortly after sailing due to problems with her boilers. (17)

18 Oct 1940
Around 0830 hours HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived back at Plymouth. (17)

20 Oct 1940
After a suspicious surface vessel was reported off Bolt Head the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Plymouth at 1250 hours followed at 1315 hours by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. W. Franki).

At 1510 hours HMS Kashmir signalled that there was nothing to report and the destroyers returned to Plymouth. (17)

21 Oct 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, 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. (18)

26 Oct 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, 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. (18)

1 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, 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. (18)

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. (18)

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). (19)

22 Nov 1940
HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, 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. (18)

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. (18)

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. (17)

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. (17)

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. (17)

30 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) departed Plymouth for patrol at 1815 hours. They were also to make rendez-vous with the minelayer HMS Adventure (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN) to escort her on minelaying mission GQ 1. HMS Adventure departed Milford haven around 1100/1. Rendez-vous was made with the destroyers at 1500/1. The destroyer escort parted company at 1800/1 after which HMS Adventure proceeded to the minelaying position. She joined up with her destroyer escort again shortly after 0700/2. The destroyers were detached shortly before noon and shortly afterwards they were ordered to return to Plymouth with despatch. They apparantly arrived at Plymouth in the second half of the afternoon. HMS Adventure returned to Milford Haven around 1900/2.

1 Dec 1940
HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 1055 hours to join HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) at sea. Apparently she was to relieve HMS Jackal which was to proceed to Immingham with defects.

3 Dec 1940
The minelaying destroyer HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Dartmouth at 1820 hours to lay minefield GR off the French coast. She was to make rendez-vous with her escorts, the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) which had departed Plymouth at 1715 hours.

The operation however had to be abandoned due to defects to the minelaying gear of HMS Icarus. The destroyers then escorted HMS Icarus to Torquay following which they patrolled off the Lizard. They were ordered to return to Plymouth at 1034/4 where they arrived at 1158 hours. (17)

4 Dec 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth at 1619 hours for an A/S sweep towards position 49°30'N, 07°00'W in which they were to arrive at 0900/5. (17)

5 Dec 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1345 hours.

8 Dec 1940
At 1255 hours, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) were ordered to leave Plymouth at 1630 hours to patrol between Eddystone and Wolf Rock. They were ordered to return to Plymouth at 0945/9.

They actually departed Plymouth at 1650/8 and returned at 1035/9.

10 Dec 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth at 1650 hours with orders to arrive off the Nab (Portsmouth) at 0830/11.

12 Dec 1940
After a delay of 24 hours due to a reported enemy submarine the British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) departed Portsmouth for Rosyth where she was to complete her refit.

She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Cattistock (Lt.Cdr R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) and HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN).

Around 1600/13 the original escort was relieved by the destroyer HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Lampard, RN), HMS Pytchley (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC, RN) and HMS Southdown (Cdr. E.R. Condor, DSO, DSC, RN).

At 1630/14 the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN) and the AA cruiser HMS Curacoa (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) joined the escort.

The battleship and her escort arrived at Rosyth around 1330/15.

13 Dec 1940
Having parted company with HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) around 1600/13, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) proceeded southwards to conduct an A/S hunt along the north coast of Cornwall and later between the coast of Cornwall and 07°00'W.

14 Dec 1940
At 1900 hours, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), were ordered to patrol between The Lizard and Start Point during the night to cover westbound merchant shipping. They were ordered to arrive at Plymouth at 1030/15.

15 Dec 1940
At 1055 hours, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), arrived at Plymouth.

15 Dec 1940
Since her return to Plymouth on December 15th, HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) has been docked. On this day she departed Plymouth to return later the same day. It seems likely this was for trials and / or exercises. (1)

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.

1 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Plymouth for exercises at 0940 hours followed by HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) at 1010 hours. Both destroyers were to conduct exercises and then proceed to Dartmouth on completion where they arrived late in the afternoon or early in the evening.

2 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Dartmouth in the morning. Around 1500 hours they made rendez-vous with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt. J. Creswell, RN) and escort her to Portsmouth.

3 Jan 1941
The armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt. J. Creswell, RN) and her escorting destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at Portsmouth in the morning.

HMS Kashmir and HMS Jupiter departed Portsmouth for Plymouth at 1710 hours.

4 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at Plymouth at 1040 hours.

6 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) were ordered to depart Plymouth at 2000/4 to intercept a large German transport that was spotted passing Cape Griz-Nez westwards at 1330/4. They were ordered to try to intercept this ship between Cape la Hague and Ushant.

HMS Kashmir and HMS Jupiter actually departed at 2050/4.

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.

13 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth possibly for patrol. They were to conduct experimental A/S exercises off Dartmouth on the next two days.

14 Jan 1941
HMS Unbeaten (Lt. E.A. Woodward, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Dartmouth with HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and A/S trawlers. (20)

15 Jan 1941
HMS Unbeaten (Lt. E.A. Woodward, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Dartmouth with HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and A/S trawlers.

Following these exercises the destroyers proceeded to Plymouth where they arrived at 1452 hours. (20)

16 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth for a night patrol in the western Channel area to cover coastal shipping.

17 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1430 hours.

19 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 1842 hours for a night patrol in the western Channel area.

20 Jan 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1000 hours.

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.

24 Jan 1941
During the night of 24/25 January 1941 HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) conducted a patrol between Land's End and Start End.

They had departed Plymouth shortly after 2000/24. They returned to Plymouth at 1110/25.

26 Jan 1941
Around 2300 hours, HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN), HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Plymouth for a sweep towards Ushant. It was feared the German heavy cruisers Admiral Hipper might depart Brest for the Atlantic as she had recently been undocked. (21)

27 Jan 1941
Shortly before noon, HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN), HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), returned to Plymouth. They had sighted nothing.

They were ordered to be able to raise steam in one hour as to be able to depart almost immediately if required. (21)

28 Jan 1941
A convoy of six German merchant vessels of between 500 and 3000 tons was reported off Ushant proceeding north at 8 knots. It was expected they would turn east to proceed up Channel along the French coast.

HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 1924/28 to intercept. They were ordered to return to harbour at 1000/29.

On return to harbour they reported having sighted nothing.

6 Feb 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Dartmouth for a patrol between Start Point and Lizard Head. They were joined by HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) which came from Plymouth.

On completion of the patrol they were to proceed to Plymouth arriving at 1000/7.

8 Feb 1941
At 2135/8, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed Plymouth with despatch to join the Home Fleet. They were initially ordered to proceed to Scapa Flow.

HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) was unable to sail with the other three destroyers. She sailed later, at 0819/9 for Skaale Fiord, Faroes where the other three destroyers meanwhile had also been ordered to proceed to.

10 Feb 1941
Around 1800/10, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), arrived at Skaale Fiord, Faroes where they embarked fuel.

They departed again around 2200 hours to search for a submarine reported by HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN) to the west of the Faroes in position 60°59'N, 12°44'W. HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) is ordered to also proceed to that position to join them there. Later this was changed to position 59°25'N, 09°07'W where a merchant vessel had reported being chased by a submarine.

In the evening the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) reported attacking a submarine in position 60°59'N, 12°44'W. HMS Kelly and HMS Jackal, which had not joined the other destroyers yet, were ordered to proceeded to that position.

On the 11th the destroyers were joined by the destroyer HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) and in the evening HMS Jackal was ordered to proceed to Scapa Flow to refuel as she had not done so since leaving Plymouth.

12 Feb 1941
On February 12th, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN), were submarine hunting near position 59°23'N, 08°45'W. HMS Boreas developed engine troubles and was detached to Scapa Flow escorted by HMS Kipling. Eventually Kipling had to take Boreas in tow until relieved by a tug.

13 Feb 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

16 Feb 1941
Around 1800/16, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), departed Londonderry for Plymouth. ETA at Plymouth was 1700/17 but apparently they were delayed (see 18 February 1941).

18 Feb 1941
Shortly after 1000 hours HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

19 Feb 1941
Shortly before 1700 hours the minelaying destroyers HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth for a minelaying mission near Brest, France. They were being escorted by the destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN). (22)

20 Feb 1941
HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN), HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) returned to Plymouth shortly after 1000 hours. (22)

22 Feb 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) departed Plymouth shortly after 1900 hours for a patrol near Brest, France.

Bad weather conditions were experienced and a speed of only 10 knots could not be exceeded. The patrol was cancelled and the destroyers returned to Plymouth. (22)

23 Feb 1941
In the morning HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) returned to Plymouth. (22)

24 Feb 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Plymouth at 0630 hours. She returned to Plymouth at 1850 hours.

At 1422 she reported that she was being shadowed by an enemy aircraft.

[The purpose of her sailing is so far not clear to us, it is not mentioned in the documents avaialble to us at the moment.]

24 Feb 1941
At 1900 hours HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) departed Plymouth to make rendez-vous on the 27th with the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) that is en-route from Gibraltar to Portsmouth.

HMS Kashmir was also to join after oiling, but as she had only returned 10 minutes before HMS Kingston and HMS Jackal sailed this was not completed in time. Kashmir departed Plymouth at 2032 hours to catch up with the other two destroyers.

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. (23)

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. (24)

4 Mar 1941
The destroyers of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla did not sight the enemy ships that had been reported. They all arrived at Plymouth in the afternoon.

HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) arrived at 1320 hours.

HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at 1516 hours.

HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) arrived at 1545 hours.

And finally HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at 1625 hours.

5 Mar 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) departed Plymouth at 1940 hours. [We have been unable to find out the purpose of their sailing.]

They returned to Plymouth the next day.

6 Mar 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Plymouth at 1900 hours. Presumably for patrol in the western Channel area.

7 Mar 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Plymouth at 0830 hours.

9 Mar 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) departed Plymouth. [No further details currently known to us].

10 Mar 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) arrived at Dartmouth.

They departed again Dartmouth early in the evening to patrol between Eddystone and the Scilly Isles.

11 Mar 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) are ordered to be in position 48°00'N, 06°30'W (west-south-west of Ushant) by 2200/11 so as to intercept the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper if she should leave Brest the coming night.

If the enemy was not sighted by 0100/12 the destroyers were to proceed to Plymouth.

12 Mar 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) arrived at Plymouth at 0845 hours.

13 Mar 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth at 1920 hours for Portsmouth.

14 Mar 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth in the early morning hours. [Their arrival was reported at 0903/14 by the C. in C. Portsmouth.]

14 Mar 1941
HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) departed Portsmouth for the Clyde early in the evening. She was escorted by the 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 the escort destroyers HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) and HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Jonas, RN).

16 Mar 1941
Around noon HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) arrived at Greenock. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) and HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Jonas, RN).

21 Mar 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Greenock in the afternoon. They were to proceed to Plymouth with despatch. It was estimated they would arrive at Plymouth at 1300/22.

22 Mar 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Plymouth at 1230 hours.

They departed Plymouth again late in the afternoon or early in the evening to patrol between Eddystone and the Scilly Islands.

23 Mar 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) returned to Plymouth from patrol at 0800 hours.

They departed again at 1630 to escort the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) on minelaying mission GV.

They returned from this mission at 1245/24.

HMS Kipling was then taken in hand for repairs at the Devonport Dockyard. This included a docking. (22)

24 Mar 1941
With her refit and reconstruction completed HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) departed Plymouth at 1915 hours for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN).

HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir parted company at midnight. (25)

25 Mar 1941
At 0722 hours, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), arrived at Plymouth.

27 Mar 1941
The minelaying destroyers HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth at 1736 hours for a minelaying mission off Brest (Operation G.X.). During this mission they were escorted by the 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN). (22)

28 Mar 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth in the morning on completion last night's mission.

They departed again at 1645 hours to make rendez-vous at 2015 hours off Wolf Rock with the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) which was to lay another minefield off Brest (Operation G.Y.). HMS Abdiel had sailed from Milford Haven. (22)

29 Mar 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth in the morning on completion last night's mission.

30 Mar 1941
The minelaying destroyers HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN) departed Milford Haven at 1404 hours for a minelaying mission off Brest (Operation G.Z.). During this mission they were escorted by the 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) which had departed Plymouth at 1730 hours to effect a rendez-vous of Wolf Rock at 2000 hours. (22)

31 Mar 1941
Having completed last night's mission, the minelaying destroyers HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN), and their escorts, the 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), arrived at Plymouth in the morning.

1 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Portsmouth.

2 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth early in the morning.

2 Apr 1941
Around 1900 hours, HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) departed Portsmouth for Greenock. She was escorted by the 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Blencathra (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, RN). HMS Tynedale was an additional escort for the night, she was to part company at dawn the next day. (26)

3 Apr 1941
At 1930 hours, when off the Bristol Channel, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), parted company with HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN). The destroyers then set course for Plymouth while the battleship continued with the other escorts towards the Clyde.

HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir were ordered to arrive at Plymouth at 0730/4 covering westbound shipping from Falmouth en-route.

4 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Plymouth.

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.

12 Apr 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth to escort the 3rd ML flotilla on their passage from the U.K. to Gibraltar. This flotilla was made up of the following ML's; ML 121, ML 129, ML 130, ML 132, ML 134, ML 135 and ML 168.

17 Apr 1941
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and the the ML's of the 3rd ML flotilla; ML 121, ML 129, ML 130, ML 132, ML 134, ML 135 and ML 168 arrived at Gibraltar.

19 Apr 1941
HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Gibraltar to rendez-vous with the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) and then escort her to Gibraltar.

20 Apr 1941
Around 1000 hours (zone -1), HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), made rendez-vous with her escorting destroyers; HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

21 Apr 1941
HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) arrived at Gibraltar around 0800 hours.

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. (27)

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. (28)

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. (29)

3 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) were on passage from Malta to Gibraltar.

At 0224 hours, while in the Sicilian narrows, HMS Gloucester exploded a mine in her paravane in position 37°19'N, 11°18'E. There was no serious damage and she was able to proceed at 25 knots. During the 3rd of May there were several air attacks. Three main attacks were made by formations of 5, 10 and 5 medium and high level bombers and during the second attack, at 1325 hours HMS Gloucester was hit aft by a bomb which, furtunately, failed to explode inside the ship as it went straight through the ship and then exploded without causing much damage. The speed of the ship was not further effected. (30)

4 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) arrived at Gibraltar early in the evening. Gloucester was docked immediately to repair her damage as had been arranged. (30)

5 May 1941

Operation Tiger, supply convoy from Gibraltar to Alexandria and reinforcements for the Mediterranean Fleet and Operation MD 4, supply convoy from Alexandria to Malta and taking up the reinforcements for the Mediterranean Fleet.


Timespan: 5 to 12 May 1941.

5 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

Part of Convoy WS 8A was approaching Gibraltar from the west. This part of convoy WS 8A was to proceed to Malta during operation ‘Tiger’.

It was made up of five transports; Clan Campbell (7255 GRT, built 1937), Clan Chattan (7262 GRT, built 1937), Clan Lamont (7250 GRT, built 1939), Empire Song (9228 GRT, built 1940) and New Zealand Star (10740 GRT, built 1935). During the passage from the U.K. it had been escorted by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), light cruiser HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN) (with the additional local escorts when still close to the U.K.)

Around 0700/5, HMS Repulse, HMS Harvester, HMS Havelock and HMS Hesperus were relieved from the escort by the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) , HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) , HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN). The Repulse and the three H-class destroyers then proceeded to Gibraltar to refuel where they arrived shortly before 1800 hours. It had originally been intended to include Repulse in the upcoming operation but she was left at Gibraltar due to her inadequate anti-aircraft armament.

HMS Naiad had already arrived at Gibraltar around 0900/4, having been relieved shortly after noon on the 2nd of May by HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN). Around the same time HMS Naiad arrived at Gibraltar the cruiser HMS Fiji (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, RN) arrived, she had been part of the escort of convoy SL 72.

Shortly before 1000/5, 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 cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN), HMS Fiji and the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN). Kashmir and Kipling had departed a little earlier and carried out an A/S sweep in Gibraltar Bay first.

For the upcoming operation two groups were formed; The cover force which was formed on Renown was group I, the close escort, which was to remain with the transports was group II. When they arrived near the convoy at 1800/5 the group I was formed and was made up of Renown, Queen Elizabeth, Ark Royal, Sheffield, Fiji, Kashmir and Kipling. Group II remained with the convoy and was (for the moment) made up of Fearless, Foresight, Fortune, Velox and Wrestler. Group II and the convoy proceeded towards the Straits of Gibraltar at 13 knots while Group I proceeded to the south until 2130 hours when course was changed to 074°. At 1930 hours, Group I, had been joined by HMS Naiad. This cruiser had sailed from Gibraltar at 1300 hours.

Eastern Mediterranean.

Convoy MW 7B departed Alexandria for Malta this day. It was made up of the Norwegian tankers Hoegh Hood (9351 GRT, built 1936) and Svenor (7616 GRT, built 1931). These tankers were able to proceed at 10 knots. Escort was provided by the AA-cruisers HMS Carlisle (Capt. T.C. Hampton, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), destroyers HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN), HMS HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.A. Marshall-A’Deane, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN). Also part of the escort of this convoy was the corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt.Cdr. A.J.C. Pomeroy, RNVR) which was to serve as minesweeper at Malta and the whaler HMS Swona which was to be outfitted as minesweeper (LL-sweep) at the Malta Dockyard.

6 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

The convoy with Group II passed through the Straits of Gibraltar between 0130 and 0330 hours followed by Group I between 0300 and 0430 hours. Although the moon did not set until 0314 hours the sky was completely overcast and visibility was low.

At 0330 hours, HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Harvester, HMS Havelock and HMS Hesperus departed Gibraltar followed at 0420 hours by HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) which had completed her repairs and undocking shortly before.

By 0550 hours, Group I was about 32 miles to the east of Gibraltar with the convoy and Group II 10 miles to the north. At this time Faulknor, Forester and Fury joined Group I. At 0615 hours Queen Elizabeth with Kashmir and Kelvin was detached to join Group II, followed thirty minutes later by Naiad.

At 0625 hours, Gloucester joined Group I and speed was then increased to 24 knots to draw well ahead of the convoy. During the day Group I steered 060°. Group II was steering parallel to the Spanish coast at 13 knots. Velox and Wrestler were detached from Group II to arrive at Gibraltar after dark to avoid being sighted returning from the East.

At 1740 hours Renown, in position 37°05’N, 00°21’W sighted a French merchant ship most likely en-route to Oran. On sighting the British ships she immediately steered clear to the westward. Shorty afterwards Group I reduced speed to 17 knots as to not get too far ahead of Group II and the convoy.

By midnight Group I was about 150 nautical miles east-north-east of Group II.

Eastern Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria in the forenoon, it was made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.la T. Bisset, RN), light cruisers HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN), destroyers (D.14) HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. St. J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), (D.7) HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN). The fast minesweeper HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) and the naval transport HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939) also sailed with the Fleet. HMS Abdiel was to lay a minefield off Lampedusa. HMS Breconshire had on board oil and petrol for Malta as well as oil to supply this to destroyers at sea. Abdiel took station in the destroyer screen while Breconshire took station in the battleship line. After sailing the fleet proceeded to the northwest. No aircraft were flown off by HMS Formidable due to a dust storm and very limited visibility.

After the Fleet sailed, convoy MW 7A departed Alexandria. It was made up of four transport vessels; Amerika (10218 GRT, built 1930), Settler (6202 GRT, built 1939), Talabot (6798 GRT, built 1936) and Thermopylae (6655 GRT, built 1930). These were able to proceed at 14 knots. Escort was provided by the light cruisers HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers (D.2) HMS Ilex (Capt. H.St.L. Nicholson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt. W.J. Munn, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN).

One of the destroyers from the escort of convoy MW 7B, HMS Defender, that had sailed on the 5th had to return to Alexandria due to condenser problems.

7 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

At 0400 hours, Group II, which was approximately 30 nautical miles east of Cape Palos, altered course to the south for about two hours before turning eastwards for the run to Malta.

Group I meanwhile had altered course to the northward at 0130 hours to pass between Ibiza and Majorca in order to carry out a diversion to the north of the Baleares during the day should this appear desirable.

By 0715 hours there was no indication that Group I had been sighted, and as visibility varied from poor to moderate, course was altered to pass again between Ibiza and Majorca to reach a position well ahead of Group II so as to divert any attention of any enemy aircraft from Group II and the convoy.

At 1000 hours, when 33 nautical miles south-west of Malta, Group I encountered a small Spanish fishing vessel which was seen to proceed towards Palma de Majorca.

At noon, Group I altered course to 140°. At 1630 hours course was altered to 100° to keep about 40 nautical miles to the eastward of Group II. Group I streamed paravanes at 1800 hours.

At 1945 hours, two Sunderland flying boats flying east passed north of the force and did not identify themselves till challenged. At the same time smoke was sighted astern and shortly afterwards a fighter aircraft reported that it was the convoy at a distance of 26 nautical miles.

At 2100 hours, Group I altered course to the north-east until dark in order to mislead any hostile aircraft. The sky had been overcast all day but towards the evening the visibility improved considerably and the convoy was clearly visible to the southwestward making a great deal of smoke.

At 2225 hours, RD/F in Fiji detected a group of aircraft bearing 170°, range 30 miles. The bearing changed to 154° and the range opened to 40 miles until the echo faded at 2230 hours. Group I altered course to 080° at 2300 hours.

Eastern Mediterranean.

All forces continued on their way during the day without incident. Destroyers were being fuelled from Breconshire one at a time.

The submarine HMS Triumph reported three transports proceeding towards Benghazi. Accordingly HMS Ajax, HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur and HMS Imperial were detached to attack Benghazi during the night of 7/8 May.

The Vice-Admiral Malta reported that the harbour had been mined and that the destroyers based at Malta were therefore unable to leave the harbour and participate in the convoy operations.

8 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

Soon after midnight Group I had to alter course to avoid being sighted by a lighted merchant ship steering a course of 110°.

At 0535 hours, HMS Ark Royal launched three reconnaissance A.S.V. aircraft in position 38°06’N, 06°26’E to search to the eastward south of Sardinia. At 0700 hours a fourth aircraft was flown off to search to the west of Sardinia. These aircraft returned at 0800 hours and had nothing to report. They had covered 140 miles to the eastward and 50 miles to the westward. Group I then proceeded to join the convoy. The first fighter patrol was flown off by Ark Royal at 0830 hours.

By 1000 hours, Group I had joined the convoy, which was proceeding on a course of 085° at 14 knots. This was the Clan Campbell’s best speed. Renown and Ark Royal took station on the starboard side of the convoy in order to facilitate flying operations and at the same time provide AA protection for the convoy. Queen Elizabeth took station astern of Ark Royal to provide AA protection for this vulnerable ship. Gloucester and Fiji formed on the transport ships.

