Allied Warships

HMAS Quiberon (G 81)

Destroyer of the Q class

NavyThe Royal Australian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassQ 
PennantG 81 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Apr 1940 
Laid down14 Oct 1940 
Launched31 Jan 1942 
Commissioned6 Jul 1942 
End service26 Jun 1964 
History

Decommissioned to reserve on 26 June 1964.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 15 February 1972 to the Fujita Salvage Co. Ltd. (Osaka, Japan).

 
Former nameHMS Quiberon

Commands listed for HMAS Quiberon (G 81)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Hugh Waters Shelley Browning, OBE, RN14 Apr 194220 Jan 1943
2Cdr. George Scott Stewart, RAN21 Jan 19431 Jul 1943
3Lt. Guy James Alexander Ashley-Brown, RAN1 Jul 194327 Aug 1943
4Cdr. George Scott Stewart, RAN27 Aug 194329 May 1944
5Lt. Guy James Alexander Ashley-Brown, RAN30 May 194414 Jul 1944
6Cdr. Wilfred Hastings Harrington, DSO, RAN14 Jul 194416 Feb 1945
7Lt.Cdr. George Frederick Edmund Knox, RAN16 Feb 19452 Sep 1946

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Notable events involving Quiberon include:


The page of HMAS Quiberon was last updated in November 2022.

18 Jul 1942
Around 1000B/18, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Portsmouth for sea trials. She arrived at Portland later the same day. (1)

19 Jul 1942
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) proceeded from Portland to Portsmouth where she arrived around 1800B/19. (1)

22 Jul 1942
Around 0900B/22, the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for Plymouth where they arrived later the same day. (2)

23 Jul 1942
The destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Scapa Flow where they were to work-up. (3)

24 Jul 1942
Around 1700B/24, the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Plymouth.

They both were to work-up as Scapa Flow following commissioning and having completed a long refit respectively. (3)

10 Aug 1942
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN) carried out A/S exercises with HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN). (4)

11 Aug 1942
HMS Upright (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN) carried out A/S exercises with HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Juniper, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN). (4)

17 Aug 1942
Around 1815A/17, the escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. She was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN).

Off the entrance to the Firth of Forth, HMAS Quiberon parted company with the escort carrier and set course to return to Scapa Flow. (5)

18 Aug 1942
Around 1445A/18, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from escort duty. (6)

20 Aug 1942
With her work-up period completed, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 0600A/20 for the Clyde where she arrived around 1930A/20. (5)

29 Aug 1942

Convoy WS 22.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 29 August 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Canara (British, 7024 GRT, built 1942), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Leinster (British, 4303 GRT, built 1937), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Nieuw Holland (British, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937) and Suffolk (British, 11145 GRT, built 1939).

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Beverley (Lt. R.A. Price, RN), HMS Chesterfield (Lt. J. Smallwood, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN).

Around 1800Z/31, ORP Blyskawica was detached to Londonderry due to abnormal high fuel consumption.

Around 0600Z/1, HMS Bulldog, HMS Keppel and HMS Zetland were detached to return to the U.K.

Around 1315Z/1, HMS Bicester was detached to Plymouth.

Around 1520Z/1, HMS Partridge and HMAS Quiberon were detached to fuel at the Azores. They arrived there around 1600Z/2.

Around 1540Z/2, the Leinster parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar. The destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) had come from Gibraltar to escort her.

Around 0930Z/3, HMS Partridge and HMAS Quiberon rejoined from fuelling having departed Ponta Delgada around 0200Z/3. HMS Beverley and HMS Chesterfield were then detached to fuel at the Azores.

Around 1400Z/6, the destroyer HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair) joined.

Around 1300Z/7, the escort destroyer RHS Pindos joined.

The convoy arrived at Freetown shortly after noon on 9 September 1942.

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The convoy departed Freetown in the same composition around 0700Z/13. One additional vessel had joined the convoy, this was the transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927). The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Aurora, armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), destroyers HMAS Quiberon, HMS Partridge, HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope and the escort destroyers HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and RHS Pindos.

Around 1800Z/15, the Highland Princess was detached to Takoradi escorted by HMS Boreas. HMS Antelope was also detached to return to Freetown.

Around 1800A/16, HMS Alcantara, HMS Derwent and RHS Pindos were detached to Pointe Noire to fuel. They rejoined the convoy around 1800A/19 after which HMS Aurora, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Partidge parted company with the convoy to fuel at Pointe Noire. They did not rejoin the convoy.

Around 1015BC/24, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) joined the convoy coming from Simonstown.

Around 1200BC/24, the convoy split into the Capetown section and the Durban section.

The Capetown section was made up of the Almanzora, Andes, California, Canara, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nea Hellas, Nieuw Holland, Orduna and Ruys. The arrived at Capetown on 25 September escorted by HMS Alcantara, HMS Derwent and RHS Pindos.

The Durban section was made up of the Boissevain, Highland Brigade, Highland Chieftain, Mataroa, Orcades, Rangitata, Sibajak and Suffolk. They were escorted by HMS Shropshire.

The Durban section arrived at Durban on 29 September 1942.

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On 29 September 1942, the Capetown section, now made up of the following ships; Almanzora, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nieuw Holland and Orduna departed. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Alcantara and HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN).

On 3 October 1942, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy and entered Durban. The Durban section of the convoy then joined. It was now made up of the following ships; Boissevain, California, Canera, Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Rangitata and Ruys. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN).

Around 0600D/8, HMS Ranchi parted company with the convoy to fuel at Diego Suarez. She arrived there around 1730D/9. Having completed fuelling she departed again around 2330D/9 to rejoined the convoy which she did around 0600D/11.

Around 1130E/10, the 'heavy' cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Devonshire then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini / Mombasa taking the Almanzora and Rangitata with her. They arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa on the 12th.

Around 0710D/11, HMS Hawkins parted company taking the Bombay section of the convoy with her. The Bombay section was made up of the Boissevain, California, Canara, Dominion Monarch, Franconia, Indrapoera, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Nieuw Holland and Ruys. They arrived at Bombay on 17 October 1942 minus the Canera which had been detached around 1920EF/15 to Karachi where she arrived on 18 October 1942.

HMS Ranchi escorting the Aden section, made up of the Ekma, Felix Roussel and Orduna , had meanwhile arrived at Aden on 16 October 1942. (7)

20 Sep 1942
Around 1130A/20, the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire from convoy escort duty.

Around 1900A/20, having fuelled, they departed Pointe Noire for Freetown.

On 21 September 1942, they were ordered to search for a German supply ship suspected to be in the area.

At 0300A/23, a ship was sighted right ahead and HMAS Quiberon was ordered to investigate. The ship turned out to be the Portugese Mirandella (5926 GRT, built 1906) bound from Lisbon to Luanda.

At 1300Z/24, HMS Aurora, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Partridge were ordered to search for the Vichy French transport Cephee (5800 GRT, built 1938) to the limit of their endurance.

Around 0400Z/25, HMS Partridge parted company to proceed to Freetown where she arrived on the 26th.

Around 0400Z/26, HMAS Quiberon parted company to proceed to Freetown where she arrived around 1015Z/27 having first made several runs over the D/G range.

Around 1300Z/26, HMS Aurora ended the search and set course to Freetown where she arrived around 1800Z/27. The Vichy-French vessel had not been sighted. (8)

28 Sep 1942
Around 2300Z/28, the light cruiser HrMs Sumatra (Cdr. J.L. Willinge, RNN), destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and the tanker Sinclair H-C (American, 7875 GRT, built 1942) departed Freetown.

Around 1500Z/29, the tanker parted company to proceed to Freetown independently.

HrMs Sumatra and HMAS Quiberon arrived at Bathurst around 1030Z/30. (9)

30 Sep 1942
Around 1700Z/30, the light cruiser HrMs Sumatra (Cdr. J.L. Willinge, RNN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN) departed Bathurst for the U.K. via Gibraltar.

Around 0700Z/1, they joined the troopships Empress of Australia (21833 GRT, built 1914) and Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) escorted by the destroyers HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN).

Around 1400Z/1, HMS Griffin and HMS Antelope parted company to join convoy CF 5B.

Around 2250Z/2, the troopships parted company to proceed to the U.K. independently for the moment. HrMS Sumatra, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Partridge then set course for Gibraltar where they arrived around 1000A/5. (10)

6 Oct 1942
Around 1930A/6, the light cruiser HrMs Sumatra (Cdr. J.L. Willinge, RNN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN) departed Gibraltar for the Clyde.

Around 0850A/10, in very heavy weather, HMS Partridge reported having lost a men overboard and she turned back to search. She only rejoined around 1700A/10 and reported having lost six crew overboard and that she had been able to recover three of them. The other three could not be found.

Around 2000A/10, the destroyers parted company with HrMs Sumatra in the North Channel and proceeded to the Greenock where they arrived around 0700A/11.

HrMs Sumatra arrived at Holyhead around 0900A/11.

(11)

25 Oct 1942
Having completed a boiler clean and repair period at Greenock, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Greenock around 1530A/25 for Scapa Flow where she arrived around 0900A/26. (11)

27 Oct 1942
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (12)

28 Oct 1942
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (12)

30 Oct 1942
' Force H ' departed Scapa Flow to participate in the landings in North Africa (Operation Torch). This force was made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN).

Around 1000/31, they made rendezvous with the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and their escort of the destroyers HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN). These ships had departed the Clyde around 2300/30.

At 1600/2 the destroyers HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to make rendezvous with ' Force H '. They joined around 0730/4 after which HMS Argonaut, HMS Milne, HMS Martin, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Partridge, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo and HMS Tartar, parted company to proceed to Gibraltar to fuel. These ships arrived at Gibraltar around 1430/5. Of the original screen only HMS Porcupine remained with ' Force H ' at this moment.

Around 1730/4, the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) joined.

Around 0830/5, the destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) joined from convoy KMF 1.

around 1400/5, the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) joined. They had sailed from Gibraltar at 0700/5.

Around 1740/5, HMS Duke of York and HMS Renown parted company to fuel in the Bay of Gibraltar. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Panther, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune, HMS Lookout, HMS Beagle and HMS Bulldog. The remaining ships remained to the west of the Straits of Gibraltar.

Around 2200/5, the remaining ships; HMS Nelson, HMS Victorious, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Porcupine, HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HrMs Isaac Sweers, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge set course to the west to the Straits of Gibraltar.

On passing the Straits, HMS Nelson escorted by HMS Porcupine and HrMs Isaac Sweers parted company around 0420/6 and proceeded to Gibraltar. They passed through the gate around one hour later.

6 Nov 1942
On 6 November 1942, ' Force H ' was (re)assambled at sea to the east of Gibraltar to provide cover during the landings in North-Africa.

Around 0430/6, the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), destroyers HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) entered the Mediterranean.

They were then joined by ships coming from Gibraltar (Bay), these were the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN).

HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge were then detached to Gibraltar where they arrived around 0615/6.

Around 0900/6, the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) joined.

The orders for ' Force H ' were to support the Eastern (Algiers) and Centre Task Forces (Oran) and their follow-up convoys (TE and TF) agains seaborne attack by Vichy-French or Italian Mediterranean Fleets. ' Force H ' was not to proceed eastwards of 04°30'E except to engage the enemy. Unless strong enemy forces were reported to be at sea, HMS Rodney, escorted by HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas, HMS Bulldog were to join the Centre Task Force at 0600/8. HMS Bermuda might also be detached but to join the Eastern Task Force. ' Force H ' was to refuel from ' Force R ' at sea if necessary, but if the military situation permitted, it would withdraw to the westward to refuel, possibly at Oran about 13 November, in immediate readiness for further operations. Force R ' was made up of the RFA tankders Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).

Around 1730/7, ' Force H ' was attacked by enemy aircraft in position 37°46'N, 02°52'E. HMS Panther was near missed and sustained damage. She had to return to Gibraltar, first steaming only 6 knots but later this could be increased to 14 knots. En-route she sighted an enemy submarine in position 37°46'N, 02°12'E and forced it to dive. This was U-458 which fired two torpedoes but apparently these were not sighted by the British. HMS Panther arrived at Gibraltar in the afternoon of November 8th.

At 1810/7, HMS Rodney, HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas and HMS Bulldog parted company with ' Force H ' to join the Centre Task Force. HMS Bermuda appeared to also have parted company around this time.

' Force H ' and the fuelling force, ' Force R ', cruised in the area of Algiers until 1830/8 when ' Force H ' turned north. It turned back at midnight when in position 39°00'N, 02°29'E and patrolled off Algiers again during the 9th. During the night of 9/10 November it steamed eastwards at 60 miles from the North-African coast, turning back 30 miles to the east of Bougie at midnight.

Shortly before 0300/10 (0252/10 according to German sources and 0258/10 according to British sources) the destroyer HMS Martin was torpedoed and sunk in position 37°53'N, 03°57'E by the German submarine U-431. 161 officers and ratings lost their lives. 4 Officers and 59 ratings were picked up by HMS Quentin.

By noon on 10 November ' Force H ' was in position 37°08'N, 01°36'E, between Algiers and Tenez, with ' Force R ' close at hand. From then onwards ' Force H ' patrolled 60 miles from the coast between Algiers and Cape Tenez.

' Force H ' was joined around 0630/12 by HMS Rodney and her destroyer screen now made of of the escort destroyers HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge.

Late in the evening of the 11th the destroyers HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) departed Gibaltar to join ' Force H '. Before joining they fuelled from ' Force R ' in the evening of the 12th. They had been ordered to remain with ' Force R ' during the night to reinforce its escort and then join ' Force H ' after dawn on the 13th. However before the joined, HrMs Isaac Sweers was torpedoed and sunk by U-431, so only HMS Porcupine joined ' Force H ' early on the 13th.

At 0615/14 ' Force H ' split up to return to Gibraltar; HMS Duke of York, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Argonaut, HMS Sirius, HMS Eskimo, HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar, HMS Opportune, HMS Partridge, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and HMS Porcupine arrived at Gibraltar around 0130/15.

HMS Rodney, HMS Renown, HMS Victorious, HMS Milne, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Lookout, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge formed the other group. They were joined at 0630/15 by HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN). They returned to Gibraltar around 1800/15 but HMS Rodney was not able to berth and had to steam up and down in Gibraltar Bay until late in the evening when she anchorded there. The destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune and HMS Tartar were sent out to patrol to the seaward of the Bay.

8 Nov 1942

Convoy KMS 3.

This convoy departed the U.K. (Clyde) on 8 November 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
Alexander Hamilton (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Baltonia (British, 2013 GRT, built 1925), Begum (British, 5843 GRT, built 1922), Belgian Seaman (Belgian, 7023 GRT, built 1941), Benedict (British, 4949 GRT, built 1930), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Bretwalda (British,4906 GRT, built 1939), Caithness (British, 4970 GRT, built 1935), Cardium (British (tanker), 8236 GRT, built 1931), Carlton (British, 7210 GRT, built 1942), City of Venice (British, 8762 GRT, built 1924), Coombe Hill (British, 7268 GRT, built 1942), Dahomain (British, 5277 GRT, built 1929), Eastern City (British, 5185 GRT, built 1941), Empire Banner (British, 6699 GRT, built 1942), Empire Centaur (British, 7041 GRT, built 1942), Empire Flamingo (British, 4994 GRT, built 1920), Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Prince (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Empire Summer (British, 6949 GRT, built 1941), Empire Webster (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Empire Wyclif (British, 6966 GRT, built 1941), English Monarch (British, 4557 GRT, built 1924), Forest (British, 4998 GRT, built 1937), Fort Babine (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Bourbon (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Chilcotin (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Lac la Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLeod (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Francis Scott Key (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Hindustan (British, 5245 GRT, built 1940), Inventor (British, 6210 GRT, built 1935), James Monroe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Marshall (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Kong Sverre (Norwegian, 7238 GRT, built 1941) Luther Martin (British, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Mobile City (British, 6157 GRT, built 1920), Ocean Coast (British, 1173 GRT, built 1935), Ocean Pelgrim (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Valentine (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Victory (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wayfarer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Orient City (British, 5095 GRT, built 1940), Prins Harald (Norwegian, 7244 GRT, built 1942), Rajput (British, 5497 GRT, built 1925), Tawali (Dutch, 8178 GRT, built 1931), Thistledale (British, 7241 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Pinckney (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Stone (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Trentbank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Troubadour (British, 5808 GRT, built 1920) and William M. Stewart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

The tanker British Chivaldry (British, 7118 GRT, built 1929) was also with the convoy as escort oiler.

The boom carrier HMS Leonian (5424 GRT, built 1936) (A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Lundy, OBE, RNR) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from the U.K. the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Fowey (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN) and the corvettes HMS Campion (Lt.Cdr. H.D. Horwood, RD, RNR), HMS Carnation (Lt. A. Branson, RNR), HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR), HMS Mallow (Lt. W.R.B. Noall, DSO, RNR), HMS Myosotis (Lt. G.P.S. Lowe, RNVR), HMS Nasturtium (Lt. C.D. Smith, DSC, RNR), HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. W.E. Harrison, RCNVR) and HMCS Weyburn (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.M.W. Golby, RCNR).

On 20 November 1942, to the West of Gibraltar, the convoy was attacked by the German submarine U-263 which managed to torpedo and sink the Grangepark and Prins Harald.

On 21 November 1942, the Gibraltar section of the convoy of five transports [identity to follow] parted company as did HMS Fowey, HMS Black Swan, HMS Carnation, HMS La Malouine, HMS Mallow and HMS Myosotis. HMCS Lunenburg also proceeded to Gribraltar with defects to her Asdic installation. After repairs she departed again later the same day to rejoin the convoy. The transport Hindustan also made a short stop at Gibraltar before rejoining the convoy.

On 21 November the RFA tankers Dingledale and Brown Ranger departed Gibraltar to join the convoy as did the destroyers HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Stewart, RN), HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN), sloops HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR).

On 23 November the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) coming from Oran. They had conducted an A/S sweep while en-route to join the convoy.

The AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN) joined the convoy on 23 November 1942 coming from Oran / Mers-el-Kebir. The minesweepers HMS Brixham (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR) and HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) also joined the convoy at some time.

The convoy was later split up into several sections, for Oran, Algiers, Bougie and Bone.

The Oran Section of 11 ships and HMS Leonian arrived there (around 1030A) on 23 November 1942 escorted by HMS Quality, HMS Quentin and HMAS Quiberon.

On 24 November German aircraft torpedoed and sank the Trentbank (which was to proceed to Bougie) in position 36°40'N, 01°11'E.

The Algiers Section arrived there on 24 November 1942 escorted by HMS Alynbank, HMS Enchantress, HMS Coreopsis, HMS Jonquil, HMS Brixham and HMS Polruan.

The convoy was joined on 24 November by some escorts coming from Algiers. These were the escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN), HMS Blean (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN) and the corvettes HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSO, DSC, RNR). Also the motor minesweepers HM MMS 9, HM MMS 47, HM MMS 80, HM MMS 81, HM MMS 135 and HM MMS 184 joined the convoy for passage to Bone.

The Bougie section of KMS 3 arrived there on 25 November 1942. [Details to follow.]

The Bone section of KMS 3 was attacked by enemy aircraft near Cap de Fer around 1400A/25. No damage was reported.

The Bone section of KMS 3 arrived there on 26 November 1942. [Details to follow.]

14 Nov 1942

Convoy KMF 3.

This convoy departed the U.K. (Clyde) on 14 November 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Borinquen (American, 7114 GRT, built 1931), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Coamo (American, 7057 GRT, built 1925), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Mariposa (American, 18152 GRT, built 1931), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1929), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938) and Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

On departure from the U.K. the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR), sloops HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the corvette HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR).

On 15 November 1942, HMS Scimitar parted company.

On 20 November 1942, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) joined.

Around 1500A/21, the Oran Section of the convoy parted company. The Oran Section was made up of the Andes, Borinquen and the Rangitiki. They arrived at Oran around 1730A/21 escorted by HMS Milne, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin and HMAS Quiberon.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Algiers on 22 November.

18 Nov 1942
Around 1530A/18, the battleship HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded to the westward.

Around 1645Z/19, the destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) and escort destroyer HNoMS Glaisdale (Lt.Cdr. T. Horve, RNorN) joined and HMS Milne, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin and HMAS Quiberon parted company. These four destroyers were to join convoy KMF 3 proceeding from the U.K. to the western Mediterranean. [For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy KMF 3 ' for 14 November 1941.]

On 20 November 1942, HMS Bulldog, HMS Beagle, HMS Westcott, HNoMS Glaisdale and HMS Malcolm fuelled from HMS Duke of York.

Around 1055Z/21, HMS Opportune was detached to search for a reported submarine. She rejoined around 1300Z/21.

Around 0915A/22, the destroyer HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN) joined. HMS Bulldog and HMS Westcott then parted company.

Around 1800A/22, HMS Beagle parted company.

Around 0600A/23, HMS Malcolm parted company.

Around 0800A/23, HNoMS Glaisdale parted company.

HMS Duke of York, HMS Victorious, HMS Opportune, HMS Matcheless and HMS Limbourne arrived at Greenock shortly before noon on 23 November 1942. (13)

21 Nov 1942
HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) arrived off Oran with convoy KMF 3.

HMS Milne then proceeded to Gibraltar while the other three destroyers proceeded to Mers-el-Kebir. (14)

22 Nov 1942
Around 0800A/22, HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Oran where they were to fuel.

Great difficulty was experienced at Oran with entering the harbour and getting alongside the oiler due to scuttled ships inside the harbour.

They then left Oran around 1700A/22 for an A/S sweep for the approaching convoy KMS 3 which they were to join later.

The A/S sweep was concluded at 2359A/22 and the destroyers then joined convoy KMS 3.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy KMS 3 ' for 8 November 1942.] (14)

23 Nov 1942
Around 1430A/23, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), departed Oran for A/S patrol in that area. (14)

24 Nov 1942
Around 0700A/24, the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for Algiers. At sea they were joined by HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) which had been on A/S patrol.

They arrived at Algiers around 1630A/24. The destroyers did not enter harbour though but remained out in the bay on A/S patrol. They also provided smoke cover for transports anchored in the bay. (14)

25 Nov 1942
Around 2215A/25, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) departed Algiers for Bone. In the bay they were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN).

However, HMS Quentin and HMS Ithuriel failed to make contact.

The cruisers and HMAS Quiberon proceeded towards Bone. Around 0300A/26, they were ordered to return to Algiers where they arrived around 0830A/26. (15)

26 Nov 1942
Around 1900A/26, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for Bone where they arrived around 0830A/27. (15)

28 Nov 1942
The Italian submarine Dessiè was sunk off Annaba, Algeria by the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN).

At 1212A/28, HMS Quentin sailed from Bone, following a report from an aircraft that a submarine was sighted in the vicinity at 1145A/28. She was later joined by HMAS Quiberon who sailed from Bone at 1318A/28.

At 1250A/28, the HMS Quentin picked up an Asdic contact at 2000 yards.

At 1254A/28, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 100 and 225 feet.

At 1308A/28, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 150 and 385 feet.

At 1330A/28, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 350 and 550 feet (bubbles and oil were sighted). At 1356A/28, the submarine broke surface, the bow emerging vertically. The bow disappeared and reappeared until the entire boat was visible on the surface. This lasted only a minute and a half before the submarine slid underwater, stern first, with the bow disappearing vertically. HMAS Quentin had opened fire with 4,7" guns and smaller weapons, without scoring a hit. None of the submarine's crew appeared on deck or on the bridge.

At 1359A/28, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 50 and 140 feet.

At 1407A/28, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 150 and 385 feet.

At 1525A/28, HMAS Quiberon joined in the attack by dropping five depth charges set at 385 feet (more bubbles and a black object were seen).

At 1533A/28, HMS Quentin dropped a final pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

The destroyers remained in the area and picked up samples of oil which had come to the surface. It was also expected that wreckage and bodies might surface but the destroyers were ordered to return to Bone before this happened.

They arrived back at Bone around 1700A/28.

28 Nov 1942
Around 1730A/28, ' Force Q ' made up of the light cruisers light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Bone to intercept a reported enemy convoy. These orders were however cancelled in the evening and they set course for Algiers where they arrived around 0730A/29. (15)

30 Nov 1942
Around 1800A/30, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for Bone where they arrived around 0800A/1. (16)

1 Dec 1942

Attack by ' Force Q ' on Italian / German ' Convoy H '.

Around 1745A/1, ' Force Q ', which was made up of the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Bone to intercept an Italian/German convoy in the Sicilian Narrows. This convoy, designated ' Convoy H ', had sailed from Palermo and was heading towards Bizerte, consisted of Italian transports Aspromonte (976 GRT, built 1922), Aventino (3794 GRT, built 1907), Puccini (2422 GRT, built 1928), Aspromonte (976 tgr) and the German KT 1 (850 GRT, built 1942). This convoy was escorted by the Italian destroyers Nicoloso da Recco, Camicia Nera, Folgore and the Italian torpedo boats Procione and Clio.

Force Q, which had proceeded at high speed to intercept, attacked the convoy on the night of 1/2 December. All four transports and the Folgore were sunk, while Nicoloso da Recco and Procione sustained severe damage. The British suffered no damage. [Details of the action hopefully to follow at a later date.]

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The following morning however, while returning to Bone, the ships of ' Force Q ' were 50 nautical miles bearing 048° from Cap de Guarde (Algeria) when they came under attack, first from German torpedo bombers of KG.26, then by a formation of 13 Ju-88s belonging to II FK.

Around 0630A/2, in the predawn light conditions, HMS Quentin was hit in the side by a 500-kg bomb, which made the British believe they had been torpedoed. Her conditions appeared immediately to be desperate, the crew was removed by HMAS Quiberon while she too was attack by the planes, which damaged her with near-misses. HMS Quentin sank within 4 minutes (Around 0640 hrs) in position 37°32'N, 08°32'E. There were 20 dead. 8 Officers and 174 other ranks were taken on board HMAS Quiberon.

' Force Q ' arrived back at Bone around 0930A/2.

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Now we shall describe some of the events relating to the daily activities of Axis air forces against Force Q, extracted from the reports made to OBS (Commander in Chief South 'Feldmarschal Kesselring, Commander Luftflotte II').

As soon as the attack on the Italian/German convoy became known, II FK received the order to take off. Therefore, in the early morning hours, at 0315 hours, from Sardinian airports left 12 He.111 torpedo bombers of I/KG.26 and 4 Ju-88s torpedo bombers of III/KG.26. These were followed shortly by aircraft from Sicily who, between 0437-0447 hours could put in the air 13 Ju-88 bombers of KG.54 in 3 groups, of 3, 4 and 6 planes respectively.

