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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 VERSATILE (D 32) -  V & W-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Valorous, V-class sister ship (click to enlarge)

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V-Class Destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie with the 9th order of the 1916-17 Programme. The ship was launched on 31st October 1917 and was the first RN vessel to carry the name.   Build   was completed on 11 tin February 1918. After tine Armistice she served with the Atlantic Fleet in the 1st Destroyer Flotilla and was placed in Reserve at the Nore in October 1936. This ship was brought forward for service in 1939 and in February 1942 following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign she was adopted by the civil community of Tipton, then part of  the county of Staffordshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-45 - NORTH SEA 1941-45 - NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944-45

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, a weather vane Gold

 

M o t t o

Omnibus eadem:  'The same in all (winds)'

 

 

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 on convoy escort duty in SW Approaches based at Plymouth with 11th

                                Destroyer Flotilla.

                8th          Escorted Convoy OB1 with HM Destroyer VIMY.

                15th        Escorted Convoy OB5 with HM Destroyers VIMY and VIVACIOUS.

                                (Note: These were taking BEF to France)

 

October                  Convoy defence in SW Approaches and Atlantic in continuation.

to                            (For details of German U-Boat activities in 1939-40 see U - BOAT WAR IN THE

December              ATLANTIC (HMSO) and for RN activities ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                by C Barnett).

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Deployment for convoy defence in Western Approaches Command in continuation.

                                (See above references).

                14th        Deployed with HM Sloop DEPTFORD as escort for outward Convoy OG14 on formation

                                in SW Approaches and detached later same day.

 

February

                3rd          Deployed with HM Destroyers WINCHELSEA, BROKE, HM Sloop ENCHANTRESS

                                as escort for outward Convoy OG17F on formation in SW Approaches and detached later

                                same day.

                11th        Deployed with HM Sloops BIDEFORD and LEITH as escort for outward Convoy OG18F

                                on formation in SW Approaches and detached on same day.

                12th        Joined HM Sloops ENCHANTRESS, FOLKESTONE, HM Minesweeper GOSSAMER

                                and HM Submarine OTWAY in escort for inward Convoy HG18F during passage in SW

                                approaches from Gibraltar.

                15th        Detached from HG18f on arrival at Liverpool and returned to Plymouth.

 

March                    SW Approaches convoy defence in continuation.

to

April

 

May                        Transferred to Dover Command to assist in evacuation from continent.

                                (See Naval Staff History).

                13th        Assisted with evacuation at Hook of Holland (Operation ORDNANCE)

                                Damaged in air attacks and towed to UK by HM Destroyer JANUS.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I32 to conform with

                                changes to identities used by all RN ships.

 

June                        On completion of repair joined 21st Destroyer Flotilla based at Sheerness for convoy defence

                                in Channel and SW Approaches.

 

July                         Flotilla duties in continuation including anti-invasion patrols.

to

August

 

September

                11th        Joined HM Destroyers JACKAL, ELECTRA and VIMY for escort of ships of the 1st Minelaying

                                Squadron (HM Auxiliary Minelayers PORT NAPIER, SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT QUEBEC

                                and MENESTHEUS during minelay in NW Approaches (Operation SN41)

                                (For details see Naval Staff History MINING).

 

October

                3rd          Deployed as part of escort for military Convoy WS3A Slow during passage in SW Approaches.

                5th          Detached with Local escort from WS3A Slow.

 

November              Western Approaches convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Deployment in Western Approaches in continuation.

to                            Transferred to Harwich for North Sea convoy defence.

February

 

March                    Deployed as escort for North Sea Convoy FN26

                6th          In action against E-Boats off Lowestoft with HM Destroyer BERKELEY and HM Corvette

                                SHELDRAKE.

 

April                       North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to                            (See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and THREE CORVETTES by N Monsarrat).

December

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  North Sea convoy escort and patrol in continuation.

to                            Nominated for conversion to Long Range Escort.

