1 9 3 9
September Under refit and repair
November Commissioned for service
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr J E
(Note: This officer achieved renown
as a successful commander of convoy
destroyer and later as commanding Officer of HM Destroyer
KEPPEL which was one of the escorts
for the ill-fated Russian Convoy
PQ17. See his book CONVOY IS TO
Following an association with the
Company of Veteran Motorists he was
obtain an enlarged version of the Badge given to their Members
this emblem fitted to the Bridge of this destroyer.)
December On completion of post refit trials
joined Western Approaches Command in18th
Destroyer Flotilla based at Plymouth for Channel escort and antisubmarine
(Note: 18th Destroyer Flotilla also
included HM Destroyers WHITSHED and
Ocean Convoys were assembled in SW Approaches and
escorted in to a Dispersal Point from whence mercantiles
Similarly inward convoys were met in SW Approaches and
escorted to Liverpool or southern ports as appropriate.
Headquarters of Western Approaches
Command was at Plymouth until
to Liverpool in 1940. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C
Barnett. and Naval Staff History for details of
September 1939 and March 1940. For
details of U-Boat
see HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOAT WAR
IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO))
1 9 4 0
with HM Destroyer WANDERER and joined HM Destroyers
ACTIVE and WISHART as escort for
inward Convoy HG13F during
of passage into Irish Sea.
Detached with HMS VETERAN and HMS
ACTIVE and took return passage to
(Note: HMS WANDERER remained with HG13F
as escort for passage to
and arrived at Liverpool on 5th January.)
February Western Approaches deployment in
(Note: For details of anti-submarine
weapons available and weaknesses
since September 1939 see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann
in collision with HM Submarine H46 whilst part of escort for HM
Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL.
(Note: HMS ARK ROYAL was on passage
to meet HM Cruiser EXETER on
passage to Plymouth from the South Atlantic after
the River Plate victory.)
out unsuccessful anti-submarine operation in SW Approaches with
HM Destroyers WILD SWAN, VENOMOUS and
outward Convoy OA107.
in collision with ss HORN SHELL during escort for
(Note: OA107 dispersed on 13th.)
Taken in hand for
repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport.
with Flotilla for detached Home Fleet service after German invasion
troopships CHOBRY and BATORY from Scapa Flow to join
for passage to Norway for landings (Operation RUPERT/R4)
Deployed for escort
convoys and support of operations off Norway.
(For details of deployment of naval
units in Home waters in this period see
May Home Fleet deployment in support of Norwegian
operations in continuation.
ss ULSTER PRINCE during return passage from Molde after the
Under repair to
HM Aircraft Carriers GLORIOUS and FURIOUS with HM Destroyers
DIANA and VISCOUNT during passage
from Clyde to Norway to continue
operations for defence of naval units off Norway and military operations.
For full details of this period see
Naval Staff History, NARVIK by D MacIntyre,
THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by Adams and
CARRIER GLORIOUS by John
to withdraw from Norway and to carry out major evacuation made.
damage in collision with damaged mercantile NGKOA (sic) during escort.
(Note: Pennant Numbers by RN escorts
for visual signalling purposes were
ship was allocated Flag I Numeric 72.).
June Deployed at Harstad for ferrying duties take
troops from shore to returning ships.
release from ferrying duties ordered to join HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE
taking passage to UK with HM King Haakon and his entourage
as well as
diplomatic personnel to UK. See Naval Staff History,
Released from this requirement due to
lack of fuel and took passage to replenish,
34 survivors from HMS GLORIOUS, HM Destroyers ACASTA and
ARDENT at Thorshvn. Faeroes and took passage to Rosyth.
For details see CARRIER GLORIOUS.
Commanding Officer was Commander JE Broome who later was
the disastrous dispersal of Russian Convoy PQ17 and
his reactions on this occasion in his book THE CONVOY
IS TO SCATTER.)
On release from Home Fleet detached
duties resumed convoy defence with Flotilla.
Harwich for local duties in North Sea.
