James Hamilton Swain DSO, DSC, RN

Born  10 May 1905
Died  31 Mar 1970(64)


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Ranks

1 Nov 1926 S.Lt.
1 Aug 1928 Lt.
1 Aug 1936 Lt.Cdr.
17 Sep 1948 Cdr.(Retd.)

Retired: 17 Sep 1948


Decorations

19 Aug 1941 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
6 Nov 1942 DSO
4 Apr 1944 DSC

Warship Commands listed for James Hamilton Swain, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMAS Waterhen (D 22)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer30 Aug 193930 Jun 1941
HMS Penn (G 77)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer2 Dec 1941mid/late44

Career information

Lt.Cdr James Hamilton Swain joined the Church of Ireland and became Canon of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin 1969, Rector of Maghera Union 1953-1970. He was married to Elizabeth Louisa Swain who died in 1984.

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMAS Waterhen (D 22)


1 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At Sydney, HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) are commissioned from Reserve.

The period from 1 to 7 September was spent, ammunitioning, storing and cleaning. (1)

8 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 8 to 10 September, HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises and A/S patrols off Sydney. (1)

11 Sep 1939
From 11 to 14 September, HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises to the south of Sydney. The night of 12/13 September 1939 was spent at anchor in Twofold Bay. HMAS Stuart and HMAS Waterhen returned to Sydney on the 14th.

During the exercises on the 11th, HMAS Canberra (Commodere. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) also participated. On completion of the exercises HMAS Vendetta set course for Newcastle. (1)

14 Sep 1939
On 14 September the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Commodere. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN), destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the sloops HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Prevost, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) all conducted gunnery exercises off Sydney.

On completion of the exercises all ships entered harbour. (2)

19 Sep 1939
On 19 September the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Commodere. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN), destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the sloops HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Prevost, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) all conducted exercises off Sydney.

HMAS Canberra, HMAS Stuart and HMAS Waterhen continued their exercises during the night of 19/20 September and entered Jervis Bay on the morning of the 20th.

HMAS Vendetta briefly returned to harbour on completion of the exercises. She departed later the same day for Melbourne together with the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Cdr. H.A. Showers, RAN). (3)

20 Sep 1939
On 19 September the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Commodere. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Jervis Bay for night exercises and then to return to Sydney.

One of the exercises they were to perform was intercepting the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) which was en-route from Melbourne to Sydney via Tasmania. She joined the exercises on 21 September.

Before entering harbour on 21 September exercises were carried out off Sydney by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Hobart, HMAS Stuart, HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Swan (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Prevost, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN). (4)

25 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) proceeded from Sydney to Jervis Bay. En-route various exercises were carried out. (1)

27 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Jervis Bay for night exercises and onward passage to Sydney where they arrived the following day. (1)

30 Sep 1939
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Sydney (with no submarine present).

HMAS Vendetta had joined them coming from Melbourne. (5)

3 Oct 1939
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney.

On return to harbour it was found necessary to dock HMAS Vendetta to renews loose rivets wich were causing salt water leaks into oil fuel tanks. Exact dates of her docking are not known to us at the moment but these must have been in the period 3 to 10 October. (6)

4 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (6)

5 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (6)

6 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Sydney. (6)

14 Oct 1939
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Sydney on completion of which they set course for Brisbane. (6)

15 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Brisbane from Sydney. (6)

16 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Brisbane for Townsville. (6)

18 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Townsville from Brisbane. (6)

19 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Townsville for Darwin. (6)

22 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Darwin from Townsville. (6)

23 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Darwin for Singapore. (6)

29 Oct 1939
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Singapore from Darwin.

They were then taken in hand for some repair and boiler cleaning. (6)

18 Nov 1939
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Colombo from Singapore. (7)

25 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Colombo.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Stuart set course to proceed to Diego Suarez to join ' Force K '.

HMAS Vendetta remained in the Colombo area for A/S patrols.

