Sir Arthur Francis Eric Palliser DSC, RN

Born  20 Jul 1890Richmond, London, Surrey, England
Died  22 Feb 1956(65)Kensington, London, England


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Ranks

15 Jan 1907 Mid.
15 Mar 1910 S.Lt.
15 Mar 1911 Lt.
15 Mar 1919 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1924 Cdr.
30 Jun 1931 Capt.
8 Jul 1941 Rear-Admiral
7 Feb 1944 Vice-Admiral
16 May 1947 Admiral

Retired: 2 Sep 1948


Decorations

23 Mar 1917 DSC
2 Jun 1943 CB
1 Jan 1945 KCB

Warship Commands listed for Arthur Francis Eric Palliser, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Malaya (01)Capt.Battleship25 May 19406 May 1941

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Battleship HMS Malaya (01)


12 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) is docked in No.1 dock at Gibraltar. (1)

29 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) is undocked. (1)

31 Jan 1941

Operations Picket and Result.

Operations against the Lake Omodeo Dam in central Sardinia (Picket) and the bombardment of Genoa (Result).

31 January 1941.

'Force H' departed Gibraltar for these operations. It was diverted into four groups, these were;

Group 1 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), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN).

Group 2 was made up of the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN).

Group 3 was made up of the destroyers HMS Duncan (A/Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN).

And finally Group 4 was made up of the RFA tanker Orangeleaf (5927 GRT, built 1917) escorted by the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Arctic Ranger (Cdr.(Retd.) J.H. Young, RN) and HMS Haarlem (T/Lt. L.B. Merrick, RNR).

On leaving harbour HMS Ark Royal flew off one aircraft for A/S patrol. This patrol was maintained throughout the day.

At 1930/31, group 2 (six destroyers) were detached in position 36°25'N, 03°24'W and were ordered to proceed at economical speed to a position to the north of the Balearics where they were to rendez-vous with the remainder of the force (minus the tanker group) during the forenoon of 2 February.

1 February 1941.

At 0845/1, when in position 37°05'N, 00°32'E, groups 1 and 3 altered course to the north-east.

From 1130/1 onwards a section of fighters from HMS Ark Royal was maintained overhead until dusk.

At 1500/1 course was altered to 084°.

By 1810/1 all aircraft had returned to HMS Ark Royal.

At 1900/1, HMS Malaya escorted by HMS Encounter and HMS Jupiter were detached and ordered to rendez-vous with the remainder of 'Force H' at 0900/2 in position 40°55'N, 06°30'E. This was to economize fuel in HMS Malaya to enable to her to retreat after the bombardment of Genoa at a higher speed.

At 1910/1, HMS Renown, HMS Ark Royal, HMS Sheffield, HMS Duncan and HMS Isis, altered course to 062° and increased speed to 24 knots to arrive in the flying off position for Operation Picket.

2 February 1941.

At 0555/2, eight Swordfish were flown off from HMS Ark Royal in position 40°07'N, 06°54'E. They were armed with torpedoes to attack the dam.

At 0730/2, two more Swordfish were flown off to locate HMS Malaya and her two escorting destroyers and direct her to a rendez-vous position of 40°34'N, 06°38'E at 1000/2.

The first of seven Swordfish that returned from the raid on the dam landed on at 0830/2. The last aircraft landed on at 0848/2. One Swordfish failed to return.

The two Swordfish that had located HMS Malaya returned at 0900/2.

The striking force had encountered rain and hail showers over the land and severe icing conditions in a cloud level of 5000 feet. Ground defences were unduly alart and after the first five miles over the land, fire was encountered from Bofors and light automatic guns apparently posted along the roads leading to Tirso. throughout the final approach fire was heavy, becoming intense in the vicinity of the dam.

One aircaft becoming lost in the cloud, never located the target and finally returned to HMS Ark Royal with his torpedo. The remaining seven aircraft made individual approaches and all except one came under heavy fire. As a result of intense opposition and icing conditions in the clouds, two aircraft jettisoned their torpedoes. Of the remaining five, one was shot down, one made a high drop, nose down, two dropped approximately correctly, and one was able to take good, steady aim. No explosions were observed. The last pilot, after his attack, flew over the dam at a height of 60 feet, machine gunning the defences. He observed no damage on the south face of the dam. It is thought that if the torpedoes failed to reach the dam their run may have been stopped by a bank of silt. Information was later received from an Italian broadcast that the crew of the Swordfish that had been shot down had been taken prisoner.

