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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS WIVERN (D 66) -  V & W-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Vansittart, modified W-class sister ship (CyberHeritage, click to enlarge)

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Admiralty Modified or Repeat W-Class destroyer ordered from J S White at Cowes IoW in April 1918 with the 13th Order of the 1917-18 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 19th. August 1918 and launched on 16th April 1919 as the †2nd RN ship to carry the name. It had been introduced in 1883 for an Ironclad Coastal Defence Ship (EL MONASSIR) purchased from Turkey in 1893, reduced to harbour service in 1898 and sold at Hong Kong in 1922. Build completed  on 23rd December 1919 and after acceptance she served with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets. This ship was placed in Reserve as part of the post-war economic measures. During her service this destroyer was known with affection as Tiddly Wiv. When brought forward in 1939 she was allocated for war service in the 16th Destroyer Flotilla based at Portsmouth. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of West Hartlepool, County Durham.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-43 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - NORTH SEA 1944-45

 

H e r a l d i c† D a t a

Badge: On a field Green, a Wyvern Gold.

 

M o t t o

'Beware'

 

 

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             Re allocated for convoy defence in Western Approaches.

                5th          Escorted Convoy GC1 from Clyde with HM Destroyers VANESSA,

                                VIVACIOUS and WAKEFUL.

                 9th          Escorted Convoy OB2 with HM Destroyers WINCHELSEA and

                                WALKER.

 

October                  Transferred to 16th Destroyer Flotilla, Nore Command based at Harwich

                                for convoy defence and patrol in North Sea.

 

November              Flotilla escort and patrol duties in continuation.

                22nd       Carried high speed operations off Harwich after sinking of HM

                                Destroyer GIPSY which detonated a magnetic mine.

                                (Note: This operation was carried out in the expectation that other

                                mines would be detonated.)

 

December              Harwich deployment in continuation.

                                (For details of naval activities in this period see ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval Staff History.

                                U-Boat deployments in 1939 are recorded in U-BOAT WAR IN

                                THE ATLANTIC (HMSO).)

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  North Sea deployment in continuation.

to April

 

May                        Deployed for support of planned operations in Holland.

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I66.)

                10th        Nominated for demolition work at Hook of Holland with HM Destroyer

                                WILD SWAN (Operation XD).

                11th        Passage to Hook of Holland with HMS WILD SWAN.

                                Embarked British Mission for passage to Flushing.

                13th        Assisted in evacuation at Hook of Holland (Operation ORDNANCE).

                14th        Sustained damage during ORDNANCE

                                Taken in hand for repair.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I66 to conform with

                                new identities for all RN ships.

 

June                        Under repair.

 

July                         Rejoined Flotilla at Harwich and deployed for convoy defence in North Sea.

                11th        Under air attack whilst escorting Convoy FN19 near Aldeburgh Light

                                but avoided damage by manoeuvring.

 

August                  Deployed as required for anti-invasion patrol and for convoy defence.

                3rd          Carried out patrol duties with HM Cruiser CARDIFF, HM Destroyers VENOMOUS,

                                VERITY and WILD SWAN, HM Corvettes PUFFIN, SHEARWATER and

                                SHELDRAKE. (See BATTLE FOR THE EAST COAST 1939-45 by JP Foynes)

 

September

                7th          Deployed with HM Destroyer WILD SWAN as screen for HM Cruisers AURORA

                                and CARDIFF during patrol off Dutch coast (Operation RIVAL)

                                After completion transferred to Western Approaches Command with

                                HM Destroyers MALCOLM, VETERAN and WILD SWAN for Atlantic

                                convoy escort duties in 5th Escort Group based at Liverpool.

                                Passage to join Group.

 

October                  Deployed with Group for Atlantic convoy escort

to                            (For details see THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by Donald Macintyre.

December              Macintyre, HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOAT WAR IN

                                THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) ).

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

 

February

                26th        Deployed for escort of ships of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla during

                                minelay off Cap díAntifer (Operation JH).

                                Resumed Atlantic duties on completion

 

March                    Deployed for Atlantic convoy escort.

to                            (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

April

 

May                        Deployed at Portsmouth with HMS VANSITTART and HMS

                                WILD SWAN.

                12th        Escorted HM Cruiser BERWICK to Rosyth via Irish Sea with HM

                                Destroyers BERKELEY, BLENCATHRA and WILD SWAN.

                                (Note: HMS BERWICK had been under refit at Rosyth but completion

                                of work had been transferred to Rosyth because of air raids at

                                Portsmouth.)

                14th        Deployed with HMS WILD SWAN to escort Free French Submarine

                                SURCOUF during Atlantic passage to 49.54N 4.27W.