The first to attack the British ships were the torpedo bombers but, due to poor weather, they reported attacking a convoy of La Galite island. In the official bullettin #371 of 4 December 1942 is stated 'sunk an escort vessel, HMS PC-74 and attacked a cruiser with unseen effect due to fog. The majority of the aircraft failed to find the target due to inclement weather'.

From what said above, it is unlikely the ship identified as PC-74 was HMS Quentin. This destroyer was then attacked by 3 Ju-88s of I.KG.54 and the crews reported obtaining one 500-kg bomb hit in the side of a destroyer, leaving her dead in the water. The second wave, consisting of 4 more Ju-88s, dropped their bombs on HMS Quentin, which already had the stern underwater, while the 3rd wave, with 6 Ju-88s of III/KG.54, bombed HMAS Quiberon which was seen to stop and trailing a large oil slick. The aircraft then proceeded to Bone to attack harbour targets.

Now about the Italian 130th Gruppo torpedo bombers we (uboat.net) previously erroneously credited with sinking HMS Quentin.

At 0855 hours, well over 2 hours after HMS Quentin had been hit by the Ju-88s of I.KG.54, on orders of the Air Force Command, Sardinia, 8 S.79 torpedo bombers took off from Elmas airfield to search for, and attack, Force Q. 5 planes belonged to the 283th Squadriglia (Major Franco Melley) and 3 to the 280th Squadriglia (Capt Giuseppe Cimicchi). Once in the air, Major Melley's plane had engine trouble & abotrted the mission, while the remaining 7 planes carried on in single formation. While approaching the British ships, they were attacked by Spitfires, covering their return. North of Bizerte POs Hamblin and Lindsay, of 242 Sqn, attacked first, followed by Wing Cdr Hugo, CO of #322 Wing. Between them, they shot down 4 of the torpedo bombers. The remaining 3 dropped their torpedoes, reported overly optimistically to have hit a cruiser and a freighter. PO Hamblin was shot down by the defensive armament of the torpedo bombers, he parachuted out but was not recovered.

2 Dec 1942
Around 1700A/2, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) and the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Bone for Algiers where they arrived around 0730A/3. (17)

3 Dec 1942
Around 1900A/3, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Algiers for Oran / Mers-el-Kebir.

She did not enter Oran / Mers-el-Kebir the following morning but joined ' Force H ' at sea around 0945A/4. ' Force H ' had just left the harbour for a sortie. (18)

4 Dec 1942
' Force H ', made up of the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), light cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) sailed from Mers-el-Kebir and proceeded to the north-east for a patrol during the night of 4/5 December and then to proceed to Gibraltar.

On departure from Mers-el-Kebir they were joined at sea around 0945A/4 by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) which came from Algiers having sailed from there around 2000A/3.

They arrived at Gibraltar around 1130A/6.

7 Dec 1942
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) commenced boiler cleaning at Gibraltar. Also some repairs were undertaken. Boiler cleaning and repairs were completed on 13 December 1942. She also had a docking. (18)

12 Dec 1942

Convoy KMF 5.

This convoy departed the U.K. (Clyde) on 12 December 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Empire Tide (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Exiria (American, 6533 GRT, built 1941), Irénée du Pont (American, 6125 GRT, built 1941), Manchester Trader (British, 5671 GRT, built 1941), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938) and Zoella Lykes (American, 6829 GRT, built 1940).

On departure the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walter, DSC, RN), sloops HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigate HMS Waveney (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, DSC, RNR).

HMS Wellington parted company on 13 December 1942 and proceeded to Londonderry due to weather damage she had sustained.

on the 17th it was reported that the Irénée du Pont was returning to the Clyde due to weather damage.

The convoy passed through the straits of Gibraltar during the morning of 20 December 1942. The convoy had been delayed due to adverse weather conditions being encountered on passage from the U.K.

The Gibraltar section of the convoy of seven transports then joined the convoy.
These were the following transports;
Ajax (British, 7540 GRT, built 1931), Clan Lamont (British, 7250 GRT, built 1939), Elisabeth Bakke (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Gloucester (British, 8532 GRT, built 1941), Pardo (British, 5400 GRT, built 1940) and Silverlaurel (British, 6142 GRT, built 1939).
This section had been escorted to the rendezvous by the destroyer HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), minesweeper HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSO, DSC, RN) and corvette HMS Nasturtium (Lt. C.D. Smith, DSC, RNR) which also joined the convoy. On these ships joining HMS Totland and HMS Waveney then parted company with the convoy and entered Gibraltar. Both had defects due to weather damage.

HMS Laforey and HMS Lightning also made a call at Gibraltar before rejoining the convoy. Both fuelled, discharged stores brought out from the U.K., and made a few small repairs to weather damage, before proceeding to rejoin the convoy.

HMS Argus left the convoy and proceeded to Gibraltar. Escorted by the destroyers HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) and HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN) which had gone out to make rendezvous with convoy to escort the carrier into harbour.

The transports Manchester Citizen and Zoella Lykes, which had lost contact with the convoy due to the weather conditions, arrived at Gibraltar on 20 December 1942.

On 20 December 1942, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir to make rendezvous with the convoy and then take the Oran section of the convoy with them to Oran the following day. They made rendezvous with the convoy around 1700A/20. The Oran section made up of the Duchess of Richmond, Duchess of York, Empress of Canada, Elisabeth Bakke, Exiria, Pardo and Silverlaurel parted company with the convoy around 0200A/21.

Around 0230A/21, the German submarine U-562 managed to torpedo and damage the troop transport Strathallan in position 36°52'N, 00°34'W. The destroyers HMS Laforey, HMS Lightning, HMS Verity and sloop HMS Folkestone remained with the damaged ship. The destroyers HMAS Quiberon, HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder and HMS Meteor later jouned them. Also the tug HMRT Restive (Lt. D.M. Richards, RNR), salvage vessel King Salvor and two trawlers came out to render assistance.

On 21 December 1942, the Algiers section of 8 (troop) transports parted company. The destroyer HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) had come out from Algiers to escort this section. The Algiers section arrived at Algiers later the same day escorted by HMS Eskimo, HMS Lamerton, HMS Weston, HMS Gorleston, HMS Hussar and HMS Nasturtium.

Also on 21 December 1942, the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN), destroyer HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN) joined the convoy as escorts.

Around 0630A/22, the troop transport Cameronia, which was to proceed to Bone, had been hit by an aircraft torpedo in position 37°03'N, 05°24'E. An hour later it was reported that she was making for Bougie escorted by HMS Scylla and HMS Wheatland which later parted company to rejoin the convoy. From Bougie the tug Hengist and the M/S trawlers HMS Inchcolm (Skr. A.C. Whitcombe, RNR), HMS Mull (Lt. J. Plomer, RCNVR) and HMS Rysa (T/Lt. J.H. Cooper, RNVR) were sent to her assitance.

On 22 December 1942, the Bone section arrived there escorted by HMS Aurora, HMS Scylla, HMS Quality, HMS Lamerton and HMS Wheatland.

[Further research regarding this convoy is required.]

14 Dec 1942
Around 1830A/14, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Gibraltar for Mers-el-Kebir where she arrived the following day. (18)

17 Dec 1942
Around 0730A/17, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Algiers to conduct an A/S patrol off the bay.

Around 1730A/17, she was joined by HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN) which had left Algiers harbour 15 minutes before. (18)

18 Dec 1942
Around 0935A/18, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) returned to Algiers from patrol.

She departed again for A/S patrol around 1435A/18.

Around 2000A/18, she was joined by HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) which had departed harbour around 1945A/18. (18)

19 Dec 1942
Around 0800A/19, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) returned to Algiers from patrol. (18)

20 Dec 1942
HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir to make rendezvous with convoy KMF 5 coming from the U.K. / Gibraltar and then take the Oran section of the convoy with them.

Rendezvous with the convoy was made around 1700A/20 and the destroyers joined the convoy for the moment.

The Oran section parted company with the convoy around 0200A/21.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy KMF 5 ' for 12 December 1942.] (19)

21 Dec 1942
Around 0600A/21, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) are ordered to proceed to the assistance of the damaged troopship Strathallan.

They arrived at Mers-el-Kebir later the same day after the troopship sank. (18)

22 Dec 1942
Around 1600A/22, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir / Oran escorting the troopship Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928) which had on board the survivors from the troopship Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938) that had been sunk the day before.

They arrived at Algiers around 0830A/23. They detroyers however did not enter the harbour and set course to return to Mers-el-Kebir where they arrived around 1600A/23. (18)

24 Dec 1942
Around 1515A/24, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walter, DSC, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski) and the escort destroyer HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for a sweep towards Algiers after which they were to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around 1700A/24, HMS Milne and Meteor were detached to join convoy MKF 5 and return with this convoy to the U.K.

Around 1800A/24, HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) joined.

Around 1800A/25, HMS Dido (Capt. J. Terry, RN) joined for passage to Gibraltar.

Around 0815A/26, HMS Laforey and HMS Lightning parted company to proceed to Algiers.

' Force H ' arrived at Gibraltar around 2000A/26. (20)

28 Dec 1942

Convoy TM 1.

This convoy of tankers departed Trinidad on 28 December 1942.

It was made up of the following tankers;
Albert L. Ellsworth (Norwegian, 8309 GRT, built 1937), British Dominion (British, 6983 GRT, built 1928), British Vigilance (British, 8093 GRT, built 1942), Cliona (British, 8375 GRT, built 1931), Empire Lytton (British, 9807 GRT, built 1942), Minister Wedel (Norwegian, 6833 GRT, built 1930), Norvik (Panamanian, 9555 GRT, built 1938), Oltenia II (British, 6394 GRT, built 1928) and Vanja (Norwegian, 6198 GRT, built 1929).

On departure from Trinidad the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Havelock (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Godetia (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR), HMS Pimpernel (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, RNR) and HMS Saxifrage (Lt. N.L. Knight, RNR).

The convoy was sighted on 3 January 1943 by the German submarine U-514.

It was quickly recognised as an important convoy from the Carribean to North Africa so the BDU decided to go ' all in ' and a patrol line of u-boats was deployed to intercept and destroy this important convoy.

A wolfpack (Delphin) was deployed, made up of the following u-boats; U-134, U-181, U-381, U-436, U-442, U-511, U-522, U-571, U-575 and U-620.

On 3 January 1943, U-514, sighted and reported the convoy which she later attacked damaging the the British Vigilance. Following this attack HMS Havelock engaged the u-boat with gunfire which then evaded and started a new attack but the lone torpedo fired missed. Following this attack she lost contact with the convoy. The British Vigilance was abandoned and the floating wreck was only sunk on 24 January 1943 by the U-105.

On 5 January 1943, the escorts fuelled from the Cliona.

The convoy was again sighted on around 1320A/8 by U-381 which brings on three more boats from the patrol line which were the closest. These were U-571, U-436 and U-575.

At 1810A/8, U-571 also made contact with the convoy.

At 2037A/8, U-436 also made contact with the convoy.

U-436 was the first to attack, at 2137A/8 she managed to torpedo and damage the Albert L. Elsworth and torpedo and sink the Oltenia II.

Following the attack HMS Havelock closed to investigate and spotted the attacker which quickly submerged and was subsequently depth charged sustaining damage.

The Albert L. Elsworth is finally sunk by gunfire from U-436 at 1943A/9.

Shortly after her depth charge attack on U-436, HMS Havelock obtained a radar contact on what was thought to be another enemy submarine. Starshell was fired and when it lit up the sky another surfaced submarine was sighted only about 1000 yards away. The enemy crash dived and was depth charged. This was U-381 which was not damaged.

At 2229A/8, U-575 also made contact with the convoy.

One minute later U-571, which was about to attack, was spotted by HMS Pimpernel and attack with gunfire. The submarine then dived and was attacked with depth charges sustaining no damage.

At 2303A/8, U-575 attacked with five torpedoes claiming three hits but in fact none were obtained.

At 0345A/9, U-442 made contact with the convoy.

At 0519A/9, having made contact with the convoy U-522 attacked with four torpedoes. The Minister Wedel and Norvik were both damaged in this attack.

Around 0530A/9, U-522 was depth charged by HMS Saxifrage and HMS Havelock but she sustained no damage.

At 0535A/9, U-575 attacked again with five torpedoes claiming four hits but in fact again none were obtained.

At 0606A/9, U-571 regained contact on the convoy.

At 0627A/9, U-442 attacked and torpedoed and damaged the Empire Lytton.

At 0709A/9, U-571 was attacked with depth charged by HMS Havelock. She sustained some damage. HMS Havelock had been standing by the crippled Minister Wedel and Norvik when she got an RDF contact at a range of 5000 yards. When she closed to investigate the target disappeared and was almost immediately picked up on Asdic.

At 0738A/9, U-381 attack a stationary damaged tanker but obtained no hits.

Later on the 9th, the damaged Norvik and Minister Wendel were finished off by the U-522 and the Empire Lytton by the U-442.

Two more u-boats had sighted the convoy on this day, U-181 (at 1206A/9) and U-620 (time not known) but were unable to attack.

Meanwhile, at 1143A/9, U-134 had also obtained contact on the convoy and later started a submerged daylight attack.

At 1430A/9, U-134 attacked the Vanja with torpedoes but the tanker was able to evade.

Following this attack HMS Godetia and HMS Pimpernel attacked with depth charges causing considerable damage to the attacker which had to abandon her patrol due to this damage.

At 1154A/10, U-620 obtained contact with the convoy.

At 1200A/10, U-571 regained contact with the convoy but was unable to attack and lost contact again.

At 1830A/10, U-620 attacked with four torpedoes but obtained no hits. She was subsequently depth charged by HMS Saxifrage.

At 2112A/10, U-522 attacked with four torpedoes but no hits were obtained.

At 2318A/10, U-571 again made contact with the convoy and started an attack.

At 2340A/10, U-522 attack with two torpedoes. The British Dominion was damaged.

At 2341A/10, U-522 was spotted and fired up by the Vanja. The u-boat submerged and was then depth charged by HMS Havelock but she sustained no damage.

At 2345A/10, U-571 fired a torpedo at an escort vessel but no hit was obtained.

At 2353A/10, U-571 fired three torpedoes at the Cliona but again no hits were obtained. Following this attack she was depth charged by HMS Havelock but sustained no damage.

At 0232A/11, U-620 fired one torpedo at an escort vessel but it missed. Another torpedo was fired at the damaged British Dominion and the tanker sank soon afterwards.

At 0450A/11, U-511 had obtained contact on the convoy.

At 0630A/11, U-511 attacked with four torpedoes but no hits were obtained.

Around 0700A/11, the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) joined coming from Gibraltar and soon afterwards a Catalina flying boat was also sighted.

Around 1200A/11, the destroyers HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) also joined.

At 1230A/11, U-511 regained contact with the convoy but was driven off and then lost contact.

Around 0930A/14, what was left of convoy TM 1 arrived at Gibraltar.

2 Jan 1943
Around 0300A/2, ' Force H ', made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. J. Terry, RN), destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski) departed Gibraltar to provide cover for the troop convoy KMS 6 during its passage in the Mediterranean to Algiers. Some of the destroyers, if not all, apparently first conducted an A/S sweep of the bay before ' Force H ' departed.

Around 0930A/2, the destroyer HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN) joined. [She apparently parted company with ' Force H ' before it arrived at Algiers.]

Around 1215A/2, the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) joined.

Around 0430A/3, HMS Dido parted company to proceed ahead to Algiers where she arrived around 0745A/3.

Around 1200A/3, ' Force H ' arrived at Algiers. (21)

3 Jan 1943
Around 2000A/3, ' Force H ', now made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski) and the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for a sweep towards the Balearic Islands and passage to Gibraltar.

' Force H ' arrived at Gibraltar around 1000A/5. (21)

8 Jan 1943

Convoy KMF 7.

This convoy departed U.K. waters on 8 January 1943.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931) and Sobieski (British, 11030 GRT, built 1939).

The repair ship HMS Wayland (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.S. Carson, RN) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from the U.K. the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigate HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

On 15 January 1943, HMS Wayland parted company and entered Gibraltar. HMS Weston made a short stop at Gibraltar to disembark stores. She rejoined the convoy on the 16th. During the time HMS Weston was not with the convoy the destroyer HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN) took her place.

On the 16th also the escort destroyer HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) joined coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1500A/16, the Franconia and Reina del Pacifico parted company with the convoy to proceed to Oran escorted by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) which had escorted the tanker Gulfport (American, 8081 GRT, built 1942) from Oran to the rendezvous with the convoy. The Gulfport then joined the convoy for passage to Algiers.

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 17 January 1943.

9 Jan 1943
Around 1430A/9, the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Gibraltar to make rendezvous with the heavily attacked convoy TM 1 en-route from Trinidad to Gibraltar.

Around 2230A/9, the destroyers HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) also departed Gibraltar to join the escort of this convoy.

On this day the corvettes HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RD, RNR) and the rescue tug HMS Nimble also departed to join the escort of this convoy / search for casualties.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy TM 1 ' for 28 December 1942.] (18)

14 Jan 1943
Around 0930A/14, HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) arrived at Gibraltar with convoy TM 1.

After having fuelled she departed around 1900A/14 for Mers-el-Kebir together with HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN). HMS Ashanti however had to return shortly afterwards due to defects. (22)

15 Jan 1943
Around 0800A/15, HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) arrived at Mers-el-Kebir. (22)

16 Jan 1943
Around 1200A/16, HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir escorting the tanker Gulfport (American, Gulfport (American, 8081 GRT, built 1942) to a rendezvous with convoy KMF 7.

Rendezvous was made around 1500A/16, when the tanker joined the convoy and HMAS Quiberon set course for Oran escorting the troop transports Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931). They arrived at Oran later the same day.

[For more info this convoy see the event ' Convoy KMF 7 ' for 8 January 1943.] (22)

17 Jan 1943
Around 1800A/17, HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for A/S patrol in the bay. (22)

18 Jan 1943
Around 0800A/18, HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) returned to Mers-el-Kebir from A/S patrol. (22)

20 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMAS Quiberon (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN). (23)

22 Jan 1943
Around 0740A/22, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for an A/S patrol in the bay. (22)

23 Jan 1943
Around 0830A/23, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) returned to Mers-el-Kebir from A/S patrol. (22)

24 Jan 1943

Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 24 January 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 26 and KMF 8 at sea on 29 January 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Dempo (British, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Pride (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rembrandt (Dutch, 8126 GRT, built 1941), Ruys (British, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Sibajak (British, 12226 GRT, built 1927), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tiwali (British, 8178 GRT, built 1931) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, RN) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), destroyers HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), escort destroyers RHS Adrias, RHS Miaoulis, sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), Savorgnan de Brazza, cutters HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

On 25 January 1943 the destroyer HMS Clare parted company to return to Londonderry. The escort destroyer RHS Miaoulis had lost touch with the convoy during the night of 24/25 January 1943. She was unable to regain touch and was also ordered to return to Londonderry. Her sister ship RHS Adrias had also lost touch but apparently was able to regain contact.

Around 1730A/26, the Antenor parted company with defects to return to the Clyde. It appears that she was escorted back to the Clyde by the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza.

Around 1630A/29, the convoy split into two parts.

Convoy KMF 8 continued on towards the Mediterranean and was made up of the transports Circassia, Duchess of York, Dunnottar Castle, Empire Pride, Letitia, Samaria, Strathnaver, Tawali and the aircraft carrier HMS Argus. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Banff, HMS Fishguard and HMS Test.

Around 1630A/30, HMS Argus and the transport Letitia parted company with convoy KMF 8 to proceed to Gibraltar. They entered Gibraltar Bay around 0330A/31. Presumably they were escorted by the frigate HMS Test which also arrived at Gibraltar on this day.

On 31 January the destroyer HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) joined convoy KMF 8 having departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

Later on 31 January the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Alberni (Lt. I.H. Bell, RCNVR), HMCS Baddeck (T/Lt. J. Brock, RCNVR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. W.E. Harrison, RCNVR), HMCS Port Arthur (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.T. Simmons, DSC, RCNVR) and HMCS Summerside (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.O. Gerity, RCNR) joined the escort of convoy KMF 8. They had departed Mers-el-Kebir earlier on 31 January. On the joining of HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout, HMS Verity was detached to join convoy GUF 4 as was the corvette HMCS Port Arthur.

The transport Strathnaver was detached to proceed to Oran escorted by HMCS Alberni, HMCS Baddeck, HMCS Luneburg and HMCS Summerside.

The remainder of convoy KMF 8 arrived at Algiers on 1 February escorted by HMS Laforey, HMS Lookout, HMS Egret, HMS Enchantress, HMS Banff and HMS Fishguard.

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When the convoys split up, WS 26 continued on to Freetown. It was made up of the transports . They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 31 January, the repair ship HMS Wayland (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.S. Carson, RN) and the transport Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 29 January. Also on 31 January the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

The destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and escort destroyer RHS Adrias parted company on 31 January to fuel at Casablanca from where they departed again on 1 February to rejoin the convoy. HMS Quadrant and HMS Relentless rejoined on 3 February. RHS Adrias only rejoined on 5 February.

On 4 February the transport Leopoldville parted company with the convoy escorted by the destroyer HMS Redoubt. They arrived at Bathurst on 5 February.

Convoy WS 26 arrived at Freetown on 6 February 1943 escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

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Convoy WS 26 departed Freetown on 9 February for South Africa. It was made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Mooltan, Orduna, Rembrandt, Ruys, Sibajak, Stratheden, Volendam and the repair ship HMS Wayland.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), destroyers HMS Quality, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 12 February HMS Corinthian and RHS Adrias parted company with the convoy.

At 1145AB(-1.5)/13, the destroyer HMS Relentless joined the convoy coming from Lagos having departed there on 12 February immediately after being undocked.

Also on the 13th the corvette FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy escort.

In the morning and early afternoon of the 14th, HMS Racehorse and HMAS Quickmatch fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 0900AB/15 the destroyers HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon arrived at Porte Noire to fuel after having parted company with the convoy around 2300AB/14. After doing so they departed again around 1230AB/15 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1700AB/15. Also on the 15th the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 2215B/20, the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) joined the convoy coming from Saldanha Bay.

Around 0630B/21, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown where they arrived around 2100C/21. They departed again around 0730C/22 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1000C/22.

Around 1000C22, the Capetown section of the convoy, made up of Arundel Castle, California, Cheyebassa, Duchess of Richmond, Highland Chieftain, Orduna, Ruys, Sibajak and HMS Wayland parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown. Part of the escort, HMS Racehorce, HMS Relentless, HMAS Quiberon and FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves went with them, some of which then went on to Simonstown.

The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) joined the Durban section as did the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). This corvette was later detached around 1000C/24 and arrived at Port Elizabeth on later 24 February. Around 1200C/22, HMS Racehorce later rejoined after having fuelled at Capetown. HMS Blackmoor then parted company.

The remaining ships proceeded to Durban arriving there on 25 February escorted by HMS Ceres, HMS Cicilia, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Racehorse.

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On 26 February 1943 the Capetown section departed there to proceed towards Durban. It was now made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Cheybassa, Highland Chieftain, Orduna and HMS Wayland. The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton, destroyer HMS Relentless and the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Blackmore.

At 0115C/1, HMS Relentless was detached to proceed ahead to Durban to fuel.

On completion of fuelling she returned from Durban together with the corvette HMS Freesia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), and the minesweepers HMIS Carnatic (Lt. H.J.D. Hamilton, RIN) and Commandant Duboc.

Meanwhile the corvette HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR) had also joined the convoy escort.

HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick also went to Durban to fuel. They returned later together with the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) and HMS Ceres.

HMS Canton parted company with the convoy and entered Durban.

Transports that joined coming from Durban were the City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Dempo, Dilwara, Dominion Monarch, Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Maloja, Mooltan, Rembrandt, Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938) and Stratheden. The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) also joined the convoy. The Dilwara however returned to Durban with defects shortly after sailing.

Around 1830C/3, HMS Jasmine and HMS Freesia parted company.

Around 0530C/4, HMS Relentless, HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick parted company.

Around 1500D/6, the Lancashire was detached to Tamatave escorted by the Commandant Duboc.

Around 0300C/8, HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy to proceed to Diego Suarez.

Around 0800CD(-3.5)/9, HMS Resource was detached from the convoy to proceed to Kilindini escorted by HMS Birmingham. The heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) had joined just before.

Around 1200D/10, the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0700D/11, the convoy split up into the Aden section and the Bombay section.

The Aden section was made up of the Arundel Castle, City of Paris, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Orduna, Rembrandt and Selandia. They were escorted by HMS Frobisher. They arrived off Aden on 15 March 1943 where the convoy was dispersed.

The Bombay section was made up of the California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dominion Monarch, Mooltan and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins. They arrived at Bombay on 17 March 1943.

25 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN). (23)

27 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN). (23)

29 Jan 1943
Around 0740A/29, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Mers-el-Kebir for an A/S patrol in the bay.

She was relieved around 1330A/29 by HMS Tartar (Cdr. St J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN).

HMAS Quiberon was then joined by HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and both destroyers then set course for Gibraltar. (22)

30 Jan 1943
Around 0315A/30, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

After having topped off with fuel they departed two hours later to join convoy WS 26 at sea.

They joined the convoy around 1700A/30.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8 ' for 24 January 1943.] (22)

6 Feb 1943
HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and RHS Adrias arrived at Freetown with convoy WS 26.

9 Feb 1943
HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and RHS Adrias departed Freetown escorting convoy WS 26.

15 Feb 1943
Around 0900AB/15, HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) at Porte Noire to fuel. After doing so they departed again around 1230AB/15 to rejoin convoy WS 26.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8 ' for 24 January 1943.] (24)

21 Feb 1943
Around 2100C/21, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) arrived at Capetown to fuel.

They departed again around 0730C/22 to rejoin convoy WS 26.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8 ' for 24 January 1943.] (24)

25 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) arrived at Durban with the Durban section of convoy WS 26.

26 Feb 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Durban. This was completed on 4 March 1943. (24)

27 Feb 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) is docked in the floating dock at Durban. (24)

1 Mar 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) is undocked. (25)

4 Mar 1943
Around 2300C/4, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Durban to search for survivors from ships torpedoed that had been in convoy DN-21. Four ships from this convoy were sunk and two had been damaged.

Around 1700C/5, HMAS Quiberon was joined by HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) and HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) which had parted company with convoy WS 26 around 0530C/4.

Around 1730C/5, HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick parted company to proceed to Durban as they ran low on fuel. They arrived at Durban around 1530C/6.

Around 2130C/5, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Relentless also departed the area to return to Durban where they arrived around 1200C/7. (25)

7 Mar 1943
Around 1800C/7, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN), seaplane tender HMS Albatross (A/Capt.(Retd.) S. Barry, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) departed Durban and proceeded northwards.

