Robert Don Oliver DSC, RN

Born  17 Mar 1895Linton, Scotland
Died  6 Oct 1980(85)Kelso, Scotland


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Ranks

15 Sep 1912 Mid.
15 Sep 1914 A/S.Lt.
15 Mar 1915 S.Lt.
15 Oct 1916 Lt.
15 Apr 1924 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1929 Cdr.
31 Dec 1935 Capt.
2 Jan 1945 Rear-Admiral
26 Sep 1948 Vice-Admiral (retired)

Retired: 26 Sep 1948


Decorations

10 Apr 1918 DSC
11 Jun 1942 CBE
25 Aug 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1948 CB

Warship Commands listed for Robert Don Oliver, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Devonshire (39)Capt.Heavy cruiser13 Nov 194024 Nov 1942
HMS Swiftsure (08)Capt.Light cruiser22 Mar 19444 Feb 1945

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (39)


13 Nov 1940
Around 1300A/13, HMS Devonshire (Cdr. H.M.S. Mundy, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) arrived at Lagos from operations off Gabon. (1)

16 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Lagos for Freetown. (2)

18 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Freetown from Lagos. (2)

19 Nov 1940
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown for escort duty with convoy WS 4B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 4B ' for 18 November 1940.] (2)

29 Nov 1940
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) and HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN) arrived at Freetown escorting convoy WS 4B. (2)

12 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban with convoy WS 4B. (3)

16 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) and HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) departed Durban escorting convoy WS 4B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 4B ' for 18 November 1940.] (4)

20 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban from convoy escort duty. (3)

24 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Durban for Simonstown. (3)

26 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Simonstown from Durban. (3)

27 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (3)

28 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (3)

2 Jan 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Simonstown to patrol in the South Atlantic. (5)

7 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) made a short call at St. Helena to fuel. She departed again to make rendezvous with convoy WS 5A.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 5A and the attack by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper ' for 18 December 1940. ' (5)

21 Jan 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Simonstown from convoy escort duty. (5)

14 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) entered Gladstone dock, and then commenced de-ammunitioning. (6)

16 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) completed de-ammunitioning. (6)

24 Feb 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) is docked in No.7 Dock at Birkenhead and commenced refit by the Cammell Laird shipyard. (6)

28 Apr 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) is undocked. She continued her refit while moored in the basin. (7)

27 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Liverpool for Scapa Flow. (8)

28 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Liverpool. She now commenced a post refit work up period. (8)

29 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials at Scapa Flow. (8)

31 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN, hoisted his flag in HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN). (9)

1 Jun 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted gunnery and D/G trials at Scapa Flow. (10)

2 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the morning, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow.

In the afternoon aircraft launching and recovering exercises were carried out on completion of which HMS Devonshire departed Scapa Flow for gunnery and night encounter exercises. She returned early the following day. (10)

5 Jun 1941
During 5/6 June 1941, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), conducted exercises at and off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (10)

6 Jun 1941
During 6/7 June 1941, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (10)

11 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted exercises at and off Scapa Flow. (10)

13 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted exercises at and off Scapa Flow. (10)

17 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (10)

18 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (10)

26 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Scapa Flow. (10)

4 Jul 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted underway refuelling exercises at Scapa Flow with the RFA tanker War Diwan (5543 GRT, built 1919). These refuelling exercises were followed by gunnery exercises. (11)

5 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted aircraft launching and recovering exercises at Scapa Flow. These were followed by D/F calibration trials. (11)

9 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. On completion of these exercises course was set to proceed to Hvalfjord, Iceland. (12)

10 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from Scapa Flow. (12)

12 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) departed Hvalfjord for Akureyri. (12)

13 Jul 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) arrived at Akureyri from Hvalfjord. She departed for Scapa Flow later the same day. (12)

14 Jul 1941 (position 63.28, -7.55)
In the afternoon, in position 63°28'N, 07°55'W, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), encountered the Panamanian (Swiss owned) merchant vessel St. Cergue (4260 GRT, built 1937) which was en-route from Rotterdam to New York. A boarding party was put on board and the ship was ordered to proceed to Thorshavn, Faeroer Islands for inspection. (12)

15 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN) arrived Scapa Flow from Akureyri. (12)

5 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1830B/5, HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN) and HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from operation EF.

They departed Seidísfjord around 1500B/6 for Scapa Flow where they arrived around 2300B/7. (13)

26 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. (14)

27 Sep 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow. (14)

16 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to patrol to the south of that place and then join convoy WS 12 afterwards for escort duty with the convoy towards South Africa. She joined the convoy after dawn on the 20th. (15)

30 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Simonstown from convoy escort duty. (15)

1 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H.N.M. Hardy, DSO, RN) departed Simonstown for operation Bellringer.

[For more info on this operation see the event ' Operation Bellringer ' for 2 November 1941.] (16)

2 Nov 1941

Operation Bellringer.

Interception of a Vichy-French convoy off South Africa.

Around 1800B/1, a Vichy French convoy of 5 ships and one escort was sighted in position 36°04'S, 34°44'E by the South African minesweeping whaler HMSAS Southern Barrier (T/Lt.Cdr. R.L.V. Shannon, SDF).

