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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS  DOUGLAS (D 90) - Scott-class Flotilla Leader
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Douglas (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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SCOTT-Class Destroyer Flotilla Leader ordered from Cammell Laird at Birkenhead in the 1916-17 Build Programme in December 1916. The ship was laid down on 30th June 1917 and was launched on 8th June 1918 as the lst RN ship to carry the name, Her build was completed on 30th August 1918 and after acceptance she served briefly during WW1. By 1921 this ship had been placed in Reserve at Rosyth and she was brought forward in 1939 manned by Reservists to attend the Royal Review of the Reserve Fleet at Weymouth and remained in commission. Her allocated War Station was with the 13th Destroyer Flotilla at Gibraltar. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in May 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of the county of Dumfries in Scotland.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1940-42 - ARCTIC 1942

 

H e r a l d i c  D a t a

Badge: On  a Field White, a Heart Red framed and crowned Gold

 

M o t t o

Vente favente: ĎWith favouring wind.'

 

.... in 1943 (Navy Photos)

 

 

D e t a i l s   o f    W a r   S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

 

1 9 3 9

 

August                  Commissioned and took passage to Portland.

                                Attended Royal Review.

                                Passage to Gibraltar to take up War Station

 

September             Joined 13th Destroyer Flotilla and deployed for convoy defence and Contraband

                               Control in Western Mediterranean.

 

October                  Flotilla duties at Gibraltar in continuation.

to

November

 

December

                18th        Joined outward Convoy HG11 as escort for initial stage of passage to Liverpool

                                with HM Sloop SANDWICH and two French Navy destroyers

                19th        Detached from HG11with escort and returned to Gibraltar

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Deployed with Flotilla at Gibraltar for Atlantic convoy escort and patrol

                                Flotilla deployment in continuation

 

February

                18th        Deployed as escort for inward Convoy OG15F during passage in Atlantic to

                                Gibraltar with HM Sloop ABERDEEN.

                22nd       Detached from OG15F ob arrival at Gibraltar

 

March                    Gibraltar Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to

April

 

May                        Gibraltar deployment with Flotilla in continuation

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I90

 

June                        Nominated for duty with Force H as required after formation.

 

July                         Deployed for reconnaissance of French naval activities at Oran after

                                French surrender.

                                (Note: This deployment was made before the attempt to negotiate

                                the future role of the French warships at Oran.. For details

                                see RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute and ENGAGE

                                THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).

                                Transferred to Home Fleet and took passage to Scapa Flow.

 

August                  Deployed at Scapa Flow for Fleet screening and patrol duties.

to November

 

December              Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HM Destroyer

                                BATH, ST ALBANS and KEPPEL during minelay in NW

                                Approaches with cover from Home Fleet (Operation SN10A)

                                (For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History (Mining).

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HM Destroyers

                                BEAGLE, KEPPEL and Free French destroyer OURAGON for

                                minelaying operations north and south of Faeroes covered by Home

                                Fleet ships (Operation SN6).

 

February                Transferred to Western Approaches Command for service with 2nd

to                            Escort Group for Atlantic convoy escort with HM Destroyers

March                    VETERAN, LEAMINGTON, SKATE, SALADIN, HM Corvettes

                                ABELIA, ANEMONE and VERONICA.

 

April;                      Part of escort for Convoy OB314 and detached with HM Destroyers

                                LEAMINGTON and ROXBOROUGH to reinforce escort for

                                Convoy HX121 by HM Destroyers MAORI and INGLEFIELD.

                                (Note: HX121 was under attack by group of U-Boats.)

                                (For details of U-BOAT deployments see U-BOAT WAR IN THE

                                ATLANTIC (HMSO) and for current tactics and weapons used in

                                defence of convoys THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D.

                                MacIntyre.)

                28th        Carried out depth charge attacks which sank U65

                                (Note: Credit for sinking of U65 was originally given to HM

                                Corvette GLADIOLUS but subsequently to this ship.

                                (Note: See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLERíS

                                U-BOAT WAR, Volume 1 by C Blair.)

 

May                        Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to August

 

September

                10th        Deployed in Iceland area.

                11th        Despatched with HM Destroyers LEAMINGTON, VETERAN,

                                HM Corvettes GLADIOLUS, WETASKIWIN (RCN), HM

                                Trawlers BUTTERMERE and WINDERMERE to reinforce

                                escort of Convoy SC42 which was under sustained and heavy

                                attacks by U-Boat Group MARKGRAF.

                                (Note: The Trawlers were Whalers requisition in 1939 for use as

                                minesweeping escorts.)

                                Air cover was also provided by CATALINA aircraft of

                                209 Squadron RAF based in Iceland.)

                                Directed anti-submarine operations in defence of SC42 with

                                ships of Group during which U207 was sunk

                                (Note: This sinking was not recognised until after the end of

                                WW2 and then credited to HMS LEAMINGTON and

                                HMS VETERAN. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.) 1.)

 

October                  Deployed with Group for escort of Convoys ONS25 and HX154.

