Robert John Shaw, RN

Born  10 Feb 1900
Died  Aug 1995(95)

Ranks

15 Mar 1918 A/S.Lt.
15 Sep 1918 S.Lt.
31 Aug 1920 Lt.
31 Aug 1928 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1932 Cdr.
30 Jun 1939 Capt.

Retired: 10 Jul 1948


Decorations

17 Jul 1917 MBE
1 Jan 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1943 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
16 Mar 1943 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Robert John Shaw, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Milford (L 51 / U 51)Capt.Sloop21 Oct 19393 Aug 1940
HMS Dragon (D 46)Capt.Light cruiser27 Aug 194025 May 1942

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Dragon (D 46)


28 Aug 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is undocked. (1)

29 Aug 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923) departed Capetown for Durban. (1)

1 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Durban from Capetown.

HMS Dragon departed Durban for Simonstown later the same day. (2)

3 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Simonstown from Durban. (2)

9 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Simonstown for Lagos. (2)

16 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Simonstown. (2)

17 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Lagos to patrol off the Cameroons. She was later ordered to make rendezvous at 0700/19 in position 01.55'N, 03.20'W with HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) and HMS Delhi (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN).

[See also the event ' Operation Menace, the attack on Dakar, 23-24 September 1940, part I, initial movements of the Allied naval forces ' for 28 August 1940.] (3)

20 Sep 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (2)

27 Sep 1940
Around 0530N/27, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), arrived at Freetown from operartions of Dakar. She arrived escorting the troopships Ettrick (British, 11279 GRT, built 1938), Karanja (British, 9891 GRT, built 1931), Kenya (British, 9890 GRT, built 1938) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939). (3)

2 Oct 1940

Landing of Free French troops in the French Cameroons.

Around 1740N/2, the troopships Pennland (Dutch, 16082 GRT, built 1922) and Westernland (Dutch, 16313 GRT, built 1918) departed Freetown for either Ambas Bay or the Cameroons River estuary. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) and the sloops FFS Commandant Dominé and FFS Commandant Duboc.

Around 0001N/3, the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza departed Freetown to join the troop transport convoy. She had been delayed with engine defects. She only joined after the convoy arrival at Ambas Bay, arriving there at 1130A/7. She arrived with defects, which also required the ship to be docked for repairs.

Around 1100N/3, the destroyer HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) departed Freetown to joined the troop transport convoy. She joined around 1200Z/5. HMS Foresight was detached at 1430Z/5 to return to Freetown with correspondence.

At 0910N/4, FFS Commandant Duboc was detached to Lagos to embark General De Gaulle and then rejoin the convoy. She rejoined the convoy after its arrival at Ambas Bay arriving there at 1300A/7.

At 2100Z/5, HMS Forester was detached to fuel at Lagos and to proceed to Ambas Bay on completion where she arrived at 1000A/7.

The troop transport convoy arrived off Victoria (now Limbe) and anchored in Ambas Bay around 0800A/7. Two of the destroyers were kept outside the bay for A/S patrol as was the A/S trawler HMS Kelt (Skr. W.McK. Smith, RNR). At Ambas Bay troops were then transferred to smaller vessels and stores to lighters. This was completed by 1800A/9.

The heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) was also patrolling in the area.

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At 0930N/3, a convoy of French transports [identity currently not known to us] departed Freetown for the Cameroons. The British transport Ocean Coast (1173 GRT, built 1935) was also with this convoy.

This convoy was escorted by the light cruisers HMS Delhi (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), sloop HMS Milford (Capt.(Retd.) S.K. Smyth, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR) and FFS President Houduce.

HMS Turcoman later had to be detached to Lagos due to engine trouble. HMS Kelt departed Ambas Bay at 1200A/8 to take over from her.

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At 0900A/8, the sloops FFS Commandant Dominé and FFS Commandant Duboc departed Ambas Bay for Douala with General De Gaulle and 200 troops on board.

At 1300A/8, the transports Warrien (?) and Eketien (?) departed Ambas Bay with 500 troops for Douala. They were escorted by HMS Forester.

