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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 WALKER  (D 27) -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Walker (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 
 

Admiralty W-Class Destroyer ordered from William Denny of Dumbarton under the 10th Order of the 1916-17 Programme on 9th December 1916. The ship was laid down on 26th March 1917 and was launched as the first RN warship to bear the name on 29th November 1917. Build was completed on 12th February 1918 and included facilities for use as a minelayer. She served briefly in WW1. After the Armistice she was deployed in the Baltic was in action against Russian warships. In 1921 she was in 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet and went into Reserve after 1930. She was brought forward for service in 1939 before the outbreak of war as part of the mobilisation of the Reserve Fleet. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during March 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Sale, then in the County of Cheshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-43 - NORWAY  1940 - NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH  CHANNEL 1944 - ARCTIC 1944-45

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Blue a Stag's head Proper issuant

from an  Eastern Crown.

 

M o t t o

'Ready and faithful'

 

 

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 at Devonport with Reserve complement.

                                (Note: Ship was to attend Review of Reserve Fleet by HM King George VI in Weymouth Bay)

                                Remained in commission after Review when Fleet mobilised.

                                Passage to Plymouth to prepare for war service.

                                (Note: War Station allocated to join 11th Destroyer Flotilla.

 

September             Joined 11th Destroyer Flotilla based at Plymouth for convoy defence and anti- submarine patrol

                                in English Channel and SW Approaches.

                9th          Escorted Convoy OB2 with HM Destroyers VANQUISHER and WINCHELSEA.

                10th        During passage after leaving convoy sustained major damage in collision with HM Destroyer

                                VANQUISHER.

                                Embarked injured from VANQUISHER.

                                (Note: HMS VANQUISHER was disabled and later proceeded to Plymouth with difficulty for

                                repair.

                                HM Aircraft Carrier COURAGEOUS was in vicinity but did not provide any assistance

                                despite the lack of a Medical Officer on board.)

                14th        Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

October                  Under repair by HM Dockyard.

to                            Rejoined Flotilla on completion.

December

 

1 9 4 0

 

January

                13th        Detached and took passage to join inward Convoy HG15F with HM Destroyers BROKE,

                                KEPPEL, WALKER and HM Sloop ENCHANTRESS as escort during passage to Liverpool.

                15th        HMS BROKE detached.

                17th        HMS AMAZON joined escort on relief by HM Destroyer KEPPEL.

                19th        Detached from HG15F.

 

February                Western Approaches convoy defence in continuation.

 

March

                25th        Joined outward Convoy OG23 on formation in SW approaches with HM Destroyers CAMPBELL,

                                VOLUNTEER and WANDERER for escort in Western Approaches during passage in Atlantic to

                                Gibraltar.

                26th        Detached from OG23 on relief by two French warships.

                                Joined escort for inward Convoy HG23 during passage to Liverpool from Gibraltar.

                27th        Joined HM Sloops SCARBOROUGH and WELLINGTON in escort for HG23 with

                                HMS VOLUNTEER and HMS CAMPBELL.

                30th        Detached from HG23 with escort on arrival at Liverpool.

 

April

                8th          Transferred to Home Fleet after German invasion of Norway.

                                Escorted military convoys in support of allied landings (Operation RUPERT/R4).

                9th          Sustained slight damage during air attacks in defence of convoy.

                30th        Assisted with evacuation of allied troops from Andalsnes and Molde.

                                Subjected to sustained air attacks.

                                Ferried personnel from shore to HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD with HM Destroyer WESTCOTT

                                for passage to UK.

 

May

                1st           Covered final evacuation from Andalsnes under further heavy air attacks.

                                Continued convoy defence and support of military operations in Norway.

                                Pennant No for visual signalling changed to 127 to conform with changes made for all RN ships.

                28th        Deployed with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, FAME and HAVELOCK to provide naval gunfire

                                support in Rombaks Fjord during military operations to capture Narvik.

                                See Naval Staff History (HMSO, 2002) for details.

 

June

                8th          Escorted final evacuation convoy from Harstad.

                                Last ship to leave Narvik area.

                                (For details of the disastrous naval operations off Norway and the evacuation of allied troops

                                see NARVIK by Donald Macintyre, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton and the Naval Staff

                                History).