 

November              Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to                            December

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Escorted Convoy ON55 with US destroyer MAYO and sustained

                                damage when these two ships collided in extreme weather

                                conditions. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.

                                Detached from ON55 and rook passage to Iceland for repair.

                                Nominated for conversion to Short Range Escort. See V & W

                                DESTROYERS by A Preston and BRITISH DESTROYERS

                                by E March.

 

February                Passage to UK for repair and refit

                                Taken in hand for refit and conversion.

 

March                    Under refit.

to                            (Note: Escorts were being fitted with Surface warning radar

April                       Type 271 by this period, Fit during refit to be confirmed)

 

May                        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Scapa Flow for

                                deployment with Home Fleet.

 

 June                       Nominated for support of passage to Convoys PQ17 and QP13

                                during passage in Arctic Ocean.

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS

                                TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY ! by P Kemp. ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by

                                B Schoefield and Naval Staff History.)

                                Passage to Iceland to join Convoy PQ17.

                27th        Sailed from Reykjavik with PQ17 as escort for RFA GREY

                                RANGER.

 

July

                2nd         Detached from PQ17 with RFA GREY RANGER on completion

                                of fuelling for escorts and took passage to join QP13 for fuelling.

                4th          Remained with QP13 when PQ17 was scattered on orders from

                                Admiralty because of perceived threat of attack by German

                                major warships.

                                (For details see above references and THE CONVOY IS TO

                                SCATTER by J Broome.)

                7th          Detached from QP13 on arrival in Icelandic waters.

                8th          Resumed Atlantic convoy defence duties in Western Approaches

                                Command.

 

August                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Western Approached deployment in continuation.

to

June

 

July                         Deployed with HM Canadian Destroyer IROQUOIS and HM

                                Frigate MOYOLA for escort of military convoy during Atlantic

                                passage to Gibraltar.

                11th        Under attack 300 miles west of Portuguese coast by He177

                                aircraft using radio controlled Glider Bomb Hs293 (but see addenda) during

                                which troopships DUCHESS OF YORK and CALIFORNIA were hit

                                and sunk with PORT FAIRY damaged.

                                Took part in rescue operations.

                                (Note: This was first successful attack by German aircraft using

                                these weapons and received little publicity. 694

                                passengers were rescued and 57 perished.)

 

August                  Convoy escort in continuation.

to                            (Note: A significant increase of military convoys took place in 1943

September             due to the military operations in the Mediterranean area.)

 

October                  Deployed for defence of UK Ė Gibraltar route convoys.

                31st         Shared credit for sinking U732 with HM Trawler IMPERIALIST in

                                position 35.54N 05.53W west of Gibraltar. Rescued eight survivors.

                                (Note: This submarine had been attacked by HMS IMPERIALIST

                                and forced to submerge. After resurfacing U752 was

                                detected on radar by an aircraft and abandoned. See

                                HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR and U-BOATS DESTROYED,)

 

November              Convoy defence in continuation.

to                            December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed in Home waters for convoy defence

to                            (Note: This ship was not deployed for escort of assault or build-up

December              convoys during allied landings in Normandy. See

                                LANDINGS IN NORMANDY. June 1944 (HMSO).

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Home waters deployment in continuation.

February                Withdrawn from operational service, Paid-off and reduced to

                                Reserve status.

 

March                    Placed on Disposal List

                20th        Sold to BISCO for demolition. by T W Ward.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS DOUGLAS was taken in tow to the breakerís yard at Inverkeithing near Rosyth and arrived in May 1945. This WW1 built destroyer had a particularly active service until 1943 and received little publicity. Her primary contribution was the safe and timely arrival of convoys with the 2nd Escort Group.