The wind was by now force 6, with a rising sea, and HMS Duncan reported damage to the gun shield of 'A' gun. Visibility was moderate but improving.

At 1005/2 course was altered to 290° and eight minutes later HMS Malaya and her two escorting destroyers were sighted.

By 1115/2 HMS Malaya, HMS Encounter and HMS Jupiter had rejoined. At noon HMS Ark Royal reported that flying conditions were becoming hazardous so the A/S patrol was abandoned. Only a section of Fulmar fighters were maintained in the air as conditions were unsuitable for Skua's. At times HMS Ark Royal was dipping her flight deck into the sea. Speed had also to be reduced to 15 knots as this was the maximum speed the destroyers could proceed without sustaining damage.

At 1530/2 HMS Malaya requisted permission to turn down wind to make repairs as her cable lockers were flooding beyond the capacity of the pumps. Course was altered and speed was reduced to 10 knots at 1540/2. The original course and 15 knots speed were resumed at 1635/2.

Four Swordfish aircraft, which had been flown off to locate the six detached destroyers reported them as bearing 285°, distance 40 nautical miles at 1615/2. Course was altered to 000° at 1730/2 to ensure contact was made before dark and one hour later the destroyers joined the screen.

The northwesterly gale which had persisted all day had prevented 'Force H' from making the nesecssary ground to the west and north. Throughout the day various destroyers had reported damage at a speed of 15 knots and by the time the rendezvous with the six detached destroyers had been effected, Vice-Admiral Somerville was left with the choice of abanadoning operastion Result or making good a speed of 20 knots thoughout the night. This latter would have been impossible with the destroyers in company and problematical without them. Consideration was given to only attack Genoa with aircraft from HMS Ark Royal but in the end it was decided to abandon the operation.

3 February 1941.

At 0400/3 course was altered to 210°. The wind was still force 6, with a short sea. HMS Fearless reported at 0530/3 tht she was beginning to bump badly and speed was reduced to 13 knots.

HMS Ark Royal flew off three Swordfish at 0745/3 to seach for shipping between Cape Tortosa and Alicante up to fifty miles from the coast. A similar search was carried out in the afternoon between Cape San Antonio and Cape Palos. It was the intention to detach destroyers to close and investigate all ships reported by the aircraft but the only ship located was already in the approaches to Valencia and therefore could not be intercepted in time before it reached that port.

During the forenoon exercises were carried out during which HMS Jersey was serving as 'target'.

Course was altered to south at 1335/3 and speed was increased to 18 knots. The wind had veered to north-north-west and was still force 6. The wind eased a little towards the end of the afternoon but then increased to force 8 by 1700/3.

At 1715/3, dive bombing exercises were carried out on the fleet by four Skua's. After the first attack one aircraft force-landed in the sea on the starboard beam of the Fleet close to the destroyer screen. The crew was picked up by HMS Jupiter. The aircraft then sank.

All flying was completed by 1815/3. After dark course was reversed for twenty minutes in preparation for a night encounter exercises with HMS Jersey and HMS Jupiter which had been detached from the screen at dusk. These two destroyers, attacking from leeward, were sighted at long range. Evasion, counter-attack, star-shell and searchlights were exercised and the practice was completed by 2038/3.

4 February 1941.

A speed of 17 knots was maintained during the night and at 0100/4 course was altered to the westward. The wind remained a steady force 6 from the north-north-west.

At 0630/4, HMS Ark Royal screened by three of the destroyers hauled out of the line and they proceeded independently for flying off Swordfish aircraft for a dawn light torpedo attack on the Fleet. This attack was well delivered.

At 0800/4 speed was increased to 18 knots and HMS Sheffield took station eleven miles on the starboard beam to act as a target for gunnery exercises by HMS Renown and HMS Malaya. On completion HMS Sheffield then carried out an exercise with the leading destroyer of the screen. Finally HMS Fearless and HMS Foresight then carried out an exercise on HMS Sheffield.

By noon the sea had moderated and the wind had dropped to force 5. During the afternoon destroyers of the screen carried out exercises.

The ships of 'Force H' entered harbour at Gibraltar between 1715 and 2000 hours. (2)

9 Feb 1941

Convoy WS 6A.

This convoy departed U.K. waters on 9 February 1941 and arrived at Freetown on 1 March 1941.