HMAS Waterhen joined ' Force I ' which operated in the Ceylon area. She joined this force, which had departed Colombo on this day at sea. (8)

27 Nov 1939
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Colombo from operations.

Earlier on this day, she picked up the entire crew (Pilot Sub.Lt. M R Maund, RN, Leading Airman J Manning, and Telegraphist Air Gunner J C Mardlin) from the sea of a Swordfish of 824 Squadron from HMS Eagle which had crashed while on A/S patrol off Colombo. (9)

28 Nov 1939
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Colombo for diego Suarez. She departed Colombo together with the submarine HMS Odin (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Moir, RN) which was to part company with HMAS Waterhen off the Laccadive Islands.

HMAS Waterhen was however soon recalled and returned to Colombo later the same day. (9)

29 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Colombo for Aden. They were to proceed to the Mediterranean. (10)

6 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Aden from Colombo. (11)

24 Dec 1939
HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Malta for gunnery exercises on completion of which they took over the escort of convoy K 6 to Marseilles.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy K 6 ' for 10 December 1939.] (11)

26 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Marseilles with convoy K 6. (11)

6 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Between 6 and 9 January 1940, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), underwent some repairs at Malta and apparently also a quick docking. (12)

14 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Malta to join convoy K6B.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy K6B ' for 12 January 1940.] (12)

16 Jan 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Malta from convoy escort duty.

Later the same day she departed Malta to escort the troopships (liners) Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) and Ettrick (11279 GRT, built 1938) to Alexandria and Port Said respectively. (12)

19 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 0850C/19, the Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) parted company and proceeded to Alexandria. HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the Ettrick (11279 GRT, built 1938) continued on to Port Said where they arrived around 2100C/19. (12)

20 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Port Said to rendezvous with the troopship / liner Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) off Alexandria and then escort her to Malta. (12)

22 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the troopship / liner Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) arrived at Malta. (12)

23 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 23 to 30 January 1940, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), clean boilers at Malta. Also harbour drills were carried out in the meantime. (12)

1 Feb 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta. This must have been with either HMS Oswald (?) or HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. R. Sheridan-Patterson, RN) as these were the only two submarines at Malta. (13)

5 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta. This must have been with either HMS Oswald (?) or HMS Osiris (Lt.Cdr. R. Sheridan-Patterson, RN) as these were the only two submarines at Malta.

On completion of the A/S exercises, HMAS Stuart conducted gunnery exercises while HMAS Waterhen set course to proceed to Marseilles. (14)

7 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Marseilles from Malta. (13)

8 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Marseilles escorting the troopship / liner Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939). (13)

9 Feb 1940
Around midnight during the night of 9/10 February, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) took over the escort of the troopship / liner Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939) from HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN). (15)

10 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Malta from escort duty. (15)

14 Feb 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted exercises off Malta on completion of which she set course for Marseilles. (13)

16 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Marseilles from Malta. She had been delayed by heavy weather conditions. (13)

17 Feb 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Marseilles for Malta. She is escorting the troopships / liners / transports Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924). (13)

19 Feb 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the troopships / liners / transports Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Malta.

HMAS Waterhen had sustained damage to her fuel tanks in the heavy weather conditions for which she would have to be docked for repairs. (13)

22 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) is docked at Malta for repairs to No.1 and No.3 fuel tanks. (13)

25 Feb 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) is undocked. (13)

27 Feb 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Malta. She then departed for Gibraltar with HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN). (13)

1 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Malta. (16)

4 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Gibraltar for an A/S patrol to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar. (17)

7 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Gibraltar from patrol. (17)

9 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Gibraltar for an A/S patrol to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar. (17)

13 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Gibraltar from patrol. (17)

16 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta. (17)

18 Mar 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Malta from Gibraltar.

She departed again later the same day escorting the transport Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) towards Alexandria. (17)

21 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) arrived at Alexandria. They departed again later the same day to return to Malta. (17)

24 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) arrived at Malta from Alexandria. (17)

25 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 25 to 28 March 1940, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) cleaned boilers at Malta. (17)

29 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Malta for Marseilles. (17)

31 Mar 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Marseilles from Malta. (17)

1 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Marseilles escorting the transport Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) to Malta. (18)

3 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939) arrived at Malta. They departed again later the same day for Alexandria. HMAS Waterhen parted company with the transport 50 nautical miles from Malta and then returned to Malta. (18)

4 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Malta from escort duty. (18)

8 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Marseilles.

