Allied Warships

HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)

Sloop of the Bittern class


HMS Stork as seen during the Second World War.

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassBittern 
PennantL 81 / U 81 
Built byWilliam Denny & Brothers (Dumbarton, Scotland) 
Ordered1 May 1935 
Laid down19 Jun 1935 
Launched21 Apr 1936 
Commissioned10 Sep 1936 
End service 
History

Scrapped in June 1958.

 

Hit by U-boat
Damaged on 12 Nov 1942 by U-77 (Hartmann).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Stork

Commands listed for HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Alfred Charles Behague, RN4 Sep 1939Nov 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Peter Vaughan James, RN26 Nov 1939

3Lt. Gordon Thomas Seccombe Gray, RNNov 1940Sep 1941
4Cdr. Frederick John Walker, RNSep 19411 Aug 1942
5Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN1 Aug 1942Feb 1943

6Cdr. (retired) George William Emil Castens, RN28 Apr 194310 Jul 1944
7Lt.Cdr. Donald Emberton Mansfield, RN13 Jul 194427 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Stork include:


11 Feb 1940
Convoy FS 93 (22 or 23 ships) departed the Tyne for Southend where it arrived on 13 February. It was escorted by the AA destroyer HMS Vega (Cdr. C.I Horton, RN) and the sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN). Additionally the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was also part of the escort.

14 Feb 1940
Convoy FN 94 (26 ships) departed Southend for the Tyne where it arrived on 16 February. It was escorted by AA destroyer HMS Vega (Cdr. C.I Horton, RN) and the sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN). Additionally the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was also part of the escort.

18 Feb 1940
Convoy MT 14 (14 ships) departed Methil for the Tyne where it arrived later today. It was escorted by AA destroyer HMS Vega (Cdr. C.I Horton, RN) and the sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN). Additionally the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was also part of the escort.

The same escort departed the Tyne later the same day with convoy FS 99 from the Tyne to Southend where it arrived on 20 February. HMS Jaguar however did not escort this convoy all the way as she returned to Rosyth on 19 February.

27 May 1940

Assault on Narvik.

The following naval vessels were operating in the Narvik area supporting the assauly by the army; light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), AA cruisers HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G.P. Vivian, RN) and HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Admiral of the Fleet W.H.D. Boyle (Lord Cork), GCB, GCVO, RN), destroyers HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliot, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).

Some of these ships bombarded Narvik very late in the evening following which the final assault by the Allies on Narvik began.

Narvik was captured from the German in the evening of the 28th.

During the 28th multiple ships sustained damage due to German air attacks;

The most serious damage was to AA cruiser HMS Cairo. She was hit by hit by two bombs at 0620/28 and was badly damaged. One bomb struck abaft B gun. It penetrated the deck and exploded among the supply ammunition party. The other bomb hit the starboard .5" anti-aircraft gun mounting. Twelve of the crew were killed.

Light cruiser HMS Southampton was near missed and damaged by bomb splinters. Her Commanding Officer was wounded and two ratings were killed.

AA cruiser HMS Coventry was also near missed and had one rating killed by bomb splinters.

The destroyers HMS Walker, HMS Whirlwind and HMS Havelock all sustained minor damage from near misses. The most serious damage was to Walker. (1)

6 Jun 1940

Evacuation of the 'Narvik / Harstad / Tromso area'.

1st troop evacuation convoy from Harstad.

From 4 to 6 June 1940 the troopships Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Lancastria (British, 16243 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939) embarked almost 15000 troops in the Andfiord, near Harstad, Norway. They did this one by one and they were then escorted out to sea by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).

On completion of the embarkation of the troops of the last ships they departed on 6 June 1940 from the assembly point escorted by the repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN).

They were joined shortly after midnight on the 8th by the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN). These additional escorts parted company with the convoy late in the evening of the 8th after the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) had joined the convoy coming from Scapa Flow which they had departed around 2300/7.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 10 June 1940. (2)

7 Jun 1940

Evacuation of the 'Narvik / Harstad / Tromso area'.

1st Evacuation convoy from Harstad.