July Harwich deployment for anti-invasion patrol
and convoy defence.
to August Anti-invasion
patrols in continuation (Operation RIVAL)
For details of deployments in North Sea see THE BATTLE FOR THE EAST
COAST by J P Foynes
and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith
During this period repair were carried out by HM Dockyard Chatham
armament changes, possible to fit 20mm weapons for close
September Harwich deployment in continuation.
patrol off Ostend with HM Destroyers WILD SWAN and MALCOLM
damage after detonating an acoustic mine
Taken in hand for repair by HM
30th Transferred to Western Approaches Command for Atlantic convoy
October Deployed for Atlantic convoy
escort based at Londonderry
outward Convoy OB293 as Senior Officer of Local Escort during passage
from OB235 on dispersal and returned to Liverpool.
Convoys destined for ports in north
America were escorted from
Liverpool to a Dispersal point about 15 W whence they took
passage. An inward convoy was usually met in the
area and escort back to Liverpool.
See U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO). THE BATTLE
OF THE ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre, SEEK AND STRIKE and
BUSINESS IN GREAT
WATERS by J Terraine.)
November Western Approaches convoy escort
1 9 4 1
outward Convoy OB268 with HM Destroyer WOLVERINE as Local
Escort during passage to Dispersal
from OB268 with HMS WOLVERINE and took passage to join
Convoy SC17 as Local Escort during passage into Liverpool.
from SC17 on arrival.
in collision with HM Destroyer VERITY
Nominated for repair at Barrow-in
to Barrow .
Western Approaches embarked for this passage.)
Taken in hand by
Vickers shipyard for refit and docking.
(Note: Medium Frequency Direction
Finding Outfit FM7 was fitted during
as an aid to navigation. It had little value for detection of
transmissions from submarines which used much higher
Suitable equipment for this purposes was fitted later
escorts, See SEEK AND STRIKE.)
out post refit trials and resumed escort duties at Liverpool.
Escort Group. (Note: Events 1st to 13th March confirmed by
Steve Halford, whose father A F "Prof" Halford was RDF operator,
1940-41. VETERAN stayed at Barrow until this date,
1030, carried out trial shoot and arrived Liverpool 2000)
as Senior Ship of Local Escort of outward Convoy OB 98 to
from convoy to join Home Fleet search for German commerce
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU which had attacked Atlantic
Convoy dispersed on this date but ship may have left earlier,
For details of German raider
activities see THE BATTLE OF THE
ATLANTIC and Naval
release from search rejoined HMS WOLVERINE for Local Escort of
Convoy SL67 during passage in NW Approaches.
Fleet search operation was unsuccessful.)
from SL67 and took passage to refuel.
See THE ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM 1939-45
by A Hague for details
of some of
the more important Atlantic convoys and their control.)
with HM Destroyer WOLVERINE to carry out search for ships
Convoy SC26 that had been scattered after sustained attacks
by U73, U74
(Note: This convoy comprised 23 ships
on departure from Halifax on 20th
a single warship, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser
Six ships in convoy were sunk whilst in
two were damaged including the escorting AMC.
See THE ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM 1938-45
and HITLER'S U-
BOAT WAR by C
Other ships from SC26 were sunk
whilst sailing independently
had scattered due to weather conditions.)
in reforming convoy and joined HM Destroyers HAVELOCK,
HESPERUS, WOLVERINE, HM Sloop SCARBOROUGH and HM
Corvette ARBUTUS as
part of escort.
Detached for rescue survivors from ss ATHENIC which had been sunk
whilst still sailing alone after SC26 had scattered.
from ss HARBLEDOWN.
was later sunk by HMS WOLVERINE. See U-BOATS
DESTROYED by P
Returned to Clyde with survivors.
May Atlantic convoy defence in continuation
survivors from British flagged ss NERISSA which was
when sunk by U552.
June Atlantic deployment in continuation
from survivors from ss AINDERBY.
Survivors had been sighted by aircraft.
This ship is presumed to have been
sailing independently as
it is not
recorded in the Official List Losses in Convoy.
23rd Under repair at Londonderry.
July Atlantic convoy
deployment in continuation.
repair at Plymouth.
August Joined HM Destroyers DOUGLAS, LEAMINGTON, SKATE, SALADIN,
HM Corvettes ABELIA, ANEMONE and
VERONICA in 2nd Escort Group
Based at Londonderry for Atlantic convoy defence.
September Atlantic convoy defence with Group
Deployed in Iceland.
with HMS DOUGLAS, HMS LEAMINGTON, HM Corvettes
WETASKIWIN (RCN), HM Trawlers BUTTERMERE and
WINDERMERE to support Canadian Escort
Group24 escorting inward Convoy
SC42 under attacks
by MARKGRAF Group.
