Reginald Henry Portal DSC, RN

Born  6 Sep 1894Hungerford, West Berkshire, England
Died  18 Jun 1983(88)Yeovil, Somerset, England

Ranks

15 Jan 1912 Mid.
15 May 1914 A/S.Lt.
15 Nov 1914 S.Lt.
15 Feb 1916 Lt.
15 Feb 1924 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1926 Cdr.
30 Jun 1934 Capt.
1 Jan 1943 A/Rear Admiral
8 Jul 1943 Rear-Admiral
30 May 1947 Vice-Admiral
4 Oct 1950 Admiral

Retired: 1 May 1951


Decorations

31 May 1916 DSC
11 Mar 1941 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1946 CB
1 Jan 1949 KCB

Warship Commands listed for Reginald Henry Portal, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS York (90)Capt.Heavy cruiser10 Jul 193922 May 1941
HMS Royal Sovereign (05)Capt.Battleship26 Sep 19417 Aug 1942

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS York (90)


1 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax around 1500 hours.

Around 1930 hours, she made rendez-vous with HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN).

Both cruisers then proceeded on patrol together to the south of Nova Scotia. (1)

3 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1400 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) parted companywith HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN). (2)

4 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 2300 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax. (2)

5 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0530 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (2)

6 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1400 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) made rendez-vous with HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN).

They parted company at 1920 hours. (2)

8 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0830 hours HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax from patrol. (2)

14 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Halifax. (2)

16 Sep 1939

Convoy HX 1.

This convoy departed Halifax on 16 September 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 30 September 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Beaverford (British, 10042 GRT, built 1928), Cairnesk (British, 5007 GRT, built 1926), Capulet (British, 8190 GRT, built 1932), Carimare (French, 4459 GRT, built 1920), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Egton (British, 4363 GRT, built 1938), Gloucester City (British, 3071 GRT, built 1919), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Henri Desprez (French, 9805 GRT, built 1932), Kirnwood (British, 3829 GRT, built 1928), Mansepool (British, 4894 GRT, built 1928), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924), Springdale (British, 1579 GRT, built 1937) and Vermont (French, 5186 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

At 1530/17 HMCS St. Laurent parted company with the convoy

At 0545/18, the destroyer HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN) joined the convoy.

At 1845/18, HMS Berwick, HMS York, HMS Saguenay and HMS Skeena parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax where all four arrived on 20 September.

23 Sep 1939

Convoy HX 2.

This convoy departed Halifax on 23 September 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Beaverburn (British, 9874 GRT, built 1927), Blairmore (British, 4141 GRT, built 1928), Chrales L.D. (British, 5273 GRT, built 1933), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), Corner Brook (British, 5767 GRT, built 1925), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Languedoc (French (tanker), 9512 GRT, built 1937), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Mill Hill (British, 4318 GRT, built 1930), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Saltwick (British, 3775 GRT, built 1929), San Mateo (French, 5947 GRT, built 1931), Tower Field (British, 4241 GRT, built 195), Vandyck (British, 13241 GRT, built 1921) and Wanderer (British, 5079 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

At sea they were joined shortly after sailing by the destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

At 0800/24, HMCS Saguenay was detached.

At 1800/24, HMCS Fraser and HMCS St. Laurent were detached.

At 1200/25, HMS York parted company with the convoy and proceeded on patrol.

29 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol. (2)

2 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (3)

4 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax. (3)

8 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy HX 4.

This convoy departed Halifax on 8 October 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 22 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Box Hill (British, 5677 GRT, built 1920), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Harpenden (British, 4678 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Progress (British, 5620 GRT, built 1938), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), Rothermere (British, 5356 GRT, built 1938), Sulairia (British, 5802 GRT, built 1929), Teviotbank (British, 5078 GRT, built 1938) and Tregarthen (British, 5201 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

At noon on the 10th the escort parted company. The destroyers were to return to Halifax. HMS York proceeded on patrol.

13 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol. (3)

17 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 5.

This convoy departed Halifax on 17 October 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 29 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Cairnglen (British, 5019 GRT, built 1926), Cairnmona (British, 4666 GRT, built 1918), Cairnvalona (British, 4929 GRT, built 1918), Dunaff Head (British, 5258 GRT, built 1918), Floride (French, 7030 GRT, built 1921), Gracia (British, 5642 GRT, built 1921), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Malabar (British, 7976 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Norwegian (British, 6366 GRT, built 1921), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Trelissick (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919) and Vaclite (British (tanker), 5026 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

Around 0930/19 the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN).