The merchant vessels Acrity (403 GRT, built 1934), Blackheath (4637 GRT, built 1936), Conch (8376 GRT (tanker), built 1931), Coxwold (1124 GRT, built 1938), Cromarty Firth (538 GRT, built 1937), Harmattan (4558 GRT, built 1930), Oligarch (6897 GRT (tanker), built 1918) and Theseus (6527 GRT, built 1908).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN). The destroyers HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) also briefly escorted the convoy but they were soon detached.

Later the destroyer HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN) joined the escort as did the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN).

The convoy arrived at Scapa Flow around 0500/14. It had been attacked by German aircraft on the 9th but no damage was sustained.

5 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) and HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN). (3)

7 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HNoMS Bath (Lt.Cdr. C.F.T. Melsom), HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN) and HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN). (3)

11 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN). (3)

12 Jul 1941

Convoy WS 9C

This convoy was formed at sea and was initially made up of the British merchants/ troop transports Avila Star (14443 GRT, built 1927), City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Durham (10893 GRT, built 1934), Leinster (4302 GRT, built 1937), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Pasteur (30447 GRT, built 1939), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933) and Sydney Star (11095 GRT, built 1936).

They were escorted by the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) (12-20 July), cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN), (12-17 July), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) (12-15 July), cruiser-minelayer HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN), (15-16 July), destroyers HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (12 July), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) (12-15 July), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) (12-15 July), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) (12-17 July), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (12-17 July), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) (17-20 July), escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) (18-20 July) and sloop HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) (12-13 July).

The merchant ships from the convoy departed either Avonmouth, Liverpool, the Clyde area and Belfast. The convoy was finally formed up at sea early on the 13th in position 55°40'N, 06°55'W.

The passage of the convoy was uneventful.

HMS Gurkha and ORP Garland left the convoy around 0330/15 reaching the limit of their endurance. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wanderer did the same around 1830/15. Around 2000/15 HMS Manxman joined the convoy, she parted company at 1900/16 and set course for Gibraltar. The merchant Avila Star had meanwhile left the convoy at 1000/16.

At 0700/17 the 8th Destroyer Flotilla was to join the convoy coming from Gibraltar but due to thick for no contact was made. At 1000/17 the Pasteur left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Manchester, HMS Maori, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. Shortly afterwards the fog lifted and the 8th Destroyer Flottilla was sighted and joined the convoy. At 1200/17 the Leinster also left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh.

At 1800/18 HMS Firedrake joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

At 0700/18 HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale joined the Pasteur, HMS Manchester, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. HMS Maori then left that group and joined the group that was made up of the Leinster, HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh. HMS Manchester departed the ‘Pasteur group’ at 1000/19 to join the ‘Leinster group’ which she did at 1500/19.

The ‘Pasteur group’ arrived at Gibraltar shortly after noon on the 19th and around 0330/20 the ‘Leinster group’ arrived at Gibraltar. Troops aboard these ships then disembarked.

Around 0200/20, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Manxman, HMS Lightning, HMAS Nestor, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale departed Gibraltar to rendez-vous with the now incoming convoy WS 9C. They joined the convoy shortly before noon, the six F-class destroyers of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla then left to refuel at Gibraltar.

For the continuation of the events see the event for 21 July 1941 on Operation Substance. (4)

7 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN) and HMS Walney (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Meyrick, RN). (5)

17 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-131 was sunk north-east of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34°12'N, 13°35'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN), the British corvette HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr. J. Byron, RNR (retired)) and the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN), and by depth charges from a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) of the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (Cdr. D.W. Mackendrick, RN).

19 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-574 was sunk in the North Atlantic near Punta Delgada, in position 38°12'N, 17°23'W, by ramming and depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN).

HMS Stork also picks up 14 survivors from the British merchant Ruckinge that was torpedoed and damaged, finally sunk by gunfire from the British corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, RNR), by German U-boat U-108 west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 38°20'N, 17°15'W.

7 Apr 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN) and HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J Jackson, RNVR). (6)

14 Apr 1942
German U-boat U-252 was sunk at 2230hrs on 14 April 1942 in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in approximate position 47°00'N, 18°14'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN) and the British corvette HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSC, RNR).