At 1115 hours an enemy signal was intercepted that our forces had been sighted at 0800 hours. Naiad detected an enemy aircraft approaching at 1133 hours and three minutes later a large float-plane emerged from the clouds ahead of the convoy. Naiad opened fire and the aircraft retreated into the clouds. Fighters were sent in pursuit but failed to intercept. At noon a full and accurate report was made by this float-plane on the composition of our forces.

The sky cleared to some extent at noon, it had been overcast all morning. Visibility continued to improve all day although considerable cloud prevailed until the evening.

At 1345 hours, eight aircraft were seen approaching very low, fine on the starboard bow. These were engaged as they approached, but the AA fire appeared to be not very well directed. Torpedoes were dropped from outside the destroyer screen, which was roughly 3000 yards ahead of the convoy and extended to starboard to cover Renown, Ark Royal and Queen Elizabeth. The four Fulmar fighters on patrol at this time were engaging CR. 42 fighters that had accompanied these torpedo aircraft.

Torpedoes were evidently aimed at Renown and Ark Royal but by very skilful handling by the Commanding Officers of these two ships all tracks were combed or avoided. Two torpedoes passed close to Renown. A third which was being successfully combed made a sudden alteration of 60° towards Renown and a hit forward seemed inevitable when the torpedo reached the end of it’s run and sank. Two torpedoes passed to port and two to starboard of Ark Royal.

Of the eight aircraft which attacked one was brought down during the approach, probably by AA fire from the destroyers. Two others were seen to fall from the sky during their retirement. The destroyers were disappointingly slow in opening fire on the approaching torpedo-bombers and a full barrage never developed. During the action between the Fulmar’s and the CR. 42’s one Fulmar was brought down and the crew of two was lost.

At 1400 hours a few bomb splashes were observed on the horizon to the northwestward.

At 1525 hours, two sections of Fulmar’s attacked and shot down in flames an S.79 shadower. On returning from this attack one Fulmar had to make a forced landing on the water about 9 nautical miles from the fleet. HMS Foresight closed the position and was able to pick up the crew of two. At this time the fleet was about 28 nautical miles north of Galita Island.

At 1600 hours, as the wind had backed from south of east to north of east. The starboard column; Renown, Ark Royal and Queen Elizabeth, was moved over to the port quarter of the convoy and the destroyer screen was readjusted accordingly. This allowed freedom of manoeuvre for flying operations and enabled the column to increase speed and snake the line whenever a bombing attack developed, in order to hamper the bombers and at the same time remain in a position to afford full AA support of the convoy.

The first high level bombing attack of the day developed at 1622 hours when three S.79’s approached from astern at about 5000 feet, i.e. just under the cloud level. One, diverted by AA fire, jettisoned his bombs and subsequently crashed astern of the Fleet. The other two dropped twelve bombs close ahead of Ark Royal and escaped into the clouds. It is probable that both of these were hit by the concentrated AA fire with which they were met. About 10 minutes later a single aircraft approached from astern and encountering heavy AA fire turned across the stern of the Fleet, dropping its bombs well clear.

At 1710 hours, another S.79 shadower was shot down in flames on the port quarter of the Fleet by a Fulmar fighter. Twenty minutes later five S.79’s attacked the fleet from south to north. Two broke formation under gunfire and the remainder delivered a poor attack, bombs falling near the destroyer screen. A similar attack by three S.79’s took place at 1800 hours, when bombs were again dropped near the destroyer screen.

The provision a adequate fighter protection for the Fleet was a difficult problem with the small numbers of fighters available. Aircraft returned to the carrier at various times with damage and failure of undercarriage, and every opportunity was taken, whenever the RD/F screen cleared to land on, refuel and rearm the Fulmars, sometimes singly and sometimes two or three at a time. There were occasions when no more then two fighters were in the air, but whenever an attack appeared to be impending every fighter that could be made serviceable was sent up.

At 1910 hours enemy aircraft were detected at a range of 70 miles approaching from Sicily. At this time only seven Fulmars remained serviceable of which only three were in the air. The other four were immediately flown off. The total number of hostile aircraft is uncertain, but the Fulmars sighted three separate formations of sixteen Ju.87’s, twelve Ju.87’s and six Me.110’s. One formation was seen from Renown for a short time at 1933 hours in a patch of clear sky. RD/F indicated several formations circling to the northwest of the Fleet for nearly one hour and several bomb splashes were seen well away to the northward and northwestward. During this period Fulmars intercepted the enemy and, although greatly outnumbered, fought several vigorous and gallant actions, resulting in the certain destruction of one Ju.87 and damage to several others, including at least one Me.110. These attacks disorganised the enemy and forced them to the northward with the result that they probably missed sighting the Fleet. They then entered thick cloud and it is possible that the groups became separated and all cohesion in the attack disappeared. Whatever the reason RD/F showed these groups retiring to the northward and no attack on the Fleet developed.

The Fleet reached the entrance to the Skerki Channel at 2015 hours. ‘Force B’ then turned westwards. It was made up of Renown/i>, Ark Royal, Sheffield, Harvester, Havelock and Hesperus. Queen Elizabeth was ordered to join ‘Force F’.

The turn to the west was just being completed when ‘Force B’ was attacked at 2030 hours by three torpedo-bombers which came from right ahead. The destroyers were still manoeuvering to take up their screening positions and did not sight the enemy aircraft in time to put up a barrage of AA fire. This attack was pressed home by the enemy with great determination. All three aircraft were heavily engaged and two were seen to be hit. Renown combed the torpedo tracks, two passing close down the port side and one down the starboard side.

During this attack No. P (port) 3, 4.5” gun turret in Renown malfunctioned and fired two round into the back of No. P 2 gun turret. This resulted in five ratings killed, five seriously wounded of which one later died and one officer and twenty-five ratings wounded.

Speed was increased to 24 knots at 2038 hours and a westerly course was maintained throughout the night.

As a result of the day’s air attacks, seven enemy aircraft were destroyed, two probably destroyed and at least three, probably more, damaged. Of the seven destroyed AA fire accounted for four and feighters for three. No hits, either by bomb or torpedo were obtained on our ships, nor were there any casualties besides than caused by the accident in Renown. Two Fulmars were lost, the crew of one of them was saved.

Meanwhile the convoy continued eastwards escorted now by HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Naiad, HMS Gloucester, HMS Fiji, HMS Faulknor, HMS Fearless, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fortune, HMS Fury, HMS Kashmir and HMS Kipling.

Eastern Mediterranean.

Visibility was still poor with patches of heavy rain. This helped the Fleet and convoy from being detected by the enemy and attacked by aircraft. On the other hand it resulted in the loss of two Albacore aircraft. One Fulmar was lost in combat with enemy aircraft.

HMS Ajax, HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur and HMS Imperial rejoined the Fleet at 1700 hours. Their attack on Benghazi had been successful although there was little shipping in the harbour two transports were intercepted after the bombardment. The largest blew up, and the other was ran aground and was left on fire after several explosions. These were the Italian Tenace (1142 GRT, built 1881) and Capitano A. Cecchi (2321 GRT, built 1933).

The Fleet remained with convoy MW 7A during the day and at dark moved to the southward. HMS Dido, HMS Phoebe, HMS Calcutta, HMS Carlisle and HMS Coventry were detached from their convoy’s to join the Tiger convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Both MW convoy’s made direct for Malta escorted by HMS Hotspur, HMS Havock and HMS Imperial. All other destroyers had been oiled from Breconshire during the past two days.

9 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

Further torpedo-bomber attacks were expected and a screen made up of Sheffield and the three destroyers was stationed ahead, astern and on either beam of Renown and Ark Royal at 5000 yards. The night was however uneventful and at 0800 hours speed was reduced to 20 knots and screening diagram no.4 was resumed by the escorts.

A shadower was detected, bearing 115°, range 12 nautical miles at 1027 hours. Two fighters were flown off but failed to intercept the enemy. An enemy sighting report was intercepted in Renown.

At 1100 hours a merchant vessel was sighted in position 37°54’N, 03°30’E about 8 nautical miles to the northward. At the same time Ark Royal reported that a periscope had been sighted about 4000 yards away. No further action was taken as detaching a single destroyer to search for the submarine was thought to be of little use and it was not thought wise to detach more then one destroyer as there were only three present.

At 1300 hours course was altered to 145° and speed reduced to 16 knots to conserve fuel in the destroyers.

At 1700 hours five search aircraft were flown off from position 37°27’N, 01°29’E to search between bearings 045° and 340° from Oran and south of parallel 38°45’N. Nothingwas sighted except for a merchant vessel. A Fulmar was also flown off to carry out a reconnaissance of Oran. This aircraft took photographs and reported the battlecruiser Dunkerque in her usual position at Mers-el-Kebir surrounded by nets, with lighters alongside and a pontoon gangway to the shore. One large and two small destroyers were sighted inside Oran harbour and probably six or seven submarines.

The six destroyers from the 8th Destroyer Flotilla which had taken part in getting the ‘Tiger’ convoy to as far as Malta sailed from there at 2000B/9 for their return passage to Gibraltar. HMS Foresight however had to return to Malta with an engine problem.

At 2200 hours ‘Force B’ altered course to the eastward as to be in a position to support the destroyers during their passage west at daylight the next day when they were passing south of Sardinia.

The Tiger convoy and it’s escort.

Shortly after midnight the transport Empire Song was mined and damaged. Initially she was able to remain with the convoy but around 0140 hours she was slowly sinking having also been on fire. The destroyers HMS Foresight and HMS Fortune were detached to stand by her. In the end Empire Song blew up during which Foresight was damaged.

The transport New Zealand Star was also damaged but she was able to remain with the convoy as her speed was not affected.

The convoy was attacked by torpedo-bombers early in the night but no damage was done by them. One torpedo passed very close to HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Around 0700 hours the Tiger convoy was joined by HMS Dido and HMS Phoebe. An hour later HMS Calcutta, HMS Carlisle and HMS Coventry also joined.

At 1515 hours the Tiger convoy made rendez-vous with the Mediterreanean Fleet about 50 nautical miles south of Malta.

Eastern Mediterranean.

Convoy’s MW 7A and MW 7B both arrived safely at Malta. Both were swept in by HMS Gloxinia who succeeded in exploding a number of mines. The 5th Destroyer Flotilla was then also able to leave the harbour and they joined the Mediterranean Fleet; these were HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) , HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN)

Also Breconshire arrived at Malta where she fuelled HMS Hotspur, HMS Havock and HMS Imperial.

As said above, at 1515 hours the Tiger convoy made rendez-vous with the Mediterreanean Fleet about 50 nautical miles south of Malta. HMS Queen Elizabeth then joined the battleship column. The Fleet then turned eastward but remained near the convoy for the remainder of the day. During the night he Fleet covered the convoy from a position to the north-eastward of it.

10 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

At 0700 hours, when in position 37°35’N, 03°02’E, course was altered to the westward at 15 knots. This being the most comfortable speed for the destroyers in the rising westerly gale.

At 1000 hours, the Capt. (D) 8th Destroyer Flotilla, reported he was in position 37°18’N, 08°45’E steering 275° at 28 knots. He also reported hat his ships were being shadowed by enemy aircraft. The enemy aircraft report was intercepted at 1025 hours. Course was then altered by ‘Force B’ to the eastward to reduce the distance between the two forces.

At 1100 hours, the Capt. (D) 8th Destroyer Flotilla, reported he was in position 37°22’N, 07°54’E, still steering 275° at 28 knots. The destroyers were still being shadowed.