HMAS Waterhen then departed Marseilles later the same day to return to Malta. (18)

10 Apr 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Malta from Marseilles.

She departed again later the same day with HMAS Stuart (Cdr. H.M.L. Waller, RAN) the aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and their escort coming from Alexandria. (18)

12 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Malta after escort duty. (18)

15 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) departed Malta for Alexandria. (18)

18 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Alexandria from Malta. (18)

19 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) departed Alexandria for Malta. (18)

22 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Malta from Alexandria. (18)

24 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Malta for Marseilles. (18)

25 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Marseilles from Malta. (18)

26 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) departed Marseilles for Gibraltar. (18)

28 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the transport Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936) arrived at Gibraltar from Marseilles. (18)

11 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 11 to 14 May 1940, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) cleaned boilers at Alexandria. (19)

19 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol off Alexandria. She returned to harbour the following morning. (19)

2 Jun 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

5 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. (20)

11 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

13 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. She departed again for patrol later the same day. (20)

17 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. (20)

19 Jun 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

22 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. After fuelling she departed again to resume A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

23 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. (20)

25 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

26 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. (20)

27 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for A/S patrol in the approaches to Alexandria. (20)

29 Jun 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Alexandria from patrol. (20)

4 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. She is escorting the Egyptian Royal Yacht Mahroussa (4561 GRT, built 1865). (21)

5 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) transited the Suez Canal southbound and arrived in the Great Bitter Lakes. (21)

6 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) proceeded from the Great Bitter Lakes to Port Tewfik where she was taken in hand for refit. (21)

12 Aug 1940
With her refit completed, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), departed Port Tewfik for Port Said. (22)

13 Aug 1940
After passing the Suez Canal, northbound, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Port Said. Departing for and arriving at Alexandria later the same day. (22)

27 Aug 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) went alongside HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) for repairs to her condensers.

The repairs were only completed on 15 September 1940. (23)

15 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
P.M., HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted post-repair trials off Alexandria. (24)

23 Sep 1940
HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria.

The submarine which was used as A/S target during these exercises must have been HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) which departed Alexandria for patrol on this day and left harbour together with the destroyers. (25)

26 Sep 1940
The destroyers HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria with the submarine HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN).

On completion of the exercises HMAS Vendetta returned to harbour. HMAS Waterhen departed for Port Said and Haifa escorting a local convoy [No further details available, though this might have been the merchant vessels Duffield (British (tanker), 8516 GRT, built 1938) and Trevarrack (British, 5270 GRT, built 1919)]. HMS Proteus proceeded on patrol.

[Another source, ADM 199/387, states that HMAS Waterhen was to relieve HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), escorting convoy LW 17. (No further details known on this convoy)]. (26)

27 Sep 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Haifa escorting a local convoy [no further details available].

She departed for Port Said later the same day. (27)

28 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Port Said from Haifa. (27)

29 Sep 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Port Said escorting a local convoy to Alexandria. [No further details available but the ships in the convoy might be the merchant vessels City of Christiania (British, 4940 GRT, built 1921), Cyclops (British, 9076 GRT, built 1906), Guido (British, 3921 GRT, built 1920) and Svenor (Norwegian (tanker), 7616 GRT, built 1931).

HMAS Waterhen arrived at Alexandria with the convoy on 30 September 1940. (27)

16 Oct 1940
From 16 to 28 October 1940, at Alexandria, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), underwent repairs to her condensers. (28)

14 Nov 1940
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) proceeded from Alexandria to Port Said wher she picked up the (troop) transport Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920). Course was then set to make rendezvous with a convoy en-route from Alexandria to Piraeus.

[See the event ' Operation Barbarity ' for 15 November 1940 for more info.] (29)

26 Nov 1940
P.M., HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Suda Bay escorting the transport Ulster Prince (British, 3791 GRT, built 1930) to Piraeus where they arrived A.M. the following day. (29)

27 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Convoy AS 7.

This convoy departed Piraeus on 27 November 1940.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Clan MacArthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Imperial Star (British, 12427 GRT, built 1934), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920) and Nieuw Zeeland (Dutch, 11069 GRT, built 1928).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

On the 28th the destroyer HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Port Said on 30 November 1940. (30)

30 Nov 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The destroyer tender HMS Woolwich (Capt.(Retd.) J. Fawcett, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN).

They arrived at Alexandria on 1 December 1940.

