Allied Warships

HMS Spartan (95)

Light cruiser of the Bellona class


HMS Spartan in August 1943

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassBellona 
Pennant95 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down21 Dec 1939 
Launched27 Aug 1942 
Commissioned10 Aug 1943 
Lost29 Jan 1944 
Loss position41° 26'N, 12° 41'E
History

HMS Spartan (Capt. Patrick Vivian McLaughlin, RN) was sunk by a glider bomb from a German aircraft off Anzio, western Italy in position 41º26'2"N, 12º41'2'E.  

Commands listed for HMS Spartan (95)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Patrick Vivian McLaughlin, RNMay 194329 Jan 1944

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Notable events involving Spartan include:


The page of HMS Spartan was last updated in June 2022.

12 Jul 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) is commissioned for trials at Barrow-in-Furness. (1)

26 Jul 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) proceeded from Barrow-in-Furness to Birkenhead where she was immediately docked in No.6 Dock at the Cammell Laird Shipyard. (1)

4 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) is undocked. (2)

7 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Birkenhead for Greenock. (2)

8 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Greenock. She had conducted full power and steering trials en-route while in the Clyde area. (2)

10 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted trials in the Clyde area on completion of which she was accepted for service from her builders. (2)

14 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Greenock for Scapa Flow. (2)

15 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Greenock. She now commenced a work-up period. (2)

19 Aug 1943
HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and HMS Danae (Capt. J.R.S. Haines, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (3)

20 Aug 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials at Scapa Flow. (2)

24 Aug 1943
HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) both conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (4)

27 Aug 1943
HMS Tantivy (Cdr. M.G. Rimington, DSO, RN) conducted attack exercises at/off Scapa Flow for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) off Scapa Flow with HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) which was out on exercises. (5)

28 Aug 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Hardy (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. J.C. Hibbard DSC, RCN) and USS Isherwood (Cdr. R.E. Gadrow, USN). (6)

31 Aug 1943
HMS Tantivy (Cdr. M.G. Rimington, DSO, RN) conducted attack exercises at/off Scapa Flow for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN). (7)

31 Aug 1943
HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN) conducted towing exercises with HMS Malaya (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN).

Later exercises were carried out with HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN). These included night exercises during the night of 31 August / 1 September. (8)

2 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (9)

4 Sep 1943
The battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. B.B. Schofield, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN), HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN), aircraft carrier USS Ranger (Capt. G. Rowe, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), USS Augusta (Capt. G. Hutchins, USN), USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN), light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki), HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN), HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, DSC, RCN), USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN), USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN), USS Isherwood (T/Cdr. R.E. Gadrow, USN), USS Bell (T/Cdr. L.C. Petross, USN) conducted large scale tactical exercises off Scapa Flow. (10)

6 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (9)

7 Sep 1943
In the morning HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with (most likely) HMS Seadog (Lt. C.R. Pelly, RN).

These were followed by gunnery exercises off Scapa flow.

in the early afternoon, HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN), conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow.

She then too, left Scapa Flow and then HMS London and HMS Spartan conducted rangefinding and inclination exercises. These included night exercises and both cruisers returned to Scapa Flow early the following day. (11)

14 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted gunnery and underway refuelling exercises at Scapa Flow during which HMS Spartan fuelled from the RFA tanker Blue Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941). (9)

15 Sep 1943
During 15/16 September 1943, HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.F.E. Palliser, CB, DSC, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (11)

17 Sep 1943

Convoy MKF 24.

This convoy departed Port Said on 17 September 1943.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Clan Campbell (British, 9545 GRT, built 1943), Eastern Prince (British, 10926 GRT, built 1929), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN) was also part of the convoy. She was en-route from the East Indies station to the U.K. to be decommissioned and be outfitted for her new role as troop transport.

The convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt.Cdr. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Rockwood (Lt. S.R. Le H. Lombard-Hobson, RN), RHS Kanaris and RHS Miaoulis.

At 0620C/18, the Eastern Prince was detached to Alexandria.