At 1000/19, HMS York parted company with the convoy after which she proceeded on patrol. The destroyers also parted company with the convoy on this day.

At 0600/28, the destroyers HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) joined the convoy followed at 1600/28 by HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. W.A.R. Cartwright, RN). At 1700/28, HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy and set course for Plymouth.

In the early hours of 29 October the German submarine U-34 attacked the convoy and the merchant vessel Malabar was torpedoed and sunk. The survivors were picked up by HMS Grafton.

On 30 October the merchant vessel Cairnmona which had split off from the convoy was torpedoed and sunk off the west coast of the U.K. by the German submarine U-13

22 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from convoy escort duty and patrol.

After oiling she immediately proceeded on patrol again in the North-Atlantic. (3)

30 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from patrol. (3)

31 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. (4)

2 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from patrol. (4)

3 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Halifax for patrol. She was to end this patrol at Bermuda. (4)

7 Nov 1939
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Bermuda from patrol.

At Bermuda she was to undergo a repair period by the Bermuda Dockyard. (4)

8 Nov 1939
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Bermuda which continued during the night of 8/9 November. (4)

17 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Bermuda for patrol. (4)

20 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Halifax from patrol. (4)

26 Nov 1939

Convoy HX 10.

This convoy departed Halifax on 26 November 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Alexia (British (tanker), 8016 GRT, built 1935), Anthea (British, 5186 GRT, built 1924), Ary Lensen (British, 3214 GRT, built 1930), Birchbank (British, 5151 GRT, built 1924), Blairclova (British, 5083 GRT, built 1938), British Workman (British (tanker), 6994 GRT, built 1922), C.O. Stillman (Panamanian, 13006 GRT, built 1928), Caroni River (British, 7807 GRT, built 1928), Cefn-Y-Bryn (British, 5164 GRT, built 1939), Cliona (British (tanker), 8375 GRT, built 1931), Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Gemstone (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Generton (British, 4797 GRT, built 1936), Gold Shell (British (tanker), 8208 GRT, built 1931), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Lerwick (British, 5626 GRT, built 1938), Lunula (British (tanker), 6363 GRT, built 1927), Maimoa (British, 10123 GRT, built 1920), Middleton (British, 4297 GRT, built 1935), Nailsea Lass (British, 4289 GRT, built 1917), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Newton Moore (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937), Pacific President (British, 7113 GRT, built 1928), Pacific Shipper (British, 6290 GRT, built 1924), Rothley (British, 4996 GRT, built 1936), San Gaspar (British (tanker), 12910 GRT, built 1921), Scottish Chief (British, 7006 GRT, built 1928), Stagpool (British, 4560 GRT, built 1930), Stanburn (British, 2881 GRT, built 1924), Statira (British, 4852 GRT, built 1937), Vancolite (British (tanker), 11404 GRT, built 1928) and Victor Ross (British (tanker), 12247 GRT, built 1933).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN).

At 0800/28, HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Skeena parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.

HMS York parted company with the convoy at 0920/8 shortly after the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, RN) and the sloop HMS Aberdeen (Cdr. H.P. Currey, RN) had joined the convoy.

9 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Liverpool where she was taken in hand for refit. (5)

20 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having returned from patrol and after fuelling, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Suda Bay to Piraeus. (6)

21 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her refit completed, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Liverpool for the Northern Patrol. (7)

29 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from patrol. (7)

1 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. (8)

3 Mar 1940 (position 63.08, -14.42)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) intercepts the German passenger ship Arucas (3359 GRT, built 1927) of the south-east coast of Iceland in position 63°08'N, 14°42'W. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

Photos with thanks to Bill Murray.

10 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (8)

12 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow following which course was set for Rosyth.

13 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

25 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (8)

26 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (8)

27 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. (8)

2 Apr 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Rosyth from the Northern Patrol. (9)

7 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) embarked troops at Rosyth which were to be landed at Stavanger and Bergen in upcoming operations off Norway.

8 Apr 1940
After a German force of warships was sighted which the Admiralty thought to be proceeding to the North-Atlantic, HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN), disembarked their troops and set out to sea and proceed north to intercept.

In the evening they were joined near Rattray Head by the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) and the large destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin) and Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel).

By then it had become apparent that the Germans were proceeding to invade Norway and the cruisers were ordered to proceed towards the Home Fleet which was also at sea.

