Arthur Duncan Read, RN

Born  23 Apr 1889


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Ranks

15 Jan 1906 Mid.
30 Apr 1909 S.Lt.
30 Oct 1910 Lt.
30 Oct 1918 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1924 Cdr.
30 Jun 1932 Capt.
6 Feb 1942 Rear-Admiral
1 Jun 1945 Vice-Admiral (retired)

Retired: 1 Jun 1945


Decorations

30 May 1944 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
8 Jun 1944 CB
30 Oct 1944 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Arthur Duncan Read, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Liverpool (11)Capt.Light cruiser5 May 193827 Oct 1940
HMS Ramillies (07)Capt.Battleship27 Oct 194023 Sep 1941

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Liverpool (11)


3 Sep 1939
At 1815 hours (zone -4) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) weighted anchor off Masirah Island in the Arabian Sea for patrol in the Arabian Sea. This was to provide cover for the movements of warships from the Royal Indian Navy; HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.P. Hughes-Hallet, RIN); as well as the depot ship HMS Lucia (Cdr. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) (1)

8 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1800 hours (zone -3.5) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Aden. (1)

10 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1100 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Aden to patrol in the Gulf of Aden. (1)

12 Sep 1939
At 1410 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) dropped anchor in Perim harbour. She departed again to continue her patrol at 1800 hours. (1)

13 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1400 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Aden. (1)

15 Sep 1939
Shortly before 0930 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Aden for a short patrol in the Gulf of Aden. (1)

16 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Aden from patrol. (1)

17 Sep 1939
Around 1830 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Aden for a short patrol in the Gulf of Aden. (1)

18 Sep 1939
Around 1000 hours (zone -3) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Aden from patrol.

She departed again for patrol and escort duties in the Red Sea shortly before 1900 hours. (1)

20 Sep 1939
Around 1445 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), made rendez-vous with a troop convoy made up of the liners Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928), Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932) that at that moment were escorted by HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN). (2)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and the troop ships they are escorting, Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928), Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932) arrive at Aden.

Later this day, Brittanic, Duchess of Bedford and Reina del Pacifico departed Aden eastwards. They were escorted by HMS Liverpool. (1)

25 Sep 1939
Around 1630 hours (zone -4.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), and the troopships she was escorting; Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928) and Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931); made rendez-vous with HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN). They soon parted company, HMS Liverpool and the first two troopships were to proceed to Bombay. HMS Eagle was to proceed to Ceylon with Reina del Pacifico. (2)

27 Sep 1939
Around 1000 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), and the troopships she was escorting; Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930) and Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928) arrived at Bombay. (2)

29 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0830 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Bombay for patrol which was to end at Colombo. (1)

3 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Shortly after 0600 hours (zone -5.5) HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Colombo. (3)

5 Oct 1939
Around 0930 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Bombay for patrol in the Seychelles area where an enemy supply vessel was thought to be around.

It had originally been intended to employ Liverpool on convoy escort duty but this deployment was now cancelled. (4)

9 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Shortly before 1000 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Bombay from a patrol in the Seychelles area. (3)

11 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0630 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Bombay for another patrol in the Seychelles area. (3)

17 Oct 1939
Around 1730 hours (zone -3.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Diego Saurez from patrol in the Seychelles. (3)

18 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1500 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Diego Saurez for another patrol in the Seychelles area. (3)

22 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1600 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Mahé, Seychelles. (3)

24 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Mahé, Seychelles for patrol. (3)

27 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0600 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Diego Saurez from patrol. (3)

29 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1330 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Diego Saurez for yet another patrol in the Seychelles area. (3)

1 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0630 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Mahé, Seychelles. (5)

3 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0730 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Mahé, Seychelles for patrol. (5)

6 Nov 1939
Around 1730 hours (zone -3.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Diego Saurez from patrol in the Seychelles. (5)

7 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Diego Saurez for yet another patrol in the Seychelles area.

9 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0630 hours (zone -4), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Mahé, Seychelles.

She departed again shortly after 1700 hours. (5)

13 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1300 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Colombo. (5)

15 Nov 1939
Around 1330 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Colombo for Singapore. She was to replace HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) on the China Station.

