For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


Summary of Operations - 1944 - 1945

Courtesy of Don Little


Operation "TUGNSTEN" March 30th, 1944 to April 6th, 1944.


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Emperor, Searcher, Pursuer, Fencer, Victorious, Furious


Battleships: Duke of York, Anson


Cruisers: Sheffield, Belfast, Jamaica, Royalist


Destroyers: Milne, Meteor, Marne, Matchless, Undaunted, Swift, Wakeful, Sioux, Algonquin, Piorun, Javelin, Onslaught, Ursa, Vigilant, Virago, Veralum


Oilers: Blue Ranger, Brown Ranger


Object of operation: to cripple German Battleship Admiral von Tirpitz. Operation successful; enemy losses Tirpitz badly damaged, two enemy submarines sunk, three Fooke Wolfes, One bomber. Our Losses: Three barracudas, one fighter-pilot saved.



Operation "PILLBOX" April 13th, 1944 (13th day, 13 ships in company)


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Emperor, Fencer, Pursuer


Cruisers: Royalist, Sheffield, Berwick


Destroyers: Sioux, Piorun, Musketeer, Meteor, Matchless, Onslaught, Marne


Object of Operation:  to sink German shipping. It was unsuccessful due to grim weather.



Operation "PUG" April 21st to April 28th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Victorious, Furious


Battleships: Anson


Cruisers: Kent


Destroyers: Venus, Kempenfelt, Kelvin, Sioux, Vigilent, Algonquin, Swift


(The above were Force Seven)


Force Eight:


Aircraft Carriers: Searcher, Striker, Emperor, Purser


Cruisers: Royalist, Jamaica


Destroyers: Ursa, Undaunted, Wakeful, Wizard, Piorun, Serapis


Object of Operation: To further damage von Tirpitz. Operation partially successful. Enemy losses: Tirpitz further damaged. Our losses five.



Operation against Enemy Shipping off Norwegian Coast  May 7th to May 9th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Hunter, Attacker, Stalker, Striker


Cruisers: Royalist, Jamaica


Destroyers: Kempenfelt, Undaunted, Sioux, Wager, Onslaught, Marne


Enemy Losses: On ship, two Messetschitts, one Fooke Wolfe, two B.C. 138's, Oil Tanks left burning.


Our Losses: Two Wildcats, Two Hellcats (one pilot saved). Operation successfull.



May 12th, 1944


HIS MAJESTY the KING inspected the Home Fleet. Destroyers inspected H.M.C.S. "Sioux" and H.M.S. "Whelp" these two considered the two most efficient destroyers in the Command. "SPLICED THE MAIN BRACE" May 13th. Sioux and Whelp escorted the KING to Thurso in H.M.S. BELFAST. Admiral commanding Orkneys and Shetland (A.C.O.S.) returned on board the Sioux.



May 24th, 1944


Left Scapa Flow with our Flotilla (26th D.F.) to go South for the Invasion.



May 24th to June 3rd, 1944


From this date till June 3rd. was spent in the Channel doing "E" BOAT Patrol at night.



June 5th, 1944


Escorted the Minesweepers for the Invasion to the coast of France.



June 6th to June 30th, 1944


Spent on Operation "NEPTUNE". This was the Naval part of the Invasion.



Operation "MASCOT"  July 13th to July 29th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Battleship: Duke of York


Aircraft Carriers: Formidable, Furious, Indefatigable


Cruisers: Kent, Devonshire, Jamaica, Bellona


Destroyers: Milne, Marne, Musketeer, Matchless, Vigilant, Veralum, Sioux, Algonquin, Virago, Nubian, Volage, Serapis, Bulldog, Scourge


Destroyer Escorts: Inman, Burgess, Hoste


Fleet Oilers: Blue Ranger, Brown Ranger


Object of Operation: To further damage Von Tirpitz. Enemy losses: Tirpitz slightly damaged. Our losses Two Barracudas.



