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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS WOLVERINE (D 78) -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Wolverine (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 
 

Modified W-Class destroyer ordered from J S White at Cowes IoW in April 1918 with the 14th Order of the 1917-18 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 8th October 1918 and launched on 17th July 1919 as the 7th RN ship to carry the name. It had been introduced† in 1798 for a Gun Brig† and last borne by a destroyer sunk after a collision in 1917. Build completed on 27th February 1920 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. When brought forward in 1939 she was allocated for war service in the 15th Destroyer Flotilla based at Rosyth. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of East Elloe, Lincolnshire.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s 

MARTINIQUE 1808 - DARDANELLES 1915-16 - ATLANTIC 1939-45* - NORWAY 1940 - MALTA CONVOYS 1942

(* Two standard references show 1943-45 but this does not reconcile with sinking of

two U-Boats in 1941)

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

†Badge: On a field White, on a mount Green, a Wolverine proper.

 

M o t t o

Avidus laboris gloruae: 'Greedy of work, greedy of labour'

 

 

 

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

 

August                  Brought forward for service from Reserve.

 

September

                3rd          Joined 15th Destroyer Flotilla for convoy defence in Western

                                Approaches Command.

                6th          Deployed at Milford Haven

                                Escorted convoy GC1 with HM Destroyers WITHERINGTON,

                                VOLUNTEER and VERITY.

                9th          Escorted convoy GC2 with HM Destroyer WAKEFUL.

 

October                  Convoy defence and anti-submarine patrol in Western Approaches in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Convoy defence in Western Approaches Command in continuation.

                                Passage in SW Approaches to meet inward Convoy HG16 for escort to

                                during passage to Liverpool.

                31st         Joined HG16 with HM Destroyer WALPOLE to relieve two French warships

                                in escort.

 

February

                3rd          Detached from HG16 with HMS WALPOLE on arrival at Liverpool and took

                                passage to Plymouth to resume convoy defence duties.

 

March                    Convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

 

April

                8th          Transferred for duty with Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow for support of military operations in

                                Norway after German invasion. Deployed for escort of convoys to and from Norway and support

                                duties.

                                (For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre, CARRIER

                                GLORIOUS by J Winton, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, THE

                                DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams and NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN

                                NORWAY (HMSO).

 

May                        Norwegian campaign duties in continuation.

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I78.)

                14th        Deployed with HM Sloop STORK as escort for Polish liner CHOBRY during passage from

                                Sandessjoen to Bodo with reinforcements and additional AA weapons.

                                Under heavy and sustained air attacks in Vestfjord and hit three times causing major fire with

                                many casualties after explosion of munitions.

                                Went alongside burning troopship and embarked 694 soldiers including men of Irish Guards.

                                HMS STORK provided AA defence.

                                Took survivors to Harstad.

 

June                        Deployed for escort of evacuation convoys with HM Destroyers ANTELOPE, ATHERSTONE,

                                VISCOUNT and WITHERINGTON.

                7th          Took passage to meet HM Battleship VALIANT screened by HM

                                Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, MASHONA and TARTAR which were covering transit of

                                evacuation convoys.

                8th          Delayed by fog but met troopships which were escorted to Clyde.

                12th        Passage to Channel for support of evacuation from Bay of Biscay

                                ports (Operation AERIAL)

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C.Barnett and BED SHIPS by

                                J de Winser.)

 

July                         Resumed convoy defence duties in Western Approaches.

 

August                  Deployed in 6th Escort Group in NW Approaches.

to                            (For details of U-Boat deployments see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO)

December

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Atlantic deployment in continuation.

to                            (For details of weapons and tactics for defence and attack on Atlantic shipping see SEEK AND

February                STRIKE by W Hackmann and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre.)

                                (Note: Ship had been fitted with Type 286M radar.

                                See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse for use of radar by RN)

 

March                    Part of escort for convoy OB293 with HM Destroyer VERITY,

                                HM Corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA.

                6th          Carried out attacks on U47 and U93 which had been sighted on

                                surface. The submarines escaped.

                7th          Convoy under sustained torpedo attacks by same two submarines and

                                U70 which had joined them.

