Allied Warships

Events on this day

25 November

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This page is our compilation of data from several different databases. All data shown here is dynamic, but is accurate according to the information we have right now. Although content is still being added daily, more than 75% of the launched and commissioned data is already in place, so this section is almost complete.

Quick links: War losses - General events

The Shipyard Report


Laid down (42)

1918: Royal Navy Destroyer Churchill (I 45) - US Navy Destroyer Dallas (DD 199) - US Navy Destroyer Herndon (i) (DD 198) - US Navy Destroyer Hogan (DMS 6) - Soviet Navy Destroyer Dejatelnyj

1937: Royal Navy Destroyer Jaguar (F 34)

1939: Royal Navy Corvette Auricula (K 12)

1941: Royal Navy MS Trawler Manitoulin (T 280) - Royal Navy Destroyer Termagent (R 89) - Royal Navy Destroyer Terpsichore (R 33) - US Navy Patrol craft PC-560 (PC-560) - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-665 (SC-665)

1942: Royal Canadian Navy Corvette Cobourg (K 333) - Royal Navy Rescue Tug Antic (W 141) - Royal Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-273 (LCI(L)-273) - Royal Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-274 (LCI(L)-274) - Royal Navy Tank landing ship LST 430 (LST 430) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-273 (LCI(L)-273) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-274 (LCI(L)-274) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-319 (LCI(L)-319) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 375 (LST 375) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 376 (LST 376) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 430 (LST 430) - US Navy Patrol craft PC-1133 (PC-1133) - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 191 - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 266 - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-1367 (SC-1367)

1943: Royal Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-391 (LCI(L)-391) - Royal Navy Landing Craft Tank LCT 1036 (LCT 1036) - Royal Navy Minesweeper Prompt (J 378) - US Navy Submarine Atule (403) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-391 (LCI(L)-391) - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 524

1944: US Navy Landing craft support LCS(L)-126 (LCS(L)-126) - US Navy Landing craft tank LCT 1382 (LCT 1382) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 363 (LSM 363) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 364 (LSM 364) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 365 (LSM 365) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 366 (LSM 366) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 428 (LSM 428) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 1044 (LST 1044) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 973 (LST 973)

Launched (33)

1916: French Navy Gunboat Marne - Royal Navy Light cruiser Caledon (D 53)

1917: US Navy Submarine O-6 (67)

1919: US Navy Destroyer Parrott (DD 218)

1927: French Navy Submarine Doris

1939: Royal Navy Boom defence vessel Barnstone (Z 37)

1941: Royal Navy Motor minesweeper MMS 90 (J 590) - US Navy Minesweeper YMS-21 (YMS-21) - Soviet Navy Motor minesweeper T 108

1942: Royal Navy Motor minesweeper MMS 284 (J 784) - Royal Navy Minesweeper Orestes (J 277) - US Navy Landing craft tank LCT 359 (LCT 359) - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-1009 (SC-1009) - US Navy Minesweeper YMS-265 (YMS-265)

1943: Royal Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-388 (LCI(L)-388) - Royal Navy Landing Craft Tank LCT 1071 (LCT 1071) - Royal Navy Minesweeper Rifleman (J 299) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-388 (LCI(L)-388)

1944: Royal Navy Minesweeper Nerissa (J 456) - US Navy High speed transport Burdo (APD 133) - US Navy Landing craft tank LCT 1401 (LCT 1401) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 123 (LSM 123) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 124 (LSM 124) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 125 (LSM 125) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 354 (LSM 354) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 420 (LSM 420) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 874 (LST 874) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 897 (LST 897) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 898 (LST 898) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 965 (LST 965) - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 680

1945: US Navy Destroyer Hamner (DD 718) - US Navy Submarine Spinax (489)

Commissioned (41)

1932: Royal Navy Destroyer Daring (H 16)

1936: French Navy Torpedo boat La Flore - US Navy Destroyer Cummings (DD 365)

1937: Polish Navy Destroyer Blyskawica (H 34)

1939: Royal Navy Armed Merchant Cruiser Corfu (F 86)

1940: Royal Canadian Navy Corvette Cobalt (K 124) - Royal Canadian Navy Corvette Orillia (K 119) - Royal Navy Anti-Aircraft ship Springbank (F 50)

1941: Royal New Zealand Navy MS Trawler Scarba (T 175) - Royal Navy Corvette Loosestrife (K 105) - Royal Navy Motor minesweeper MMS 46 (J 546) - Royal Navy MS Trawler Shiant (T 170)

1942: Royal Canadian Navy Minesweeper Transcona (J 271) - Royal Hellenic Navy Escort destroyer Miaoulis (L 91) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-220 (LCI(L)-220) - US Navy Landing craft tank LCT 359 (LCT 359) - US Navy Landing craft tank LCT 82 (LCT 82) - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-692 (SC-692) - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-696 (SC-696) - US Navy Minesweeper Skylark (AM 63) - Soviet Navy Submarine K-56

1943: Royal Navy Harbour Defence Motor Launch HDML 1388 (ML 1388) - Royal Navy Frigate Lawson (K 516) - Royal Navy Landing Craft Tank LCT 1022 (LCT 1022) - Royal Navy Minesweeper Postillion (J 296) - US Navy Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L)-505 (LCI(L)-505) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 284 (LST 284) - US Navy Patrol craft PC-1208 (PC-1208) - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 486 - US Navy Submarine chaser SC-1375 (SC-1375) - US Navy Destroyer Tingey (DD 539)

1944: US Navy Destroyer Hugh W. Hadley (DD 774) - US Navy High speed transport Knudson (APD 101) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 110 (LSM 110) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 333 (LSM 333) - US Navy Medium landing ship LSM 416 (LSM 416) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 836 (LST 836) - US Navy Tank landing ship LST 958 (LST 958) - US Navy Patrol craft PCS-1399 (PCS-1399) - US Navy Minesweeper Surfbird (AM 383) - US Navy Minesweeper Toucan (AM 387)

Legend:

Laid down means that the ship's construction was officially started by laying down the keel (often just a single steel beam but could also mean the first of many pre-fabricated sections).

Launched means that the ship was launched from its shipyard, it then began its fitting out period (installation of smaller systems, weapons etc.) - in many yards the ships were launched very complete and needed little work afterwards.

Commissioned is when the navy takes the ship officially over and gives command of it to its new captain.

War Losses on 25 November (7)


1940: Royal Navy MS Trawler Conquistador - Royal Navy MS Trawler Kennymore (FY 857) - Royal Navy Motor Launch ML 111 (ML 111)

1941: Royal Navy Battleship Barham (04)

1942: Royal Navy ASW Trawler Leyland (FY 103)

1944: Royal Canadian Navy Corvette Shawinigan (K 136) - US Navy Motor torpedo boat PT 363

More information on Allied Warships losses.


General Events on 25 November


1939

Royal Navy Light cruiser HMS Manchester: HMS Manchester (Capt. H.H. Bousfield, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. Before joining the Home Fleet she underwent a repair and refit period.