The convoy was formed at in position from three sections of troopships / transports coming from Avonmouth, Liverpool and the Clyde.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Bellerophon (British, 9019 GRT, built 1906), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Burdwan (British, 6069 GRT, built 1928), Cape Horn (British, 5643 GRT, built 1929), City of Athens (British, 6558 GRT, built 1923), City of Corinth (British, 5318 GRT, built 1918), City of Hankow (British, 7360 GRT, built 1915), City of Pittsburg (British, 7377 GRT, built 1922), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Dalesman (British, 6343 GRT, built 1940), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Kina II (British, 9823 GRT, built 1939), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Logician (British, 5993 GRT, built 1928), Masheer (British, 7911 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Opawa (British, 10354 GRT, built 1931), Port Alma (British, 8400 GRT, built 1928), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Ruahine (British, 10832 GRT, built 1909), Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was initially provided by the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN), Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP), HMS Keppel (?), HMS Broadwater (Lt.Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN) and HMS Cottesmore (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, RN).

Information on this convoy is difficult to find but it appears that most of the A/S escort parted company with the convoy in the early evening of 12 February (according to the logbook of HMS Birmingham) and then proceeded as follows; HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam to Scapa Flow passing north of Rockall, HMS Keppel, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cottesmore to Londonderry, HMCS Ottawa, HMS Restigouche, HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Skeena through area 52°N to 53°N, 23°W to 20°W and then to Greenock through position 55°N, 15°W, HMS Legion, HMS Broadwater, ORP Piorun and ORP Garland through position 57°N, 19°W and then to Greenock while passing north of Rockall. All groups were to conduct A/S sweeps on their way back.

Shortly before noon on the 15th the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) joined the convoy.

Shortly after Rodney joined HMS Phoebe parted company with the convoy to fuel at Gibraltar.

HMS Rodney remained with the convoy until 1700/16. She then set course to join convoy HX 108.

The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the convoy at 1000/17. They remained with the convoy until 1030/21 when they were relieved by HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN).

HMS Phoebe rejoined the convoy shortly before noon on 23 February 1941.

Shortly after noon on 25 February 1941 the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the convoy.

At 2030/25 the armed yacht HMS Surprise (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Stubbs, RN) also joined.

Around 0900/27 the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

On February 28th, HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown taking the destroyers HMS Faulknor and HMS Forester with her. Also on this day the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

Shortly before arrival at Freetown on 2 March 1941 the corvettes HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR) joined. (3)

17 Feb 1941
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar. She was to join convoy WS 6A that was on passage from the U.K. to Freetown. HMS Malaya was escorted out by the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN).

The destroyers parted company with HMS Malaya at 2050/18 and then returned to Gibraltar arriving the following day.

[For more info on convoy WS 6A see the event ' Convoy WS 6A ' for 8 February 1941.] (4)

1 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Freetown from escort duties. (5)

1 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 67.

This convoy departed Freetown on 1 March 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 26 March 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alphard (Dutch, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Anadyr (British, 5321 GRT, built 1930), Ashworth (British, 5227 GRT, built 1920), Banffshire (British, 6479 GRT, built 1912), Baron Belhaven (British, 6591 GRT, built 1925), Baron Cawdor (British, 3638 GRT, built 1935), Beaconstreet (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), Bolton Castle (British, 5203 GRT, built 1939), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Diligence (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), British Hope (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Integrity (British (tankr), 8412 GRT, built 1927), British Security (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), Celtic Monarch (British, 5824 GRT, built 1929), City of Cairo (British, 8034 GRT, built 1915), City of Dunkirk (British, 5861 GRT, built 1912), City of Kimberley (British, 6169 GRT, built 1925), City of Nagpur (British, 10146 GRT, built 1922), City of Rangoon (British, 6635 GRT, built 1914), Clan Macbean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Copeland (British (rescue vessel), 1526 GRT, built 1923), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Defender (British, 8258 GRT, built 1915), Dunkwa (British, 4752 GRT, built 1927), Friesland (Dutch, 2662 GRT, built 1930), Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Guido (British, 3921 GRT, built 1920), Harmodius (British, 5229 GRT, built 1919), Harpefjell (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1939), Helder (Dutch, 3629 GRT, built 1920), Henrik Ibsen (British, 4671 GRT, built 1906), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Inneroy (Norwegian (tanker), 8260 GRT, built 1936), King Edwin (British, 4536 GRT, built 1927), Lahore (British, 5304 GRT, built 1920), Llangollen (British, 5056 GRT, built 1928), Martaban (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Mendoza (British, 8233 GRT, built 1919), Nagina (British, 6551 GRT, built 1921), Nardana (British, 7974 GRT, built 1919), Nebraska (British, 8261 GRT, built 1920), Ogmore Castle (British, 2481 GRT, built 1919), Peisander (British, 6225 GRT, built 1925), Queen Anne (British, 4937 GRT, built 1937), Recorder (British, 2276 GRT, built 1902), Roxane (British (tanker), 7813 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Sire (British, 5664 GRT, built 1938), Solfonn (Norwegian (tanker), 9925 GRT, built 1939), Taxiarchis (Greek, 4221 GRT, built 1913), Tielbank (British, 5084 GRT, built 1937), Tunisia (British, 4337 GRT, built 1927), Turkistan (British, 6935 GRT, built 1939), Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918), Winsum (Dutch, 3224 GRT, built 1921) and Zamalek (British (rescue vessel), 1567 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN), corvette HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR), HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR) and HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR).