20 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR). (7)

21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (7)

11 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN). (8)

22 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), HMS Inkpen (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) and aircraft. (9)

22 Oct 1942

Convoys KMS 1, KMF 1 for the landings at Algiers and Oran during Operation Torch.

Convoy KMS 1.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 23 October 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Alcinous (Dutch, 6189 GRT, built 1925), Alphard (British, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Ardeola (British, 2609 GRT, built 1912), Benalbanach (British, 7153 GRT, built 1940), Charles H. Cramp (American, 6220 GRT, built 1920), Chattanooga City (American, 5687 GRT, built 1921), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Clan MacTaggart (British, 7622 GRT, built 1920), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Edward Ruthledge (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Mordred (British, 7024 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Glenfinlas (British, 7479 GRT, built 1917), Havildar (British, 5401 GRT, built 1940), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), Jean Jadot (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), Lalande (British, 7453 GRT, built 1920), Lochmonar (British, 9412 GRT, built 1924), Lycaon (British, 7350 GRT, built 1913), Macharda (British, 7998 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Mark Twain (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Maron (British, 6487 GRT, built 1930), Mary Slessor (British, 5027 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Rider (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volga (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wanderer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Pacific Exporter (British, 6734 GRT, built 1928), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Salacia (British, 5495 GRT, built 1937), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), St. Essylt (British, 5634 GRT, built 1941), Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942), Tadorna (British, 1947 GRT, built 1928), Theseus (British, 6527 GRT, built 1908), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1942), Urlana (British, 6852 GRT, built 1941), Walt Whitman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William M. Floyd (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William M. Wirt (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Zebulon B. Vance (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

Also part of the convoy were the landing ships Derwentdale (8390 GRT, built 1941), Dewdale (8265 GRT, built 1941) and Ennerdale (8280 GRT, built 1941).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN), AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN), destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), sloops HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), corvettes HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR), HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RD, RNR), HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. L.A. Sayers, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR), HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Acute (Lt.Cdr. D. Lampen, DSO, RN), HMS Alarm (T/Lt.Cdr. R. Patterson, SANF(V)), HMS Albacore (Lt.Cdr. J.D.L. Williams, RN) and HMS Cadmus (Lt.Cdr. J.B.G. Temple, DSC, RN).

Around 1000A/4, the convoy was split up into two sections KMS A1 and KMS O1. KMS A1 was destined for Algiers and KMS O1 was destined for Oran. KMS O1 then proceeded to the westwards so as to pass the Straits of Gibraltar later.

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Convoy KMS A 1.

Convoy KMS A 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 2345A/5; it was made up of the transports; City of Worcester, Glenfinlas, Jean Jadot, Lalande, Lochmonar, Macharda, Manchester Port, Maron, Ocean Rider, Ocean Viceroy, Ocean Volga, Ocean Wanderer, Sobo, Stanhill, Tiba and Urlana.

The landing ships Dewdale and Ennerdale were also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Stork, corvettes HMS Convolvulus, HMS Marigold, HMS Pentstemon, HMS Samphire [this corvette might have already parted company though, see below] and the minesweepers HMS Acute, HMS Alarm, HMS Albacore and HMS Cadmus.

Around 0700A/5, the corvette HMS Samphire arrived at Gibraltar with defects from convoy KMS A1.

Around 0800A/5, the minesweepers HMS Algerine (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Cooke, RN), HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RNR) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

Around 1830A/5, the M/S trawlers HMS Cava (T/Lt. R.L. Petty-Major, RNVR), HMS Juliet (Lt. L.B. Moffatt, RNR), HMS Othello (T/Lt. S.C. Dickinson, RNVR), HMS Stroma (Skr. J.S. Harper, RNR), HMS Hoy (T/Lt. G.H. McNair, MBE, RNVR), HMS Inchcolm (Skr. A.C. Whitcombe, RNR), HMS Mull (Lt. J. Plomer, RCNVR), HMS Rysa (T/Lt. J.H. Cooper, RNVR) and the motor launches ML 238, ML 273, ML 283, ML 295, ML 307, ML 336, ML 338, ML 444 departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

Around 2230A/5, the monitor HMS Roberts (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN), escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN), HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN), HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) and the corvette HMS Samphire (with her repairs completed) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS A1.