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 22 September 1943.

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On 28 September 1943 the convoy departed Algiers for the U.K.

It was now made up of the following (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Clan Campbell, Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Staffordshire, Strathmore, Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage was still part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Evenlode (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.L. Turner, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMS Spey (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

At 0700A/30, the Ruys and Volendam were detached.

At 0900A/30, the Empress of Australia and Monarch of Bermuda were detached.

At 0930A/30, the (troop) transports Empire Might (British, 9209 GRT, built 1942), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930) and Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937) joined coming from Gibraltar.

Also the following warships joined at the same time; escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. W.W.P. Shirley-Rollison, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), seaplane carrier HMS Albatross (A/Capt.(Retd.) S. Barry, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Lt. J.A. Holdsworth, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN).

At 1400A/30, the Volendam rejoined.

At 1500A/30, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) joined coming from Gibraltar.

At 1600A/30, the Ruys rejoined.

At 0420A/1, the Bergensfjord, Highland Princess and Volendam parted company to proceed to Freetown. They took HMS Wishart and HMS Witherington with them as escorts. Also the destroyer HMS Malcolm (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) joined them which had came from Casablanca.

At 1300A/1, the Athone Castle was detached to proceed independently to New York.

At 0640Z/4, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined the convoy escort.

At 0635Z/5, HMS Spartan parted company with the convoy.

At 0930Z/5, HMS Charybdis and HMS Albatross parted company to proceed to Plymouth where they arrived on 6 October.

On 7 October the convoy arrived in U.K waters. The bulk of the convoy proceeded either to Greenock or to Liverpool.

23 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (9)

24 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow. (9)

25 Sep 1943

Convoy MKS 25G.

This convoy departed Gibraltar for the U.K. on 25 September 1942.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arlesford (British, 2472 GRT, built 1922), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Benrinnes (British, 5410 GRT, built 1921), Bridgepool (British, 4845 GRT, built 1924), Bur (Swedish, 1956 GRT, built 1919), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), Clan MacBean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Clan MacNair (British, 6096 GRT, built 1921), Dimitrios Inglessis (Greek, 5275 GRT, built 1918), Elizabeth Massey (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Empire Pennant (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Empire Prince (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Empire Summer (British, 6949 GRT, built 1941), Empire Wolfe (British, 2888 GRT, built 1941), Flaminian (British, 2711 GRT, built 1917), Fort Chipewyan (British, 7136 GRT, built 1942), Fort McMurray (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Glenfinlas (British, 7479 GRT, built 1917), Inventor (British, 6210 GRT, built 1935), Kindat (British, 4358 GRT, built 1938), Lech (British, 1568 GRT, built 1934), Linge (Dutch, 2114 GRT, built 1928), Nailsea Moor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Nairung (British, 5414 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Strength (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), P.L.M. 13 (British, 3754 GRT, built 1921), Rajput (British, 5497 GRT, built 1925), Skeldergate (British, 4251 GRT, built 1930) and Trevorian (British, 4599 GRT, built 1920).

The rescue ship Copeland (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) was also with the convoy.

The RFA escort oiler Fortol (2629 GRT, built 1917) was also with convoy.

The monitor HMS Erebus (Cdr.(Retd.) H.W. D'Arcy-Evans, RN) also took passage in the convoy.

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN), HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN), HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR), sloop HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. I.M. Carrs, RN) and the corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR) and HMS Pennywort (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR).

On 26 September the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) departed Gibraltar and joined the convoy.

Around 2355A/1, HMS Redpole parted company with the convoy.

Around 1930A/2, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined. She parted company with the convoy around 1430A/3.

Around 2030A/3, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth.

Around 0800A/4, HMS Erebus parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth escorted by HMS Witch.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 8 October 1943.

26 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted a bombardment exercises in the Clyde area. (9)

28 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Greenock for Plymouth. (9)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Greenock. (9)

1 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Plymouth for an anti-blockade breaker patrol off the Bay of Biscay.

Later she was ordered to reinforce the escort of convoys MKS 25G and MKF 24.