Around 1900C/9, HMS Albatross and HMAS Quickmatch parted company to proceed to Tulear, Madagascar where they arrived around 1200C/10. They departed again around 1515C/10 for Majunga where they arrived around 1215C/12. They departed Majunga around 1730C/12 for Kilindini where they arrived around 0830C/15.

HMS Carthage and HMAS Quiberon continued on to Kilindini where they arrived around 1000C/13. (26)

17 Mar 1943
Around 0700C/17, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Kilindini for Fremantle via Diego Garcia.

In the afternoon of 21 March, HMAS Quiberon fuelled at Diego Garcia from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917). On completion of fuelling HMAS Quiberon departed Diego Garcia for Fremantle where she arrived around 1200H/29. (25)

29 Mar 1943
Around 1800H/29, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Fremantle for Melbourne. (25)

1 Apr 1943
Around 1100K/1, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Port Melbourne from Fremantle. She is then taken in hand for refit. (27)

15 Apr 1943
At 0255H/15, a fire is discovered in the foward mess deck on board HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) which is refitting at Port Melbourne. The fire was extinguished at 0430H/15.

A court of inquire was held on board the following day to determine the cause of the fire. (27)

26 May 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Port Phillip. On completion they departed for Fremantle. (28)

30 May 1943
Around 1445H/30, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Melbourne. (28)

31 May 1943
Around 1400H/31, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) departed Fremantle for Geraldton. On departure they conucted gunnery exercises. (28)

1 Jun 1943
Around 0945H/1, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) arrived at Geraldton from Fremantle. After having topped off with fuel they departed for Diego Garcia around 1400H/1. (29)

9 Jun 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) made a fuel stop at Diego Garcia before departing for Kilindini later the same day.

Late in the afternoon the destroyers parted company. HMAS Quiberon continued on towards Kilindini while HMAS Nepal was to make rendezvous with the submarine depot ship HMS Adamant (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.A. Laffitte, RN) en-route from Colombo to Kilindini via Addu Atoll. (29)

13 Jun 1943
Around 1300C/13, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Kilindini from Diego Garcia. (29)

15 Jun 1943
Around 1300C/15, the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN) departed Kilindini for Durban. The was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN). (30)

18 Jun 1943
Around 1040C/18, the battleships HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN), on passage from Kilindini to Durban, and HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), on passage from Durban to Kilindini, made rendezvous.

HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) then joined HMS Resolution and HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) while HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) joined HMS Revenge and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN). (31)

20 Jun 1943
Around 1700C/20, the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Durban.

HMS Revenge was then taken in hand for a short refit at the Durban Dockyard. (30)

21 Jun 1943
HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN), HMAS Nizam (Lt. W.F. Cook, RAN) and HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) conducted exercises off Durban.

On completion of these exercises they returned to harbour.

Around 1120B/21, HMS Relentless and HMAS Nizam departed Durban for an A/S sweep to the north-east of Durban. (32)

24 Jun 1943
Around 1400C/24, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Durban for gunnery exercises on completion of which, around 1700C/24 she joined the transports Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929) and Siboney (American, 6938 GRT, built 1918) to escort them to the south.

HMAS Quiberon parted company with the transports around 0700C/26 in position 38°10S, 32°04'E and set course to return to Durban where she arrived around 1000C/27. (29)

28 Jun 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Durban. (29)

30 Jun 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) is docked at the Durban Dockyard. (30)

2 Jul 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) is undocked.

Lt. Ashley-Brown had assumed temporary command of HMAS Quiberon the day before. (33)

6 Jul 1943
The Canadian merchant Jasper Park is torpedoed and sunk south-south-west of Cap Sainte Marie, Madagascar in position 32°52'S, 42°15'E by German U-boat U-177. The following day the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) together pick up 51 survivors.

The destroyers had departed Durban around 1330C/6.

Around 1425C/7, the destroyers completed the rescue operations and set course to make rendezvous with the troop transports Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) which came from Bombay.

Rendezvous was affected around 1345C/8 and course was set for Durban where they arrived around 1315C/10.

13 Jul 1943
Around 0630B/12, HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) departed Durban to search for a suspected enemy submarine near Lourenço Marques (now called Maputo), Mozambique.

Around 2130B/12, HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) also departed Durban to join HMAS Quiberon in the search for the suspected submarine.

They joined company around 1415B/13.

Around 2300B/13, flares were sighted and shortly afterwards HMAS Quickmatch sighted a lifeboat and survivors were picked up.

The destroyers returned to Durban around 1130B/15. (34)

17 Jul 1943
Around 1600C/17, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), Lorraine and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) departed Kilindini for Durban.

Around 0900B/18 HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) departed Durban to make rendezvous with the force coming from Kilindini.

Around 1700C/20, rendezvous was affected. HMS Racehorce and HMAS Nepal then parted company to returned to Kilindini where they arrived around 1800C/22.

Around 0900B/24, HMS Resolution, Lorraine, HMS Rotherham, HMS Relentless, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch and HMAS Napier arrived at Durban. (35)

19 Jul 1943

Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 19 July 1943.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the following transports; Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), City of Bristol (British, 8424 GRT, built 1943), Copacabana (Belgian, 7340 GRT, built 1938), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British,16737 GRT, built 1929), Rembrandt (British, 5559 GRT, built 1941), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Rowallan Castle (British, 7798 GRT, built 1939) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), sloops HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), Kale (HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

On 21 July 1943 the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to join the convoy which she did early in the evening off 22 July.

The convoy split up at 2000B/25.

Convoy KMF 20, continued on to the Mediterranean. It was made up of the following transports; Cheyebassa, City of Bristol, Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion, Rembrandt and Volendam.

They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Pelican, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

At 1000B/26, HMS Charybdis parted company and proceeded ahead to Gibraltar arriving there around 2000B/26.

The convoy passed the straits of Gibraltar during the night of 27/28 July. HMS Pelican was detached and arrived at Gibraltar on 27 July.

The transports Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion and Volendam arrived at Algiers on 28 July 1943 escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

Cheyebassa, City of Bristol and Rembrandt continued on the the eastwards towards Malta as convoy KMF 20A. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother which, most likely, had fuelled at Algiers.

On 30 July 1943, HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother arrived at Malta. Their escort duties taking over by the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) which had departed Malta earlier on 30 July.

The three ships of the convoy joined convoy GTX 4 on 31 July following which HMS Ilex and HMS Intrepid returned to Malta arriving on 1 August.

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Convoy WS 32 continued on towards Freetown. It was made up of the following transports; Copacabana, Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata, Rochester Castle and Rowallan Castle.

They were escorted by the destroyer Beagle and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay. These were joined by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 32 departed Freetown for South Africa on 5 August 1943.

It was now made up of the transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata and Rochester Castle.

On 8 August 1943 the transport Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Wolverine (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) which also joined the convoy.

On 9 August 1943, the transports Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Lagos.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Douglas and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay.

On 12 August 1943, HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog, HMS Douglas and HMS Wolverine parted company after having been relieved by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown in 18 August 1943.

It sailed again the following day, minus the Rochester Castle for Durban where it arrived on 22 August 1943. They had been escorted by HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Rapid and HMS Relentless.

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On 28 August 1943 convoy WS 32 departed Durban for Bombay. It was now made up of the transports Britannic, Largs Bay, Maloja, Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Rapid.

On 3 September 1943, the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN) took over from HMS Hawkins and the three destroyers which then proceeded to Kilindini where they arrived the following day after having participated in night exercises.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 10 September minus the Strathmore which had been detached to Aden on 6 September.

24 Jul 1943
Around 1430B/24, the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) departed Durban to make rendezvous with the heavy cruiser Suffren and light cruiser Duguay Trouin coming from Kilindini which they had departed around 1535C/21.

Rendezvous was affected around 1130C/25.

The four ships arrived at Durban around 0900B/26. (34)

28 Jul 1943
Around 1230B/28, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN) departed Durban for Capetown. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN).

Both battleships had been ordered to return to the U.K. to be decommissioned from active service and serve as training ships. (36)

31 Jul 1943
Around 0930B/31, HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN), HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) arrived at Capetown from Durban. (37)

4 Aug 1943
Around 1700B/4, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN) and the transports Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924) and Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939) departed Capetown for the Congo River estuary. They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN).

They were to pass through the following positions;
A) 33°13'S, 17°37'E,
B) 28°30'S, 14°30'E,
C) 17°15'S, 10°30'E,
D) 10°00'S, 11°00'E.
(38)

11 Aug 1943
The battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN), transports Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939) and the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) arrived in the Congo River Estuary. (39)

12 Aug 1943
Around 0600A/12, the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) departed the Congo River estuary to make rendezvous with convoy WS 32 coming from Freetown.

Rendezvous was affected around 0900A/12.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20 ' for 19 July 1943.] (40)

19 Aug 1943
Around 1630B/18, HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) arrived at Capetown with convoy WS 32.

The convoy departed for Durban around 0800B/20 still escorted by these four destroyers.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20 ' for 19 July 1943.] (40)

22 Aug 1943
Around 1330B/22, HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) arrived at Durban with convoy WS 32. (40)

24 Aug 1943
Around 1800B/24, HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) departed Durban escorting the troopship Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) southwards.

Around 0100B/24, they reversed course to return to Durban where they arrived around 0830B/24. (40)

27 Aug 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Durban.

later in the day, after her return to harbour Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN, resumed command. (40)

28 Aug 1943
The heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Durban escorting convoy WS 32.

The parted company with the convoy on 3 September and proceeded to Kilindini.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20 ' for 19 July 1943.] (40)

4 Sep 1943
Durning 3 / 4 September 1943, HMS Kenya (Cdr. T.E. Podger, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises.

HMS Hawkins, HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Rapid had joined coming from escort duty with convoy WS 32. (41)

7 Sep 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), which had commenced cleaning boilers at Kilindini on 4 September 1943 is ordered to halt boiler cleaning and to close up her boilers. (42)

8 Sep 1943
Around 1300C/8, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Kilindini for Durban where she is to complete boiler cleaning. (42)

12 Sep 1943
Around 1100B/12, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Durban from Kilindini. (42)

13 Sep 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Durban. (42)

21 Sep 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) completed boiler cleaning at Durban. (42)

22 Sep 1943
Around 0845C/22, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Durban for Kilindini. (42)

26 Sep 1943
Around 1530C/26, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Durban. (42)

28 Sep 1943
Around 0900C/28, the destroyers HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Kilindini for exercises.

Around 1800C/26, the submarine depot ship HMS Adamant (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.A. Laffitte, RN) departed Kilindini for Colombo. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN). They joined the other four destroyers shortly afterwards.

Around 0640CD/30, upon completion of an exercises, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality parted company to return to Kilindini where they arrived around 1430C/1.

Around 1800CD/30, HMAS Nepal parted company to proceed to Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel. She rejoined around 0600D/2. HMAS Norman and HMAS Napier then parted company to fuel at Port Victoria. They returned around 1445D/3 when HMS Rapid proceeded to fuel at Port Victoria after which she was to return to Kilindini.

HMS Adamant, HMAS Norman, HMAS Nepal and HMAS Napier arrived at Colombo around 1030FG/8.

(43)

1 Oct 1943
Around 1430C/1, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Kilindini from escort duty.

Before entering harbour A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Osiris (T/Lt. M.H. Atkinson, RNR). (44)

3 Oct 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) conducted A/S exercises off Kilindini with HMS Osiris (T/Lt. M.H. Atkinson, RNR). Upon completion of the exercises HMAS Quiberon joined the escort of convoy KR 3. (44)

3 Oct 1943

Convoy KR 7

This convoy departed Kilindini on 3 October 1943 and arrived at Colombo on 12 October 1943.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop)transports; Ascania (British, GRT, built ), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Kilindini the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN).

At 0605E/7, HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon parted company with the convoy to return to Kilindini where they arrived on the 9th.

Around 1200F/10, the minesweeper HMIS Rajputana (Lt W.G. Coltham, RIN) joined the convoy escort.

Around 1730F/10, the destroyer HMS Scout (Lt. R.G. Woodward, RN) joined the convoy escort.

The convoy arrived at Colombo in the afternoon of October 12th. (45)

8 Oct 1943
During 8/9 October 1943, the light cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Danae (Capt. J.R.S. Haines, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises.

HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon joined upon returining from escort duties.

In the morning of the 9th the destroyers conducted A/S with the submarine HMS Osiris (T/Lt. M.H. Atkinson, RNR). (46)

11 Oct 1943
HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) conducted exercises off Kilindini.

On completion of the exercises HMS Newcastle proceeded to Manza Bay. (47)

12 Oct 1943
Around 1015C/12, HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Kilinidi for exercises.

Around 1600C/12, they were joined by HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN) and course was set to proceed to Aden. (44)

16 Oct 1943
Around 0830C/16, HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Aden from Kilindini. (44)

17 Oct 1943
Around 0600C/17, the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN) departed Aden for Bombay. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN). (48)

25 Oct 1943

Combined Convoy AB 18 / AP 50.

This combined convoy departed Aden in company on 25 October 1943.

Convoy AB 18 was made up of the following transports;
City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928), Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Clement Clay (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Esperance (British, 5072 GRT, built 1923), Fort Buckingham (British, 7122 GRT, built 1943), Glenapp (British, 9503 GRT, built 1920), Heimvard (Norwegian, 4851 GRT, built 1930), Jalavihar (British, 5330 GRT, built 1911), Kohistan (British, 5884 GRT, built 1930), Kong Sverre (Norwegian, 7238 GRT, built 1941), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Pasha (British, 5307 GRT, built 1919), Tjibadak (Dutch, 7083 GRT, built 1929) and William Whipple (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942).

The tug Empire Harry (British, 458 GRT, built 1943) was also part of the convoy.

The landing ship HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) R.C. Gervers, RN), tank landing ships HMS LST 180 (?) and the cable ship HMS Bulan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Donaldson-Palmer, RNR) were also part of this convoy.

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the sloop HMIS Jumna (A/Cdr. I.B.W. Heanly, RIN), frigate HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR) and the corvette HMS Rockrose (T/Lt. H.J. Makepeace, RNR).

Convoy AP 50 was made up of the following transports / tankers;
A.C. Bedford (British (tanker), 9485 GRT, built 1918), Bradford City (British, 7266 GRT, built 1943), British Fidelity (British (tanker), 8465 GRT, built 1938), British Sailor (British (tanker), 5576 GRT, built 1918), Charles Henderson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Egero (Norwegian (tanker), 7590 GRT, built 1929), Esso Baytown (American (tanker), 7991 GRT, built 1937), Harry Lane (British, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Havkong (Norwegian, 9666 GRT, built 1937), Jalapa (American, 10195 GRT, built 1943), Juan de Fuca (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Mark Twain (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Samoa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Santa Margarita (American, 6507 GRT, built 1942) and Thomas Pollock (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the minesweepers HMAS Cessnock (Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)), HMIS Madras (Lt. S.G. Karmarkar, RINR) and HMIS Punjab (T/Lt. V.V. Pogoretsky, RINR).

The convoys were to split on reaching longtitude 56°E.

Around 1600F/31, convoy AB 18 was joined by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN).

Convoy AB 18 arrived at Bombay on 3 November 1943.

Convoy AP 50 arrived off Bandar Abbas on 3 November 1943.

26 Oct 1943
Around 1200FG/26, HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Bombay from Aden. (48)

30 Oct 1943
Around 1245FG/30, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton (Capt. J.J.E. Barclay, RNR) departed Bombay for Kilindini. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN).

Around 0300F/31, the destroyers parted company to join convoy AB 18 coming from Aden.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined Convoy AB 18 / AP 50 ' for 25 October 1943.] (49)

2 Nov 1943

Convoy AB 18A.

This convoy departed Aden on 2 November 1943.

It was made up of the following LST's;
HMS LST 180 (?), HMS LST 215 (Cdr.(Retd.) G.H.F. Owles, RN), USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Cdr. T.W. Greene, USN), USS LST 25 (Lt. E.F. Macellus, USNR), USS LST 72 (Lt. J.A. Lombard, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. A. Strickland, USNR), USS LST 209 (Lt. F.T. Ratchford, USNR) and USS LST 261 (Lt. Lt. L.I. Reilley, USCG).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the corvette HMS Aster (Lt. W.L. Smith, RNR) and the minesweeper HMAS Lismore (T/Lt. L.C.G. Lever, RANR(S)).

Around 1500FG/6, the convoy was joined by the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) which came from Bombay.

The convoy arrived at Bombay around 1230FG/9. (50)

3 Nov 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMIS Jumna (A/Cdr. I.B.W. Heanly, RIN), HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR) and HMS Rockrose (T/Lt. H.J. Makepeace, RNR) arrived at Bombay with convoy AB 18. (51)

4 Nov 1943
Around 1100FG/4, the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Bombay to make rendezvous with convoy AB 18A1.

Rendezvous was affected around 1500FG/6.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy AB 18A ' for 2 November 1943.] (52)

12 Nov 1943
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) conducted bombardment exercises off Bombay. (51)

16 Nov 1943
Around 1800FG/16, HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Bombay for Kilindini.

Around 2330E/19, the destroyers parted company to proceed to Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel. (53)

21 Nov 1943
Around 0730E/21, HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles.

After having fuelled, they departed around 1400E/21 for Kilindini. (51)

23 Nov 1943
Around 1400C/23, HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Port Victoria, Seychelles. (51)

27 Nov 1943

Convoy CM 47.

This convoy departed Durban on 27 November 1943.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913) and Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929).

On departure from Durban the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN).

Around 1100C/4, the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) joined coming from Diego Suarez.

Around 1830C/6, HMS Emerald parted company to proceed to Kilindini.

The convoy arrived at Aden around 0700C/11.

1 Dec 1943
HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Kilindini in the afternoon and at sea joined HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN on board) and HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN) which were already out exercising.

Exercises were then carried out until 0100C/2. HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam returned to harbour on 2 December while HMS Roebuck, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality set course for Diego Suarez. (54)

3 Dec 1943
Around 1600C/3, HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Diego Suarez from Kilindini. (54)

4 Dec 1943
Around 0515C/4, HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Diego Suarez to make rendezvous with and join convoy CM 47.

The convoy was joined around 1100C/4.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CM 47 ' for 27 November 1943. (54)

11 Dec 1943
Around 0700C/11, HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Aden with convoy CM 47. (54)

13 Dec 1943

Convoy AB 24.

This convoy departed Aden on 13 December 1943.

[The exact composition of this convoy is not clear to us for the moment and will require furter research.]

The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN), tank landing ship Boxer (Lt.Cdr. G.B Herbert-Jones, RNR) and the tug HMS Aimwell were also part of this convoy.

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR) and HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR).

Around 1200DE/15, the destroyer HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) joined and commenced fuelling from HMS Recource.

Around 1700DE/15, the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and frigate HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR) made rendezvous with the convoy. They came from Bombay which they had departed, together with HMAS Nepal around 1500FG/12. HMS Rapid had joined the Battler group around 1415DE/15 having departed Colombo on 12 December 1943. HMS Plym actually did not join the convoy but proceeded independently to Aden where she arrived on 17 December 1943. HMAS Nepal proceeded to Kilindini where she arrived on 19 December 1943 escorting the troop transport Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921) which she must have picked up at some point. HMS Battler, HMS Rotherham, HMS Rapid, HMS Roebuck, HMS Derg and HMS Kale arrived at Bombay with part of the convoy on 19 December 1943.

Around 1715DE/15, HMS Rescourse and the transport City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality parted company with the convoy. The City of Lincoln parted company with these ships around 1400FG/20 to proceed to Colombo where she arrived on 21 December 1943. HMS Rescource, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality arrived at Trincomalee around 1200FG/22.

22 Dec 1943
Around 1200FG/22, the repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (55)

22 Dec 1943

Convoy CJ 9A.

This convoy departed Calcutta on 22 December 1943.

It was made up of the following LST's;
HMS LST 180 (?), HMS LST 215 (Cdr.(Retd.) G.H.F. Owles, RN), HMS LST 238 (?), USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Cdr. T.W. Greene, USN), USS LST 25 (Lt. E.F. Macellus, USNR), USS LST 72 (Lt. J.A. Lombard, USNR), USS LST 73 (Lt. H.M. Crossan, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. A. Strickland, USNR) and USS LST 209 (Lt. F.T. Ratchford, USNR).

On departure from Calcutta the convoy was escorted by the minelayer HrMs Willem van der Zaan (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Küller, RNN) and the auxiliary patrol vessel HMIS Kalavati (T/Lt. S. Gill, RINR).

Around 0730FG/25, the convoy escort was reinforced when the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) joined.

The destroyer HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), which had been in company with HMAS Quiberon proceeded to Madras with HMS LST 180 and HMS LST 238 arriving there later on the 25th.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 27 December 1943. (56)

23 Dec 1943
Around 1600FG/23, HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Trincomalee for an A/S hunt off Madras as an enemy submarine had attacked convoy JC 30 and sunk a transport.

Around 1900FG/23, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Trincomalee also for an A/S hunt off Madras.

The destroyers joined company around 1100FG/24. They abandoned the A/S hunt around 2300FG/24 to make rendezvous with and join the escort of convoy CJ 9A. HMAS Quiberon joined the convoy around 0730FG/25. HMS Quality arrived at Madras later the 25th escorting HMS LST 180 (?) and HMS LST 238 (?) which had been detached from the convoy.

[For more info on this convoy see the event 'Convoy CJ 9A ' for 22 December 1943.] (57)

28 Dec 1943

Convoy MB 59A.

This convoy departed Colombo on 28 December 1943.

It was made up of the following LST's;
HMS LST 215 (Cdr.(Retd.) G.H.F. Owles, RN), USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Cdr. T.W. Greene, USN), USS LST 25 (Lt. E.F. Macellus, USNR), USS LST 72 (Lt. J.A. Lombard, USNR), USS LST 73 (Lt. H.M. Crossan, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. A. Strickland, USNR) and USS LST 209 (lt. F.T. Ratchford, USNR).

The repair ship (former LST) USS Achelous (Lt. W. Ringies, USNR) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and the minesweeper HMIS Khyber (T/Lt. H.C.H. Berry, RINR).

During the night of 30/31 December 1943, HMIS Khyber parted company.

In the morning of 4 January 1944, the corvette HMS Rockrose (T/Lt. H.J. Makepeace, RNR) joined.

The convoy arrived at Aden on 5 January 1944. (58)

6 Jan 1944
The LST's, HMS LST 215 (Cdr.(Retd.) G.H.F. Owles, RN), USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Cdr. T.W. Greene, USN), USS LST 25 (Lt. E.F. Macellus, USNR), USS LST 72 (Lt. J.A. Lombard, USNR), USS LST 73 (Lt. H.M. Crossan, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. A. Strickland, USNR) and USS LST 209 (lt. F.T. Ratchford, USNR) and the repair ship (former LST) USS Achelous (Lt. W. Ringies, USNR) departed Aden for the Suez Canal.

On departure from Aden they were escorted by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN).

The destroyer parted company around 0330C/7 and set course to return to Aden where she arrived around 0930C/7.

The LST's and repair ship arrived at Suez on 12 January 1944. (59)

8 Jan 1944

Convoy AB 27A.

This convoy departed Aden on 8 January 1944.

It was made up of the troop transports;
Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Aden, around 1500C/8, the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN).

Around 1800C/8, the destroyer HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) joined coming from Aden having overtaken the convoy.

Around 0800E/11, the frigate HMS Bann (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RD, RNR) joined coming from Bombay. HMAS Norman then parted company to return to Aden.

Around 0800E/12, the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), destroyer HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and frigate HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR) joined.

Around 1200E/12, HMS Battler and HMS Bann parted company to proceed to Port Victoria, Seychelles.

Around 1030FG/14, the convoy arrived at Bombay. (60)

15 Jan 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) is docked at Bombay. Also boiler cleaning was commenced. (60)

22 Jan 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) is undocked. Also boiler cleaning was completed on this day. (60)

26 Jan 1944
Around 1100FG/26, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Bombay for Trincomalee.

On the 27th she was ordered to proceed to Cochin instead of Trincomalee. (60)

28 Jan 1944
Around 0900FG/28, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Cochin from Bombay. (60)

31 Jan 1944
Around 1400FG/31, the aircraft maintenance carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) departed Cochin to make rendezvous with HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet) and her destroyer escort and then proceed to Trincomalee. (60)

1 Feb 1944
Around 1600FG/1, HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), departed Colombo for Trincomalee. She was escorted by HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN).

At sea, around 1700FG/1, they were joined by HMS Unicorn (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) which came from Cochin. (61)

2 Feb 1944
Around 1615FG/2, HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), HMS Unicorn (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, DSO, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), arrived at Trincomalee.

On entering the harbour HMS Renown collided with a small landing craft (LCP). (61)

8 Feb 1944
During 8/9 February 1944, HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN), HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (62)

8 Feb 1944
HMS Truculent (Lt.Cdr. R.L. Alexander, DSO, RN) departed from Trincomalee for her 8th war patrol (1st in the Far East). She was ordered to patrol off Sabang, Phuket and the Malacca Straits.

Before proceeding on patrol A/S exercises were performed with the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN). (63)

9 Feb 1944
Around 0800FG/9, the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN) departed Trincomalee for exercises. At sea they were joined by HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) which was already out exercising.

They returned to harbour between 0810FG/10 and 0920FG/10. (64)

10 Feb 1944
The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN and flagship of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN and second in command of the Eastern Fleet), aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), light cruisers HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN).

These ships departed Trincomalee and then proceeded to the north-east to give the Japanese the impression that they were to preform a raid against the coast of Burma towards Ramree Island. A fake signal was sent to bolster this. Course was reversed the next day and exercises were then carried out during that day and the next days.

They returned to Trincomalee in the morning of the 14th. Various exercises had been carried out while at sea.

16 Feb 1944
HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Cox, RNethN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (65)

16 Feb 1944
Around 1830FG/16, HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Trincomalee for Colombo. (65)

17 Feb 1944
Around 1600FG/17, HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Colombo from Trincomalee. (65)

19 Feb 1944

Convoy JA 1.

This convoy departed Colombo on 19 January 1944.

It was made up of the troop transport Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alaunia (Capt. R.H.C. Crawford, OBE, RNR).

Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN).

The convoy arrived at Aden on 26 February 1944.

27 Feb 1944
Around 0830C/27, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Aden to overtake and join convoy AKD 16.