At 2100A/8, the Pennland departed Ambas Bay to return to Freetown unescorted.

At 2200A/8, the Westernland departed Ambas Bay for Pointe Noire. She had still about 400 Free French soldiers on board. She was escorted by HMS Cornwall.

At 0715A/9, the transports Dayspring (British, 1102 GRT, built 1928), Ajaza (?) and the tanker Glarona (Norwegian, 9912 GRT, built 1928) departed Ambas Bay for Douala. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Forester and HMS Fury.

At 0815A/9, HMS Devonshire and HMS Faulknor departed Ambas Bay to provide cover for the transport convoy proceeding towards the Cameroon River estuary.

At 1105A/9, HMS Faulknor, HMS Forester and HMS Fury were ordered to proceed with despatch to Freetown, their services being urgently required in the Mediterranean.

All transports and HMS Devonshire anchored in the Cameroons River estuary in the afternoon. HMS Milford and HMS Kelt then conducted A/S patrols.

On the 10th HMS Delhi and HMS Dragon were ordered to proceed to Lagos to fuel. They arrived there on the 11th. HMS Milford also went to Lagos to dock and refit. She arrived there on the 12th.

HMS Devonshire for the moment remained at anchor off Monoka.

(4)

11 Oct 1940
Around 0900A/11, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from operations. After fuelling she departed for Freetown around 1830A/11. (5)

15 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Freetown from Lagos. (5)

20 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown to patrol to the south-west of Freetown. (5)

22 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol. (5)

23 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown for Takoradi. (5)

25 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Takoradi from Freetown. (5)

27 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Takoradi for Bathurst escorting the troopship Pennland (Dutch, 16082 GRT, built 1922). (5)

31 Oct 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the troopship Pennland (Dutch, 16082 GRT, built 1922) arrived at Bathurst. (5)

2 Nov 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Bathurst for Freetown. (6)

3 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Freetown from Bathurst.

She departed again later the same day to make rendezvous with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Moreton Bay (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and the Vichy French transport Cuba (11420 GRT, built 1923) which she had captured on 31 October 1940 while it was en-route from Martinique to Casablanca.

She joined them in the morning of the 5th. (6)

7 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0700N/7, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HMS Moreton Bay (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and the Vichy French transport Cuba (11420 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Freetown. (7)

11 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0915N/11, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown for patrol. She was ordered to patrol on a line 40 to 90 miles bearing 180° from Cape Palmas, Liberia. This was so as to intercept Vichy-French ships as well as the Portugese Joao Belo (6331 GRT, built 1906) which was know to be carrying a German passenger.

The Portugese ship was sighted and was then stopped around 1700N/11. The German passenger was then removed from the ship which was then allowed to continue. (7)

19 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol. (7)

27 Nov 1940
At 0615A/27, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown to intercept the Vichy-French transport Ville du Havre (5083 GRT, built 1919) which had been been en-route from Dakar southwards. She had broken down the previous day in approximate position 00°10'N, 19°30'W. The position was later amended to 00°44'N, 19°54'W.

The aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) which were en-route from the St.Helena area to Freetown were also ordered to search for the Vichy-French ship and give assistance to HMS Durban.

The Vichy ship was found by HMS Dragon at 0940N/29 and within half an hour an armed guard was placed on board. The Vichy ship turned out to have lost her propeller. The tug Buffle arrived to tow her back to Dakar.

The armed guard was taken off at 1440N/30 in position 01°40'N, 21°00'W and the ship was released. HMS Dragon then set course to return to Freetown. (7)

2 Dec 1940
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol / operations. (8)

3 Dec 1940
Around 1700A/3, the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown for patrol and also to try to intercept the Vichy-French transport Ville de Tamatave (4993 GRT, built 1931). (9)

10 Dec 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at St. Helena to fuel. They departed to resume their patrol later the same day. (10)

14 Dec 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at St. Helena to fuel. They departed to resume their patrol early the following day. (10)