[It seems likely that HMS Woolwich was in convoy with the transports Cingalese Prince (British, 8474 GRT, built 1929) and City of Christchurch (British, 6009 GRT, built 1915) but we can't confirm it. These ships departed Port Said on 30 November and arrived at Alexandria on 1 December. In the logbook of HMS Woolwich is on 30 November an entry ' convoy formed single line ahead '.] (31)

5 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMS Wryneck (Lt.Cdr. R.H.D. Lane, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing (HMAS Waterhen only) exercises off Alexandria.

On completion of the exercises HMAS Waterhen returned to Alexandria while HMS Wryneck proceeded to join convoy AS 6.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' convoy AS 6 ' for 3 December 1940, (only displayed on the page of HMS Wryneck).] (32)

9 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 9 to 15 December 1940, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) cleaned boilers at Alexandria. (24)

16 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for operations with the Inshore Squadron supporting the Army in operations off the Libyan coast. (33)

19 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0950C/19, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Alexandria from operation in / off the Gulf of Sollum.

She departed again around 2030C/19 to resume operations with the Inshore Squadron. (34)

20 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) patrolled between Mersa Matruh and Sollum. She then escorted the armed boarding vessel HMS Fiona (Cdr. A.H.H. Griffiths, RD, RNR) from Mersa Matruh to Sollum where they arrived the following day. (33)

21 Dec 1940
HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) conducted an A/S patrol in / off the Gulf of Sollum.

HMAS Waterhen later proceeded eastwards. (33)

22 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) made rendezvous with the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakla (Cdr. L.C. Bach, RD, RNR) which had departed Alexandria at 1700C/21 escorted by the minesweeper HMS Bagshot (Lt.Cdr. J.F.B. Gage, RNVR). On HMAS Waterhen joining HMS Bagshot parted company to return to Alexandria where she arrived around 1215C/22.

HMS Chakla arrived at Sollum later on 22 December. HMAS Waterhen then set course to return to Alexandria. (34)

23 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1630C/23, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), arrived at Alexandria from operations off the Libyan coast. She departed again later the same day with stores for Sollum. (34)

24 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Sollum where the stores were disembarked. She then departed for an A/S patrol in / off the Gulf of Sollum returning to Sollum the following day. (34)

25 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Sollum for a sweep along the coast between Tobruk and Derna. Object was to disrupt Italian coastal shipping. (34)

26 Dec 1940
At 0030C/26, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) intercepted the Italian schooner Tireremo Diritto near Bardia. The crew and passengers were taken prisoner and the schooner was sunk with gunfire. HMAS Waterhen then returned to Sollum where the POW's were transferred to HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN) which had arrived earlier on the day from Alexandria.

HMAS Waterhen then departed for A/S patrol from which she returned to Sollum on the 28th.

HMAS Vendetta left Sollum around 1830B/26 to return to Alexandria. (35)

28 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) escorted the transport Cingalese Prince (British, 8474 GRT, built 1929) from Sollum to Alexandria. (33)

29 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0915C/29, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), departed Alexandria to return to Sollum. (34)

30 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived of Sollum and commenced an A/S patrol.

At 2105C/30, she collided with the A/S trawler HMS Bandolero (Lt.Cdr. F.M.W. Harris, RNR) and the trawler sank at 2150C/30. HMAS Waterhen was able to pick up the entire crew of HMS Bandolero.

HMAS Waterhen continued the A/S patrol despite damage to her bow. (34)

31 Dec 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) went to the assitance of the trawler HMS Moy which had grounded. HMAS Waterhen was able to tow her off at 1230C/31.

HMAS Waterhen then departed the area to proceed to Alexandria for repairs. She was escorted by HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN). (33)

1 Jan 1941
Around 1100C/1, the damaged HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and her escort HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

HMAS Waterhen departed Alexandria later the same day to proceed to Port Tewfik for repairs. (36)

2 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Port Said and commenced the southbound passage of the Suez Canal. (37)

3 Jan 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Port Tewfik where she is taken in hand for repairs to her damaged stem. Also the boilers were partially retubed. A 12Pdr. AA gun was fitted in lieu of the after bank of torpedo tubes and a captured Italian Breda gun was fitted. Also various defects were made good.