That evening HMS Liverpool was ordered to patrol in position 05°N, 80°E as HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) had reported star shell in position 09°N, 68°E. HMS Liverpool was ordered to continue her passage to Singapore the following afternoon. (6)

19 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000 hours (zone -7.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), arrived at Singapore. (5)

21 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) is docked in AFD 9 at Singapore. (5)

23 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) is undocked. (5)

24 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Singapore to patrol the Padang area (west coast of Sumatra). (7)

4 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700 hours (zone -7.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), returned to Singapore from patrol.

She departed for Saigon, French Indo China around 1700 hours with Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN (C-in-C, China Station) on board. (8)

6 Dec 1939
Around 1300 hours (zone -7), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN (C-in-C, China Station)), arrived at Saigon, French Indo China. (8)

7 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1345 hours (zone -7), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN (C-in-C, China Station)), departed Saigon, French Indo China for Hong Kong. (8)

10 Dec 1939
Around 0945 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN (C-in-C, China Station)), arrived at Hong Kong. (8)

21 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1115 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Hong Kong to patrol off Japan. (7)

12 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1230 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) returned to Hong Kong from a patrol off Japan. (9)

16 Jan 1940
Around 0830 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Hong Kong for another patrol off Japan.

She was also to intercept the Japanese liner Asama Maru (16975 GRT, built 1929) (offsite link) which had German nationals on board coming from the U.S.A. and that were trying to return to German via Japan and the U.S.S.R.. (10)

21 Jan 1940 (position 34.35, 140.32)
Around 1230 hours (zone -9), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), intercepts the Japanese passenger/cargo vessel Asama Maru (16975 GRT, built 1929) off Yokusaka, Japan (near position 34°35'N, 140°32'E). One blank round had to be fired as the ship initially refused to stop when ordered to do so. Twenty-one German nationals were removed from the ship which was then allowed to continue. (10)

28 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1000 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) returned to Hong Kong from a patrol off Japan.

13 Feb 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (11)

14 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Hong Kong. (11)

21 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (11)

21 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (11)

22 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (11)

23 Feb 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (11)

27 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (11)

3 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1030 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Hong Kong to patrol off Japan. (12)

14 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed her patrol area off Japan to fuel in the Chusan archipelago off the coast of China. (13)

19 Mar 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived in the Chusan archipelago where she fuelled from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917).

After fuelling she proceeded eastwards again to resume her patrol off Japan. (12)

20 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) is ordered to return to Hong Kong. (13)

22 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1400 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) arrived at Hong Kong from patrol. (12)

4 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises off Hong Kong. (14)

5 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Hong Kong. (14)

9 Apr 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). These included night exercises. (14)

10 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) returned to Hong Kong on completion of last night's exercises. (14)

11 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1200 hours (zone -8), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) departed Hong Kong to patrol off Manila, Philippines. (15)

12 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) is ordered to proceed to Aden as the political situation with Italy was deteriorating. She was to be en relieved on the Manila patrol by HMS Thracian (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN). (16)

17 Apr 1940
Shortly before 1800 hours (zone -7.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), arrived at Singapore. (14)

18 Apr 1940
Shortly after 0800 hours (zone -7.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), departed Singapore for Colombo. (14)

21 Apr 1940
Around 1530 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), arrived at Colombo. (14)

25 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0830 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), departed Colombo for Aden. (14)

29 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0800 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), arrived at Aden. (14)

1 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1630 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), departed Aden for Port Sudan. (17)

3 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), arrived at Port Sudan. (17)

3 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), arrived at Port Sudan. (17)

6 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0900 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), departed Port Sudan for patrol in the southern Red Sea. (17)

7 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 0915 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), dropped anchor off Kamaran Island.

She departed later the same day, around 1800 hours, to continue her patrol. (17)

8 May 1940
Around 0615 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN), dropped anchor off Perim Island.

She departed for Aden around 0930 hours.

She arrived at Aden around 1545 hours. (17)

12 May 1940
Shortly after noon this day (zone -3), troop convoy US 2 (Melbourne - Suez), which was made up of the following transports; Dunera (11162 GRT, built 1937), Ettrick (11279 GRT, built 1938), Neuralia (9182 GRT, built 1912), Nevasa (9213 GRT, built 1913) (joined the convoy at Fremantle) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932), departed Aden for Suez.

