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James Atkinson 373 Gotts RN - #040 - 2

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HMS Electra in North Sea


It is likely that Jim saw the sinking of HMS Hood on 24 May 1941, or at least the oil slick and only 3 survivors they rescued from it.  

HMS Electra : uboat.net

In 1987 Russia issued medals to those who had taken part in supporting them with convoys. This is Jim Gotts’s medal and the presentation card. The text is:

”Forty years of Victory in the great war of the fatherland 1943-45”

Operation Dervish August 1941

In June 1941, Germany invaded its partner Russia as well as Finland. In order to help the Russians resist, it was decided to send it munitions. The first convoy was called Operation Dervish.


On 12 August 1941, HMS Electra sailed from Liverpool with two anti-submarine trawlers to escort six merchant ships which included 48 Hurricane planes and their crew to defend Murmansk and Archangel.

They went to Scapa Flow in Orkney, then Iceland, followed by a wide sweep into the Atlantic to avoid German warships at Narvik. They unloaded at Archangel 31 August as Murmansk was within fighter distance of German planes at Narvik.

As it was the first convoy, the Germans did not know about it, and it was uneventful, unlike subsequent ones. Whilst it would be cold, it may not have caused the ships to ice up in the way later convoys would through the winter.

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HMS Electra went to Singapore in Oct 1941

Despite its name, this uboat.net website shows what happened not only to HMS Electra during this period, but also the actions in chasing and sinking the Bismarck. Details are compiled from Admiralty sources in The National Archives.

Sinking of HMS Hood

This reference from the HMS Hood Association has the memoires of Jack Taylor who was on HMS Electra that day:

Translation