[We have been unable to find out which dates were spent in the floating dock.] (37)

13 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her repairs completed, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Port Tewfik and arrived at Port Said having passed the Suez Canal northbound. (38)

14 Feb 1941

Convoy AN 15.

This convoy departed Port Said on 14 February 1941.

It was made of 20 merchant vessels, six British and fourteen Greek.

The following merchant vessels were part of this convoy Axios (Greek, 5289 GRT, built 1919), Cavallo (British, 2269 GRT , built 1922), Cyprian Prince (British, 1988 GRT, built 1937), Eocene (British, 4216 GRT, built 1922), Julia (Greek, 4348 GRT, built 1914), Katerina (Greek (tanker), 2398 GRT, built 1887), Konistra (Greek, 3539 GRT, built 1907), Mina L. Cambanis (Greek, 5227 GRT, built 1920), Nymphe (Greek, 4504 GRT, built 1921), Prodromos (Greek (tanker), 877 GRT, built 1906) and Saronikos (Greek, 3412 GRT, built 1912).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

A section of the convoy sailed from Alexandria, it was made up of the following merchant vessels [list might be incomplete]; Ais Giorgis (Greek, 2098 GRT, built 1908), Dumana (British, 8423 GRT, built 1923), Heron (Greek, 1580 GRT, built 1906), Pancration (Greek, 2012 GRT, built 1920) and Tanais (Greek, 1545 GRT, built 1907).

This section of the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN).

The sections joined company on the 15th.

On 16 February the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) joined the convoy.

At 0715C/18, the Suda Bay section (Cavallo and Eocene [and possibly more]) of the convoy parted company.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Piraeus on 19 February 1941.

20 Feb 1941

Convoy AS 15.

This convoy departed Piraeus on 20 February 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aegeus (Greek, 4538 GRT, built 1920), Andreas (Greek, 6566 GRT, built 1919), Argo (Greek, 1995 GRT, built 1920), Bosanka (Yuguslavian, 3456 GRT, built 1905), Christos Markettos (Greek, 5209 GRT, built 1919), Dumana (British, 8427 GRT, built 1923), El Hak (British, 1022 GRT, built 1929), Eugenie S. Embiricos (Greek, 4882 GRT, built 1920), Goldmouth (British, 7402 GRT, built 1927), Hatasu (British, 3198 GRT, built 1921), Hollandia (Greek, 1759 GRT, built 1911), Hydraios (Greek, 4476 GRT, built 1902), Kehrea (Greek, 1968 GRT, built 1912), Maliakos (Greek, 3903 GRT, built 1912), Maroy (?) (?, ? GRT, built ?), Meroe (British, 3832 GRT, built 1928), Mount Olympus (Greek, 6692 GRT, built 1920), Nicolaou Georgios (Greek, 4108 GRT, built 1930), Pericles (Dutch (tanker), 3167 GRT, built 1938), Teti (Greek, 2747 GRT, built 1903) and Volo (British, 1587 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Piraeus the convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

The convoy was later split into two sections one proceeding to Alexandria, the other to Port Said.

HMS Calcutta arrived at Alexandria on 23 February 1941.

HMS Greyhound and HMAS Waterhen arrived at Port Said, with the Port Said section of the convoy on 24 February 1941.

The Alexandria section also arrived on the 24th.

24 Feb 1941
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria.

HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, DSO, DSC, RN) remained at Port Said. (38)

25 Feb 1941
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Alexandria from Port Said. (38)

26 Feb 1941
Around 1200C/26, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria to join the Inshore Squadron operating out of Tobruk. She was to relieve HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN). (39)

27 Feb 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Tobruk. She was then sent out again for A/S patrol of the area. (38)

28 Feb 1941
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) returned to Tobruk. She was sent out again later the same day for A/S patrol. This ' routine ' continued until 3 March. (38)

13 Mar 1941
HMS Hotspur (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Piraeus. (40)

14 Mar 1941

Convoy AS 19.