[For more info on this convoys see the events ' Convoy MKS 25G' for 25 September 1943 and ' Convoy MKF 24 ' for 17 September 1943.]

[There is also a possibility that she was briefly with convoy UA 1 from the Clyde to the Azores but this will need further reseach to find out.] (12)

7 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) returned to Plymouth from patrol. (13)

17 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. She is to join the Mediterranean Fleet. (13)

23 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth. (13)

24 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. (13)

25 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Algiers from Gibraltar. (13)

27 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Algiers for Malta. (13)

28 Oct 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Malta from Algiers. (13)

2 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. She departed for Tunis later the same day. (14)

3 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Tunis where she embarked several high ranking Officers and their staffs to transport them to Naples.

She departed for Naples later the same day. (14)

4 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Naples from Tunis.

She departed for Bizerta later the same day. (14)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Bizerta from Naples. She departed for Malta later the same day. (15)

6 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Malta from Bizerta. (15)

7 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Malta for Taranto. (15)

8 Nov 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Taranto from Malta. (15)

10 Nov 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises in the Gulf of Taranto. (16)

17 Nov 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises in the Gulf of Taranto. (16)

18 Nov 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises in the Gulf of Taranto. (16)

24 Nov 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Orion (Capt. G.C.P. Menzies, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises in the Gulf of Taranto.

On completion of the exercises HMS Spartan returned to Taranto, Orion set course for Naples where she arrived the following day and HMS Mauritius set course for Malta where she also arrived the following day. (17)

2 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Taranto. (18)

5 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Taranto for Malta. (18)

6 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Malta from Taranto. (18)

14 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Malta for Taranto. (18)

15 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Taranto from Malta. (18)

16 Dec 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises off Taranto. (19)

17 Dec 1943

Combined Convoy MKF 27 / XIF 6.

This combined convoy sailed from Port Said on 17 December 1943.

On departure from Port Said the combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

They were escorted by the escort vessel HMS Antwerp (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Hulse, DSC, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN) and RHS Themistocles.

Two more (troop) transports sailed from Alexandria and joined the convoy, these were the; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Princess Kathleen (British, 5875 GRT, built 1925).

They were escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN) and RHS Miaoulis. These also joined the convoy.

On 17 December 1943, the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) departed Tobruk to join the convoy which they did the following day. They later split off with convoy the ships for Taranto (Convoy XIF 6).

The ships that were in convoy XIF 6 were the following; Aronda, Bergensfjord, Highland Princess, Indrapoera, Princess Kathleen, Ruys, Takliwa and Volendam.

Convoy XIF 6 arrived at Taranto on 21 December 1943.

Meanwhile the Orion and Strathmore had continued on to Augusta where they arrived on 20 December 1943 escorted by HMS Antwerp, HMS Tetcott, Exmoor, HMS Croome, RHS Miaoules and RHS Themistocles.

The Orion and Strathnmore remained at Augusta until 24 December 1943 when they departed for the U.K. They had been joined by the ships from convoy XIF 6A which had arrived on 23 December 1943 after having departed Taranto on 22 December 1943. The ships in convoy XIF 6A were the same ships that had been in convoy XIF 6 except for the Aronda which remained at Taranto. Also the escort had been the same.

On the convoys departure from Augusta it was escorted by ORP Slazak, ORP Krakowiak, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cleveland.

Around 1415A/25, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined off Bizerta.

Also on 25 December 1943, the escort destroyers HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) joined.

Off Algiers, on the 26/27th, the escort destroyers were relieved by the frigates HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Burges (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Byard (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Calder (Lt.Cdr. A.D. White, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN).

Also the (troop) transports Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) joined.

Off Oran on the 27th, more (troop) transports joined, these were the Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).

Off Gibraltar, HMS Spartan was detached which then entered harbour while the (troop) transport Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 4 January 1944.

22 Dec 1943
HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Orion (Capt. J.P. Gornall, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) conducted exercises in the Gulf of Taranto.

