The cruiser, HMAS SYDNEY, (CAPT J. A. Collins, RAN), sank the Italian ship BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI, (cruiser), off Cape Spada, Crete. BATOLOMEO COLLEONI, and her sister ship GIOVANNI DELLE BANDA NERE, were sighted by the HM Ships HASTY and HERO, (destroyers), 20 miles south of the SYDNEY. The destroyers turned north with the enemy in pursuit. HASTY signalled HERO: ‘Don’t look now but I think we are being followed’. Fifty minutes later SYDNEY opened fire at extreme range. By 9.20 am, the battle was over, with BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI sinking, and GIOVANNI DELLE BANDA NERE withdrawing damaged.The following gallantry awards were gazetted for the action:-CB CAPT J. A. Collins, RAN; DSO CMDR T. J. M. Hilken, RAN; DSO CMDR(E) L. S. Dalton, RAN; DSC LCDR M. M. Singer, RAN; DSC LCDR E. W. Thruston, RAN; DSM CPO A. P. Prior; DSM CPO S. G. Silk; DSM COA W. J. Keane; DSM CS T. Beaumont; DSM Stoker E. C. Evans; Thirteen officers and ratings were MID.
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