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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 WINCHELSEA (D 46) -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Winchelsea (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

W-Class destroyer ordered on 9th December 1916 from JS White at Cowes, IoW under the 1916-17 Build Programme and laid down on 25th May 1917. The ship was launched on 15th December 1917 and was the 7th RN ship to carry the name, introduced in 1694 and probably named after the 6th Earl of Winchelsea (1647-1730) who was a Lord of the Admiralty in 1679 and a supporter of William III. The last ship to bear the name was a 5th Rate of 1740. Build was completed on 15th March 1918. In the immediate post-war years this ship served in both Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets and in 1938 was serving with the 5th Submarine Flotilla at Portsmouth as Senior Officerís ship. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Winslow, Cheshire.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s 

GUADALOUPE 1794 - MARTINIQUE 1794 - EGYPT 1801 - ATLANTIC 1939-45 - DUNKIRK 1940 - NORTH SEA 1942

 H e r a l d i c† D a t a

B a d g e: On a Field Blue a Lymphad Gold.

 

M o t t o

Filia classium matris: 'Daughter of the Mother of Fleets'

 

photographed from unknown ship (Michael Pocock)

 

 

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             Deployed at Portland in 11th Destroyer Flotilla for convoy escort

                                and anti-submarine patrol.

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

                11th        Escorted Convoy OB3 with HM Destroyer MACKAY

                                Detached to assist HM Destroyers VANQUISHER and WALKER after they had

                                collided and sustained serious damage with several casualties.

 

October                  Channel deployment in continuation.

 

November              Transferred to Western Approaches Command for convoy defence based at Plymouth.

 

December              SW Approaches convoy escort and patrol in continuation.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January

                6th          Joined outward Convoy OG13 on formation in SW Approaches with HM Destroyer

                                VENETIA as escort for initial stage of passage to Gibraltar.

                8th          Detached from OG13 with HMS VENETIA and took passage to Plymouth.

 

February

                3rd          Joined outward Convoy OG17F on formation in SW Approaches with HM Destroyers BROKE

                                VELOX, VERSATILE and HM Sloop ENCHANTRESS as escort during passage to Gibraltar.

                                Detached from OG17F and took passage with HMS BROKE to meet inward Convoy

                                HG17F during passage to Liverpool from Gibraltar.

                4th          Joined HG17F escorted by HM Destroyer BROKE, and HM Sloop SANDWICH with

                                with HMS BROKE to supplement escort during final stage of passage to Liverpool.

                6th          HMS BROKE detached.

                7th          Detached with escort on arrival of HG17F at Liverpool.

 

March

                11th        Joined outward Convoy OG21 on formation in SW Approaches with HMS BROKE and

                                HM Destroyer VIMY as escort during initial stage of passage to Gibraltar.

                                Detached from OG21 on arrival of two French warships and took passage to join inward

                                Convoy HG21 on passage from Gibraltar.

                                Relieved HM Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE with HM Destroyer WINDSOR as escort for

                                inward HG21 during passage to Liverpool.

                13th        Detached with escort on arrival of HG21 at Liverpool and returned to Plymouth.

                23rd        Joined inward Convoy HG23F with HM Destroyers WAKEFUL and WHITEHALL

                                in place of two French warships as escort during final stage passage to Liverpool.

                26th        Detached with escort on arrival of HG23F at Liverpool.

                                (Note: Destroyers based at Plymouth were transferred to Liverpool when the

                                headquarters of Western Approaches

 

April                       Western Approaches deployment in continuation.

 

May                        Detached for service in Nore Command in support of evacuation of allied troops

                                from Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO).

                                For details see Naval Staff History and BEF SHIPS by J de Winser.

                28th        Deployed at Dover and for support of evacuation.

                29th        Landed 458 troops at Dover.

                30th        Landed 925 troops at Dover.

                31st         During embarkation of troops at Dunkirk with HM Destroyer VENOMOUS,

                                WHITEHALL and Yacht GRIVE under air attacks.

                                (Note: On departure HMS WHITEHALL and GRIVE were involved in collision.)

                                Took passage to Dover with HMS VENOMOUS.

 

June                        Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I46 to conform with

                                revision of these identities for RN warships.