The Vichy French convoy, en route from Madagascar to Dakar, was then intercepted in the afternoon of the 2nd in position 37°43'S, 30°16'E by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H.N.M. Hardy, DSO, RN) and HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) H.L.I. Kirkpatrick, OBE, RN). The convoy was made up of the merchant vessels Bangkok (8056 GRT, built 1919), Cap Padaran (8009 GRT, built 1922), Cap Touraine (8009 GRT, built 1924), Commandant Dorise (5529 GRT, built 1917) and Compiègne (9986 GRT, built 1923). They were escorted by the sloop D'Iberville.

Five more South African minesweeping whalers were also on the scene, these were the HMSAS Florida (T/Lt. J.V. Ingram, RNVR(SA)), HMSAS Nigel (T/Lt. W.D. de la Bat van Alphen, SDF), HMSAS Steenberg (T/Lt. S.B. Petzer, SDF), HMSAS Stellenberg (T/Lt. W. Taylor, SDF) and HMSAS Terje (T/Lt. H.G. Amor, SDF).

The Vichy French escort vessel refused to divert the convoy to South Africa so the merchant vessels were boarded the following morning. The Vichy French sloop then made off being unable against the more powerful British ships to prevent the seizure of the convoy.

The crew of the Bangkok set the ship on fire and then abandoned the ship. They were picked up by HMS Colombo and HMSAS Nigel.

The Cap Padaran was immobilised by her crew which sabotaged the ships engines. She was taken in tow by HMS Carthage which took her to Port Elizabeth with HMSAS Stellenberg. They arrived there on 7 November. HMS Carthage did not enter the port though, she went on to Durban arriving there on 8 November.

The Cap Touraine was escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMSAS Steenberg to Port Elizabeth where they arrived on 6 December. HMS Devonshire did not enter the port though, she went on to Durban arriving there on 7 November.

The Commandant Dorise was escorted to East London by HMS Carnarvon Castle and HMSAS Florida. The Compiègne was escorted by HMS Colombo and HMSAS Nigel also to East London where they arrived on 5 November and 6 November respectively. (17)

7 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban from operations. (18)

11 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Durban for Simonstown. (18)

12 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Simonstown from Durban. (18)

13 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Simonstown for patrol in the South Atlantic. The patrol was to end at Freetown. (18)

21 Nov 1941 (position -4.12, -18.42)
On the way home after 622 days of patrol, the German raider Atlantis (Capt. B. Rogge) made rendezvous with the U-boat U-126 to refuel her north of Ascension Island. During that operation, a lookout reported a warship that turned out to be the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) that arrived due to an intelligence report on the rendezvous (Ultra decrypt). The Atlantis was then sunk in position 04°12'S, 18°42'W. As the British suspected an enemy submarine to be present, Dorsetshire made off at high speed, not daring to pick up the survivors.

At 0520N/21, HMS Dorsetshire launched her Walrus aircraft for a reconnaissance and A/S patrol ahead of the ship. When the aircraft returned at 0710N/21 it reported that a merchant vessel had been sighted in position 04°20'S, 18°50'W. From the description given to him by the aircrew, Capt. Oliver suspected that this might well be an enemy raider that he had secretly been made aware of. He immediately altered course to close the suspicious ship at 25 knots.

At 0809N/21, in position 04°12'S, 18°42'W the masts of a ship were sighted bearing 160°. There was a moderate breeze from the south-east and a slight sea with a short slow swell. The visibility was 10 miles. HMS Devonshire at once turned to launch her aircraft which was done at 0820N/21. By this time Captain Oliver's suspicions were throughly aroused by the manoeuvres and appearance of the ship which closely resembled Raider No. 16, with the exception of movable fittings such as ventilators and samson posts. He therefore manoeuvred HMS Devonshire at 26 knots, and kept her at a range of between 12000 and 18000 yards from the unknown ship to frustrate possible torpedo attack.

Immediately after the Walrus aircraft had taken off, the stranger turned 32 points to starboard and made off in a south-easterly direction. At 0837N/21, HMS Devonshire fired two salvos spread to right and left, intended to provoke a return fire and establish the stranger's identity as a raider beyond doubt, or to induce her to abandon ship and avoid unnecessary bloodshed, especially as she probably had a number of Allied prisoners on board.

The stranger at once stopped and, turning round, transmitted by wireless at 0840N/21 the warship raider report; " RRR RRR RRR de Polyphemus 4°12'S, 18°35'W. 0940 G.M.T. ". It was noted that the R's were in groups of three and not of four and that no signal letters (secret call sign) were included. Captain Oliver could not ignore the possibility that the ship might be the genuine Polyphemus, which was a vessel of similar appearance with a counter stern. To remove all doubts a signal was sent to the Vice-Admiral commanding the South Atlantic Station asking if it was possible that this was the real Polyphemus.

While waiting for a reply the aircraft was asked what type of stern the ship had. The reply was a cruiser stern. At 0934A/21, a signal was received from the Vice-Admiral commanding the South Atlantic Station that the ship could not be the Polyphemus. One minute later HMS Devonshire opened fire from 17000 yards. Her fourth salvo hit and started a fire which, she reports, eventually spread to the enemy's magazine and blew her up. The enemy put up an efficient smoke screen, but made no attempt to return fire.