19 Dec 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at St. Helena to fuel. They departed to reume patrol in the morning of the 20th. The armed merchant cruiser HMS Pretoria Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.J. Shelly, RN) was now also with them. They were now to patrol much further to the West as the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer had captured the British merchant vessel Duquesa (8651 GRT, built 1918) in position 00°57'N, 22°42'W on the 18th. (11)

28 Dec 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and HMS Pretoria Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.J. Shelly, RN) arrived at St. Helena to fuel. They departed to resume patrol the following day. (12)

30 Dec 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and HMS Pretoria Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.J. Shelly, RN) returned to St. Helena to top off with fuel. (11)

31 Dec 1940
Around 0800A/31, HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed St. Helena for Simonstown. (9)

5 Jan 1941
Around 1330B/5, HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) arrived at Simonstown from patrol. She is then taken in hand for repairs by the Dockyard.

Around 0900B/5, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Capetown from patrol. She immediately entered the dry dock.

They had parted company with each other at 2000B/4. (13)

18 Jan 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is undocked. She then proceeded from Capetown to Simonstown. (14)

20 Jan 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) conducted exercises in False Bay. (14)

22 Jan 1941
Around 0900B/22, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Simonstown for St. Helena.

Around 1130B/22, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) also departed Simonstown for St. Helena.

HMS Dragon was overtaken and joined by HMS Devonshire around 1600B/22. They then proceeded in company.

They parted company around 1215Z/26, when HMS Durban proceeded to St. Helena to fuel arriving there around 1530Z/26.

HMS Devonshire, which did not need to fuel then proceeded to patrol in the St. Helena / Ascension area.

On completion of fuelling, HMS Durban departed St. Helena for Ascension around 2000Z/26.

The two cruisers joined company again around 0730Z/28, when they left Ascension Island in company with the Vichy French passenger/cargo ship Mendoza (8199 GRT, built 1920) to escort her to Freetown after this ship had been intercepted in the River Plate focal area.

Around 0215Z/30, HMS Devonshire parted company to act on a raider report. (15)

1 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the captured Vichy French passenger/cargo ship Mendoza (8199 GRT, built 1920) arrived at Freetown. (16)

2 Feb 1941
Around 1800N/2, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), departed Freetown to make rendezvous with the transport Tamerlane (Norwegian, 6778 GRT, built 1936) and her present escort, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN). The Tamerlane was en-route from North America to Takoradi with 120 aircraft on board.

Rendezvous was effected around 0730N/4 in approximate position 00°54'N, 18°05'W.

HMS Bulolo then parted company to proceed to Freetown. (16)

7 Feb 1941
Around 0900Z/7, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the transport Tamerlane (Norwegian, 6778 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Takoradi.

HMS Dragon then departed Takoradi for Lagos around 1930Z/7. (16)

8 Feb 1941
Around 1130A/8, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Takoradi. (16)

9 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Lagos for Manoka. (16)

11 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Manoka from Lagos.

She proceeded up river to Douala later the same day. (16)

15 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Douala for Lagos. (16)

16 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Douala. (16)

17 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Lagos to make rendezvous with French transports coming from Pointe Noire. However the French ships could not sail on time and HMS Dragon therefore set course to proceed to Pointe Noire herself. (16)

20 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire from Lagos. (16)

21 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Pointe Noire to return to Lagos. (16)

23 Feb 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Pointe Noire.

After fuelling she departed Lagos again to make rendezvous with the (troop) transports Capo Olmo (British, 4712 GRT, built 1923) and Touareg (British, 5135 GRT, built 1924) coming from Pointe Noire. They had on board a brigade of European and native Free French troops.

Rendezvous was effected around 0600Z/25 and course was set to proceed to Freetown where they arrived in the afternoon of 2 March 1941. (16)

18 Mar 1941
The aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) departed Freetown for Takoradi.

They arrived off Takoradi in the morning of the 20th. HMS Furious then commenced flying off aircraft escorted by HMS Duncan. HMS Dragon and HMS Foxhound then entered harbour where HMS Dragon supplied 170 tons of fuel to HMS Foxhound. On completion of fuelling HMS Foxhound proceeded to sea to rejoin HMS Furious.