December              (See V&W DESTROYERS by A Preston for details of conversion).

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Taken in hand at Grangemouth for conversion.

 

February                Under conversion

to

August

 

September             On completion of post refit trials joined 7th Escort Group.

 

October                  Deployed with Group for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

to                            (For details of Atlantic convoy defence developments in 1942-44 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY

December              MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, SEEK AND STRIKE by Hackmann, and HITLERíS

                                U-BOAT WAR by C Blair)

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to                            Allocated for detached duty with Force J during planned allied landings in Normandy.

April

 

May                        Took part in preparatory exercises with Force J in English Channel

                                (Operation NEPTUNE - See Naval Staff History LANDINGS IN NORMANDY,

                                June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards) and D DAY SHIPS

                                by J de Winser.

 

June                        Deployed with Force J in Solent and prepared for escort of military convoys.

                4th          Operation delayed by 24 hours.

                                Joined Convoy J14 with a Motor Launch for escort of following craft:

                                (Note: This comprised:

                                HM Landing Ship (Infantry) ROYAL ULSTERMAN. 12 Landing Craft ,Infantry

                                Large); 20 Landing Craft (Tank) four Landing Craft (Tank Mk III) ; two Landing Craft

                                (Flak), one Landing Craft (Rocket) and one US Navy Coast Guard vessel.

                5th          Passage to JUNO Beach with Convoy J14.

                6th          Arrived at lowering position at H Hour Minus 30 Minutes.

                7th          Embarked Rear Admiral W G Tennant, CB, MVO (Rear-Admiral (MULBERRY/PLUTO) for

                                visit to witness sinking of blockships in SWORD Area (See above reference).

                8th          Deployed at Portland for escort of EPL2 Series of convoys of Landing Ships (Tank)

                                to Western Task Force area.

                10th        EPL2 Series Convoy escort in continuation on daily cycle.

 

July                         Resumed commercial mercantile convoy defence role and transferred to English Channel.

 

August                  Deployed on escort duty of mercantile convoys in English Channel and the SW Approaches.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Channel escort and patrol duties in continuation.

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

May                        Enemy minelaying by E-Boats and submarines intensified and additional escorts were

                                deployed for patrol and convoy defence.

                                For details of operations against SCHNORKEL U-Boats see above references.)

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS VERSATILE reduced to Reserve after the end of hostilities with Germany and was placed on the Disposal List by 1947. Sold to BISCO in 1949 the ship was towed to the Breakersí yard at Granton and broken-up.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS VERSATILE

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

 

 

 

 

 

