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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2007

HMS VIMY  (D 33) -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Vimy (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 
V-Class destroyer ordered from Beardmore at Dalmuir, Glasgow under the 1916-17 Build Programme and laid down on 30th June 1916. Launched on 28th December 1917  as HMS VANCOUVER she was the 1st RN ship to carry the name to commemorate the name of Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798) who gave his name to the island and town in British Columbia, Canada. Build was completed on 9th March 1918 and included a minelaying capability. After service in the Grand Fleet she was deployed in the Baltic and took part in actions against Russian forces  during support of the defence of countries under threat from the Red Army. Later in 1921 she served with the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. In April 1928 whilst placed in Reserve the ship was renamed HMS VIMY in April 1928 to enable the former name to be used by the Royal Canadian Navy for the destroyer HMS TOREADOR. The choice of the new name was especially significant as it commemorates the capture of the Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Army in 1917. In 1938 this ship was part of the Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community of Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

ATLANTIC 1939-45 - DUNKIRK 1940 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944-45 - NORMANDY 1944 - NORTH SEA 1944-45

H e r a l d i c  D a t a

Badge: On a field Red a Mills Bomb proper with

a wreath Gold.

 

M o t t o

Audaces Fortuna Juvat: Fortune favours the brave'

 

 

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 with Reservist shopís company

                9th          Attended Reserve Fleet Review by HM King George VI in Weymouth Bay

                                War Station nominated

 

September             Deployed with 11th Destroyer Flotilla in Channel for convoy defence

                                and anti-submarine patrol.

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were:

                                HM Destroyers MACKAY (Leader), VANQUISHER, WALKER,

                                VERSATILE, WALKER, WARWICK, WHIRLWIND and

                                WINCHELSEA.)

                7th          Escorted outward Convoy OB1 during initial stage of passage from

                                Liverpool to Dispersal Point in SW Approaches with HM Destroyer

                                VERSATILE.

                10th        Detached from OB1 on dispersal and took passage to join outward

                                Convoy OB4 during passage in SW Approaches.

                15th        Joined HM Destroyers VERSATILE and VIVACIOUS escorting Convoy

                                OB4.

                16th        Detached from OB4 and returned to Plymouth.

                                For details of Convoy identities and dates of passage see THE ALLIED

                                CONVOY SYSTEM 1939-45 by A Hague.)

 

October                  Channel deployment in continuation.

to                            (For details of naval activities in this period see ENGAGE THE

December              ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval Staff History.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Convoy defence in Channel and North Sea.

                                (For details of naval activities in North Sea during this period see

                                BATTLE OF THE EAST COAST by J P Foynes

 

February                Deployed for convoy defence in SW Approaches.

                8th          Escorted inward Convoy HG17 for final stage of passage in SW

                                Approaches to Liverpool from Gibraltar.

                11th        Detached from HG17 on arrival and took passage to Plymouth.

 

March                    Passage to Gibraltar to join escort for inward Convoy HG21.

                4th          Sailed from Gibraltar as escort for HG21 with HM Destroyers

                                ACTIVE, VELOX and VIDETTE during passage to Liverpool

                10th        Detached from HG21 and joined HM Destroyer WINCHELSEA and

                                two French Navy destroyers in escort of Outward Convoy OG21

                                during passage in SW Approaches to Gibraltar.

                12th        Detached from OG21 and returned to Plymouth.

 

April                       Resumed service in North Sea for defence of east coast and Channel

                                traffic.

 

May                        Transferred to Dover Command and joined 19th Destroyer Flotilla

                                for Channel convoy defence.

                13th        Escorted ss PERSEUS carrying bullion from Ymuiden.

                22nd       Took part in evacuation of troops from Calais.

                                Carried out bombardment of enemy troops and embarked contingent

                                of Welsh Guards for passage to Dover.

                23rd        Embarked Royal Marines demolition party for passage to Boulogne.

                                (Operation XD (G)).

                30th        Deployed for evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk.

                                (Operation DYNAMO)

                                (Note: Four trips made to beaches and under air attacks.

                                Commanding Officer missing after one attack and

                                First Lieutenant assumed command..

                31st         Sustained damage in collision with yacht AMUREE and later in air

                                attack.

                                (For details of Dunkirk operations see Naval Staff History (HMSO)

                                and NINE DAYS OF DUNKIRK by AD Divine.

 

June                        Awaiting repair at Dover.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I33

 

July                         Under repair

 

August                  On completion transferred to Home Fleet and took passage to

                                Scapa Flow for Fleet duties.

 

September

                11th        Part of escort for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay

                                in NW Approaches (To be confirmed).