Royal Dutch Navy Light cruiser HNMS Tromp: HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.W. Termijtelen, RNN) departed Tandjung Pandan, Banka Island (Pulau Banka) for Batavia, Java.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Regulus (i): HMS Regulus (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Hong Kong.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Severn: HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN) departed Freetown for Dakar.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sealion: HMS Sealion (Lt.Cdr. B. Bryant, RN) arrived at Harwich.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Shark (i): HMS Shark (Lt. P.N. Buckley, RN) arrived at Harwich.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Salmon: HMS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.O. Bickford, RN) arrived at Harwich.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sunfish: HMS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Slaughter, RN) arrived at Harwich. She departed for her 2nd war patrol later the same day. She was ordered to patrol near Lister, Norway. For the daily positions of HMS Sunfish during this patrol see the map below.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS H 28: HMS H 28 (Lt. D.E. Mansfield, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Portland.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS H 32: HMS H 32 (Lt. R.F. Jenks, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with trawlers.

1940

Royal Navy Light cruiser HMS Manchester: HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) departed Gibraltar for ‘Operation Collar’. See separate event for 27 November 1940 for 'Operation Collar' and the resulting Battle of Cape Spartivento.

Royal Navy Light cruiser HMS Manchester: Operation Collar and the resulting Battle of Cape Spartivento Departure of the convoy from Gibraltar / passage through the Straits of Gibraltar and plan of the operation. During the night of 24/25 November 1940 the three merchants / troop transports, Clan Forbes (7529 GRT, built 1938), Clan Fraser (7529 GRT, built 1939) and New Zealand Star (10740 GRT, built 1935), passed the Straits of Gibraltar. To the eastward of Gibraltar they were joined by the four corvettes (HMS Peony (Lt.Cdr. (rtd.) M.B. Sherwood, DSO, RN), (HMS Salvia (Lt.Cdr. J.I. Miller, DSO, RD, RNR), HMS Gloxinia (Lt.Cdr. A.J.C. Pomeroy, RNVR) and HMS Hyacinth (T/Lt. F.C. Hopkins, RNR) that were part of Force ‘F’, which was the close support force of the convoy. The other ships of Force ‘F’ were the light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and HMS Southampton (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) and the destroyer HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H Layman, DSO, RN), which was in a damaged state and was to proceed to Malta for full repairs. These last three ships sailed at 0800/25. The cruisers had each about 700 RAF and other military personnel onboard that were to be transported to Alexandria. The cover force for this convoy, force ‘B’ also left Gibraltar at 0800/25. This force was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Sommerville, KCB, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and HMS Despatch (Capt. Cyril Eustace Douglas-Pennant, DSC, RN). They were escorted by destroyers from the 8th and 13th Destroyer Flotillas; HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN, Capt. D.8), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Duncan (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN, Capt. D.13), HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN), HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN). Force ‘F’ and the merchant ship New Zealand Star were to proceed to Alexandria except for HMS Hotspur which was to detach to Malta as mentioned earlier as well as the other two merchant ships. Force ‘B’ was to cover Force ‘F’ and the merchant ships during the passage of the Western AMediterranean. To the south of Sardinia these forces were to be joined around noon on 27 November 1940 by Force ‘D’ which came from the Eastern Mediterranean and was made up of the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Reid, RN), the heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN), the light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN) and the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, DSC, RN) and HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN). All forces were then to proceed towards the Sicilian narrows for a position between Sicily and Cape Bow which was to be reached at dusk. After dark Force ’F’, reinforced by HMS Coventry and the destroyers from Force ‘D’ were then to proceed through the narrows to the Eastern Mediterranean where they would be met the next day by ships of the Mediterranean Fleet. Force ‘B’ with HMS Ramillies, HMS Berwick and HMS Newcastle from Force ‘D’ were then to return to Gibraltar. Disposition of British forces at 0800 hours, 27 November 1940. At 0800/27, about half an hour before sunrise, the situation was as follows. Vice-Admiral Sommerville in HMS Renown, with HMS Ark Royal, HMS Sheffield and four destroyers were in position 37°48’N, 07°24’E (about 95 nautical miles south-west of Cape Spartivento, Sardinia) steering 083° at 16 knots. Some 25 nautical miles to the south-west of him, the Vice-Admiral 18th cruiser squadron in HMS Manchester, with HMS Southampton, HMS Despatch and five destroyers were in company with the convoy in position 37°37’N, 06°54’E. The four corvettes had been unable to keep up with the convoy and were about 10 nautical miles to the westward of it. The visibility was excellent, the wind south-easterly, force 3 to 4 and the sea was calm. At this time HMS Ark Royal flew off a section of fighters, one A/S patrol, one meteorological machine and seven reconnaissance aircraft. Vice-Admiral Sommerville continued on his easterly course to concentrate with Force ‘D’ which was approaching from the Skerki Bank. At 0900 hours he changed course to the south-west to join the convoy to provide additional AA defence for the convoy for expected air attacks from Sardinian aerodromes. Reconnaissance aircraft report enemy forces at sea. Shortly before the course change, at 0852/27 one of Ark Royal’s aicraft sighted a group of enemy warships about 25 nautical miles to the southward of Cape Spartivento and while closing to investigate at 0906 hours sent an alarm report of four cruisers and six destroyers, which, however was not received by any ship of the British forces. On sighting the convoy at 0920 hours, HMS Renown maneuvered to pass astern of it and take station to the southward and up sun, in the probable direction of any air attack. At 0956 hours, while still on the port quarter of the convoy, Vice-Admiral Sommerville received from HMS Ark Royal an aircraft report timed 0920/27, of five cruisers and five destroyers some 65 nautical miles to the north-eastward of him. Steam was at once ordered for full speed and screens of two destroyers each were arranged for both HMS Ark Royal and the merchant ships. Further reports from aircraft, confirmed by HMS Ark Royal, established by 1015/27 the presence of enemy battleships and cruisers and HMS Renown altered course to 075° to join HMS Ramillies increasing speed as rapidly as possible to 28 knots. Measures to safeguard the convoy and to join Force ‘D’. At 1035/27 the plot showed enemy forces to the north-east but their composition and relative position were still in doubt. In these circumstances Vice-Admiral Sommerville decided that the convoy should continue to its destination steering a south-easterly course (120°) in order to keep clear of any action which might develop. It was given an escort of two cruisers, HMS Despatch and HMS Coventry and the destroyers HMS Duncan and HMS Wishart. The remaining two cruisers and three destroyers of Force ‘F’ were ordered to join Force ‘B’ which steered to make contact with Force ‘D’ which was approaching from the east and then to attack the enemy together. HMS Ark Royal was ordered to prepare and fly off a torpedo bomber striking force. She was to act independently escorted by HMS Kelvin and HMS Jaguar and under cover from the battlefleet. At 1058/27 a Sunderland flying boat closed HMS Renown and reported Force ‘D’ bearing 070°, range 34 nautical miles. As the junction of the two forces seemed to be assured, the speed was reduced to 24 knots, in order to maintain a position between the convoy and the enemy force which estimated position was bearing 025°, range 50 nautical miles. The Sunderland flying boat was ordered to shadow and report its composition. The cruisers HMS Manchester, HMS Southampton and HMS Sheffield had meanwhile concentrated with the destroyers in the van, bearing 5 nautical miles from HMS Renown in the direction of the enemy. Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft of HMS Ark Royal contained a number of discrepancies which made it impossible to obtain a clear picture of the situation. Two groups of cruisers had been reported, as well as two battleships. It seemed certain that five or six cruisers were present, but the number of battleships remained in doubt. But whatever the composition of the enemy force in order to get the convoy through Vice-Admiral Sommerville wanted to attack as soon as possible. At 1115/27 the enemy was reported to be changing course to the eastward. All this time Force ‘D’ had been coming westwards and at 1128/27 they were sighted from HMS Renown bearing 073°, range about 24 nautical miles. The aircraft reports now indicated that the enemy force was made up of two battleships, six or more cruisers and a considerable number of destroyers. The action seemed likely to develop into a chase, and HMS Ramillies was therefore ordered to steer 045°, so as not to lose ground due to her slow speed. Vice-Admiral Holland was put in command of all the cruisers in the van and HMS Berwick and HMS Newcastle from Force ‘D’ were ordered to join him. It was shortly after this that HMS Ark Royal flew off her first torpedo bombers striking force. The approach on the enemy. At 1134 hours, Vice-Admiral Sommerville increased to 28 knots and at 1140 hours altered course to 050° to close the enemy. The position of the British forces was now as follows. Fine on the port bow of HMS Renown were HMS Manchester, HMS Southampton and HMS Sheffield in single line ahead. HMS Berwick and HMS Newcastle was coming from the eastward to join them. Two miles astern HMS Faulknor (Capt. D 8) was gradually collecting the other ships of his Flotilla and HMS Encounter some of which had been screening the convoy. The five destroyers of Force ‘D’ were proceeding westwards to join and were eventually stationed bearing 270°, 3 nautical miles from her. Ten nautical miles fine on the starboard bow of HMS Renown, HMS Ramillies was altering to a parallel course. HMS Ark Royal had dropped some distance astern. She was carrying out flying operations between the main force and the convoy, which was now about 22 nautical miles west-south-west of HMS Renown. At 1154 hours, the Sunderland aircraft returned and reported six cruisers and eight destroyers bearing 330°, range 30 nautical miles from HMS Renown. Her report unfortunately did not give course and speed of the enemy and she disappeared from sight before these could be obtained. It appeared now that one of the enemy forces was further to the west than previously thought and might be in a position to outflank the main force and attack HMS Ark Royal and the convoy. Course was therefore altered to the north in order to avoid getting to far to the eastward. Vice-Admiral Sommerville’s appreciation of the situation at noon, 27 November 1940. The prospects of bringing the enemy into action seemed favourable. The composition of the enemy force was still not definitely established but there did not appear to be more than two battleships with them. The British had effected their concentration of which the enemy seemed to be unaware, since no shadowing aircraft had been sighted or detected by RD/F. The speed of the enemy was reported as being 14 to 18 knots. The sun was immediately behind the British forces, giving them the advantage of light and if the nearest reported position of the enemy was correct there seemed every possibility of bringing off a simultaneous surface and torpedo bombers attack, providing that the enemy did not retire immediately at high speed. Vice-Admiral Sommerville’s intentions were; To drive off the enemy from any position from which he could attack the convoy and to except some risk to the convoy providing there was a reasonable prospect of sinking one or more of the enemy battleships. To achieve the second of them he considered that the speed of the enemy would have to be reduced to 20 knots or less by torpedo bombers attacks and that the enemy battleships could be attacked by HMS Renown and HMS Ramillies in concert. Contact with the enemy. At 1207/27, HMS Renown developed a hot bearing on one shaft which limited her speed to 27.5 knots. At the same time puffs of smoke were observed on the horizon bearing 006°, and the cruisers of the van sighted masts between 006° and 346°. At 1213 hours a signal came in from HMS Ark Royal reporting the composition of the enemy as two battleships, six cruisers accompanied by destroyers. The British cruisers in the van by this time had formed a line of bearing 075° to 255° in the sequence from west to east, HMS Sheffield, HMS Southampton, HMS Newcastle, HMS Manchester, HMS Berwick. The nine destroyers were stationed five miles bearing 040° from HMS Renown in order to be placed favourably to counter-attack any destroyers attempting a torpedo attack on HMS Renown or HMS Ramillies. The situation as seen by the cruisers immediately before the action commenced was as follows. Between the bearings of 340° to 350° three enemy cruisers and some destroyers were visible at a range of about 11 nautical miles. These were steering a northerly course. This force will be referred to as ‘the Western Group’. A second group of cruisers, also accompanied by destroyers, which will be referred to as the ‘Eastern Group’ bore between 003° and 013°. This group was further away and steering approximately 100°. The action At 1220/27 the enemy cruisers in the ‘Western Group’ opened fire, and the British advanced forces immediately replied. The enemy’s first salvo fell close to HMS Manchester. As soon as fire was opened by the British cruisers, the Italians made smoke and retired on courses varying between north-west and north-east. Behind their smoke screen they seemed to be making large and frequent alterations of course. At 1224 hours HMS Renown opened fire at the right hand ship in the ‘Western Group’ which was identified as a Zara-class heavy cruiser. Range was 26500 yards. After six salvoes, the target was lost in smoke. HMS Ramillies also fired two salvoes at maximum elevation to test the range but both fell short. She then dropped astern in the wake of HMS Renown and tried to follow at her best speed, 20.7 knots, throughout the action. Just before opening fire HMS Renown had sighted two ships which were not making smoke, bearing 020° at extreme visibility. These were thought at first to be the Italian battleships but later turned out to be cruisers of the ‘Eastern Group’. On losing her first target HMS Renown altered course to starboard to close these supposed battleships and to bring the cruisers of the ‘Western Group’ broader on the bow. She had hardly done so when the centre ship of the latter group appeared momentarily through the smoke and was given two salvoes. Again course was altered to open ‘A’ arcs on the left hand ship, at which eight salvoes were fired before she too disappeared in the smoke at 1245 hours. At this moment two large ships steering westward emerged from the smoke cloud but before fire was opened these ships were identified as French liners. The enemy by this time was on the run and had passed outside the range of our capital ships although at 1311 hours, HMS Renown fired two ranging salvoes at two ships of the ‘Eastern Group’ but both fell short. Meanwhile the British cruisers had been hotly engaged at ranges varying between 23000 and 16000 yards. Many straddles were obtained, but smoke rendered spotting and observation very difficult. HMS Manchester, HMS Sheffield and HMS Newcastle all opened fire on the right-hand ship of the ‘Western Group’. HMS Berwick engaged the left-hand ship of the same group and HMS Southampton engaged the left-hand ship of the ‘Eastern Group’. HMS Manchester and HMS Sheffield continued to fire at the same ship for about 20 minutes (until 1236 and 1240 hours respectively) but HMS Newcastle shifted target to the ship already engaged by HMS Berwick after 18 salvoes. HMS Southampton, after 5 salvoes shifted target to a destroyer which was seen to be hit. At least one other destroyer is believed to have been hit during this phase and two hits by a large caliber shell on a cruiser were observed by HMS Faulknor at 