                1st           Landed 1,150 troops at Dover.

                2nd         Landed 460 troops at Dover.

                3rd          Landed 152 troops at Dover.

                                On release from DYNAMO deployed in Channel for patrol and convoy defence.

                                Nominated for support of evacuation operations from Channel Islands and

                                ports in Bay of Biscay.

                17th        Passage to St Malo for support of evacuation.

                18th        Sailed from St Nazaire as part of escort for returning troopships.

                20th        Arrived at Plymouth with returning ships.

                                Resumed deployment at Liverpool for Atlantic convoy defence.

 

July                         Atlantic escort deployment in continuation.

to                            (For details of convoy defence and deployment of U-Boats in

December              the Atlantic see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO),

                                THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre and

                                CONVOY ESCORT COMMANDER by P Gretton.)

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Atlantic deployment in continuation.

to

February

 

March

                25th        Deployed with HM Destroyers LEGION, BROADWATER, BEDOUIN

                                MASHONA, MATABELE, SOMALI, ROCKINGHAM, ST CLARE,

                                ECLIPSE, VICEROY, FOXHOUND, French destroyer LEOPARD

                                and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN as Local Escort for military convoy

                                WS7 during passage to Middle East in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: HM Cruiser CAIRO provided AA defence in NW Approaches

                                and Ocean Escort was HM Cruiser EDINBURGH).

                26th        Detached from WS7 with HMS LEGION, HMS CAIRO, HMS

                                and HMS ROCKINGHAM for return passage to Clyde.

 

April                       Resumed commercial convoy defence.

 

May                        Atlantic convoy escort in continuation

 

June

                3rd          Deployed with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser

                                AUSONIA, HM Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, OTTAWA (RCN),

                                RAMSEY, RESTIGOUCHE (RCN), RICHMOND, SIKH, VANQUISHER

                                and ZULU for Local Escort of military convoy WS9A during passage in

                                NW Approaches.

                                (Note: HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser

                                DUNNOTTAR CASTLE provided Ocean Escort for passage to Freetown.)

                7th          Detached from WS7 with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                29th        Joined military convoy WS9B in Irish Sea as Local Escort for passage

                                in NW Approaches with HMS CAIRO, HM Destroyers CASTLETON,

                                MAORI, ST FRANCIS, VANQUISHER, WOLVERINE, WELLS,

                                READING, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND and PIORUN.

                                (Note: HM Cruisers EDINBURGH and GALATEA provided Ocean

                                Escort with HM Armed Merchant Cruisers CATHAY.

                                MORETON BAY and CHITRAL.)

 

July

                2nd         Detached from WS9B with Local Escort except HMS READING

                                which remained until 3rd.

                                Passage to Clyde with ships of Local Escort.

                13th        Joined military convoy WS9C in Clyde for Local Escort during passage

                                in NWE Approaches with HM Sloop STORK, HM Destroyers GURKHA

                                VANOC and WANDERER.

                13th        (Note: This convoy which was mainly composed of ships for

                                passage to Malta in Operation SUBSTANCE was also

                                escorted by ships of the Home Fleet. See MALTA CONVOYS

                                by R Woodman and THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

                                by D Macintyre.)

                                Detached from WS9C independent of Local escort.)

 

August

                2nd         Joined military convoy WS10 in Clyde as part of Local Escort during

                                passage in NW Approaches with HMS CAIRO, HM Armed

                                Merchant Cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE, HM Destroyers WHITEHALL

                                WITCH, BROADWAY, GURKHA, LANCE, LEGION, LIVELY,

                                Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS and Polish ORP PIORUN.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort was provided by HM Cruiser EDINBURGH.)

                6th          Detached from WS10 with HMS CAIRO, HMS WHITEHALL and

                                HMS WITCH for return passage to Clyde.

                9th          Deployed with HM Destroyers BULLDOG, CASTLETON, ECHO,

                                CHARLESTOWN, INTREPID, WHITEHALL and WITCH as escort

                                for military convoy WS8C from Clyde to Scapa Flow.

                                (Note: This convoy was on passage to join other ships for a planned

                                landing of British forces in the Azores which was cancelled

                                later in the month.)

                10th        Detached from WS8C on arrival and took passage to Clyde.