At noon ‘Force B’ altered course to the westward. The wind was by then force 8 with a rising sea. Ten minutes later the enemy aircraft was again heard to report the position of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla and it’s course and speed.

At 1300 hours, the Capt. (D) 8th Destroyer Flotilla, reported he was in position 37°25’N, 07°01’E, steering 270° at 28 knots and that his ships were still being shadowed. At this time ‘Force B’ was 134 nautical miles to the westward and they could only maintain 13 knots in the sea without suffering damage. In view of the weather conditions and the fact that HMS Ark Royal had now only four serviceable fighters available it was not possible to afford the 8th Destroyer Flotilla any fighter protection without hazarding Ark Royal unduly. It was hoped that if an attack would develop the destroyers were able to avoid damage by high speed manoeuvring.

At 1430 hours a signal was received that the 8th Destroyer Flotilla was being bombed in position 37°25’N, 06°18’E and that HMS Fortune had been hit and her speed had been reduced to 8 knots. ‘Force B’ immediately altered course to the eastward and ran before the sea at 24 knots the maximum safe speed for the destroyers in the prevailing weather conditions.

An unidentified aircraft that had been detected by RD/F overtook the force at 1530 hours and was fired at by HMS Sheffield. The aircraft retired to the northward before resuming it’s easterly course. A reconnaissance of three aircraft was flown off at 1600 hours to cover the area to the northward and eastward of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla to maximum depth, in case enemy surface units were out in pursuit. These aircraft reported having sighted nothing on their return.

At 1750 hours a signal was received that the 8th Destroyer Flotilla had been subjected to another bombing attack but that no damage had been done. ‘Force B’ continued eastwards to provide close support in case of more air attacks.

At 1820 hours rendes-vous was made with the 8th Destroyer Flotilla and all ships proceeded westwards steering 280° at 12 knots. This was the best course and speed HMS Fortune could maintain. By this time this destroyer was down by the stern with seas breaking continually over her quarterdeck.

Five search aircraft were flown off by Ark Royal to search to maximum depth between 025° and 090°. Nothing was sighted except for one enemy aircraft. By 2030 hours all aircraft had returned.

As a speed of 12 knots subjected Fortune’s bulkhead to undue strain, HMS Fury was ordered to escort Fortune and proceed at 8 knots for the night. The remainder of the force zig-zagged, clear of these two destroyers, at higher speed.

It became also clear that Fortune had not received a direct hit but that five near misses had bent one shaft and caused flooding in several compartments aft, and minor flooding in the engine room.

Eastern Mediterranean.

The Battlefleet remained near the convoy for the entire day. Visibility improved throughout the day although conditions were still difficult for the enemy to attack from the air. One Ju.88 aircraft was shot down and another one was damaged. One Fulmar was lost when taking off from Formidable.

No enemy air attacks developed until dark when a number of aircraft, probably torpedo bombers, endeavoured to attack the convoy and battlefleet. A very heavy blind barrage of AA fire however kept them off and no torpedoes were seen.

At 1700 hours, Capt. D.5 in HMS Kelly was detached with the ships of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla (besides Kelly these were Kashmir, Kelvin, Kipling and Jackal) to bombard Benghazi before returning to Malta. The bombardment was carried out successfully. Following the bombardment they were dive bombed by German aircraft and all but Kipling were near missed. The Flotilla reached Malta p.m. on the 11th.

11 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

At 0532 hours, Vice-Admiral Sommerville sent a signal to the Vice-Admiral commanding the North Atlantic station at Gibraltar reporting the position, course and speed of his forces. He also requested a tug to be sent for the assistance of HMS Fortune.

The wind eased considerably during the morning and at daylight Fortune and Fury were sighted about 4 nautical miles in advance of the Fleet and making good about 10 knots.

A reconnaissance of six aircraft were flown off at 0700 hours. These searched for a depth of about 140 miles between 030° and 085°. Visibility was reported as being 10 to 20 miles. Also a search was conducted for a depth of about 100 miles between 085° and 110° with a visibility of 3 to 5 miles. Only a few French merchant vessels were sighted.

Nothing happened during the day.

At 1700 hours a reconnaissance was flown of from position 36°54’N, 01°11’E to a depth of 180 nautical miles between north and east and to a depth of 90 nautical miles between north and 290°. The visibility was reported as being 10 to 15 nautical miles. Nothing was sighted.

The Fleet turned to the eastward for an hour before dark to take up a position well astern of Fortune and Fury during the night.

Eastern Mediterranean.

The Tiger convoy and the Fleet continued eastwards. Enemy aircraft were in the vicinity all day but no attacks developed. One Ju.88 was shot down and another one was damaged, one Fulmar was lost. At dark the cruisers were detached to proceed to Alexandria and the Fleet went on ahead of the convoy.

12 May 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

Just before daylight contact was made by the Fleet with Fortune and Fury. At dawn the tug HMS St. Day and four ML’s arrived from Gibraltar.

HMS Sheffield, HMS Harvester, HMS Hesperus and the four ML’s then remained with HMS Fortune and HMS Fury. Fortune was now able to make 12 knots.

HMS Renown and HMS Ark Royal, screened by HMS Faulknor, HMS Fearless, HMS Forester, HMS Foresight and HMS Havelock, then proceeded ahead to conduct flying exercises east of Gibraltar before entering harbour.

A reconnaissance was flown off at 0800 hours to search to the east but nothing was sighted. On their return these aircraft made a practice attack on Renown and Ark Royal. More exercises were carried out during the day.

The Fleet arrived at Gibraltar at 1800 hours. Renown berthed in no.1 dock to enable her damaged 4.5” gun turret to be hoised out.

HMS Sheffield entered harbour at 2030 hours followed shortly afterwards by the damaged Fortune and her escorts.

Eastern Mediterranean.

The bulk of the Fleet arrived at Alexandria around 1000 hours. The convoy arrived later, around 1300 hours. Some ships had been detached from the fleet to arrive early, fuel and then depart again for escort duties. (31)

12 May 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) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) returned to Malta in the morning.

On the return trip from their bombardment of Benghazi they have been dive bombed the previous day. All destroyers had been near missed except for HMS Kipling.

20 May 1941

Battle for Crete.


Timespan: 20 May to 1 June 1941.

Opening of the German airborn attack on Crete, 20 May 1941.

At 0915 hours, 20 May 1941, just three weeks after the British withdrawal from Greece, the German attack on Crete commenced. This took the form of intense bombing of Maleme airfield and Suda Bay areas, closely followed by the landing of troops by parachute, gliders and troop carrying aircraft. The enemy’s main objective appeared to be Maleme airfield but in the afternoon similar attacks developed at Heraklion and Retimo.

Fierce hand to hand fighting took place throughout the day on the Maleme airfield. At nightfall the situation appeared to be in hand, though about 1200 of the 3000 enemy who had landed by air appeared to be unaccounted for.

The naval situation at dawn, 20 May 1940.

The position of British (Allied) naval forces at sea at daylight on the 20th of May was as follows;

Force A 1 was about 100 nautical miles to the west of Crete. It was made up of the following warships; battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, RN), destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt. W.J. Munn, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN) and HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN).

Force B was enroute from Alexandria to join force A 1 and consisted of the light cruisers HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN also in command of this force as senior Captain) and HMS Fiji (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, RN).

Force C was to the south of the Kaso Strait and was made up of the light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Juno (St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN).

Force D had reached the Antikithera Channel during the night and was now steering to join Force A 1. Force D was made up of the light cruisers HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of the Rear-Admiral (D) [D = Destroyers] I.G. Glennie, RN) and HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN).

The Commander-in-Chief’s intentions, 20-21 May 1941.

On learning that the attack on Crete had started, the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean at once ordered the forces at sea to move up towards the island but to keep out of sight of land. In the course of the forenoon he signalled his intentions for the night.

Force B was ordered to pass close to Cape Matapan at 0400/21 and then rendezvous with Force A 1 about 50 miles west of Crete at 0700/21.

Force D, augmented by HMS Ajax and the destroyers HMS Isis HMS Imperial, HMS ar and HMS Kimberley was to pass through the Antikithera Channel to sweep the area Cape Malea (36°26’N, 23°12’E), Hydra (37°21’N, 23°35’E), Phalconera (36°50’N, 23°54’E) and to be off Canea at 0700/21.

Force C was to pass through the Kaso Strait and sweep round Stampalia (75 miles north of Kaso) arriving off Heraklion at 0700/21.

Later in the day air reconnaissance reported caiques in the Aegean, and these two sweeps were cancelled as it was feared that they might miss south-bound convoys in the darkness. Instead forces C and D were ordered to establish patrols to the east and west of Longtitude 25°E respectively. A new force of destroyers (Force E) made up of HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Ilex (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) was to bombard the Italian airfield at Scarpanto (50 miles to the east of Crete), withdrawing to the southward before daylight.

Night operations, 20-21 May 1941.

Scarpanto airfield was bombarded at 0245/21. The result could not be observed, but intelligence reports later indicated that two Do.17 aircraft were damaged. After examining Pegadia Bay (six miles to the northward of the airfield on the east coast of Scarpanto), and finding it empty, Force E retired to the southward.

The other operations ordered by the Commander-in-Chief were duly carried out but no convoys were sighted. Force C was attacked by torpedo-carrying aircraft with approaching the Kaso Strait at 2040/20. All torpedoes could be avoided. An hour later six MAS boats were encountered. Juno, Kandahar and Naiad engaged them and they retired after four of them had been damaged.

Naval situation at dawn, 21 May 1941.

At daylight, 21 May, Force A 1 (Warspite, Valiant, HMAS Napier, HMS Hereward, HMS Hero, HMS Hotspur, HMS Griffin and HMS Decoy) was 60 miles west of the Antikithera Channel, steering to the south-east to meet Force D (HMS Orion, HMS Ajax, HMS Dido, HMS Isis, HMS Imperial, HMS Janus and HMS Kimberley), which sighted nothing during the night and was now to the northward of Canea Bay and withdrawing towards the Antikithera Channel.

Force B (HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji) was closing Force A 1 after an uneventful sweep between Cape Matapan and Cape Elophonesi (the south-west point of Crete).

The minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN) was returning to Alexandria after laying mines off Cephalonia.

At the eastern end of Crete Force C (HMS Naiad, HMAS Perth, HMS Kandahar, HMS Kingston, HMS Juno and HMS Nubian) was joined at 0600 hours by the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN). This force was now retiring from the Aegean through the Kaso Strait.

Force E (HMS Jervis, HMS Ilex and HMAS Nizam) was to the southward of Scarpanto and operating under the orders of Rear-Admiral King (Force C) as was the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. T.C. Hampton, RN) which was on passage from Alexandria.

Operations during 21 May 1941. Loss of HMS Juno.

During 21 May, Force A 1, B and D remained to the south-west of Kithera. Every opportunity, between air attacks, being taken to refuel destroyers from the battleships. Force C cruiser to the southward of the Kaso Strait where HMS Carlisle joined him in the afternoon. Force E was recalled to Alexandria.

Throughout the day various forces were subjected to heavy air attacks. Force C in particular suffered attacks from daylight onwards, and after withdrawing through the Kaso Strait, was bombed continuously from 0950 to 1350 hours.

At 1249 hours, HMS Juno was hit and sank in two minutes. Six officers and ninety-one ratings were rescued by Kandahar, Kingston and Nubian. During the attacks one enemy aircraft was shot down and two, maybe more, were damaged.