At 1315C/27 she was recalled and ordered to return to Aden where she arrived around 1730C/27. (65)

1 Mar 1944
Around 0830C/1, the submarine depot ship HMS Maidstone (Capt. G.B.H. Fawkes, RN) departed Aden for Trincomalee. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN). The transport Margrete Bakke (Norwegian, 5478 GRT, built 1938) was also with them until 1445E/4 when she parted company to proceed to Karachi. (66)

9 Mar 1944
Around 1500FG/9, HMS Maidstone (Capt. G.B.H. Fawkes, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from Aden. (66)

11 Mar 1944
HMS Unicorn (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, DSO, RN) conducted AA gunnery exercises off Trincomalee during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN). (67)

13 Mar 1944
Around 0730FG/13, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) departed Trincomalee to make rendezvous in approximate position 05°00'S, 77°25'E with the escort carrier HMS Ranee (A/Capt. J.S. Metcalf, DSC, RD, RNR) and light cruiser HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) coming from Fremantle. (68)

15 Mar 1944
Around 1730FG/15, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) made rendezvous with HMS Ranee (A/Capt. J.S. Metcalf, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN).

Around 1800FG/15, HMNZS Gambia parted company to proceed to Colombo where she arrived around 1500FG/17.

HMS Ranee, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Queenborough arrived at Cochin around 0930FG/18. (69)

18 Mar 1944
Around 0930FG/18, HMS Ranee (A/Capt. J.S. Metcalf, DSC, RD, RNR), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) arrived at Cochin. (70)

18 Mar 1944
Around 1700FG/18, the escort carrier HMS Shah (A/Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN) departed Cochin for Colombo. She was escorted by HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN). (71)

19 Mar 1944
Around 2300FG/19, HMS Shah (A/Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) arrived at Colombo from Cochin. (71)

19 Mar 1944

Operation Diplomat

On 19 March the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNethN) departed Trincomalee to escort the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Eaglesdale (8032 GRT, built 1942) and Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942).

These tankers were to refuel the ships from the Eastern Fleet that were to participate in operation Diplomat. During operation Diplomat the Eastern Fleet proceeded to the south-west of Cocos Island where the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. J.H. Cassady, USN) and the destroyers USS Cummings (Cdr. P.D. Williams, USN), USS Dunlap (Cdr. C. Iverson, USN) and USS Fanning (Cdr. R.M. MacKinnon, USN).

Ships from the Eastern Fleet departed Trincomalee on 21 March, these were the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN and second in command of the Eastern Fleet), aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), light cruisers HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Cox, RNethN).

The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Colombo on the same day. They made rendezvous with the other ships the following day.

On 24 March 1944, the Eastern Fleet met HrMs Tromp and the tankers at 0930 hours in position 07°57'S, 82°14'E and during the next three days they experienced good weather. Ships were fuelled as follows;

24 March 1944
Easedale - HMS Renown
Arndale - HMS Valiant and HMS Ceylon
Eaglesdale - HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMNZS Gambia

25 March 1944
Easedale - HMS Quilliam, HMS Queenborough, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Quality and HMS Pathfinder
Arndale - HMS Illustrious and HrMs Tromp
Eaglesdale - HMS London, HMS Cumberland, HMAS Napier, HMAS Nepal and HMAS Norman

26 March 1944
Easedale - HMS Pathfinder, HrMs Van Galen, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Norman
Eaglesdale - HMAS Napier, HMS Quilliam, HMS Queensborough, HMS Quality and HMAS Nepal

Tanker Arndale had been detached after fuelling on the 25th escorted by HrMS Tjerk Hiddes which was suffering from defects. The other two oilers were detached after fuelling on the 26th still escorted by HrMs Tromp.

HrMs Ceylon and HMS Napier arrived at Colombo on 31 March. All the other ships arrived at Trincomalee on the same day except HrMs Tromp which arrived at Trincomalee with the tankers on 2 April. (72)

31 Mar 1944
Around 2245FG/31, the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) departed Trincomalee for Addu Atoll. (68)

2 Apr 1944
Around 1200FG/2, the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) arrived Addu Atoll from Trincomalee.

After fuelling the departed for an A/S patrol to the west of Addu Atoll around 1800FG/2. (73)

4 Apr 1944
Around 1700FG/4, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) returned to Addu Atoll from patrol. (73)

5 Apr 1944
Around 0730FG/5, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) departed Addu Atoll for Trincomalee. (73)

6 Apr 1944
Around 1900FG/6, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) arrived at Trincomalee from Addu Atoll. (73)

7 Apr 1944
Around 0715FG/7, the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN) departed Colombo for exercises. she was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN).

They returned to harbour around 0900FG/8. (74)

8 Apr 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Trincomalee. (73)

15 Apr 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) completed boiler cleaning at Trincomalee. (73)

16 Apr 1944

Operation Cockpit

Carrier raid against Sabang by the Eastern Fleet.

On 16 April 1944 the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee, Ceylon in two task forces;
Task Force 69, which was made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet), HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), Richelieu (Capt. Lambert), the light cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.D. Read, CB, RN), HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN), HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN), HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN).

Task Force 70, which was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), the British aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), USS Saratoga (Capt. J.H. Cassady, USN), heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), USS Cummings (Cdr. P.D. Williams, USN), USS Dunlap (Cdr. C. Iverson, USN) and USS Fanning (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Bentley, USN).

During the forenoon of the 17th the four 'N' class and two 'P' class destroyers of Force 69 were fuelled by HMS Newcastle, HMS Nigeria, HMS Ceylon, HMNZS Gambia. The three 'Q' class destroyers from Force 70 were fuelled by HMS Renown and HMS London.

On the 18th HMS Ceylon and HMNZS Gambia were transferred from Force 69 to Force 70 to bolster the latters AA defence. (On the 19th HMS Nigeria replaced HMS Ceylon in this force as HMS Ceylon had problems with one shaft and could only make 24 knots.) At sunset Force 70 was detached so as to arrive at the flying off position for the aircraft at 0530/19.

At 0530/19 the carriers launched 46 bombers and 37 fighters (17 Barracudas and 13 Corsairs from HMS Illustrious and 11 Avenges, 18 Dauntless and 24 Hellcats from USS Saratoga) to attack Sabang and nearby airfields. Besides that 12 fighters were launched to patrol overhead of both Task forces.

The enemy was taken completely by surprise and 24 Japanese aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Only 1 fighter, a Hellcat from the Saratoga, was lost on the Allied side and it's pilot was rescued out of the water by the British submarine HMS Tactician (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC, RN). All aircraft, except the one lost, had returned to the carriers by 0930 hours after which both task forces retired to the west. The Japanese tried to attack the Allied task force with three torpedo bombers but these were shot down by Allied fighter aircraft at 1010 hours.

At Sabang the Japanese merchants Kunitsu Maru (2722 GRT, built 1937) and Haruno Maru (775 GRT, built 1927, former Dutch Kidoel) were sunk by the Allied aircraft while the Japanese minelayer Hatsutaka was damaged.

At 0800 hours on the 20th the fleet set course to return to Trincomalee. The cruisers and destroyer meanwhile carried out attack exercises.

The fleet returned to Trincomalee on 21 April. (75)

24 Apr 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) conducted depth charge trials at Trincomalee. The previous day four new depth charge throwers had been installed. (73)

26 Apr 1944
Around 0830FG/26, the escort carrier HMS Shah (A/Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN) departed Trincomalee for Bombay. She was escorted by HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN). (73)

30 Apr 1944
Around 1130FG/30, HMS Shah (A/Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) arrived at Bombay from Trincomalee. (73)

4 May 1944
Around 1400FG/4, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. (76)

6 May 1944
Around 0800FG/6, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) arrived at Colombo from Bombay. (76)

6 May 1944

Operation Transom.

Carrier raid against Surabaya by the Eastern Fleet.

On 6 May 1944 the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee or Colombo in two task forces;
Task Force 65, which was made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet), HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), Richelieu (Capt. G.M.J. Merveilleux du Vignaux), the light cruisers HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.D. Read, CB, RN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN).

Task Force 66, which was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet) (went to Task Force 65 the next day), the aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), USS Saratoga (Capt. J.H. Cassady, USN), light cruisers HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), USS Cummings (Cdr. P.D. Williams, USN), USS Dunlap (Cdr. C. Iverson, USN) and USS Fanning (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Bentley, USN).

On 10 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers. During fuelling from HMS Valiant the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen sustained some minor damage (fractured hull plate on her port side) but the crew of the Van Galen was able to effect emergency repairs.

On 15 May 1944, task forces 65 and 66 were fuelled at Exmouth Gulf, Australia by Task Force 67 which was made up of of six Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers; Eaglesdale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941), Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Pearleaf (5911 GRT, built 1917), Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) and supplyship (used as distilling ship) Bacchus (3154 GRT, built 1936). This force had already left Trincomalee on 30 April and was escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), HMS Suffolk (A/Capt. W.F.H.C. Rutherford, RN). They had also been escorted near Ceylon by a local escort for A/S purposes, this local escort had been made up of the destroyers HMS Rotherham, HrMs Van Galen and the frigate HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR). The local escort returned to Ceylon on 5 May 1944. The two cruisers mentioned above now joined Task Force 66. Later this day Task Forces 65 and 66 went to sea again for the actual attack on Surabaya. On leaving Exmouth Gulf the fleet was spotted by the merchant vessel Aroona. This ship was now instructed to put into Exmouth Gulf and was held there by HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdale, OBE, RAN) for 24 hours and to impress on the master and crew of this vessel the necessity of not disclosing any information concerning the Fleet on the arrival of their ship at Fremantle (their next port of call).

In the early morning hours of the 17th the carriers launched 45 dive bombers and 40 fighters for an attack on the harbour and oil installations (Wonokromo oil refeniry) of Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (USS Saratoga: 12 Avengers (1 had to return with engine trouble shortly after being launched), 18 Dauntless, 24 Hellcats; HMS Illustrious: 18 Avengers (2 of which force landed in the sea shortly after being launched), 16 Corsairs). On the ground they destroyed 12 enemy aircraft (20 were claimed). The damage to the harbour and shipping were over estimated (10 ships were thought to have been hit) as in fact only the small transport ship Shinrei Maru (987 GRT, built 1918) was sunk and patrol vessel P 36, auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-107 and CHa-108, tanker Yosei Maru (2594 GRT, built 1928, former Dutch Josefina) and cargo ships Choka Maru (???? GRT, built ????) and Tencho Maru (2716 GRT, built 1919) were damaged.

On the 18th the US ships were released. The other ships then proceeded to Exmouth Gulf where they arrived to fuel the next day before starting on the return trip to Ceylon less destroyer HMAS Quiberon which was to refit in Australia and was sent to Fremantle.

On 23 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers.

The ships of Task Force 65 and 66 arrived back at Colombo or Trincomalee on the 26 or 27th.

On 1 June 1944, Task Force 67 arrived at Trincomalee from Exmouth Gulf having been escorted by HMS London and HMS Suffolk until 1700FG/31. On arrival at Trincomalee Task Force 67 had an A/S escort made up of the destroyers HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and corvette HMS Burnet (Lt. D.S. Charles, RNR). These ships had joined at 2300FG/28 (HMAS Nizam, HMS Roebuck and HMS Burnet) and 0630FG/30 (HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Raider).

During this operation several US Submarine guarded the passages to the Indian Ocean to spot a possible Japanese counter attack. The submarines deployed for this purpose were the following; In the Sunda Strait from 12 to 23 May 1944; USS Angler (Cdr. R. I. Olsen, USN) and USS Gunnel (Cdr. J.S. McCain, Jr., USN).
South of Lombok Strait from 13 to 20 May 1944; USS Cabrilla (Cdr. W.C. Thompson, Jr., USN) and also the USS Bluefish (Cdr. C.M. Henderson, USN) from 13 May until the night of the 16th.
South of Bali Strait from 17 to 20 May; USS Bluefish.
North of Bali Strait; USS Puffer (Cdr. F.G. Selby, USN) during the night of 16/17 May.

The following US Submarines were deployed in the Surabaya area for air/sea rescue duties; USS Puffer in the Madura Strait about 40 miles to the east of Surabaya.
USS Rasher (Cdr. W.R. Laughton, USN) in the Java Sea about 40 miles to the north of Surabaya. (77)

12 May 1944
Around 0545H/12, HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN) departed Fremantle to participate in operation 'Transom'.

She returned to Fremantle around 1020H/21 with HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) in company.

[For more info on this operation see the event ' Operation Transom ' for 6 May 1944.] (78)

21 May 1944
Around 1415H/21, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) departed Fremantle for Williamstown. (76)

24 May 1944
Around 1650K/24, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) arrived at Williamstown from Fremantle. (76)

25 May 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) de-ammunitioned at Williamstown. (76)

28 May 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) commenced a refit at Williamstown.

[No report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon is available for June 1944.] (76)

13 Jul 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) conducted gunnery and radar trials in Port Phillip. (79)

14 Jul 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises in Port Phillip.

On completion of these exercises she set course for Fremantle. (79)

17 Jul 1944
Around 1930H/17, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Fremantle from Williamstown. (79)

18 Jul 1944
During the period of 18 to 23 July 1944, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted working-up exercises off Fremantle. (79)

23 Jul 1944
Around 1400H/23, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Fremantle for Geraldton. (79)

24 Jul 1944
Around 0830H/24, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Geraldton from Fremantle.

After fuelling she departed for Trincomalee around 1400H/24. (79)

1 Aug 1944
Around 0700FG/1, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee from Fremantle. (79)

10 Aug 1944
The aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN). (80)

11 Aug 1944
The aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN). (80)

14 Aug 1944
The aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN). (80)

17 Aug 1944
HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet) conducted exercises off Trincomalee on completion of which she set course for Colombo. She was escorted by the destroyers HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). (81)

18 Aug 1944
The battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN) departed Colombo for Trincomalee. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN). At sea they joined submarine tender HMS Wolfe (A/Capt. J.E. Slaughter, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN) which were en-route from Bombay to Trincomalee. (82)

19 Aug 1944
HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN), HMS Wolfe (A/Capt. J.E. Slaughter, DSO, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) arrived at Trincomalee from Colombo. (83)

20 Aug 1944
HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Trincomalee to make rendezvous with the US troopship USS General H.W. Butner (17806 GRT, built 1944) and the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN) coming from Fremantle.

Around 1600FG(-6.5)/22, rendezvous was made in approximate position 04°15'S, 84°01'E. The destroyers then took over the escort duties and HMS Cumberland parted company.

The troopship and the destroyers arrived at Bombay on 26 August 1944. (84)

31 Aug 1944
The US troopship USS General H.W. Butner (17806 GRT, built 1944) departed Bombay for Melbourne.

She was escorted until 3 September 1944 to position 04°41'S, 69°38'E by the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). (85)

4 Sep 1944
HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Addu Atoll from escort duty. After fuelling they departed for Trincomalee later the same day. (85)

6 Sep 1944
Around 0835FG/6, HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee from Addu Atoll. (86)

8 Sep 1944
During 8/9 September 1944, HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN) and HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. They were escorted by HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN).

HMAS Quiberon only returned to harbour in the morning of 10 September. (87)

13 Sep 1944
During 13 and 14 September 1944, HMS Stratagem (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Trincomalee. Gunnery exercises were carried out on a target that was being towed by HMIS Pansy (Lt. R.G. Main, RINR). Then A/S exercises were carried out with HMIS Pansy, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). These included night exercises. Early on the 14th an A/S exercise was carried out with HMIS Pansy, HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Sluijter, RNethN). (88)

15 Sep 1944
Around 0715FG/15, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Trincomalee, presumably for exercises.

HMS Quilliam and HMS Quadrant returned around 1635FG/15.

HMAS Quiberon only returned the following day, around 1125FG/16. (86)

16 Sep 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning at Trincomalee. (89)

23 Sep 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) completed boiler cleaning at Trincomalee. (89)

25 Sep 1944
Around 0700FG/25, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) departed Trincomalee for Colombo. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN). (90)

26 Sep 1944
Around 0720FG/26, HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) arrived at Colombo from Trincomalee. (90)

27 Sep 1944
Around 1530FG/27, HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) departed Colombo for Bombay. (90)

29 Sep 1944
Around 1800FG/29, HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) arrived at Bombay from Colombo. (90)

2 Oct 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted D/G trials at Bombay. (91)

6 Oct 1944
Around 1230FG/6, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) departed Bombay for Colombo. (92)

8 Oct 1944
Around 1515FG/8, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) arrived off Colombo from Bombay.

HMS Victorious then entered the harbour which the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN) had just left to proceed to Trincomalee. This carrier was then joined by the destroyers. (93)

9 Oct 1944
Around 1915FG/9, the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN) and the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) arrived at Trincomalee. (94)

10 Oct 1944
The heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) conducted a bombardment exercise off Trincomalee following which she conducted exercises together with the destroyers HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN). (95)

15 Oct 1944

Operation Millet.

Attack on the Nicobar Islands which was also to serve as a diversion for the American landings at Leyte.

In the morning of the 15th of October Task Force 63 departed Trincomalee, it was made up of the following units;
Task Group 63.1: battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN).

Task Group 63.2: heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.T.C. Walker, CB, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN).

Task Group 63.3: aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. S.M. Raw, CBE, RN), destroyers HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN).

During the morning of the 16th HMS Phoebe, HrMs Van Galen and HMAS Norman were topped off with fuel by HMS Renown. HMS Quilliam, HMS Queensborough and HMAS Quiberon were topped off by HMS London. HMS Wakeful, HMS Wager and HMS Whelp were topped off by HMS Cumberland. HMS Raider, HMS Wessex and HMS Relentless were topped off by HMS Suffolk.

In the morning of the 17th HMS Renown, HMS Cumberland, HMS London and HMS Suffolk bombarded Car Nicobar Island. Some of the destroyers also bombarded the Island. Air attacks on the island were made by the aircraft from the carriers which acted independently for flying operations.

During the night of 17/18 October HMS London, HMAS Norman and HrMs Van Galen conducted another bombardment of Car Nicobar Island. Upon completion of this bombardment these three ships proceeded to Trincomalee arriving around 1715FG(-6.5)/19.

Force 63 had retired to the south on the 18th and during the afternoon HMS Phoebe and the destroyers were once again refuelled by the capital ships.
HMS Renown refuelled HMS Phoebe, HMS Wessex and HMS Queenborough. HMS Cumberland refuelled HMS Whelp, HMS Wager, HMS Quilliam and HMS Raider. HMS Suffolk refuelled HMS Wakeful, HMS Relentless and HMS Raider.
[Note: HMS Raider is listed in the both the logs of HMS Cumberland and HMS Suffolk and HMAS Quiberon is not listed as having fuelled. most likely somebody made a mistake and listed the wrong destroyer as having been fuelled by either HMS Cumberland or HMS Suffolk.]

On the 19th the carriers launched an air strike against Nancowry Island while HMS Renown and HMS Suffolk bombarded Car Nicobar Island again.

The Japanese counter attacked with nine aircraftbut no damage was done except that three of the fighters that intercepted the Japanese aircraft were shot down. Seven of the Japanese aircraft were shot down.

Upon completion of the operations Force 63 set course to return to Trincomalee.

Force 63 arrived at Trincomalee in the morning of 21 October 1944 minus HMS Cumberland which had arrived on October 20th.

26 Oct 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (91)

27 Oct 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (91)

2 Nov 1944
The battleships HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. It appears she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). (96)

7 Nov 1944
HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.T.C. Walker, CB, RN) [although he was not on board during the exercises] conducted exercises off Trincomalee. She also acted as target for torpedo attacks by destroyers. These were, most likely, HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). On completion of these exercises HMS London returned to harbour while these two destroyers remained at sea for night exercises. (97)

8 Nov 1944
HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.T.C. Walker, CB, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. Again she acted as target for torpedo attacks by destroyers. These were, most likely, again HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). On completion of these exercises HMS London, HMS Queenborough and HMAS Quiberon returned to harbour in company with each other. (97)

9 Nov 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. (98)

10 Nov 1944
During 10/11 November 1944, the light cruisers HMS Phoebe (Capt. S.M. Raw, CBE, RN) and HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises with destroyers. Destroyers out exercising appeared to have been the following; HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMAS Norman (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN).

12 Nov 1944
Around 1200FG/12, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) departed Trincomalee for Bombay. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Napier (A/Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), HMAS Norman (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN). (99)

15 Nov 1944
Around 1000FG/15, HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMAS Napier (A/Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), HMAS Norman (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Bombay from Trincomalee.

HMAS Quiberon was docked later the same day. (100)

17 Nov 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) is undocked at Bombay following which HMAS Norman (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN) was docked. (101)

23 Nov 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) conducted bombardment exercises off Bombay.

She departed for Trincomalee later the same day. (102)

26 Nov 1944
Around 1525FG/26, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Trincomalee from Bombay. She then commenced boiler cleaning. (102)

29 Nov 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) completed boiler cleaning at Trincomalee. (102)

30 Nov 1944
Around 0945FG/30, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Trincomalee for Colombo. (102)

1 Dec 1944
Around dawn, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) arrived at Colombo from Trincomalee. (102)

2 Dec 1944
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C, British Pacific Fleet) departed Colombo for Fremantle. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN).

On 4 December 1944, HMS Quilliam fuelled from HMS Howe. The other three destroyers fuelled from HMS Howe on the 5th.

They arrived at Fremantle on 11 December 1944. (103)

11 Dec 1944
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN, C-in-C, British Pacific Fleet) departed Fremantle for Sydney. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN).

Around 0001H/13, the destroyers parted company to proceed to Albany where they arrived during the forenoon on the same day. (104)

14 Dec 1944
Around 1830H/14, the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Albany to make rendezvous with the escort carriers HMS Atheling (A/Cdr. H.L. Oliver, RN), HMS Battler (A/Capt. H. Norman, RN), HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN) and HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) coming from Ceylon.

En-route to the rendezvous very heavy weather was encountered resulting in weather damage. (105)

18 Dec 1944
Around 1040I/18, the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN), coming from Albany, made rendezvous with the escort carriers HMS Atheling (A/Cdr. H.L. Oliver, RN), HMS Battler (A/Capt. H. Norman, RN), HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN) and HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) coming from Ceylon. Course was then set to the eastwards.

The destroyers had been delayed due to the heavy weather conditions they had encountered on passage to the rendezvous. (106)

21 Dec 1944
Around 0500K/21, HMS Atheling (A/Cdr. H.L. Oliver, RN) and HMS Battler (A/Capt. H. Norman, RN) parted company with HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN), HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN).

HMS Atheling and HMS Battler continued on to Sydney where they arrived around 1215K/25.

HMS Fencer, HMS Striker, HMS Quilliam, HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant and HMAS Quiberon meanwhile set course for Port Phillip. Around 2035K/22, the destroyers parted company and arrived at Williamstown very early on 23 December. The escort carriers arriving at Melbourne later the same morning. (107)

25 Dec 1944
HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Port Phillip for Sydney. En-route they were to conduct and A/S hunt to search for the attacked whixh had sunk the American transport Robert J. Walker (7180 GRT, built 1943) off the east coast of New South Wales on 24 December 1944. (105)

27 Dec 1944
Around 0900K/27, HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) arrived at Sydney.

HMAS Quickmatch had joined the other four destroyers around 0700K/27. (105)

29 Dec 1944
HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Sydney for an A/S sweep. She returned to following day. (108)

2 Jan 1945
Around 1900K/2, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) departed Sydney for Wellington. (109)

5 Jan 1945
Around 1045M/5, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) arrived at Wellington from Sydney. (109)

6 Jan 1945

Convoy US 25.

This convoy departed Wellington around 0400M on 6 January 1945.

The convoy was made up of the troop transport Empress of Scotland (Former Empress of Japan, 26032 GRT, built 1930).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN).

The convoy arrived at Hobart around 0900K/9. (109)

9 Jan 1945

Convoy HB 1.

This convoy departed Hobart, Tasmania on 9 January 1945 and was dispersed at sea on 21 January 1945.

The convoy was made up of the British troop transport Empress of Scotland (Former Empress of Japan, 26032 GRT, built 1930) and the US troopships USS General William Mitchell (17811 GRT, built 1944) and USS General George M. Randall (17811 GRT, built 1944).

On departure from Hobart the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN).

Around 1105H/14, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company with the convoy.

Around 1140H/14, in approximate position 33°00'S, 108°20'E, HMNZS Achilles was relieved by the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN).

Around 1400F/20, in approximate position 04°30'S, 75°30'E, HMS London was relieved as escort by the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Barstow, RN) and HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN).

At 0530F/21, the Empress of Scotland parted company with the US troopships and then proceeded to Aden escorted by HMS Roebuck. They arrived at Aden on 25 January 1945.

The US troopships, and their escort of HMS Rotherham and HMS Relentless arrived at Bombay on 23 January. (110)

11 Jan 1945
The transport / troopship Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) departed Colombo for Sydney. She had on board the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, their children and their staff.

On departure from Colombo the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN).

In the morning of January 14th, the destroyers oiled from HMS Suffolk.

Around 1200I/21, in approximate position 36°12'S, 114°33'E, the escort was relieved by the light cruiser HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN).

Rimutaka and her escort arrived at Sydney (Port Jackson) on 28 January 1945. (111)

15 Jan 1945
Around 1400H/15, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) arrived at Albany from convoy escort duty. (109)

20 Jan 1945
Around 1500H/20, HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) departed Albany to make rendezvous with the transport / troopship Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) coming from Colombo.

Rendezvous was affected around 1200I/21. HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN) also joined coming from Fremantle. HMS Suffolk (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN0, HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) then parted company. (109)

28 Jan 1945
Around 2300K/28, HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, CBE, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN) and the troop transport Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Sydney. On board the Rimutaka were the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, their children and their staff. The Duke of Gloucester was the new Governor-General of Australia. (112)

7 Feb 1945
HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.R. Dowling, RAN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN) departed Sydney for rangefinding and inclination exercises (RIX).

On completion of the exercises HMAS Hobart set course for Brisbane, while HMAS Quiberon returned to Sydney. (113)

20 Feb 1945
Around 0900K/20, HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) proceeded from Sydney to Jervis Bay for a period of exercises.

She anchored in Jervis Bay around 1500K/20. Exercises had been carried out en-route. (114)

21 Feb 1945
HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) conducted torpedo firing exercises off Jervis Bay. HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) acted as target. (114)

22 Feb 1945
HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) conducted exercises off Jervis Bay. She acted as target for torpedo aircraft and herself made a dummy torpedo attack on the auxiliary A/S patrol vessel HMAS Yandra (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.S. Codling, RANR(S)). (114)

23 Feb 1945
HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) conducted exercises off Jervis Bay. She acted as target for torpedo aircraft. She herself conducted AA gunnery exercises. (114)

24 Feb 1945
Around 0300K/24, HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) departed Jervis Bay for Sydney where she arrived around 0730K/24. (114)

27 Feb 1945
On 27 February 1945, the 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, made up of the aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN) departed Sydney for exercises and the flying on of their aircraft. They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN, with Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN).