At 1700/3 the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

At 1800/4 the three A/S trawlers parted company with the convoy.

In the early morning hours of 8 March 1941 the convoy was attacked by the German submarines U-105 and U-124. Five ships of the convoy were sunk, these were the Harmodius, Hindpool, Lahore, Tielbank and Nardana.

At 1330/8 HMS Forester, which was well to the west of the convoy, briefly sighted the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau steaming towards the convoy. The German ships were also sighted around the same time by HMS Malaya's Swordfish aircraft. Following the report of the sighting HMS Malaya and HMS Faulknor left the convoy to join HMS Forester to put themselves between the convoy and the enemy.

At 1645/8 hours HMS Malaya and the Scharnhorst sighted each other and the German battlecruisers turned away being chased briefly by HMS Malaya and the destroyers. As Malaya's speed was much lower contact was soon lost and the battleship and the destroyers then returned to the convoy. At 1900 hours they rejoined the convoy

In the afteroon of March, 10th, the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the escort of the convoy. HMS Malaya then parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1730/11, HMS Asphodel parted company with the convoy with the tankers Beaconstreet and British Hope which she then escorted to Gibraltar.

At 1000/13, HMS Faulknor and HMS Foresight parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1000/19, HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) joined the convoy to take over the escort. At 1600/19, HMS Renown, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Cilicia parted company with the convoy.

On 21 March the escort of the convoy was reinforced with the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. W.T. Couchman, OBE, RN), HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Wolsey (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN), the corvettes HMS Arbutus (T/Lt. A.L.W. Warren, RNR), HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, RNR) and the catapult ship HMS Pegasus (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, RN). HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy in the afternoon.

HMS Havelock and HMS Verity parted company with the convoy on 24 March as did HMS Veteran on the 25th.

2 Mar 1941
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Freetown to overtake convoy SL 67 and join the escort.

[See the event ' Convoy SL 67 ' for 1 March 1941 for more information on this convoy.] (5)

13 Mar 1941
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from escort duty. (5)

13 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 68.

This convoy departed Freetown on 13 March 1941 bound for the U.K. but it was dispersed on 21 March 1941 due to the threat of German attack. The ships were ordered to proceed independently to either Halifax, Bermuda or Trinidad.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Alexandra (Greek, 4355 GRT, built 1913), Alphacca (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Alpherat (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Andalusian (British, 3082 GRT, built 1918), Baron Inchcape (British, 7005 GRT, built 1917), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Bendoran (British, 5567 GRT, built 1910), Benwyvis (British, 5920 GRT, built 1929), Bosworth (British, 6672 GRT, built 1919), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Brittany (British, 4772 GRT, built 1928), Cap des Palmes (French, 3082 GRT, built 1935), City of Dieppe (British, 7958 GRT, built 1929), Clan Macilwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Clan Macnab (British, 6076 GRT, built 1920), Clan Macwhirter (British, 5941 GRT, built 1918), Clan Ogilvy (British, 5802 GRT, built 1914), Cressdene (British, 4270 GRT, built 1936), Djambi (Dutch, 6984 GRT, built 1919), Dolius (British, 5507 GRT, built 1924), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Edward Blyden (British, 5003 GRT, built 1930), Eemland (Dutch, 4188 GRT, built 1906), Fernbank (Norwegian, 4333 GRT, built 1924), Glenshiel (British, 9415 GRT, built 1924), Gloucester Castle (British, 8006 GRT, built 1911), Henri Mory (British, 2564 GRT, built 1920), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Hoegh Scout (Norwegian (tanker), 9924 GRT, built 1939), Indochinois (British, 6966 GRT, built 1939), Jaarstroom (Dutch, 2480 GRT, built 1922), Jhelum (British, 4038 GRT, built 1936), King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Leighton (British, 7412 GRT, built 1921), Mandalika (Dutch, 7750 GRT, built 1930), Mary Kingsley (British, 5021 GRT, built 1930), Medjerda (Dutch, 4380 GRT, built 1924), Meerkerk (Dutch, 7995 GRT, built 1916), Moena (Dutch, 9286 GRT, built 1923), New Columbia (British, 6574 GRT, built 1920), Niceto de Larrinaga (British, 5591 GRT, built 1916), Nicolaou Zografia (Greek, 7050 GRT, built 1913), Oltenia (British (former Rumanian), 6394 GRT, built 1928), P.L.M. 27 (British, 5633 GRT, built 1922), Parkhaven (Dutch, 4803 GRT, built 1920), Port Auckland (British, 8789 GRT, built 1922), Port Sydney (British, 9129 GRT, built 1914), Prince Rupert City (British, 4749 GRT, built 1929), Riley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1936), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Saint Gobain (Swedish, 9959 GRT, built 1936), St. Merriel (British, 4980 GRT, built 1925), Sticklestad (Norwegian (tanker), 9349 GRT, built 1938), Strix (Norwegian (tanker), 6219 GRT, built 1930), Susan Maersk (British, 2355 GRT, built 1923), Tapanoeli (British, 7031 GRT, built 1924), Thyra (Swedish, 1796 GRT, built 1925) and Widestone (British, 3192 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton (A/Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, RN), corvettes HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR) and HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR).