They joined the Fleet around mid-morning on the 9th.

11 Apr 1940

Damaging of the destroyer HMS Eclipse.

Around 1630/11, during heavy air attacks on Admiral Forbes main force, the destroyer HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) was hit in the engine room and badly damaged. She was abandoned but later reboarded by men from her sister ship HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN) which then took her in tow.

HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) was detached from the Commander-in-Chiefs main force to assist and she took over the tow from HMS Escort. Speed of advance for the tow was only five knots while being screened by HMS Escort and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN).

At 2015/11 (2115 hours German time), HMS York was attacked with torpedoes by the German submarine U-48 but fortunately all torpedoes prematured.

At 0800/12, the tow was slipped and it appeared to be time to abandon and scuttle HMS Eclipse. However in the end she was taken in tow again by HMS Escort.

In the morning of the 13th the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) joined.

At 1400/14, HMS York parted company and proceeded to Scapa Flow.

On the 16th the tug St. Mellons took over the tow. The destroyers HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN) arrived together with the tug. HMS Hyperion and HMS Hesperus were then detached to Sullom Voe to fuel on completion of which HMS Hesperus rejoined.

Eclipse finally arrived at Lerwick shortly before noon on the 17th.

15 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

19 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

22 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (9)

27 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from operations off Norway. (9)

10 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (10)

17 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (10)

18 May 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (10)

23 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (10)

28 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. (10)

17 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (11)

18 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (11)

4 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. At Rosyth she was to undergo a short refit and docking period and prepare for overseas service. (12)

5 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is docked in No.1 dock at Rosyth. (12)

15 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) is undocked. (12)

18 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. (12)

19 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Rosyth. (12)

21 Aug 1940
The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN), heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 0730 hours to join the escort of convoy AP 1. However due to heavy weather the convoy was unable to sail the ships returned to Scapa Flow around 1430 hours.

22 Aug 1940

Convoy's AP 1 and AP 2.

This combined convoy sailed from the U.K. on 22 August 1940 and was made up of the following ships; Denbighshire (British, 8983 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Sydney Star (British, 12696 GRT, built 1936) and Waiotira (British, 11090 GRT, built 1939).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN) was also part of this convoy serving in the role as aircraft transport.

The convoy was heavily escorted, mostly by warships proceeding from home waters to join other stations.

The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN), heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 1045/22.

From Liverpool the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) sailed around 1430/22.

From the Clyde the AA cruisers HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyer HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN) sailed around 2030/22.

HMS Ashanti, HMS Bedouin and HMS Tartar had detached on 24 August.

HMS Valiant, HMS Illustrious, HMS Sheffield, HMS Calcutta, HMS Coventry, HMS Faulknor, HMS Firedrake, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fortune and HMS Fury proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 29 August.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Freetown on 1 September escorted by HMS York. It departed for Capetown later the same day.

Convoy AP 2 (Sydney Star and HMS Argus arrived at Freetown on 2 September 1940 escorted by HMS Ajax. It departed for Durban later the same day. HMS Argus parted company with the convoy on 4 September and proceeded to Takoradi.

Convoy AP 1 arrived at Capetown on 9 September. HMS York proceeed to Simonstown arriving later the same day. The convoy departed again on 10 September still escorted by HMS York.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Durban on 13 September and sailed again later the same day still escorted by HMS Ajax.

On 20 September 1940, HMS York turned over the escort of convoy AP 1 to the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) which escorted the convoy in the Red Sea. The convoy arrived at Suez on 23 September 1940. After turning over the convoy HMS York proceeded to Aden arriving in the evening of September, 20th.

Convoy AP 2 arrived off Aden on 22 September, still escorted by HMS Ajax. There it was joined by the transport Amra (British, 8314 GRT, built 1938), heavy cruiserHMS York and the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). HMS Ajax was then detached to Aden. The AA cruiser HMS Coventry also joined later on 22 September, parting company again at 1300/23.

Convoy AP 2 arrived at Suez on 25 September 1940.

25 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During the night of 25/26 September 1940, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) passed the Suez Canal northbound. (13)

26 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. (13)

27 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria where she joined the Mediterranean Fleet. (13)

18 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Port Said with troops for Suda Bay and AA guns for Pireaus. (14)

19 Nov 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) was joined by the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN). At 1020/19 they were attacked by three Italian torpedo bombers but they obtained no hits. HMS York arrived at Suda Bay shortly after noon where the troops were disembarked.