The remainder of Task Force 113, the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), maintenance carrier HMS Unicorn (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), light cruisers HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN) departed Sydney on the 28th.

Both forces made rendezvous P.M. on the 28th and course was set to proceed to Manus.

On 2 March, HMS Urania was detached to return to Sydney as ordered in a signal from the Commander-in-Chief British Pacific Fleet.

Also on 2 March the cruisers and destroyers were fuelled by a tanker force made up of the RFA tankers Wave King (8159 GRT, built 1944), Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Cedardale (8132 GRT, built 1939) and San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935) escorted by the corvette (minesweeper) HMAS Whyalla (A/Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN).

Task Force 113 arrived at Manus in the afternoon of March 7th. En-route from Sydney various exercises had been carried out. (115)

12 Mar 1945
HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN, with Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) conducted exercises off Manus. (116)

15 Mar 1945
The battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN, with Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) conducted exercises off Manus. (117)

18 Mar 1945
Task Force 113 departed Manus for Ulithi in two groups.

The 1st group was made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN).

The 2nd group was made up of the aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Illustrious (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN, with Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN).

The 1st group arrived at Ulithi in the morning of March 20th. The 2nd group arrived in the afternoon.

As usual while en-route exercises had been carried out. (115)

23 Mar 1945

The British Pacific Fleet during Operation Iceberg, the landings on Okinawa (1st phase).

The British Pacific Fleet, now known as Task Force 57, departed Ulithi for the operations area near Okinawa.

The task for Task Force 57 is to neutralize airfields in the Sakishima Gunto to the south-west of Okinawa.

Task Force 57 was made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear- Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Illustrious (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellasis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN, with Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN, on board), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN).

On 25 March the fleet met with the replenishment groups Task Group 112.2.1 and Task Group 112.2.5 and the cruisers and destroyers fuelled throughout the morning and first part of the afternoon. Weather conditions were not suitable and not all ships were able to complete with fuel for 100%.

These two Task Groups had departed Manus on 17 March 1945 and their composition was as follows;
Task Group 112.2.1, was made up of the escort carrier HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) (with replacement aircraft) and the RFA tankers Cedardale (8132 GRT, built 1939), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935) and San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935). They were escorted by the destroyer Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), sloop HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN) and frigate HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RNR).

Task Group 112.2.5 was made up of the escort carrier HMS Speaker (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN) (for Combat Air Patrol duties), destroyer HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN) and sloop HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN).

HMS Wager, which had bearing trouble joined Task Group 112.2.1 being substituted with HMS Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN).

HMS Quality, which also had defects, was substituted with HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN) from Task Group 112.2.5.

26 March 1945.

Task Force 57 arrived in her operations area.

At 0605I/26, the Combat Air Patrol and A/S patrol were flown off, whilst HMS Argonaut and HMS Kempenfelt were detached to carry out picket duties warning the Fleet in advance of the possible approach of enemy aircraft.

At sunrise, at 0635I/26 strong fighter sweeps were flown off from a position 100 miles 180° from Miyako Jima to attack the enemy airfields at Ishigaki and Miyako. They reported little activity there. At 0850I/26, one aircraft was reported to have ditched 20 miles from Tarima Shima. A Walrus aircraft was flown off and subsequently rescued the pilot.

These fighter sweeps were followed by two escorted bombers strikes and one fighter bomber strike with airfields and associated buildings as targets. Withdrawal was begun at dusk.

At 0940I/26, a Mitsubishi Ki-46 ' Dinah ' was intercepted by the Combat Air Patrol but it managed to escape. It was apparent that the Fleet had been reported but no attacks developed.

After the last aircraft had flown on Task Group 57 disengaged to the south-eastward. The night was fine and the moon bright and an enemy air attack was considered likely.

27 March 1945.

At 0245I/27, a bogey to the eastward was contacted by radar. As it seemed that Task Force 57 was being shadowed course was altered in an attempt to shake off the aircraft.

At 0307I/27, HMS Euryalus was ordered to open out from the screen and fire at the enemy aircraft which then remained at a respectful distance for a time. A Hellcat was then flown off to intercept but the moon became obscured by a cloud and the enemy made good his escape. At 0305I/27 Japanese transmissions had been reported and Task Force 57 commenced jamming.

At sunrise a fighter sweep was sent to Ishigaki only from a flying off position 100 miles 180° from Miyako Jima. No increased acitivity was reported. Two bomber strikes were directed against radio stations, barracks and airfields not covered the previous day. Coasters off the islands were also attacked. The final strike was a small fighter bomber strike. Withdrawal was begun at dusk.

At 1130I/27, HMS Undine escorted by fighters was despatched to the rescue of an aircraft which had ditched 56 miles from the flying off position. At 1750I/27, she rejoined the Fleet having picked up the Avenger crew and also a United States Corsair pilot who was discovered after having been adrift for 48 hours.

The American (rescue) submarine USS Kingfish (T/Lt.Cdr. T.E. Harper, USN) was requisted to keep a good lookout for any of our ditched aircrews, but apparently she had not been fully instructed by the American authorities as she replied that 'she would have to ask her boss first'. The first situation was soon clarified and USS Kingfish was ordered to act as rescue submarine when required. At 1805I/27, USS Kingfish reported that she had rescued the pilot of one of HMS Illustrious's Avengers.

It had been intended that Task Force 57 should continue operating off Sakishimi Gunto, the day's programme to include a bombardment of Ishigaki, but Guam reported a typhoon to the southward whose position and estimated track appeared to threaten the fuelling area. The risk of bad weather completely dislocating fuelling for some time would have precluded Task Force 57 from returning to the operating area during the time of the initial landings on Okinawa. This was not acceptable. The necessity to withdraw to the fuelling area was accentuated by certain ships having been short of fuel at the commencement of the operation.

28 March 1945.

At 0730I/28 made contact with Task Unit 112.2.5 and Task Unit 112.2.1 in area Midge, a rectangle extending 50 miles to the south and 100 miles to the west of 19°55'N, 129°40'E. Fuelling and transfer of replacement aircraft continued throughout the day. The Fleet disengaged from the tanker group for the night.

At 1835I/28, HMS Striker parted company with the Fleet Train to proceed to Leyte escorted by HMS Crane.

29 March 1945.

The fuelling of the Fleet proceeded with constant interruptions and delays caused by hoses parting etc. Aircraft carriers experienced great difficulty in obtaining supplies of Avgas for this reason.

Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten transferred his flag from HMS Euryalus to HMS Whirlwind and proceeded in the afternoon with HMS Striker and HMS Crane for Leyte. HMS Quality and HMS Whelp rejoined Task Force 57, HMS Kempenfelt and HMS Whirlwind rejoining Task Unit 112.2.5 and 112.2.1 repectively.

30 March 1945.

At 1430I/30 after many more delays due to leaking hoses fuelling was completed and Task Force 57 departed at 22 knots for the operating area.

31 March 1945.

As usual the Combat Air Patrol and A/S Patrol were flown off around dawn. At 0530I/31, HMS Argonaut and HMS Wager were detached to a position 300°, 30 miles from the Fleet centre to act as pickets to prevent enemy aircraft returning with our own strikes. HMS Argonaut was chosen for this purpose as having the most suitable radar outfit.

At 0630I/31, a fighter sweep was sent in from a flying-off position 23°10'N, 125°23'E and thereafter fighter patrols were maintained over Ishigaki and Miyako. There appeared to be little activity in either island. Two bomber strikes were sent against Ishigaki airfield, installations and barracks. USS Kingfish again did useful service and rescued the crew of an Avenger which had ditched. At dusk the Fleet disengaged to the south-westward. Two fighters were kept at readiness from moonrise but the Fleet was not shadowed.

1 April 1945.

Around dawn HMS Argonaut and HMS Wager were again detached to proceed to their picket positions and at 0640I/1 a fighter sweep was sent in from a flying off position 23°26'N, 125°25'E.

At 0650I/1, bogeys were detected by radar 75 miles to the westward at a height of 8000 feet closing at 210 knots. The fighter sweep was recalled to intercept and additional fighters were flown off.

The raid split up more then 40 miles from the Fleet. The first interception was by Corsairs from HMS Victorious which shot down one enemy. Seafires shot down two more close to the Fleet and a fourth was destroyed by Hellcats recalled from the fighter sweep. At 0705I/1 the Fleet had been alerted to ' Flash Red ' and a few minutes later the enemy planes commenced their attacks.

One enemy single engined aircraft machine-gunned HMS Indomitable in a low attack killing one rating and wounding two officers and four ratings. Still flying very low it made a similar attack on HMS King George V but without causing casualties. Considerable difficulty was experienced in identifying enemy from our own planes who where hard on the enemy heels.

At 0727I/1, an enemy plane dived into the base of HMS Indefatigable's island. Four officers and ten ratings were killed and sixteen of her complement were wounded. The flight deck was put temporarily out of action, but within a remarkale short time, and in a most creditable manner, aircraft were again being operated from this ship athough that day on a reduced scale.

At about 0755I/1, HMS Ulster was near missed by what appeared to be a 500lb. bomb from an aircraft then being chased by one of our fighters. She reported that the bulkhead between the engine-room and the after boiler room had blown, flooding both compardments, but that the ship was floating well. Casualties were two killed and one seriously wounded. She was unable to steam but her armament remained effective. HMAS Quiberon was ordered to stand by her and as soon as the raid was over, HMNZS Gambia was ordered to tow her to Leyte.

At 1215I/1, a bombing strike was sent in against Ishigaki to bomb airfields and runways. No activity was noted. At 1430I/1, reports were received from combat patrols over the islands that more aircraft had been sighted at Hirara and Ishigaki airfields. These were attacked by the fighter patrols and were followed by a fighter sweep. It was estimated that about 14 enemy aircraft were detroyed on the ground during this attack and others damaged.

At 1730I/1, a low flying bogey was detected by radar at a range of 15 miles to the north-westward. Hellcats were sent to intercept this raid which developed into 2 plus but the enemy avoided them in cloid. Soon afterwards the Fleet sighted the enemy and opened fire, sometimes it is regretted, at fiendly fighters. One enemy aircraft dived on HMS Victorious, her swing under full helm was successful and the plane touched its wing only on the flight deck edge spinning harmlessly into the sea where its bomb exploded clear of the ship. The manuscript instructions to the pilot were blown on board HMS Victorious. This interesting document donoting priority of targets for suicide planes, has been translated and the contents forwarded to intelligence centre. It seems certain that Victorious's guns hit this aircraft during its dive.

At dusk the Fleet disengaged to the south-eastward.

2 April 1945.

It was evident from experience the day before that the Japanese had started staging ito the Sakishima airfields and it was therefore decided to cancel the planned bombardment in favour of air operations.

The absence of enemy activity noticed by the first fighter sweep the previous day made it appear likely that enemy might be leaving the airfields at first light. In consequence two aircraft from HMS Indomitable, having been flown off by moonlight, were sent to Ishigaki at 0510I/2. Two other aircraft flown off at the same time and destined for Miyako were unable to proceed owing to radio failures. No activity was reported from Ishigaki.

At 0630I/2, from a flying off position 23°12'N, 126°02'E a fighter Ramrod left to attack all airfields before the Fleet withdrew. Little activity was noticed, but one airborne Zeke (Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero') was shot down over Ishigaki by Hellcats.

After landing on the fighter Ramrod at 1045I/2, the Fleet withdrew to fuelling area Midge, maintaining a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) of 12 aircraft until 1600I/2, and a CAP of 8 aircraft until dark.

It was very disappointing to cancel the bombardment again. Once however enemy aircraft begin staging through or operating from an aerodrome the most profitable means of destroying them is by air and not by guns.

At 1450I/2, HMS Illustrious reported man overboard. Fighters of the CAP and destroyers were sent to search and the Fleet was turned 360° for a period. Unfortunately the man was not recovered.

3 April 1945.

At 0630I/3, there was no sign of the tanker group in rendezvous position Midge One (19°12'N, 128°00'E). Weather was a heavy N.E. swell, wind north force 5. Spread HMS Swiftsure, HMS Argonaut and HMS Euryalus to carry out a search.

At 0900I/3, W/T contact was made with the tanker group.

At 1320I/3, contact was made with Task Units 112.2.5 and 112.2.2. The weather and cross swell were too heavy to attempt fuelling. The Fleet remained in the area throughout the day, but towards the evening, meteorological information suggesting more suitable weather to the westward, the Fleet with tankers turned west towards area Mosquito.

An American Task Group of Task Force 58 had meanwhile been ordered to cover Sakishima Gunto during Task Force 57's underway replenishment.

4 April 1945.

0630I/4, Task Units 112.2.2 and 112.2.3 joined from Leyte. These were made up of the escort carrier HMS Slinger (Capt. B.L. Moore, RN) (with replacement aircraft) and the tankers Wave King (8159 GRT, built 1944), Wave Monarch (8159 GRT, built 1944), Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941) and Aase Maersk (6184 GRT, built 1930). They were escorted by the sloop HMS Woodcock (A/Lt.Cdr. S.J. Parsons, DSC, RN), frigates HMS Avon (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), HMS Parrett (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) T. Hood, RNR) and the corvettes (minesweepers) HMAS Bendigo (Lt. W. Jackson, RANVR) and HMAS Pirie (A/Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN).

At 0730I/4, fuelling was commenced as well as stores being transferred and replacement aircraft being flown over. The swell was heavy in position Mosquito One (19°37'N, 124°42'E). Fuelling proceeded throughout the day with many interruptions due to weak oiling gear and especially due to parting Avgas hoses.

At 1920I/4, the Fleet disengaged from the tanker group for the night.

5 April 1945.

At 0630I/5, the Fleet continued to fuel in position Mosquito One, the weather conditions having considerably improved. The transfer of essential stores, correspondence mail and casualties by destroyers and escort vessels seriously weakened the A/S screen and for future replenishment operation additional A/S escorts were requisted.

At 1930I/5, the Fleet disengaged from the tanker group and set course at 20 knots to the operations area. Some ships of the Fleet train also started their return trip to Leyte.

The two battleships had not completed fully with fuel and the aircraft carriers had only been able to embark sufficient Avgas for the forthcoming two days of operation. Staying longer with the tanker group was not possible in order to be back at the time promised to the Americans.

6 April 1945.

At 0450I/6, four fighters were flown off from HMS Indomitable, two each to Miyako and Ishigaki airfields to attack any enemy aircraft taking off at dawn but early reports from these planes indicated little or no activity in the islands. Heavy low cloud over the islands impeded operations, but eight enemy aircraft not previously noticed at Ishigaki were attacked with apparent result.

At 0530I/6, HMS Argonaut and HMS Urania with a CAP patrol were detached to act as picket to the north-westward.

At 0625I/6, CAP (Combat Air Patrol) and ASP (A/S Patrol) for the Fleet were flown off.

At 0635I/6, In position 23°16'N, 125°36'E CAPS were flown off to cover both islands. The craters in the runway at Miyako were observed to be filled in.

At 0650I/6, HMS Argonaut and HMS Urania were ordered to rejoin the Fleet. No being required under the circumstances.

At 0850I/6, the Fleet was detected by an enemy aircraft who escaped in cloud cover.

Hellcats returning from Miyako in the forenoon shot down a Francies after a 30 mile chase.

Avengers bombed and hit Hirara runway and town, and bombed Nobara, Sukhama and Myara airstrips causing fires.

Fighters attacked radio and radar stations, sank two junks and blew up a bowser.

At about 1700I/6, bogeys were detected on the radar screen. Fighters intercepted them and splasged one Judy. One enemy aircraft out of an estimated raid of four broke through in cloud and later dived on HMS Illustrious, who took radical avoiding action. The suicider's wingtip hit the island, spinning the aircraft into the sea where the bomb exploded. Only slight damage and no casualties were caused. The ship probably hit the aircraft during her dive.

One Judy and another unidentified enemy plane flying low were engaged by destroyers one the screen. One being hit by gunfire. Corsairs and Hellcats closed the Judy and shot it down in flames after it had jettisoned its bomb. The other plane was seen in flames on the horizon about five minutes later and is considered to have been destroyed by the destroyers. A second Judy orbiting the Fleet at about 10 miles range was intercepted by Corsairs and Hellcats and splashed.

Unfortunately one Seafire was shot down by gunfire from the Fleet during the raid. The pilot was not recovered.

This raid was preceded by enemy jamming out fighter direction frequencies, its source appearing to be airborne. This disorganised the fighter defence to some extent, but pilots and fighter direction operators and had since become well drilled in shifting from jammed frequencies.

During the day our own losses were the one Seafire shot down by the Fleet, two Corsairs by bomb blast and one Avenger which crashed on taking off. Total enemy losses for the day were estimated as six aircraft destroyed and six damaged. Two junks were sunk.

After the dusk CAP had been flown on, the Fleet disengaged to the south-eastward.

7 April 1945.

A report was received that an enemy surface force had been sighted in the early hours leaving the Inland Sea and steering to the southward.

The plan for the day was to maintain a constant CAP over the enemy airfields during daylight bombing and straffing when targets offered. The weather at dawn was good and the clouds higher the yesterday.

At 0530I/7, HMS Argonaut and HMS Urania were detached to the north-westward to act as picket, with orders to rejoin at 0810I/7.

At 0610I/7, CAP's for the Fleet and Islands and ASP were flown off from position 23°16'N, 125°36'E. The Islands CAP's reported little activity on the islands, but noticed that bomb craters on Ishigaki had been filled in, abd that Hirara and Nobara airfields appeared serviceable. It was therefore decided to send in three bomber strikes during the day to recrater these fields. This was successfully carried out without loss.

In the afternoon HMS Urania escorted by two fighters was despatched to the rescue of a Corsair pilot who had lost his way and landed in the sea abbout 70 miles from the Fleet. An American Privateer having reported him dropped dinghies and remained in the vicinity until relieved by Fireflys. HMS Urania recovered the pilot but he was unfortunately found to be dead. The afternoon strike destroyed oneand damaged other aircraft found on the ground at Nobara.

Enemy search planes were again active early in the day making intelligent use of the 9/10 cloud cover they were not sighted by the fighters sent to intercept.

By the end of the day all runways in the islands were left well cratered and unserviceable. All visible aircraft had been attacked and there was no activity on any airfield.

During the day the enemy lost three aircraft destroyed on the ground and four were damaged. Four fishing vessels and three luggers were also claimed to have been damaged.

Own losses were two aircraft shot down by flak and four lost from other causes.

Task Force 57 then set course to refuel in area Cootie. This was an American area closer to our operating area that areas Midge or Mosquito. In the evening it was also leart that US aircraft of Task Force 58 had dealt with the Japanese surface force that had been reported proceeding towards Okinawa. Reports, indicated that the enemy lost one battleship, one cruiser and four destroyers and two more destroyers reported to be on fire.

American Task Force 52 was ordered to cover Sakishima during the absence of Task Force 57.

8 April 1945.

0600I/8, Task Force 57 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112.2.5 and Task Unit 112.2.1 in position Cootie One (21°12'N, 128°44'E), and commenced to refuel the fleet in excellent weather conditions. By dusk all ships except one battleship and one carrier had fuelled from the five tankers. The light cruiser HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN) and the destroyers HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) reinforce Task Force 57 as did the light cruiser HMNZS Gambia which returned from Leyte having towed the damaged destroyer HMS Ulster there.

As structural defects in HMS Illustrious were beginning to increase and her pilots were showing signs of operational fatigue, HMS Kempenfelt was detached a signal ordering HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN) from Leyte, to join the Fleet on the next occasion of fuelling. These structural defects in HMS Illustrious, the legacy of past underwater damage, were found on arrival in harbour to be rather more serious than had been thought. HMS Kempenfelt was routed to Leyte to act as additional escort to HMS Formidable.

9 April 1945.

At 0630I/9, Task Force 57 recommenced fuelling, which was completed by 1500I/9. HMS Undaunted from Leyte rejoined Task Unit 112.2.5 and HMS Whirlwind joined Task Force 57 from Task Unit 112.2.5. HMS Whelp, which had a defective Asdic dome was ordered to proceed to Leyte.

1315I/9, HMS Swiftsure, HMNZS Gambia and HMCS Uganda carried out independent exercises until 1615I/9.

At 1530I/9, Task Force 57 proceeded, setting course to carry out final air strikes on Sakishima on 10 and 11 April. It was intended to proceed to Leyte afterwards.

However shortly afterwards signals were received that the Americans would continue to deal with Sakishima Gunto and that Task Force 57 was to attack airfield in northern Formosa.

10 April 1945.

The Fleet was getting into position to launch strikes against Matsuyama and Shinchiku airfields on Formosa on the forenoons of 11th and 12th April from approximate position Samson (196° 30 miles from western tip of Yonaguni Jima flying off at 0700I each day. Then to withdraw to replanish area Cootie for replenishment on 13 April and arrive at Leyte about 16 April.

11 April 1945.

At 0600I/11, Task Force 57 arrived in flying-off position 30 miles 202° from Yonaguni Shima. There was a fresh north-north-east wind and a moderate sea and short swell. Cloud base was about 1000 feet with intermittent rain and drizzle.

Course was reversed and in daylight it was seen apparent that conditions were unlikely to improve in the flying area during the day while weather reports showed that conditions over Natsuyama precluded any hope of attack. It was considered that a small fighter sweep coasting round north Formosa might find Shinchiku, but that their return journey would be a considerable gamble and surprise lost. Conditions were most unsuitable also for air sea rescue. Operations were accordingly postponed 24 hours and the Fleet continued to the south-eastward.

Early in the evening all Task Group commanders were informed by signal that heavy enemy air attacks were to be expected the following day.

Course was reversed during the night so as to be in the flying off position at dawn. Task Force 58 reported being under heavy air attack all afternoon, with the enemy showing a preference to commit suicide by crashing on the decks of radar pickets.

12 April 1945.

The weather had improved considerable during the night.

Enemy reconnaissance aircraft possibly detected the Fleet at 0555I/12 and soon afterwards enemy air activity was detected to the northward. CAP was flown off at 0615I/12 and at 0704 Seafires had an inconclusive encounter with four eastbound Zeke's, one of which was shot down.

The main strikes, each of 24 bombers and 20 fighters were flown off at 0715I/12 from position 23°58'N, 122°46'E and proceeded in company around the coast.

Cloud prevented the strikes going over the mountains. One strike bombed Shinchiku airfields with delay fuzed bombs and attacked dispersals. There was flak but no airborne opposition. Due to cloud conditions over Matsuyama airfield the other strike attacked their alternative target, Kiirun harbour where hits were observed on the chemical plant, dock area and shipping.

One flight investigated Matsuama and found little activity. A rearby railway station and factory were attacked. A bridge over the river south of Matsuama was destroyed and shipping at Tansui shot up.

Two Fireflies which had been sent to rendezvous with Dumbo aircraft at Yonaguni Shima shot down four out of five eastbound Sonias (Mitsubishi Ki-51) and damaged the remaining one at 0920I/12. As these aircraft had not been detected by radar, fighters were thereafter maintained over the island.

Corsairs attacked aircraft which had force landed on Yonagumi Shimi and set fire to a Sally (Mitsubishi Ki-21).

At 1135I/12, a shadowing Dinah (Mitsubishi Ki-46), was chased by Corsairs, which, after releasing their drop tanks, caught and destroyed it.

At 1410I/12, another Dinah escorted by two Oscars (Nakajima Ki-43) escaped from the CAP fighters in a cloud.

At 1430I/12, Hellcats to the north-westward of the Fleet shot down a Zeke.

In the evening the enemy made a sortie from Ishigaki, which was intercepted by fighters, no enemy getting within sight of the Fleet. Hellcats spalshed four Oscars and two Tomies and damaged two more. Corsairs splashed a Val (Aichi D3A) and one Oscar. They also damaged an Oscar. One Hellcat was badly damaged in the engagement the pilot being killed when making a forced landing.

During the day, except for the evening sortie and one shadower, all enemy air traffic appeared to have been between Formosa and Sakishima. Fighter direction of our fighters during the day was well carried out, and some excellend interceptions were made. The score for the day was 17 enemy aircraft destroyer, 16 of which were airborne and 1 on the ground. Two more aircraft were probably destroyed. Two enemy aircraft were claimed to have been damaged. Own losses were 4 aircraft.

After dark an enemy plane carried out an unsuccessful box search for the Fleet which had disengaged to the south-eastward for the night.

It was clear that from signals received that the enemy were engaging in very heavy air attacks on American forces in the Okinawa area, and that Formosa based planes were taking part. Vice-Admiral Rawlings came to the conclusion during the evening that Task Force 57 was to remain operating in this area for a further period, even if they could do little more than occasionally strike at the Sakishima Gunto Task Force 57 should anyhow provide an alternative target to take some of the weight. Rear-Admiral Vian, by himself, had meanwhile come to the same conclusion, and he informed Vice-Admiral Rawlings accordingly. The US Commander of the 5th Fleet was informed of the decision by signal.

13 April 1945.

At 0550I/13, four fighters were flown off. A bogey originally detected at 0540I/13 developed into an ineffective raid by four Vals accomanied by a radar fitted search plane probably performing the dual role of pilot plane and 'Gestapo'. One Val dive bombed, but missed, HMS Indomitable. This aricraft switched on navigation lights and fired an incorrect recognition cartridge. It was engaged but probably not hit. A second Val was shot down by gunfire from the Fleet. Unfortunately gunfire also shot down one Hellcat which failed to clear the Fleet during the attack, and the pilot was killed.

At 0615I/13, the proper CAP was flown off in position 23°58'N, 122°46'E.

At 0640I/13, a small group of bogeys was intercepted 25 miles to the north-west of the Fleet. Two Zekes were splashed by Corsairs and the remainder retired to the northward.

At 0645I/13, Avenger strikes were flown off to attack Matsuyama and Shinchiku airfields on Formosa. The weather over Matsutyama was fair, runways, barracks and dispersal points were successfully bombad and a petrol or ammunition dump was blown up. Few aircraft were seen on the airfield.

The other Avenger force bombed Shinchiku airfield through low cloud, hitting the runway intersections and installations. No aircraft were lost in either of these strikes and there was no airborne opposition.

Fireflies attacked the suspected radar station on Yonakuni Shima with rockets and apparently destroyed it. When relieved, they also shot up luggers and small craft in the harbour close to Iriizaki.

After these bomber strikes were flown on, Task Force 57 disengaged to the south-eastward to refuel.

1300I/13, Hellcats intercepted 3 Zekes about 40 miles north of the Fleet, and Corsairs intercepted a Dinah escorted by Tojo's (Nakajima Ki-44). All the enemy aircraft escaped in the clouds.