                17th        Nominated for transfer to Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence and

                                escort of military convoy WS8X from Clyde during passage.

                24th        Retained in Western Approaches after sinking of HM Battlecruiser

                                HOOD. and took passage to Plymouth with HMS WILD SWAN

                                and HMS VANSITTART.

                30th        After sinking of German battleship BISMARCK took passage to Clyde.

                31st         Deployed with HM Destroyers VANSITTART, WILD SWAN, BRIGHTON, LEGION,

                                SAGUENAY, ST MARYíS and SHERWOOD for Local Escort of Convoy WS8X during

                                passage in NW Approaches

                                (Note: Ocean Escort comprised HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS,

                                HM Cruisers NORFOLK, NEPTUNE and HM Armed

                                Merchant Cruiser ESPERANCE BAY.)

 

June

                3rd          Detached from WS8X and returned to Clyde.

                18th        Nominated for deployment at Freetown for Atlantic convoy escort. Took passage to

                                Freetown with HMS VANSITTART and HMS WILD SWAN.

 

July                         Deployed at Freetown.

                10th        Joined military convoy WS9B with HM Corvette ASPHODEL, HM Destroyers BRILLIANT

                                and WILD SWAN as Local Escort during passage into Freetown.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort for WS9N was HM Cruiser GALATEA and HM

                                HM Armed Merchant Cruiser MORETON BAY

                13th        Detached from WS9B with Local Escort on arrival.

 

August

                3rd          Passage to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers WILD SWAN and BOREAS for refit.

                                Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.

 

September             On completion retained at Gibraltar for Atlantic convoy escort.

 

October                  Convoy defence duties with Flotilla at Gibraltar in continuation.

to December.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Gibraltar deployment in continuation.

 

February

                 9th          Deployed with HM Destroyers BOREAS, VIDETTE, WISHART,

                                WILD SWAN, BRADFORD, HM Sloops ROCHESTER, WESTON.

                                FOLKESTONE, SCARBOROUGH and WELLINGTON as escort for

                                Convoy SL100 during Atlantic passage to Freetown.

 

March                    Deployed at Freetown for Atlantic convoy escort.

to

April

 

May

                3rd          Joined military convoy WS18 with HM Cruiser FROBISHER, HM Destroyer BOREAS and

                                Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN on departure from Freetown as Local Escort.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort included HM Cruiser GAMBIA, HM Seaplane

                                Carrier ALBATROSS and HM Destroyer TETCOTT.)

                4th          Detached from WS18 with HMS BOREAS and returned to Freetown.

 

June

                30th        Joined military convoy WS20 with HM Destroyers BOREAS and

                                VELOX to reinforce HM Destroyers BLACKMORE, BRILLIANT

                                and VIMY as Local Escort during inward passage to Freetown off

                                West Africa.

                                (Note: For details of U-Boat deployments off West Africa see

                                HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC).

July

                2nd         Detached from WS20 with Local Escort on arrival.

 

August                  Freetown Atlantic and coastal convoy escort in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Transferred to Gibraltar for escort of military convoys prior to

                                planned allied landings in North Africa.

 

November              Deployed for escort of military convoys in Western Mediterranean.

                10th        During escort of Convoy TE3 off Oran with HM Destroyers VERITY

                                WESTCOTT, HM Corvettes STARWORT and LOTUS took part in

                                in concentrated depth charge attacks on U660 which attacked convoy

                                (Note: Sinking credited to HMS LOTUS and HMS STARWORT.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLERíS

                                U-BOAT WAR.)

 

December              Gibraltar duties in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Deployment for Atlantic and western Mediterranean convoy

                                escort based at Gibraltar in continuation.

 

February

                22nd       During rescue of survivors from Canadian corvette HMCS

                                WEYBURN sustained major structural damage either from a mine

                                or explosion of depth charges when the stricken ship sank.

                                (Note: HMCS WEYBURN had detonated a mine laid by U118

                                in the approach to Gibraltar on 1st February. This minefield

                                had already claimed several victims.

                                See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR Volume 2.)

 

March                    Passage under tow to UK for repair.

 

April                       Paid-off at Plymouth and taken in hand by HM Dockyard,

                                Devonport for repair and refit.

 

May                        Under repair.

to                            (Note: Work included extensive repair to her propulsion

December              machinery which had been lifted from its mountings

                                by the explosion.

                                Replacement of A gun by a twin 6pdr army gun for

                                use against E-Boats

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair and refit.

to August

 

September             Post refit trials and recommissioned for service in Nore Command

                                with the Harwich Escort Force.

 

October                  Deployed at Harwich for nightly anti-E-Boat patrols for protection

                                of East Coast convoys

 

November              Transferred to Rosyth for service with Rosyth Escort Force to

to                            escort of East Coast convoys during North

December              Sea passage to and from Thames estuary.