 

July

                2nd         Carried out unsuccessful attack on U47 aster the sinking of rms ANDORA STAR.

                                (Note: This ship was taking German and Italian Prisoners of War to Canada

                                HM Canadian Destroyer ST LAURENT carried out rescue work during which over 800 of

                                the 1,676 on board. See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

                                On return taken in hand for repair

August                  Under repair.

to

September

 

October                  Carried out post repair trials

to                            Resumed convoy defence duties Convoy escort in Western Approaches

December

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

 

February                Joined 5th Escort Group in Western Approaches Command as Senior Officer's Ship.

                                (Note: Other ships in Group were HM Destroyers VANOC, VOLUNTEER and CALDWELL

                                based at Liverpool.

                                Deployed with Group in Western Approaches.

 

March                    Part of escort for Convoy HX112.

                17th        Took pert in search for U100 with HM Destroyer VANOC. Submarine forced to surface after

                                sustained hunt

                                (Note: U100 was sunk after being rammed by HMS VANOC.)

                                During rescue of six survivors from U100 detected U99 also taking part in the attacks on

                                HX 112

                                Carried cut depth charge attacks on U99 which surfaced and abandoned by crew.

.                               Rescued 40 survivors.

                                (Note: U100 was commanded by Joachim Schepke and U99 by Otto Kretschmer who was

                                Germany most successful U-Boat Commanders at that date.

                                For details see THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE by T Robertson, THE BATTLE OF THE

                                THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair..

                                Captain D MacIntyre was Senior Officer of EG5.)

                                Reunions of the survivors of U99 and crew of HMS WALKER have been held since

                                1963).

 

April                       Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Deployed in Western Approaches Command.

                12th        Joined military convoy WS15 in Clyde with HM Destroyers VANOC, WITHERINGTON and

                                VOLUNTEER as Local Escort for passage in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised 22 troopships and was on passage to Suez, Bombay and Singapore.

 

February

                15th        Detached from WS15 and took passage with HMS WALKER to return to Clyde

                17th        Joined military convoy WS16 in Clyde with HM Destroyers ACTIVE, ANTHONY,

                                BLANKNEY, CROOME, DUNCAN, FIREDRAKE, LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, VERITY and

                                WITHERINGTON as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                21st         Remained with WS16 as escort with HMS VERITY and HMS WITHERINGTON when the other

                                Home Fleet destroyers detached for escort of major warships to Gibraltar.

                                (Note: HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE and FORMIDABLE, HM Cruiser

                                HERMIONE also detached)

                22nd       Detached from WS16 with HMS VERITY and HMS WITHERINGTON when HM Destroyer

                                PALADIN and HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE joined as Ocean Escort.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised 21 troopships on passage to Suez and Bombay.)

 

March                    Deployment in Western Approaches for convoy defence in continuation.

to                            (Note: For details of changes in U-Boat tactics and weapons used for convoy attacks see

December              SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann, HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair, U-BOAT

                                WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by

                                D Macintyre.)

                                Nominated for conversion as a Long Range Escort.

                                (See General Information and V&W DESTROYERS by A Preston.)

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Taken in hind, for conversion by Thames shipyard.

 

February                Under conversion

to

April

 

May                        Carried out harbour and sea post refit trials.

 

June                        Worked-up for operational service.

 

July                         Transferred to 4th Escort Group for convoy escort and support in Atlantic.

                                (For details of changes in tactics and introduction of new weapons for defence of Atlantic

                                convoys see SEEK AND STRIKE, BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS and ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).

 

August                  Deployed with Group in NW Approaches in convoy escort and support role.

 

September             Convoy support and escort duty in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Detached for service in Home Fleet for escort of Russian convoys.

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOY I by P Kemp, CONVOYS TO

                                RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

 

February                Joined Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW57 with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA,

                                KEPPEL and four FLOWER Class Corvettes.

                28th        Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet without loss of any convoyed ship.

                                Air and submarine attacks were held off by air cover and escorting ships.

 

March

                2nd         Joined Close Escort for return Convoy RA57 with same ships.

                4th          Under attack by U-Boats.

                10th        Detached from RA57 on arrival at Loch Ewe.