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Convoy KMS O 1.

Convoy KMS O 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 1630A/6; it was made up of the transports; Alcinous, Alphard, Benalbanach, Charles H. Cramp, Chattanooga City, Clan Mactaggart, Delinlian, Edward Rutledge, Empire Confidence, Empire Mordred, Havildar, Lycaon, Mark Twain, Mary Slessor, Pacific Exporter, Recorder, Salacia, St. Essylt, Thesues, Walt Whitman, William Floyd, William Wirt and Zebulon B. Vance.

The landing ship Derwentdale was also part of this convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the AA ship HMS Alynbank, sloop HMS Deptford, corvettes HMS Gardenia, HMS Rhododendron, HMS Vetch and HMS Violet.

Around 1500A/6, the minesweepers HMS Brixham (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR), HMS Bude (Lt. F.A.J. Andrew, RN), HMS Clacton (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) L.S. Shaw, RNR) and HMS Felixstowe (T/Lt. C.G. Powney, RNVR) departed Gibraltar to join the convoy KMS O1.

After dark on the 6th, the M/S trawlers HMS Coriolanus (T/Lt. N. Hunt, RNVR), HMS Eday (T/Lt. W.Y. Surtees, RNR), HMS Inchmarnock (T/Lt. C.G.V. Corneby, RNR), HMS Kerrera (Skr. R.W. Slater, RNR) and the motor launches ML 280, ML 458, ML 463, ML 469, ML 471, ML 480, ML 483 and HDML 1127, HDML 1128 and HDML 1139 departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMS O1.

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Operation Crupper.

Two ships from Convoy KMS 1, the Ardeola and Tadorna formed part of Convoy KMS 1A after the convoy had split up. They were to proceed to Malta unescorted. The Admiralty had decided to make use of the expected confusion of the landings in North Africa to run two 'small' merchant ships with important cargo to Malta. These ships were considered expendable. They parted company with convoy KMS 1A on 8 November. They did not reach Malta however. When off Cape Bon on 9 November, they were taken under fire by Vichy French coastal batteries, despite the darkness, and then captured by motor torpedo boats. They were brought into Bizerta where their cargo was unloaded. The ships were later taken over by the Italians.

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Convoy KMF 1.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 26 October 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Awatea (British, 13482 GRT, built 1936), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Cathay (British, 15225 GRT, built 1925), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Derbyshire (British, 11660 GRT, built 1935), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Ettrick (British, 11279 GRT, built 1938), Exceller (American, 6597 GRT, built 1941), Leinster (British, 4302 GRT, built 1937) Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Nieuw Zeeland (British, 11069 GRT, built 1928), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Sobieski (British, 11030 GRT, built 1939), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tegelberg (British, 1415 GRT, built 1937), Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929), Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

The headquarters ships HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN), HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR), the landing ships HMS Glengyle (Capt.(Retd.) D.S. McGrath, RN), HMS Karanja (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) D.S. Hore-Lacy, RN), HMS Keren (A/Cdr. S.E. Crewe-Read, RN), HMS Princess Beatrix (Cdr.(Retd.) T.B. Brunton, DSC, RN), HMS Queen Emma (Capt.(Retd.) G.L.D. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Armstrong, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Royal Ulsterman (A/Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR) and HMS Ulster Monarch (Lt.Cdr. N.A.F. Kingscote, RNR) and the attack transports USS Almaack (T/Capt. C.L. Nichols, USN), USS Leedstown (Cdr. D. Cook, USNR), USS Samuel Chase (Capt. R.C. Heimer, USCG) and USS Thomas Stone (Capt. O.R. Bennehoff, USN) were also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay on the 27th the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), escort carrier HMS Biter (Capt. E.M.C. Abel Smith, RN), destroyer HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN), sloops HMS Aberdeen (Lt.Cdr. H. Day, RN), HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN), HMS Ibis (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN), cutters HMS Hartland (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Billot, RNR), HMS Walney (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Meyrick, RN), frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Swale (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR) and HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR).

Around 1120A/2, the destroyers HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) joined coming from the Azores.