HMS York departed Suda Bay for Piraeus later the same day. (14)

20 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Piraeus where she disembarked the AA guns.

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

21 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (14)

1 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500 hours, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) departed Suda Bay for a patrol in the Aegean. (15)

2 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0800 hours, HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) returned to Suda Bay from a night patrol in the Aegean. (15)

3 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay.

HMS Manchester was to proceed to Malta while HMS York was to escort her briefly. HMS York parted company at 1815 hours and then proceeded on patrol in the Aegean. (15)

13 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay for Piraeus. (6)

14 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Piraeus. She departed for patrol and convoy cover operation in the Aegean later the same day. (6)

16 Jan 1941
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Suda Bay from patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean.

She departed Suda Bay later the same day shortly after the destroyers HMS Ilex (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hereward (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Thyrwhitt, RN) for convoy cover operations and also for operation 'Blunt'. These destroyers joined HMS York at sea at 0740/17.

During this operation Commando troops from Crete were to be landed on Kaso Island. The operation was first postponed for 24 hours but was finally cancelled on the 18th.

The destroyers parted company around 1800/17 to patrol indepently. They rejoined HMS York at 0730/18.

HMS Hereward had already parted company at 1210/17 to proceed to Suda Bay with despatches. She rejoined HMS York around 1100/18 bringing orders from Suda Bay.

The four destroyers parted company again around 1715/18.

HMS York remained on patrol and returned to Suda Bay around 0715/20. (6)

21 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) sailed from Piraeus but she returned after a few hours. (6)

22 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, CB, CVO, RN) and HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) shifted from Piraeus to Suda Bay. (6)

21 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (16)

18 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) departed Suda Bay for patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean. (17)

20 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) returned to Suda Bay from patrol and convoy cover operations in the Aegean. (17)


Battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (05)


24 Dec 1941

Convoy WS 12Z.

This convoy departed Durban on 24 December 1941 and was split into three sections near Mombasa on 2 January 1942.

On departure from Durban the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Abbekerk (Dutch, 7906 GRT, built 1939), Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Aronda (British, 8328 GRT, built 1941), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (British, 7516 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Eastern Prince (British, 10926 GRT, built 1929), Empire Star (British, 13479 GRT, built 1935), Empress of Asia (British, 16909 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dutch, 36287 GRT, built 1938), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914) and Sussex (British, 11062 GRT, built 1937).

The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) until it was split up on 30 / 31 December 1941 into convoy's WS 12ZA, WS 12ZB and DM 1. HMS Royal Sovereign then proceeded to Port Victoria, Seychelles where she arrived on 2 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy WS 12ZA was formed on 31 December 1941 and was made up of troopships / transports; Aronda, Eastern Prince, Nieuw Amsterdam and Orduna. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) which had brought out the US troop transport USS Oziraba (6937 GRT, built 1918) from Mombasa.

Convoy WS 12ZA was dispersed off Aden on 4 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy WS 12ZB was formed on 31 December 1941 and was made up of troopships / transports; Adrastus, Capetown Castle, Deucalion, Duchess of Bedford, Empire Star, Empress of Asia, Empress of Japan, Indrapoera and USS Oziraba. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. P.C.W. Manwaring, RN).

Convoy WS 12ZA arrived at Bombay on 6 January 1942.

----------------------------------------------------

Convoy DM 1 split off from convoy WS 12Z on 30 January 1942 and was made up of troopships / transports; Abbekerk, Aorangi, USS Mount Vernon, Narkunda and Sussex. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) which had brought out the US troop transport Mount Vernon (24289 GRT, built 1932) from Mombasa.

Convoy DM 1 arrived at Addu Atoll (Port T) on 4 January 1942. It departed from there, with a strengthened escort, for Singapore on 5 January 1942.

Convoy DM 1 arrived at Singapore on 13 January 1942. (18)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/111293 + ADM 199/367
  2. ADM 53/111293
  3. ADM 53/111294
  4. ADM 53/111295
  5. ADM 53/111296
  6. ADM 53/115233
  7. ADM 53/113501
  8. ADM 53/113502
  9. ADM 53/113503
  10. ADM 53/113504
  11. ADM 53/113506
  12. ADM 53/113507
  13. ADM 53/113508
  14. ADM 53/113510
  15. ADM 53/113511
  16. ADM 53/115234
  17. ADM 53/115235
  18. ADM 199/408

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


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