Enemy losses were thought to be 8 aircraft destroyed and 1 probably damaged. 1 of our own aircraft was lost in combat.

A signal was received thanking the British for their initiative to stay in the area longer and they were ordered to cover Sakishima on 16 and 17 April unless otherwise directed prior to that time.

14 April 1945.

At 0630I/14, Task Force 57 made contact with task Unit 112.2.5 and the tanker group (five tankers) in position Cootie One (21°12'N, 128°44'E).

The aircraft carrier HMS Formidable and the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt and HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) joined Task Force 57.

Fuelling was commenced in fine weather and proceeded with less delays then usual.

HMS Illustrious was sailed for Leyte at 1755I/14 escorted by HMS Urania and HMS Quality.

The Fleet disengaged from the tanker force for the night.

15 April 1945.

The Fleet joined the tanker group, now consisting of three tankers, fuelling and general replenishing was completed by 1400I/15 when Task Force 57 disengaged and took departure to cover the Sakishima area again. No supply of new aircraft were available during this replenishment period.

16 April 1945.

No picket cruiser was stationed owing to the shortage of fighter aircraft.

0600I/16, the CAP was flown off in position 23°28'N, 125°18'E, 17 minutes before sunrise and in excellent operating weather.

At 0622I/16, an enemy snooper at 20000 feet escaped before the CAP had time to gain height.

At 0630I/16, the first strike took off to attack Ishigaki aircfields. This attack, and a further one flow off at 1230I/16, left all the runways unserviceable.

At 0930I/16, the second strike took off to attack Miyako airfields where previous craters were found to be filled in and every endeavour had been made to keep the airfields serviceable. This attack, together with another flow off at 1533I/16, left all Miyako airfields out of action.

CAP's were left over both islands during the day. Rocket firing Fireflies staffed a radar station at Miyako and ground installations, barracks and grounded aircraft generally were straffed. These was no airborn opposition over the targets and flack was moderate.

At 0700I/16, bad height estimation was the cause of failure to interceot a bogey which crossed ahead of the Fleet from east to west.

At 1441I/16, two divisions of fighters staggered in height and range get close to an erratic and fast moving bogey but were unable to find any target. More fast moving bogeys were reported during the afternoon. These were thought to be flying bombs launched too far away from the Fleet and exhausting their fuel before reaching the Fleet.

At 1722I/16, Hellcats shot down a Myrt (Nakajima C6N) which was apparently stalking an American Privateer search plane.

A Seafire landing on HMS Indefatigable bounced, cleared the barriers and crashed. The pilot was unhurt but the plane wrecked an Avenger, damaged a Firefly, and knocked two ratings over the side. HMAS Quiberon picked up one but the other was unfortunately not recovered.

In spite of having received no replenishment aircraft since April 9th, and the lack of fighters consequently felt, Rear-Admiral Vian, considered a sixth opertional period possible, if confined to one day of operations. He informed Vice-Admiral Rawlings accordingly.

As the Americans were still under heavy air attacks in the Okinawa area Vice-Admiral Rawlings reported this to the Commander 5th Fleet.

17 April 1945.

At 0600I/17, the CAP was flown off from position 23°34'N, 125°38'E.

In view if the apparent success of yesterday's neutralisation, the number of bombers in the main strikes was reduced, the first strike taking off at 0630I/17. First reports showed that considerable effort had been made to fill in the runway craters at Miyako but none at Ishigaki. Consequently no bombing strike was sent to Ishigaki. Of the three strikes sent to Miyako, the first two left all airfields unservicable and the third attacked municipal buildings and barracks.

In the last attack an Avenger was shot down and one of the crew succeeded in baling out and alighted on the water 1.5 miles from Hirara Town. A Walrus was quickly flow off and rescued the airman, whilst a fighter escort kept down fire which was opened from the town.

CAP's were maintained over both islands, but reported no activity on any airfield, all of which remained unservicable at the end of the day. No operational aircraft could be found on the ground.

At 0609I/17, a few bogeys were detected to the north-west of the Fleet. Fighters sent to investigate splashed one Zeke.

At 1627I/17, bogeys were detected 110 miles west of the Fleet. Fighters intercepted at 55 miles and two out of six Zeke's were shot down. The others escaped into the clouds.

At 1750I/17, close range weapons in HMS King George V suddenly opened fire on what appeared to be a blazing aircraft diving virtically on the ship. It turned out to be a drop tank from a Corsair overhead.

During the day three airborne enemy aircraft were destroyed and several small ship were claimed to have been damaged. One own aircraft was lost in combat.

At 1915I/17, Task Force 57 withdrew to fuel in area Mosquito. It was intended to return to the operations area for on more day, April 20th.

18 April 1945.

At 0630I/18, commenced fuelling in area Mosquito from the tanker group, now made up of five tankers. Four additional destroyers were also with them, HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN) and HMS Undaunted.

Mails, stores and correspondence were transferred but no replenishment aircraft were available. Owing to the extention of operation programme none had been expected.

By dusk the Fleet had completed fuelling and disengaged from the tanker group for the night. Three of the five tankers then set course to return to Leyte escorted by HMS Pheasant.

19 April 1945.

At 0730I/19, the Fleet rejoined the remaining two tankers and the destroyers were then topped off with fuel. This second day in the replenishing area was necessary in order to rest aircrews and for maintenance work on aircraft.

At 1300I/19, the Fleet disengaged and took departure for the Sakishima area, leaving two tankers, HMS Speaker, HMS Kempenfelt, HMS Woodcock and HMS Findhorn in the fuelling area with orders to proceed to Leyte at dawn on 21 April.

20 April 1945.

At 0555I/20, the CAP was flown off in position 23°33'N, 125°02'E. The plan for the day followed generally the pattern of previous strikes, namely to crater the runways on all Myako and Ishigaki airfields and to maintain a CAP over them to prevent repair work, destroying any enemy airborne, and to strafe any grounded planes. In addition two strikes by rocket firing Fireflies were ordered to attack coastal shipping and ground installations.

Four bomber strikes were sent in, and found that most craters had been filled in on runways at both islands. By the end of the day all airfield runways on both islands were left unserviceable, with the exception of these at Hirara (Miyako) which were only partially cratered.

There was no enemy airborne opposition over the islands and none came near the Fleet. The several bogeys detected during the day were all found to be friendly search planes when intercepted. A lugger and some junks were rocketed and left burning, as were a possible radar station and barracks.

One Avenger reported ditching 10 miles south of Ishigaki. The position was searched all the afternoon and evening without success, but the survivors were fortunately rescued the following afternoon by a US seaplane.

One enemy aircraft was damaged on the ground and one own aircraft was lost.

At 1910I/20, Task Force 57 set course for Leyte having completed 12 strike days out of 26 days bwtween first and last strikes.

21 April 1945.

At 0650I/21, HMS Crane was met who had sailed from Leyte to bring out to the Fleet a slightly overdue airmail. She also brought out Commodore Evans-Lombe, Chief Staff officer to the C-in-C, British Pacific Fleet. He was transferred to HMS King George V. HMS Crane was then despatched to overtake the tanker group who were on their way to Leyte, to relieve HMS Kempenfelt who was ordered to proceed at best speed to Leyte.

It was decided that every destroyer was to boiler clear at Leyte and that the battleships and cruisers were to assist them doing so.

22 April 1945.

At 2000I/22, HMS Euryalus, HMNZS Gambia and HMCS Uganda were ordered to proceed ahead of the Fleet to Leyte.

23 April 1945.

At 0700I/23, the Fleet was formed into two groups for proceeding up Leyte Gulf. They were brought to anchor around 1245I/23 in San Pedro Bay. (118)

23 Apr 1945
On arrival at Leyte from operations HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) commenced boiler cleaning which was completed on 30 April 1945.

From 1150I/25 to 1715I/25, HMAS Quiberon was docked in ARD 16. During this period a new Asdic dome was fitted and a small leak was repaired. (119)

1 May 1945

The British Pacific Fleet during Operation Iceberg, consolidating the Okinawa area (2nd phase).

The British Pacific Fleet, still known as Task Force 57, departed Leyte for the operations area near Okinawa.

1 May 1945.

On departure Task Force 57 was made up of the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear- Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellasis, RN), the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC and Bar, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN).

During the day various exercises were carried out.

2 May 1945.

During the day various exercises were carried out.

3 May 1945.

At 0600I/1, Task Force 57 made rendezvous in position Mosquito One with the logistic support group made up of the RFA tankers Cedardale (8132 GRT, built 1939), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935) and San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935). These tankers were escorted by the sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN), HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN) and the frigate HMS Avon (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR).

All cruisers and destroyers topped up with fuel. While getting clear of a tanker HMCS Uganda fouled a propeller on an oil hose. It was cleared by making the use of shallow water divers.

At 1530I/3, oiling was completed. The Fleet took departure for the operations area and the tanker group for area Cootie.

The plan for the opening operations was:
1) To make airfields of the Sakishima Gunto unserviceable by bombing runways and air installations.

2) To conduct an offensive against flak positions and to assist in cratering runways by ship bombardment.

3) To maintain an offensive CAP over the islands.

The particular plan for the first day was for the bombarding force to bombard Miyako airfields and flak position at about noon, from medium range, with the carrier force about 30 miles to the southward, so that their radar would no be fouled by land.

4 May 1945.

At 0540I/4, the CAP was flown off in position 23°44'N, 125°11'E.

At 0550I/4, enemy air activity in the vicinity of Sakishima was detacted, the general trend of traffic being to the eastward. One small group approached the Fleet and Hellcats shot down one Zeke (Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero') before the others escaped into the clouds.

At 0605I/4, bomber strikes were flown off for Myako and at 0815I/4, for Ishigaki. At Miyako the weather was good and visibility was excellent. All AA batteries opened fire on our aircraft. Conditions for bombardment appeared good. At Ishigaki the runway of Myara airfield was found serviceable and left well cratered. When taking off for the Ishigaki strike, an Avenger crashed into the sea, the crew being rescued by the safety destroyer.

At 0827I/4, an enemy aircraft approached the Force at a great heinght. Out figthers could not get high enough to intercept through lack of oxygen, and the enemy entered the artillery zone. Fire was opened in blind control, but the enemy was never seen and retired to the westward.

Before deciding to disengage from the carriers for bombardment Vice-Admiral Rawlings weighted up the following considerations.
1) The need for bombardment in an endeavour to reduce AA fire ashore.
2) Conditions for bombardment near the target had been reported as excellent.
3) The effect on morale of ships of the bombarding force would be most benificial.
To be balanced against this he took into consideration the fact that the Fleet had been sighted. That in itself was nothing strange, and had happened several times before without being followed by any attack on the Fleet.

After discussing the situation with Rear-Admiral Vian, the bombarding force detached at 1000I/4, in position 23°54'N, 125°10'E and closed Miyako at 24 knots. The carriers provided additional CAP for this force as well as aircraft for spotting.

At 1155I/4, the bombarding force passed through position 24°33'5"N, 125°10'E on the bombarding course of 070° at 15 knots. HMS King George V and HMS Howe were in open order line ahead and screened by HMS Euryalus, HMS Black Prince, HMS Grenville, HMS Undaunted, HMS Undine, HMS Urania, HMS Urchin and HMS Ursa. The cruisers occupied the two inshore positions of the screen.

HMS Swiftsure, HMNZS Gambia and HMCS Uganda, in open order line ahead, were stationed 270°, 3 miles, i.e. fire of port quarter of the Fleet flagship. Conditions were ideal.

At 1205I/4 fire was opened. HMS King George V and HMS Howe bombarded Hirara airfield and the AA. defence area to the north of the airfield, respectively.

HMS Euryalus and HMS Black Prince carried out a simultaneous air burst shoot on the AA defence area of Nobara airfield.

On completion of the air burst shoot, HMS Swiftsure and HMNZS Gambia bombarded Nobara airfiel while HMS Uganda bombarded Sukama air strip.

In spite of comparatively close ranges, no form of opposition from the shore was encountered.

Around 1250/4, fire was checked and the bombarding force rejoined the carriers around 1500I/4.

In all 195 round of 14" HE, 598 round of 6" HE and 378 round of 5.25" HE had been fired.

Photographs show that the runways at Nobara and Sukuma were well hit and that all rounds from HMS Howe fell in the target area, but no photographs were obtained to show the results by HMS King George V.

A few minutes after the bombardment was commenced Vice-Admiral Rawlings received a signal from Rear-Admiral Vian that HMS Formidable had been hit and that her speed had been reduced to 18 knots. Vice-Admiral Rawlings accordingly informed the bombarding force and instructed the ships to speed up the bombardment. As signals were corrupt and the situation not quite clear Vice-Admiral Rawlings ordered the cease fire a little earlier than planned and turned the force to the southward to close the carriers at 25 knots.

As soon as the bombarding force had disengaged Rear-Admiral Vian formed the eight destroyers left with him so that two destroyers were equilly speced between each carrier and on the line joining adjacent carriers. This provided the best natural gun support and clear arcs of fire.

At about 1100I/4, three small groups of bogeys were detected to the westward, and were soon followed up by a fourth. Probably 16 to 20 enemy aircraft were employed with some acting as decoys. Fighters engaged one group working round to the southward, but one Kamikaze group penetrated to the carriers and was first detected when a plane was seen diving on the carrier force.

There were no bandits on the screen within 20 miles when at 1131I/4, a Zeke was seen diving from a great height on to HMS Formidable and engaged by gunfire. Rear-Admiral Vian manoeuvred his force under wheel at high speed by successive emergency turns. Though reported hit by close range weapons from his target, the Kamikaze crashed into the flight deck of HMS Formidable rear the island structure and started a large fire in the deck park of aircraft. Rear-Admiral Vian maoeuvred the formation to keep in close touch with the damaged ship, whose speed was temporarily reduced to 18 knots.

The Kamikaze appeared to release his bomb just before the aircraft hit the deck, causing the following damage; caualties 8 killed and 47 wounded. 1 Corsair and 10 Avengers were damaged beyond repair. All Radar, except type 277 put out of action. Both barriers were damaged, the forward one irreparable. The flight deck was holed 2 feet square, indentation 10 feet square and 2 feet deep at the centre. Armoured deck splinter passed through the hangar deck, horizontal partition between down takes, escape hatch which was shut, and so to the centre boiler room where it caused slight damage and loss of steam, and finally pierces the inner bottom.

Two minutes later, at 1133I/4, 2 enemy aircraft crashed in flames ten miles to the southward, the result of the CAP.

At 1134I/4, a Zeke flying from forward to aft off the starboard bow of HMS Indomitable was engaged by her 4.5" guns and temporarily disappeared in cloud. It soon reappeared diving at the ship as steeply as about 60° from the starboard beam. The force was turning to starboard at the time and HMS Indomitable's wheel was increased to hard over. As the plane approached it was heavily engaged by close range weapons from the ship and set on fire, it flattened out at the last moment, deck landed on the flight deck, and bounded over the side, taking the radar arrays of the port midships directions with it. The bomb appeared to explode shortly after the plane submerged.

At 1142I/4, another Zeke dived steeply on HMS Indomitable whose close range weapons and those of HMS Quality hit him hard and often. The aircraft burst into flames and crashed into the sea about 10 yards off the starboard bow of the ship.

No damage nor casualties were sustained in either of these two attacks, apart from that caused to the radar arrays.

Meanwhile the fires in HMS Formidable were soon under control, and by 1254I/4, the ship was capable of 24 knots. It was estimated that one barrier would be in action by 1600I/4 and that the flight deck hole would be patched by then.

At 1215I/4, it became necessary to turn into the wind and land on fighters, although enemy aircraft were known to be still in the vicinity. Aircraft from HMS Formidable were landed on the other carriers.

At 1220I/4, a Jill (Nakajima B6N Tenzan) was shot down by fighters from HMS Indomitable and half an hour later a Val (Aichi D3A) met the same fate by Seafires from HMS Indefatigable. By 1420I/4 the Bombarding Force was being manoeuvred close to the Carrier Force, and the Fleet reformed which was completed at 1450I/4.

As the strike programme planned for the day had been completed, and as cosiderable reorganisation was necessary with the flight deck of HMS Formidable out of action, the Fleet commenced withdrawing to the south-eastward. By 1700I/4, HMS Formidable was able to receive 13 of her Corsairs.

At about 1515I/4, Corsairs from HMS Victorious intercepted and shot down a Judy (Yokosuka D4Y Suisei) to the northward.

Although at various times during the afternoon there were enemy aircraft in the vicinity, it was not until 1720I/4, that development of another attack became evident. This was however broken up very satisfactorily by our fighters.

At 1721I/4, a Judy, believed to be the 'Gestapo' of the group, was shot down from 24000 feet to the eastward by fighters. A few minutes later Seafires from HMS Indefatigable intercepted 4 Zekes to the southwand and shot down 3 before the other escaped to the northward.

At 1732I/4, a Hellcat retuning for an emergency landing was fired on by HMS Formidable and hit. The aircraft crashed but the pilot was rescued unhurt by HMS Undaunted.

At 1820I/4, Corsairs from HMS Victorious were sent to intercept a bogey to the northward. They found and shot down a Zeke.

Durning the day a total of 14 enemy aircraft, all airborne, were destroyed. 11 by fighters, 2 shot down by gunfire and 1 which had been damaged by gunfire which completed its suicide dive on HMS Formidable. Several small vessels around the islands were damaged. Own losses totalled 15 aircraft. In combat only one Avenger was lost. 11 Avengers, 1 Seafire, 1 Hellcat, 1 Corsair were lost from other causes, these included the ones damaged beyond repair on the light deck of HMS Formidable.

5 May 1945.

As the state of affairs on HMS Formidable was not clear, the programme for the day was arrangded on the basis that the ship would keep 8 fighters at readiness to reinforce the CAP if required. At 0420I/5, the ship reported that repairs to her centre boiler room were complete and that full speed was available.

At 0545I/5, the first CAP was flown off from position 23°10'N, 125°29'E.

Runways on Miyako and Ishigaki were well bombed again, and all of them left unserviceable by the end of the day. A CAP was maintained over each island.

Three operational aircraft were found on the ground and destroyer and a petrol dump was left blazing. It was noteworthy that no flack at all was encountered over Miyako and it is hoped that the previous day's bombardment was responsable for this at least temporary change for the airmen.

A high snooper was detected at about 0730I/5 and a long chase of 300 miles followed. This eventually finished at 0920I/5 when Corsairs from HMS Formidable, but operating from HMS Victorious, splashed the Zeke 80 miles from the Fleet and from 30000 feet.

During the day 2 Avengers escorted by fighters were sent to Keramo Retto with press material and Cdr. A. Kimmins, RN.

Enemy losses were 4 aircraft destroyed, 1 in the air and 3 on the ground. Also 2 aircraft were thought to have been damaged on the ground. Own losses were 1 Corsair and 2 Seafires.

At 1905I/5, the Fleet withdew and set course for area Cootie.

6 May 1945.

At 0640I/6, Task Force 57 made rendezvous in area Cootie the Fleet Train made up of the tankers Wave King (8159 GRT, built 1944), Wave Monarch (8159 GRT, built 1944), Cedardale (8132 GRT, built 1939), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935) and San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935). Also present were the escort carriers HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN) (for fighter protection of the Fleet Train) and HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) (with replacement aircraft for Task Force 57). The Fleet Train was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), sloops HMS Crane, HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Whimbrel and the frigate HMS Avon.

HMAS Napier joined Task Force 57 to replace HMS Kempenfelt which had reported defects.

Casualties from HMS Formidable were transferred to HMS Striker who in company with HMS Kempenfelt, took departure at 1915I/6 for Leyte.

At 1534I/6, CAP aircraft were sent to investigate a surface radar contact to the north-eastward and identified a north bound US armed merchant vessel in company with a US hospital ship.

At 1845I/6, the Fleet detached from the tanker group for the night.

During the refuelling period of Task Force 57, US Task Group 52.1 covered Sakishima.

7 May 1945.

At 0615I/7, fuelling recommenced.

By 1400I/7, fuelling and exchange of stores, mail and correspondence were completed, when the Fleet disengaged from the tankers.

HMAS Norman was ordered to escort the tankers Wave King and Wave Monarch to Leyte, and HMS Whimbrel and HMS Avon similarly escorted Cedardale, San Ambrosio and San Adolpho.

During the last two days HMS Formidable was busy making good bomb damage and in the end became fully operational again.

At 1400I/7, Task Force 57 took departure to return to the operations area.

8 May 1945.

The plan for the day was to bomb Miyako and Ishigaki, to maintain the usual island CAP's, and also to bombard Ishigaki runways and AA positions with the battleships and 6" cruisers. The carrier squadron, supported by both 5.25" cruisers and 8 destroyers were to close Ishigaki behind the bombarding force until such time as land echoes would just not interfere with air warning.

The weather deteriorated during the night, and at 0400I/8 the forecast gave no hope of improvenemt, the pan to bombard was cancelled in favour of one to carry out four bomber strikes following previous patterns.

At 0600I/8, CAP's for the islands and the Fleet were flown off in position 22°53'N, 125°40'E. The weather was overcast and raining at the time, and the island CAP's soon reported similar conditions with the islands difficult to locate. The first strike was therefore cancelled. It was decided to remain in the operating area to await better weather, but at 1015I/8 the island CAP's reported no improvement and rthe meteorological chart showed Formosa to be shut down by similar weather.

Since it was thus evident that Sakishima could be of no use to the enemy in such conditions, at 1050I/8 the Fleet withdrew to the south-eastward, maintaining a reduced CAP.

Although the weather forecast for the following day promised deterioration rather then improvement, Vice-Admiral Rawlings imformed the Commander 5th Fleet of the withdrawal due to weather and that he intended to strike on 9 and 10 May. Plans for a bombardment on 9 May were abandoned. At 1805I/8, just after the last CAP for the day had been flown off, visibility shut down completely with continuous heavy rain. Course was shaped to the westward in search of better weather. It was with difficulty that fighters were vectored back to the Fleet and searchlights were burned to aid them. At 1905I/8, the fighters at sea level, having sighted the searchlights, reached the Fleet and were flown on.

9 May 1945.

The weather, although showery, was much improved and continued to do so during the day. At 0545I/9, the CAP's were flown off in position 23°06'N, 126°00'E. Weather over the targets was reported as sitisfactory. All runways at Hirara were reported as serviceable.

Four bomber strikes were flown off during the day, two to each island, the first being launched at 0830I/9 in position 23°40'N, 125°34'E. All runways were recratered and a direct hit was scored on one aircraft on the ground at Miyako. A motor transport park at Ishigaki was attacked, three vehicles being destroyed for certain.

Low flying fighters discovered a Val hidden in a cave. Firing through the entance to the cave they destroyed the enemy in flames.

At 1145I/9, the Fleet was sighted by a bogey which approached within 30 miles. Fighters drove it off but were unable to catch it.

At 1645I/9, bogeys were detected very low 22 miles to the westward, coming in fast. Four Seafires intercepted at 15 miles, but allowed themselves to be all decoyed away by one aircraft which they shot down. Meanwhile four other enemy planes evaded another division of Seafires and after climbing to about 3000 feet penetrated to the Fleet.

From 1650I/9, onwards the Fleet was redically manoeuvred by emergency turns at 22 knots. One minute after such a turn of 60° to starboard was executed, a suicider made a 10° angle dive onto HMS Victorious from her starboard quarter. The emeny was well hit by close range weapons but crashed onto the flight deck near the forward lift. The resulting fire was quickly brought under control but the bomb explosion holed the flight deck, put the accelerator out of action, rendered one 4.5" gun unserviceable, and damaged one lift hoisting motor.

At 1656I/9, another Kamikaze made a shallow power glide from astern on HMS Victorious. Though hit hard by gunfire, and well on fire, it hit the flight deck aft a glancing blow, and burning furiously passed over the side. Damage to the ship was confined to one arrester unit out of action, a 40mm gun director destroyer, and four Corsairs on deck damaged beyond repair.

Casualties from both these attacks were 3 killed, 4 seriously injured and 15 wounded.

At 1657I/9, a third suicider made a pass at HMS Victorious but then shifted target to HMS Howe furher ahead, and approached her from the starboard quarter in a long shallow dive. This time the attacker was hit at a more reasonable range, and continued to be so until he crashed in flames 100 yards from HMS Howe after passing over the quarterdeck.

At 1705I/9, a fourth Kamikaze approached HMS Formidable and then HMS Indomitable, being engaged by both ships without apparent result. It then turned and dived into the after deck park of HMS Formidable. There was a large explosion and fire and a great deal of smoke. Speed was reduced to 15 knots to aid control of the fire which was extinguished at 1720I/9. Six Corsairs and one Avenger were destroyed by fire on deck. The explosion blew out a flight deck rivet and thus allowed buring petrol to fall into the hanger which had to be strayed. As a result three further Avengers and eight Corsairs were damaged. The total replacement required were therefore four Avengers and fourteen Corsairs. Casualties were fortunately light, one killed and a few injured.

At 1755I/9, HMS Formidable reported being fit to land on aircraft and that during the engagement she had definately shot down one enemy by gunfire.

The state of the Carrier Squadron was as follows; HMS Formidable and HMS Victorious could operate, but the former had only four bombers and eleven fighters serviceable and had two Pom Poms mountings out of action. HMS Victorious could operate a few aircraft at a time, but the damage to her lift seriously reduced her speed of handling. In the circumstances Vice-Admiral Rawlings concurred with Vice-Admiral (promoted on the 8th) Vian's suggestion that the Fleet should withdraw to fuel, sort out and made good the damage, etc, and then return to strike on 12 and 13 May. The commander 5th Fleet was informed of this intention and at 1950I/9 the Fleet set course for area Cootie.

During the day 8 enemy aircraft were destroyed, 2 on the ground, 3 by suicide, 2 by gunfire and 1 by fighters. Also on the ground 1 was probably destroyed and 1 probably damaged. Own losses were 1 Corsair lost in combat and by bomb damage, 10 Corsairs destroyed, 7 Corsairs and 1 Avenger damaged, probably beyond repair. Several small craft near Ishigaki suicide boat base were damaged, and one was sunk.

10 May 1945.

At 0610I/10, Task Force 57 made rendezvous with the tanker group consisting of the escort carriers HMS Speaker (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN) (with replacement aircraft), tankers Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941), Aase Maersk (6184 GRT, built 1930) and San Amado (7316 GRT, built 1935) and tug HMS Weazel. They were escorted by the escort carrier HMS Ruler (for CAP and A/S services), destroyer HMAS Nepal, sloops HMS Crane, HMS Pheasant, HMS Woodcock (A/Lt.Cdr. S.J. Parsons, DSC, RN) and the minesweepers/corvettes HMAS Ballarat (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) and HMAS Whyalla (A/Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN).