                                Carried out extensive counter attacks by depth charges with the other

                                escorts during which U70 was sunk by HMS CAMELLIA and HMS

                                ARBUTUS and U47 credited to this ship.

                                (Note: The sinking of U47 commanded by Kapitanleuntant Gunther Prien who sank the

                                battleship HMS ROYAL OAK in Scapa Flow has never been satisfactorily resolved

                                and may have been as a result if the intense attacks carried out.

                                For details see HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOATS DESTROYED

                                by P Kemp.)

 

April                       Deployed with HM Sloop SCARBOROUGH and HM Corvette ARBUTUS as escort for convoy

                                SC26 which was threatened by attacks from U74, U46 and U73. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.

                2nd         Under sustained attacks .Six ships sunk and others damaged.

                3rd          Rounded up ships of SC26 which had dispersed after attacks.

                5th          Deployed in search for submarine with other escorts after sonar

                                contact and forced U76 to surface by depth charge attacks.

                                Submarine abandoned by crew before sinking and boarding attempt

                                failed due to extent of flooding. See above references.

 

May                        Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

 

June                        Nominated for escort of military convoy WS9B.

                29th        Joined HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers CASTLETON, MAORI, ST FRANCIS,

                                VANQUISHER, READING, Polish destroyers ORP PIORUN and ORP GARLAND

                                for Local escort of WS9B during passage in NW Approaches.

 

July

                1st           Detached from WS9B with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                                Resumed escort of routine Atlantic convoys.

 

August                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Deployed with 6th Escort group in NW Approaches

                31st         Passage to take over escort of convoy HX156 at Mid Ocean Meeting

                                Point from five US Navy destroyers.

                                (Note: This convoy had been under attacks by U52 which had sunk

                                the US destroyer USS REUBEN JAMES, the first USN vessel

                                to be sunk by a U-Boat during WW2 in the Atlantic.

 

November

                1st           Joined HX156 with HM Destroyers BROKE, BUXTON, VERITY

                                and MANSFIELD after unsuccessful attacks by U52 and U567.

                                Took part in unsuccessful search for submarines after further attacks

                                by same submarines.

                                (Note: Provision of air cover prevented further attacks on HX156)

 

December              Group deployment in NW Approaches in continuation.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

 

February                Nominated for conversion as a Short Range Escort See General Information and

                                V &W DESTROYERS by A Preston and BRITISH DESTROYERS by E March.)

 

March                    Under conversion.

to                            (Note: Surface warning radar Type 271 was fitted.

May                        See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse for details of development

                                and use of radar in RN.

                                Close range AA defence was also improved and an anti-

                                submarine weapon HEDGEHOG installed. See

                                SEEK AND STRIKE.)

                                Nominated for service at Gibraltar for escort duties.

 

June                        On completion of post refit trials took passage for work-up.

                                Deployed in western Approaches.

                21st         Joined HM Destroyers GEORGETOWN, SALISBURY, BOADICEA,

                                RIPLEY, BEAGLE, ST ALBANS, VIDETTE and VANSITTART for

                                Local Escort of military convoy WS20 during passage in NW Approaches.

                26th        Detached from WS20 with Local Escort

 

July                         Passage to Mediterranean for service at Gibraltar.

 

August                  Joined escort for military convoy WS21S during passage to Gibraltar

                                prior to relief convoy transit to Malta. (Operation PEDESTAL)

                11th        Deployed with HM Destroyers KEPPEL, MALCOLM. VENOMOUS and

                                VERITY to join HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS during return passage to

                                Gibraltar after Malta aircraft delivery (Operation BELLOWS)

                12th        Part of screen for HMS FURIOUS. Italian submarine DAGABUR

                                detected on surface by radar. Carried out ramming attack which

                                sank submarine. Major damage to bow structure and port turbine.

                                Engine room evacuated after steam pipe fracture.

                                Ship disabled and screened by HMS MALCOLM.

                                (See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR, THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by

                                J Greene and A Massignani. and MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman for details.)

                                Resumed passage independently using starboard turbine.

                13th        Passage to Gibraltar for repair escorted by HM Corvettes ARMERIA

                                and BURDOCK.