By 0939N/21, HMS Devonshire had fired 30 salvoes, and Captain Oliver checked fire and turned to the eastward to clear the enemy's smoke screen. He then tried indirect firing by RDF range, but gun blast put the RDF transmitter out of action. By 0943N/21 the enemy was again visibly and according to the aircraft was maintaining a steady 15 knots. HMS Devonshire therefore re-opened fire until 0956N/21 when the enemy was seen to be heavily on fire and down by the stern. Captain Oliver thought that she had consistently attempted to draw him to the south-eastward a d was determined to steam no further in that direction. At 1002N/21 there was a heavy explosion on the enemy ship which was followed by another one at 1014N/21 and at 1016N/21 the enemy vessel sank.

Captain Oliver's next anxiety was to recover his Walrus aircraft, which had a damaged propeller. It was picked up at 1038N/21, It reported that almost certainly an enemy submarine had been present. He was therefore unable to stop and rescue survivors without running a grave risk of being torpedoed. (19)

24 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (18)

28 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to patrol in the mid-Atlantic. (18)

14 Dec 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol. She had to return early due to defects. (20)

17 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted 4" HA gunnery exercises off Freetown. These were followed by D/F and D/G calibration trials. (20)

23 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 23/24 December 1941, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) and HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Freetown. These included night exercises. (20)

26 Dec 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to patrol in the mid-Atlantic. She is to make rendezvous with the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton (A/Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, RN) and HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN) which were also to patrol in the same general area.

They made rendezvous on the morning of the 29th and instructions for patrol were passed from HMS Devonshire to both auxiliary cruisers. (21)

2 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Pernambuco from patrol. (22)

3 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Pernambuco to resume her patrol. (22)

12 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (22)

15 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown for Norfolk, Virginia, USA where she was to refit. (22)

24 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at the Norfolk Navy Yard. (22)

31 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At the Norfolk Navy Yard, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN), is taken in hand for refit of her boilers and other defects. (22)

13 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) is docked in No.6 Dock at the Norfolk Navy Yard. (23)

27 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) is undocked. (23)

5 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted basin trials at the Norfolk Navy Yard. (24)

12 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted trials in Chesapeake Bay. (24)

13 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 13/14 March 1942, HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN), conducted trials in Hampton Roads. (24)

15 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises in Chesapeake Bay. (24)

16 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Norfolk Virginia for Charleston, South Carolina. (24)

17 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Charleston, South Carolina from Norfolk, Virginia. (24)

19 Mar 1942

Convoy AS 2.

This convoy departed Charleston, South Carolina, USA on 19 March 1942.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Agwileon (American, 6678 GRT, built 1907), Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929) and Mormactide (American, 7773 GRT, built 1941).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN), escort carrier HMS Archer (Cdr. J.I. Robertson, RN) and the destroyers USS Upshur (Lt.Cdr. W.K. Romoser, USN), USS Du Pont (T/Lt.Cdr. F.M. Adamson, USN) and USS Cole (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Dyer, USN).

Around 0800Q/20, the destroyer USS Du Pont was detached to return to Charlestown.

Around 1200Q/22, HMS Devonshire was detached to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands where she arrived later the same day.

The convoy arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico later the same day.

At 0900Q/23, the Agwileon departed San Juan for St. Thomas where she arrived later the same day to fuel. She was escorted by USS Cole.

Around 0630Q/24, the Brazil, Mormactide and HMS Archer departed San Juan. They were joined off the harbour entrance by USS Upshur who first had conducted an A/S sweep of the harbour prior to the departure of the convoy.

Around 1400Q/24, the Agwileon, HMS Devonshire and USS Cole joined the convoy coming from St. Thomas.

Around 0900P/25, the troopship Monterey (American, 148017 GRT, built 1932) and USS Du Pont joined the convoy. They had departed Charleston around 1900Q/21.

Around 0645P/26, USS Du Pont was detached from the convoy. She was to proceed to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Around 0400P/27, USS Upshur was detached from the convoy. She was to proceed to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Around 0600P/28, USS Cole was detached to proceed to Bermuda.

Around 1500N/1, the corvettes FFS Commandant Detroyant and HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RNR) joined.

Around 1400N/2, HMS Devonshire parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Freetown where she arrived around 0600Z/3.

The convoy arrived around 1430Z/3. (24)

4 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to patrol in the mid-Atlantic. She was recalled later the same day. (25)

5 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Freetown after having been recalled from patrol. (25)

7 Apr 1942

Convoy AS 2A.

This convoy departed Freetown on 7 April 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921), Monterey (American, 148017 GRT, built 1932) and Mormactide (American, 7773 GRT, built 1941).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Grove (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) and HMS Aldenham (Lt. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN).

Around 1800Z/9, the escort destroyers parted company with the convoy to fuel at St. Helena and then proceed to Capetown at best speed.

Around 1500B/17, the Largs Bay parted company with the convoy to continue on to Durban independently.

Around 1445B/18, the convoy arrived at Capetown escorted only by HMS Devonshire (26)

19 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Capetown for escort duty with convoy WS 17A.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 17A ' for 9 April 1942.] (25)

22 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban escorting convoy WS 17A. (25)

11 May 1942

Convoy WS 19.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 11 May 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Akaroa (British, 15130 GRT, built 1914), Athlone Castle (British, 25565 GRT, built 1936), Borinquen (American, 7114 GRT, built 1931), Clan MacArthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928), Lanarkshire (British, 9816 GRT, built 1940), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), USS Orizaba (American, 6937 GRT, built 1918), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920), Strarthaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Sussex (British, 13647 GRT, built 1937).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), HMS Castleton (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN).