Late on the following morning HMS Duncan entered harbour and was supplied with 250 tons of fuel by HMS Dragon. On completion of fuelling she too departed the harbour to rejoin HMS Furious and HMS Foxhound at sea.

Flying off the aircraft was completed on 22 March and HMS Furious, HMS Duncan and HMS Foxhound set course to return to Freetown where they arrived on the 25th. (17)

21 Mar 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Takoradi for Lagos. (18)

22 Mar 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Takoradi. After fuelling she departed again to return to Takoradi. (18)

23 Mar 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Takoradi where she embarked the pilots which had flown off the aircraft from HMS Furious. She then immediately departed Takoradi for Freetown. (18)

25 Mar 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Freetown from Takoradi. (18)

28 Mar 1941
During the night of 28/29 March 1941, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), conducted exercises off Freetown. (18)

1 Apr 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown after convoy escort duty. (19)

12 Apr 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown to try to intercept the Vichy-French transport Cap Padaran (7626 GRT, built 1922), which was en-route from Tamatave to Dakar. (20)

16 Apr 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol. The Vichy French ship she was to search for had not been sighted. (20)

20 Apr 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown after convoy escort duty. (19)

24 Apr 1941
During 24/25 April 1941, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), conducted exercises off Freetown. These included night and gunnery exercises. (19)

27 Apr 1941

Convoy SL 73.

This convoy departed Freetown on 27 April 1941 for the U.K.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agios Georgios (Greek, 4248 GRT, built 1911), Alcyone (British, 4534 GRT, built 1921), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), Brynymor (British, 4771 GRT, built 1936), Celtic Star (British, 5575 GRT, built 1918), City of Florence (British, 6862 GRT, built 1918), Clan Skene (British, 5214 GRT, built 1919), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 1939), Defoe (British, 6245 GRT, built 1940), Elg (British, 4014 GRT, built 1930), Empire Gunner (British, 4492 GRT, built 1906), Fana (Norwegian, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Guelma (British, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Hardanger (Norwegian, 4000 GRT, built 1924), Harpalion (British, 5486 GRT, built 1932), Hartington (British, 5496 GRT, built 1932), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), Katanga (Belgian, 5183 GRT, built 1917), Laplace (British, 7327 GRT, built 1919), Llancarvan (British, 4910 GRT, built 1937), Lysaker V (British, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Novasli (British, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Penolver (British, 3721 GRT, built 1912), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Rod-el-Farag (Egyptian, 6369 GRT, built 1910), Rupert de Larrinaga (British, 5358 GRT, built 1930), Sabor (British, 5212 GRT, built 1920), Sagaing (British, 7958 GRT, built 1925), Solon II (British, 4561 GRT, built 1925), Starcross (British, 4662 GRT, built 1936), Suva (British, 4873 GRT, built 1938), Svend Foyn (British, 14795 GRT, built 1931), Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921), Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) and Titus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930). (British, GRT, built ).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay ((Capt.(ret) G.S. Holden, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

On 29 April 1941 the destroyer HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) joined coming from Bathurst. She parted company with the convoy on 1 May 1941 to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around 1540N/3, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) joined the convoy coming from Freetown. She remained with the convoy until 1820N/4 when she parted company to return to Freetown.

On 19 May 1941, the destroyers HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN) and the armed boarding vessels HMS Hilary (Cdr. T.L. Owen, RD, RNR) and HMS Registan (A/Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR) joined the convoy. Around this time HMS Esperance Bay most likely parted company with the convoy.

On 20 May 1941, the destroyer HMCS St. Clair (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Wallace, RCNR), sloop HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Arrowhead (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Skinner, RCNR), HMCS Hepatica (T/Lt. C. Copelin, RCNR), HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. R.S. Kelley, RCNR) and HMCS Spikenard (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Shadforth, RCNR) joined the convoy.

The rescue ship Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1930) also joined the convoy around the 19/20th.

