Allied Warships

HMS Calypso (D 61)

Light cruiser of the Caledon class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassCaledon 
PennantD 61 
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered8 Dec 1915 
Laid down7 Feb 1916 
Launched24 Jan 1917 
Commissioned21 Jun 1917 
Lost12 Jun 1940 
Loss position34° 03'N, 24° 05'E
History

HMS Calypso (Capt. Henry Aubrey Rowley, RN) was sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean, about 45 nautical miles south of Khania island, Greece in position 34°03'N, 24°05'E by 1 torpedo from the Italian submarine Bagnolini, Capitano Di Corvette Franco Tosoni-Pittoni.

On that night, HMS Calypso was executing a search for enemy ships out of Alexandria. At 0050 hrs, already on the route home with her sister ship Caledon and the destroyer Dainty, was attacked by the surfaced Italian submarine, lying in her "ambush position" some 50 nm southeast of Gavdo island.

HMS Calypso was hit about 0200 hrs on the port side, under "B" 6" gun mount, by the single torpedo fired by the submarine from 1,500 metres and sank at 0330 hrs with the loss of 1 officer and 39 men. The British destroyer HMS Dainty took off 418 of the ships company.

 

Commands listed for HMS Calypso (D 61)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Newton James Wallop William-Powlett, DSC, RN31 Jul 193913 Dec 1939
2Capt. Henry Aubrey Rowley, RN13 Dec 193912 Jun 1940

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

Notable events involving Calypso include:


The page for HMS Calypso was last updated in February 2022.

31 Aug 1939
Around 1800/31, the Home Fleet departed Scapa Flow to patrol between Scotland, Iceland and Norway for returning German merchant vessels.

Ships that participated in this patrol were; battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. E.N. Syfret, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN), HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) (from the 18th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (from the 12th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Diomede (Commodore E.B.C. Dicken, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) (from the 7th Cruiser Squadron. These ships were escorted by destroyers from the 8th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN).

To patrol off the Skagerrak was the battlecruiser squadron which was made up of the battlecruisers HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) which were escorted by destroyers from the 6th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN). These ships departed Scapa Flow around the same time.

Some of the ships had already been at sea for exercises.

The bulk of the Fleet returned to Scapa Flow in the morning of September 6th.

Most of the cruisers had acted independently to inspect shipping. HMS Caledon, HMS Calypso, HMS Cardiff and HMS Dunedin returned to Scapa Flow in the early morning of September 5th.

HMS Aurora and HMS Sheffield returned to Scapa Flow in the evening of September 5th.

HMS Belfast returned to Scapa Flow with the Fleet.

HMS Diomede, HMS Dragon, HMS Effingham and HMS Emerald returned to Scapa Flow in the morning of the 7th.

Most of the destroyer had to return to Scapa Flow once to refuel, HMS Somali and HMS Ashanti were at Scapa Flow between 0100/2 and 0400/2.

HMS Faulknor, HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake, HMS Fortune and HMS Foxhound were at Scapa Flow between 1000/3 and 1530/3.

HMS Bedouin, HMS Eskimo, HMS Punjabi and HMS Tartar were at Scapa Flow between 1100/3 and 1600/3.

HMS Fame was detached at 2359/3 to go to the aid of the torpedoed liner Athenia but she was not needed to pick up survivors and proceeded to the Clyde arriving in the moring of the 5th having carried out an A/S sweep en-route.

HMS Matabele was detached to Scapa Flow at 1130/5. Around 2030/5, she grounded near the boom and damaged her propellers.

HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fury and HMS Mashona did not refuel before they returned with the Fleet in the morning of the 6th. (1)

5 Sep 1939
Having arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol earlier in the day HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) proceeded from Scapa Flow to Kirkwall. (2)

6 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Kirkwall for the Northern Patrol. She was to patrol north of the Hebrides. (2)

10 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (2)

12 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She was to patrol south of the Faeroer Islands. (2)

19 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (2)

21 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. The practice torpedoes were lost during the exercises, they could not be found despite a thorough search. (2)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands. (2)

24 Sep 1939
In the mid afternoon, HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), intercepted the German merchant Minden (4165 GRT, built 1921) south of Iceland in position 62°00'N, 15°34'W. However before the ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew. The German crew is picked up by HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN) which had also arrived at the scene.