                                (For details of this period see SEAGULLS IN MY BELFRY by C C

                                Anderson, who was in command of the ship.)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Sustained structural damage during convoy escort in Force 12

                                Gale conditions and taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard,

                                Rosyth.

 

February                Resumed convoy escort duties on completion of repair.

 

March                    Deployed as escort for Convoy FS56.

                14th        During escort of south bound convoy off Newcastle carried

                                out search for submarine which had carried out an attack on the

                                ships under escort and hit a Norwegian mercantile which later sank.

                                Joined by HM South African Frigate NATAL which was on

                                passage from Newcastle to Scapa Flow after her acceptance

                                from the builder. This new frigate then carried out a SQUID

                                Anti-submarine mortar attack after detecting a submarine and

                                some oil and wreckage came to the surface. SANS NATAL

                                the detached and continued passage.

                                (Note: In view of the inconclusive evidence available the hunt was

                                continued for some hours with depth charge attacks which

                                produced significant further quantities of fuel oil. Left the area

                                when other warships arrived from Rosyth to continue hunt.

                                This submarine was later identified as U714 and her sinking in

                                position 55.57N 01.57W was credited to SANS NATAL. This

                                decision is at variance with contemporary reports rendered by

                                HMS WIVERN and with signals exchanged with shore authorities.

                                The position in which the sunken submarine was found is different

                                from the original attack on FS56 which suggests U714 was only

                                damaged by the SQUID Mortar bombs from SANS NATAL.

                                There were no survivors from U714. See SEAGULLS IN MY BELFRY

                                by C C Anderson.)

 

April                       East Coast convoy escort in continuation.

 

May                        After VE Day deployed for support of re-occupation of Norway

to                            and transport of allied personnel. See above reference.

June                        Nominated for reduction to Reserve status.

 

July                         Paid-off and destored.

to                            Laid-up at Rosyth.

August

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS WIVERN was placed on the Disposal List and sold to Metal Industries for demolition on 18th February 1947. The ship was towed to the Breakerís Yard at Charlestown near Rosyth during October 1948.  

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WIVERN

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

 

 

 

 

 

17/10/39

17/10/39

OA 021

22/10/39

22/10/39

07/10/39

25/10/39

SL 004

26/10/39

26/10/39

27/10/39

27/10/39

OA 026

02/11/39

02/11/39

08/11/39

08/11/39

OA 032G

10/11/39

11/11/39

03/12/39

04/12/39

OA 046

05/12/39

unknown

04/12/39

05/12/39

OA 047

07/12/39

08/12/39

11/12/39

13/12/39

OA 051

14/12/39

14/12/39

03/12/39

14/12/39

SL 011F

15/12/39

15/12/39

19/12/39

19/12/39

OA 056

21/12/39

unknown

28/12/39

28/12/39

OG 012

29/12/39

04/01/40

03/01/40

03/01/40

OA 065G

05/01/40

07/01/40

09/01/40

11/01/40

OA 069

unknown

unknown

17/01/40

17/01/40

OA 074

19/01/40

20/01/40

13/08/41

22/08/41

OG 071

23/08/41

23/08/41

26/01/42

30/01/42

CARNIVAL

04/02/42

04/02/42

14/03/42

14/03/42

SL 103

19/03/42

02/04/42

04/03/42

19/03/42

OS 021

24/03/42

24/03/42

03/05/42

05/05/42

LS 004

08/05/42

08/05/42

12/05/42

27/05/42

OS 028

31/05/42

30/05/42

25/06/42

25/06/42

SL 114

29/06/42

17/07/42

29/08/42

16/09/42

OS 039

18/09/42

18/09/42

18/09/42

27/09/42

CF 005A

29/09/42

29/09/42

30/09/42

30/09/42

CF 005B

unknown

14/10/42

09/10/42

09/10/42

ST 038

14/10/42

14/10/42

26/10/42

04/11/42

KMF 001

06/11/42

08/11/42

01/11/42

11/11/42

KMF 002

12/11/42

12/11/42

14/11/42

15/11/42

MKS 001A

16/11/42

16/11/42

08/11/42

22/11/42

KMS 003G

26/11/42

26/11/42

01/12/42

01/12/42

ET 003

04/12/42

04/12/42

11/12/42

23/12/42

KMS 005G

unknown

27/12/42

27/12/42

27/12/42

ET 007

28/12/42

31/12/42

10/01/43

21/01/43

TMF 002

24/01/43

24/01/43

06/02/43

16/02/43

KMS 009G

18/02/43

20/02/43

17/02/43

19/02/43

MKS 008

22/02/43

01/03/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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