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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 WOOLSTON (L 49) -  V & W-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Woolston (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Thornycroft W-Class destroyer included in the 10th Order of the 1916 - 17 Programme for build by Thornycroft at Woolston. She was laid down on 25th April 1917and launched on 27th January 1918 as the first RN ship to carry the name which had been chosen as a compliment to this shipbuilder who had been associated with the design and build of destroyers since 1874. Build was completed on 28th June that year. After service with the Fleet during WW1 she was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet in 1921 .Later the Flotilla transferred to the Mediterranean before being placed in Reserve. During 1938 she was selected for conversion to an AA Escort by HM Dockyard Chatham. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK in March 1942 this ship was adopted by Congleton, Cheshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC   1941 - ARCTIC   1942 - NORTH SEA  1941-43 - SICILY  1943

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, a Roman galley, Silver.

 

M o t t o

Quo majores ducunt:   'Where our forefathers lead we follow'

 

 

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             Under refit and conversion for use as an AA Escort (WAIR).

                                (For details of conversion see V&W DESTROYERS 1917-45 by A Preston).

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to that used by Escort

                                Destroyers.)

 

October                  Post refit trials and commissioned for service.

 

November              Joined Nore Command for convoy defence in Channel and North Sea.

 

December              Convoy Defence in Nore Command in continuation.

 

1 9 4 0

 

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

to                            (Note: Not involved in evacuation of troops from Dunkirk bur retained on convoy.

December              defence and anti-invasion patrol duties).

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Nore Command deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: Detached for defence of Atlantic convoys in Western Approaches).

December              For details of North Sea convoy duties see THREE CORVETTES by N Monsarrat) .

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Nore Command deployment in continuation.

 

February                Nominated for detached service with Home Fleet.

                                Passage to join Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

 

March                    Part of destroyer screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK,

                                HM Battlecruiser RENOWN. HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS. HM Cruisers BERWICK

                                and KENYA with HM Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ECHO, ECLIPSE, FAULKNOR,

                                FURY, GROVE, ICARUS, INCONSTANT, INTREPID, JAVELIN, LANCASTER, LEDBURY,

                                LOOKOUT, ONSLOW, PUNJABI, TARTAR, VERDUN and WELLS, covering passage

                                of Russian Convoy PQ12 and returning Convoy PQ8.

                                (For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg

                                ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield

                                and CONVOY ! by P Kemp).

                                On release from Home Fleet duties resumed convoy defence in Nore Command.

 

April                       North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to

May

 

June                        Nominated for detached service in Atlantic for defence of military convoys prior to allied landings

                                in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).

                20th        Passage to Clyde to join escort for military convoy WS31 during passage to Gibraltar.

                21st         Deployed with HM Destroyers ARROW, BLANKNEY, BLENCATHRA, BRECON, BRISSENDEN,

                                HAMBLEDON, LEDBURY, MENDIP, VICEROY, WALLACE and WITHERINGTON as part of

                                WS31 Ocean Escort.

                26th        Detached from WS31 on arrival at Gibraltar.

 

July                         Passage to Bone

                                Nominated for service with Eastern Support in Escort Group V.

                7th          Sailed from Bone as part of military convoy KMF18 during passage to beach head.

                9th          Detached from KMF18 to refuel in Malta.

                10th        Passage to join Escort Group to provide AA defence in anchorage of beach head and for interception

                                patrol in support of landing operations.

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Bamett and Naval

                                Staff History).

                                (Note: Major ships in Support Force included H M Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, UGANDA,

                                MAURITIUS, ORION, CARLISLE, COLOMBO and DELHI).

 

August                  On release from HUSKY took passage to resume duties in Nore Command..

 

September             Coastal convoy defence in North Sea in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  North Sea coastal convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

to                            (Note: Not deployed in support of allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

 December             See LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO).

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  North Sea deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: During this period German minelaying and SCHNORKEL submarine activities

April                       greatly increased and additional patrols were made to ensure safe passage of convoys

                                including those to Belgium)

                                (See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith).

 

 

May                        After VJ Day deployed for escort of minesweepers.

                14th        Provided escort with HM Destroyer WOLFHOUND during clearance of minefields prior to

                                re-occupation of Stavanger.

 

June                        North Sea deployment in support of military re-occupation of European countries.

to

August 

 

Special   Note

 

This destroyer, modified in 1939 to provide AA defence for convoys, was another of the many unsung heroines of the continuous struggle against both enemy and weather to ensure safe passage of East coast convoys. Little publicity was given of actions against E-Boats and aircraft nor of dangers faced and met with great courage. It should be remembered that many convoys arrived without loss.

 

Post  War  Notes

 

HMS WOOLSTON was Paid-off and was reduced to Reserve status after VJ Day and was not redeployed.  She was placed on the Disposal List in 1946 and sold to BISCO on 18th February 1947 for demolition by G Brunton at Grangemouth The ship arrived in tow at the breakerís yard on the Forth later that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WOOLSTON

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

 

 

 

 

 