Operation against German off the Coast of Norway  First week of August, 1944


Ships in Company:  Three Carriers; Two Cruisers; Eight Destroyers



Operation: To Damage Tirpitz  German ground installations and to give cover to the Russian Convoy  August 18th to Sept. 3rd, 1944


Ships in Company:


Battleship: Duke of York


Aircraft Carriers: Two


Cruisers: Three


Destroyers: Fourteen


Destroyer Escorts: Eight


Operation personally considered a draw. Enemy losses, minor hits on Tirpitz, Oil tanker, nine planes and Rader stations shot up. Our losses H.M.S. Kite sunk in Convoy (Nine survivors) H.M.S. Bickerton torpedoed and sunk, Aircraft Carrier H.M.C.S. "Nabob" torpedoed but returned to Scapa Flow and Three Corsairs lost. We were detailed to go in close to the Norwegian Coast and to try and pick up our own Pilots but a Minefield stopped us. Poor devils had to be left behind.



Operation Russian Convoy  Sept 14th, 1944


Sept. 21st. (Tirpitz reported sunk by R.A.F. Lancasters)


Ships in Company:


Battleship: Rodney


Cruisers: Diadem


Destroyers: Bulldog, Marne, Meteor, Milne, Musketeer, Saumarez, Scorpion, Algonquin, Sioux, Venus, Virago, Veralum, Volage, Whitehall


Corvettes: Allington Castle, Bamborough Castle


Sloop: Cygnet


Our losses: Two Merchant ships lost on return trip, both empty only Four Casualties. Venus and Sioux to get a recommend for keeping the subs down while convoy alters course and gets away.



Operation Minelaying against Norway - Friday 13th to 17th October 1944


Ships in Company:


Carriers: Trumpeter, Fencer


Cruisers: ???


Destroyers: Sioux, Myngs, Algonquin, Volage, Scorpion, Serapis


Operations: to stop German shipping from using Channel in cover of land ...????



Operation Attack Shipping  October 24th to 30th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carrier: Implacable


Cruiser: Mauritius


Destroyers: Our Flotilla  26th D.F.  -  Myngs, Virago, Veralum, Volage, Vigilant, Sioux, Algonquin


Object of Operation: to sink German shipping and cause general disorganization.


Enemy losses: two ships sunk, one sub damage and run aground; one ship beached; two others badly damaged; others straffed; Radar and W./T. stations shot up.  Our losses one place lost in landing, three others damaged.



Operation "PROVIDENT"  November 22nd to 29th, 1944


Object: to sink German shipping and cause general disorganization.


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Implacable, Pursuer, Premier


Cruisers: Dido, Devonshire


Destroyers: Myngs, Scorpion, Scourge, Sioux, Algonquin, Sephyr, Saumerez, Volage, Venus, Vigilant, Zealous


Enemy Losses: two merchant ships sunk one L.C.I. sunk;  one troop transport hit and straffed.


Our losses: Nil. Force attacked by Junkers 88's but no hits obtained by them.



Operation Damaging Shipping and Lay Mines in Enemy Waters  December 5th to 9th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Implacable, Trumpeter, Premier


Cruiser: Diadem


Destroyers: Sioux, Algonquin, Zambesi, Vigilant, Stork, Zealous, Savage, Serapis


Enemy Losses: two merchants ships sunk, one beached and set on fire.


Our Losses: one plane.  


Mines successfully laid



Operation "LACERATE"


Object of Operation: To lay mines in Enemy Waters and Damage Shipping


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Trumpeter, Premier


Cruiser: Devonshire


Destroyers: Sioux, Zephyr, Algonquin, Zealous, Scorpion, Serapis, Savage


We were attacked by Junkers 88's but were beaten off with no losses to our force. One Junkers 88's shot down by Devonshire. All mines laid though weather was really bad.



Operation: Intercepting German Convoy  Dec. 20th to 23rd, 1944


Ships in Company: "Covering Force:


Aircraft Carriers: Premier, Trumpeter


Cruisers: Devonshire


Destroyers: Zealous, Scorpion, Zebra, Orwell, Serapis, Obedient


"Striking Force"


Cruisers: Mauritius, Diadem


Destroyers: Sioux, Savage, Myngs, Scourge


The Striking force went into the coast in single line ahead but the convoy failed to show up due to bad weather. Waited in hopes of weather clearing but no luck. Ended up by bombarding the Norwegian coast. Shadowed by German Aircraft but drove them off by our own fighters.



Operation Russian Convoy  Dec. 31st, 1944 to Jan. 21st, 1945


Ships in Company: 


Aircraft Carriers: Vindex, Cruiser


Cruisers: Diadem


Destroyers: Sioux, Algonquin, Myngs, Stord, Savage, Serapis, Scorpion, Scourge, Zambesi, Zebra, Wescott, Walker


Escorts: Cygnet, Lapwing, Lark, Beagle, Keppek, Arlington Castle, Bamborough Castle


Bad on return, convoy broke up due to weather and straggled in to the Faroes. We arrived in with three.