 

October                  Nominated for escort of military convoy

                7th          Joined Convoy WS3B in Clyde with HM Destroyers ACHATES,

                                ARROW and SABRE as Local Escort during passage in NW

                                Approaches

                                (Note: HM Cruiser KENYA was deployed as Ocean Escort during

                                passage to Freetown.)

                12th        Detached from WS3B and returned to Clyde with Local Escort.

 

November              Convoy escort deployment in continuation.

to                            Nominated for conversion to Long Range Escort.

December              (For details see BRITISH DESTROYERS by E March and V&W

                                DESTROYERS by A Preston.)

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under conversion and refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.

to                            (Note: This ship was first of the Class to be converted into the new role

April                       which ensured that this type of destroyer could be used

                                as an Ocean Escort.

                                Nominated for service at Freetown with 18th Destroyer Flotilla.

 

May                        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Freetown.

 

June                        Deployed at Freetown for Local Escort and passage of Atlantic

                                convoys to and from Gibraltar.

 

July                         Deployed at Gibraltar

                23rd        Despatched with HM Destroyers VIDETTE and WISHART to

                                reinforce escort of damaged cruiser HMS MANCHESTER by

                                HM Destroyer AVONVALE during return passage to Gibraltar

                                (Operation SUBSTANCE Ė See MALTA CONVOYS by R

                                Woodman for details.)

 

August                  Gibraltar deployment in continuation.

 

September             Atlantic convoy defence in continuation

                17th        Joined inward Convoy HG73 with two sloops and eight corvettes as escort during passage

                                from Gibraltar to Liverpool.

                20th        Carried out attack on Italian submarine LUIGI TORELLI with HM Destroyer WILD SWAN.

                                (Note: This was assessed as having damaged the submarine.)

                21st         Sank Italian submarine ALESSANDRO MALASPINA

                24th        Under air attacks which were driven off.

                26th        Under sustained attacks by U124, U200, U201 and U203 during which nine mercantiles were

                to            sunk. See BRITISH LOSSES AT SEA 1939-45 (HMSO), HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR

                27th        by C Blair and THE REAL CRUEL SEA by R Woodman.)

 

October

                1st           Detached from HG73 with escort on arrival at Liverpool.

                                Passage to Freetown to resume Local Escort duties.

 

November

                21st         Joined military convoy WS12Z with HM Destroyer VELOX as

                                Local Escort during passage into Freetown from UK.

                25th        Detached from WS12Z on arrival at Freetown.

 

December

                25th        Joined military convoy WS14 with HM Destroyer BRILLIANT

                                as Local Escort from Freetown during initial stage of passage off

                                West Africa for Capetown.

                26th        HMS BRILLIANT detached.

                27th        Detached from WS14 and made independent return passage.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January

                21st         Joined military convoy WS15 with HM Destroyer VANSITTART on

                                departure from Freetown as Local Escort.

                25th        Detached from WS15 and took passage to return to Freetown

                                with HMS VANSITTART.

 

February                Atlantic convoy defence based at Freetown in continuation.

to

July

 

August                  Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH with HM Destroyers

                                PATHFINDER and QUENTIN during Atlantic passage from Freetown

                                to Norfolk, Va, USA for repair to damage after attack by frogmen at

                                Alexandria.

                                Detached from HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH at Norfolk and took

                                passage with the other two destroyers to Port of Spain, Trinidad for convoy defence.

 

September             Deployed in West Indies for convoy defence with HM Destroyers

                                PATHFINDER and QUENTIN.

                3rd          Carried out depth charge attacks with HMS PATHFINDER and HMS

                                QUENTIN after submarine torpedo attack. When submarine U162

                                surfaced five hours later obtained radar contact and made ramming

                                attack after radar contact followed by further depth charge attack

                                which sank U162. Sustained damage to Port shaft requiring docking

                                Took part in rescue of German crew, all of whom survived.

                                (For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLERíS

                                U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

                                (Note: Surface warning Radar Type 271 was fitted in this ship and

                                installation is unlikely to have been carried out on conversion

                                in early 1941.)

                10th        Deployed for Local Escort of four ships on Atlantic passage to Barbados.

                14th        Opened fire on object believed to be a surfaced submarine.

                                When raft lowered improvised sail ceased fire and rescued survivors from US mercantile

                                which had been sunk by U66 on 30th August and been adrift on a raft ever since.

                                (Note ; Survivors were later transferred to Dutch mercantile in the convoy.

                                See THE REAL CRUEL SEA by R Woodman.)

 

October                  Nominated for service with 2nd Escort Group on completion of repair.

 

November              Deployed for Atlantic convoy defence with Group.

to                            (Note: During this period the Group escorted Convoys HX213, ONS218,

December              and HX219 all without loss.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation with Group.

                                (Note: Group escorted Convoy ON159 without loss.)