To the west of Crete Force D was located at daylight and heavily bombed while withdrawing towards Force A 1. HMS Orion and HMS Ajax both suffered damage from near misses.

Force A 1 was attacked once during the forenoon and for two and a half hours during the afternoon. This later bombing was shared by Forces B and D which were then in company. Two enemy aircraft were probably shot down.

No seaborne landing has as yet taken place but during the afternoon air reconnaissance reported groups of small craft, escorted by destroyers, moving towards Crete from Milos (80 miles north of Retimo). Forces B, C and D were therefore ordered into the Aegean to prevent landings during the night. If there were no developments Forces C and D, in the eastern and western areas respectively, were to commence working northwards on a wide zigzag at 0530/22, to locate convoys.

Force A followed Force D well into the Antikithera Channel as AA support, turning to the westward at sunset to patrol for the night in the supporting area. As the two forces parted company a sharp attack by four Ju.88’s was made on Force D which shot down three of them.

Force D breaks up a troop convoy, night of 21/22 May 1941.

At 2330/21 when some 18 miles north of Canea, Rear-Admiral Glennie with Force D which now consisted of HMS Dido, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax, HMS Janus, HMS Kimberley, HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Hereward, encountered an enemy convoy composed mainly of caiques escorted by a torpedo boat. The caiques which were crowded with German troops were engaged for two and a half hours. In all, at least a dozen caiques, two or three steamers and a steam yacht were sunk or left burning. It was estimated that about 4000 German troops were accounted for [an over-estimate, the real number was about 800 of which some were rescued later]. In addition the Italian torpedo-boat Lupo, after firing torpedoes at the cruisers, was damaged by a broadside from HMS Ajax.

After taking a further sweep to the east and north, Rear-Admiral Glennie decided that, in view of serious shortage of AA ammunition (AA ammunition remaining; Orion 38%, Ajax 42%, Dido 30%) and the scale of air attack to be anticipated the next day, he was not justified in keeping his force in the Aegean to carry out the intended sweep to the northward at daylight. He accordingly turned to the westward at 0330/22. His ships which had become considerably scattered during the action were given a rendezvous some 30 miles west of Crete. This decision, together with the result of his attack on the convoy, he reported to the Commander-in-Chief who ordered Force D to return to Alexandria with all dispatch.

Meanwhile Force B (Gloucester, Fiji, HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.A. Marshall-A’Deane, DSO, DSC, RN) and Griffin) had been ordered by the Commander-in-Chief to leave their patrol off Cape Matapan and to proceed with dispatch to Heraklion where part of the town and harbour were reported to be in enemy hands. These orders reached Capt. Rowley in the Gloucester too late to be carried out, but the force entered the Aegean and at daylight was about 25 miles north of Canea. Nothing was sighted, and they retired to the westward towards Force A 1. Force B was attacked almost continuously by dive bombers for an hour and a half from 0630/22 onwards but escaped with slight damage only to each cruiser. They joined Force A 1 at 0830/22.

Naval situation at dawn, 22 May 1941.

At daylight on 22 May 1941, the position of the naval forces at sea was as follows. Rear-Admiral Rawlings with Force A 1 (HMS Warspite, HMS Valiant. HMAS Napier, HMS Imperial, HMS Isis, HMS Hero, HMS Hotspur and HMS Decoy) was about 45 miles south-west of Kithera, steering to the north-westward and shortly to be joined by the forces D and B from the Aegean.

The 5th Destroyer Flottilla had meanwhile sailed from Malta the previous evening and was on passage to join Rear-Admiral Rawlings around 1000/22. This Flotilla was made up of five destroyers; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Alliston, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN).

HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) from the 10th Destroyer Flotilla as well as HMS Jervis, HMS Ilex and HMAS Nizam from the 14th Destroyer Flotilla were on passage from Alexandria to join Rear-Admiral Rawlings (Force A 1) and Rear-Admiral King (Force C) respectively.

Force C (HMS Naiad, HMAS Perth, HMS Calcutta, HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar, HMS Kingston and HMS Nubian) was off Heraklion about to sweep to the north-westward in search of enemy troop convoys.

The 22nd of May was to prove an expensive day for the British naval forces costing them two cruisers and a destroyer sunk, and leading directly to the situation which occasioned the loss of a further two destroyers the next morning. Also two battleships and two cruisers were damaged.

On the other hand the enemy was prevented from making a seaborne landing, and that so effectively as to deter him from any further attempts to do so, until the fall of Crete had been decided by his airborne troops.

Force C’s encounter with an enemy troop convoy, AM 22nd May.

Rear-Admiral King’s Force C had spent the night of 21/22 May patrolling of Heraklion. Nothing was sighted and at dawn the force formed up to carry out the sweep to the northward as ordered by the Commander-in-Chief. Air attacks on Force C commenced at 0700/22 and were continued without intermission. At 0830 hours a single caique carrying German troops was sighted. This caique was sunk by HMAS Perth, and as she was being heavily attacks by enemy aircraft, HMS Naiad turned back to support her. A small merchant vessel, reported by HMS Calcutta at 0909 hours was dealt with by the destroyers.

At 1000/22 Force C was 25 miles south of Milo (90 miles north of Retimo), HMAS Perth had rejoined the rest of the force but HMS Naiad was being heavily attacked and was still some way astern. Ten minutes later an enemy torpedo-boat (the Italian Saggitario) with four or five small sailing vessels was sighted to the northward. The destroyers gave chase, while the Perth and Naiad engaged the torpedo boat, causing her to retire behind smoke. HMS Kingston then engaged another destroyer, who was laying a smoke screen, at 7000 yards range, claiming two hits. She also reported a large number of caiques behind the smoke.

Force C was running short of AA ammunition. Air attacks were incessant and the force had to be kept together for mutual support. Its speed was limited as HMS Carlisle was unable to do more than 21 knots.

For these reasons, Rear-Admiral King considered that he would jeopadise his whole force if he proceeded any further to the northward. He therefore decided to withdraw to the westward and ordered his destroyers to abandon the chase. A signal from the Commander-in-Chief (timed 0941 hour), which showed that this convoy was of considerable size, was not seen by him until 1100 hours. The brief action did, however, cause the enemy to turn back, and the troops, if they ever reached Crete at all, were not in time to influence the battle.

During its withdrawal to the westward, Force C, was continuously bombed for three and a half hours. HMS Naiad due to avoiding action had been unable to overtake the remainder of the force had two 5.25” turrets out of action. Several compartments were flooded by near misses, and at 1125 hours, her speed being reduced to 16-19 knots, the remainder of the force was ordered back to her support. Over a period of two hours, 181 bombs had been counted as being aimed at HMS Naiad.

HMS Carlisle was hit, and although not seriously damaged her Commanding Officer was killed. Torpedo bombers attacked the force at 1258 and 1315 hours but all torpedoes were avoided. At 1321 hours Force C sighted Force A 1 coming up the Kithera Channel from the westward.

The junction of Force A 1 with Force C, 22 May 1941.

On learning that Rear-Admiral King would be withdrawing through the Kithera Channel, Rear-Admiral Rawlings had decided that he would meet him in that neighbourhood. Accordingly, after being joined by Forces B and D he spent the forenoon patrolling between 20 and 30 miles west of the channel. The ammunition situation was causing anxiety, and rigid economy was ordered.

At 1225 hours, Rear-Admiral Rawlings heard from Rear-Admiral King that HMS Naiad was badly damaged and in need of support. He immediately decided to enter the Aegean and steered for the Kithera Channel at 23 knots. AA shell bursts from Force C were sighted at 1312 hours and a few minutes afterwards a large caique was seen between Pori and Antikithera Islands, to the south of the channel. HMS Greyhound was ordered to sink it.

At 1332 hours, just as forces A 1/B/D and C were meeting HMS Warspite was attacked by three Me 109’s equipped with bombs. A bomb hit and wrecked the starboard 4” and 6” batteries and damaged number three boiler room fan intakes, thereby reducing the ship’s speed. Both forces then withdrew to the south-westward, air attacks continuing intermittently for most of the afternoon.

The loss of HMS Greyhound, HMS Gloucester, HMS Fiji, 22 May 1941.

HMS Greyhound meanwhile, after sinking the caique, was returning to her place in Force A 1’s screen when at 1351 hours she was struck by two bombs and sank stern first 15 minutes later. HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston were detached from Force C to pick up survivors and shortly after 1400 hours, Rear-Admiral King (who was the senior officer of all the forces present) ordered HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji to give them AA support and to stand by the sinking Greyhound. These rescuing ships, and the men swimming in the water were subjected to almost continuous bombing and machine gun attacks. HMS Kingston was damaged by three near misses.

At 1413 hours, Rear-Admiral King asked Rear-Admiral Rawlings for close support as Force C by that time had practically no AA ammunition left. Force A 1 closed at the Warspite’s best speed (18 knots), and Rear-Admiral Rawlings, who was feeling uneasy about the orders given to Gloucester and Fiji informed Rear-Admiral King about the depleted state of their AA ammunition stocks of which the latter was not aware. At 1457 hours, Rear-Admiral King therefore ordered the rescuing ships to withdraw at their discretion, leaving boats and rafts if air attack prevented the rescue of survivors from Greyhound.

At 1530 hours, HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji were coming up astern of HMS Warspite at high speed, engaging enemy aircraft. At 1550 hours, HMS Gloucester was hit by several bombs and came to a full stop. She was badly on fire and her upper deck was a shambles. In view of the intensity of the air attacks the Captain of HMS Fiji reluctantly decided that he could offer no assistance to her. All available boats and floats were dropped and the Fiji proceeded to the southward with Kandahar and Kingston still being hotly attacked by enemy aircraft.

At 1710 hours, HMS Fiji reported that she was in position 24 miles, 305°, Cape Elophonesi (the south-west point of Crete), steering 175° at 27 knots, a position 30 miles due east of Forces A 1 and C which were steering 215°.

At 1845 hours, after having survived about 20 bombing attacks by aircraft formations during the last four hours she fell victim to a single Me. 109. The machine flew out of the clouds in a shallow dive and dropped its bomb very close to the port side amidships. The ship took up a heavy list, but was able to steam at 17 knots until half an hour later when another single machine dropped three bombs which hit above ‘A’ boiler room. The list increased and at 2015 hours she rolled right over and sank in position 34°45’N, 23°12’E. She had expended all her 4” ammunition except for six star shell.

HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston dropped boats and floats and then withdrew to the southward to avoid almost certain damage from air attacks if they had stayed in the area. They returned after dark and were able to rescue 523 officers and men. It was during this rescue work that Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A’Deane the Commanding Officer of HMS Greyhound, who had been picked up by HMS Kandahar earlier in the day when his own ship was sunk, jumped overboard to help a men in distress. He was lost out of sight in the darkness and was never seen again.

HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston had been subjected to 22 air attacks between 1445 and 1920 hours and were now running short of fuel. At 2245 hours they left the scene of the loss of HMS Fiji and shaped course to rendezvous with Rear-Admiral King’s forces to the southward of Crete.