1227 and HMS Newcastle 1233 hours. The enemy’s fire was accurate during the initial stages but when fully engaged it deteriorated rapidly and the spread became ragged. Their rate of fire was described as extremely slow. The only casualties on the British side occurred in HMS Berwick when at 1222 hours she received a hit from an 8” shell which put ‘Y’ turret out of action. HMS Manchester was straddled several times but despite being under continuous fire from 1221 to 1300 hours escaped unscatched. Her passengers were quite excited about having been in a sea battle. At 1245 hours the cruisers altered course to 090° to prevent the enemy from working round ahead to attack the convoy. This brought the relative beating of the ‘Eastern Group’ to Red 40° and HMS Manchester once more engaged the left-hand ship. Five minutes later a further alteration of course to the southward was made to counter what appeared to be an attempt by the enemy to ‘cross the T’ of the cruisers. The enemy however at once resumed their north-easterly course and Vice-Admiral Holland led back to 070° at 1256 hours and 030° at 1258 hours. The rear ship of the enemy line was heavily on fire aft and she appeared to loose speed. But at 1259 hours picked up again and drew away with her consorts. At 1301 hours the masts of a fresh enemy unit steering to the south-west were seen at extreme visibility right ahead of HMS Manchester. It bore 045° and two minutes later two battleships were identified in it. Their presence was quickly corroborated by large splashes which commenced to fall near HMS Manchester and HMS Berwick and these ships were reported to Vice-Admiral Sommerville. The end on approach resulted in the range decreasing very rapidly and at 1305 hours Vice-Admiral Holland turned to cruisers to 120° with the dual purpose of working round the flank of the battleships and closing the gap to HMS Renown. The enemy battleships were not prepared to close and altered course to the north-eastward, presumably to join their 8” cruisers. Vice-Admiral Holland therefore altered course to 090° at 1308 hours and shortly afterwards to 050°. The enemy were by now rapidly running out of range and ten minutes later the action came to an end. First attack by the torpedo bombers from HMS Ark Royal Meanwhile a torpedo bomber striking force consisting of 11 Swordfish of no. 810 Squadron had been flown off from HMS Ark Royal at 1130 hours with orders to attack the Italian battleships. At 1216 hours they sighted two battleships and altered course as to approach them from the direction of the sun. The ships were identified as one Littorio-class and one Cavour-class. They were screened by seven destroyers. Enemy course was easterly at a speed of 18 knots. The leading battleship (Littorio-class) was selected as the target and all torpedoes were dropped inside the destroyer screen at ranges of 700 to 800 yards. One hit was observed abaft the after funnel and another explosion was seen just astern of the target. Yet another explosion was seen ahead of the Cavour-class. No other hits were seen. All aircraft returned safely to HMS Ark Royal. Vice-Admiral Sommerville’s Appreciation at 1315/27. At 1315/27 firing had practically ceased owning to the enemy drawing out of range. The heavy smoke made by the Italians during the chase had prevented accurate fire, and so far as was known, no serious damage was inflicted on them. The torpedo bomber striking force from HMS Ark Royal had attacked but no report had been received yet but it seemed evident that the speed of the enemy had not been materially reduced. The British forces were meanwhile rapidly closing the enemy coast. The main object of the whole operation was the safe passage of the convoy. The main enemy units had been driven off far enough that they could no longer interfere with it. It was also important to provide additional AA protection to the convoy against enemy air attack at dusk and in order to reach the convoy in time to do this course had to be set for it before 1400 hours so it was decided to break off the chase. The chase broken off and further attacks by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal. Around 1345/27, a damaged enemy cruiser was reported, Vice-Admiral Sommerville considered sending HMS Berwick and HMS Newcastle north to finish this ship off. As these two cruisers also needed a cover/support force this idea was quickly abandoned. HMS Ark Royal was ordered to attack this cruiser with aircraft. A second torpedo bomber squadron was about to take off and Skua dive bombers were also being armed. Capt. Holland of the Ark Royal intended to attack the battleships again with the torpedo bombers and sent out the dive bombers to attack the damaged cruiser. The torpedo bomber force of 9 Swordfish was flown off at 1415 hours. The Squadron Leader was given the enemy battleships as his objective, but with the full liberty to change it to his discretion, as he alone would be in a position to judge the possibility or otherwise achieving a successful attack. The aircraft sighted three cruisers escorted by four destroyers about 12 nautical miles off the south-east coast of Sardinia, steering to the eastward at high speed. Some 8 nautical miles ahead of these cruisers were the two battleships escorted by about ten destroyers. There was a total absence of cloud cover, and it was considered essential to attack from the direction of the sun, if any degree of surprise were to be achieved. As any attempt, however, to gain such a position with regard to the battleships would inevitably have led to the striking force being sighted by the cruisers it was decided to attack the latter. The attack was carried out at 1520/27 and was not sighted by the enemy until very late, only two salvoes being fired against the aircraft before the first torpedo was dropped. As the first aircraft reached the dropping position, the cruisers turned together to starboard causing several of the following Swordfish who had already committed to their drop to miss their targets. One hit was claimed on the rear cruiser and a possible one on the leading cruiser. Two Swordfish were hit by shrapnel from enemy AA fire but air aircraft returned safely to HMS Ark Royal. A striking force of 7 Skua’s had meanwhile been flown off at 1500 hours. They failed to locate the reported damaged cruiser but reported to have carried out an attack on three light cruisers steering north of the south-west corner of Sardinia. Two near misses may have caused some damage to the rear ship. On the way back to HMS Ark Royal they encountered and shot down an Italian RO 43 reconnaissance aircraft from the battleship Vittorio Venoto. Enemy air attacks on British Forces. While these British flying operations were taking place Vice-Admiral Sommerville had been steering to the southward in accordance with his decision to close the convoy. HMS Ark Royal had lost sight of HMS Renown to the north-eastward about 1250 hours, but since the receipt of the signal ordering the retirement of the British forces, Captain Holland had been making good a course of 090°, so far as his flying operations permitted, in order to rejoin the Flag. The first RD/F indications of the presence of enemy aircraft were received in HMS Renown at 1407 hours. Shortly afterwards bomb splashes were seen on the horizon when the Italian aircraft were attacked by Fulmars from the Ark Royal and several machines jettisoned their bombs. Ten enemy aircraft were then seen to be coming in and they eventually dropped their bombs well clear of the heavy ships but close to the screening destroyers. Two further attacks were made around 1645/27 when two groups of five aircraft each concentrated on HMS Ark Royal, which by that time was in company with the Fleet, but owning to flying operations, not actually in the line. Apart from a few bombs being jettisoned again as a result of the interception by the Fulmar fighters, the high level bombing performed from a height of 13000 feet was most accurate. Some 30 bombs fell near HMS Ark Royal, two at least within 10 yards, and she was completely obscured by splashes. About 1,5 minutes after this attack a stick of bombs dropped by four Caproni bombers, which had not been seen during the previous attack, missed HMS Ark Royal by a very narrow margin. HMS Ark Royal fortunately suffered no damage. The British ships sighted the convoy at 1700/27 and proceeded to join it for passage to the Sicilian narrows. The Battle of Cape Spartivento from the Italian side At noon on 26 November 1940 the