 

February                Deployed with Group as part of escort for Convoy SC118 with HM Destroyers VANESSA,

                                WITCH, BEVERLEY, HM Corvettes CAMPANULA, MIGNONETTE, ABELIA, Free French

                                LOBELIA and US Coastguard Cutter GEORGE M BIBB.

                                (Note: The Commanding Officer was Lieutenant R B Stannard, RNR

                                who was awarded the Victoria Cross when in command of

                                HM Trawler ARAB during the Norwegian campaign in 1940.)

                4th          Convoy under attack by PFEIL and HAUDEGEN U-Boat Groups.

                                Attacked and sank U187 after this submarine had been detected

                                by radio transmissions intercepted by escorts and located.

                                Carried out depth charge attacks on U262.

                                (For details see HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR and for details on

                                tactics and weapons used in defence and attacks SEEK AND STRIKE

                                by W Hackmann.)

                6th          During further sustained attacks by HAUDEGEN Group carried out

                                attacks on U267 which was damaged.

                                (Note: See above references, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett,

                                CONVOY by M Middlebrook, THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre

                                and THE REAL CRUEL SEA by R Woodman.))

                7th          Carried out further anti-submarine operations against further sustained attacks during

                                which U6089 was sunk by HMS ABELIA.

                8th          Took disabled FS LOBELIA in tow

                10th        Detached and took passage with four ships destined for Iceland and with LOBELIA under tow.

                                (Note: For details of defence of this convoy which arrived at Liverpool on 12th having lost

                                nine ships during passage, see THE REAL CRUEL SEA by R Woodman.

 

March                    Despatched from Iceland to join escort for Convoy HX229 known to

                                be at risk of attacks by RAUBGRAF, STURMER and DRANGER

                                U-Boat Groups and requiring reinforcement of escort.

                19th        Joined escort for HX229 by 4th Escort Group with US destroyer

                                BABBITT.

                                (Note: 21 ships were sunk in attacks on these two convoys. The attacks on convoys

                                during this month were especially heavy and lead to serious consideration of abandonment

                                of the convoy system but fortunately this was maintained. See references.)

 

April                       Transferred to 6th Escort Group and deployed as escort for Convoy

                                ON176 with HM Destroyers HIGHLANDER and BEVERLEY.

                10th        Under attack by ADLER U-Boat Group during which HMS BEVERLEY

                                was sunk.

                12th        Series of attacks ceased. Two ships were sunk

                                See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR Volume 2.

 

May                        Atlantic convoy defence with Group including Convoy ONS6 without

                                loss.

 

June                        Deployed with Group for defence of UK-Gibraltar route convoys.

to                            (Note: Extensive traffic of military convoys took place during this

December              period associated with the military operations in the

                                Mediterranean.)

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to                            Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Europe

April                       (Operation NEPTUNE).

 

May                        Transferred to Plymouth Command and allocated to 141st Escort

                                Group with HM Canadian Corvette KITCHENER based at

                                Milford Haven. Took part in preliminary exercises.

                28th        Escorted HM Motor Launch 10 for last minelay off Brittany before

                                landings (Operation HOSTILE 28)

 

June                        Deployed with Build-Up Force B for escort of military convoys

                                to Western Task Force area from embarkation ports.

                7th          Escorted Convoy EMB3.

                8th          Detached on arrival off beachhead.

                                (For details of naval activities prior to and during landings see

                                OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN

                                NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO) )

 

July                         On release from NEPTUNE deployed for coastal convoy defence in

                                in Channel and SW Approaches.

 

August                  Channel deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: German U-boats fitted with SCHNORKEL were being

December              increasingly deployed for attacks on shipping.)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Channel area convoy defence in continuation..

to                            (Note: Atlantic convoys were re-routed through English Channel

April                       after threat of air attacks from French bases had been removed.)

 

May                        Remained in commission after VE Day but nominated for reduction

to                            to Reserve status. Paid-off and de-stored.

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS VIMY was laid up in Reserve until placed on the Disposal List in 1946. She was sold to Metal Industries Ltd on 17th March 1947 for breaking-up at Charleston near Rosyth where she arrived in tow on 10th September 1948.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS VIMY

