December 20 (Weds) 1944, Greenock, Scotland

Yesterday forenoon, 6″ sub calibre blind firing (per TIU [Target Indication Unit]) at a moored target, was carried out in the Flow. By midday, the shoot having been more or less completed with fairish results, we were again secured at single anchor, but this time outside the Fleet Anchorage. Ships actually in the Anchorage included [HMS] Rodney, [HMS] Kent, [HMS] Norfolk, [HMS] Devonshire, [HMS] Mauritius, [HMS] Uganda, [HMS] Diadem, & [HMS] Bellona. We picked up our second Motor Boat, which had been stooging round the anchorage during the forenoon on various errands, and about 1400, proceeded to sea. A torpedo bomber attack was scheduled for 1500 and beforehand the Captain announced that we would not be returning to Scapa. The air attack was about 40 mins late & I fear that if the Barracudas had been carrying “tin fish” [torpedoes], we would have “had it”.

On completion, we continued course for Greenock, arriving after a relatively uneventful passage, ie “according to plan”, at about 0800. The Starboard sea boat was used to secure us to Buoy D I. This was an unrehearsed manoeuvre but was apparently successful. SS Queen Mary was in the next berth. Steam was maintained at 2 hrs notice. Oil, water, & stores lighters were alongside most of the day. 6 passengers were embarked. 100 bags of mail, most of it for passage, were taken aboard.

About 1900 we shoved off, en route, as we learned later, for Gibraltar and a workup in the Mediterranean Sea.

scapa-gib-dec-20-1944

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