• Si Biggs

HMS Nigeria Torpedoed

Unit/ Formation: RM Band Service


Location: Mediterranean


Period/ Conflict: World War II


Year: 1942


Date/s: 12th August 1942


On 12 August 1942 the Fuji class light cruiser HMS Nigeria was participating in Operation Pedestal, escorting a convoy bound for Malta. She was the flagship of the close escort group, commanded by Admiral Harold Burrough.


Nigeria was torpedoed and damaged by the Italian submarine Axum but managed to make it back to Gibraltar escorted by three destroyers.


HMS Nigeria after being torpedoed by Italian submarine Axum

52 crew were killed in the attack including 9 Royal Marine musicians, whose action station had been in the area of the ammunition hoists.


CLARKE, John A, Musician, RMB/X 1420:

CONN, Frederick W J, Musician, RMB/X 1556:

MOREY, William C, Musician, RMB/2944:

PHILLIPS, Jack A, Musician, RMB/X 1836:

POWELL, Richard, Band Corporal, RMB/X 479:

RAY, William D G, Musician, RMB/X 555:

RIDOUT, Albert E, Bandmaster 1c, RMB/2877:

ROPE, Aaron, Musician, RMB/3044:

WALTER, Arthur V, Musician, RMB/X 650.


Admiral Burrough meanwhile transferred his flag to the destroyer Ashanti whilst Nigeria returned to Gibraltar. She was sent from there to the United States for repairs, which took nine months to complete.



HMS Nigeria Log


August


2nd Detached with HM Battleship NELSON, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS KENYA, HM Cruiser MANCHESTER, HM AA Cruiser CAIRO screened by Home Fleet destroyers to reinforce escort of military supply convoy WS21s to Malta. (Operation PEDESTAL).

10th Joined Force X at Gibraltar with HM Cruisers KENYA, MANCHESTER and CAIRO screened by 12 destroyers for escort of convoy to Malta and for fighter direction duties. 11th Under attack by U-Boats followed by torpedo and dive bombing. (HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE was sunk during the submarine attacks)


13th Hit by torpedo from Italian submarine AXUM during air attacks when entering Skerki Channel. Sustained serious damage. Detached with escorted by HM Escort Destroyers WILTON, BICESTER and DERWENT to return to Gibraltar.


15th Under temporary repair in Gibraltar.


September


Under repair at Gibraltar. Permanent repair arranged in USA.


October


7th Passage to USA.

23rd Taken in hand for repair and refit at Charleston US navy Yard.


HMS Nigeria Log extracts from Naval History.net https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-06CL-Nigeria.htm


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