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

27/09/39

27/09/39

OB 011

30/09/39

30/09/39

08/10/39

08/10/39

OB 016

10/10/39

11/10/39

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

10/12/39

10/12/39

OB 050

11/12/39

13/12/39

11/12/39

11/12/39

OG 010

13/12/39

16/12/39

19/12/39

19/12/39

OB 056

21/12/39

21/12/39

28/12/39

28/12/39

OB 062

31/12/39

31/12/39

29/12/39

09/01/40

HX 014

12/01/40

12/01/40

01/02/40

08/02/40

HG 017

11/02/40

11/02/40

13/02/40

13/02/40

OB 091

16/02/40

17/02/40

05/02/40

17/02/40

SL 019F

20/02/40

20/02/40

04/03/40

04/03/40

HG 021

10/03/40

13/03/40

08/03/40

08/03/40

OB 105

09/03/40

09/03/40

11/03/40

11/03/40

OG 021

unknown

17/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

OB 112

20/03/40

23/03/40

10/03/40

24/03/40

HX 026

26/03/40

26/03/40

18/03/40

29/03/40

HX 028

unknown

02/04/40

06/04/40

06/04/40

OG 025F

12/04/40

12/04/40

02/04/40

08/04/40

HG 025F

09/04/40

11/04/40

16/04/40

16/04/40

OB 130

unknown

18/04/40

26/04/40

26/04/40

OB 137

29/04/40

29/04/40

18/04/40

30/04/40

HX 036

02/05/40

03/05/40

06/05/40

06/05/40

OB 143

09/05/40

09/05/40

04/05/40

10/05/40

HG 029F

13/05/40

13/05/40

16/05/40

16/05/40

FS 0172

18/05/40

18/05/40

05/09/40

05/09/40

BAS 003

09/09/40

09/09/40

07/10/40

08/10/40

WS 003B

12/10/40

28/10/40

18/08/41

23/08/41

HG 071

25/08/41

02/09/41

02/09/41

05/09/41

HG 072

unknown

17/09/41

17/09/41

17/09/41

HG 073

22/09/41

01/10/41

24/09/41

01/10/41

SL 088

01/10/41

08/10/41

12/12/41

12/12/41

SL 095

17/12/41

31/12/41

30/11/41

17/12/41

OS 013

20/12/41

20/12/41

21/02/42

21/02/42

SL 101

15/03/42

15/03/42

29/07/42

29/07/42

ST 029

01/08/42

02/08/42

04/08/42

04/08/42

ST 030A

unknown

unknown

04/08/42

11/08/42

RT 001

13/08/42

13/08/42

04/01/43

05/01/43

ON 159

14/01/43

20/01/43

24/01/43

31/01/43

SC 118

13/02/43

12/02/43

22/02/43

23/02/43

ON 169

11/03/43

21/03/43

08/03/43

19/03/43

HX 229

22/03/43

23/03/43

31/03/43

01/04/43

ON 176

12/04/43

20/04/43

12/04/43

21/04/43

HX 234

28/04/43

29/04/43

10/05/43

11/05/43

ON 183

20/05/43

25/05/43

25/05/43

31/05/43

HX 241

09/06/43

10/06/43

02/12/43

03/12/43

ON 214

13/12/43

20/12/43

15/12/43

19/12/43

SC 149

29/12/43

30/12/43

13/01/44

14/01/44

ONS 027

28/01/44

31/01/44

28/01/44

02/02/44

HX 277

12/02/44

13/02/44

22/02/44

28/02/44

ON 225

02/03/44

08/03/44

06/03/44

11/03/44

HX 282

21/03/44

22/03/44

31/03/44

31/03/44

WP SP 26

02/04/44

02/04/44

04/04/44

05/04/44

WP 502

06/04/44

06/04/44

06/04/44

07/04/44

WP 503

08/04/44

08/04/44

24/04/44

25/04/44

WP 512

26/04/44

26/04/44

05/07/44

05/07/44

EBC 032

07/07/44

07/07/44

12/07/44

12/07/44

EBC 039

14/07/44

14/07/44

19/07/44

19/07/44

EBC 046

21/07/44

21/07/44

27/07/44

27/09/74

EBC 054

29/07/44

29/07/44

23/11/44

23/11/44

ON 268

27/11/44

10/12/44

14/11/44

28/11/44

HX 320

01/12/44

30/11/44

05/12/44

05/12/44

TAM 009

06/12/44

06/12/44

07/12/44

07/12/44

ATM 006

08/12/44

08/12/44

13/12/44

13/12/44

TAM 016

14/12/44

14/12/44

12/01/45

12/01/45

ON 278

15/01/45

31/01/45

03/01/45

15/01/45

HX 330

18/01/45

17/01/45

05/02/45

05/02/45

ON 283

08/02/45

27/02/45

28/01/45

09/02/45

HX 335

11/02/45

10/02/45

02/03/45

02/03/45

ON 288

07/03/45

19/03/45

23/02/45

07/03/45

HX 340

11/03/45

10/03/45

01/04/45

01/04/45

ON 294

05/04/45

20/04/45

24/03/45

05/04/45

HX 346

08/04/45

07/04/45

17/04/45

17/04/45

ON 297

20/04/45

02/05/45

08/04/45

20/04/45

HX 349

24/04/45

23/04/45

21/05/45

21/05/45

ON 304

24/05/45

05/06/45

13/05/45

24/05/45

HX 356

27/05/45

26/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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