Around 0400Z/14, HMS Keppel, HMS Volunteer and HMS Leamington parted company with the convoy in approximate position 46°00'N, 21°40'W.

Around 1600Z/14, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley parted company in approximate position 43°40'N, 22°40'W. They were to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Around 0100Z/15, the Akaroa was detached to proceed to Bermuda independently.

Around 2100Z/15, HMS St. Marys parted company in approximate position 37°25'N, 23°30'W.

Around 1600Z/16, HMS Castleton parted company in approximate position 33°08'N, 23°46'W.

Around 1800Z/17, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley rejoined in approximate position 27°43'N, 24°24'W.

Around 1030Z/19, the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) joined in approximate position 19°45'N, 20°40'W. She came from convoy SL 110.

Around 0845Z/20, the destroyers HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) joined, coming from Bathurst, in approximate position 15°27'N, 20°40'W.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 22 May 1942.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 26 May 1942.

It was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius, armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), destroyers HMS Boreas, HMS Velox, escort destroyers HMS Belvoir, HMS Hursley and the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN).

Around 1900Z/28, HMS Boreas and HMS Velox parted company in approximate position 01°07'S, 13°43'W. HMS Velox was to return to Freetown while HMS Boreas was to proceed to Takoradi taking the Highland Monarch from the convoy with her. The Highland Monarch was later to proceed to the River Plate area.

Around 0800Z/29, HMS Alcantara and HMS Milford parted company with the convoy so that the armed merchant cruiser could top off the sloop with fuel. They rejoined around 1630Z/29. HMS Alcantara then immediately left the convoy again in position 05°18'S, 10°38'W to proceed to St. Helena. HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley went with her so that they could fuel in the lee of St. Helena from HMS Alcantara

Around 2000Z/31, HMS Alcantara, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley rejoined the convoy in approximate position 15°48'S, 06°02'W

Around 1600A/1, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy in approximate position 18°05'S, 02°20'W. She was to patrol in the South Atlantic.

Around 1230B/5, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 32°25'S, 14°20'E.

Around 1700B/5, in approximate position 32°55'S, 14°59'E, HMS Shropshire parted company taking the Clan MacArthur, Moreton Bay, USS Orizaba, Ormonde, Pasteur and Strathaird with her to Durban where they arrived on 9 June. HMS Shropshire then turned back towards the Capetown area to make rendezvous with the Capetown section of the convoy and then escort it eastwards.

The remainder of the convoy proceeded to Capetown where it arrived on 6 June. HMS Mauritius then went on to Simonstown as did the A/S escorts later.

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On 11 June the Athlone Castle, Borinquen, Lankashire, Monarch of Bermuda, Mooltan, Strathnaver, Sussex departed Capetown to continue their voyage. With them was now also the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire (A/Capt. H.G. Hopper, RN).

Around 1200B/12, HMS Shropshire joined them in approximate position 37°10'S, 19°56'E.

Around 0900C/14, the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley joined.

Around 1100C/15, HMS Cheshire parted company with the convoy off Durban.

Around 1200C/15, the Durban section of the convoy joined. They were being escorted by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN). The Durban section was made up of the Clan Macarthur, Moreton Bay, USS Orizaba and Strathaird. With them were now also the Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Clan MacTavish (British, 7631 GRT, built 1921), Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922) and Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913).

Around 1100D/18, the light cruiser HMS Mauritius joined the convoy in approximate position 27°28'S, 43°05'E. HMS Shropshire then parted company.

Around 0900C/23, the Clan MacInnes, Clan MacTavish, Empire Trooper, Empire Woodlark and Moreton Bay parted company with the convoy in approximate position 13°51'S, 53°03'E to proceed to Diego Suarez where they arrived on 24 June. They were escorted by HMS Emerald, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley.

Around 2000E/26, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) joined coming from Kilindini/Mombasa. She relieved HMS Mauritius which then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini/Mombasa.

Around 1700E/26, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN) joined the convoy in in approximate position 05°26'N, 52°16'E, The Athlone Castle, USS Orizaba and Strathaird parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bombay where they arrived on 1 July. They were escorted by HMS Devonshire.

The remainder of the convoy proceeded towards Aden escorted by HMS Corfu. They arrived off Aden on 30 June. (27)

20 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Diego Suarez escorting the (troop) transports Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925) and Nairnbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925).

A/S escort was provided until 0020D/21 by the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC and Bar, RN).

The Mahout must also have parted company on 21 May as she arrived at Mombasa / Kilindini on 22 May.

At 0530D/24, the Nairnbank was detached as she could not keep up with the Franconia. The Nairnbank arrived at Bombay on 30 May.

The Franconia escorted by HMS Devonshire arrived at Bombay on 29 May. (28)

23 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy WS 19W.

This ' convoy ' departed the Clyde on 23 May 1942 with troops for the Middle East.

It was made up of only one ship, the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936).

On departure she was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR).

At 1330B/23, HMS Keppel fell back with steering engine defects.

At 1515B/23, HMS Sardonyx fell back as she was unable to keep up in the heavy seas.

At 1615B/23, HMS Cairo, HMS Beagle and HMS Douglas parted company.

The Queen Mary then proceeded unescorted to Freetown where she arrived on 30 May.

She departed Freetown on 31 May for Capetown where she arrived on 6 June.

She departed Capetown on 6 June for Suez. She was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) which joined coming from Simonstown.