                29th        Joined HM Sloops STARLING, MAGPIE, WILD GOOSE, WREN and WHIMBREL of 2nd

                                Escort Group with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA and KEPPEL for support of Russian

                                Convoy JW58.

 

April

                4th          Arrived at Kola Inlet after series of air and submarine attacks.

                7th          Joined Ocean Escort for return Convoy RA58 with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA,

                                INCONSTANT, KEPPEL, VENUS, WESTCOTT, WHITEHALL and WRESTLER.

                12th        Detached from RA58 before arrival at Loch Ewe after undetected passage.

                20th        Passage to Kola Inlet with HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carriers ACTIVITY FENCER,

                                15 Home Fleet destroyers and three Canadian frigates escorting a merchant ship (NEA HELLAS)

                                to collect ships and personnel from Russian ports.

                23rd        Arrived at Kola Inlet without NEA HELLAS which had returned with defects.

                28th        Embarked 13 USN ratings for passage to UK.

                                (Note: Soviet Navy personnel were also embarked on other returning warships to

                                UK to man warship awaiting transfer to Russia.)

                                Joined escort for returning convoy RA59 with HMS DIADEM, HMS FENCER and escorts from

                                Home Fleet and Western Approaches Commands.

 

May                        Nominated for duty in support of Normandy landings (Operation NEPTUNE).

                3rd          Detached from RA59 after experiencing atrocious weather conditions with U-Boat attacks lasting

                                two days.

                                On arrival prepared for detached duty with HM Corvette HONEYSUCKLE, the French LA

                                NANTAISE and HM Trawler LINCOLNSHIRE as Escort Group 137.

 

June                        Passage to Milford Haven for escort of military convoy E2B2Z.

                4th          Escorted Convoy of 32 Transports taking US Build-up Division to Western Task Force area.

                                (Note: Escort was supplemented by 144th Escort Group and two Trawlers.)

                                For details of Normandy landing operations see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards,

                                LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO).

                8th          Arrived off Beachhead and returned to Milford Haven

                10th        Deployed for escort of Follow-up Convoys to American beach heads.

                                On release from NEPTUNE resumed Atlantic convoy defence with Group.

 

July                         Atlantic Convoy defence and support in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Detached for duty with 8th Escort Group to escort of Russian convoy.

                20th        Joined HM Sloop LAPWING and HM Sloop LARK and three FLOWER Class corvettes as

                                Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW61.

                28th        Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet after safe passage with no losses.

 

November

                2nd         Joined escort for returning Convoy RA61 with same ships.

                9th          Detached on arrival of convoy at Loch Ewe.

 

December              Resumed convoy escort and support in NW Approaches.

                30th        Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW63 with HMS KEPPEL, HMS WESTCOTT and Sloops

                                of 8th Escort Group.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January

                8th          Detached on arrival at Kola after uninterrupted passage.

                11th        Escorted returning RA63 in atrocious weather which delayed progress.

                                Remained with HMS KEPPEL and HMS WESTCOTT as Local Escort.

                23rd        Detached from RA63 on arrival in Clyde.

 

February                Resumed Atlantic convoy defence.

                                (Note: Convoys were re-routed through English Channel and some escorts were

                                re-deployed in coastal areas to counter the increased threat by U-Boats

                                fitted with SCHNORKEL equipment operating at convoy focal points.

 

March                    Deployed in Home waters for convoy defence and anti-submarine operations.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS WALKER was not deployed operationally after the end of hostilities and was Paid-off. The ship reduced to Reserve status and was placed was placed on the Disposal Lost. Sold to BISCO for breaking up in 1946 she arrived in tow at the breakerís at Troon on 15th March that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WALKER

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

 

 

 

 

 

