V-Class destroyer ordered from Stephen's,
Govan, Glasgow in the 9th Order, 1916-17 Programme and
laid down on 1st
February 1917. She was launched on 28th February 1918 and was the 2nd RN ship
to carry the name
first used for a hired mercantile in 1800. Her build was completed on 27th
April 1918 and
she served with the Fleet during WW1 and remained in use after the Armistice.
In 1921 this destroyer was
deployed in the 6th Destroyer Flotilla Atlantic Fleet and was one of the first
to be fitted with submarine detection
equipment in 1923.She was later placed in Reserve until 1939 when recommissioned for convoy defence
duties. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942
this ship was adopted
by the civil community of Todmorden, West Riding of Yorkshire.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
1940-44 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 - MALTA
- NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944
WESTCOTT, WISHART, WRESTLER and ANTELOPE, US destroyers
USS LANG and USS
STERETT also took part).
17th Part of escort for HM Aircraft Carriers ARGUS and EAGLE with
HMS CHARYBDIS, HM
PARTRIDGE, ITHURIEL, ANTELOPE, WISHART, WESTCOTT and WRESTLER]
for an aircraft delivery to Malta (Operation LB).
20th On release from LB resumed convoy defence duties
June Atlantic convoy defence
10th Detached for service in Force H.
11th Joined escort for HM Battleship MALAYA, HMS ARGUS, HMS EAGLE,
CHARYBDIS, KENYA and LIVERPOOL with HM Destroyers
WISHART, WRESTLER and ANTELOPE in Force W to cover passage of
Malta relief convoy to the
Sicilian Channel (Operation HARPOON - See above references).
16th Returned to Gibraltar as screen for HMS ARGUS and HMS MALAYA
with HM Destroyers
ESCAPADE, WISHART and WRESTLER.
MOVEMENTS 18th-30th JUNE 1942
by Geoff Morgan
I have read with great interest and gratitude, the
information on HMS VIDETTE. I note that there is some doubt about her
activities in the period June 1942. My father was a member of the crew of VIDETTE at that time
and kept a daily diary of events. I have confirmed most of what he recorded
from other sources, and have every confidence that his observations and notes
are accurate. Briefly his entries for the end of June 1942 include the
following observations. I have included some irrelevant observations only to
support those that matter.
Thursday 18th - In
Gibraltar. Ship left
at 2124 for U Patrol. Saw
CHARYBDIS and WELSHMAN coming in to port. Also Italian ships VULCANIA and
SATURNIA back in the Bay with Italian people from
Friday 19th - Returned to
at 0800, tied up to WRESTLER in No1 dock.
Saturday 20th - Went on CARADOC and met townies.
Left Gibraltar at 2118 for U Patrol.
Sunday 21st - Returned to No1 dock alongside WRESTLER at
0758. Eleven of
LIVERPOOL's dead were put on trawler
LAUREL at 1930 for burial at sea.
Monday 22nd - In port.
Tuesday 23rd - In port
Wednesday 24th - Ship left
at 0140, proceeded west with WISHART and ANTELOPE escorting
Thursday 25th - At sea. Well west,
as it was still dusk at
Friday 26th - At 0845 sighted convoy and by 1000 was on the
way back to
Gibraltar with one big boat, NARKUNDA,
MALAYA with convoy which was a big one.
About fifteen liners and five big cargo boats.
Saturday 27th - At sea. At 1330
dropped three depth charges on suspect. No result.
Sunday 28th - Ship tied into pens at 1825, in
Monday 29th - In port.Air raid at 0130. No damage.
Tuesday 30th - Ship left at 1754.
destroyer with convoy of 20 ships, with two sloops and some corvettes.
18th At Gibraltar.
(Note: One source suggests this ship was part of escort for
military convoy WS20
during Atlantic passage from UK to Freetown and that she detached on 26th
June with HMS
BEAGLE and HMS WOLVERINE to escort ss NARKUNDA from
WS20 to Gibraltar with HMS WISHART which had sailed to
meet WS20 from
In view of the
time scale involved and since HMS VIDETTE was part of the
Flotilla it is more likely that she took passage with HMS
WISHART from Gibraltar and returned with ss
NARKUNDA, HM Destroyers
WOLVERINE, both from WS20 escort, to Gibraltar.
further investigation as the ship could not have reached UK to
escort WS20 when it sailed from Clyde on 20th June.)
July Atlantic convoy defence
August Nominated for conversion to
Long Range Escort Destroyer.
(For details see
General Information and V&W Destroyers by A. Preston).
9th Detached for service with Force H.
10th Deployed for escort of Convoy WS21 Malta
Relief convoy in Western Mediterranean.
with HM Destroyers KEPPEL, WESTCOTT, VENOMOUS, MALCOLM,
PEDESTAL - For details see PEDESTAL by Peter C Smith
and as above).
15th On release from PEDESTAL resumed Flotilla duties and prepare
Passage to Sheerness.
Taken in hand by HM Dockyard for conversion.
October Under refit.