Escort was provided by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), the French heavy cruiser Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard), the light cruisers HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). The sloop HMS Shoreham (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Miller, RN) apparently joined the escort at sea the next day. (18)

14 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1900 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) parted company with convoy US 2. (17)

16 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1000 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Aden. (17)

18 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1800 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) departed Aden for Djibouti. (17)

19 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0630 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Djibouti.

She departed Djibouti to return to Aden shortly after 2300 hours. (17)

20 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1230 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Aden from Djibouti. (17)

21 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1830 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) departed Aden for the Perim patrol. (17)

27 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1800 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Aden from the Perim patrol. (17)

3 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1315 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) departed Aden for Port Sudan. (19)

4 Jun 1940
At 1640 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Port Sudan. Here Rear-Admiral Murray transferred his flag to HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN).

HMS Liverpool then departed Port Sudan for Alexandria at 2140 hours. She was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. (20)

7 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 0930 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) arrived at Alexandria where she joined the Mediterranean Fleet. (19)

14 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1900 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) returned to Alexandria from operations. (19)

1 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
After taking on board ammunition at the Great Bitter lakes, HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) shifted to Port Tewfik where troops came on board. These troops were destined for British Somaliland. She departed Port Tewfik for Aden shortly before 1900 hours (zone -2). (21)

3 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Shortly before 2200 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) arrived at Aden. The troops were then immediately disembarked. (21)

4 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At Aden, HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), embarked spare 6" ammunition from the East Indies station after which she sailed for the Great Bitter lakes shortly before 1700 hours (zone -3). (21)

6 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Shortly after 2000 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), arrived at the Great Bitter lakes. (21)

7 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0430 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), departed the Great Bitter lakes for Port Said where she arrived at 1000 hours.

After fuelling she departed Port Said around 1700 hours for Alexandria where she arrived at 0200 the next morning. (21)

13 Jul 1940
Around 0630 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), returned to Alexandria from operations. (21)

20 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1115 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), returned to Alexandria from operations. (21)

21 Jul 1940

Convoy operations AN 2 and AS 2

Convoys to and from the Aegean.

On 21 July 1940 six merchant vessels departed Port Said and two departed Alexandria. The next day they merged into convoy AN 2 at sea. [we currently do not know the names of these merchant vessels.] The six merchant ships coming from Port Said had been escorted by the destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN). The two merchant ships coming from Alexandria were escorted by the light cruisers HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN) (she departed Alexandria shortly after midnight, 0030/22), HMS Capetown (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN). After the rendez-vous the convoy proceeded northwards to the Aegean. While in the Aegean the ships were to disperse and proceed independently towards their destinations covered by the escorting warships.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN) and HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN). This force departed Alexandria at 0400/23 and returned in the afternoon of the 26th.

A diversion was also created by having the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) appear of Castellorizio island on 23 July 1940. They had sailed from Alexandria at 0001/24. HMS Orion then proceeded to Haifa while the destroyers proceeded to Port Said.

The escorting warships from convoy AN 2 were then to escort a convoy coming from the Aegean (AS 2) southwards. This convoy was formed off the Dardanelles on 27 July 1940 and was escorted in the Aegean by HMS Capetown, HMAS Stuart and HMS Defender. The next day the convoy was joined by HMS Liverpool, HMS Dainty and HMS Diamond and passed through the Kaso Strait.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, OBE, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies, aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), light cruisers HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Hyperion, HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, RN), HMS Hereward, HMS Ilex, HMS Imperial and HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) which departed Alexandria at 0330/27.

Again a diversion was created by having the light cruiser HMS Orion escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vampire and HMAS Vendetta appear of Castellorizio island but this time the ocean boarding vessels HMS Chakla (Cdr. L.C. Bach, RD, RNR) and HMS Fiona (Cdr. A.H.H. Griffiths, RD, RNR) were added to the force so that it appeared that troops were going to be landed on the island in the evening of the 27th. The destroyers and the ocean boarding vessels departed at 0700/27 and then made rendez-vous with HMS Orion which came from Haifa.