On 21 May 1941, the destroyers St. Francis and St. Clair parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 25 May 1941.

30 Apr 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Freetown to join the escort of convoy SL 73.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy SL 73 ' for 27 April 1941.] (19)

8 May 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) returned to Freetown after convoy escort duty. (21)

13 May 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Freetown. During the exercises she was ordered to proceed to make rendezvous with HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN) which had encountered, stopped and boarded the Vichy-French transport Bourbonnais (4484 GRT, built 1914) in approximate position 13°07'N, 19°22'W.

Rendezvous was made around 0930N/14 and the Vichy ship was then turned over to HMS Dragon which was then to escort it to Freetown while HMS Bulolo proceeded as to rejoin the convoy. (21)

16 May 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the Vichy-French transport Bourbonnais (4484 GRT, built 1914) arrived at Freetown. (21)

6 Jun 1941
The light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), seaplane tender HMS Albatross (A/Capt. W.A. Dallmeyer, DSO, RN), corvettes HMS Amaranthus (Lt. N.B.J. Stapleton, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), target ship Centurion (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.W.J. Martin, RN) (portraying the dummy battleship Anson) and the troop transport Abosso (British, 11330 GRT, built 1935) departed Freetown.

Around 1500N/8, HMS Albatross and HMS Centurion parted company to proceed to St. Helena where they arrived in the afternoon of the 14th.

The other ships proceeded to Takoradi arriving there in the afternoon of the 10th. (22)

10 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Takoradi for Lagos. (23)

11 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos where she landed stores. She then immediately left again to return to Takoradi. (23)

12 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Takoradi. (23)

17 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Takoradi for Lagos. (23)

18 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Lagos from Takoradi. (23)

28 Jun 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Lagos for Pointe Noire. (23)

1 Jul 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire from Lagos. (24)

5 Jul 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Pointe Noire for Simonstown. (24)

11 Jul 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Simonstown from Pointe Noire. (24)

14 Jul 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Simonstown for Port Elizabeth. (24)

15 Jul 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Port Elizabeth from Simonstown. (24)

17 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Port Elizabeth to return to Simonstown. (24)

19 Jul 1941 (position -34.46, 19.23)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) sank the derelict wreck of the merchant vessel Hannington Court (British, 5449 GRT, built 1939) with gunfire near Danger Point in position 34°46'S, 19°23'E. The ship had suffered a fire in her engine room on 13 July 1941 and was soon ablaze from fore to aft. She had to be abandoned by her crew. She was finally ordered to be sunk as she was beyond salvage. She had been en-route from Beira to the U.K. with a cargo of chrome and copper ore. (24)

20 Jul 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Simonstown where she was to be taken in hand for refit. (25)

11 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is docked at the Simonstown Dockyard. (26)

4 Sep 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is undocked. (27)

1 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is docked at Simonstown. (28)

2 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) is undocked. (28)

8 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 8/9 October 1941, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), conducted trials and exercises off Simonstown. (28)

10 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Simonstown. (28)

21 Oct 1941
With her refit completed, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), departed Simonstown. She was to join the China station. En-route she was to make rendezvous of Durban with the auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSC and Bar, RN) which had departed Durban at 1258Z/23 to make rendezvous with HMS Dragon in approximate position 30°00'S, 34°00'E.

Rendezvous was effected around 0730B/24 and course was then set for Mauritius.

On 30 October 1941, HMS Dragon fuelled at Mauritius catching up with HMS Teviotbank around 0100E/31. Course was then set towards Port T (Addu Atoll) where HMS Dragon was to fuel again.

HMS Dragon and HMS eviotbank arrived at Port T (Addu Atoll) on the 6th. They departed for Colombo later the same day.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank arrived at Colombo on 8 November 1941.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank departed Colombo for Singapore on 9 November 1941.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank arrived at Singapore on 15 November 1941.

[No logbooks of HMS Dragon are available for November and December 1941 and January and February 1942 so some details for these months might be missing.] (29)

24 Nov 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Singapore escorting the troopship Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936) towards position 06°14'N, 92°00'E where HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) was to take over and HMS Durban was to take over the escort of convoy WS 12J from HMS Glasgow.

