The last news of the enemy ships came on 7 July, when a British aircraft working from Vaenga, near Murmansk, reported the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper and some destroyers followed by an oiler from a neighbouring fjord turning out of Lang Fjord in Arnoy (70°N, 20°30’E). P.W.B. After spending the rest of 1919 and 1920 in reserve, she rejoined the Atlantic Fleet until 1928, aside from a temporary transfer to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1922–1923 to support British interests in Turkey during the Chanak Crisis. Together with the light cruiser Arethusa, Curacoa landed the battalion of the Sherwood Foresters at Molde; the quay at Åndalsnes had proved to be too small to allow more than one cruiser at a time to disembark their troops before daylight. Air and U-boat attacks were meanwhile taking a heavy toll on the convoy and it did not seem that it was worth the risk. William Hooper (7177 GRT, built 1942), Empire Selwyn (7167 GRT, built 1941). Accordingly he ordered them to fuel from HMS London and HMS Norfolk. He therefore stood to the eastward for half an hour while attemps were made to recall it but these were without success and at 2230 hours the force turned to a westerly course at 25 knots steering to pass to the southward of the convoy so as to be between it and the probable direction of the enemy. Damage was serious and the ship was finished off by the British submarine HMS P 614 which was part of the convoys escort while the rescue ship Zamalek took off the crew. During the night of 5/6 July the Admiralty made three signals to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet suggesting that the Tirpitz might be ‘reluctant to go as far as the convoy’ if the battlefleet was sighted steering to the eastward, and that aircraft from HMS Victorious might be able to attack her if she had ben damaged by the Russian submarines. Hours later, the convoy's lead escort, consisting of Bramham and one other ship,  returned to rescue approximately 101 survivors, including Boutwood. de Salis, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and four merchant vessels (colliers ?). W.H. River Afton (5479 GRT, built 1935), The Admiralty decision was conveyed to Rear-Admiral Hamilton in the following three signals; A.J. Panamanian Owning to threat of surface ships, convoy is to disperse and to proceed to Russian ports. Commander Broome then departed with the destroyers of the close screen to join the cruiser force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton. The last news of the enemy ships came on 7 July, when a British aircraft working from Vaenga, near Murmansk, reported the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper and some destroyers followed by an oiler from a neighbouring fjord turning out of Lang Fjord in Arnoy (70°N, 20°30’E). Massmar (5828 GRT, built 1920), Thick weather prevailed during most of the passage, but the convoy was reported by enemy aircraft on 30 June while still east of Bear Island and again on 2 July. About two hours later, at 2200 hours, HMS Niger which had gone ahead to try to make landfall leaving HMS Hussar as a visual link with the convoy, sighted what she took to be North Cape bearing 150° at a range of one mile and ordered the course of the convoy to be altered to 270°. A.A. Tait, DSO, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), the minesweepers HMS Niger (Cdr.ret.) V.D.H. But the Allied sighting reports were intercepted and the Naval Staff calculated that Admiral Tovey would be able to close sufficiently to launch an air attack before they would be able to return to port I they continued operations against the merchant ships after 0100/6. [Note 4] Most of the lost men are commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial and the rest on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Richard Henry Lee (7191 GRT, built 1941). C.H.J. By the 7th of July, most of the escort, the rescue ship Zamalek and five merchant ships, the Ocean Freedom, Hoosier, Benjamin Harrison, El Capitan and Samual Chase, had reached Matochkin Strait. That afternoon the ill-fated convoy PQ 17 was passed. While both ships were zigzagging, the Curacoa (Capt. Corbet-Singleton, DSC, RN), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. One aircraft was shot down, most likely by the destroyer USS Rowan which was en-route from the cruiser force to the convoy to fuel from the Aldersdale. Like Rear-Admiral Hamilton and Commander Broome he did not doubt that it heralded the immediate appearance of enemy heavy ships, and as the escorting destroyers parted company to join the cruisers, he signalled to HMS Keppel ‘Many thanks, goodbye and good hunting’ to which Commander Broome replied ‘It’s a grim business leaving you here’. HMS Niger (Cdr.ret.) Mormacrey (5946 GRT, built 1919), It was all over in seconds, and the troopship continued on her zigzag course leaving the “Curacoa” cut in two with the ford and aft ends divided by a 100 m strip of ocean. Rear-Admiral Hamilton was much concerned at the effect of the apparent desertion of the merchant ships had on morale. As a luxury vessel, the 81,000 tonne Cunard Star liner had sailed on her maiden transatlantic crossing on 4th June, 1936.With the outbreak of war in 1939 she was converted into a troopship. T.A. Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page. J.G. A remainder of the fate that might be in store for any of them. C.W.V.T.S. HMS Curacoa was rearmed as an Anti-Aircraft cruiser from August 1939 until April 1940. W.S. Pieter de Hoogh (7168 GRT, built 1941), One ship was bombed on the 6th. Produced by the Naval Studies Group in conjunction with the Submarine Institute of Australia, the Australian Naval Institute, Naval Historical Society and the RAN Seapower Centre.
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