16/11/39

16/11/39

OB 036

19/11/39

17/11/39

17/11/39

17/11/39

OG 007

19/11/39

24/11/39

27/11/39

27/11/39

OB 042

29/11/39

01/12/39

06/12/39

06/12/39

OB 048

09/12/39

10/12/39

24/11/39

10/12/39

SL 010

10/12/39

10/12/39

16/12/39

16/12/39

OB 054

19/12/39

19/12/39

10/12/39

23/12/39

HXF 012

unknown

24/12/39

29/12/39

09/01/40

HX 014

12/01/40

12/01/40

13/01/40

13/01/40

HG 015F

19/01/40

22/01/40

28/01/40

28/01/40

OB 081

31/01/40

31/01/40

16/01/40

02/02/40

SL 017

04/02/40

04/02/40

07/02/40

07/02/40

OB 087

10/02/40

10/02/40

18/02/40

18/02/40

OB 094

20/02/40

22/02/40

26/02/40

26/02/40

OB 099

29/02/40

01/03/40

23/03/40

23/03/40

OB 115

unknown

25/03/40

25/03/40

25/03/40

OG 023

26/03/40

31/03/40

20/03/40

27/03/40

HG 023

30/03/40

30/03/40

01/04/40

01/04/40

OB 121

04/04/40

04/04/40

22/03/40

05/04/40

SL 025

08/04/40

08/04/40

05/07/40

05/07/40

OB 179

08/07/40

09/07/40

25/06/40

09/07/40

SL 037

12/07/40

12/07/40

06/07/40

15/07/40

BC A

16/07/40

16/07/40

21/07/40

21/07/40

OB 187

25/07/40

25/07/40

08/07/40

25/07/40

SL 039

29/07/40

29/07/40

29/07/40

30/07/40

OB 191

02/08/40

02/08/40

16/07/40

03/08/40

SL 040

08/08/40

08/08/40

10/08/40

10/08/40

ZA

unknown

19/08/40

18/08/40

18/08/40

OB 200

21/08/40

22/08/40

11/08/40

22/08/40

HG 041

24/08/40

26/08/40

20/08/40

31/08/40

HX 067

04/09/40

04/09/40

21/09/40

21/09/40

OB 217

24/09/40

25/09/40

13/09/40

24/09/40

HX 073

28/09/40

28/09/40

01/10/40

01/10/40

OB 222

04/10/40

05/10/40

19/09/40

05/10/40

SL 048

09/10/40

09/10/40

23/10/40

24/10/40

OB 233

27/10/40

27/10/40

16/10/40

28/10/40

HX 081

01/11/40

02/11/40

29/10/40

10/11/40

SC 010

13/11/40

13/11/40

20/11/40

20/11/40

OB 246

24/11/40

24/11/40

04/11/40

24/11/40

SL 054

26/11/40

26/11/40

30/11/40

02/12/40

OB 252

06/12/40

04/12/40

25/11/40

06/12/40

HX 091

10/12/40

11/12/40

26/02/41

28/02/41

OB 291

03/03/41

03/03/41

10/02/41

04/03/41

SL 065

08/03/41

08/03/41

01/03/41

15/03/41

HX 112

19/03/41

20/03/41

27/03/41

27/03/41

OG 057

01/04/41

11/04/41

31/03/41

13/04/41

HX 118

18/04/41

18/04/41

10/04/41

21/04/41

HX 120

29/04/41

29/04/41

20/04/41

04/05/41

HX 122

08/05/41

08/05/41

12/05/41

12/05/41

OB 322

18/05/41

20/05/41

06/05/41

18/05/41

HX 125A

22/05/41

22/05/41

28/05/41

28/05/41

OB 327

01/06/41

01/06/41

20/05/41

unknown

HX 128

06/06/41

06/06/41

10/06/41

10/06/41

OB 333

14/06/41

21/06/41

04/06/41

15/06/41

HG 064

19/06/41

19/06/41

24/06/41

24/06/41

OG 066

29/06/41

08/07/41

08/06/41

29/06/41

SL 077

03/07/41

03/07/41

12/07/41

12/07/41

OG 068

18/07/41

26/07/41

24/07/41

25/07/41

OS 001

26/07/41

10/08/41

18/07/41

28/07/41

HG 068

02/08/41

02/08/41

24/07/41

11/08/41

SL 082

15/08/41

15/08/41

23/08/41

23/08/41

OS 004

28/08/41

11/09/41

25/08/41

11/09/41

SL 085

17/09/41

17/09/41

02/09/41

12/09/41

HG 072

