Armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle torpedoed “on this day” 27 August 1940

“On this day in history” 27 August 1940, Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt. H. Ardill) struck by 3 torpedoes from submarine U-46 (Oblt. E. Endrass) while escorting Convoy SL-43 (convoy commodore RAdm. J. C. Hamilton).

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The first torpedo struck Dunvegan Castle at 21.47 aft of the bridge, but the ship remained underway. The second torpedo struck the engine room at 22.12 and the third torpedo stuck forward of the bridge at 22.51.

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Dunvegan Castle foundered and caught fire, with 27 men (3 officers, 24 ratings) killed. Convoy escorts HMS Harvester (LtCdr. M. Thornton) and HMS Primrose (LtCdr. C. Sanders) took off 240 survivors.

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HMS Primrose (K91) rescued survivors from Dunvegan Castle.

Dunvegan Castle sank in position 54°54N/11°W, 75-miles NW of Ireland.

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Photo: Boston Navy Yard, April 1960

Aerial photograph of Boston Navy Yard taken 1st April 1960.

Boston Navy Yard, 1st April 1960.

Ships in this photo:
Pier 11 – USS Wasp (CVS-18) Essex-class aircraft carrier
Dry Dock 5 – ARD-16 floating dry dock
Dry Dock 5 – YFND-23 dry dock companion craft, in ARD-16
Pier 10 – empty
Pier 9E – USS Macon (CA-132) Baltimore-class heavy cruiser
Pier 9E – YD-196 floating crane
Pier 9W – USS Hugh Purvis (DD-709) Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer
Pier 8E – USS Thor (ARC-4) Aeolus-class cable repair ship
Pier 8E – YPD-24 floating pile driver
Pier 7E – USS Springfield (CLG-7) Cleveland-class light cruiser
Pier 7W – empty
Pier 6E – USS Perry (DD-844) Gearing-class destroyer
Pier 6W – USS Mitscher (DL-2) Mitcher-class destroyer leader
Pier 5E – USS Albany (CG-10) Albany-class guided missile cruiser
Pier 5W – USS Yosemite (AD-19) Dixie-class destroyer tender
Pier 4E – empty
Pier 4W USS Skywatcher (AGR-3) Guardian-class radar picket ship

#OTD 21 May 1941 Royal Navy cruisers intercept German convoy off Crete

HMS Dido, HMS Ajax, and HMS Orion in action off Crete, 21st May 1941. The three cruisers and four destroyers (Janus, Hasty, Hereward, Kimberley) formed “Force D” under Rear-Admiral I.G.Glennie. On the night of 21st May, an Axis convoy of twenty caïques escorted by the Italian destroyer-escort Lupo attempted to land German troops at Maleme.

Interception of enemy convoy off Crete, by Rowland Langmaid, collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

HMS Mastiff, 1914-1921

HMS Mastiff was a Thornycroft M or Mastif-class destroyer commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1914. Mastiff served throughout the First World War.

HMS Mastiff, January 1919.

Service History

In December 1914, Mastiff was one of three M-class (Mastiff, Manly, and Minos) assigned to the First Destroyer Flotilla. In January 1915, she transferred to the Third Destroyer Flotilla. In March 1915, she joined the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla, which formed part of the Harwich Striking Force.

The Tenth Destroyer Flotilla comprised the Arethusa-class light cruiser HMS Aurora (flagship), the old Eclipse-class cruiser HMS Dido (depot ship), and the M-class destroyers Manly, Mastiff, Meteor, Milne, Minos, Moorsoom, Morris, Murray, and Myngs.

In January 1916, Mastiff was assigned to temporary duty with the Eleventh Submarine Flotilla supporting the Grand Fleet, before returning to service with the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich. Mastiff did not take part in the Battle of Jutland.

In April 1917, Mastiff transferred to Sixth Destroyer Flotilla with her sister ships Moorsom and Myngs. The Sixth Destroyer Flotilla was assigned to the Dover Patrol. The Dover Patrol was based at Dover in England and Dunkirk in France. The patrol was responsible for antisubmarine operations in the English Channel and for the escort of Allied shipping to-and-from the Channel ports.

In July 1918, the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla comprised the old protected cruiser HMS Arrogant (depot and flagship), the flotilla leaders Botha, Broke, Faulknor, Swift, Velox, Warwick, and Whirlwind, and the destroyers Afridi, Amazon, Cossack, Crusader, Gipsy, Kangaroo, Leven, Manly, Mansfield, Mastiff, Matchless, Melpomene, Mentor, Meteor, Milne, Miranda, Moorsom, Morris, Murray, Myngs, Nugent, Panther, Phoebe, Racehorse, Saracen, Senator, Sikh, Syren, Termagant, Trident, Viking, Violet, and Zubian.

HMS Mastiff was paid off at the end of the war and was sold for scrap in 1921 after six-and-a-half years of service.

HMS Mastiff, November 1919.

HMS Mastiff Construction Details
Thornycroft M or Mastif-class destroyer.
Built by J. I. Thornycroft, Woolston, Hants.
Laid down 10th July 1913.
Launched 5th September 1914.
Completed 12th November 1914.
Sold for breaking up 9th May 1921.

HMS Mastiff Specifications
Displacement: 985-1070t
Length: 274ft o/a
Beam: 27ft 9in
Draught: 10ft 6in
Machinery: Parsons steam turbines, 26,000 SHP, 2 shaft
Speed: 35kn
Complement: 78 officers and ratings
Armament: 3 QF 4-inch Mk IV, 1 QF 2-pounder Mk II, 2 21-inch torpedo tubes

Dhobi Day on HMS Minotaur, 1910

The crew of the armoured cruiser HMS Minotaur washing their clothes on the deck on the vessel using wooden bucket filled with water and scrubbing brushes. Photo taken c. 1910.

Dhobi Day on HMS Minotaur, 1910.

HMS Minotaur was the lead vessel in her class. Built at Devonport Dockyard, her keel was laid in 1905 and she was launched in 1906. Commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1906, Minotaur served as flagship of the China Station before the First World War.

This print is available from the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Favourite photos of 2013 #7: Rainbow forms over the bow wave of USS Antietam

131015-N-TG831-122 EAST CHINA SEA (Oct. 15, 2013) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) plows through heavy seas and high winds. Antietam is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Declan Barnes/Released)