Around 0200A/3, the AA ships HMS Palomares (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN), HMS Pozarica (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Lord Teynham, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) departed Gibraltar to join the convoy. At 1045A/3, the destroyer HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN) also departed to join the convoy. She had been unable to depart earlier due to defects.

Around 0800A/3, the destroyer HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN) joined the convoy coming from the Azores.

Around 1300A/3, the light cruiser HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, RN) also departed Gibraltar to join the convoy.

Around 1830Z/3, HMS Sheffield parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar where she arrived at 0815A/3, she was to fuel and then join ' Force O '.

Around noon on 4 November 1942, the convoy was split up into two sections KMF A1 and KMF O1. KMF A1 was destined for Algiers and KMF O1 was destined for Oran. KMF O1 then proceeded to the westwards so as to pass the Straits of Gibraltar later.

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Convoy KMF A 1.

Convoy KMF A 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 0100A/6; it was made up of the (troop) transports; Almaack, Awatea, Cathay, Dempo, Ettrick, Exceller, Leedstown, Marnix van St. Aldegonde, Otranto, Sobieski, Strathnaver, Viceroy of India and Winchester Castle.

The headquarters ship HMS Bulolo and the landing ships HMS Karanja, HMS Keren, HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch and the attack transports USS Samuel Chase and USS Thomas Stone were also part of the convoy.

[exactly which ships of the escort went on with this part of the convoy will have to be researched further.]

In the morning of 5 November, HrMs Isaac Sweers parted company with the convoy to join ' Force H '. HMS Escapade and HMS Marne were apparently detached to Gibraltar on the convoy passing the Strait of Gibraltar.

Also on 5 November, the corvettes HMS Spiraea (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR) and HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF A1.

Around 0200A/6, the destroyers HMS Broke (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF A1 and relieve HMS Achates, HMS Antelope, HMS Amazon and HMS Wivern. After having been relieved these destroyers arrived at Gibraltar around 0545A/6. Also arriving at Gibraltar were the Leinster, HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch.

Around 1000A/6, HMS Broke, HMS Malcolm, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wrestler joined ' Force O ' while the screen on ' Force O ' joined the convoy, the destroyers / escort destroyers involved were ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN). The AA ship HMS Tynwald (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN) also joined the convoy from ' Force O ' at the same time.

Around 0535A/7, in position 37°34'N, 00°01'W, the attack transport USS Thomas Stone was torpedoed and damaged by an enemy aircraft. HMS Spey remained with the damaged ship. At 2040A/7, the destroyers HMS Wishart and HMS Velox joined and the ship was taken in tow by HMS Wishart. HMS Spey by that time had departed with the ships 24 landing craft in which the ships troops had embarked. She was to escort them to Algiers but all had to be scuttled and the troops were taken on board HMS Spey. At 0535A/8 the tug St. Day joined which also passed a tow. The damaged ship anchored off Algiers around 1030A/11 being towed there by HMS Wishart and HMS St. Day.

Around 0725Z/7, HMS Clare parted company to join ' Force O ' which she did around 0913Z/7.

Around 1815A/7, the section destined for ' C Sector ' (Charlie Sector) parted company with the convoy. It was made up of the USS Almaack, USS Leedstown, USS Samuel Chase, Exceller and Dempo. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Tynwald, escort destroyers HMS Cowdray, HMS Zetland, sloop HMS Enchantress, minesweepers HMS Algerine, HMS Hussar, HMS Speedwell, corvettes HMS Pentstemon, HMS Samphire, MS trawlers HMS Cava, HMS Othello and the motor launches HMS ML 273 and HMS ML 295. At 2135A/7, the beacon submarine HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) made contact with the force and the ships were guided to their positions for the landings. From convoy KMS A1 the transports Macharda and Maron were destined for Charlie sector. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Stork and the corvettes HMS Pentstemon and HMS Samphire.

Around 1900A/7, The remainder of convoy KMF A1 split into two sections, one for ' A Sector ' (Apple Sector) and one for ' B Sector ' (Beer Sector).