The usual fuelling, exchange of mail and stores as well as the replenishment of aircraft continued throughout the day. Vice-Admiral Vian visited HMS Formidable and HMS Victorious to inspect the damage and found that temporary repairs being carried out showed that both ships would be sufficiently operational to continue the programme of strikes. Vice-Admiral Vian and Rear-Admiral Brind also visited Vice-Admiral Rawlings for discussions on the operation stratigy.

At 1915I/10 the Fleet disengaged from the Tanker Group for the night.

11 May 1945.

At 0640I/11, the Tanker Group was met again and resupply was completed at 1640I/11. HMS Kempenfelt rejoined the Fleet having made repairs at Leyte. HMAS Nepal also joined the Fleet.

HMS Speaker parted company in the afternoon to return to Leyte. She was escorted by HMS Queenborough which had developed shaft vibration and was to return to Leyte for repairs. Also returning to Leyte were the tankers Aase Maersk and San Amado escorted by HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Whyalla.

American Task Unit 52.1.3 covered Sakishima during 10 and 11 May and reported the result of their neutralising operations there.

12 May 1945.

At 0520I/12, four counter Kamikaze destroyers took station one close astern of each of the four carriers.

The radar pickets, HMS Swiftsure and HMS Kempenfelt and HMCS Uganda and HMS Wessex were stationed 315° and 225° respectively from the Fleet centre. This were measurements taken against the Kamikaze threat.

In overcast weather the Fleet and Island CAP's and the first bomber strike were flown off at 0540I/12, twelve minutes before sunrise, from position 23°40'N, 126°51'E.

Four bomber strikes were flown off during the day. One attacked Ishigaki and three Miyako. A second strike on Ishigaki had been planned but had to be cancelled owing to weather conditions. At Ishigaki and Myara runways were found to be serviceable, were again put out of action and AA and dispersal areas were straffed. No new aircraft nor activity were found. The Squadron Leader of 1844 Squadron was unfortunately lost in his Hellcat to AA fire when bombing AA positions.

At Miyako, one runway at Hirara and both at Nobara were found to be serviceable. By the end of the first strike this position was reversed, and subsequent strikes attacked AA positions and installations. A large oil fire was started, a direct hit made on a 4" AA battery, Hirara barracks hit, and three aircraft found on the ground were probably damaged.

An Avenger with engine trouble ditched 75 miles west of the Fleet at 0805I/12. The submarine USS Bluefish proceeded to the position and at 1515I/12 rescued the crew. A CAP of four Corsairs was sent to cover the submarine.

At 0937I/12, another Avenger was forced to ditch, giving a position 100 miles in error from the actual position. The helio flashing of the crew at 1540I/12 was fortunately seen by Fireflies returning to the Fleet, and HMS Kempenfelt was led to the spot and rescued them.

No enemy aircraft were airborne in the vicinity of the Fleet or islands during the day.

At 1915I/12 the radar pickets rejoined. At 1930I/12 the dusk CAP was landed on an the Fleet withdrew to the southward for the night.

The score for the day was, 3 enemy aircraft probably damaged on the ground. 65.5 tons of bombs and 32 rockets were directed at targets. A 200 ton coaster was claimed to have been damaged. Own losses were 1 Hellcat, 2 Avengers, 1 Corsair and 1 Seafire.

13 May 1945.

Radar pickets and counter Kamikaze destroyers were stationed and at 0540I/13, Fleet and island CAP's were flown off in position 24°20'N, 126°55'E in fine weather.

The island CAP's reported that Ishigaki runwatts were again serviceable and a thin strip of Miyara runway had been repaired. At Miyako one runway at Hirara and both at Nobara had been made possibly serviceable.

Four bomber strikes were flown during the day, three to Miyako and one to Ishigaki.

At Miyako all runways were left unserviceable, a barracks was straffed, 8 barges were hit, and 3 major oil fires started.

The position of a new, revetted dispersal area discovered at Hirara was reported to the Commander 5th Fleet and other interested US Authorities.

At Ishigaki camouflaged buildings and storage dumps were hit, as were two radio stations one of which was left in flames.

At 0948I/13, a possible S/M contact was obtained close to the Fleet in position 24°20'N, 126°48'E. Three destroyers were detached with a CAP of 4 Corsairs.

At 1203I/13, a possible contact was attacked with depth charges and 2 Avengers were flown off for Fleet ASP and another armed with depth charges was sent to assist the hunt. The possible contact was later reported as stationary, and although the hunt was continued throughout the afternoon no submarine contact was found, nor is it afterwards considered that a submarine was ever present.

An Avenger returning to land on HMS Formidable was unable to lower flaps and one wheel. As it was undesirable to risk damage to the only remaining barrier in HMS Formidable the aircraft was ordered to land on HMS Indomitable. This the pilot did with skipp and judgement and with very minor damage to his aircraft.

Again there was no enemy air activity near the Fleet or islands.

At 1920I/13 the dusk CAP was landed on and the Fleet withdrew to fuel in area Cootie.

The score for the day was no enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged. 62.25 tons of bombs were dropped on targets as well as 34 rockets. 9 camouflaged barges and a few small craft were damaged. One own Seafire was lost.

14 May 1945.

At 0630I/14, in area Cootie the RFA tankers Arndale, Dingledale and tug HMS Weazel were met and fuelling commenced. These two tankers were escorted by HMS Ruler, HMS Crane, HMS Pheasant and HMS Woodcock

The incoming Tanker Group was late at the rendezvous. They were found by search aircraft from the CAP and directed to the Fleet and consisted of the RFA tankers Wave King and Wave Monarch as well as HMS Striker with replacement aircraft. They were escorted by the destroyer HMAS Nizam (A/Lt.Cdr. W.F. Cook, RAN). They were in station at 1100I/14.

Fourty tons of bombs were transferred by HMS Black Prince from HMS Formidable to HMS Indefatigable. This was necessary because the dimensions of American boms supplied to the ships at Leyte had prevented the full number required being stowed in HMS Indefatigable.

During the forenoon, search aircraft were sent to direct the hospital ship Tjitjalenka (Dutch, 10972 GRT, built 1939) to the Fleet. This ship had been sent as requisted by Vice-Admiral Rawlings to remain at call within 30 miles of a position 85 miles to the eastward of the normal dawn position of the Fleet in the fuelling area. Casualties by now fit to be moved were transferred to the hospital ship by destroyer in the afternoon.

During the day Sakishima was covered by US Task Unit 52.1.3.

At 1910I/14, the Fleet disengaged from the tanker group for the night.

15 May 1945.

The Fleet reformed on the Tanker Group at 0630I/15 and fuelling and exchange of stores, aircraft and correspondence was continued. This was completed at 1700I/15.

Two destroyers joined Task Force 57, these were HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN) and HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN). HMAS Nepal from the Tanker Force also joined Task Force 57. HMS Grenville then joined the Tanker Group.

In the afternoon HMS Striker was detached to Leyte escorted by HMAS Napier. As were the Wave King and Wave Monarch escorted by HMAS Nizam and the Arndale and Dingledale escorted by HMS Pheasant and HMS Woodcock.

It had been hoped that HMAS Nizam would join Task Force 57 for the next two strike periods, but she was not fit for operations owing to a small number of cases of Ingantile Paralysis, for which she remained in quarantine.

American Task Unit 52.1.3 again covered Sakishima on this day.

16 May 1945.

At 0510I/16, radar pickets were sent out and counter Kamikaze destroyers closed their carriers to take up their stations behind each of the four carriers.

At 0540I/16, in position 23°40'N, 126°51'E the Fleet and island CAP's and the first bomber strike for Miyako were flown off.

Five bomber strikes were sent to the islands during the day. Three to Miyako and two to Ishigaki. As the result of these and the efforts of the CAP's, all runways were made unserviceable. Four new aircraft which appeared operational were straffed but did not burn, three others were damaged. Ten small craft of various classes were damaged and four of the were left in a sinking condition. Four lorry loads of Japanese troops were exterminated. A large explosion was caused in Ohama town. Five direct hits with SAP bombs were made on a large cave shelter.

Several of the British planes were damaged by flak. One Avenger taking off from HMS Formidable ditched, HMS Quality rescued the crew one of whom was injured. A Corsair from HMS Victorious developed engine trouble at 20000 feet and was forced to ditch near the fleet. HMS Tenacious rescued the pilot.

At 1735I/16, a Corsair from HMS Victorious ditched 3 miles from Miyako. The lifeguard submarine USS Bluefish was informed and made another skilful rescue by picking up this pilot during the night. An aircraft carried out a search for this pilot the next morning as Vice-Admiral Vian had been unaware of the rescue.

Owing to the shortage of bombs in the foward area, bombers strikes were partly armed with SAP bombs to conserve other types. The Rear-Admiral commanding the Fleet Train had been requised to sent two transports with 2000 bombs to the fuelling area, but this signal had been delayed in transit. The Rear-Admiral answered that only one transport with 477 bombs could be sent as this was all that were available.

The dusk CAP landed on at 1935I/16 and the Fleet withdrew to the southward for the night. No enemy had been airborne in the vicinity during the day.

A total of 7 enemy aircraft had been damaged on the ground. 77.25 tons of bombs and 112 rockets were expended on targets. 2 suicide type boats were sunk, 2 small craft were probably sunk, and a large numer of assorted types of barge and small craft were damaged several being left in flames. Own losses were 3 Corsairs, 1 Avenger and 1 Seafire.

17 May 1945.

At 0510I/17, the usual picket and counter kamikaze destroyers were stationed. The day broke with very light winds of one one or two knots a state of affairs which persisted and proved a handicap throughout the day. The state of boiler brickwork in several ships, and the defective centre stern tube bush in HMS Indomitable made high speeds most undesirable. Without high speed, little safety margin was left for operating aircraft.

At 0540I/17, the Fleet and island CAP's were flown off from a position 85 miles 110° from Miyako. It had been planned to send in four bomber strikes, two to each island, but the second strike to Ishigaki was cencelled owing to damage to HMS Victorious barriers by deck crashes, and the very light winds accentuating the defective stern bush in HMS Indomitable. All airfields were left unserviceable except Myara which may not have been sufficiently cratered. Ohama and Hirara towns were bombed, and barges and small craft were well straffed. A number of Japanese soldiers were discovered, and taken 'care' off.

At 0742I/17, a Corsair making an emergency landing on HMS Victorious remover two arrester wires, crashed through both barriers, burst into flames and passed over the side. On its way it seriously damaged two Corsairs and an Avenger in the deck park. One officer and one rating were mortally injured, two ratings seriously injured and two others slighty hurt.

HMS Victorious reported that 2 jury barriers would be rigged but that it would take some time to do so. It became necessary therefore to distribute the ship's airborne aircraft to other carriers.

At 1145I/17, HMS Victorious reported that the two jury barriers were ready, and arrangements were therefore made to land on her aircraft. Though the first landed on safely, the second aircraft bounced om the gap left by the removal of the 2 arrester wires and demolished one of the jury barriers. The second jury barrier was remover 2 hours later by a similar cause.

As a result 20 aircraft from the ship had to be accomodated in other carriers, causing congestion and offering three attractive targets of dock parked aircraft to any Kamikaze. Fortunately enemy aircraft were conspicuous by their absence throughout the day.

At 1200I/17, a Hellcat from HMS Indomitable was ordered to bale out just ahead of the Fleet as the pilot was unable to release an armed bomb. The pilot was picked up by HMS Troubridge.

At 1715I/17, HMS Victorious had once again rigged jury barriers and was able to accept some of her aircraft from other carriers.

CAP's were maintained until 1915I/17, when radar pickets were recalled and the Fleet withdrew to area Cootie to fuel.

No enemy aircraft were destroyed on this day. 56 tons of bombs and 30 rockets were expended on targets. Many barges a and small craft were damaged and several were left burning. Own losses were 2 Corsairs, 1 Hellcat, 1 Avenger and 1 Seafire.

18 May 1945.

At 0545I/18, the Fleet Train was met in area Cootie. It was made up of the escort carrier HMS Chaser (Capt. R.G. Poole, RN) (with replacement aircraft) and the RFA tankers Cedardale, San Ambrosio and San Adolpho. Tug HMS Weazel was still present. Escort was provided by the escort carrier HMS Ruler (for CAP and ASP purposes), destroyers HMS Grenville, HMAS Norman, sloops HMS Crane, HMS Whimbrel, frigate HMS Parrett (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) T. Hood, RNR) and the minesweeper/corvette HMAS Bendigo (Lt. W. Jackson, RANVR). After forming up fuellinh and exchange of aircraft and stores commenced.

HMS Black Prince transferred bombs from HMS Formidable to HMS Indefatigable.

At 1103I/18, HMS Formidable was observed to be on fire, caused by a Corsair in the hangar accidentally firing her guns into an Avenger, the latter exploded. Fighting this serious fire was difficult by the fact that the fire curtains were out of action due to earlier enemy suicide attacks. It was extinguished by drenching the hangar, but at a cost of 7 Avengers and 21 Corsairs in coditions varying from complete loss to flyable duds. By the evening the Commanding Officer reported tht he consudered his ship capable of operating this jury lighting in the hangar. Arrangements were therefore made to replace her damaged aircraft as far as possible, and for the ship to continue operations at any rate for the next strike period. As the repaired barriers in HMS Victorious could not be guaranteed to to stand up to further barrier crashes or enemy damage the availability of HMS Formidable's flight deck was an important factor, and in any case, it would only lower her morale were she unable to continue in the Fleet.

Owing to very light winds, HMS Ruler was unable to fly off aircraft until the afternoon. At 1800I/18, the Tanker Group reversed course to enable them to rendezvous with the ammunition ship Robert Maersk (2290 GRT, built 1937) expected in position Cootie One at 0600I/19. Meanwhile the transfer of bombs by HMS Black Prince continued on until dark. HMS Whimbrel was detached with mails to Leyte.

In the meantime US Task Group 52.1 covered Sakishima.

19 May 1945.

At 0645I/19, the Fleet again formed on the Tanker Group which now indeed included the Robert Maersk with supplies of bombs. She had been escorted from Leyte by the minesweeper/corvette HMAS Cairns (T/Lt. N.G. Weber, RANR(S)). The transfer of bombs, fuel and stores was continued. HMS Victorious and later HMS Indomitable went alongside the Robert Maersk and embarked bombs by whip and inhaul method. The rate of transfer being about 75 bombs an hour.

Continous rain and low visibility in the afternoon prevented flying seriously upset the numbers of replenishment aircraft to be flown in to HMS Formidable and the flyable duds which were to be flown from her to HMS Chaser.

Hospital ship Tjitjalenka was contacted by aircraft and directed to the Fleet. She then embarked a few sick and casualties.

HMAS Norman joined Task Force 57 replacing HMAS Nepal

At 1800I/19, the tankers Cedardale, San Adolpho and San Ambrosio were detached to proceed to Manus escorted by HMAS Bendigo and HMAS Cairns. HMS Parrett was with them until dusk on 21 May when she was to detach to proceed to Leyte.

At 1930I/19, HMS Nepal was detached to proceed direct to Leyte. The Fleet also took departure for the operations area to take over from US Task Force 52.1 which was still in the area.

20 May 1945.

The flying off position for the day was to be 23°39'N, 126°40'E. First light was at 0548I/20 when clouds were low but the horizon was clear.

At 0500I/20, the four counter Kamikaze destroyers left the screen to take up their positions behind the four carriers.

At 0515I/20, the Fleet ran into dense fog and at 0524I/20, HMS Quilliam, endeavouring to form astern of HMS Indomitable, collided with her. Fortunately no casualties were sustained, but superficial above water damage was caused to HMS Indomitable and serious damage to the bow of HMS Quilliam. As soon as the damaged destroyer was clear of the screen, HMAS Norman was ordered to take her in tow. At 0615I/20, HMS Black Prince was sent to stand by both ships and escort them to area Cootie. The tug HMS Weazel was ordered to tow and HMS Ruler was ordered to provide air cover. HMAS Norman experienced considerable difficulty in towing HMS Quilliam stern first, as the wrecked bow hanging in the water acted as a formidable hard over rudder. By 1300I/20, HMS Black Prince had taken over the tow, but the same difficulty restricting the towing speed to 3 and later to 5.5 knots.

As the weather remained unsuitable for flying the Fleet was manoeuvred until 0745I/20 so as to cover the damaged destroyer.

At 1210I/20, two bogeys were detected 50 miles to the westward tracking 040°. Fighters sent to intercept found both aircraft to be friendly bombers. Neither was showing IFF and no information on their presence nor mission was known.

At 1000I/20, A Corsair of HMS Victorious, heavily hit by flak, was reported to have ditched. Fellow Corsairs searched without success for the pilot which they consider could not have survived. At 1529I/20, a Corsair ditched on taking off from HMS Formidable. The pilot was recovered unhurt by her attendant destroyer.

At 1845I/20, the usual radar pickets were recalled and by 1900I/20 all capts had landed on. The Fleet then withdrew to the southward for the night.

At 2100I/20, the Fleet passed close to HMS Black Prince which reported that HMS Quilliam was satisfactory in tow.

No enemy aircraft were destroyed on this day. 1 Junk and 3 barges were damaged. Own losses were 2 Corsairs, 1 Hellcat and a Seafire.

21 May 1945.

Flying off had been planned for 0540I/21 from a position 85 miles 110° from Miyako. The weather at dawn was similar to the previous day except that the Fleet was clear of fog patches. Flying off was therefore postponed. Four Hellcats were flown off at 0600I/21 to investigate the weather within a 30 miles radius. They reported clear weather to the Northward. Acting on this information the first strike was flown off at 0655I/21.

Five bomber strikes were sent in three to Miyako and two to Ishigaki.

Strikes for Miyako were flown off at 0655I/21, 1210I/21 and 1610I/21. Nobara and Hirara runways were well plastered with bombs. Two fires were started in the warehouse area of Hirara town, and a radio weather station was hit. A tented camp was straffed.

The Ishigaki strikes took off at 0855I/21 and 1440I/21. Both runways at Ishigaki airfield were left unserviceable and Myara airfield was also hit. Low cloud made bombing difficult at both islands.

At 1423I/21, a high snooper was detected approaching the Fleet from the westward. Fighters were ordered to 30000 feet and at 1442I/21 intercepted 36 miles to the southwestward at 26000 feet. The enemy, a Myrt (Nakajima C6N), was shot down 4 minutes later by Hellcats from HMS Indomitable.

The total of the day was one airborne enemy aircraft was shot down and several barges damaged. A total of 55.25 tons of bombs plus 95 rockets had been dropped / fired at targets. Own losses were 1 Avenger and 2 Seafires.

22 May 1945.

At 0700I/22, in position Cootie One the following ships were met;
a) tug HMS Weazel towing the damaged destroyer HMS Quilliam and escorted by the escort carrier HMS Ruler (for CAP and A/S patrol purposes, light cruiser HMS Black Prince and the destroyers HMS Grenville and HMAS Norman.
b) Escort carriers HMS Chaser, HMS Speaker (with replacement aircraft), RFA tankers Wave King, Wave Monarch, Aase Maersk, San Amado, ammunition ship Robert Maersk. They were escorted by the destroyer HMAS Napier, sloop HMS Crane and the frigates HMS Avon and HMS Findhorn (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.P. Burnett, RNVR).

Also present were the destroyers HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) which joined Task Force 57.

Also HMS Grenville rejoined Task Force 57 being substituted by HMS Wessex.

Fuelling, exchange of aircraft, stores and bombs were carried out throughout the day.

After receiving mails and and discharging excess complement, the damaged HMS Quilliam proceeded in tow of HMS Weazel to Leyte. HMAS Norman acted as escort. The American tug USS Turkey was sent out from Leyte to assist. They arrived at Leyte on 28 May 1945.

At 1800I/22, HMS Formidable was detached to proceed to Manus and then on to Sydney. She was escorted by HMS Kempenfelt and HMS Whirlwind which were both due for refit.

During the refuelling period Task Force 57 was replaced in the Sakishima area by the American Task Unit 52.1.3.

At 1915I/22, Task Force 57 disengaged from the Tanker Group for the night.

23 May 1945.

At 0745I/23, Task Force 57 reformed on the Tanker Group and fuelling and exchange of stores were continued.

The newly arrived light cruiser HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) joined Task Force 57.

During the day 2 Hellcats from HMS Chaser crashed into the sea. Neither pilot was recovered.

At 1800I/23, HMS Chaser, HMS Speaker were detached to proceed to Manus escorted by HMAS Napier.

At 1815I/23, the Fleet detached from the Tanker Group taking departure for the operations area with only 3 carriers in company now.

24 May 1945.

In view of the absence of HMS Formidable it was planned to send in only 4 strikes each day, the first to be flown off 2 hours later then normal so as to provide late afternoon strikes as desired by the Commander Task Force 51.

At dawn visibility was low, the sky overcast with rain and drizzle. Flying off was postponed. At 0900I/24, four fighters flown off reported weather improving slowly in the vicinity and at 1000I/24 it was decided to make 3 strikes during the day. The flying off position being 23°40'N, 126°52'E.

Strikes on Miyako were flown off at 1045I/24 and 1515I/24. Nobara runways were left unserviceable and Hirara runways were also hit. Hirara town and Hishibara were hit by 12 and 4 bombs respectively. A radio station was rocketed, as were camouflaged buildings in the wooded area near Hirara where on large explosion was observed.

The Ishigaki strike took off at 1245I/24. All runways at Ishigaki airfield were left unserviceable. Three hits with 1600lb bombs were observed on a suspected aircraft storage in a low cliff on the north side of Ishigaki east-west runway. The CAP over Ishigaki found on the ground and probably damaged 2 aircraft believed to be operational.

After a day with no enemy air activity om the vicinity the last CAP was landed on at 1907I/24 and radar pickets were recalled. The Fleet withdrew to the southward for the night.

Total total for the day was 2 enemy aircraft probably damaged on the ground. A total of 31 tons of bombs and 40 rockets were fired at targets. No own aircraft were lost on this day.

25 May 1945.

At dawn weather was very much like the previous day, however it soon cleared and the first strike was able to be flown off at 0600I/25 in position 23°40'N, 126°52'E.

Three strikes were sent to Miyako, flying off at 0600I/25, 1115I/25 and 1400I/25. Results of the last strike could not be observed owing to low cloud. 26 hits were observed on Nobara runways which were left unserviceable and 14 hits were made on Hirara runways. The amphibious tank bases, a barracks and barges at Osaki were attacked. A fire was started at Sukama town and the suicide boat base was rocketed.

At Ishigaki 8 bomb hits were made on each of the main Ishigaki and Miyara airfield runways.

It was observed tat progress was being made in levelling a new airstrip near Hegina airfield. Details of this strip were forwarded to the American authorities concerned.

The returning strike from Ishigaki made contact with HMS Bluefish which reported that during the previous night lights had been observed on Ishigaki airfield. The Commanding Officer of the submarine therefore had bombarded the airfield.

At about 1700I/25, a Corsair returning to the Fleet ditched near her carrier. The pilot was picked up by her attendent destroyer.

There was no enemy air activity in the vicinity all day. All aircraft were flown on by 1910I/25 and the Fleet withdrew for the night.

At 2200I/25, Vice-Admiral Rawlings in HMS King George V parted company to proceed to Guam escorted by HMS Troubridge, HMS Tenacious and HMS Termagent. They arrived at Guam in the morning of May 28th. The remainder of the Fleet, now commanded by Vice-Admiral Vian, set course for area Cootie to top off ships with fuel as necessary for them to reach Manus, and thence to disperse to their rear bases for major storing and repairs. They arrived at Manus on 30 May 1945.

31 May 1945
The aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear- Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN), HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellasis, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. A.S. Pomeroy DSC, RN), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) departed Manus for Sydney.

En-route various exercises were carried out.

Around 1555K/1, HMS Implacable parted company to return to Manus escorted by HMAS Napier and HMAS Nepal. She had only been sailed with the other carriers to exercise with them.

Around 0700K/4, HMS Euryalus parted company to proceed to Brisbane where she arrived in the afternoon of the 4th.

The other ships arrived at Sydney in the morning of the 5th. (120)

14 Jun 1945
HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) is docked at Sydney. (121)

17 Jun 1945
HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. G.F.E. Knox, RAN) is undocked at Sydney following which she is fumigated. (121)

26 Jun 1945
Around 1400I/26, HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) departed Sydney for Brisbane where they arrived around 1600K/27. En-route exercises had been carried out. (122)

27 Jun 1945
The aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) departed Sydney for exercises. She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN).

They were joined the following day by aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN).

On the 29th more ships of the British Pacific Fleet departed Sydney for Manus. These were the battleships HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet), light cruisers HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR). They joined the two carriers and two destroyers already at sea.

The light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) departed Brisbane on 29 June to join the ships coming from Sydney which she did later the same day.

In the early hours of 30 June the destroyers HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) joined coming from Brisbane. HMS Wessex and HMS Wrangler then parted company.

Around noon on the 30th the aircraft carrier Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN), light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN)`and the destroyers HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) joined coming from Manus. (115)

29 Jun 1945
Around 1500K/29, HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN) departed Brisbane to make rendezvous with elements of the British Pacific Fleet at sea. They joined around 1100K/30.

[For more info see the event for 27 June 1945.] (122)

4 Jul 1945

Part of the British Pacific Fleet arrived at Manus, these were;
Task Group 37.1; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

Task Group 37.2; aircraft cariers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN).

Task Group 37.3; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

Task Group 37.4; destroyers HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Ulysses (?), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Teazer ( Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN).

6 Jul 1945
In the morning of July 6th, part of the British Pacific Fleet (Task Force 37) departed Manus for operations against the Japanese homeland with the US 3rd Fleet. They were to make rendezvous with the US Task Force 38 around 16 July.

Task Force 37 was made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer ( Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN) and HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN).

HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN) was unable to sail with the fleet due to defects and departed later the same day to overhaul the fleet.

During 7 July destroyers were refuelled by HMS King George V, HMS Newfoundland, HMCS Uganda, HMNZS Gambia and HMNZS Achilles.

At 1800/7, HMAS Norman and HMS Wrangler parted company to return to Manus where they arrived around 0700/9.

Around 1045/10, HMS Undaunted joined the fleet after which she fuelled from HMS Formidable. Two more ships were fuelled on the 10th, these were HMS Black Prince by HMS King George V and HMS Termagent by HMS Victorious.

The fleet proceeded northwards to position 'British Swim' (34°10'N, 155°30'E, about 780 nautical miles east of Tokyo) where fuel (and stores) were embarked during an underway replanishment on 13 July. The first refuelling group was made up of the RFA tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941), San Amado (7316 GRT, built 1935) and Wave Emperor (7196 GRT, built 1944). They were escorted by the frigates HMS Barle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Duncan, DSC, RNR) and HMS Usk (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Medlycott, RNR).