                31st         Deployed as Local Escort for military convoy WSS11 during passage

                                in NW Approaches from Clyde with HMS CAIRO, HM Destroyers

                                COSSACK, HIGHLANDER, LEGION, LIVELY, ZULU, Dutch

                                destroyer ISAAC SWEERS and Polish ORP PIORUN.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort comprised HM Battlecruiser REPULSE, HM Destroyers ENCOUNTER,

                                NESTOR, HM Sloop SUTLEJ (RIN), HM Cutters SENNEN and TOTLAND

                                as well as HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD and HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS for initial

                                part of passage.)

 

September             Detached from WS11 with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                                Resumed convoy escort for routine Atlantic convoys

 

October                  Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

to                            Nominated for conversion to Long Range Escort.

December              (See General Information, BRITISH DESTROYERS by E March and V&W Destroyers

                                by A Preston.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Taken in hand for conversion by HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

 

February                Under conversion and refit

to

March                    Nominated for service with 4th Escort Group on completion.

                                (Note: In May 1942 this Group re-designated B4 consisted of HM Destroyers HIGHLANDER,

                                ROXBOROUGH, WINCHELSEA, BEVERLEY, HM Corvettes BORAGE,

                                ABELIA, ANEMONE, PENNYWORT, ASPHODEL and CLOVER.)

 

April                       Post refit trials and passage for work-up.

 

May                        Joined Group for Atlantic convoy escort on completion of work-up.

to                            (Note: During this period the Group escorted outward convoy ONS99.

June                        and returned as escort for inward convoy SC87.

                                For details of the increase in U-Boat deployments between 1941 and 1943 see

                                HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                by C Barnett.)

 

June                        Deployed at Greenock for escort duties.

to

July

 

August                  Group ships escorted Convoys HX99, ONS126, HX204 and ONS130

to                            without loss of any ships.

September             HM Destroyer BEVERLEY joined Group.

 

October                  Escort of inward convoy HX209 by ships of Group.

                2nd         HX 209 under attacks by LUCHS U-Boat Group which was provided with air cover by

                                CATALINA aircraft and arrived in UK with loss of only one ship.

                                Escorted Convoy ONS14O which was under threat of attacks by BELCHEN Group but

                                arrived at Mid Ocean Meeting Point without loss. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.

 

November              Group escorted Convoy HX214 from meeting point without loss.

 

December              Group escorted Convoys HX220 and ONS150 without loss.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Group escorted Convoy ON161 to meeting point without loss.

                                (Note: Corvettes in Group were HMS ABELIA, ASPHODEL,

                                CLOVER, PENNYWORT and SNOWFLAKE.

 

February                Group escorted Convoy ONS169 with loss of only one ship.

                                (Note: This convoy was diverted from planned course to avoid

                                attacks by RAUBGRAF Group. See above references.)

 

March                    Deployed with Group as escort for Convoy HX229 which

                                had a disastrous crossing with extreme weather conditions

                                and series of attacks by RAUBGRAF Group losing 13 of the

                                ships in convoy. See above references.

 

April                       Group escorted Convoys HX234 and ONS176 with loss of two

                                ships in each convoy.

                                (Note: This period was the peak of the German onslaught and is well documented.

                                For details of the weapons and tactics used in defence and for attacks

                                on Atlantic convoys also SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)

 

May                        Group escorted Convoy ON183 to meeting point without loss.

 

June                        Atlantic convoy escort with Group in continuation.

to

July

 

August                  Transferred with Group to GIBRALTAR for escort duties in

                                Atlantic and western Mediterranean.

                                (Note: This deployment was made to counter the increase of U-Boat activities in

                                the area by increase in defence of the military convoys on passage for

                                support of military operations.)

September             Gibraltar based deployment in continuation with Group.

to

October

 

November

                19th        Deployed to reinforce defence of merged Convoy MKS30/SL139

                                which had been under sustained attacks by SCHILL U-Boat Group

                                with support from Fw 200 aircraft. See references.

 

December              Gibraltar deployment in continuation with Group.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Group deployment at Gibraltar in continuation.

to                            Nominated for return to Home waters for coastal convoy defence

April                       (Note: Home Waters requirements had increased due to

                                planned allied invasion and more modern escorts

                                had become available for defence of Atlantic traffic.)