28 Sep 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (2)

4 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands. (3)

9 Oct 1939
The German passenger/cargo ship Cap Norte (13615 GRT, built 1922) is captured in approximate position 63°00'N, 10°00'W by the light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN).

Light cruiser HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) also arrived on the scene to assist.

The German ship was sent to Kirkwall with a prize crew. Later the light HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) arrived to escort her as did the armed boarding vessel HMS Northern Rover (Lt. (Retd.) M.H. Macpherson, RN). They arrived at Kirkwall on 12 October.

The Cap Norte was later renamed Empire Trooper and served as troopship.

11 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (3)

13 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol south of the Faeroer Islands. (3)

19 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Sullom Voe from the Northern Patrol. (3)

21 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands. (3)

28 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) returned to Sullom Voe from the Northern Patrol. (3)

31 Oct 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (3)

6 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) returned to Sullom Voe from the Northern Patrol. (4)

12 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol south of the Faeroer Islands. (4)

16 Nov 1939
Late in the morning, HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), intercepted to the Norwegian merchant vessel Siremalm (2468 GRT, built 1906). She is taken to the Orkneys for inspection. (4)

17 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Loch Ewe from the Northern Patrol. (4)

20 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands. (4)

22 Nov 1939
The German merchant vessel Konsul Hendrik Fisser (4458 GRT, built 1928) is captured between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands in approximate position 63°00'N, 12°00'W by HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN). The vessel could not be boarded due to the weather conditions but her crew did not scuttle the ship, probably also due to the weather conditions. She was eventually boarded the next day by which time also three trawlers from the Northern Patrol had arrived. The ship was then taken to Leith by a prize crew.

23 Nov 1939

Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi

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

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

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

The Admiralty also thought the ship sighted by Rawalpindi and Newcastle was the Deutschland that was trying to return to Germany. In response to the sighting and destruction of the Rawalpindi the Admiralty took immediate action;
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN) HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed the Clyde to patrol of Norway to cut off the way to Germany for the Deutschland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The destroyers HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Scapa Flow with orders to locate and shadow the German ships. HMS Tartar however had to return to Scapa Flow the next day due to a damaged rudder. The other two destroyers were ordered to join HMS Aurora which was to form a strike group of destroyers.

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

28 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Sullom Voe from the Northern Patrol. (4)

29 Nov 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) departed Sullom Voe for patrol in the Norwegian Sea to search for German surface warships. (4)

1 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) is ordered to leave patrol and proceed to Newcastle-on-Tyne for a short refit. (5)

2 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) arrived at Newcastle-on-Tyne. (5)

4 Dec 1939
Around noon, HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) completed de-ammunitioning at Newcastle-on-Tyne. She then commenced a short refit. (5)

6 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) is docked at the Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company at Newcastle-on-Tyne. (6)

18 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) is undocked. (6)

21 Dec 1939
With her short refit completed, HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Newcastle-on-Tyne for Plymouth.

HMS Calypso had been assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet as more modern cruisers from that station had been ordered to return to Home Waters. (6)

23 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (6)

24 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. (6)

27 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth. (6)

28 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. (6)

30 Dec 1939
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Malta from Gibraltar. (6)

6 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (7)

14 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Alexandria from patrol. (7)

15 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) is docked in the Gabbari Dock at Alexandria. (8)

18 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) is undocked. (8)

19 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Alexandria for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (8)

28 Jan 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Malta from patrol. (8)

1 Feb 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (9)

9 Feb 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) returned to Malta from patrol. (9)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (9)

23 Feb 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) returned to Malta from patrol. (9)

26 Feb 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Otranto Straits and off the west coast of Greece. (10)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Alexandria from patrol. (10)

11 Mar 1940
HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and HMS Capetown (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

HMS Capetown just returned from a patrol in the Aegean. (11)

12 Mar 1940
HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) and HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (12)

13 Mar 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and HMS Capetown (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (13)

14 Mar 1940
HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and HMS Capetown (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (11)

19 Mar 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Alexandria for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece. (14)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Alexandria from patrol. (14)

31 Mar 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Alexandria for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Aegean. (15)

8 Apr 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Malta from patrol. (16)

11 Apr 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol south of Calabria, Italy. (16)

14 Apr 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) returnend to Malta from patrol. (16)

15 Apr 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Otranto Straits. (16)

21 Apr 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) returned to Malta from patrol. She was then de-ammunitioned and taken in hand for a short refit the following day.