Night operations, 22-23 May 1941

Meanwhile, Rear-Admiral King, with Forces C and A 1 had been steering to the south-westward. Spasmodic air attacks continued till dusk. At 1645 hours HMS Valiant was hit by two medium bombs but no serious damage was done to her. Course was altered to the southward at 1800 hours and to the eastward at 2100 hours

Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten with his five destroyers; HMS Kelly, HMS Kashmir, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling and HMS Jackal had been delayed on his passage from Malta by a promising A/S hunt and only effected his junction with Force A 1 at 1600/22. At 2030 hours Kelly, Kashmir and Kipling were detached to search for survivors from Fiji and half an hour later Kelvin and Jackal were also detached to try to search for survivors from Gloucester. Subsequently these searches for survivors were cancelled and the destroyers were ordered to patrol inside Kisamo and Canea Bays.

On arrival at the Antikithera Channel HMS Kipling developed a steering defect and was detached to join Force A 1. Later on as the defect was remedied, her Commanding Officer decided to remain to the south-west of Crete where he anticipated he was able to make rendezvous with the other destroyer on their return. To this fortunate decision Capt. D.5 and over 250 of his officers and men in all probability were to owe their lives.

Continuing into Canea Bay Kelly and Kashmir fell in with a troop carrying caique, which they damaged badly with gunfire. They then carried out a short bombardment at Maleme and, whilst withdrawing, they engaged and set on fire another caique.

The Naval Officer in Command Suda had meanwhile reported some lights in Canea Bay. These lights the Kelvin and Jackal, who were operating in Kissamo Bay, were ordered to investigate, and finding them to be shore lights, proceeded independently for Alexandria informing the Commander-in-Chief of this intention at 0300/23.

Towards the eastern end of Crete, Force E, consisting of HMS Jervis, HMAS Nizam, HMS Ilex and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN) maintained a patrol off Heraklion without incident. They set course to return to Alexandria in the morning. On the way there were bombed for five hours, Ilex and Havock being damaged by near misses.

During the night HMS Decoy and HMS Hero embarked the Greek King, members of the government and other prominent Greeks at Agriarumeli on the south coast of Crete after which the two destroyers sailed to join Rear-Admiral King forces to the southward.

In the meantime Forces C and A 1 were some 75 miles to the southward of Crete steering 110°. At 0100/23 ‘Force C’ parted company and proceeded for Alexandria. Some hours previously Rear-Admiral Rawlings had signalled to the Commander-in-Chief that a rallying point further to the east would be better than one to the southwest of Kithera. If this was approved it was suggested that the 5th Destroyer Flotilla should make it’s withdrawal from Canea Bay to the eastward and that the Commander-in-Chief should issue orders accordingly, to all forces. Force A 1 therefore continued steering 110° until 0400/23, when, no reply having been received from the Commander-in-Chief, course was altered to the south-westward. Rear-Admiral Rawlings was about to signal a rendezvous to the southwest of Cape Elophonesi when a message was received ordering the withdrawal of all force to Alexandria. He accordingly set course for Alexandria at 15 knots, informing scattered units of his position, course and speed at 0530/23.

The Commander-in-Chief orders withdrawal to Alexandria, 23 May 1941.

At 2230/22, the Commander-in-Chief had received a ‘Most Immediate’ message from Rear-Admiral Rawlings reporting the loss of HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji, and giving details of the ammunition situation. Owning to an error at Alexandria this signal made it appear that the battleships of Force A 1 had no pompon ammunition left. Therefore at 0408/23 orders were given to all forces to retire to the eastward.

In actual fact, the battleships had plenty of ammunition. Had the Commander-in-Chief been aware of this, they would not have been ordered to Alexandria, and would have been available as a support and rallying point for the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the morning of the 23rd.

Naval situation at dawn, 23 May 1941.

Dawn on 23 May 1941 found the naval forces in the waters around Crete considerably scattered. To the eastward Capt. Mack with Force E was north of Crete, returning to Alexandria through the Kaso Strait.

Rear-Admiral Glennie in HMS Dido was just arriving at Alexandria with HMS Orion and HMS Ajax some distance astern of him.

The transport HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) J.F. Paget, RN), with reinforcements on board and escorted by HMS Coventry (A/Capt. W.P. Carne, RN), HMS Auckland (A/Capt. E.G. Hewitt, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, RN) had left Alexandria the previous afternoon and was 130 miles out making for Tymbaki.on the south coast of Crete.

Forces A 1 and C were about 25 miles apart to the south of Crete and were returning to Alexandria. The destroyers HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston, with survivors from HMS Fiji on board were about to join Force C. The destroyers HMS Decoy and HMS Hero, with the King of Greece on board, were to the northward of Force A 1 which they joined at 0745/23.

Further to the west, a bit to the south of Gavdos Island, was Capt. Waller in HMAS Stuart, HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Voyager, who had been ordered by Rear-Admiral Rawlings to search for survivors from HMS Fiji. Also in that area were the destroyers HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN) which had left Alexandria the day before with munitions for the army.

HMS Kelvin and HMS Jackal were to the south-west of Crete and returning to Alexandria. HMS Kipling was also in that vicinity and was hoping to join HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir, who had cleared Canea Bay and were retiring close to the west coast of Crete.

Loss off HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir, 23 May 1941.

Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten had been withdrawing at full speed since dawn. At 0755 hours, after surviving two air attacks without suffering damage, he was about 13 nautical miles to the southward of Gavdos Island when his ships were attacked by a force of 24 Ju.87 dive bombers. The Kashmir was hit and sunk in 2 minutes. A large bomb struck the Kelly while she was doing 30 knots under full starboard rudder. She turned turtle to port with considerable way on, and after floating upside down for about half an hour, finally sank. In accordance with earlier practice the dive bombers then machine-gunned the survivors in the water, killing and wounding several.

The attack was witnessed by HMS Kipling, who was some 7 to 8 miles to the southward. She immediately closed and succeeded in picking up 281 officers and men from the water including the Commanding Officers of both destroyers. She left the scene of the sinking for Alexandria at 1100/23. She was considerably hampered in this rescue work by six high level bombing attacks and it was subsequently estimated that between 0820 and 1300 hours no less then 40 aircraft attacked her, dropping 83 bombs, though she emerged from the ordeal unscathed.

Return of the British naval forces to Alexandria, 23 May 1941.

In the meantime Force C had been joined by HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston with survivors from HMS Fiji on board at 0630/23. Both destroyers were very low on fuel. Force A 1 was only 25 miles to the north-west. Force C then closed Force A 1 and both destroyers were able to fuel from the battleships. Shortly after 0800 hours, a signal was received from HMS Kipling reporting the loss of HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir. Rear-Admiral King reluctantly decided that he could sent no help from Forces A 1 and C.

HMS Decoy and HMS Hero, with the Greek Royal party on board, had joined Force A 1 about the same time, and in course of the forenoon all the scattered destroyer joined up except for HMS Kipling. Later in the day HMS Jaguar and HMS Defender were detached to land ammunition at Suda Bay. The remained of the force proceeded to Alexandria where they arrived in the early hours of the 24th.

The fighting in Crete, 21 -24 May 1941.

On shore, meanwhile, the situation deteriorated. During the 21st although Maleme airfield remained no-man’s land under fire from Italian guns manned by New Zealand gunners, enemy troop carriers landed there regardless of losses. Parachute reinforcements also arrived, and the Germans concentrated between Aliakanou and Canea, and immediately west of Meleme. The savage air bombardment of the British positions continued.

Early on the 22nd, a British counter attack reached Maleme airfield, but heavy dive bombing, and machine gun fire from air and ground rendered further progress impossible. Fighting continued throughout the day, but enemy troop carriers with reinforcements were arriving at a rate of more than 20 each hour, and the withdrawal of British troops to a new line further east was commenced.

The steady flow of German reinforcements, and very heavy air attacks on the British troops continued throughout the 23rd. On this day, the five Motor Torpedo Boats of the 10th M.T.B. Flotilla in Suda Bay (MTB 67, MTB 213, MTB 214, MTB 216 and MTB 217) were all sunk by air attacks. During their operations off the Cretan coast and in harbour they accounted for two aircraft shot down for sure and another two probably shot down.

By the 24th the AA defences of Suda had been seriously reduced and losses to small craft in port were heavy. Severe bombing of Canea compelled the withdrawal of the Army Headquarters to the Naval Headquarters at Suda.

At Heraklion, in the meantime, the Germans had been unable to make much headway. Successful counter attacks were carried out by British troops, in conjunction with Greek and Cretan forces on the 21st, and the situation remained will in hand the next day. 20 to 30 German troop carrying aircraft were destroyed by AA fire. On the 23rd an ultimatum from the Germans calling for the surrender of Heraklion was rejected by the British and Greek commanders, though by this time the Greeks were running short of ammunition.

Reinforcements and supplies to the Army in Crete.

Throughout the Battle of Crete, frequent attempts were made to throw reinforcements and supplies into the island, with varying success.

All disembarkation had to planned to take place at night, owning to the German command of the air. Attempts were made to use HMS Glenroy and merchant vessels for this purpose, but it was found in practice that only warships were able to get through.

On the night of the 23rd – 24th of May, HMS Jaguar and HMS Defender landed stores and ammunition at Suda between midnight and 0200 hours. They returned to Alexandria with officers and men not required in Crete as well as some wounded.

HMS Glenroy embarked 900 men from the Queens Royal Regiment, H.Q. staff of the 16th Infantry Brigade and 18 vehicles at Alexandria. She then sailed for Tymbaki on the afternoon of the 22nd escorted by HMS Coventry, HMS Auckland and HMS Flamingo. These ships were recalled at 1127/23 due to the heavy air attacks sustained by the Fleet.

The following day, HMS Isis, HMS Hero and HMAS Nizam sailed from Alexandria with the Headquarters and two battalions of special service troops, known as ‘Layforce’. These were to be landed on the south-west coast of Crete at Selinos Kastelli. The weather conditions however did not permitted a landing and it had to be cancelled.

During the night of 24 – 25 May, the fast minelayer HMS Abdiel landed about 200 personnel of ‘Layforce’ and about 80 tons of stores at Suda. She returned with about 50 wounded and 4 Greek Cabinet Ministers. A dive bombing attack by 4 Ju.88’s at 1300/25 was successfully avoided.

On arrival at Alexandria in the evening of the 25th, HMS Abdiel embarked Brigadier Laycock with 400 men and 100 tons of stores. She left again early on the 26th accompanied by HMS Hero and HMAS Nizam. These ships landed about 750 troops and stores at Suda during the night of 26 – 27 May. These were the last reinforcements landed in Crete.

About 930 men no longer required there were then embarked and taken back to Alexandria in HMS Abdiel. Air attacks commenced at daylight, just north-west of the Kaso Strait, and continued intermittently till 1130/27. No damage was sustained except by HMS Hero whose speed was reduced to 28 knots by a near miss at 0700 hours.

Meanwhile the Glenroy with a battalion of the Queen’s Regiment on board, had sailed from Alexandria for Tymbaki during the evening of the 25th. She was being escorted by HMS Coventry, HMAS Stuart and HMS Jaguar. The force was subjected to bombing attacks by enemy reconnaissance aircraft during the forenoon. At 1820/26 there were heavy dive bombing attacks. Glenroy was slightly damaged sustained some casualties owing to near misses and machine gun attacks. Three of her landing craft were holed and a large dump of cased petrol on the upper deck caught fire, which necessitated steering down wind until the fire was put out. With 800 troops on board and with a large cargo of petrol it was a nasty situation. By 1950 hours the fire was under control and course was resumed to the northward. A final attack by torpedo bombers at 2050 hours caused no further damage. The torpedoes were being successfully evaded. The Glenroy was now about three hours behind schedule and wither landing craft capacity down by about a third and the weather forecast in mind it was decided to cancel the operation and the force was ordered to return to Alexandria.