 

May                        Passage to UK for coastal convoy defence in Nore Command.

 

June                        Coastal convoy defence deployment in North Sea.

to                            Note: Did not take part in escort of assault and Build-up

August                  convoys during allied landings (Operation NEPTUNE)

 

September             Coastal convoy escort in North Sea.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployed for patrol and convoy defence in North Sea

to                            (Note: During this period the increase in attacks in coastal waters by SCHNORKEL

February                fitted submarines and midget submarines as well minelaying by these craft made

                                necessary additional patrols in Nore Command to protect military convoys to

                                Channel and North Sea ports. Atlantic convoys were also re-routed through

                                English Channel as the threat of air attack from French bases had been removed.)

                                Withdrawn from operational service and reduced to Reserve

                                status. Paid-off and destored.

 

March                    Placed on Disposal List.

                20th        Sold to Metal Industries for breaking-up.

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e

 

HMS WINCHELSEA was towed to the breakerís yard at Rosyth and arrived for demolition at Charlestown, near Rosyth in August 1945.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WINCHELSEA

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

 

 

 

 

 

09/09/39

09/09/39

OB 002

10/09/39

14/09/39

11/09/39

11/09/39

OB 003

15/09/39

16/09/39

17/09/39

17/09/39

OB 006

unknown

20/09/39

25/09/39

25/09/39

OB 010

28/09/39

28/09/39

05/10/39

05/10/39

OB 015

08/10/39

08/10/39

17/10/39

17/10/39

OB 021

20/10/39

22/10/39

27/10/39

27/10/39

OB 026

30/10/39

01/11/39

06/11/39

06/11/39

OB 031

09/11/39

11/11/39

31/10/39

10/11/39

HXF 007

12/11/39

12/11/39

14/11/39

14/11/39

OB 035

17/11/39

19/11/39

08/11/39

19/11/39

HXF 008

20/11/39

21/11/39

24/11/39

24/11/39

OB 040

26/11/39

28/11/39

26/11/39

26/11/39

OG 008

28/11/39

03/12/39

04/12/39

04/12/39

OB 047

07/12/39

08/12/39

14/12/39

14/12/39

OB 053

17/12/39

19/12/39

22/12/39

22/12/39

OB 058

25/12/39

26/12/39

06/01/40

06/01/40

OG 013

08/01/40

12/01/40

01/01/40

16/01/40

SL 015

19/01/40

19/01/40

25/01/40

25/01/40

OB 079

28/01/40

28/01/40

01/02/40

01/02/40

OB 083

03/02/40

03/02/40

03/02/40

03/02/40

OG 017F

03/02/40

09/02/40

29/01/40

04/02/40

HG 017F

07/02/40

07/02/40

09/02/40

09/02/40

OB 089

12/02/40

14/02/40

31/01/40

13/02/40

HX 018

16/02/40

16/02/40

15/02/40

15/02/40

OB 092

18/02/40

18/02/40

26/02/40

26/02/40

OB 099

29/02/40

01/03/40

08/03/40

08/03/40

OB 105

09/03/40

09/03/40

04/03/40

11/03/40

HG 021

13/03/40

13/03/40

17/03/40

23/03/40

HG 023F

26/03/40

26/03/40

26/03/40

26/03/40

OB 119

unknown

29/03/40

21/03/40

02/04/40

HX 029

04/04/40

04/04/40

10/05/40

10/05/40

OA 145G

unknown

12/05/40

12/05/40

12/05/40

OG 029

13/05/40

16/05/40

19/05/40