03/11/39

03/11/39

FS 0031

05/11/39

05/11/39

09/11/39

09/11/39

FS 0034

11/11/39

11/11/39

15/11/39

15/11/39

FS 0037

17/11/39

17/11/39

19/11/39

19/11/39

FS 0039

21/11/39

21/11/39

23/12/39

23/12/39

FS 0058

24/12/39

24/12/39

26/12/39

26/12/39

FN 0059

28/12/39

28/12/39

03/01/40

03/01/40

FS 0063

05/01/40

05/01/40

26/01/40

26/01/40

FS 0082

28/01/40

28/01/40

05/02/40

05/02/40

FS 0088

07/02/40

07/02/40

25/02/40

25/02/40

FS 0105

27/02/40

27/02/40

08/03/40

08/03/40

FS 0116

10/03/40

10/03/40

11/03/40

11/03/40

FN 0118

13/03/40

13/03/40

15/03/40

15/03/40

FS 0122

17/03/40

17/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

FN 0123

20/03/40

20/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

FN 0124

20/03/40

20/03/40

28/03/40

28/03/40

FS 0132

30/03/40

30/03/40

28/03/40

28/03/40

MT 039

28/03/40

28/03/40

02/04/40

02/04/40

TM 037

03/04/40

03/04/40

04/04/40

04/04/40

FS 0138

06/04/40

06/04/40

07/04/40

07/04/40

FN 0140

09/04/40

09/04/40

19/04/40

19/04/40

FS 0150

21/04/40

21/04/40

26/04/40

26/04/40

FS 0156

28/04/40

28/04/40

26/04/40

26/04/40

MT 060

26/04/40

26/04/40

09/06/40

09/06/40

FS 0191

11/06/40

11/06/40

09/06/40

09/06/40

MT 085

09/06/40

09/06/40

12/06/40

12/06/40

FN 0194

14/06/40

14/06/40

16/06/40

16/06/40

MT 089

17/06/40

17/06/40

17/06/40

17/06/40

FS 0197

19/06/40

19/06/40

20/06/40

20/06/40

FN 0200

22/06/40

22/06/40

23/06/40

23/06/40

FS 0203

26/06/40

26/06/40

23/06/40

23/06/40

MT 094

25/06/40

25/06/40

27/06/40

27/06/40

FN 0206

29/06/40

29/06/40

05/07/40

05/07/40

FS 0215

07/07/40

07/07/40

08/07/40

08/07/40

FN 0217

09/07/40

10/07/40

09/07/40

09/07/40

FN 0218

11/07/40

11/07/40

12/07/40

12/07/40

FS 0221

14/07/40

14/07/40

16/07/40

16/07/40

FN 0224

17/07/40

18/07/40

19/07/40

19/07/40

FS 0226

21/07/40

21/07/40

22/07/40

22/07/40

FN 0229

24/07/40

24/07/40

31/07/40

01/08/40

FS 0238

02/08/40

02/08/40

03/08/40

03/08/40

FN 0241

05/08/40

05/08/40

07/08/40

07/08/40

FS 0245

09/08/40

09/08/40

14/08/40

14/08/40

FS 0252

16/08/40

16/08/40

28/08/40

28/08/40

FN 0265

30/08/40

30/08/40

01/09/40

01/09/40

FS 0269

03/09/40

03/09/40

04/09/40

04/09/40

FN 0272

06/09/40

06/09/40

11/09/40

11/09/40

FS 0278

14/09/40

14/09/40

14/09/40

14/09/40

FN 0280

16/09/40

16/09/40

17/09/40

17/09/40

FN 0283

19/09/40

19/09/40

20/09/40

20/09/40

FS 0286

21/09/40

21/09/40

22/09/40

22/09/40

FN 0288

24/09/40

24/09/40

03/10/40

03/10/40

FN 0298

05/10/40

05/10/40

08/10/40

08/10/40

FS 0304

11/10/40

11/10/40

11/10/40

11/10/40

FN 0306

13/10/40

13/10/40

16/10/40

16/10/40

FS 0311

19/10/40

19/10/40

19/10/40

19/10/40

FN 0314

20/10/40

20/10/40

27/10/40

27/10/40

FS 0321

30/10/40

30/10/40

30/10/40

30/10/40

FN 0323

01/11/40

01/11/40

10/11/40

10/11/40

FN 0331

12/11/40

12/11/40

14/11/40

14/11/40

FS 0335

16/11/40

16/11/40

17/11/40

17/11/40

FN 0336

19/11/40

19/11/40

26/11/40

26/11/40

FS 0346

28/11/40

28/11/40

30/11/40

30/11/40

FN 0347

02/12/40

02/12/40

04/12/40

04/12/40

FS 0353

08/12/40

08/12/40

09/12/40

09/12/40

FN 0355

11/12/40

11/12/40

13/12/40

13/12/40

FS 0360

15/12/40

15/12/40

25/12/40

25/12/40

FS 0371

28/12/40

28/12/40

10/01/41

10/01/41

FS 0385

13/01/41

13/01/41

26/01/41

26/01/41

FS 0396

28/01/41

28/01/41

29/01/41

29/01/41

FN 0395

31/01/41

31/01/41

04/02/41

04/02/41

FN 0399

06/02/41

06/02/41

10/02/41

05/03/41

SL 065

07/03/41

08/03/41

12/03/41

12/03/41

OB 297

17/03/41

17/03/41

05/03/41

17/03/41

HX 113

20/03/41

21/03/41

27/03/41

27/03/41

OG 057

01/04/41

11/04/41

27/04/41

28/04/41

OB 316

29/04/41

05/05/41

03/08/41

07/08/41

OS 002

10/08/41

22/08/41

24/07/41

10/08/41

SL 082

15/08/41

15/08/41

01/10/41

01/10/41

BB 083

02/10/41

02/10/41

20/10/41

20/10/41

BB 091

22/10/41

22/10/41

01/03/42

10/03/42

PQ 012

10/03/42

12/03/42

28/06/43

28/06/43

MKF 017

30/06/43

30/06/43

13/06/43

02/07/43

UGS 010

06/07/43

10/07/43

28/06/43

07/07/43

KMF 018

10/07/43

11/07/43

22/07/43

22/07/43

GUS 010X

25/07/43

13/08/43

26/07/43

29/07/43

MKS 019Y

31/07/43

31/07/43

31/07/43

31/07/43

MKF 020

04/08/43

11/08/43

31/07/43

31/07/43

MKS 020

04/08/43

10/08/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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