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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  MACKAY (D 70) - Scott-class Flotilla Leader
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMAS Stuart, sister-ship (NavyPhotos, click to enlarge)

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SCOTT-Class Destroyer Flotilla Leader ordered from Cammell Laird of Birkenhead in April 1917. It was intended to name the ship CLAVERHOUSE but this was changed during 1917 for MACKAY. She was laid down as Yard No. 850 on 5th April 1918 and launched on 21st December that year as the first RN ship to carry this name. Build was completed during June 1919 and she served with both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets between the wars. In 1938 she was attached to the 2nd Submarine Flotilla, Home Fleet. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in April 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Wigtownshire, now part of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-40 - DUNKIRK 1 9 4 0 - DOVER STRAITS 194 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942-45 - NORTH SEA -  ARCTIC 1942 - NORMANDY  1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Blue, a right arm and hand Proper holding a dagger, the hilt Gold.

 

Motto

Manu Forti: With a strong hand '

 

 

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

 

September             Deployed as Leader of 11th Destroyer Flotilla at Plymouth for convoy defence and

                                anti-submarine patrol in English Channel and SW Approaches.

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were HM Destroyers VANQUISHER, VANSITTART, VIMY,

                                WALKER, WARWICK, WHIRLWIND and WINCHELSEA.)

                11th        During escort of Convoy OB3 in SW Approaches with HM Destroyer WINCHELSEA detached

                                to assist HM Destroyers WALKER and VANSITTART which had collided and sustained both

                                damage and casualties.

 

October                  Atlantic convoy defence in SW Approaches in continuation with Flotilla.

                                (For details of naval activities in Home waters during 1939 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR and Naval Staff History.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Atlantic and SW Approaches convoy defence in continuation.

 

February

                24th        Escorted Inward Convoy HG 19 from Gibraltar during passage in SW Approaches to Liverpool

                                with H M Sloops BIDEFORD, LEITH, HM Destroyers WALPOLE and WINCHELSEA.

                27th        Detached from HG19 in Irish Sea..

 

March                    Plymouth convoy defence deployment in continuation

to April

 

May                        (Note: Western Approaches Command headquarters transferred to Liverpool during this period

                                and ships in Command were based in Liverpool.)

                24th        Transferred to Dover Command for support of military operations in Channel.

                26th        Took part in evacuation of troops from Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO)

                                Passage to Beach head and embarked 581 troops for return passage to Dover,

                27th        Passage to Dunkirk to embark troops.

                28th        Ship damaged in collision with HM Destroyer MONTROSE off Dunkirk and grounded

                                (Note: Propellers damaged and ship withdrawn from service for repair.

                                Docked and taken in hand for repair to propellers..

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I70.)

 

June                        On completion of repair resumed service in Dover Command and deployed for evacuation of

                                allied troops and civilians from Brest (Operation CYCLE)

                                (Note: One source records ship also deployed at La Pallice. To be confirmed

                                For details of evacuation operations at Dunkirk and other French Cannel ports see BEF SHIPS by

                                J de S Winser and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2002 )

 

July                         Transferred to 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich for convoy defence and patrol North Sea and

                                Channel.

                                (Note: Other ships in this Flotilla included HM Destroyers WALPOLE, WHITSHED and

                                WORCESTER.)

 

August                  Deployed on convoy defence and anti-invasion patrols.

                                (For details of North Sea convoy defence see THREE CORVETTES by N Monsarrat, HOLD

                                THE NARROW SEA by P Smith, THE BATTLE OF THE NARROW SEAS by P Scott and THE

                                BATTLE OF THE EAST COAST by JP Foynes.)

 

September             Flotilla deployment for North Sea convoy defence and interception patrol against E-Boata in

to December          continuation.

 

1 9 4 1

 

                                Deployment at Harwich for North Sea convoy defence continued throughout the year apart from

                                a refit during which an RAF radar outfit modified for naval use was fitted to give warning of

                                the approach of aircraft. Fire control radar Type 285 for the main armament was also installed..

                                For details of development and use of radar by the RN see RADAR AT SEA by D House.

                                Additional Close range weapons were provided to improve defence against air attacks.

                                (Note: Further research is required to provide more details of 1941 deployment)

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Flotilla duties for Convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

 

February

                12th        Took part in Flotilla exercises with HM Destroyers WHITSHED and WALPOLE of 16th

                                Destroyer Flotilla and HM Destroyers CAMPBELL,  VIVACIOUS and WORCESTER of 21st Flotilla.