Around 1100D/15, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) took over the escort from HMS Mauritius which then proceeded to Mauritius.

At 0400D/18, HMS Devonshire parted company with the Queen Mary.

HMS Queen Mary arrived at Suez on 22 June 1942.

31 May 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) departed Bombay for Kilindini / Mombasa. (28)

6 Jun 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa from Bombay.

She departed to patrol in the northern entrance of the Mozambique Channel later the same day. (29)

9 Jun 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Diego Suarez from patrol.

She departed again later the same day to patrol to the East of Madagascar. (29)

13 Jun 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Diego Suarez from patrol. She departed again later the same day to make rendezvous with convoy WS 19W coming from Capetown.

Rendezvous was effected on 15 June.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 19 W ' for 23 May 1942.] (29)

20 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa from escort duty. (29)

25 Jun 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Kilindini / Mombasa for exercises. On completion of these exercises course was set to make rendezvous with convoy WS 19.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 19 ' for 11 May 1942.] (29)

1 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Bombay escorting the Bombay section of convoy WS 19. (30)

4 Jul 1942

Convoy WS 19L.

This convoy departed Capetown on 4 July 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), Laconia (British, 19695 GRT, built 1922), Mexico (American, 5236 GRT, built 1932), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Santa Elena (American, 9135 GRT, built 1933), Santa Rose (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932) and Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938).

They were escorted by the AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) which had joined them off Capetown after having come from Simonstown herself.

Around 1300B/7, they were joined by the Durban section of the convoy. This was made up of the Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929) and Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930) which were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN). They had departed Durban shorly before. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck then proceeded to Durban to fuel and then rejoin the convoy which she did around 0800B/8.

Around 2359B/8, HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck parted company in approximate position 27°53'S, 47°25'E.

Around 0350D/11, the Laconia was detached as she was unable to keep up with the convoy. She was to join another (slower) convoy coming from South Africa.

Around 1600D/13, the Warwick Castle parted company with the convoy in approximate position 06°10'S, 47°03'E to proceed to Kilindini / Mombasa. She was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) which had come out from there for that purpose.

Around 1530D/14, HMS Mauritius parted company with the convoy which had been joined shortly before by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and the ship she had been escorting, the American USS Orizaba (American, 6937 GRT, built 1918).

The convoy arrived at Aden on 17 July. (27)

8 Jul 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Bombay escorting the US transport USS Orizaba (American, 6937 GRT, built 1918) to Aden.

En-route they were to join convoy WS 19L coming from Durban which they did on the 14th.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 19L for 4 July 1942.] (30)

17 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Aden with convoy WS 19L.

She departed for Kilindini/Mombasa later the same day. En-route she was to escort the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924). (30)

24 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Kilindini/Mombasa from Aden. (30)

2 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Kilindini/Mombasa for escort duty with convoy WS 20 which she joined on the 3rd.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 20 ' for 20 June 1942.] (31)

9 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Bombay escorting the Bombay section of convoy WS 20. (31)

10 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. (31)

12 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Colombo from Bombay. At Colombo she was to be taken in hand for a short refit. (31)

16 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) is docked at Colombo. (31)

23 Aug 1942

Convoys US 16 and US 17.

Convoy US 16.

Convoy US 16 departed Sydney on 23 August 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939).

The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. W.L.G. Adams, RN).

The transport Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926) joined the convoy PM on the 27th in position 18°40'S, 140°40'E.

The convoy was joined by the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) at 0845H/2.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 3 September 1942.

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Convoy US 17.

Convoy US 17 departed Sydney on 24 August 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Lilian Luckenbach (American, 6339 GRT, built 1919), Westernland (Dutch, 16479 GRT, built 1918).

The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. J.M. Armstrong, RAN).

At 1415K/28, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN) coming from Melbourne.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 4 September 1942.

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The now combined convoy US 16 / US 17 departed Fremantle on 7 September. It was now escorted by the light cruisers HMAS Adelaide, HrMs Tromp, armed merchant cruisers HMS Kanimbla, HMAS Manoora and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robison DSC, RAN).

Around 0700H/8, HMAS Voyager was detached to return to Fremantle.

Around 1000FG/11, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) joined the convoy coming from Colombo. HMAS Adelaide and HrMs Tromp then parted company to return to Fremantle.

Around 0930FG/14, the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) joined the convoy which was then split up. HMS Mauritius and HMS Kanimbla proceeded to Colombo with convoy US 16. HMS Devonshire proceeded to Durban with convoy US 17. HMAS Manoora returned to Fremantle.

Convoy US 16 was joined by the destroyer HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) around 0900FG/19. Later the same day HMS Scout developed rudder problems and had to be steered by her engines. She and HMS Kanimbla were then detached to proceed to Colombo in company while HMS Mauritius remained with the convoy. Both the convoy escorted by HMS Mauritius and HMS Scout in company with HMS Kanimbla arrived at Colombo on 23 September 1942.

Convoy US 16 departed Colombo for Aden on 24 September 1942 now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius, sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR) and the minelayer HrMs Willem van der Zaan (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Küller, RNN).

Around 2000F/26, HrMs Willem van der Zaan parted company with convoy US 16 to return to Colombo where she arrived on 29 September 1942.

Around 0800F/28, HMS Shoreham parted company with convoy US 16 to proceed to Bombay where she arrived on 1 October 1942.