On completion of the exercises HMS Orion and HMS Spartan returned to Taranto while HMS Mauritius set course for Malta where she arrived the following day.

On completion of the exercises HMS Spartan returned to Taranto, Orion set course for Naples where she arrived the following day and HMS Mauritius set course for Malta where she also arrived the following day. (20)

24 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Taranto for Bizerta. (18)

25 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Bizerta from Taranto. She departed for Gibraltar later the same day. En-route she was to escort convoy MKF 27.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined Convoy MKF 27 / XIF 6 ' for 17 December 1943.] (18)

28 Dec 1943
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Bizerta and escort duty with convoy MKF 27.

On her arrival at Gibraltar Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, hoisted his flag on board HMS Spartan. (18)

3 Jan 1944
Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, struck his flag on board HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN). (21)

4 Jan 1944
Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, transferred his flag from HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) to HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN). (21)

5 Jan 1944
In the afternoon of the 5th, HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), departed Gibraltar for Algiers where they arrived in the morning of the 6th.

8 Jan 1944
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Naples. (22)

9 Jan 1944
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) arrived at Naples from Algiers. (22)

10 Jan 1944
At Naples, Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, transferred his flag from HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) to HMS Orion (Capt. J.P. Gornall, RN). (23)

18 Jan 1944
During the night of 18/19 January 1944, HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), conducted bombardments in the Terracina area. (24)

19 Jan 1944
The light cruisers HMS Orion (Capt. J.P. Gornall, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN) and HMS Faulknor (Capt. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), with air co-operation, conducted bombardments in support of the 10th Corps in the Garigliano River area. (24)

21 Jan 1944
A large amphibious force called ' Peter Force ' was to land north of Anzio on 22 January. To provide cover for this force the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. J.P. Gornall, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), AA ship HMS Ulster Queen (A/Capt. M.H.J. Bennett, RD, RNR), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN), escort destroyers HMS Beaufort (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and 6 minesweepers were deployed. Most of these ships, if not all, departed Naples on this day.

[Note; Further research is required in the future.]

24 Jan 1944
HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) returned to Naples from the Anzio area. (21)

27 Jan 1944
HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) departed Naples to return to the landing zone off Anzio for AA and fire support duties. (21)

28 Jan 1944
During the day the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN) provided fire support for the Army in ' P sector ' north of Anzio. (21)

29 Jan 1944
Around 1800A/29, during a heavy enemy air attack, HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) was hit aft by a German glider bomb to the east-south-east of Anzio in position 41°26'N, 12°41'E and she sank about one hour later.

32 Officers, including the Commanding Officer and 496 ratings were picked up by HMS Dido (Capt. J. Terry, RN) and HMS Delhi (Capt. G.R. Waymouth, RN) assisted by several smaller vessels. The survivors were then taken to Naples. (21)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/118565
  2. ADM 53/118566
  3. ADM 53/117184 + ADM 53/117305 + ADM 53/117841 + ADM 53/118566
  4. ADM 53/118367 + ADM 53/118566
  5. ADM 53/118566 + ADM 173/18198
  6. ADM 53/118566 + File 2.12.03.6398 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  7. ADM 53/118367 + ADM 53/118566 + ADM 173/18198
  8. ADM 53/117184 + ADM 53/117185
  9. ADM 53/118567
  10. ADM 199/766 + logbook of USS Augusta for Sep. 1943
  11. ADM 53/117842 + ADM 53/118567
  12. ADM 53/118568 + ADM 199/2279
  13. ADM 53/118568
  14. ADM 53/118569 + ADM 199/642
  15. ADM 53/118569
  16. ADM 53/117904 + ADM 53/118569
  17. ADM 53/117904 + ADM 53/118318 + ADM 53/118569
  18. ADM 53/118570
  19. ADM 53/117905 + ADM 53/118570
  20. ADM 53/117905 + ADM 53/118319 + ADM 53/118570
  21. ADM 199/1430
  22. ADM 199/2571
  23. ADM 199/2287
  24. ADM 199/2288

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


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