HMS Warspite escorted by HMS Hyperion, HMS Ilex and HMS Imperial returned to Alexandria at 2000/29. In the approaches to Alexandria the destroyer screen was reinforced by the destroyers HMS Hostile (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN).

The remaining warships returned to Alexandria the following day except for HMS Capetown, HMS Dainty and HMS Diamond which went with the convoy to Port Said. The following merchant ships made up the convoy; British cargo ships Bantria (2407 GRT, built 1928) and Sardinian Price (3491 GRT, built 1922), Norwegian cargo ship Bruse Jarl (1890 GRT, built 1923) and the Greek cargo ship Perseus (5178 GRT, built 1918).

During this operation the cruisers HMS Neptune and HMAS Sydney made a anti-shipping raid in the Gulf of Athens sinking the small Greek tanker Ermioni (436 GRT, built 1902) which was transporting fuel for the Italians in the Dodecanese. They had separated from the fleet to intercept this ship on the 27th.

During 27 to 29 July 1940 the Allied ships were attacked several times by the Italian air force but no hits were obtained except a dud bomb hit on HMS Liverpool on the 29th causing one crewmember to be killed and two to be wounded. (22)

25 Jul 1940
Between 1145 and 1405 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), fuelled from tanker Turbo (4782 GRT, built 1912) south off Spetses island (off the Argolic Gulf). (21)

30 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 1550 hours, HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), berthed at Alexandria on return from operations. (21)

20 Aug 1940

Operation MD 7.

Sweep in the Aegean for enemy shipping and the passing of two merchant ships from the Aegean to Port Said.

20 August 1940.

At 0800 hours Force A and Force B departed Alexandria for this operation. Force A was made up of the destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN) and HMS Hostile (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN).
Force B was made up of the light cruisers HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN) and HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN).

Course and speed of these forces was adjusted to pass through the Kaso Strait around 0200/21. After passing through the straits both forces were to sweep through the southern Aegean towards the Gulf of Athens and to provide cover for the two merchant tankers mentioned below. On completion of the sweep through the southern Aegean Force A was to be detached and to proceed to Malta.

The British tanker Myriel (3560 GRT, built 1913) and the French tanker Phenix (5920 GRT, built 1920) both sailed independently from Chanak (Canakkale, Turkey) passing through the Doro Channel on the night of 20/21 August, then through the Zea and Elaphonisos Channel passing the latter during the night of 21/22 August, keeping as much as possible in territorial waters.

21 August 1940.

The operation was proceeding as planned except for enemy reports indicated the Forces A and B had been detected by enemy aircraft at 1030 hours.

22 August 1940.

The operation was still proceeding as planned. At 2200 hours Force B was about 40 miles south of Gavdo Island.

The four destroyers which made up force A arrived at Malta on this day.

23 August 1940.

HMS Orion and HMS Liverpool arrived at Alexandria around 1330 hours (zone -3). HMS Janus was ordered to leave the convoy and to proceed to Alexandria where she arrived the next day while HMS Jervis continued with the two merchant tankers towards Port Said where they arrived on the 25th. HMS Jervis then also proceeded to Alexandria where she arrived later the same day. (22)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/109582
  2. ADM 53/109582 + ADM 199/382
  3. ADM 53/109583
  4. ADM 53/109583 + ADM 199/382
  5. ADM 53/109584
  6. ADM 53/109584 + ADM 199/382
  7. ADM 53/109584 + ADM 199/374
  8. ADM 53/109585
  9. ADM 53/112605
  10. ADM 53/112605 + ADM 199/374
  11. ADM 53/112606
  12. ADM 53/112607
  13. ADM 53/112607 + ADM 199/374
  14. ADM 53/112608
  15. ADM 53/112608 + ADM 199/374
  16. ADM 199/374
  17. ADM 53/112609
  18. ADM 53/112609 + ADM 199/382
  19. ADM 53/112610
  20. ADM 53/112610 + ADM 199/383
  21. ADM 53/112611
  22. ADM 199/386

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


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