Italian had received reports that British forces had left Gibraltar and Alexandria the day before. The Italians then went to sea from Naples and Messina in three forces; From Naples. Battleships Vittorio Veneto and Giulio Cesare, escorted by the 13th Destroyer Flotilla made up of the Granatiere, Fuciliere, Bersagliere and Alpino and the 7th Destroyer Flotilla made up of the Freccia, Saetta, Dardo. Heavy cruisers from the 1st Cruiser Division Pola, Fiume and Gorizia) escorted by the 9th Destroyer Flotilla made up of Vittorio Alfieri, Alfredo Oriani, Giosuè Carducci and Vincenzo Gioberti. From Messina. Heavy cruisers from the 3rd Cruiser Division Trieste, Trento and Bolzano and the 12th Destroyer Flotilla made up of the Lanciere, Ascari, Carabiniere and Libeccio. This last destroyer had temporarily replaced the Carabinieri. These forces were to intercept the British forces coming from Gibraltar. From Trapani, Sicily, torpedo-boats from the 10th Torpedo-boat Flotilla, Vega, Sagittario, Alcione and Sirio, were ordered to patrol in the Sicily narrows to scout for possible British forces proceeding westwards from the Eastern Meditarranean. Sirio actually made an unobserved torpedo attack shortly after midnight (during the night of 26/27 November) on a group of seven enemy warships (Force ‘D’). By 1015/27 the Italian forces were in the Sardinia-Sicily Channel. The only information available to the Italian Commander-in-Chief (Admiral Campioni in the Vittorio Veneto) up to that moment was that Force H had left Gibraltar westwards on the 25th and on the same day a force had also left Alexandria westwards. He assumed correctly that the force attacked by the torpedo-boat Sirio was en-route to rendez-vous with Force H. Then at 1015 hours he received an aircraft report (from an aircraft catapulted by the heavy cruiser Bolzano) that at 0945/27 it had sighted a group of enemy warships comprising one battleship, two light cruisers and four destroyers 20 nautical miles north of Cape de Fer. Enemy course was 090°. These were also seven warships, the same number as reported by torpedo-boat Sirio the night before but these were too far to the West to be the same ships. Then at 1144 hours he received another aircraft report (from an aircraft catapulted by the heavy cruiser Gorizia) that confirmed the position given at 1015 hours. It did not report the two cruisers however but by that time these had split from HMS Renown and had gone ahead. Acting on the report of the aircraft of the Bolzano the Italian Admiral turned to course 135° at 1128/27. Both divisions of cruisers also turned round. He then thought to be making for an encounter with HMS Renown and two cruisers supported by a few destroyers. The 1144/27 report from the aircraft of the Gorizia confirmed him in this belief. The Italian admiral was unaware of the fact that by that time Force ‘D’ had already joined with the other British forces. He was also unaware that HMS Ark Royal was present although he was aware of the fact that she had left Gibraltar westwards with the other ships two days before. The Italian admiral was very careful, after the attack on Taranto only two battleships were operational and he could not afford any further reduction in strength of the capital ships. He therefore decided that his forces were not to come in action but before he could sent out a signal regarding this his cruiser were already in action with the British. They were ordered to break off the action and retire at high speed. The Italians were then attacked by aircraft from the Ark Royal but despite the claim by the British for hits none were actually obtained. The Italians claimed to have shot down two aircraft but this also was not the case. At 1235/27, the destroyer Lanciere was hit by a 6” shell in the after engine room. This shell is thought to have been originated from HMS Southampton. She continued at 23 knots on her forward engines but at 1240 hours another shell struck her amidships on the port side, penetrating a petrol tank. Then a third shell struck her on the starboard side without exploding and without penetrating the hull. Around 1300 hours she came to a stop with no water in her boilers, and asked for a tow. Ater about one hour her boilers were relit (seawater being used to feed them) and her forward engines were restarted. At 1440 hours, the Ascari took her in tow and both made for Cagliari at 7 knots. The 3rd Cruiser Division was ordered to protect the retreat of these destroyers. A force of 10 bombers and 5 fighters had taken off at 1330 hours. These were driven off bt the Fulmars from HMS Ark Royal. Almost two hours later, at 1520 hours a second force of 20 bombers took off. It were these aircraft that attacked and almost hit HMS Ark Royal. Convoy operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the subsequent movements of the ‘Collar’ convoy. Before and during operation Collar there were also convoy movements in the Eastern Mediterranean going on. See the event for 23 November 1940, Convoy operations MW 4 and ME 4 for more info on these movements (to be added at a later date). After passing through the Sicilian narrows the Clan Forbes and Clan Fraser went to Malta escorted by HMS Hotspur and HMS Decoy. Both destroyers were to repair and refit at Malta. The New Zealand Star proceeded to Suda Bay escorted by HMS Defender and HMS Hereward and covered part of the way by HMS Manchester and HMS Southampton.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS O 21: During 25 and 26 November HrMs O 21 (Lt.Cdr. J.F. van Dulm, RNN) conducts exercises off Dundee.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Otus: HMS Otus (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Pandora: HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) departed Alexandria for her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte. For the daily positions of HMS Pandora during this patrol see the map below.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sealion: HMS Sealion (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) attacked a large enemy tanker with two torpedoes about 10 nautical miles west of the Utvaer lighthouse. This was possibly the German naval tanker Adria (6358 GRT, built 1927). 1103 hours - Sighted a vessel bearing 102°. Altered course to attack but while doing so the target was lost in the rain. 1107 hours - Sighted the target again. It was seen to be a big oiler. Turned again and one again lost the target in the rain but the target HE was clearly picked up. 1112 hours - In approximate position 61°01'N, 04°04'E fired two torpedoes from about 4000 yards but the target was still barely visible and a good setup could not be made. Both torpedoes missed.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Truant: HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. H.A.V. Haggard, RN) is docked at Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Talisman: HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacks a tanker escorted by three A/S trawler with six torpedoes about 10 nautical miles West of Ile de Groix. The results of this attack are unclear. 1415 hours - Sighted smoke to the North-West. 1425 hours - The mast and funnel of a tanker could be seen. The tanker was escorted by three A/S trawlers. Range was 11000 yards, enemy course was 090°. Started attack. 1501 hours - In position 47°37'N, 03°51'W fired six torpedoes from 6000 yards (tubes 1,2,3,4,7 and 8. Went deep upon firing. Eleven seconds after firing the first torpedo (from No.1 tube) a violent explosion occurred. This was the second time this happened (see the attack on 22 October 1940). Lt.Cdr. Francis considered it likely that there was a problem with No.1 torpedo tube. Some minor damage was inflicted as a result of this explosion. No. 9 and 10. external torpedoes, were damaged in this explosion as the front doors of both tubes were open at the time of the explosion. 1507 hours - Heard an explosion. 1510 hours - Heard two more explosions. 1525 hours - Came to periscope depth. Saw the tanker stopped. Only two A/S trawlers were seen instead of the three present before the attack. 1550 hours - The tanker was still stopped when last seen. She did not appear to be lower in the water.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Upholder: HMS Upholder (Lt. M.D. Wanklyn, RN) was docked at Portsmouth.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS H 28: HMS H 28 (Lt. M.R.G. Wingfield, RN) arrived at Rothesay where she joined the 7th Submarine Flotilla for training duties.