Convoy US 16 arrived at Aden on 2 October 1942.

Convoy US 17 meanwhile had arrived at Durban on 23 September 1942.

24 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) is undocked. (31)

29 Aug 1942

Convoy WS 22.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 29 August 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Canara (British, 7024 GRT, built 1942), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Leinster (British, 4303 GRT, built 1937), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Nieuw Holland (British, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937) and Suffolk (British, 11145 GRT, built 1939).

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Beverley (Lt. R.A. Price, RN), HMS Chesterfield (Lt. J. Smallwood, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN).

Around 1800Z/31, ORP Blyskawica was detached to Londonderry due to abnormal high fuel consumption.

Around 0600Z/1, HMS Bulldog, HMS Keppel and HMS Zetland were detached to return to the U.K.

Around 1315Z/1, HMS Bicester was detached to Plymouth.

Around 1520Z/1, HMS Partridge and HMAS Quiberon were detached to fuel at the Azores. They arrived there around 1600Z/2.

Around 1540Z/2, the Leinster parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar. The destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) had come from Gibraltar to escort her.

Around 0930Z/3, HMS Partridge and HMAS Quiberon rejoined from fuelling having departed Ponta Delgada around 0200Z/3. HMS Beverley and HMS Chesterfield were then detached to fuel at the Azores.

Around 1400Z/6, the destroyer HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair) joined.

Around 1300Z/7, the escort destroyer RHS Pindos joined.

The convoy arrived at Freetown shortly after noon on 9 September 1942.

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The convoy departed Freetown in the same composition around 0700Z/13. One additional vessel had joined the convoy, this was the transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927). The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora, armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), destroyers HMAS Quiberon, HMS Partridge, HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope and the escort destroyers HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and RHS Pindos.

Around 1800Z/15, the Highland Princess was detached to Takoradi escorted by HMS Boreas. HMS Antelope was also detached to return to Freetown.

Around 1800A/16, HMS Alcantara, HMS Derwent and RHS Pindos were detached to Pointe Noire to fuel. They rejoined the convoy around 1800A/19 after which HMS Aurora, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Partidge parted company with the convoy to fuel at Pointe Noire. They did not rejoin the convoy.

Around 1015BC/24, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) joined the convoy coming from Simonstown.

Around 1200BC/24, the convoy split into the Capetown section and the Durban section.

The Capetown section was made up of the Almanzora, Andes, California, Canara, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nea Hellas, Nieuw Holland, Orduna and Ruys. The arrived at Capetown on 25 September escorted by HMS Alcantara, HMS Derwent and RHS Pindos.

The Durban section was made up of the Boissevain, Highland Brigade, Highland Chieftain, Mataroa, Orcades, Rangitata, Sibajak and Suffolk. They were escorted by HMS Shropshire.

The Durban section arrived at Durban on 29 September 1942.

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On 29 September 1942, the Capetown section, now made up of the following ships; Almanzora, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nieuw Holland and Orduna departed. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Alcantara and HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN).

On 3 October 1942, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy and entered Durban. The Durban section of the convoy then joined. It was now made up of the following ships; Boissevain, California, Canera, Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Rangitata and Ruys. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN).

Around 0600D/8, HMS Ranchi parted company with the convoy to fuel at Diego Suarez. She arrived there around 1730D/9. Having completed fuelling she departed again around 2330D/9 to rejoined the convoy which she did around 0600D/11.

Around 1130E/10, the 'heavy' cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Devonshire then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini / Mombasa taking the Almanzora and Rangitata with her. They arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa on the 12th.

Around 0710D/11, HMS Hawkins parted company taking the Bombay section of the convoy with her. The Bombay section was made up of the Boissevain, California, Canara, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Indrapoera, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nieuw Holland and Ruys. They arrived at Bombay on 17 October 1942 minus the Canera which had been detached around 1920EF/15 to Karachi where she arrived on 18 October 1942.

HMS Ranchi escorting the Aden section, made up of the Ekma, Felix Roussel and Orduna , had meanwhile arrived at Aden on 16 October 1942. (27)

1 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted D/G and D/F trials off Colombo.

She then conducted exercises off Colombo during the night of 1/2 September with the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR). (32)

4 Sep 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the combined convoy US 16 / US 17 en-route from Australia to Durban.

[For more info on this combined convoy see the event ' Convoys US 16 and US 17 ' for 23 August 1942.] (32)

23 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban with convoy US 17. (32)

3 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Durban for escort duty with convoy WS 22.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 22 ' for 29 August 1942.] (33)

12 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa from convoy escort duty. Before she entered harbour gunnery exercises were carried out. (33)

24 Oct 1942

Operation Demcat.

Around 2100Z/21, the merchant vessel Karagola (British, 7053 GRT, built 1917) reported having sighted a suspicious vessel of about 20000 tons in a rain squall in position 05°20'N, 63°05'E. She reported this sighting at 1300Z/22 and from the discription given it was thought possible that this may be a (Japanese) raider.

Therefore the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) and HMS Enterprise (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) were sent from Kilindini / Mombasa to patrol in a rectangular area lying between the Equator and Latitude 06°40'N and between meridians 59°10'E and 67°00'E.

On 27 October the cruisers were to patrol the south-west quarter in conjunction with two Catalina aircraft based at the Seychelles.

On 28 October the cruisers were to patrol the north-east quarter in conjunction with two Catalina aircraft based at Addu Atoll.