The force for ' A Sector ' was made up of HMS Karanja and the Marnix van St. Aldegonde and Viceroy of India. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Pozarica, escort destroyers HMS Bicester, HMS Bramham, frigate HMS Rother, minesweeper HMS Cadmus, MS trawlers HMS Juliet, HMS Rysa, HMS Stroma and the motor launches HMS ML 283, HMS ML 336 and HMS ML 338. At 2214A/7, the made contact with their beacon submarine HMS P 221 (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSC, RN). A few minutes later they stopped and the landings commenced. From convoy KMS A1 the following ships were assigned to ' A Sector '; Dewdale, Lalande, Manchester Port, Ocean Viceroy and Ocean Wanderer. They were escorted by the corvettes HMS Convolvulus and HMS Marigold.

The force for ' B Sector ' was made up of HMS Bulolo, HMS Keren and the Awatea, Cathay, Otranto, Sobieski, Strathnaver and Winchester Castle. With them were also transports from convoy KMS A1. They were escorted by the AA ship HMS Palomeres, destroyer ORP Blyskawica, escort destroyers HMS Lamerton, HMS Wheatland, HMS Wilton, minesweepers HMS Acute, HMS Alarm, HMS Albacore, MS trawlers HMS Hoy, HMS Incholm, HMS Mull and the motor launches HMS ML 238, HMS ML 307 and HMS ML 444. They made contact with their beacon submarine HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) around 2220A/7 hours and landing operation commenced shortly afterwards. From convoy KMS A1 the following ships were assigned to ' A Sector '; City of Worcester, Ennerdale, Glenfinlas, Jean Jadot, Lochmonar, Ocean Rider, Ocean Volga, Sobo, Stanhill, Tiba and Urlana. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Stork and the corvettes HMS Pentstemon and HMS Samphire which then went on with the ships for the ' Charlie sector '.

On 9 November the ships involved in the landings anchored in Algiers Bay.

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Convoy KMF O 1.

Convoy KMF O 1 was to pass the Strait of Gibraltar around 2230A/6; it was made up of the (troop) transports; Batory, Duchess of Bedford, Durban Castle, Letitia, Llangibby Castle, Monarch of Bermuda, Mooltan, Nieuw Zeeland, Orbita, Reina del Pacifico, Tegelberg and Warwick Castle.

The headquarters ship HMS Largs and the landing ships HMS Glengyle, HMS Princess Beatrix and HMS Queen Emma were also part of the convoy.

Around 1950A/4, the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) departed Gibraltar to join convoy KMF O1.

For the landings at Oran three main beaches were selected. ' X ', ' Y ' and ' Z ' beach. There was also one subsidiary beach, ' R '.

The fast convoy, KMF O1, would, after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar make rendezvous with the slow convoy, KMS O1 in position 36°26'N, 01°15'W.

The convoys would then be diverted into nine groups, these were;
For ' X ' beach
Group I, 1st Division; Batory, HMS Princess Beatrix, Queen Emma, 2nd Division; Benalbenach, Mark Twain, Mary Slessor and Walt Whitman. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora, destroyer HMS Wivern, corvettes HMS Gardenia, HMS Vetch and the motor launch HMS HDML 1139.
Group VIII, LST HMS Bachaquero (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. McMullan, RNR) escorted by the M/S trawler HMS Horatio (T/Lt. C.A. Lemkey, RNR).

For ' Y ' beach
Group II; HMS Glengyle, Monarch of Bermuda, Llangibby Castle, Clan Mactaggart and Salacia. They were escorted by the destroyers Brilliant, HMS Verity, M/S trawlers HMS Coriolanus, HMS Eday, HMS Inchmarnock, HMS Kerrera and the motor launches HMS ML 458, HMS ML 463, HMS ML 469, HMS ML 471 and HMS HDML 1128.

For ' Z ' beach
Group III, 1st Division; Duchess of Bedford, Durban Castle, Ettrick, Warwick Castle. 2nd Division; Derwentdale, Reina del Pacifico and Tegelberg. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Jamaica, escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), minesweepers HMS Brixham, HMS Bude, HMS Clacton, HMS Felixtowe, HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR), HMS Rothesay (Cdr. A.A. Martin, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Rhyl (Cdr. L.J.S. Ede, DSO, RN), HMS Stornoway (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Fraser, RNR) and the motor launches HMS ML 280, HMS HDML 1127.