1941

Royal Navy Heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall: HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN) intercept the Vichy-French merchant Surcouf (1129 GRT) of the east coast of Somalia in position 07°17'N, 52°06'E and brought her to Aden. The Surcouf was en route to Djibouti with food.

Royal Dutch Navy Light cruiser HNMS Tromp: In the early morning hours, HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN), is ordered to proceed to Batavia for fuel and stores and then to proceed into the Indian Ocean along the route to Fremantle, Australia to search for the missing Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney. She departed Batavia later the same day for the Indian Ocean.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS O 24: HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. O. de Booy, RNN) was undocked.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS O 9: HrMs O 9 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Leyland (Lt. G.M. Dixon, RANVR) and HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. R.H.W. Atkins, RN).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Severn: HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS St. Wistan (Lt. H.P. Carse, DSC, RN) and HMS Arran (T/Lt. J.E.B. Healy, RNVR).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Seawolf: HMS Seawolf (Lt. R.P. Raikes, RN) ended her 22th war patrol at Polyarnoe.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Thunderbolt: HMS Thunderbolt (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Crouch, DSO, RN) sank the German schooner L VII (300 GRT) with gunfire off Kythera, Greece in position 36°09'N, 23°09'E. (All times are zone -2) 1150 hours - In position 36°09'N, 23°09'E sighted a schooner of about 300 tons proceeding on the engine through the Kithera Channel on a course of 200°. 1210 hours - Surfaced and engaged the schooner with gunfire from 1400 yards. The schooner also opened fire with a small gun mounted forward. Thunderbolt's first round missed but the second hit the schooner aft starting a fire and silenced the schooners gun. More rounds were fired resulting in more hits. When the schooner was well on fire Thunderbolt dived. The schooner must have been carrying oil or petrol as there was plenty of black smoke and very often a burst of flame, as if a barrel had burst. 1347 hours - There was a terrific sheet of flame and nothing more was seen of the schooner. The L VII was the former Greek Aghios Nikolaos and was part of a group of five caiques on their way to Suda Bay from Piraeus but had lagged behind due to engine defects. She was manned by a German crew and had 130 Cretans aboard. Only 3 Germans and 3 Greeks were saved. The ship itself drifted on fire and went aground on the east coast of Kythera.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Thrasher: HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.S. Mackenzie, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Attilio Deffenu (3510 GRT, built 1929) about 20 nautical miles east of Brindisi, Puglia, Italy in position 40°37'N, 18°27'E. (All times are zone -2) 0643 hours - Dived in position 40°28'5"N, 18°31'5"E and proceeded north-west along the coast towards Brindisi 1551 hours - In position 40°32'5"N, 18°18'E sighted two ships bearing 155°. Turned towards and commenced attack. The convoy proved to be three ships in line ahead about 1/2 mile apart. The first ship was estimated at 6000 tons, the second at 4000 tons and the 3rd at 2000 tons. Decided to fire at the leading and 2nd ship 1653 hours - In position 40°31'5"N, 18°13'E fired four torpedoes at the leading ship and turned to fire at the second ship. Before a salvo could be fired at the second ship the first ship was hit by one torpedo resulting in that the convoy scattered immediately. Thrasher continued to close in the hope of getting a further shot 1704 hours - Fired one torpedo at the second ship which appeared to be stopped at a range of 1000 yards. The torpedo missed and the ship got under way 1708 hours - A cloud of smoke was seen coming towards from Brindisi and approaching fast. Thrasher went deep and retired to the seaward. When last seen the ship hit was down by the bows, listing to starboard and the crew had abandoned ship 1720 to 1800 hours - Intermittent depth charging while Thrasher continued to retire to the North-East reloading the torpedo tubes 1845 hours - Lost contact with the ship that was hunting 2105 hours - Heard two distant explosions 2113 hours - Surfaced in position 40°39'N, 18°25'E and decided to carry out the first of the two special operations (patrol report does not mention the nature of the special operations)

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Upholder: HMS Upholder (Lt.Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 21th war patrol (19th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol South of the Straits of Messina. For the daily and attack positions of HMS Upholder during this patrol see the map below. HMS Upholder 21th war patrol click here for bigger map

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Upright: HMS Upright (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSC, RN) ended her 20th war patrol (18th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She is almost immediately docked.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS H 28: HMS H 28 (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Campbeltown.

Soviet Navy Submarine USSR L-5: L-5 lays a minefield off Ak-Mechet, Crimea.

1942

Royal Dutch Navy Light cruiser HNMS Tromp: HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) arrived at Williamstown, Melbourne.

US Navy Submarine USS Barb: USS Barb (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Waterman) arrived at Rosneath, Scotland

US Navy Submarine USS Herring: USS Herring (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Johnson) ended her 1st war patrol at Roseneath, Scotland.

US Navy Submarine USS Kingfish: USS Kingfish (Lt.Cdr. V.L. Lawrence) departed from Midway for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Formosa.

US Navy Submarine USS Silversides: USS Silversides (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Burlingame) ended her 3rd war patrol at Brisbane, Australia.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sahib: HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She was swept into Malta by the British minesweeper HMS Rye (Lt. J.A. Pearson, DSC and Bar, RNR).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Shakespeare: HMS P 221 (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. She returned with defects to the main motors. These could not be repaired at Gibraltar and it was decided to send her back to the U.K.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Tigris: HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Colvin, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 16th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She is to perform an anti-U-boat patrol to the South-West of Sardinia.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Unbroken: In the early morning hours HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) bombarded a railway viaduct immediately north of Cape Suvero lighthouse. A southbound train was just crossing this viaduct. Unfortunately, the gun jammed after the second round. The shoot had to be abandoned and retired from the coast.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Unshaken: Late in the afternoon HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN) surfaced in the Gulf of Lyons in very heavy weather. P 54 then slid back to a depth of about 30 feet while the Commanding Officer and two lookouts were already on the bridge. They could not get below in time and were washed overboard. A search was made but they were not sighted again. The 1st Lt., S.Lt. Westmacott, (a substitution for the proper 1st Lt. who remained at Gibraltar due to being sick) then took over command. It was decided to return to Gibraltar.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Unsparing: HMS P 55 (Lt. A.D. Piper, DSC and 2 bars, RNR) departed Blyth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Valse (Lt. H.M. Collier, RNR) until 0800/27 when HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) took over the escort.

US Navy Submarine USS S-20: USS S-20 arrived at New London, Connecticut from the Portsmouth Navy Yard.