                                Diverted to intercept German warships SCHARNHORST, GNEISENAU and PRINZ EUGEN

                                that were on passage through English Channel from Brest to Wilhelmshaven.

                                Carried out unsuccessful torpedo attacks and under heavy fire from enemy snipe and attacks from

                                aircraft.

                                (For details see THE CHANNEL DASH by T Robertson and above references.

                                Resumed East coast duties after return to Harwich.

 

March                    North Sea and Channel Convoy defence in continuation.

                                Nominated for conversion to Short Range Escort

 

April                       Under conversion

to                            (Note: Radar Type 271 was fitted to provide warning of surface attacks and also for navigational

August                  use. See above reference and V AND W DESTROYERS by A Preston for details.)

 

September             On completion of trials and work-up detached for duty with Hone Fleet

                                Deployed as part of screen for HM Battleships ANSON and DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruiser

                                JAMAICA with HM Destroyers BRAMHAM, KEPPEL and MONTROSE to provide Distant

                                Cover for Russian Convoy JW18, returning Convoy OP14 from Kola Inlet and operation to

                                support allied garrison at Spitsbergen (Operation GEARBOX)

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman,

                                THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield, CONVOY! by P Kemp and CONVOYS TO

                                RUSSIA by R. A. Ruegg).

 

October                  Resumed Flotilla duties at Harwich after release from Home Fleet. Flotilla duties for North Sea

 

November              Convoy defence duties in continuation at Harwich.

to December

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy defence and patrol from Harwich in continuation with Flotilla.

to February

 

March

                7th          In action against E-Boats attacking convoy near Sunk Lightship with MTB's 17, 20 and 21 of

                                Light Coastal Forces.

 

April                       Convoy defence and patrol based at Harwich in continuation.

to May

 

June                        Flotilla duties at Harwich in continuation.

                22nd       Towed abandoned and grounded WALRUS aircraft from Gunfleet Sands to Harwich.

                                (Note: This aircraft had been carrying out Air-Sea Rescue duties and had run cut of fuel.

                                See THE BATTLE OF THE EAST COAST.)

 

July                         Flotilla duties at Harwich in continuation.

to September

 

October                  Escorted forth Sea Convoy FN160 with HM Destroyers PYTCHLEY, WORCESIER,

                                EGLINTON and CAMPBELL.

                27th        Drove off series of attacks on convoy off Cromer by German Torpedo Boats with HMS

                                PYTCHLEY, HMS WORCESTER, Motor Gunboats and Motor Launches of Coastal Forces.

 

November              Convoy defence in continuation.

to                            Detached for escort of coastal convoys in Channel.

December

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed in SW Approaches for coastal convoy defence.

                5th          In action with other escorts against E-Boats attacking Convoy WP457 off Mounts Bay.

                                (Note: Two mercantiles and HM Trawler WALLASEA were lost in this engagement.)

 

February                Resumed duties based at Harwich.

 

March                    North Sea convoy defence and interception patrol duties in continuation.

 

April                       Nominated for duty in support of planned allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

to                            (For details of activities prior to and during the allied landing see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY,

May                        June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.

                                North Sea convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

 

June

                3rd          Joined HM Destroyer SOUTHDOWN, HM Corvettes POTENTILLA and VERVAIN to form

                                Escort Group 102 with 2 Motor Launches.

                4th          Operation delayed by 24 hours.

                5th          Passage to Thames estuary to meet Convoy ETM2.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised 25 MT ships and four others taking Pre-Loaded British Build-up

                                Division to Eastern Task Force area.)

                6th          Escorted Convoy ETM2 with Group and HM Corvettes POPPY and STATICE to Spithead.

                7th          Passage to beach head through swept channel with Convoy.

                8th          After arrival took passage to return to Thames Estuary.

                9th          Deployed with Group for escort of Build-up convoys in accordance with pre-arranged plan

                                for Build-up.

                                On release from NEPTUNE resumed Flotilla duties at Harwich for- North Sea convoys.

 

July                         Harwich deployment in continuation

to December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployed in North Sea and Channel for convoy defence and patrol.

to                            (Note: During this period Atlantic convoys were re-routed through English Channel as the

April                       threat of air attacks had beer, removed by the loss of air bases in western France.

                                Extensive attacks by E-Boats, submersibles and minelaying were being made.

                                See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and HOLD THE NARROW SEA).

 

May                        Deployed in support of operations to re-occupy ports in Norway.

                16th        Escorted minesweepers with HM Destroyer VICEROY during clearance operations before entry

                                into Trondheim.