                                Taken in hand for temporary repair by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.

 

September             Temporary bow structure fitted to enable passage to UK.

to                            Passage to UK for repair

November              Under repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

 

December              On completion of repair and trials resumed Western Approaches convoy defence duties

                18th        Deployed with HM Destroyers BADSWORTH and HAYDON as Local Escort for

                                military convoy WS25 during passage in NW Approaches.

                24th        Detached from WS25 with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Western Approaches convoy defence deployment in continuation.

 

February                Nominated for foreign service at Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence

                27th        Joined escort for military convoys WS27 and KMF10A in Clyde with HM Sloops EGRET,

                                ERNE, HM Cutter FISHGUARD and HM Frigate TEST for passage to Freetown.

 

March

                2nd         Remained with ships of WS27 when KMF10A section detached

                                for passage to Gibraltar.

                8th          Detached from WS27on arrival at Freetown.

                                Commenced escort duties at Freetown.

                21st         Joined HM Destroyers MALCOLM, QUADRANT and QUAIL

                                as Local Escort for military convoy WS28 during initial part of passage to Cape of Good Hope.

                24th        Detached from WS28 with Local Escort and returned to Freetown.

 

April

                26th        Joined HM Destroyers MALCOLM and WITCH as Local Escort for military convoy WS29

                                during initial part of passage to Cape of Good Hope from Freetown.

                29th        Detached from WS29 with Local Escort and returned to Freetown.

 

May                        Freetown deployment in continuation.

 

June

                3rd          Joined HM Destroyers CATTERICK, BOADICEA, RAPID and WITCH for Local Escort

                                of military convoy WS30 during the initial part of passage to Cape of Good Hope from Freetown.

                9th          Detached from WS30 with HMS RAPID and HMS WITCH for return passage to Freetown.

                                (Note: HMS BOADICEA detached on 6th.)

 

July

                6th          Joined HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, BLACKMORE and BULLDOG for Local Escort of

                                military convoy WS31 during initial part of the passage to Cape of Good Hope from Freetown.

                15th        Detached from WS31 with HMS BLACKMORE and HMS BULLDOG

                                (Note: HMS FOXHOUND detached on 12th.)

 

August                  Freetown deployment in continuation.

 

September

                14th        Joined HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA, BULLDOG and HM Frigate BANN for

                                Local Escort of military convoy WS33 during initial part of passage to Cape of Good Hope

                                from Freetown.

                19th        Detached from WS33 with Local Escort and returned to Freetown.

 

October                  Freetown deployment in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  On release from Atlantic Station at Freetown took passage to UK for refit.

to                            Resumed convoy escort duty in Western Approaches after trials and work-up for

December              operational service.

                                (Note: In common with many other escorts this ship attracted no particular attention.

                                She was not deployed for escort or support of allied landings in Normandy.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE ĖSee ALLIED LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944

                                for details of all ships taking part).

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Home waters convoy defence in continuation.

to                            (Note: During this period Atlantic traffic was re-routed through the English Channel and

April                       extensive redeployment of escorts took place to counter an increase in attacks on

                                coastal convoys by SCHNORKEL fitted submarines. See above references and

                                HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.

 

May                        Withdrawn from operational service and Paid-off.

to                            Paid-off and Reduced to Reserve status pending decision on disposal.

August

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS WOLVERINE was placed on the Disposal List after VJ Day and sold for demolition on 28th January 1946 by West of Scotland Shipbreakers .† She arrived in tow at the Breakerís Yard in Troon in September 1946. It is of interest to note that her commanding officer during her service in the Mediterranean was Peter Gretton who achieved much distinction as an Escort Force Commander and was promoted to Vice Admiral after WW2. 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WOLVERINE

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

 

 

 

 

 