US Navy Submarine USS S-35: USS S-35 (Lt. H.S. Monroe) ended her 4th war patrol at Dutch Harbour.

US Navy Submarine USS R-10: USS R-10 (Lt.Cdr. B.E. Lewellen, USN or Lt.Cdr. E.D`H. Haskins, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-11: USS R-11 (Lt.Cdr. I.J. Galantin, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-13: USS R-13 (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Gallaher, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-14: USS R-14 (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-20: USS R-20 (Lt. E.T. Shepard, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Minesweeper USS YMS-26: Arrived at Casablanca, Morocco and cleared harbour mines during the liberation of north Africa.

1943

US Navy Battleship USS Iowa: USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) refuelled her escorting destroyers at sea.

Royal Dutch Navy Light cruiser HNMS Tromp: HrMs Tromp (Cdr. F. Stam, RNN) departed Sydney for Melbourne. For the daily positions during the period of 25 November 1943 to 6 December 1943, see the map below.

US Navy Submarine USS Searaven: While on her 9th war patrol USS Searaven (Lt.Cdr. M.H. Dry) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker Toa Maru (10050 GRT, offsite link) north of Ponape in position 08°22'N, 158°00'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Narwhal: USS Narwhal (Cdr. F.D. Latta) left Darwin for her 8th war patrol. She was to land stores and 11 Army operatives at Cabadaran, Mindanao.

US Navy Submarine USS Albacore: USS Albacore (Lt.Cdr. O.E. Hagberg) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Kenzan Maru (4704 GRT) north-east of Manus in position 00°46'N, 144°50'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Angler: USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS Pogy: USS Pogy (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Metcalf) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 4th war patrol. Once again she was ordered to patrol off the Palau's.

US Navy Submarine USS Apogon: USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) attacks a Japanese merchant vessel with 3 torpedoes about 30 nautical miles East-North-East of Truk in position 07°38'N, 152°39'E. A hit is claimed. (All times zone L, -11) 0407 hours - SJ Radar contact bearing 054°, range 20300 yards. From range and size of the pip concluded that this must be a large target. Commenced approach. 0430 hours - Picked up the sound of heavy screws and one set of light fast screws. Target was now bearing 044°, range 8500 yards, speed 9.5 knots. Course was between 250 and 300° and the target was zig zagging. 0435 hours - Sighted smoke and then the target. 0450 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes at the target, now seen to be a 2500 tons merchant vessel. Range was 1800 yards. 0452 hours - Saw one of the torpedoes hit about 40 feet inside the bow of the target. Saw a red glow followed by a large cloud of grey smoke. The target was seen to swing about 100° to starboard. The sound picked up high speed screws verified by radar at a range of 3000 yards. The escort had evidently been on the opposite side of the target. Turned away and made off at speed on all 4 engines. 0455 hours - Heard 6 explosions, most likely depth charges. 0506 hours - Target was now at 9000 yards bearing 310°. She was still smoking but another attack was not possible due to the proximity of Truk and approaching daylight.

US Navy Submarine USS Batfish: USS Batfish (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Merrill, USN) was docked at Pearl Harbour. She was undocked later the same day.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Rorqual: HMS Rorqual (Lt.Cdr. L.W. Napier, DSO, RN) arrived at Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sibyl: HMS Sibyl (Lt. E.J.D. Turner, DSO, DSC, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sickle: HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSO, DSC, RN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire near Milos island, Greece in position 37°22'N, 24°15'E. The two caiques were of Piraeus no. 795 and Samos no. 45 registries. (All times are zone -3) 0925 hours - Sighted two North bound caiques. They were two-masted and of about 50 tons each with sails fully rigged. 1001 hours - Surfaced at a range of about 900 yards and sank both by gunfire. 36 Rounds in all were fired for 16 hits. 1012 hours - Sighted a seaplane approaching from the West. Dived.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Templar: During 25 and 26 November 1943 HMS Templar (Lt. D.J. Beckley, DSO, RN) carries out her special operation (details to follow).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Uproar: HMS Uproar (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Unseen: HMS Unseen (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC and Bar, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (15th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Universal: HMS Universal (Lt. C. Gordon, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS H 28: HMS H 28 (Lt. J.W. Kelly, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Skomer (A/Skr.Lt. D.E.S. Mair, DSO, RNR) and HMS Bugloss (T/Lt. A.J. Anderson, RNVR).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS P 512: HMS P 512 (Lt. R.B. Foster, RN) had her 3" deck gun removed at the Bermuda Dockyard for overhaul.

US Navy Submarine USS R-2: USS R-2 (Lt. A.K. Tyree, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-4: USS R-4 (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-10: USS R-10 (Lt. G.F. Sharp, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-11: USS R-11 (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Parham, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-13: USS R-13 (Lt.Cdr. D.L. Mehlop, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-14: USS R-14 (Lt.Cdr. R. Holden, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

Soviet Navy Submarine USSR L-6: L-6 torpedoed and sank the small German tanker Wolga-Don (965 GRT) west of the Crimea in position 45°07'N, 32°08'E.

Soviet Navy Submarine USSR M-117: M-117 fires two torpedoes against a convoy of German barges. She possibly torpedoed and sank the German barge F 592 west of the Crimea in position 45°31'N, 31°30'E.

Polish Navy Submarine ORP Sokol: ORP Sokol (Kpt.mar J. Kolziolkowski) departed Beirut for Port Said where she was to dock.

Royal Navy Frigate HMS Blackwood: German U-boat U-600 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-east of the Azores, in position 40°31'N, 22°07'W, by depth charges from the British frigates HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), and HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR).

French Navy Submarine FR Amazone: Amazone conducted exercises off Bermuda.

1944

Royal Navy Frigate HMS Ascension: German U-boat U-482 was sunk in the North Atlantic west of the Shetlands, in position 60°18'N, 04°52'W, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Ascension (Cdr. W.J. Moore. DSC, RNR).

US Navy Destroyer USS Lindsey: USS Lindsey departed from San Francisco bound for Pearl Harbor.

US Navy Light fleet carrier USS Cabot: 2 kamikazes attacked vessel off the Philippine coast. 36 men killed, many wounded. Vessel remained in fighting condition.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS K XV: HrMs K XV (Lt.Cdr. Baron C.W.T. van Boetzelaer, RNN) arrived at Fremantle.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS O 15: HrMs O 15 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN), HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) and their escort HMS Castlenau (T/Skr. G. Wood, RNR) arrived at Dundee.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS Dolfijn: HrMs Dolfijn (Lt.Cdr. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) conducted exercises with A/S aircraft off Dundee.

Royal Dutch Navy Submarine HNMS Zeehond: HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN), HrMs O 15 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN) and their escort HMS Castlenau (T/Skr. G. Wood, RNR) arrived at Dundee.

US Navy Submarine USS Barb: USS Barb (Cdr. E.B. Fluckey) ended her 10th war patrol at Midway.