17/09/41

17/09/41

25/09/41

25/09/41

ON 020

30/09/41

09/10/41

24/09/41

04/10/41

SC 046

10/10/41

10/10/41

17/01/42

29/01/42

SC 065

01/02/42

04/02/42

14/02/42

28/02/42

ON 067

01/03/42

01/03/42

03/03/42

03/03/42

HX 178

07/03/42

17/03/42

05/03/42

16/03/42

ON 073

18/03/42

16/03/42

30/03/42

30/03/42

SC 077

03/04/42

16/04/42

17/04/42

17/04/42

SC 080

22/04/42

03/05/42

10/05/42

10/05/42

HX 189

13/05/42

20/05/42

06/05/42

17/05/42

ON 092

21/05/42

21/05/42

21/05/42

21/05/42

XB 021

22/05/42

23/05/42

05/06/42

05/06/42

SC 086

08/06/42

20/06/42

05/06/42

14/06/42

ON 101

18/06/42

18/06/42

26/06/42

26/06/42

SC 089

29/06/42

11/07/42

26/06/42

05/07/42

ON 107

unknown

09/07/42

10/07/42

10/07/42

BX 028B

12/07/42

12/07/42

17/07/42

17/07/42

SC 092

19/07/42

31/07/42

17/07/42

26/07/42

ON 113

31/07/42

31/07/42

09/08/42

09/08/42

HX 202

12/08/42

21/08/42

02/08/42

14/08/42

ON 118

unknown

20/08/42

21/08/42

21/08/42

BX 034C

23/08/42

23/08/42

29/08/42

29/08/42

SC 098

02/09/42

13/09/42

28/08/42

07/09/42

ON 125

10/09/42

12/09/42

29/08/42

16/09/42

ON 126

18/09/42

18/09/42

11/09/42

22/09/42

ON 129

25/09/42

25/09/42

01/10/42

01/10/42

HX 210

04/10/42

16/10/42

26/09/42

14/10/42

ON 134

17/10/42

17/10/42

18/10/42

18/10/42

HX 212

21/10/42

02/11/42

24/10/42

27/10/42

SC 107

01/11/42

10/11/42

25/10/42

03/11/42

ON 141

07/11/42

10/11/42

19/11/42

19/11/42

HX 216

22/11/42

06/12/42

25/11/42

28/11/42

SC 111

01/12/42

17/12/42

28/07/43

31/07/43

KMS 022G

09/08/43

09/08/43

05/09/43

05/09/43

KMS 026G

18/09/43

18/09/43

25/09/43

25/09/43

MKS 025G

08/10/43

08/10/43

17/10/43

17/10/43

KMS 030G

01/11/43

01/11/43

03/11/43

03/11/43

MKS 029G

17/11/43

18/11/43

25/11/43

02/12/43

OS 060KM

07/12/43

07/12/43

07/12/43

07/12/43

KMS 034G

09/12/43

09/12/43

13/12/43

13/12/43

MKS 033G

14/12/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

SL 142MK

24/12/43

28/12/43

20/02/44

20/02/44

JW 057

28/02/44

28/02/44

02/03/44

02/03/44

RA 057

10/03/44

10/03/44

27/03/44

29/03/44

JW 058

04/04/44

04/04/44

07/04/44

07/04/44

RA 058

12/04/44

14/04/44

28/04/44

28/04/44

RA 059

03/05/44

06/05/44

26/05/44

26/05/44

WP 528

28/05/44

28/05/44

13/06/44

13/06/44

EBC 011

16/06/44

16/06/44

07/07/44

07/07/44

EBC 034

09/07/44

unknown

16/07/44

16/07/44

EBC 043

18/07/44

18/07/44

19/07/44

19/07/44

FBC 031

21/07/44

21/07/44

25/07/44

25/07/44

EBC 052

27/07/44

27/07/44

28/07/44

28/07/44

FBC 039

30/07/44

30/07/44

20/10/44

20/10/44

JW 061

28/10/44

28/10/44

02/11/44

02/11/44

RA 061

09/11/44

09/11/44

12/12/44

12/12/44

DS 060

14/12/44

14/12/44

15/12/44

15/12/44

SD 060

19/12/44

19/12/44

30/12/44

30/12/44

JW 063

08/01/45

08/01/45

11/01/45

11/01/45

RA 063

21/01/45

21/01/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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