07/09/39

07/09/39

OB 001

09/09/39

10/09/39

15/09/39

15/09/39

OB 005

18/09/39

19/09/39

21/09/39

21/09/39

OB 008

24/09/39

25/09/39

01/10/39

02/10/39

OB 013

04/10/39

04/10/39

11/10/39

11/10/39

OB 018

14/10/39

17/10/39

21/10/39

21/10/39

OB 023

24/10/39

26/10/39

04/10/39

25/10/39

KJ 003

28/10/39

28/10/39

01/11/39

01/11/39

OB 028

03/11/39

03/11/39

03/11/39

03/11/39

OG 005

07/11/39

09/11/39

10/11/39

10/11/39

OB 033

13/11/39

15/11/39

20/11/39

20/11/39

OB 038

23/11/39

23/11/39

08/11/39

23/11/39

SL 008

24/11/39

24/11/39

30/11/39

30/11/39

OB 044

03/12/39

03/12/39

25/11/39

04/12/39

HXF 010

06/12/39

09/12/39

01/01/40

01/01/40

OA 064

04/01/40

04/01/40

01/01/40

01/01/40

OB 064

04/01/40

05/01/40

27/12/39

05/01/40

HXF 014

08/01/40

08/01/40

11/01/40

11/01/40

OB 070

14/01/40

14/01/40

14/01/40

14/01/40

OG 014

14/01/40

19/01/40

21/01/40

21/01/40

OB 077

24/01/40

24/01/40

01/02/40

01/02/40

OB 083

03/02/40

03/02/40

03/02/40

03/02/40

OG 017F

03/02/40

09/02/40

08/02/40

08/02/40

OB 088

11/02/40

11/02/40

11/02/40

11/02/40

OG 018F

11/02/40

17/02/40

06/02/40

12/02/40

HG 018F

15/02/40

15/02/40

21/02/40

21/02/40

OB 096

24/02/40

24/02/40

14/02/40

25/02/40

SL 020F

28/02/40

28/02/40

29/02/40

29/02/40

OB 101

03/03/40

03/03/40

18/02/40

05/03/40

SL 021

07/03/40

07/03/40

10/03/40

10/03/40

OB 107

15/03/40

15/03/40

02/03/40

13/03/40

HX 024

17/03/40

17/03/40

21/03/40

21/03/40

OB 114

24/03/40

25/03/40

13/03/40

25/03/40

HX 027

26/03/40

28/03/40

26/03/40

26/03/40

OB 119

unknown

29/03/40

21/03/40

02/04/40

HX 029

04/04/40

04/04/40

01/04/40

03/04/40

OA 121

04/04/40

04/04/40

10/04/40

10/04/40

OB 127

11/04/40

14/04/40

02/04/40

14/04/40

HX 032

16/04/40

17/04/40

28/04/40

28/04/40

OB 138

01/05/40

01/05/40

26/04/40

02/05/40

HG 028F

05/05/40

05/05/40

08/05/40

08/05/40

OB 144

10/05/40

12/05/40

16/06/40

29/06/40

HX 051

01/07/40

02/07/40

20/07/40

20/07/40

CW 007

22/07/40

22/07/40

05/09/40

05/09/40

BAS 003

09/09/40

09/09/40

03/10/40

03/10/40

WS 003A

unknown

27/10/40

17/11/40

17/11/40

FS 0337

19/11/40

19/11/40

20/11/40

20/11/40

FN 0338

22/11/40

22/11/40

24/11/40

24/11/40

FS 0344

26/11/40

26/11/40

27/11/40

27/11/40

FN 0345

30/11/40

30/11/40

06/12/40

06/12/40

FS 0355

09/12/40

09/12/40

10/12/40

10/12/40

FN 0356

12/12/40

12/12/40

17/12/40

17/12/40

FS 0362

19/12/40

19/12/40

25/12/40

25/12/40

FS 0370

27/12/40

27/12/40

29/12/40

29/12/40

FN 0370

30/12/40

30/12/40

07/01/41

07/01/41

FS 0381

09/01/41

09/01/41

13/01/41

13/01/41

FS 0387

16/01/41

16/01/41

23/01/41

23/01/41

FS 0395

26/01/41

26/01/41

27/01/41

27/01/41

FN 0393

29/01/41

29/01/41

28/10/43

28/10/43

DS 046

30/10/43

30/10/43

02/11/43

02/11/43

SD 046

04/11/43

04/11/43

29/12/43

05/01/44

ONS 026

12/01/44

18/01/44

13/01/44

23/01/44

HX 275

27/01/44

28/01/44

20/05/44

20/05/44

WP 525

21/05/44

22/05/44

29/07/44

29/07/44

EBC 056

31/07/44

31/07/44

13/09/44

25/09/44

HX 308

29/09/44

28/09/44

24/10/44

24/10/44

ON 262

27/10/44

10/11/44

15/10/44

27/10/44

HX 314

31/10/44

29/10/44

03/12/44

03/12/44

TAM 007

04/12/44

04/12/44

12/04/45

12/04/45

ON 296

14/04/45

30/04/45

03/04/45

18/04/45

HX 348

20/04/45

20/04/45

27/04/45

27/04/45

OS 125KM

30/04/45

01/05/45

18/04/45

02/05/45

HX 351

04/05/45

03/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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