1 9 4 3
January Post refit
trials and work-up prior to service with 7th British Escort Group.
February Deployed in Western Approaches
for Atlantic convoy defence with Group.
5th Part of escort for Convoy HX231 with HM Frigate TAY, HM Corvettes ALISMA, PINK,
SNOWFLAKE and LOOSESTRIFE of Group.
(Note: Convoy was under threat from LOWENHERZ U- Boat Group
that sank 6 ships).
21st Part of escort for Convoy ONS5 with ships of Group
22nd Detached in North
independent passage to Iceland to collect three more
ships and escort them to join ONS5 during N. Atlantic passage.
26th Rejoined convoy with ships from Iceland.
4th During escort of Convoy ONS5 with HMS TAY, HM Corvettes
LOOSESTRIFE, HM Destroyers ORIBI and OFFA under heavy series of
attacks by U-Boats of AMSEL Group.
6th Detected U125 on surface and attacked by HEDGEHOG mortar
forcing it to submerge.
(Note: This submarine was later sunk by depth charges from
HMS SNOWFLAKE after
it had been again caught on the surface and rammed by HMS
17th Part of escort for Convoy SC130 with HM Destroyer DUNCAN, HMS
SNOWFLAKE, HMS PINK, HMS LOOSESTRIFE and Canadian
HM corvette KITCHENER (RCN).
19th Took part in attacks on submarines of
ODER Group with other escorts of SC130.
(For details of
the convoy defence operations at this critical stage see U-BOAT
WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by
(Note: Details of weapons and tactics used in the Battle by escorts and U-Boats
see SEEK AND
STRIKE by W Hackmann
and BUSINESS IN GREAT
WATERS by John Terraine).
June Atlantic convoy defence
with Group in continuation.
August Under maintenance.
Atlantic convoy defence with
Group in continuation.
October Deployed with HMS DUNCAN, HM Corvettes SUNFLOWER,
and PINK in support of 6th British Escort Group escorting
15th Took part in defence of Convoy ONS206 against U-Boat attacks
16th Detached with ships of 7th Escort Group
to support escort of Convoy ONS206 under attack.
(Note: U631 is sunk later by depth charge attacks from HMS
SUNFLOWER during the
passage to join ONS20).
17th Deployed with HM Destroyer DUNCAN and Frigates
DRURY, BAZELY and
US Destroyer BARRY in defence of ONS206 driving off U-boats.
23rd Deployed in search for U274 with HMS
(Note: This submarine had been reported by RAF Liberator
aircraft whilst taking
radar spare to HMS SUNFLOWER).
Took part in
destruction of U274 by HEDGEHOG attacks with HMS DUNCAN and depth
charge attack from Liberator Z (224 Squadron in
position 57.14N 27.SOW.
There were no
survivors from the U-Boat.
28th Deployed with Group in support of
passage of Convoy ON208.
29th Detached to support Convoy HX263
located U282 by radar and took part in attacks on submarine with
HMS DUNCAN and SUNFLOWER using HEDGEHOG mortar.
for sinking U282 in position 55.28N 31.57W with these ships.
November Atlantic deployment with Group in continuation.
1 9 4 4
January Atlantic convoy defence with
Group in continuation.
May Nominated for detachment
from Western Approaches Command for escort and support
of allied landings in Normandy.
(Operation NEPTUNE - For details of activities prior to and
during the landings
See OPERATION NEPTUNEBy K Edwards
and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY,
JUNE 1944 (HMSO)
Passage to join Force O for service in Western Task Force Area.
June Deployed in Channel for
escort of Landing Ships and Landing Craft of Force 0 to
beachhead with HM Destroyer VESPER.
4th Operation delayed 24 hours.
5th Escorted Group 2 of Assault Force O
convoys through swept channel.
6th Detached on arrival off beached and took passage to Milford
7th Deployed for the escort of Build-up Phase convoys to
Western Task Force area and
based at Milford Haven
12th in action with E-Boats in Channel.
13th Escort of Build-up convoys in
27th After termination of NEPTUNE retained in Channel area for convoy
defence and for
anti-submarine patrol duties
July Believed Channel
deployment in continuation
20th During Channel deployment with HM Destroyers FORESTER and
a submerged U-Boat.
for sinking U413 in position 50.21N 00.01W with these ships.
September Channel deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 5
January Channel coastal convoy defence
and patrol in continuation.
During this period German SCHNORKEL fitted submarines were concentrating
May attacks in convoy focal
points and there was an increase in minelaying.
As a result
Western Approaches Escorts were retained in coastal waters.
June Withdrawn from service
and paid off.
P o s t
W a r N o t e s
VIDETTE was placed on the Disposal List 1947 and sold to BISCO on 3rd April
1947 for demolition by
G W Brunton at Avonmouth where she arrived at the breaker’s yard in tow later
escorts for WS series of military convoys was provided by Donald Kindell of Ohio, USA from an
unpublished source. This is gratefully acknowledged.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS VIDETTE
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been
cross-checked with the text above