Rendezvous was effected around 0900FG/26.

[For more info on convoy WS 12J, see the event ' Convoy WS 12 ' for 29 September 1941.] (30)

28 Nov 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the troopships Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939) and Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922) arrived at Singapore. (31)

29 Nov 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Singapore for Penang. (32)

30 Nov 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Penang from Singapore. (32)

6 Dec 1941
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Penang to make rendezvous with the troopship Erinpura (5143 GRT, built 1911) in position 10°00'N, 92°50'E and then escort her to Singapore. The troopship had 924 troops on board as well was 20 naval personnel.

They arrived at Singapore on 12 December 1941. (33)

16 Jan 1942
At 1600GH(-7.5), at Batavia, Netherlands East Indies, Vice Admiral G. Layton, KCB, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet, transferred his flag from HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) to HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN). (34)

21 Jan 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) proceeded from Ratai Bay to Batavia. (35)

19 Feb 1942

Convoy SJ 4.

This convoy departed Batavia on 19 February 1942. Destination was Colombo.

It was made up of the transports; Erling Brovig (Norwegian (tanker), 9970 GRT, built 1937), Generaal Michiels (Dutch, 1258 GRT, built 1928), Generaal Van Geen (Dutch, 1268 GRT, built 1928), Generaal Van Swieten (Dutch, 1300 GRT, built 1928), Lee Sang (British, 1655 GRT, built 1907), Modasa (British, 9070 GRT, built 1921) and Stanmore (British, 4970 GRT, built 1940).

On departure from Batavia the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN).

The convoy was dispersed on 21 February 1942. The ships proceeded independently to Colombo arriving there between 28 February and 3 March.

HMS Dragon then returned to Batavia. (36)

26 Feb 1942

Operations by the Western Striking Force during 26/27 February 1942.

The object of the operations was to intercept and engage a reported Japanese invasion force.

Around 2115GH(-7.5)/26, the Western Striking Force, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) departed Tandjong Priok (Batavia), in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1231Z/26, to intercept and engage, by night, an enemy force consisting of three cruisers, four destroyers and thirty transports which had been reported near Banka Island proceeding southwards. The Western Striking Force therefore proceeded northwards between Arnemuiden Beacon and North Watcher Island to position 04°45'S, 106°41'E where the Force turned to the southward at 0300GH/27 in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1529Z/26.

There was no sign of the enemy during the passage north when, except for a few heavy rain squalls, the visibility was very good. At 0345GH/27, Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1946Z/26 was received, stating that D/F bearings indicated that many Japanese units were in position 04°00'S, 106°30'E. This was 55 nautical miles north of the Western Striking Force's current position. It was decided to continue on southwards as it was not possible to engage the enemy before dawn and also to await the results of the dawn air reconnaissance. Two enemy reconnaissance aircraft were sighted at 0730GH/27. They commenced to shadow. This was reported to the Commodore Commanding China Force.

By 0800GH/27, the Force had reached the latitude of Babi Island, and as no further information had been received, it again turned north until 0900GH/27. Capt. Howden, the Senior Officer, decided that if air reconnaissance reported that the enemy was not overwhelmingly superior he should engage by daylight. If they were superior he would proceed eastwards to join the Eastern Striking Force in the Surabaya area which had been reported to be expected to proceed westwards to Batavia.

At 1000GH/27, the Force was back in the vicinity of Babi Island and in view of the danger of submarine attack Capt. Howden decided it was not wise to remain in the same area for too long, therefore the Force proceeded to the south-east and then northwards towards the South Watcher Island.

The Commodore Commanding China Force stated in his signal timed 0315Z/27 that air reconnaissance had failed to locate any enemy forces south of Banka therefore Capt. Howden decided to return to Batavia informing the Commodore of his intentions.

As the Force was approaching Edam Island around 1200GH/27 enemy aircraft were sighted but they did not attack. Fires were observed on shore so probably they had already expended their bombs.