This convoy departed Piraeus on 14 March 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Cavallo (British, 2269 GRT , built 1922), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), Comliebank (British, 5149 GRT, built 1924), El Hak (British, 1022 GRT, built 1929), Eleni Kanellopoulou (Greek, 439 GRT, built 1904), Flora Nomicos (Greek, 2012 GRT, built 1921), Goalparra (British, 5314 GRT, built 1919), Harmattan (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Helka (British, 3471 GRT, built 1919), Margarita (Greek, 2251 GRT, built 1889) and Volo (British, 1587 GRT, built 1938).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Hotspur (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC, RN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the corvette HMS Hyacinth (T/Lt. F.C. Hopkins, RNR).

Around 1800C/16, the convoy was split up into a section for Alexandria (with HMAS Watherhen as escort) and Port Said (with HMS Hyacinth as escort). HMS Hotspur was detached to Haifa.

17 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Alexandria with the ' Alexandria Section ' of convoy AS 19. (40)

18 Mar 1941

Convoy AN 21.

This convoy departed Alexandria and Port Said in two sections on 18 March 1941.

The Alexandria section was made up of the transports; Anglo-Canadian (British, 5288 GRT, built 1928), Bankura (British, 3185 GRT, built 1912), Barpeta (British, 3194 GRT, built 1914), City of Roubaix (British, 7108 GRT, built 1922), Havre (British, 2073 GRT, built 1905), Marie Maersk (British (tanker), 8271 GRT, built 1928) Pancration (Greek, 2012 GRT, built 1920), Peter Maersk (British, 5476 GRT, built 1932), Prodromus (Greek (tanker), 877 GRT, built 1906), Queen Adelaide (British, 4933 GRT, built 1936) and Teti (Greek, 2747 GRT, built 1903).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN).

The Port Said section was made up of the transports; Homefield (British, 5324 GRT, built 1919), Mount Olympus (Greek, 6692 GRT, built 1920) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930).

Escort was provided by the corvette HMS Hyacinth (T/Lt. F.C. Hopkins, RNR).

The two section merged at sea, most likely on 19 March.

At some point the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) joined. She parted company with the convoy around 0800C/21.

Around 1600C/21, while north of Crete, the tanker Marie Maersk was attacked by the air and was on fire. HMAS Waterhen went to her assistance. Several of the crew had been killed or were missing and the remainder had abandoned ship. A salvage party from HMAS Waterhen was put on board and they took the ship to Suda Bay with the assistance of the A/S trawler HMS Amber (Skr. W. Kirman, RNR). HMAS Vampire rejoined the convoy around 2100C/22.

The convoy arrived at Piraeus on 22 March 1941.

24 Mar 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) proceeded from Piraeus to Suda Bay to re-embark the salvage party which had been put on board the tanker Marie Maersk on 21 March.

While near Milo Island, HMAS Waterhen was bombed and machine gunned by a German Ju-88 aircraft. No damage was done to Waterhen though.

After embarking the salvage crew at Suda Bay, HMAS Waterhen returned to Piraeus where she arrived on the 25th. (40)

25 Mar 1941

Convoy AS 22.

This convoy departed Piraeus on 25 March 1941.

It was made up of the following transports; Anglo-Canadian (British, 5288 GRT, built 1928), Baluchistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Bankura (British, 3185 GRT, built 1912), Custodian (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Hav (Norwegian, 5062 GRT, built 1939), Menelaus (British, 10307 GRT, built 1923), Ozarda (BBritish, 6985 GRT, built 1940), Peter Maersk (British, 5476 GRT, built 1932) and Queen Adelaide (British, 4933 GRT, built 1936).

The convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and corvette HMS Hyacinth (T/Lt. F.C. Hopkins, RNR).

Both destroyers were detached on 27 March to proceed ahead of the convoy to Alexandria.

The convoy arrived at Alexandria on 28 March.

30 Mar 1941
On her return to Alexandria with the Mediterranean Fleet, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) commenced cleaning boilers at Alexandria. This was completed on 3 April 1941. (41)

4 Apr 1941
Around 1800B/4, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for Tobruk for operations with the Inshore Squadron. (42)

5 Apr 1941
Around 1045B/5, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Tobruk from Alexandria. (43)

6 Apr 1941
Around 1150B/6, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Tobruk for an A/S patrol along the coast towards Sidi Barrani and then back to Tobruk. (44)

7 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0915B/7, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Tobruk from patrol.

They departed again around 1815B/7, for an A/S sweep to the eastwards and then escort the armed boarding vessel HMS Fiona (Cdr. A.H.H. Griffiths, RD, RNR) to Tobruk.