Group V; Alcinous, Alphard, Charles H. Cramp, Chatanooga City, Delilian, Recorder and Zebulon B. Vance. They were escorted by the sloop HMS Deptford, cutters HMS Hartland, HMS Walney, corvettes HMS Rhododendron, HMS Violet and the motor launches HMS ML 480 and HMS ML 483.

Group VI, 1st division; Derbyshire, Letitia, Mooltan and Nieuw Zeeland. 2nd division, Empire Confidence, Lycaon and Theseus.

Group VII, 1st division, Empire Mordred, Havildar, Pacific Exporter and St. Essylt. 2nd division; Edward Rutledge, William Floyd and William Wirt. Groups VI and VII were escorted by the light (AA) cruiser HMS Delhi (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN), destroyer HMS Vansittart, sloop HMS Aberdeen and the frigates HMS Exe and HMS Swale.

Group IX; LST's HMS Misoa (T/Lt. K.G. Graham, RNR) and HMS Tasajera (Lt.Cdr. W.E. Gelling, DSC, RD, RNR). They were escorted by the M/S trawlers HMS Fluellen (T/Lt. B.J. Hampson, RNR), HMS Ronaldsay (T/Lt. A. Stirling, RNR) and HMS Shiant (T/Lt. A.C. Elton, RNR).

For ' R ' beach
Group IV; HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Royal Ulsterman and HMS Ulster Monarch. They had the same escort as Group III.

Two submarines were stationed off the beaches as beacons, these were HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) and HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN).

17 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN) and HMS Mallow (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR). (10)

9 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN). (11)

10 Aug 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Alisma (Lt. G. Lanning, RANVR). (12)

30 Aug 1943
German U-boat U-634 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of the Azores, in position 40°13'N, 19°24'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. G.W.E. Castens, (retired), RN) and the British corvette HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR).

17 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNN), HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR), HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN) and HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN). (13)

24 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN) and HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN). (14)

25 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) and HMS Loch Killin (Lt.Cdr. S. Darling, RANVR). (14)

26 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Duncan (Lt. D.G.D. Hall-Wright, RN) and HMCS Orangeville (Lt. F.R. Pike, RCNVR). (14)

7 Jun 1944

Convoy EWP 1.

This convoy departed Portsmouth on 7 June 1944 and arrived on 8 June 1944 off the Normandy beaches.

It was made up of the transports; Batavier II (Dutch, 1573 GRT, built 1920), Biarritz (British, 2388 GRT, built 1915), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Empire Arquebus (British, 7177 GRT, built 1944), Empire Crossbow (British, 7177 GRT, built 1944), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Neuralia (British, 9182 GRT, built 1912), New Bedford (British, 1595 GRT, built 1928) and Worcestershire (British, 11402 GRT, built 1931).

The depot / headquarters ships, HMS Adventure (A/Capt. A.M. Sheffield, RN), HMS Despatch (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO, RN) and Southern Prince (Capt. (Retd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC, OBE, RN) were also with this convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the escort destroyer HMS Eglinton (Lt.Cdr. F.M. Graves, RN), sloops HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. I.M. Carrs, RN), HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Duff (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Brock, RCNVR) and HMS Hotham (A/Lt.Cdr. S. Ayles, RNR).

13 Dec 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Stork (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Mansfield, RN), HMS Delphinium (T/Lt. S. Rule, RNVR) and aircraft. (15)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMCS Kootenay (A/Lt.Cdr. W.H. Willson, DSC, RCN), HMS Black Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.D.C. Inglis, RN), HMS Stork (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Mansfield, RN) and another vessel [unable to read the name in the logbook of Volatile]. (16)

Media links


The Fighting Captain

Burn, Alan

Sources

  1. ADM 53/113252
  2. ADM 199/361 + ADM 199/376
  3. File 2.12.03.6387 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 53/114626 + ADM 53/114204 + ADM 199/1138
  5. File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  7. ADM 173/17201
  8. ADM 173/17216
  9. ADM 173/17253
  10. ADM 173/17891
  11. ADM 173/17927
  12. ADM 173/17773
  13. ADM 173/17786
  14. ADM 173/19192
  15. ADM 173/19345
  16. ADM 173/20331

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


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