On 29 October the cruisers were to patrol the north-west quarter in conjunction with two Catalina aircraft based at the Seychelles.

On 30 October the cruisers were to patrol the south-west quarter in conjunction with two Catalina aircraft based at Addu Atoll.

The cruisers were to be spread 65 miles apart and were ordered to carry out a parallel track search, commencing at 0800 hours each day. The Catalinas commenced creeping line ahead search at dawn daily to prudent limit of endurance. Thereafter the cruisers were free to employ their own aircraft to assist in the search.

HMS Enterprise departed Kilindini/Mombasa around 0630C/24. She was first to call at Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel due to her limited range compared to the other two cruisers.

HMS Devonshire departed Kilindini / Mombasa around 1100C/24. HMS Mauritius departed around 1230C/24 and then joined HMS Devonshire.

HMS Enterprise arrived at Port Victoria around 0800E/26. She departed around 1200E/26 after having fuelled from the RFA tanker Olynthus (6888 GRT, built 1918).

Around 1800E/26, HMS Devonshire and HMS Mauritius parted company for the patrol (see above).

No suspecious vessel was encountered. At 0210Z/30 a patrolling Catalina reported in sighting a surfaced enemy submarine in position 01°36'N, 67°39'E. Upon sighting the aircraft the submarine submerged. The submarine in question must have been the Japanese I-27.

Following the patrol HMS Devonshire was able to return to Kilindini/Mombasa without refuelling. She arrived around 0900C/3.

HMS Mauritius first had to proceed to Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel where she arrived around 1000E/1. She departed again around 1830E/1. She arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa around 1730CD/4 after having first conducted exercises.

HMS Enterprise also had to call at Port Victoria to fuel. She arrived there around 1245D/1 and departed around 0900D/2. She arrived at Kilindini around 1130C/4. (34)

16 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Kilindini / Mombasa. She then set course to make rendezvous with the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939) coming from Suez.

Rendezvous was effected around 1030DE/20 east of Socotra. Course was then set to Colombo where they arrived on 23 November 1942. (35)


Light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (08)


2 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1100B/2, HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) is commissioned for trials at Newcastle on Tyne. (36)

7 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) proceeded from Newcastle on Tyne to North Shields. (36)

15 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted D/G trials off North Shields. (36)

16 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) proceeded from North Shields to Rosyth. (36)

18 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted trials in the Firth of Forth. (36)

22 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted trials in the Firth of Forth. On completion of these trials the ship was accepted from the shipyard. (36)

23 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) proceeded from Rosyth to Scapa Flow. (36)

29 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises at Scapa Flow. (36)

30 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. Also some divebombing attacks were made on her. (36)

3 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (36)

5 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (37)

6 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (37)

12 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. She also made several runs over the measured mile. (37)

14 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (37)

19 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (37)

20 Jul 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (37)

21 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at / off Scapa Flow. (37)

24 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (37)

28 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing and gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow.

Also an underway refuelling exercise was carried out with Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN). (37)

1 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (38)

2 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (38)

4 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. (38)

8 Aug 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN), Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN) and Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (38)

9 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 9/10 August 1944, HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (38)

11 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. (38)

12 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth from Scapa Flow. (38)

26 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Plymouth. (38)

28 Aug 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Rosyth. (38)

30 Aug 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Algiers. She was escorted until 2230B/30 by the destroyer ORP Blyscawica (Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski) which then returned to Plymouth.

HMS Swiftsure is to join the Eastern Fleet. (38)

2 Sep 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Algiers. She departed for Alexandria later the same day.

At 1850B/3, she is joined by the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) coming from Malta. (39)

5 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (39)

7 Sep 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

The deployment of HMS Swiftsure with the Eastern Fleet is cancelled. She is to return home for some modifications before she will form part of the new to be formed British Pacific Fleet. (39)

9 Sep 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta from Alexandria. (39)

10 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) departed Malta for Naples. (39)

11 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Rylands, RN) arrived at Naples from Malta. (39)

12 Sep 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Naples for Gibraltar. (39)

14 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Naples. She departed for Plymouth later the same day. (39)

16 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Gibraltar. (39)

17 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Scapa Flow. (39)

18 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Plymouth. (39)

19 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Operation Divan.

This operation had three objectives;
1) To create a diversion during the passage of convoy JW 60 to Northern Russia.
2) Mining the Leads at Finnenarennen and Gibostad.
3) Harassing the Germans and destruction of military installations in the Tromso Area.

On 19 September 1944, the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, KCB, RN), light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Cassandra (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Cambrian (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Harrel, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, DSC, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. R.E.D. Ryder, VC, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Scapa Flow.

They arrived in the operations area but the weather was found unsuitable to carry out the operation so it had to be cancelled.