10th (Note: This convoy comprised 65 ships including the CAM Ship EMPIRE
HUDSON which was sunk by U82.)
SC42 escort and detached with HMS LEAMINGTON to investigate
sighting of U-Boat ahead of convoy
Carried out series of depth charge
attacks with HMS LEAMINGTON on
U207 which had
submerged on approach.
(Note: These attacks sank the
submarine in Denmark Strait and were
the these two destroyers in post war analysis
. See U-BOATS
DESTROYED by P Kemp.)
ceased shadowing convoy for which escort had been further
by three US Navy destroyers.
loss in convoy of 15 mercantiles was the greatest since
1940 when 21 ships
on inward Convoy SC7 were sunk.)
October Atlantic convoy escort with
Group in continuation.
ships escorted inward Convoy SC45 of 58 ships which
arrived at Liverpool on 4th, inward Convoy HX154 of 51 ships
23rd, and to Dispersal Point outward Convoys ON18
of 25 ships on
2nd with ONS25 of 29 ships on 23rd.)
November During this period the Group
escorted outward Convoys ONS32 of
49 ships and ON39
of 35 ships to Dispersal Point.
December During this period the Group
escorted outward Convoys ON46 of 28
Ships to the Dispersal Point and
inward Convoy HX161 of 42 ships into
conversion to Short Range Escort.
See V&W DESTROYERS by A Preston
for details of changes to be made.
Passage to Thames.
1 9 4 2
January Under refit and conversion
for use as a Short Range Escort in commercial
shipyard in London.
For details of new weapons developed
for anti-submarine defence
See SEEK AND STRIKE.
February On completion of dockyard worked
carried out pots refit trials.
26th Passage to Tobermory to work-up for operational service.
detached service off east coast of USA and Canada.
Assistance was provided to US Navy to provide experienced defence
determined efforts being made by German U-Boats to
shipping off the east coast of America. See ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY,
SEEK AND STRIKE and BUSINESS
IN GREAT WATERS.)
April Passage to Newfoundland for detached duty
May Deployed for defence of convoys between US
and Canadian ports to
to August Newfoundland.
For details of changes in tactics
used in defence of convoys
U-Boats for Group attacks see THE BATTLE OF THE
ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre and CAPTAIN GILBERT ROBERTS
was fitted with HEDGEHOG anti-submarine mortar by this period.)
September Nominated for escort of special
convoy identified as RB1 during
passage to UK.
identity as given in HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR, Vol 2
by C Blair
is an acronym for Rivers to Britain and was
convoy comprising Great Lakes River Steamers which
transferred under Lease Lend to Great Britain. They
were ss BOSTON, ss NEW YORK, ss SOUTHLAND, ss
YORKTOWN, ss PRESIDENT
and ss NEW BEDFORD.
No passengers were carried in ships
of convoy although German
later implied that RB1 was a troop convoy.)
(Added note from John Lawton of Wrexham, North Wales, the town that adopted
VETERAN, and who published a private account of her: his understanding is that
RB stood for River Boat(s), and that a second RB was planned but never sailed)
from Halifax with HM Destroyer VANOC as escort for RB1
from New York with RB1.
Sighted by U380 and reported to U-Boat headquarters which ordered the formation
of a new
U-Boat Group BLITZ specifically for co-ordinated attacks on RB1.
of VORWARTS and PFIEL Groups were also deployed.
25th ss BOSTON sunk by U216 (PFIEL)
YORK sunk by U96 (VORWARTS) and 28 survivors rescued.
ordered to reform and ship deployed to collect ships.
Came under attack
by U404 (VORWARTS).
Hit by two torpedoes and sank quickly
in position 54.51N 23.04W
south of Iceland after an explosion.
No survivors were rescued from this
ship but HM Frigate EXE and
HM Corvette GENTIAN rescued survivors
from the mercantile.
(Note: ss YORKTOWN sunk later by U619 (VORWARTS).
The Casualty List was published on 14th November
U404 was sunk in the Atlantic in July 1942 by two USAF
LIBERATOR AIRCRAFT and an RAF
224 Squadron. None of the submarine crew survived.
For details of attacks by U-Boats on
RB1 see HITLER’S
U-BOAT WAR, Vol
2 and WARSHIPS SUPPLEMENT
No 82 Autumn