Operation "WINDED"  Jan 27th, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Premier, Campania, Nairana


Cruiser: Berwick


Destroyers: Sioux, Myngs, Scorpion, Algonquin, Scourge, Cavendish


Enemy losses: three ships sunk, shore establishments and light houses shot up. Weather really very bad.


Operation "WINDED" unsuccessful due to weather.



February 3, 1944


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Premier, Trumpeter


Cruiser: Dido


Destroyers: Sioux, Zodiac, Algonquin Scorpion


We detached and went to meet Russian bound convoy.


Ships in Company:


Aircraft Carriers: Campania, Nairana


Cruiser: Bellona


Destroyers:  Onslaught, Zambesi, Serapis, Zest, Whitehall, Orwell, Zealous, Opportune, Sioux, Zebra, Onslow


Escort Vessels: Denbigh Castle, Lark, Rhododendrum, Lapwing, Bamborough Castle, Bluebell, Oksoy, Alnwick Castle


Feb. 7th.  Attacked by German Aircraft but were driven off.


Feb. 8th. and 9th. Shadowed


Feb. 10th.  Attacked by 26 Torpedo Bombers. One came out of fog and fired a fish at us but it missed.  Enemy losses: 17 planes lost or badly damaged.  Our losses: two aircraft but the pilots of both were saved. Lord Haw Haw made a broadcast that the whole convoy had been sunk.


Feb. 13th.  Denbigh Castle lost wen entering the Kola Inlet


Feb. 14th. Slipped at midnight with Zealous, Zest and Zambesi and Sioux and headed for Soroy Island at 30 Knots. We evacuated 500 Norwegians, mostly women and children, some old men. Gave some supplies to the Resistance People to carry on the fight on shore. Arrived back in Russia Feb. 15th.  H.M.S. lark sunk a German sub off the entrance of the inlet, one German survivor.


Feb. 17th.  H.M.S. Lark torpedoed. H.M.S. Bluebell also sunk and one merchantman.


Feb. 20th. Attacked by Enemy Aircraft but they obtained no hits.


Feb. 23rd. 19 Enemy Aircraft attacked a merchant straggler and sank it. 65 survivors were picked up, amongst them were some of the evacuated women and children, from Sopoy.


Feb. 26th. Ensigns were at half mast for the Norwegian Child that died of pneumonia.



The Operations of H.M.C.S. "SIOUX"


Lt. Cdr. Walter Gilhooly, (S.B.) R.C.N.V.R.

An Eastern Canadian Port, April 21, 1945


The twenty-four hundred and eighty ton Fleet Class Destroyer, H.M.C.S. SIOUX, commanded by Lieut. Commander Eric E.G. Boak, R.C.N., of Victoria, B.C., reached this port today after fourteen months of strenuous operations in European waters. Commissioned at Cowes in the Isle of Wight, the 21st o February, 1944, the SIOUX has seen action from le Havre, France, to Murmansk, Russia, and while young as warships go she is already a mature and seasoned fighting ship.


Twelve months of her service were spent in the north with one of the world's most formidable sea-going companies The British Home Fleet. The balance was spent in the English Channel where, before and after "D" day, SIOUX, with scores of other Canadian warships, boats and landing craft made a splendid and impressive contribution to the invasion on Normandy.


The ship's company consisting of two hundred and forty-seven, officers and men were elated as the cost of Nova Scotia loomed up. The Nova Scotia headlands spelled home-coming for everyone of them whether he hailed from Sydney, Victoria, or any farm or village or town or city, lying between. This ship's company had known difficult times along the dangerous Norwegian coast, in the North and Barents Seas, and the Arctic Ocean, but the memories of those arduous and hazardous nights and days were erased with the first sight of Canada. This was what they had been waiting for a long time.


From the date of her commissioning until she tied up here H.M.C.S. SIOUX logged "69611" miles. She put in "277" days at sea and was alongside only thirty-five days. Before "D" day she engaged in five operations in Northern waters, after "D" day, she engaged in thirteen operations. Twenty-four solid days were spent submarine hunting, escorting, patrolling and bombarding in the Channel. Following this pleasant period away from the grim north she returned to her original base and resumed duty with the Home Fleet. In her term of service in that vast area she took part in three-Quarters of the Home Fleet's operations, first as a member of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla and later as a member of the "23"rd Destroyer Flotilla.