 

June                        Deployed in Nore Command.

 

P o s t   W a r  N o t e s

 

HMS MACKAY was reduced to Reserve after VJ Day and placed on the Disposal List in 1946. This ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by Metal Industries on 18th February 1947. The ship arrived in tow at  Charlestown, Fife to be broken-up in February 1948.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS MACKAY

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

 

 

 

 

 

11/09/39

11/09/39

OB 003

15/09/39

16/09/39

19/09/39

20/09/39

OB 007

22/09/39

23/09/39

27/09/39

27/09/39

OB 011

30/09/39

30/09/39

11/10/39

11/10/39

OB 018

14/10/39

17/10/39

19/10/39

19/10/39

OB 022

22/10/39

22/10/39

07/10/39

23/10/39

SL 004

26/10/39

26/10/39

29/10/39

29/10/39

OB 027

01/11/39

03/11/39

08/11/39

08/11/39

OB 032

11/11/39

11/11/39

11/11/39

11/11/39

OG 006

11/11/39

14/11/39

18/11/39

18/11/39

OB 037

21/11/39

21/11/39

28/11/39

28/11/39

OB 043

01/12/39

04/12/39

16/11/39

02/12/39

SL 009

02/12/39

02/12/39

08/12/39

08/12/39

OB 049

10/12/39

12/12/39

02/12/39

12/12/39

HXF 011

15/12/39

15/12/39

18/12/39

18/12/39

OB 055

20/12/39

20/12/39

21/12/39

21/12/39

OG 011

21/12/39

26/12/39

28/12/39

28/12/39

OB 062

31/12/39

31/12/39

20/12/39

02/01/40

HX 013

04/01/40

04/01/40

08/01/40

08/01/40

OB 069

12/01/40

13/01/40

17/01/40

17/01/40

OB 074

unknown

20/01/40

12/01/40

21/01/40

HXF 016

23/01/40

24/01/40

29/01/40

29/01/40

OB 082

30/01/40

02/02/40

17/02/40

24/02/40

HG 019

27/02/40

27/02/40

05/03/40

05/03/40

OB 104

08/03/40

08/03/40

13/03/40

13/03/40

OB 109

16/03/40

16/03/40

05/03/40

18/03/40

HX 025

20/03/40

20/03/40

16/05/40

16/05/40

OB 149

19/05/40

17/05/40

08/05/40

19/05/40

HX 041

23/05/40

23/05/40

25/05/40

25/05/40

OG 031F

27/05/40

30/05/40

26/05/40

26/05/40

OB 155

27/05/40

29/05/40

27/07/40

31/07/40

HG 040F

03/08/40

03/08/40

12/08/40

13/08/40

OB 197

16/08/40

16/08/40

04/08/40

16/08/40

HX 063

19/08/40

19/08/40

24/08/40

24/08/40

OB 203

27/08/40

28/08/40

03/09/40

05/09/40

OG 042

07/09/40

16/09/40

02/09/42

20/09/42

PQ 018

08/09/42

21/09/42

13/09/42

unknown

QP 014

unknown

26/09/42

22/12/43

22/12/43

CW 233

23/12/43

24/12/43

23/12/43

23/12/43

CE 231

24/12/43

24/12/43

23/01/44

23/01/44

CW 241

24/01/44

24/01/44

25/01/44

25/01/44

CE 239

26/01/44

26/01/44

24/02/44

24/02/44

CE 247

25/02/44

25/02/44

19/04/44

19/04/44

CW 263

20/04/44

20/04/44

21/04/44

21/04/44

CE 261

22/04/44

22/04/44

07/06/44

07/06/44

ETM 002

08/06/44

08/06/44

13/06/44

13/06/44

ETM 008

14/06/44

14/06/44

15/06/44

15/06/44

FTM 008

16/06/44

16/06/44

17/06/44

17/06/44

ETM 012

18/06/44

18/06/44

19/06/44

19/06/44

FTM 012

20/06/44

20/06/44

25/06/44

25/06/44

ETM 017

26/06/44

26/06/44

27/06/44

27/06/44

FTM 020

28/06/44

28/06/44

30/06/44

30/06/44

ETM 022

01/07/44

01/07/44

05/07/44

05/07/44

ETM 027

06/07/44

06/07/44

10/07/44

10/07/44

ETM 032

11/07/44

11/07/44

15/07/44

15/07/44

ETM 037

16/07/44

16/07/44

17/07/44

17/07/44

FTM 040

18/07/44

18/07/44

20/07/44

20/07/44

ETM 042

21/07/44

21/07/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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