The destroyers parted company around 0300B/8 to search for HMS Fiona.

The destroyers joined company again around 0900B/8, having been unable to find the Fiona. They had been given a wrong position for the rendezvous.

The destroyers returned to Tobruk around 1845B/8. (44)

8 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1935B/8, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Tobruk for patrol from which they returned around 0915B/9. (44)

9 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1710B/9, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Tobruk escorting the transport Thurland Castle (British, 6372 GRT, built 1929) to Sollum and then onwards to Alexandria.

They arrived off Sollum around 0150B/10 and the unloading of the Thurland Castle commenced with the destroyers conducting an A/S patrol off the anchorage.

They departed Sollum around 0615B/10 for Alexandria where they arrived around 2215B/10. (44)

11 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0540B/11, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for Tobruk where she arrived the following day. (43)

12 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1700B/12, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Tobruk for an offensive sweep towards Tolmeitha. They returned to Tobruk shortly before noon on the 13th. (44)

14 Apr 1941
Around 1730B/14, the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) was attacked by German aircraft outside Tobruk harbour and badly damaged. HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) went to her assistance. HMAS Waterhen tried to take her in tow but this failed and Vita anchored again. Around 2230B/14, HMAS Waterhen went alongside and embarked all 437 patients, 6 doctors, 6 nurses and 41 sick berth ratings. Having completed this HMAS Waterhen set course for Alexandria while HMAS Vendetta departed for a night patrol towards Derna.

The damaged Vita was later towed into Tobruk by the tug HMS St. Issey. (44)

15 Apr 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1830B/15, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (43)

21 Apr 1941

Convoy AN 29.

This convoy departed Alexandria / Port Said on 21 April 1941.

The Alexandria section was made up of the following transports; Araybank (British, 7258 GRT, built 1940), Kirkland (British, 1361 GRT, built 1934), Runo (British, 1858 GRT, built 1920), Themoni (Greek, 5719 GRT, built 1938) and Zealand (British, 2726 GRT, built 1930).

The convoy was formed up around 1800C/21 and was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

Around 1350C/22, the Port Said section of the convoy joined. It was made up of the following transports; Iris (Greek, 1754 GRT, built 1912), Kassandra Louloudis (British, 5106 GRT, built 1919), Rodi (British, 3220 GRT, built 1928) and Rokos (Greek, 6426 GRT, built 1918).

They had no escort with them.

Around 2300C/23, a submarine was sighted on the surface ahead of the convoy. HMAS Vendetta opened fire with ' B ' gun. The submarine remained on the surface and started signalling. As it was known that Greek and Yugoslav submarines were en-route to Alexandria fire was checked as this must have been one of them.

Around 1220C/23, the Kassandra Louloudis was detached to Alexandria.

Around 1515C/23, the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1715C/23, the Iris was detached to Alexandria.

During the night of 23/24 April orders were received to proceed to Suda Bay instead of Piraeus.

Around 1415C/24, the convoy entered Suda Bay. (45)

10 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Suda Bay escorting the transport City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922) to Alexandria where they arrived on the 12th. (46)

20 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 20 to 22 May 1941, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) cleaned boilers at Alexandria. The work could not be completed though. (46)

22 May 1941
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria with troops and stores for Tobruk.

[The report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen stated that she departed Alexandria on 22 May which seems unlikely. It is more likely HMAS Waterhen departed early on 23 May. 23 May is also the date given in the report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla. Unfortunately no log for May 1941 is available for the depot ship HMS Woolwich which would have cleared the matter. Also no log of ships present at Alexandria on 22 / 23 May lists the sailing of HMAS Waterhen. If HMAS Waterhen indeed sailed on 22 May it was most likely very late in the evening.] (46)

23 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 2350C/23, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), arrived at Tobruk. (46)

24 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0230C/24, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), departed Tobruk for Alexandria. On board were wounded soldiers. She arrived at Alexandria later the same day and then continued her boiler cleaning which was completed on the 29th. (46)

30 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria with troops and stores for Tobruk where she arrived around 2300C/30. (46)

31 May 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0200C/31, HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), departed Tobruk with wounded for Alexandria where she arrived around 1700C/31.