On 15 March the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and destroyer HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Mauritius then parted company taking HMS Wishart with her.

In the evening of March 17th, the German submarine U-106 attacked the convoy. Two of the merchant vessels were sunk in the attack. These were the Andalusian and the Tapanoeli.

Also on the 17th (very late in the evening) the merchant vessels Clan Macnab and collided. The former sank on 18 March 1941 as a result of the collision. The Clan Macnab was heavily damaged but remained with the convoy until early in the afternoon of the 18th when she no longer could keep up. She was ordered to proceed to the Cape Verde Islands but she sank a few hours after having been detached from the convoy.

Early on the 18th another German submarine attacked the convoy, this was U-105 attacked the convoy. One merchant vessel was sunk in the attack. This was the Medjerda.

Shortly after midnight during the night of 18/19 March, U-105 attacked the convoy again sinking the merchant vessel Mandalika.

Very late in the evening of March 20th, U-106 attacked at convoy again and the merchant vessel Meerkerk was torpedoed and damaged as was HMS Malaya.

A few hours later U-105 made another attack run. Two merchant vessels were torpedoed and sunk during this run, these were the Benwyvis and the Clan Ogily.

Around 1800/21 it was decided that the convoy would be scattered and that the ships were to proceed independently to either Halifax, Bermuda or Trinidad. The damaged ocean escort, HMS Malaya set course for Trinidad being escorted by HMS Crocus until 2000/23.

14 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) departed Gibraltar to make rendez-vous with convoy SL 68 which is en-route from Freetown to the U.K.

[See the event ' Convoy SL 68 ' for 13 March 1941 for more information on this convoy.] (5)

20 Mar 1941 (position 20.02, -25.50)
At 23.23 hours on 20 March 1941, German U-boat U-106 attacked the shadow of a merchant ship with a spread of two stern torpedoes in bad light from the port side of the convoy SL-68 about 250 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands in position 20°02'N, 25°50'W. One torpedo hit and damaged the British battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) which was hit on the port side, causing considerable damage. Due to the flooding of some rooms the ship took a list of 7 degrees, but safely reached Trinidad. After temporary repairs were made, she continued to the New York Navy Yard, where the battleship was docked for 4 months. On 9 July, the ship left for the Clyde, arriving on 28 July.

29 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the morning, the damaged HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), arrived at Port of Spain, Trinidad. (5)

30 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Very late in the evening, the damaged HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), departed Port of Spain, Trinidad for New York, U.S.A. (5)

6 Apr 1941
In the morning, the damaged HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), arrived at New York, U.S.A. where she was to be repaired at the US Navy Yard (Brooklyn Navy Yard). (6)

12 Apr 1941
After de-ammunitioning the ship, HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), is docked in No.3 dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to commence repairs to the torpedo damage. (6)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114598
  2. ADM 199/656
  3. ADM 199/1136
  4. ADM 53/114599
  5. ADM 53/114600
  6. ADM 53/114601

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


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