The Force returned to Scapa Flow on 24 September 1944. (40)

24 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Plymouth. (39)

26 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Scapa Flow. At Plymouth she was taken in hand at the Devonport Dockyard to prepare her for service with the British Pacific Fleet. (39)

16 Oct 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) is docked in No.9 Dock at the Devonport Dockyard. (41)

19 Oct 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) is undocked. (41)

23 Oct 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Plymouth. (41)

24 Oct 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted D/G trials and gunnery exercises off Plymouth. (41)

26 Oct 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the Far East. (41)

29 Oct 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth. She departed for Malta later the same day. (41)

31 Oct 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Malta from Gibraltar. (41)

2 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Malta. In the evening a night encounter exercise was carried out with HMS Brocklesby (Lt.Cdr. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN) and HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR). (42)

3 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Malta on completion of which she set course for Alexandria. (42)

5 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Alexandria from Malta. (42)

9 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Alexandria for Suez. (42)

10 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) passed the Suez Canal southbound and arrived at Suez. She departed for Aden later the same day. (42)

13 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Aden. (42)

14 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Aden for Colombo. (42)

18 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Colombo from Aden. (42)

27 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted D/G trials off Colombo. Also a night encounter exercise was carried out with HMS Teviot (Cdr.(Retd.) T. Taylor, DSC, RN) on completion of which HMS Swiftsure set course for Trincomalee. (42)

29 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from Colombo. (42)

1 Dec 1944
During 1/2 December 1944 the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CB, CVO, RN), light cruisers HMS Nigeria (Capt. H.A. King, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.D. Read, CB, RN), HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMS Newcastle (Capt. J.G. Roper, OBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. During the exercises HMS Illustrious had a close escort made up of the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN). (43)

5 Dec 1944
The light cruisers HMS Nigeria (Capt. H.A. King, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.D. Read, CB, RN), HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. M.C. Morris, RN) and HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN) conducted underway refuelling exercises with the RFA tanker Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941).

On completion of this exercise HMS Swiftsure fired two practice torpedoes at the destroyer HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN). (44)

7 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted a bombardment exercise off Trincomalee.

On completion of this exercises more exercises were carried out together with HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, CBE, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN). These included night exercises. (45)

8 Dec 1944
The escort carrier HMS Atheling (A/Cdr. H.L. Oliver, RN) and the destroyer HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) departed Cochin to proceed to the Colombo area to make rendezvous with the light cruiser HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN), escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. H. Norman, RN) and the destroyer HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) which had departed Colombo on the 9th.

Also on the 9th the light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), escort carriers HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN), HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN) and HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) departed Trincomalee.

In the morning of 10 December 1944, these ships made rendezvous and course was set for Australia.

The destroyers parted company in the early evening of the 11th to return to Ceylon.

In the early evening of the 16th, the cruisers parted company with the carriers to proceed to Fremantle. (46)

18 Dec 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) arrived at Fremantle. (47)

20 Dec 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) departed Fremantle for Hobart. (47)

24 Dec 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) arrived at Hobart from Fremantle. (47)

27 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Hobart for Sydney. (48)

28 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Sydney from Hobart. (48)

13 Jan 1945
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) departed Sydney for Manus. (49)

19 Jan 1945
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) arrived at Manus from Sydney. (49)

25 Jan 1945
HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Manus for Ulithi. (50)

27 Jan 1945
HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Ulithi from Manus. (50)

30 Jan 1945
HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) departed Ulithi for Manus. (50)

1 Feb 1945
HMS Swiftsure (Rear-Admiral R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) arrived at Manus from Ulithi. (51)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/112013 + ADM 199/388
  2. ADM 53/112013
  3. ADM 53/112014
  4. ADM 53/112014 + ADM 53/113234
  5. ADM 53/114094
  6. ADM 53/114095
  7. ADM 53/114097
  8. ADM 53/114098
  9. ADM 53/114098 + ADM 199/409
  10. ADM 53/114099
  11. ADM 53/114100
  12. ADM 53/114100 + ADM 199/409
  13. ADM 53/114101 + ADM 53/115156
  14. ADM 53/114102
  15. ADM 53/114103
  16. ADM 53/113845 + ADM 53/114104
  17. ADM 53/113845 + ADM 53/113858 + ADM 53/113963 + ADM 53/114104 + ADM 199/395 + ADM 199/2233
  18. ADM 53/114104
  19. ADM 234/324
  20. ADM 53/114105
  21. ADM 53/114105 + ADM 199/395
  22. ADM 53/115777
  23. ADM 53/115778
  24. ADM 53/115779
  25. ADM 53/115780
  26. ADM 53/115780 + ADM 199/647
  27. ADM 199/1211
  28. ADM 53/115781
  29. ADM 53/115782
  30. ADM 53/115783
  31. ADM 53/115784
  32. ADM 53/115785
  33. ADM 53/115786
  34. ADM 53/115786 + ADM 53/115787 + ADM 53/115893 + ADM 53/115894 + ADM 53/116243 + ADM 53/116244 + + ADM 199/426 + ADM 199/428 + ADM 199/2250
  35. ADM 53/115787
  36. ADM 53/120599
  37. ADM 53/120600
  38. ADM 53/120601
  39. ADM 53/120602
  40. ADM 53/119604 + ADM 53/120602 + ADM 199/1426 + ADM 199/1427
  41. ADM 53/120603
  42. ADM 53/120604
  43. ADM 53/118758 + ADM 53/119586 + ADM 53/120605
  44. ADM 53/120171 + ADM 53/120605
  45. ADM 53/118880 + ADM 53/120605
  46. ADM 53/118758 + ADM 53/118910 + ADM 53/118957 + ADM 53/119430 + ADM 53/120566 + ADM 53/120605
  47. ADM 53/118758 + ADM 53/120605
  48. ADM 53/120605
  49. ADM 53/121500 + ADM 53/122345
  50. ADM 53/122345
  51. ADM 53/122346

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


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