One other attempt was made to transport some supplies to Crete. Convoy AN 31 of three Greek merchant ships escorted by HMS Auckland left Alexandria at 0500/26. One of the merchant vessels soon had to turn back due to engine trouble. The convoy escort was later reinforced by HMS Calcutta and HMS Defender. Early the next forenoon it was realised that under the existing conditions they would not have a chance of reaching the island and they too were recalled. Shortly after turning back the convoy was attacked by about 9 Ju.88’s but no damage was sustained. One of the attacking aircraft was seen to be hit by AA fire.

Naval situation at dawn, 24 May 1941.

At daylight on the 24th, the only naval forces at sea were HMS Jaguar and HMS Defender, which were about to pass through the Kaso Strait on passage from Suda Bay to Alexandria and HMS Abdiel which had left Alexandria during the night and was on passage to Suda Bay with more stores for the Army.

HMS Kipling with the survivors from HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir on board was about 70 miles from Alexandria, practically out of fuel. HMS Protector (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN) had been sent out to meet her.

It was on this day that the Commander-in-Chief, well aware under which strain his ships were working, signalled to his Fleet. ‘The Army is just holding its own against constant reinforcement of airborne enemy troops. We must NOT let them down. At whatever cost to ourselves, we must land reinforcements for them and keep the enemy from using the sea. There are indications that the enemy resources are stretched to the limit. We can and must outlast them. STICK IT OUT.’

The Commander-in-Chief’s appreciation, 24 May 1941.

Four days had now elapsed since the opening of the attack on Crete and in reply to a request from the Chiefs-of-Staff for an appreciation, the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, informed them that the scale of air attack now made it no longer possible for the Navy to operate in the Aegean or vicinity of Crete by day. The Navy could not guarantee to prevent seaborne landings without suffering losses which, added to those already sustained, would very seriously prejudice our command of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Chiefs-of-Staff replied that the Fleet and Royal Air Force were to accept whatever risk was entailed in preventing any considerable enemy reinforcement from reaching Crete. If enemy convoys were reported north of Crete, the Fleet would have to operate in that area by day, although considerable losses might be expected. Experience would show for how long this situation could be maintained.

To this the Commander-in-Chief replied on the 26th that the determining factor in operating in the Aegean was not the fear of sustaining losses but the need to avoid crippling the Fleet. He added that the enemy, so far, had apparently not succeeded in landing any appreciable reinforcements by sea.

As how long the situation could be maintained, he pointed out that in three days two cruisers and four destroyers had been sunk, one battleship had been put out of action for several months, and two cruisers and four destroyers had been considerably damaged. He also referred to the strain both to personnel and machinery in the light craft, who had been operating to the limits of their endurance since February.

Captain McCarthy’s Force , 24-26 May 1941.

There had been indications that a landing might take place in the east of Crete at Sitia on the night of 24-25 May. To deal with this threat a Force consisting of the cruisers HMS Ajax (Senior Officer), HMS Dido, destroyers HMS Hotspur, HMS Imperial and HMS Kimberley left Alexandria at 0800/24 and passing through the Kaso Strait swept the north coast of Crete during the night. Nothing was sighted and the Force withdrew to the southward of Kaso before daylight. Here they remained during the 25th, repeating the sweep north of Crete the next night. Again nothing was sighted.

F.A.A. attack on Scarpanto airfield, 26 May 1941.

It was known that Scarpanto airfield was being extensively used by the enemy in his operations against Crete, and it was therefore decided to attack it with Fleet Air Arm aircraft from HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.la T. Bisset, RN, flying the flag of A/Rear-Admiral D.W. Boyd, CBE, DSC, RN), who had now built up her fighter strength to 12 Fulmars.

Vice-Admiral Pridham-Whippel left Alexandria on the 25th with Force A which was made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable and the destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Janus, HMS Kandahar, HMS Nubian, HMS Hasty, HMS Hereward, HMAS Voyager and HMAS Vendetta.

At 0330/26 this Force was about 100 miles to the south-south-west of Scarpanto. Four Albacores and later five Fulmars were flown off from HMS Formidable to attack the airfield. The Albacores achieved complete surprise. They destroyed two enemy aircraft and damaged several others while the Fulmars damaged a number of Cr.42’s and Ju.87’s. All aircraft had returned to Formidable by 0700 hours. By now the Force headed by HMS Ajax had also joined coming from the Kaso Strait. ‘Force A’ now set course to the southward.

Operations of ‘Force A’, HMS Formidable and HMS Nubian damaged, 26 May 1941.

During the forenoon of the 26th May, enemy aircraft were continually being detected. The eight remaining serviceable aircraft, four of which were fighters, made 24 flights, during which there were 20 combats. Two enemy aircraft were shot down and two more were probably destroyed. One Fulmar was lost.

At 1320 hours, when about 150 miles south of the Kaso Strait ‘Force A’ was attacked by about 20 dive bombers which approached from the African coast. HMS Formidable was hit twice, her starboard side was blown out between numbers 17 and 24 bulkheads and ‘X’ turret and cable and accelerator gear were put out of action.

During the same attack, HMS Nubian, was hit right aft and had her stern blown off. She was still able to steam 20 knots. She was then detached to Alexandria with HMS Jackal where she arrived under her own steam that night.

Force A than shaped course to the eastward and after dark HMS Formidable escorted by HMS Hereward, HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Voyager parted company and set course for Alexandria. The remainder of the Force operated to the north-eastward of Alexandria during the night.

Naval situation at dawn, 27 May 1941.

At daylight, 27 May 1941, ‘Force A’, now consisted of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Barham and escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Janus, HMS Kandahar, HMS Kelvin, HMAS Napier and HMS Hasty were about 250 nautical miles south-east of Kaso, steering to the north-westward. In the Kaso Strait HMS Abdiel, HMS Hero and HMAS Nizam were returning from Suda Bay.

Some 90 nautical miles to the north-west of Force A, HMS Glenroy and her escorting destroyers; HMAS Stuart and HMS Jaguar were steering for Alexandria after their abortive attempt to land troops and supplies at Tymbaki. About half way between these two forces was convoy AN 31 heading for Crete. This convoy was recalled soon afterwards.

Operations of ‘Force A’, HMS Barham damaged, 27 May 1941.

Vice-Admiral Pridham-Whippel with Force A had been steering since daylight for the Kaso Strait to cover the withdrawal of HMS Abdiel, HMS Hero and HMAS Nizam. At 0859 hours, 15 Ju.88’s and He.111’s attacked from the direction of the sun. HMS Barham was hit on ‘Y’ turret and two of her bulges were flooded by near misses. A fire was started, which necessitated steering down wind to the south until it was extinguished two hours later. Two enemy aircraft were shot down and one was seen to be damaged.

At 1230 hours, on receipt of instructions from the Commander-in-Chief, Force A shaped course for Alexandria, arriving there at 1900 hours that evening.

The collapse in the Suda-Maleme area, 26 May 1941.

While these operation had been in progress at sea, the battle on shore had continued with unabated bitterness. Sunday, May 25th, the sixth day of the enemy attack was critical for the Australian and New Zealand troops in the Maleme area. After continuous bombing of their positions all day, a strong enemy attack took Galatos. British light tanks and New Zealand troops retook it at the point of the bayonet. This was described by General Fryberg as ‘one of the great efforts in the defence of Crete’. The position could not be held, however, and with Maleme no longer under fire, enemy troop carriers poured in reinforcements. Late that night the new line formed in the Maleme-Canea sector was broken by the Germans, after several attacks had been repulsed.

The next day (May 26th) further attacks compelled the tired New Zealand and Australian troops to withdraw still further towards Suda. They had fought for six days without respite; more then 20 fiece bayonet counter attacks had been carried out, and throughout the whole period they had been subjected to air attacks on unprecedented scale. That night the line collapsed and the retreat commenced.

So suddenly did the collapse come at the last, that there had been no time to organise the retirement and though the infantry which withdrew from the front line did so in good order, the movements of the rest of the force were uncontrolled, and much congestion on the route resulted.

The withdrawal, which was directed towards Sphakia continued during the 27th. By this time a rearguard had been organised which was able to cover the retirement of the bulk of the remainder to Sphakia.

Meanwhile in the Heraklion sector the British troops were holding out. On the 26th, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and two of the ‘I’ tanks landed at Tymbaki on the 19th, succeeded in breaking through from the south and joining them. With the Suda-Maleme area in the hands of the enemy, however, the position of the troops at Heraklion was clearly untenable and it appeared to be only a matter of time before the enemy would launch a major attack on them.

The work of the Royal Air Force.

Throughout the battle, the Royal Air Force, working from Egypt, did all that was possible to afford relief to our troop in Crete; but the distance was too great to maintain a scale of attack on the Germans that could affect the issue.

Enemy positions and aircraft were attacked at Maleme by Blenheims and Marylands (of the S.A.A.F.) at intervals on the 23rd, 25th, 26th and 27th of May. In these raids at least 40 enemy aircraft of various types were destroyed and many others damaged. Nine Ju.52’s carrying troops were destroyed by Hurricanes on the 23rd and 26th. Wellingtons bombed Maleme on the nights of the 23rd, 25th, 26th, 27th and 29th. They also attacked Scarpanto on the nights of the 25th, 27th, 28th and 29th and Heraklion on the 30th at 31st of May and 1st of June.

All these attacks caused fires and explosions but the extent of the damage is not known. During the battle the R.A.F. lost 38 aircraft, 33 of them in the air.

The decision to evacuate Crete, 27 May 1941.

Messages received from the G.O.C. Troops in Crete and the N.O.I.C. Suda Bay made it clear that our line defending Suda had collapsed with great suddenness.

In a message times 0824/27, General Wavell informed the Prime Minister that he feared we must recognise that Crete was no longer tenable, and that, so far as possible, the troops must be withdrawn. In reply to this message, the Chiefs-of-Staff ordered Crete to be evacuated forthwith.

Evacuation from Sphakia, 1st night, 28-29 May 1941.

At 0600/28, less then 24 hours after the decision to evacuate Crete had been taken, Force B, consisting of the light cruisers HMS Orion, HMS Ajax, HMS Dido and the destroyers HMS Decoy, HMS Hereward, HMS Hotspur, HMS Imperial, HMS Jackal and HMS Kimberley departed Alexandria to evacuate the Heraklion garrison. Rear-Admiral Rawlings, flying his flag in Orion was given charge of this operation.

Two hours later, Force C, under Capt. Arliss, left Alexandria for Sphakia. It was made up of HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kelvin. Force C had an uneventful passage and commenced embarkation at 0030/29. The operation was completed by 0300/29 by which time the four destroyers had taken on board nearly 700 troops and had landed badly needed rations for 15000.

On the return passage, the force was attacked by four Ju.88’s at about 0900 hours, HMAS Nizam suffered minor damage from a near miss. Fighter protection had been arranged from 0545 hours and at 0940 hours a crashed enemy aircraft was sighted, probably shot down by our fighters. Force C arrived at Alexandria at 1700/29 without much enemy interference.

Evacuation of the Heraklion garrison, 1st night, 28-29 May 1941.

Rear-Admiral Rawlings, meanwhile, had been having a much more different experience. At 1700/28 Force B was about 90 miles from Scarpanto and from then until dark was subjected to a series of air attacks. High level, dive bombing and torpedo.

At 1920 hours, HMS Imperial was near missed but appeared to be undamaged and 50 minutes later a near miss caused slight damage and some casualties in HMS Ajax which was then detached to Alexandria.