At 1305GH/27, eight aircraft approached and dropped a large quantity of small calibre bombs. HMAS Hobart sustained some splinter damage and five ratings were wounded.

The Force entered Tandjong Priok around 1420GH/27. (37)

28 Feb 1942

Operations by the Western Striking Force from 28 February 1942 to 5 March 1942.

The initial object of the operations was to intercept and engage a reported Japanese invasion force.

Around 0045GH(-7.5)/28, the Western Striking Force, made up of the made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) and HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN) departed Tandjong Priok (Batavia), in accordance with the Commodore Commanding China Force's signal timed 1021Z/27. An enemy landing force made up of thirty transports escorted by four cruisers and three destroyers had been reported at 1022GH/27 in position 04°20'S, 106°28'E. The Western Task Force had been unable so sail earlier due to delays in fuelling caused by Japanese air attacks. The destroyer HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN) which had departed earlier for Tjilatjap had been recalled and joined the Western Task Force three miles south of Edam Island.

Capt. Howden, the Senior Officer, decided to proceed direct to the vicinity of the northern entrance to the Sunda Strait and then to sweep northward to engage the enemy which he thought to be en-route to Bantam Bay, the most likely place to land.

The Western Task Force arrived in position 05°48'S, 105°56'E at 0420GH/28. Course was then altered to the northward. Except for intermittent rain squalls the visibility was good. As no enemy had been sighted by 0500GH/28, course was altered to the southward. The passage of Sunda Strait was made at the Force's maximum speed of 24 knots. HrMs Evertsen had been lost out of sight in the darkness. She had not been seen after around 0400GH/28.

At 0650GH/28, when in position 06°04'S, 105°48'E, HMS Scout dropped astern to rescue a men she sighted on a raft. A lot of wreckage was sighted during the passage of the Sunda Straits.

In order to conserve fuel, speed was reduced to 22 knots at 0850GH/28, to 19 knots at 1000GH/28 and 18 knots at 1600GH/28.

At 2340GH/28, a signal was received from HMAS Perth that she had sighted a destroyer, later amended to being a cruiser.

At 2359GH/28, when in position 04°30'S, 101°05'E, the destroyers were detached to proceed ahead to fuel at Padang. The cruisers reduced speed to 15 knots. The destroyers were sent ahead in order to reduce the time the cruisers had to wait for the destroyers to rejoin. During the passage of the Seaflower Channel [between Siberut and Sipura island] the cruisers inceased speed again.

The cruisers arrived in position 260° Pandan Light 10 miles at 1740GH/1 and zigzagged between that position and Nyamuk Light. It had been hoped that the destroyers would be able to leave harbour around 1800 hours but this did not materialise. HMS Tenedos was seen passing Pandan Island at 2120GH/1 and at 2140GH/1 she secured alongside HMAS Hobart to transfer 512 evacuees. She reported that HMS Scout had previously left harbour with another load of evacuees but that she had to return due to contaminated oil fuel tanks.

In view of the long delay which would be entained in waiting for HMS Scout, Capt. Howden decided to proceed ahead with HMS Tenedos via Siberut Strait [to the north of Siberut Island] and then pass through position 00.32'S, 97.10'E at 15 knots towards the position where the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) should be. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were then to overtake. HMAS Hobart and HMS Tenedos therefore parted company with HMS Dragon and HMS Danae at 2207GH/1 by which time the evacuees had been transferred. HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout were able to proceed at 0530GH/2. They were ordered to rejoin during daylight on 3 March.

At 0150G/3, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 1635Z/2 was received by HMAS Hobart but it could not be decyphered owing to area tables for the East Indies Station not being held. Capt. Howden reduced speed to 8 knots to allow HMS Dragon, HMS Danae and HMS Scout to join around dawn and all ships were in company at 0751G/3.