Oiling continued until the afternoon of the 15th when the Fleet parted company with the oiling force. (115)

16 Jul 1945
Around 1600/16, the American Task Force 38 had completed her refueling and joined force with Task Force 37 for a series of strikes against the Japanese homeland. Course was set towards the flying off position (37°10'N, 143°19'E).

Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN) and Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN).

On making rendezvous with the Americans, Vice-Admirals Rawlings and Vian as well as some members of their stafs, were put on board the American flagship USS Missouri for a conference with the American C-in-C.

At 0330/17, Vice-Admiral Vian took over tactical control of TF 37 for flying operations and shortly afterwards, around 0400/18, when Task Force 37 was about 250 miles north-east of Tokyo, Fireflies, armed with 60 lb. rockets took off from Implacable while HMS Vicorious launched Corsairs. They were to attack the airfields in the Miyagi Prefecture including the ones at Sendai and Matsushima.

During the day a Combat Air Patrol was maintained over the Task Force, the first aircraft (Seafires) were flown off by HMS Implacable at 0630/17.

At 0830/17, operating aircraft came to a halt as the weather conditions in the launch area had deteriorated.

The score for the day was summed up as followes. Destroyed were claimed, nine aircraft on the ground, a hangar, three locomotices and one junk sunk. Damaged were claimed nine aircraft on the ground, several hangars and barracks at Niigata, Matsuda, Sendai and Matsushima as well as several small boats. Three Corsairs were lost but all pilots were saved.

Around 1430/17, HMS King George V escorted by HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon parted company with Task Force 37 to join American ships for a night bombardment of the heavily industrialized Mito-Hitachi area. They joined the American force around 1700/17. [See the event for 17 July on the pages of HMS King George V, HMS Quality of HMAS Quiberon for more info.]

Around 2310/17 the bombardment commenced. It ceased around 0110/18. The battleships fired 1797 shells into the target area. HMS King George V had fired 267 14" shells and the five US battleships 1238 16" shells and 292 6" shells. Damage was caused to the Taga and Mito Works of Hitachi Manufacturing Company and the Yamate Plant and the copper refining plants of Hitachi Mine.

When the bombardment ceased around 0110/18, HMS King George V, HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon detached from the USN ships to rejoin Task Force 37 which they did around 0730/18.

Weather had been unsuitable for flying operations and the Combat Air Patrol was only flown off after weather had improved a little around 0930/18. Around 1130/18 the carriers from Task Force 37 flew off aircraft to carry out strikes against targets north-east of Tokyo. During the days flying operations twelve enemy aircraft were claimed to have been destroyed on the ground. Eighteen aircraft were claimed to have been damaged as well as many junks, railway vans and hangars.

At the end of the days flying operations Task Force 37 proceeded away from the area in a south-easterly direction towards replenishment area 'British Tizzy' (28°00'N, 138°55'E, approximately 460 miles south of Tokyo). With the flying operations against the Japanese homeland over, Vice-Admiral Rawlings, assumed tactical control.

Early in the morning of the 20th, in approximate position 32°00'N, 152°00'E, Task Force 37 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112.2.6 which was made up of the RFA tankers Wave Monarch (8159 GRT, built 1944), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935), San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935) and the victualling stores ship Glenarney (9795 GRT, built 1940). Also part of this unit were the escort carriers HMS Arbiter (Capt. D.H. Everett, DSO, RN) and HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) with replacement aircraft. They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN), HMAS Nizam (A/Lt.Cdr. W.F. Cook, RAN), sloops HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), frigate HMS Findhorn (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.P. Burnett, RNVR) and the minesweeper/corvette HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr. J.H.P. Dixon, RANR(S)).

The aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escorted by the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN) and HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN) arrived with Task Unit 112.2.6 to join Task Force 37. These ships had come up from Manus at high speed and therefore had required more fuel then had been anticipated. There was now a shortage of 2000 tons of fuel so it was therefore agreed with the Americans that HMS Newfoundland, HMCS Uganda and HMNZS Gambia would fuel from American tankers which in the end they did from Task Group 30.8.

Replenishment continued throughout the day with Task Force 37 steering a south westerly course.

At dusk Task Force 37 detached from Task Unit 112.2.6 for the night.

Early in the morning of the 21st Task Force 37 closed Task Unit Task Unit 112.2.6 again and re-commenced replenishment. This continued continued throughout the day with the ships steering a south-westerly course.

At dusk Task Force 37 again detached from Task Unit 112.2.6 for the night.

Early in the morning of the 22nd Task Force 37 again closed Task Unit Task Unit 112.2.6 and re-commenced replenishment. This continued throughout the day with Task Force 37 again steering a south-westerly course.

At dusk Task Force 37 detached from Task Unit 112.2.6 and proceeded to the north-west towards the new operational area near the island of Shikoku. HMAS Napier had joined Task Force 37. (115)

22 Jul 1945
At dusk on 22 July 1945, Task Force 37 had completed underway replenishment operations and set course to proceed to the north-west towards the new operations area off Shikoku Island.

Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMCS Uganda (Capt. E.R. Mainguy, OBE, RCN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN) and HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN).

At 0300/24 Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control of Task Force 37 for the period of the upcoming flying operations. 45 minutes later the Combat Air Patrol was flown off and first strikes were launched against the port of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku.

Air operations continued throughout the day against targets in the Inland Sea and the islands of Shikoku, Kyushu and Honshu. 15 Aircraft were claimed to have been destroyed on the ground and 2 were possibly destroyed. Also 3 hangars were claimed destroyed. 1 transport ship, 1 small tanker and a number of luggers and junks were also claimed sunk. 31 aircraft on the ground, 1 escort carrier, an aircraft factory and a shipyard were claimed to have been damaged. 4 British aircraft were lost during the attacks.

At dusk all aircraft were recovered and Vice-Admiral Rawlings assumed tactical command and Task Force 37 retired to the east.

At 0300/25, Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control for the duration of the flying operations of that day.

At 0345/25, the first aircraft of the day were flown off, which was the Combat Air Patrol. Air strikes were also flown off, the targets were the same as the day before. The following results were reported; 2 aircraft destroyed on the ground, several small cargo vessels, and many junks, luggers and other small craft sunk. Buildings, hangars, factories, a wireless station, and a lighthouse were claimed sunk or destroyed.

1 large and 1 medium freighter, 13 coasters including a small tanker and two corvettes were claimed damaged and possibly destroyed.

6 aircraft on the ground, more shipping and buildings were cliamed to have been damaged.

In the evening a group of enemy aircraft was intercepted approaching Task Force 37; It were Hellcats from HMS Formidable which intercepted the attackers, shooting down three and driving off the remainder.

At dusk on the 25th, after all aircraft had been landed on, Vice-Admiral Rawlings once again assumed tactical control and Task Force 37 proceeded southwards towards replenishment area, 'British Tizzy' (28°00'N, 138°55'E, approximately 460 miles south of Tokyo).

In the morning of the 26th, Task Force 37 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112 and replenishment commenced. Task Unit 112 consisted of the RFA tankers Olna (12667 GRT, built 1945), Wave Governor (8190 GRT, built 1945), Wave King (8190 GRT, built 1944), Carelia (8082 GRT, built 1938), victualling stores ship Glenartney (9795 GRT, built 1940), ammunition ship Robert Maersk (2290 GRT, built 1937), stores ship Corinda (3376 grt, built 1937). Also part of this force were the escort carriers HMS Chaser (Capt. R.G. Poole, RN), HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN) and HMS Speaker (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN), which carried with replacement aircraft. Task Unit 112 was escorted by light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN), HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Woodcock (A/Lt.Cdr. S.J. Parsons, DSC, RN), frigates HMS Derg (Lt.Cdr. N.B.J. Stapleton, RD, RNR), HMS Odzani (A/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Burgess, RANVR) and the minesweeper/corvette HMAS Pirie (Lt. C.K. Mackenzie, RANVR).

At dusk Task Force 37 detached from Task Unit 112 for the night.

In the morning of the 27th replenishment re-commenced. HMCS Uganda parted company with Task Force 37 and proceeded to Esquimalt via Pearl Harbour. HMS Argonaut then joined Task Force 37.

Fuelling proceeded slowly and HMS Newfoundland and HMNZS Achilles eventually were sent to the US Task Group 30.8 to fuel.

After having completed replenishment Task Force 37 detached from Task Unit 112 and set course to the north-west to return the operations area off Japan. (115)

28 Jul 1945
At dusk on 28 July 1945, Task Force 37 had completed underway replenishment operations and set course to proceed to the north-west towards the new operations area off Shikoku Island.

Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN) and HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN).

At 0330/28, Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control of Task Force 37 during the days flying operations.

At 0400/28, from approximate position 31°30'N, 135°00'E (south of Shikoku), the Combat Air Patrol was flown off and first strike aircraft were also launched. The targets were the port of Harima and targets of opportunity, mainly in and around the Inland Sea. The naval base of Maizuru was also attacked. British aircraft sank the Japanese frigates Kaibokan 4 (offsite link) in Ise Bay.

Also six aircraft were claimed to have been destroyed on the ground. Also three small cargo vessels and several more small ships and junks were claimed to have been sunk.

Two large merchant ships and one smaller ships were claimed as probably sunk.

Fourteen aircraft were claimed to have been damaged on the ground. Also claimed damaged were many ships, including three destroyers or escort destroyers and numerous junks, luggers and barges. Also several shore installations were damaged.

Eight aircraft were lost on this day including one aircrew.

At dusk all aircraft were recovered and Vice-Admiral Rawlings assumed tactical command for the night.

At 0330/29, Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control for the duration the flying operations. At 0400/29, the Combat Air Patrol was flown off and also the first strike aircraft were launched. They were however soon recalled when it was found out that fog was obscuring the selected targets.

Around 1200/29, HMS King George V was detached. She was to make rendezvous with the to carry out a bombardment of the city of Hamamatsu together with ships from the US Task Unit 34.8.1. HMS King George V was screened by the destroyers HMS Undine, HMS Ulysses and HMS Urania.

The target that had been selected for HMS King George V was the Japanese Musical Instrument Company, this may sound strange but at the time they were manufacturing propellers instead of musical instruments.

Before the bombardment commenced however the destroyers Urania and Ulysses collided with each other and HMS Ulysses sustained some damage.

At 2319/29, HMS King Geore V opened fire on her target from a range of about 20000 yards. She fired a total of 265 14" shells but only a few were seen by the spotter aircraft to have hit the target.

During the bombardment HMS Undine engaged some small groups of ships, most likely fishing vessels.

The bombardment was over at 2356/29 and HMS King George V and her escorting destroyers set course to rejoin Task Force 37 which she did at 0600/30.

At 0330/30, Vice-Admiral Vian again assumed tactical control for the days flying operations. Half an hour later the the Combat Air Patrol was flown off and the first strike aircraft were launched but one again the first strike ran into fog over the coast. targets for this day were airfields around Tokyo and the large naval base at Maizuru.

Six enemy aircraft were claimed to have been destroyed as were one oil tank, one locomotive and a warehouse. Two luggers were claimed sunk.

More shipping was claimed probably sunk; one destroyer, one large transport, one small freighter, two small coasters, four luggers and three fuel barges.

Claimed to have been damaged were six aircraft on the ground as were many hangars and shore installations.

More shipping was claimed damaged, five destroyers, four destroyer escorts, one medium freighter and many small vessels.

Three aircraft were lost on this day, with all pilots missing.

Around dawn, after the last aircraft had been recovered Task Force 37 set course to the south towards the replenishment area. Vice-Admiral Rawlings resumed tactical command.

At 0900/31 Task Force 37 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112 near point ' British Tizzy ' and replenishment commenced shortly afterward despite the worsening weather conditions. Task Unit 112 consisted of the RFA tankers Olna (12667 GRT, built 1945), Wave Governor (8190 GRT, built 1945), Wave King (8190 GRT, built 1944), Carelia (8082 GRT, built 1938), victualling stores ship Glenartney (9795 GRT, built 1940), ammunition ship Robert Maersk (2290 GRT, built 1937), stores ship Corinda (3376 grt, built 1937). Also part of this force were the escort carriers HMS Chaser (Capt. R.G. Poole, RN), HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN) and HMS Speaker (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN), which carried with replacement aircraft as well as the radar and radio repair vessel HMNZS Arbutus (T/Lt. N.D. Blair, RNZNVR). Task Unit 112 was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN), sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN), HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Woodcock (A/Lt.Cdr. S.J. Parsons, DSC, RN), frigates HMS Derg (Lt.Cdr. N.B.J. Stapleton, RD, RNR), HMS Odzani (A/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Burgess, RANVR) and the minesweeper/corvette HMAS Pirie (Lt. C.K. Mackenzie, RANVR). During the replenishment Rear-Admiral Edelsten was transferred from HMS Barfleur to HMS Speaker for onward passage back to Manus.

As usual, at dusk Task Force 37 detached from Task Unit 112 for the night.

Replenishment was completed on August 3rd and course was then set to return to the operations area off Japan. (115)

3 Aug 1945
Having completed replenishment around noon on 3 August, Task Force 37 set course to proceed to the northwards to the operations area off Japan.

Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.H. Edelsten, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN) and HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN).

While En-route to the operational area a signal was received from the US Fleet Admiral Nimitz to all units of the US 3rd Fleet (which included the British Pacific Fleet) ordering them to cease offensive strikes and do not close the coast of Japan to within 300 miles. This was because the first atomic bomb was about to be dropped. Vice-Admiral Rawlings was informed off this not by signal but some British liaison officers with the US Fleet were put on board the flagship by a US destroyer to inform the Vice-Admiral in person and strict secrecy.

At 0815/6, around the time the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima Task Force 37 was in approximate position 34°30'N, 146°00'E, some 315 nautical miles east of Tokyo.

Shortly afterwards they made rendezvous with Task Unit 112 now made up of the tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941), San Amado (7316 GRT, built 1935), Wave King (8190 GRT, built 1944), stores ships Glenartney (9795 GRT, built 1940), and Fort Wrangell (7213 GRT, built 1944), ammunition ship Robert Maersk (2290 GRT, built 1937), escort carriers HMS Arbiter (Capt. D.H. Everett, DSO, RN), HMS Chaser (Capt. R.G. Poole, RN) and HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN). They were escorted by destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Nizam (A/Lt.Cdr. W.F. Cook, RAN), sloop HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), frigate HMS Barle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Duncan, DSC, RNR) and minesweepers/corvettes HMAS Ballarat (A/Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN) and HMAS Burnie (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Andrewartha, RANR). Replenishment started soon afterwards.

As usual Task Force 37 detached at dusk from Task Unit 112 for the night.

In the morning of the 7th, Task Force 37 continued with replenishment from Task Unit 112. HMAS Nizam detached from Task Unit 112 and joined Task Force 37.

In the late afternoon of the 7th, Task Force 37 completed replenishment and detached from Task Unit 112 and set course for the north-west towards the operations area.

7 Aug 1945
Having completed replenishment on 7 August, Task Force 37 set course to close the coast of Japan for flying operations.

Task Force 37 was at that moment made up the following units;
CTF 37; battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN, 2nd in command British Pacific Fleet).

CTU 37.1.1; aircraft carriers HMS Formidable (Capt. P. Ruck-Keene, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), Implacable (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) and HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.4; light cruisers HMS Newfoundland (Capt. R.W. Ravenhill, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. R.A.B. Edwards, CBE, RN), HMNZS Achilles (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), HMS Argonaut (Capt. W.P. McCarthy, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN).

CTU 37.1.5; HMS Barfleur (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSO, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN, Capt. D 25), HMS Ulysses (Lt.Cdr. B.G.B. Bordes, DSC, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Hopkins, RN), HMS Quality (Cdr. the Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Cdr. J.K. Walton, RAN). HMS Troubridge (Capt. G.F. Burghard, RN, Capt. D 24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Termagent (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Scatchard, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Terpsichore (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wrangler (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. H.J. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Nizam (A/Lt.Cdr. W.F. Cook, RAN).

When Task Force 37 arrived in the operations area on the 8th, the weather was found unsuitable for flying operations. Course was then set to the south-east in search of better weather.

At 0330/9, Vice-Admiral Vian assumed tactical control for the duration of the flying operations. Shortly afterwards, when Task Force 37 was in approximate position 38°35'N, 144°12'E the first Combat Air Patrol and strike aircraft were launched. The target for the first air strikes was Matsushima.

At 0500/9, HMS Newfoundland, HMNZS Gambia, HMS Tenacious, HMS Termagent and HMS Terpsichore were detached from Task Force 37. They were known as Task Unit 37.1.8 and were to join a US Task Unit of battleship, cruisers and destroyers (Task Unit 38.8.1) for a bombardment of the steel works and docks at Kamaishi. The bombardment commenced around 1300/9 and was completed around 1445/9. The detached ships rejoined Task Force 37 around 2100/9.

During the aircraft attacks on this day the Japanese frigate Amakusa (offsite link) is sunk in Onagawa Bay. Ths pilot that hit the ship was killed during the attack and he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (Lt. R.H. Gray, RCNVR).

At 1202/9, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

During the attack on the 9th the following damage was claimed to have been inflicted on the ememy;
Destroyed; 44 enemy aircraft on the ground (including 17 probably destroyed) as well as hangars and shops at Matsushima. 2 Locomotives and freight cars.
Shipping sunk; 2 Destroyers, 1 old destroyer, 1 submarine chaser, 1 freighter, 2 small coasters, 4 junks and 2 launches (some of the above were shared with aircraft from Task Force 38).

Probably sunk were two destroyer escorts (shared with Task Force 38) and a torpedo boat as well as a lot of small craft.

Claimed to have been damaged were 22 aircraft on the ground as well as various ground installations.

Shipping that was claimed to have been damaged were 1 destroyer, 2 destroyer escorts, 1 freighter and many small craft including 9 coasters and 9 luggers.

7 Aircraft including 5 pilots were missing following these attacks.

At dusk, Vice-Admiral Rawlings again took control of Task Force 37.

At 0330/10, Vice-Admiral Vian took control of the force for the duration of the flying operations.

At 0400/10, the first Combat Air Patrol was launched followed about an hour later by the first strike aircraft. The target was shipping in Onagawa Bay and other targets of opportunity in northern Honshu.

During the attack on the 10th the following damage was claimed to have been inflicted on the ememy;
Destroyed; 16 aircraft on the ground including one probably damaged, 4 locomotives, 2 coaches, 3 tank cars.

Shipping sunk; 3 freighters, 2 coasters, 8 small craft.

Shipping probably sunk; 1 freighter, 2 luggers,

Aircraft and installations damaged; 31 aircraft on the ground, several freight trains, factories, hangars and other installations.'

Shipping damaged; 2 destroyers, 2 destroyer escorts, 1 merchant vessel, 6 small coasters and 4 luggers.

6 aircraft and 4 pilots and 2 aircrewmen were missing.

At dusk all aircraft were recovered and Vice-Admiral Rawlings again assumed tactical command. Task Force 37 then set course to the eastwards for replenishment.

Around 0430/11, Task Force 37 made rendezvous with Task Unit 112 and fuelling commenced shortly afterwards from five tankers; Olna (12667 GRT, built 1945), San Adolpho (7365 GRT, built 1935), San Amado (7316 GRT, built 1935), San Ambrosio (7410 GRT, built 1935) and Wave Emperor (7196 GRT, built 1944). Also part of Task Unit 112 were the stores ship Fort Wrangell (7213 GRT, built 1944), hospital ship Tjitjalengka (10972 GRT, built 1939) and the escort carrier HMS Ruler (Capt. H.P. Currey, OBE, RN). Task Unit 112 was escorted by the sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, DSC, RN), HMS Pheasant (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), frigates HMS Barle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Duncan, DSC, RNR), HMS Findhorn (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.P. Burnett, RNVR), HMS Usk (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Medlycott, RNR) and the minesweepers/corvettes HMAS Ballarat (A/Cdr. N.R. Read, RAN), HMAS Burnie (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Andrewartha, RANR), HMAS Geraldton (A/Cdr. A.J. Travis, RAN) and HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt. R.H. Creasey, RANR(S)).

HMS King George V fuelled from the American Task Group 30.8 as Vice-Admiral Rawlings had been invited for a conferance by the American Commander-in-Chief aboard USS Missouri.

It had also been decided that the majority of the ships of Task Force 37 were to return to Manus so on the 12th the aircraft carriers HMS Formidable, HMS Victorious, HMS Indefatigable, light cruisers HMS Black Prince, HMS Euryalus, HMNZS Achilles and the destroyers HMS Grenville, HMS Ulysses, HMS Undaunted, HMS Undine, HMS Uranua, HMS Urchin, HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company. They were now known as Task Group 37.3. They arrived at Manus on 18 August 1945.

22 Aug 1945
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.S. Daniel, CB, CBE, RN) departed Manus for Leyte. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN). (123)

25 Aug 1945
HMS Anson (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.S. Daniel, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Lt.Cdr. F.G.E. Knox, DSO, RAN) arrived at Leyte from Manus. (123)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/421 + ADM 199/2567
  2. ADM 199/421
  3. ADM 199/2557 + ADM 199/2567
  4. ADM 173/17714
  5. ADM 199/429
  6. ADM 53/116707 + ADM 199/429
  7. ADM 199/1211
  8. ADM 53/115407 + Report of proceeding of HMAS Quiberon for September 1942
  9. File 2.12.03.6773 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for September 1942
  10. File 2.12.03.6773 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for September 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1942
  11. File 2.12.03.6773 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1942
  12. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1942
  13. ADM 53/115836 + ADM 53/116743 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942
  14. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942
  15. ADM 53/116663 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942
  16. ADM 53/115357 + ADM 53/115409 + ADM 53/115410 + ADM 53/116663 + ADM 53/116664 + ADM 199/652 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1942
  17. ADM 53/115357 + ADM 53/115410 + ADM 53/116664 + ADM 199/652 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1942
  18. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1942
  19. ADM 199/652 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1942
  20. ADM 199/652
  21. ADM 199/637
  22. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1943
  23. ADM 173/18142
  24. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for February 1943
  25. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1943
  26. ADM 199/643 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1943
  27. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for April 1943
  28. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for May 1943
  29. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for June 1943
  30. ADM 53/118465
  31. ADM 53/118443 + ADM 53/118465
  32. ADM 199/2349 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Nizam for June 1943
  33. ADM 53/118466
  34. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for July 1943
  35. ADM 53/118444 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for July 1943
  36. ADM 53/118444 + ADM 53/118466 + ADM 199/2349
  37. ADM 53/118444 + ADM 53/118466
  38. ADM 53/118445 + ADM 53/118467 + ADM 199/2273
  39. ADM 53/118445 + ADM 118467
  40. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for August 1943
  41. ADM 53/117625 + ADM 53/117709
  42. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for September 1943
  43. ADM 53/116827 + ADM 53/116828 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Norman for September 1943 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Norman for October 1943 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for September 1943
  44. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1943
  45. ADM 53/117710
  46. ADM 53/117307 + ADM 53/118269 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1943
  47. ADM 53/118269 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1943
  48. ADM 53/117006 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1943
  49. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1943.
  50. War diary of USS LST 21 for November 1943
  51. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1943
  52. ADM 53/117007 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1943
  53. ADM 53/117711 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1943
  54. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1943
  55. ADM 53/118459 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1943
  56. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1943 + War diary of USS LST 21 for December 1943
  57. ADM 53/116830 + ADM 199/643 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1943
  58. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1943 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1944 + War diary USS LST-21 for December 1943 + War diary USS LST-21 for January 1944
  59. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1944 + War diary of USS LST 21 for January 1944
  60. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1944
  61. ADM 53/120375 + ADM 53/120664
  62. File 2.12.03.6853 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  63. ADM 199/1868
  64. ADM 53/119576 + ADM 53/120764 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1944
  65. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for February 1944
  66. ADM 53/119831 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  67. ADM 53/120665 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  68. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  69. ADM 53/119480 + ADM 53/120338 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  70. ADM 53/120338 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  71. ADM 53/120472 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1944
  72. Files 2.12.03.6853, 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and ADM 199/1388
  73. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for April 1944
  74. ADM 53/119578 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for April 1944
  75. Files 2.12.03.6853 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4621 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
  76. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for May 1944
  77. Files 2.12.03.6853 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4767 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
  78. Report of proceedings of HMAS Adelaide for May 1944
  79. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for July 1944
  80. ADM 53/120695 + ADM 53/120770
  81. ADM 53/120381
  82. ADM 53/120310 + ADM 199/1388
  83. ADM 53/120310 + ADM 53/120758 + ADM 199/1388
  84. ADM 53/119175 + ADM 199/1388
  85. ADM 199/1388
  86. ADM 53/120771
  87. ADM 53/120382
  88. ADM 173/18848
  89. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for September 1944
  90. ADM 53/120696 + ADM 199/1388
  91. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for October 1944
  92. ADM 53/120697 + ADM 187/41
  93. ADM 53/119615 + ADM 53/120697 + ADM 187/41
  94. ADM 53/119615
  95. ADM 53/119177
  96. ADM 53/119561
  97. ADM 53/119808
  98. ADM 53/120773
  99. ADM 53/120698
  100. ADM 53/120698 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Norman for November 1944 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1944
  101. Report of proceedings of HMAS Norman for November 1944
  102. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for November 1944
  103. ADM 53/119562 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944
  104. ADM 53/119562 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944.
  105. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944
  106. ADM 53/119430 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944
  107. ADM 53/118957 + ADM 53/119430 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944
  108. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for December 1944 + War diary Naval Officer in Charge, Sydney for December 1944
  109. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quickmatch for January 1945
  110. ADM 53/120780 + ADM 53/121692 + ADM 199/1457 + logbook of USS General William Mitchell
  111. ADM 53/122321 + ADM 199/1457
  112. ADM 53/ + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for January 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quickmatch for January 1945
  113. War diary Naval Officer in Charge, Sydney for February 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for February 1945
  114. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for February 1945
  115. ADM 199/1457
  116. ADM 53/122408 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for March 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quickmatch for March 1945
  117. ADM 53/121502 + ADM 53/121601
  118. ADM 234/368
  119. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for April 1945
  120. ADM 53/121517 + ADM 53/121518 + ADM 53/121358 + ADM 53/121359 + ADM 53/121537 + ADM 53/121538 + ADM 53/121549 + ADM 53/121550 + ADM 53/121561 + ADM 53/121562 + ADM 53/122480 + ADM 53/122481
  121. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for June 1945
  122. Report of proceedings of HMAS Quiberon for June 1945 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Quickmatch for June 1945
  123. ADM 53/120839

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


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