SIOUX shared in the escort of five convoys to Russia. Some travelled secure and unmolested, others met attack by submarines and aircraft. None were free from gales and storm; one of them in January when the sun was not seen in three weeks was almost a continuous battle against the sea and blinding snow. The most trying time that she and her sister escort ships experienced was on her fourth run to Murmansk in February.


The convoy had not long been joined when it was attacked by a swarm of Junkers 88's. They got a terrific reception, fighters from H.M.S. Niarainia and Campania knocking four of them into the sea. Damage against two was claimed by SIOUX which had engaged with both light and heavy armament. The Junkers sheered off after striving for twenty minutes to break through the curtain of fire and the convoy was safe from attack until the approaches to Kola Inlet were reached. There, a Royal Naval corvette was torpedoed but the merchant ships went safely through.


The return trip saw the attacks increased by both underwater vessels and aircraft. As a precautionary move, before the convoy sailed, a group of sloops and corvettes was detailed to mane an intensive search outside the inlet for submarines. This group got one and killed it pickup up one survivors. One of the frigates was struck by a torpedo but got back to port under tow.


While the convoy was forming up a merchant was "fished" and at four o'clock in the afternoon, shortly after it was under way, the Royal Naval corvette H.M.S. BLUEBELL was hit and disintegrated in a gigantic explosion.


Thereafter the run South was quiet for some days when a score or more Junkers were sighted ahead. The first of them were 6,000 yards of SIOUX'S Port bow. The Canadian destroyer engaged two of them simultaneously and they were driven off. More came on and for a solid twenty-five minutes the escorts and carriers carried on the action. Then the baffled Hun broke it off with losses. The convoy was unharmed.


SIOUX'S brief spell at anchorage in Vaenga Bay, Kola Inlet, while awaiting the return convoy coming up from Murmansk this particular trip provided no rest. It was known that several hundred men, women and children were isolated on Soroy Island between six and seven hundred miles to the West around the corned from the North Cape. Word received that they were being shelled from time to time by German armed trawlers. The Germans had evacuated the island three weeks previously burning the village and looting the place of everything of value.


H.M. Destroyers ZAMBESIA, ZEALOUS, and ZEST  were originally ordered to sail to evacuate the island's inhabitants. SIOUX was added at the last minutes, on twenty minutes notice to act as anti-aircraft guardship throughout the embarkation. the four destroyers raced flat out for Soroy and arriving there split into pairs and proceeded up separate fjords. SIOUX was with ZEALOUS.


The ships commenced the evacuation without anchoring and it was a remarkable and astonishing operation. Scores had made their way from hiding places deep in the island covering many miles over trackless country. Some of the natives came riding down the hills to the shore on skiis as soon as the warships appeared in the fjords. Others approached alongside rowing furiously in small boats.


Lieut. Commander "Doug" Bruce, R.C.N.V.R. first lieutenant of the SIOUX, of Toronto, took off in the ship's motorboat towing the whaler. He filled his boats with old men, women and children, overjoyed at being rescued. The evacuees were distributed among the destroyers and the ships dashed back to Kola Inlet. They were placed aboard various merchant ships and now, warmly clad, were made ready for the passage to the United Kingdom. On this trip the SIOUX logged her greatest mileage for one day. Travelling through twenty-four hours at thirty-one knots she ran up seven hundred and fifteen miles.


On May the twelfth, 1944, His Majesty, King George VI, inspected the ship's company at Scapa Flow and SIOUX formed part of his escort to Thurso, North Scotland, the following day. Two weeks later the shi left with the 26th Flotilla for the Isle of Wight to join the Channel Invasion Forces. In the ensuing twenty-four days the ship had few hours of leisure.


"D" day eve, the SIOUX supported minesweepers cleaning lanes to the coast and at Seven o'clock in the morning opened fire on her first target, a shore battery. That silenced, other targets were engaged in the tremendous sea bombardment. From those days until she was ordered to the North on July 1st, SIOUX was employed steadily on patrols, offensive sweeps, submarine hunting and shelling of shore batteries and enemy installations. On several nights she was a near victim of bombs, mines and and fire from shore batteries but she came through un-hit and undamaged. 