HMS Dragon had been able to decypher the signal and it stated that auxiliary patrol ship HMS Kedah (Cdr.(Retd.) J.L. Sinclair, DSO, RD, RNR) was in trouble and that her speed had been reduced to three knots. Her position was 02°10'S, 90°40'E. HMS Dragon was then detached after transferring her 136 evacuees to HMAS Hobart at 1115G/3. She was to complete with fuel from the Appleleaf who was estimated to be 40 to 50 miles ahead and then to proceed to the assistance of HMS Kedah. HMS Danae and the destroyers were ordered to proceed ahead, made contact with the Appleleaf to inform her of the oil requirements of HMS Dragon.

A 1033FG/4, the Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet's signal 0305Z/4 was received instructing Capt. Howden to proceed with all his ships to Colombo if sufficient fuel remained. The Force therefore altered course for Colombo at 1100FG/4 when in position 05°32'N, 86°45'E.

At 1000F/5, when in position 05°47'N, 79°56'E, HMAS Hobart parted company with HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos, to proceed ahead at 28 knots so as to arrive 2 hours and 20 minutes earlier then the other ships so as to avoid congestion in the harbour. En-route HMAS Hobart ran a full power trial for 40 minutes to see if any defects might have developed due to the recent near misses from bombing. The results of the trial very highly satisfactory.

HMAS Hobart arrived at Colombo at 1333F/5.

HMS Danae, HMS Scout and HMS Tenedos arrived at Colombo around 1730F/5.

Around 1030F/7, HMS Dragon arrived with HMS Kedah in tow. She had fuelled from the Appleleaf during the afternoon of the 3rd and then proceeded towards the reported position of HMS Kedah which she sighted at 0229G/5 and had her in tow around 0730G/5.

(38)

9 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1040F/9, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) departed Addu Atoll for Kilindini. (39)

17 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around noon HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Addu Atoll. (39)

27 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. (40)

29 Apr 1942
During 29/30 April 1942, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN , flying the flag of A/Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, DSO, RN), HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN). light cruisers HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN) and HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN), HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. W. Harmsen, RNN) conducted exercises off Kilindini.

Upon completion of the exercises in the morning of the 30th, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Arrow and HrMs Isaac Sweers returned to Kilindini.

The other ships proceeded towards the Seychelles to make rendezvous with ' Force A' of the Eastern Fleet which was coming from down from the Ceylon area. They fuelled in the Seychelles area on 2 May. (41)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/112051
  2. ADM 53/112052
  3. ADM 53/112052 + ADM 199/381
  4. ADM 199/388
  5. ADM 53/112053
  6. ADM 53/112054
  7. ADM 53/112054 + ADM 199/381
  8. ADM 53/112055
  9. ADM 53/112055 + ADM 53/112440 + ADM 199/381
  10. ADM 53/112055 + ADM 53/112440
  11. ADM 53/112055 + ADM 53/112440 + ADM 53/112988 + ADM 199/381
  12. ADM 53/112055 + ADM 53/112440 + ADM 53/112988
  13. ADM 53/114144 + ADM 53/114403
  14. ADM 53/114141
  15. ADM 53/114094 + ADM 53/114141
  16. ADM 53/114142
  17. ADM 53/114143 + ADM 199/394
  18. ADM 53/114143
  19. ADM 53/114144
  20. ADM 53/114144 + ADM 199/394
  21. ADM 53/114145
  22. ADM 53/113554 + ADM 53/114146 + ADM 199/394
  23. ADM 53/114146
  24. ADM 53/114147
  25. ADM 53/114147 + ADM 199/2552
  26. ADM 53/114148
  27. ADM 53/114149
  28. ADM 53/114150
  29. ADM 53/114150 + ADM 199/408
  30. ADM 53/114319 + ADM 199/408
  31. ADM 199/408
  32. ADM 199/2552
  33. ADM 199/408 + ADM 199/2552
  34. ADM 199/426 + ADM 199/1185 + ADM 199/2552
  35. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for January 1942
  36. ADM 199/426
  37. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February 1942
  38. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February/March 1942
  39. ADM 53/115818
  40. ADM 53/115475 + ADM 53/115818
  41. ADM 53/115475 + ADM 53/115818 + ADM 53/116534 + ADM 53/116605 + ADM 199/429

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


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