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of  HMS DOUGLAS

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

02/09/39

02/09/39

AB 001/1

unknown

unknown

07/09/39

07/09/39

GREEN 1

10/09/39

18/09/39

07/09/39

07/09/39

AB 002/1

unknown

unknown

05/10/39

05/10/39

HG 002

unknown

13/10/39

29/10/39

29/10/39

HG 005

unknown

06/11/39

16/12/39

16/12/39

HG 011

19/12/39

24/12/39

18/01/40

18/01/40

OG 015F

22/01/40

23/01/40

25/02/40

unknown

OG 019

29/02/40

29/02/40

05/03/40

09/03/40

OG 021F

11/03/40

11/03/40

25/03/40

unknown

OG 023

31/03/40

31/03/40

02/04/40

02/04/40

HG 025F

05/04/40

11/04/40

13/04/40

13/04/40

HG 026

unknown

23/04/40

29/05/40

31/05/40

OG 031

03/06/40

04/06/40

05/06/40

05/06/40

HG 033F

06/06/40

14/06/40

02/06/40

06/06/40

OG 032F

07/06/40

07/06/40

08/06/40

08/06/40

HG 033

10/06/40

18/06/40

05/06/40

10/06/40

OG 032

11/06/40

10/06/40

13/06/40

13/06/40

HG 034F

13/06/40

19/06/40

09/06/40

13/06/40

OG 033F

14/06/40

14/06/40

28/06/40

28/06/40

HG 036

02/07/40

08/07/40

07/10/40

07/10/40

WS 003B

12/10/40

28/10/40

20/02/41

20/02/41

OB 289

24/02/41

24/02/41

13/02/41

26/02/41

HX 109

02/03/41

04/03/41

17/03/41

18/03/41

OG 056

21/03/41

02/04/41

01/03/41

22/03/41

SL 067

24/03/41

26/03/41

02/04/41

03/04/41

OB 305

06/04/41

06/04/41

24/03/41

06/04/41

HG 057

09/04/41

11/04/41

23/04/41

24/04/41

OB 314

28/04/41

30/04/41

16/04/41

28/04/41

HX 121

30/04/41

03/05/41

26/06/41

07/07/41

HX 135

11/07/41

12/07/41

17/07/41

17/07/41

OB 348

22/07/41

31/07/41

12/07/41

24/07/41

SC 037

27/07/41

28/07/41

31/07/41

01/08/41

ON 003

05/08/41

14/08/41

27/07/41

06/08/41

HX 141

09/08/41

11/08/41

16/08/41

18/08/41

ON 008

21/08/41

25/08/41

10/08/41

22/08/41

SC 040

29/08/41

29/08/41

05/09/41

06/09/41

ON 013

09/09/41

11/09/41

30/08/41

11/09/41

SC 042

20/09/41

20/09/41

10/10/41

10/10/41

ON 025

16/10/41

24/10/41

10/10/41

19/10/41

HX 154

22/10/41

23/10/41

01/11/41

02/11/41

ON 032

06/11/41

16/11/41

28/10/41

09/11/41

HX 157

12/11/41

13/11/41

21/11/41

22/11/41

ON 039

27/11/41

04/12/41

21/11/41

03/12/41

HX 161

06/12/41

06/12/41

13/12/41

15/12/41

ON 046

18/12/41

21/12/41

10/12/41

21/12/41

SC 059

25/12/41

27/12/41

08/01/42

08/01/42

ON 055

15/01/42

26/01/42

08/06/42

08/06/42

SL 111F

13/06/42

13/06/42

24/05/42

unknown

SL 111

13/06/42

16/06/42

26/06/42

02/07/42

QP 013

07/07/42

07/07/42

15/03/43

15/03/43

KMF 011

23/03/43

23/03/43

25/03/43

26/03/43

MKF 011

01/04/43

05/04/43

05/04/43

05/04/43

MKF 011A

12/04/43

12/04/43

19/07/43

25/07/43

KMF 020

27/07/43

28/07/43

13/08/43

15/08/43

CF 013A

22/08/43

24/08/43

03/09/43

03/09/43

SL 136

06/09/43

14/09/43

26/09/43

04/10/43

CF 014

10/10/43

10/10/43

14/10/43

14/10/43

SR 006/1

21/10/43

21/10/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

SR 008

21/12/43

21/12/43

26/12/43

26/12/43

RS 013

02/01/44

02/01/44

20/01/44

20/01/44

STL 010

24/01/44

24/01/44

11/02/44

11/02/44

TS 057

15/02/44

15/02/44

03/03/44

03/03/44

SR 011

14/03/44

14/03/44

08/04/44

11/04/44

MKF 029B

unknown

17/04/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

 


 

AIR ATTACK of 11 JULY 1943 - CLAIMED USE OF Hs 293 GLIDER BOMBS

with thanks to Tim Gates (4 Aug 2010)

"Searching under HMS DOUGLAS I noticed an entry for 11 July 1943 when she formed part of the escort for the troopships SS CALIFORNIA and SS DUCHESS OF YORK and the MV PORT FAIRY which, together with their escort vessels, comprised convoy FAITH.

Your account mentions that the attack on FAITH involved Heinkel (He 177) aircraft and that radio controlled glider bombs were used. This is not correct. In fact the attack was carried out by three Focke-Wulf 200s of 7./KG40 based at Merignac in Bordeaux. This information was provided to me by Chris Goss, a serving RAF officer and Luftwaffe historian, who has access to contemporary Luftwaffe records (see also Chris Goss "Sea Eagles" vol.2 : Luftwaffe Anti-Shipping Units, 1942-45", 2006). These records give full details of the attack, naming the aircrew of the three FWs that took part and the number and type of bombs used. Although this attack was launched from high altitude (3,000m) only standard 250kg high explosive (SC=Sprengebombe Cylindrisch) bombs were used.

It is quite true that reports by the masters of the troopships, and the commanders of the escort vessels, expressed considerable surprise as to the accuracy of the bombing and raised the question as to whether some form of guided weapon had been used. The Luftwaffe records are however conclusive. Moreover, there was no disagreement by those who witnessed the attack from the receiving end that only 3 x FW200s took part. The accuracy of the bombing is now attributed to the use of the Lofte 7D bombsight. 

.... you will find further information on the www.mercantilemarine.org web forum (search threads "SS California" and "TSS California"). If you follow this discussion you will see that I raised questions about the use of guided weapons in this attack and took some persuading that only conventional bombs had been used."

 
 

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