[No detailed report of proceedings is available for HMAS Waterhen for June 1941 due to the loss of the ship, therefore some details for this month might be missing.] (46)

1 Jun 1941
HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for Tobruk. She returned to Alexandria at 1620C/4.

[No further details available but most likely she had been transporting troops and stores between Tobruk and Mersa Matruh.] (24)

15 Jun 1941
Around 1355C/15, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Mersa Matruh with troops, ammunition, stores and mail for Tobruk where they arrived around 2315C/15.

They departed again around 0155C/16 with troops which they were to take to Alexandria where they arrived around 1630C/16. (47)

17 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0600C/17, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for another run to Tobruk where they arrived around 2330C/17.

They departed again with wounded and troops for Mersa Matruh around 0050C/18. They arrived at Mersa Matruh around 0930C/18. (47)

19 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1410C/19, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Mersa Matruh for Tobruk. They had embarked ammunition, mail and troops.

They arrived at Tobruk around 0010C/20 and departed again around 0220C/20, now with wounded and some troops on board.

They arrived at Alexandria around 1615C/20. (47)

22 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0600C/22, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for another run to Tobruk where they arrived around 2320C/22.

They departed again with POW's for Mersa Matruh around 0120C/23. They arrived at Mersa Matruh around 0920C/23. (47)

24 Jun 1941
Around 1340C/24, HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Mersa Matruh for Tobruk. They had embarked ammunition, stores and troops.

En-route they were ordered around 1930C/23, to proceed to the aid of HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) and the damaged tanker Pass of Balmaha (British, 758 GRT, built 1933) which had been en-route to Tobruk with HMS Auckland (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) in company. During air attacks HMS Auckland had been sunk and the Pass of Balmaha damaged. The destroyers arrived on the scene around 2100C/23. HMAS Parramatta was picking up the surivors of HMS Auckland. HMAS Waterhen then took the damaged Pass of Balmaha in tow towards Tobruk screened by HMAS Vendetta until she parted company to proceed to Tobruk to land the much needed ammunition she had on board.

HMAS Vendetta arrived at Tobruk around 0215C/24 and departed again around 0255C/20, now with a few troops on board. Due to the delayed arrival she had been unable to unload all the ammunition.

On departure HMAS Vendetta encountered HMAS Waterhen in the searched channel passing the tow of the Pass of Balmaha to the small tug C 309.

Both destroyers then set course to Alexandria as there was no more time to unload HMAS Waterhen.

They arrived at Alexandria around 1700C/25. (47)

Sources

  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for September 1939
  2. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron
  3. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron for 15 September 1939 to 2 October 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for September 1939
  4. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for September 1939
  5. Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for September 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for September 1939
  6. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for October 1939
  7. Report of proceedings of the Australian Destroyer Flotilla + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1939
  8. Report of proceedings of the Australian Destroyer Flotilla + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for November 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1939
  9. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1939
  10. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for November 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1939
  11. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for December 1939 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 1939
  12. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for January 1940
  13. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for February 1940
  14. Report of proceedings of the Australian Destroyer Flotilla + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for February 1940
  15. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for February 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for February 1940
  16. ADM 199/654 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for March 1940
  17. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for March 1940
  18. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1940
  19. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for May 1940.
  20. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for June 1940
  21. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for July 1940
  22. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for August 1940
  23. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for August 1940 + Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla
  24. Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla
  25. ADM 53/112701 + Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla
  26. ADM 173/16450 + Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla
  27. ADM 199/2575
  28. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for October 1940
  29. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1940
  30. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1940 + Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla
  31. ADM 53/113481 + ADM 53/113482 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for November 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 1940
  32. Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 940
  33. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 1940
  34. ADM 53/113482 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 1940
  35. ADM 53/113482 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for December 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for December 1940
  36. ADM 53/115208
  37. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for January 1941
  38. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for February 1941
  39. ADM 53/115209 + + ADM 199/414 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for February 1941
  40. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for March 1941
  41. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for March 1941 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1941
  42. ADM 53/115211 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for April 1941 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1941
  43. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1941
  44. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for April 1941 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1941
  45. ADM 199/42 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for April 1941 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for April 1941
  46. Report of proceedings of HMAS Waterhen for May 1941
  47. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta for June 1941

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


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