On arrival of the force at Heraklion at 2330/28 the destroyers immediately entered harbour, embarked troops from the jetties and ferried them to the cruisers outside. By 0245/29 the ferrying was complete and a quarter of an hour later HMS Kimberley and HMS Imperial had embarked the rearguard.

At 032 hours the force proceeded to sea at 29 knots with the whole of the Heraklion garrison on board, some 4000 troops. All went well until 0345 hours when HMS Imperial’s steering gear failed and she nearly collided with HMS Orion and HMS Dido. Her rudder was jammed and repairs could not be made. Delaying the force would mean more air attacks and it was vital to be as far away as possible from the enemy airfields before daylight. It was therefore decided to take off the troops from HMS Imperial and then sink her. At 0445 hours this was successfully done by HMS Hotspur which had now 900 troops on board. By now Force B was about 1,5 hours late and it was only at sunrise that they arrived off the Kaso Strait. The German air force was already waiting.

Air attacks commenced at 0600 hours and continued at intervals to 1500 hours when the force was within 100 miles from Alexandria.

At 0625 hours, HMS Hereward was hit by a bomb which forced her to reduce speed and fall away from her position in the screen. The force was then in the middle of the Kaso Strait and once more Rear-Admiral Rawlings had to decide whether to endanger his whole force and the troops on board for the sake of a single ship, or to leave her for a certain destruction. HMS Hereward was last seen making slowly towards Crete which was only five miles distant with her guns engaging enemy aircraft.

Twenty minutes later HMS Decoy suffered damage to her machinery as the result of a near miss and the speed of the force had to be reduced to 25 knots. A further reduction to 21 knots was needed after HMS Orion had been near-missed at 0730 hours.

With 4000 troops on board, the speed reduced to 21 knots, and no fighter support, things were beginning to look ugly. The Commander-in-Chief realised from Rear-Admiral Rawlings signals that our fighters had not appeared and every endeavour was made to rectify this but the fighters only appeared at noon.

By this time Force B had suffered badly. Shortly after 0730 hours Capt. Back, the Flag captain of HMS Orion was wounded and died two hours later. His place was taken by Cdr. Wynne.

At 0815 hours, HMS Dido was hit on ‘B’ turret and the Orion on ‘A’ turret at 0900 hours, both by bombs from Ju.87 dive bombers. In each case the turrets were put out of action.

At 1045 hours, HMS Orion was again attacked by Ju.87’s and a bomb passed through her bridge, putting the lower conning tower out of action. Force B was then 100 miles south of Kaso and this was the last attack made by dive bombers.

The Orion had nearly 1100 troops on board and the casualties on the crowded mess decks were very heavy. It is believed that a total of 260 were killed and 280 were wounded. In addition three of the engineer officers were killed. All normal communication between the bridge and the engine room was destroyed, the steering gear was put out of action, and three boiler rooms were damaged. Also there were fires in the foremost 6” and 4” magazines.

Fortunately there was a lull in the air attacks until 1300/29 when a high level bombing attack developed, followed by another one at 1330 hours and a final one at 1500 hours.

Force B arrived at Alexandria at 2000/29. HMS Orion only having 10 tons of fuel and two rounds of 6” HE remaining.

Feasibility of further evacuation considered, 29-30 May 1941.

This disastrous commencement of the evacuation placed the Commander-in-Chief in a most unpleasant predicament. Of the 4000 troops embarked in Force B, no less then 800 had been killed or captured (those on the Hereward) after leaving Crete. If this was to be the scale of the casualties, it appeared that quite apart from prospective naval losses of ships and men, who could be ill spared, our efforts to rescue the army from capture might only lead to destruction of a large portion of the troops.

Particular anxiety was feld for the transport HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) which was already at sea and was due to embark 3000 troops the next night (29-30 May).

It was only after long and anxious consideration, and consultation with the Admiralty, as well as with the military authorities, that the decision to continue the evacuation could be taken.

Once taken this decision was amply justified. The remainder of the evacuation proceeded almost without casualties to personnel. Fighter protection became steadily more effective, and the enemy less enterprising. His failure to interfere with the nightly embarkations at Sphakia was most surprising.

The original intention to send ships to Plaka Bay to take off the Retimo garrison was abandoned, as it was not known whether the troops had received the message ordering them to retire there. Moreover it was doubtful that they would be able to reach the coast, since they had no supplies. 1200 rations were dropped by air at Plaka, in case any should get there, but it was decided to send ships to Sphakia only.

From messages received from Crete during the night of 28-29 May, it was thought that the next night was going to be the last night of the evacuation but in the course of the day it became clear that the situation was not so desperate as it had appeared and the Commander-in-Chief decided to send four destroyers to embark men on the night of 30-31 May.

Evacuation from Sphakia, 2nd night, 29-30 May 1941.

Meanwhile Rear-Admiral King, wearing his flag in HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) had left Alexandria in the evening of the 28th with the light cruiser HMAS Perth, AA cruisers HMS Calcutta, HMS Coventry, transport HMS Glengyle, destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Janus and HMS Hasty (Force D). Detination was Sphakia and their passage was uneventful except for one attack by one Ju.88 which dropped a stick of bombs near HMAS Perth but no damage was caused.

The cruisers and the Glengyle anchored off Sphakia at 2330/29 and the destroyers closed in one at a time to embark their quota. The troops were ferried from the beach in the landing craft from Glengyle assisted by two assault craft carried in HMAS Perth. The beach was too small for ships boats to be used in addition.

By 0320/30 a total of 6000 men had been embarked and Force D sailed for Alexandria, leaving three motor landing craft behind for use on subsequent nights. During the passage there were three air attacks on the force which had been joined by the destroyers HMAS Stuart, HMS Defender and HMS Jaguar at 0645 hours.

In the fist of these attacks, at 0930 hours, HMAS Perth was hit and her foremost boiler room was put out of action. The second and third attacks achieved no result although bombs fell close to HMAS Perth and HMS Jaguar. Fighter cover was able to drive off quite a number of enemy aircraft.

Evacuation from Sphakia, 3rd night, 30-31 May 1941.

At 0915/30, Force C, consisting of the destroyers HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kelvin again left Alexandria for Sphakia. After a few hours Kandahar developed a mechanical defect and had to return to Alexandria.

At 1530 hours, three Ju.88’s carried out an unseen dive from astern. Bombs were dropped and HMS Kelvin was near missed. The result was that her speed had to be reduced to 20 knots and she too was detached to Alexandria.

Captain Arliss now continued on with only the two Australian destroyers and arrived at Sphakia at 0030/31. By 0300 hours, each destroyer had embarked over 700 troops, using the three motor landing craft that had been left behind the previous night, supplemented by the ships boats.

On the return passage to Alexandria the two Australian destroyers were attacked by 12 Ju.88’s between 0815 and 0915 hours. Both destroyers were damaged by near misses and HMAS Napier had her speed reduced to 23 knots. One Ju.88 was shot down while three others were seen to be hit.

Fighter cover was able to shoot down three Ju.88’s and one Cant 1007 during the day. The remainder of the passage was without incident and HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam arrived at Alexandria in the evening with a total of 1510 troop on board.

The final evacuation, Sphakia, 31 May – 1 June 1941.

A final evacuation of about 3000 men was required, which was more then previously was estimated. It was therefore decided to sent over one more Force to evacuate these men during the night of 31 May – 1 June.

So at 0600/31, Vice Admiral King departed Alexandria with the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Flag), fast minelayer HMS Abdiel, destroyers HMS Hotspur, HMS Jackal and HMS Kimberley to carry out this final evacuation (Force D).

That forenoon the Commander-in-Chief received a signal from Capt. Arliss, who was then on his way back from Sphakia, which indicated that there was then some 6500 men to come off Crete. Vice-Admiral King was then authorized to increase the total number he was allowed to embark to 3500 men. This was later changed to ‘fill up to maximum capacity’.

In the evening of the 31st the force was attacked three times by enemy aircraft. None of the bombs fell very close and one Ju.88 was believed to be damaged by AA fire. Many bombs were seen to be jettisoned on the horizon indicating several successful combats by our fighters.

Force D arrived at 2320/31. Three fully loaded landing craft, the ones left behind, immediately went alongside. The embarkation went so quickly that for a time the beach was empty of troops. This was unfortunate as it led to a last minute rush, which could not be dealt with in the time available and some troops had to be left behind. Some medical stores were landed and finally the three motor landing craft were destroyed or sunk.

The force departed at 0300/1 having embarked nearly 4000 troops and arrived at Alexandria at 1700 hours that day. The return passage was uneventful.

The loss off HMS Calcutta.

Yet one more loss was suffered by the Fleet. In order to provide additional protection for Force D the AA cruisers HMS Calcutta and HMS Coventry were sailed from Alexandria early on the 1st of June. When only about 100 nautical miles out, they were attacked by two Ju.88’s, who dived from the direction of the sun. HMS Coventry was narrowly missed by the first but two bombs from the second hit HMS Calcutta and she sank within a few minutes at 0920/1. HMS Coventry then picked up 23 officers and 232 ratings. She then immediately returned to Alexandria.

Conclusion.

Throughout the operations the Mediterranean Fleet had played a worthy part. Whilst the land fighting was in progress, sea-borne invasion had been prevented and reinforcements and stores for the Army had been maintained. When the evacuation was ordered, some 16500 British and Imperial troops were brought safely to Egypt and provisions and stores were landed for those who had to be left behind.

The Fleet had to pay a heavy price for its achievement. Losses and damage were sustained which would normally only occur during a major fleet action, in which the enemy fleet might be expected to suffer greater damage then our own. On this occasion, the enemy fleet was conspicuous by its absence, though it had many favourable opportunities for intervening, and the battle was fought out between ships and aircraft.

All forms of air attack were experienced by our ships but it were the dive bombing attacks that caused most of the losses and damage. Torpedo attacks for instance resulted in no ships being hit at all. When ships were inside the Aegean during 21/22 May air attacks were almost continuous. Aircraft appeared to land on nearby airfield, load up with new bombs, refuel and take off again.

During the evacuation the Royal Air Force gave what little protection was possible to the fleet and the presence of even a few fighter aircraft on the enemy was noticeable. It was regrettable that none had been made available to protect the Fleet during the earlier stages of the battle for Crete.

Warm thanks were expressed to the Navy by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army and Air Force for their efforts during the Battle for Crete. (32)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


The Kellys

Langtree, Christopher


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/2558
  2. ADM 173/15747
  3. ADM 173/15698
  4. ADM 187/4
  5. ADM 53/109202
  6. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  7. ADM 53/110206
  8. ADM 173/16642
  9. ADM 199/362
  10. ADM 53/113081
  11. ADM 53/112661
  12. ADM 187/6
  13. ADM 199/375
  14. ADM 53/112667
  15. ADM 199/376
  16. ADM 199/379
  17. ADM 199/372
  18. ADM 187/10
  19. ADM 173/16313
  20. ADM 173/17106
  21. ADM 53/114488
  22. ADM 199/655
  23. ADM 53/114985
  24. ADM 53/114986
  25. ADM 53/114251 + ADM 199/655
  26. ADM 53/114987
  27. ADM 199/656
  28. ADM 199/413
  29. ADM 199/413 + ADM 199/414
  30. ADM 199/414
  31. ADM 199/414 + ADM 199/656
  32. ADM 199/414 + 234/320

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


Return to the Allied Warships section



As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.