Back at her base, SIOUX resumed operations with the British Home Fleet. These consisted, in the main, of screening carriers in airborne operations against targets on the Norwegian coast, enemy shipping in the coastal leads and attacks on the last of the great German battleships, the ADMIRAL VON TIRPITZ. In one three-day operation last October after mines had been sown in a stretch of the seas, twenty-five enemy ships were sunk or damaged and a U-boat driven ashore by Fleet Air Arm's planes carried in the escorted carriers.


On August eighteenth, SIOUX slipped to take her place and part in an operation whose objects were to render the TIRPITZ unserviceable for the balance of the war and to protect North and Southbound Russian convoys. It was the greatest force formed for a strike against the enemy since the Fleet Air Arm came into being.


Flying his flag in the battleship, DUKE OF YORK, was Admiral Sir Henry Morre, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the British Home Fleet. In the force were three County Class Cruisers, H.M.S. BERWICK, KENT and DEVONSHIRE. There were three famed Fleet carriers, H.M.S. FURIOUS, FORMIDABLE, and  INDEFATIGABLE, and two Escort carriers, H.M.S. TRUMPETER, and the Canadian manned H.M.S. NABOB. Thirteen destroyers were along to screen the carriers, H.M.S. MYNGS, VIGILANT, VOLAGE, VERALUM, VIRAGO, SERAPIS, WHIRLWIND, WRANGLER, SCOURGE and CAMBRIAN; H.M. Norwegian S. STORD, and H.M.C.S. ALGONGUIN, and SIOUX. Added to these were the destroyer escorts, H.M.S. BICKERTON, BLIGH, ALYMER, KEMPTHORNE and KEATS.


the TIRPITZ lay in the narrows between Alten Fjord and Kaa-Fjord where she had been immobilised by the Home Fleet for months. The first strike was made on August 22nd. when ninety aircraft were flown off but it and others made on August 24th and 29th, although they damaged the battleship failed to destroy her sufficiently so effectively was she screened by smoke from shore installations. It (was up to) Royal Air Force Bomber Command to put an end to the TIRPITZ in Tromso Fjord after she had succeded in making her way there from Alten Fjord. But the Home Fleet had seen to it that the last single menace of German sea power did not dare venture abroad.


On April 11th, SIOUX left a North British port for Canada. Her ship's company had hoped that she would sail independently, that she would rip along alone at twenty-five knots and that they would be home in five days. but this stout ship was ordered for sea duties as long as they were required and could be renderred. She was ordered to join a United States Naval escorted convoy, and to remain with it until detached.


At sea, on the night of April 11th, the announcement of the death of President Roosevelt was received over the radio. The following morning a signal was repeated to United States Ships at sea from James Forrestall, Secretary of the Navy, formally advising them of the President's death and instructing them regarding the wearing of colours at half mast and the holding of memorial services was repeated to the SIOUX.


A subsequent signal was received from Admiralty ordering colours to be worn at half mast as a mark of respect to the late President and that ships in company with United States Naval Ships act in unison with the procedure adopted by the Senior United States Naval Officer present. In conformation with these instructions, SIOUX flew her ensign at half-mast until detached from the convoy. On Sunday, April 15th, memorial services for the late President were held in the messdecks.


SIOUX was required to put into the Azores for oil en route to CANADA. It was a happy diversion for the ship's company. No shore leave was granted but a brisk harbour trade in souvenirs was conducted alongside.


Portugese bumboats were up with the ship before the hook was down off the picturesque town of Horta at six forty-five A.M. They brought all sorts of wares - handkerchiefs, aprons, grass woven boxes and kegs, banas, lemons, silk stockings, bracelets, pins, earrings, watches, and stamps.


The barefooted Portugese merchants did a very profitable business but as one rating remarked paying five shillings for a handkerchief with "Horta" stamped on it, "What the hell!., I know I'm being gypped but I've got to bring home a souvenir.


It was a good thing it wasn't pay day.


Borne for passage in SIOUX were two wing commanders of the Royal Canadian Air Force; Wing-Commander Cavendish Carling/Kelly, Toronto, and Wing-Commander John Stephenson, A.F.C. Windsor. These officers were shot down over Germany in January and rescued by the Americans, March 28th. They were the first two R.C.A.F. officers to be liberated.


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