US Navy Submarine USS Bluegill: USS Bluegill (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Barr, Jr.) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

US Navy Submarine USS Cavalla: While on her 3rd war patrol USS Cavalla (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Kossler) torpedoed and sank the Japanese destroyer Shimotsuki (3700 tons, offsite link) west of Borneo in position 02°21'N, 107°20'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Haddo: USS Haddo (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Lynch, Jr.) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese escort vessel Shimushu (860 tons, offsite link) north-east of Mindoro, Philippines in position 14°00'N, 119°25'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Mingo: USS Mingo (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Madison) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Manila Maru (9486 GRT) about 90 nautical miles north-west of Miri, Sarawak in position 05°30'N, 113°24'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Paddle: USS Paddle (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Fitz-Patrick) departed from Fremantle for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

US Navy Submarine USS Baya: During the night of 25/26 November 1944, USS Baya (Cdr. A.H. Holtz, USN), made the northbound transit of Lombok Strait.

US Navy Submarine USS Caiman: USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Saipan.

US Navy Submarine USS Chub: USS Chub (Cdr. C.D. Rhymes, Jr., USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Key West, Florida.

US Navy Submarine USS Brill: USS Brill (Cdr. H.B. Dodge, USN) conducted exercises in Long Island Sound together with USS Bray (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Hetherington, 3rd, USNR).

US Navy Submarine USS Hammerhead: USS Hammerhead (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Martin) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

US Navy Submarine USS Hardhead: USS Hardhead (Cdr. F.A. Greenup) torpedoed and sank the Japanese corvette Kaibokan 38 (740 tons, offsite link) about 60 nautical miles west of Manila, Philippines in position 14°33'N, 119°51'E.

US Navy Submarine USS Pomfret: USS Pomfret (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Hess) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Shoho Maru (1358 GRT) in Luzon Strait in position 20°18'N, 121°34'E. It is claimed in some sources that in this attack Pomfret also sank patrol boat #38 (ed DD Yomogi). However, Shoho maru was not part of the convoy escorted by #38, therefore there is no basis for this claim. #38 was sunk in the 0125 hrs attack by USS Atule.

US Navy Submarine USS Atule: USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) attacked Japanese convoy MATA-34. At 0125 hours, firing at overlapping targets, torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Manju Maru (7266 GRT, built 1925) and the escorting patrol boat Patrol boat No.38 (935 tons, built 1922) south-east Sabtang Island, Luzon in position 20°12'N, 121°51'E. Of the passengers in Manju maru, over 700 were killed in the sinking. These ships were part of Japanese convoy MATA-34 consisting only of the above mentioned transport Manju Maru. She was escorted by the above mentioned Patrol boat no.38 as well as Patrol boat No.102 and submarine chaser Ch-33. They were en-route from Manila, Philippines to Takao, Formosa (all links are offsite links). (All times are zone -9) 24 November 1944 2334 hours - In position 19°58'N, 121°41'E. got a radar contact bearing 145°, range 24450 yards. Started approach and began tracking. Tracked the target on a steady course of 030°, speed 11 knots. Four targets were on the radar screen, three of them were the escorts. 25 November 1944 0050 hours - Battle stations torpedo. 0106 hours - Turned towards the target, range was 8000 yards. 0113 hours - The near escort was identified as a destroyer waited with firing the torpedoes until this destroyer overlapped with the transport. 0117 hours - In position 20°12'N, 121°51'E fired 6 torpedoes. Range to the escort was 1700 yards, to the transport 2800 yards. 0119/0122 hours - Obtained two hits on the destroyer and two on the transport. The destroyer exploded with a blast that shook Atule like a terrier shaking a rat. All that was left of her was oil burning on the water. The transport was dead in the water. Atule meanwhile started to clear the area. 0132 hours - The transport disappeared from the radar screen, range at that moment was 11000 yards. 0140 hours - Circled back to investigate, closed to 4500 yards but the transport was defenately gone. Cleared the area yet again.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Rover: HMS Rover (Lt. F.M. Piggott, RNR) conducted trials off Bombay.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Satyr: HMS Satyr (Lt. T.S. Weston, DSO, DSC, RN) shifted from Portland to Plymouth where she was to refit at the Devonport Dockyard.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sirdar: HMS Sirdar (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) departed Fremantle for her 7th war patrol (5th in the Far East and 2nd in the South-West Pacific area). She was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea and Makassar Strait. For the daily and attack positions of HMS Sirdar during this patrol see the map below. View HMS Sirdar 7th war patrol in a larger map

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Spiteful: HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) departed Darwin for her patrol area.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Statesman: HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) is ordered to perform air/sea rescue duties.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sturdy (ii): HMS Sturdy (Lt. W.St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) sank a coaster with gunfire off the South-East coast of Borneo. (All times are zone -8) 1655 hours - Sighted masts. The target was soon identified as a medium seized coaster of about 350 tons. Closed to attack. 1740 hours - Surfaced in position 03°58'S, 115°37'E on the targets Starboard quarter and opened fire with the 3" gun. 68 Rounds were fired for 40 hits. The vessel showed no signs of sinking or catching fire. 50 People had abandoned ship but about the same number, including women and children, were still on board. As this ship was of value to the enemy she had to be scuttled. Demolition charges were placed and four minutes later she exploded in position 03°55'S, 115°37'E. She was still burning an hour later but was clearly a total loss.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Sea Scout: HMS Sea Scout (Lt. J.W. Kelly, RN) departed Aden for Colombo.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Solent: HMS Solent (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She was made the passage North through the Miches together with HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) and HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. P.J.S. de Jong, RNN). They were escorted by escorted by HMS Sardonyx (A/Lt.Cdr. T.A. Easton, RNVR).

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Solent: For the daily positions of HMS Solent during this patrol see the map below. HMS Solent 1st war patrol click here for bigger map

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Taciturn: HMS Taciturn (Lt.Cdr. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Barrow. She returns to her builders yard for some repairs.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Untiring: HMS Untiring (Lt. R. Boyd, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Rothesay. She made the passage in convoy MKS 68/SL 177.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Upstart: HMS Upstart (Lt. P.C. Chapman, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Falmouth.

Royal Norwegian Navy Submarine HNoMS Ula: HNoMS Ula (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Sars) and HMS Venturer (Lt. J.S. Launders, DSC and Bar, RN) both departed Lerwick for Dundee. They were escorted by HMS Minna (T/Lt. P.W. Scott, RNR).

US Navy Submarine USS R-2: USS R-2 (Lt.Cdr. L.G. Bernard, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-4: USS R-4 (Lt. D.C. Peto, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-10: USS R-10 (Lt. R.D. McWenthy, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-11: USS R-11 (Lt.Cdr. M. Abrahams, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

US Navy Submarine USS R-13: USS R-13 departed Key West, Florida for Port Everglades, Florida.

US Navy Submarine USS R-13: USS R-13 (Lt. J.R. Edmands, USNR) departed Key West, Florida for Port Everglades, Florida.

US Navy Submarine USS R-14: USS R-14 (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Cunningham, Jr., USNR) conducted exercises off Key West.

Royal Navy Submarine HMS P 614: HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Kames Bay.

1945

Royal Navy Submarine HMS Talent (iii): HMS Talent (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Favell, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden. She departed from for Colombo later the same day.

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