19/05/40

OB 151

22/05/40

22/05/40

09/05/40

23/05/40

SL 031

26/05/40

26/05/40

25/06/40

08/07/40

HX 053

09/07/40

10/07/40

03/07/40

14/07/40

HX 055

14/07/40

18/07/40

23/07/40

23/07/40

OB 188

27/07/40

27/07/40

23/07/40

04/08/40

HX 060

06/08/40

07/08/40

11/08/40

11/08/40

OB 196

14/08/40

15/08/40

22/08/40

23/08/40

OB 202

25/08/40

26/08/40

11/08/40

27/08/40

SL 043

31/08/40

31/08/40

04/09/40

05/09/40

OB 209

08/09/40

09/09/40

28/08/40

09/09/40

HX 069

12/09/40

12/09/40

13/09/40

13/09/40

OB 213

unknown

18/09/40

05/09/40

18/09/40

HX 071

20/09/40

20/09/40

25/09/40

25/09/40

OB 219

29/09/40

30/09/40

17/09/40

29/09/40

HX 074

21/09/40

02/10/40

27/09/40

09/10/40

SC 006

11/10/40

12/10/40

28/11/40

15/12/40

SL 057

unknown

19/12/40

26/12/40

26/12/40

OB 265

30/12/40

30/12/40

08/01/41

08/01/41

OB 271

12/01/41

12/01/41

01/01/41

13/01/41

HX 100

16/01/41

18/01/41

22/01/41

22/01/41

OB 277

27/01/41

27/01/41

15/01/41

28/01/41

HX 103

31/01/41

01/02/41

05/02/41

05/02/41

OG 052

09/02/41

21/02/41

27/01/41

10/02/41

HG 052

15/02/41

15/02/41

23/02/41

23/02/41

OB 290

26/02/41

27/02/14

10/03/41

11/03/41

OB 296

15/03/41

15/03/41

28/02/41

15/03/41

SC 024

19/03/41

19/03/41

21/03/41

05/04/41

HX 116

09/04/41

09/04/41

29/03/41

20/04/41

SL 070

20/04/41

23/04/41

11/05/41

12/05/41

OB 321

16/05/41

17/05/41

06/05/41

16/05/41

HG 061

20/05/41

20/05/41

10/05/41

30/05/41

SL 074

02/06/41

04/06/41

21/07/41

26/07/41

TC 012

29/07/41

29/07/41

20/08/41

20/08/41

ON 009

23/08/41

25/08/41

10/09/41

12/09/41

HX 149

16/09/41

25/09/41

30/04/42

04/05/42

SC 082

16/05/42

16/05/42

29/05/42

30/05/42

ON 099

07/06/42

12/06/42

12/06/42

15/06/42

SC 087

25/06/42

27/06/42

03/07/42

04/07/42

ON 109

10/07/42

18/07/42

19/07/42

22/07/42

HX 199

29/07/42

30/07/42

09/08/42

10/08/42

ON 120

21/08/42

27/08/42

23/08/42

26/08/42

HX 204

03/09/42

04/09/42

11/09/42

14/09/42

ON 129

20/09/42

25/09/42

19/09/42

26/09/42

SC 102

05/10/42

06/10/42

16/10/42

17/10/42

ON 139

27/10/42

01/11/42

09/11/42

16/11/42

SC 109

22/11/42

30/11/42

26/11/42

26/11/42

RU 050

01/12/42

01/12/42

01/12/42

05/12/42

ON 150

15/12/42

25/12/42

21/12/42

26/12/42

HX 220

09/01/43

09/01/43

25/05/43

06/06/43

HX 241

09/06/43

10/06/43

19/06/43

20/06/43

ONS 011

01/07/43

05/07/43

08/07/43

12/07/43

SC 136

22/07/43

23/07/43

28/07/43

28/07/43

KMS 022G

09/08/43

09/08/43

09/08/43

09/08/43

KMS 022

11/08/43

20/08/43

14/08/43

14/08/43

MKS 021G

27/08/43

25/08/43

05/09/43

05/09/43

KMS 026G

11/09/43

18/09/43

16/11/43

19/11/43

SL 139MK

22/11/43

26/11/43

03/01/44

03/01/44

OS 064KM

16/01/44

15/01/44

16/01/44

16/01/44

KMS 038G

17/01/44

17/01/44

23/01/44

24/01/44

SL 146MK

31/01/44

02/02/44

12/02/44

12/02/44

OS 068KM

23/02/44

23/02/44

24/02/44

24/02/44

KMS 042G

25/02/44

25/02/44

21/02/44

02/03/44

SL 150

03/03/44

03/03/44

03/03/44

03/03/44

SL 150MK

04/03/44

14/03/44

02/03/44

09/03/44

MKF 029

15/03/44

16/03/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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