[She must have been docked during this refit but her log does not list this, just that she was undocked on May 13th.] (16)

13 May 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) is undocked. (17)

16 May 1940
The light cruiser HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the destroyer ORP Garland (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) A. Doroszkowski) departed Malta for Alexandria. (17)

18 May 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and ORP Garland (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) A. Doroszkowski) arrived at Alexandria from Malta. (17)

20 May 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Alexandria for contraband patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Patras and off the West coast of Greece. (17)

26 May 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Malta from patrol. (17)

28 May 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Malta for patrol. She first proceeded to the west coast of Greece and later proceeded eastwards via the south coast of Crete. (17)

4 Jun 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) arrived at Port Said from patrol. (18)

9 Jun 1940
HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) departed Port Said for patrol in the Kythera Channel. On 11 June she was ordered to join the Mediterranean Fleet which departed Alexandria on that day. (19)

11 Jun 1940

Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11 to 15 June 1940.

Around 0100B/11, Cruisers of the 7th Cruiser Squadron; (HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMS Gloucester (Capt. F.R. Garside, CBE, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) and HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, RAN) departed Alexandria.

Around 0230B/11, other ships of the Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria; battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, OBE, RN flying the flag of A/Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, KCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. Sir A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vampire (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN), HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN), HMS Hasty, (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN).

The destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) had already departed Malta on the 10th to join the Fleet at sea.

The Fleet was joined at 0845B/11, by HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) which had departed Port Said at 2355B/10. Around 1330B/11, HMS Calypso (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) also joined the fleet having departed Port Said on 9 June for patrol in the Kithera Channel. Also in the afternoon destroyer HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) joined coming from Alexandria.

In the evening, around 1845B/11, the destroyers HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, DSO, RN), HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN) and HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN) also joined. These destroyers (minus HMS Hereward) had been on an A/S hunt to the west of Alexandria during 10/11 June 1940. A little over an hour later the three Australian destroyers then left the Fleet for Alexandria where they arrived on the 12th.

Around 2015B/11, HMS Caledon, HMS Calypso and HMS Dainty split off from the fleet for a sweep to the south of Crete. During this sweep HMS Calypso was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Bagnolini around 0300B/12. She sank at 0334B/12. HMS Caledon and HMS Dainty then picked up the survivors and landed them on the 13th at Alexandria.

During the night of 11/12 June 1940, HMS Orion and HMAS Sydney made a sweep of Benghazi but had no contact with the enemy. At the same time HMS Gloucester and HMS Liverpool made a sweep of Tobruk. They shelled the harbour and coast defence ship San Giorgio inside it. Also they engaged three Italian auxiliary gunboats; Palmaiola, Riccardo Grazioli Lante and Giovanni Berta. The last one was sunk during the engagement.

All British ships returned to Alexandria on 14/15 June except for HMS Diamond which returned to Malta. [The date she arrived there is currently not known to us.] (20)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/393
  2. ADM 53/107937
  3. ADM 53/107938
  4. ADM 53/107939
  5. ADM 53/107940 + ADM 199/390
  6. ADM 53/107940
  7. ADM 53/111667
  8. ADM 1/10679 + ADM 53/111667
  9. ADM 53/111668
  10. ADM 53/111668 + ADM 53/111669
  11. ADM 53/111645 + ADM 53/111669 + ADM 53/111692
  12. ADM 53/111645 + ADM 53/111669
  13. ADM 53/111669 + ADM 53/111692
  14. ADM 53/111669
  15. ADM 53/111669 + ADM 53/111670
  16. ADM 53/111670
  17. ADM 53/111671
  18. ADM 199/2549
  19. ADM 187/8 + ADM 199/386 + ADM 199/2549
  20. ADM 199/386 + ADM 199/445

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


Return to the Allied Warships section