15/09/39

15/09/39

BC 002/1

17/09/39

17/09/39

23/09/39

23/09/39

BC 003R

25/09/39

25/09/39

04/10/39

24/10/39

KJ 003

28/10/39

28/10/39

02/11/39

02/11/39

OA 029

07/11/39

07/11/39

16/11/39

18/11/39

OA 036G

19/11/39

24/11/39

03/11/39

22/11/39

HG 007

23/11/39

22/11/39

24/11/39

24/11/39

OA 040G

26/11/39

26/11/39

01/12/39

02/12/39

OA 044

03/12/39

03/12/39

25/11/39

04/12/39

HXF 010

09/12/39

09/12/39

04/12/39

16/12/39

HX 011

18/12/39

18/12/39

20/12/39

20/12/39

OA 057

21/12/39

23/12/39

28/12/39

30/12/39

OA 062

31/12/39

31/12/39

20/12/39

02/01/40

HX 013

04/01/40

04/01/40

24/01/40

31/01/40

HG 016

03/02/40

03/02/40

03/02/40

04/02/40

OA 085G

06/02/40

06/02/40

07/02/40

19/02/40

HX 019

22/02/40

22/02/40

18/02/40

02/03/40

HX 021

04/03/40

04/03/40

27/02/40

unknown

OA 099

unknown

01/03/40

02/03/40

14/03/40

HX 024

17/03/40

17/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

OA 112

20/03/40

21/03/40

10/03/40

24/03/40

HX 026

26/03/40

26/03/40

31/03/40

31/03/40

OA 120G

unknown

01/04/40

12/06/40

12/06/40

HEBREW

14/06/40

14/06/40

29/06/40

01/07/40

OA 176

02/07/40

unknown

21/06/40

02/07/40

HX 052

06/07/40

06/07/40

07/07/40

09/07/40

OB 180

09/07/40

10/07/40

31/08/40

31/08/40

MP

01/09/40

14/09/40

27/08/40

02/09/40

TC 007

04/09/40

04/09/40

10/09/40

10/09/40

AP 003/1

12/09/40

22/10/40

29/11/40

08/12/40

HX 092

12/12/40

12/12/40

06/12/40

08/12/40

OB 255

10/12/40

10/12/40

19/12/40

19/12/40

OB 261

22/12/40

22/12/40

10/12/40

25/12/40

HX 095

27/12/40

27/12/40

01/01/41

02/01/41

OB 268

04/01/41

04/01/41

23/12/40

07/01/41

SC 017

08/01/41

08/01/41

14/01/41

14/01/41

OB 274

16/01/41

19/01/41

01/01/41

22/01/41

SL 061

24/01/41

24/01/41

13/02/41

13/02/41

OB 286

17/02/41

17/02/41

30/01/41

18/02/41

SL 064

20/02/41

22/02/41

02/03/41

02/03/41

OB 293

07/03/41

08/03/41

23/02/41

10/03/41

HX 111

12/03/41

12/03/41

31/03/41

01/04/41

OB 304

04/04/41

04/04/41

20/03/41

03/04/41

SC 026

08/04/41

08/04/41

12/04/41

12/04/41

OB 309

18/04/41

19/04/41

03/04/41

16/04/41

HG 058

20/04/41

21/04/41

27/04/41

28/04/41

OB 316

03/05/42

05/05/41

25/04/41

06/05/41

HX 123

09/05/41

13/05/41

07/05/41

12/05/41

OB 319

13/05/41

13/05/41

06/05/41

16/05/41

HX 125A

18/05/41

22/05/41

17/05/41

22/05/41

OB 323

25/05/41

25/05/41

27/05/41

06/06/41

HX 129

11/06/41

12/06/41

03/07/41

23/07/41

SL 080

29/07/41

29/07/41

03/08/41

04/08/41

OS 002

08/08/41

22/08/41

28/07/41

08/08/41

HG 069

11/08/41

11/08/41

19/08/41

20/08/41

OG 072

23/08/41

01/09/41

05/08/41

24/08/41

SL 083

28/08/41

28/08/41

02/09/41

02/09/41

OS 005

08/09/41

21/09/41

17/09/41

28/09/41

HG 073

01/10/41

01/10/41

02/10/41

04/10/41

ON 022

07/10/41

15/10/41

29/09/41

11/10/41

SC 047

15/10/41

20/10/41

22/10/41

23/10/41

ON 029

28/10/41

05/11/41

22/10/41

31/10/41

HX 156

04/11/41

05/11/41

13/11/41

13/11/41

ON 036

18/11/41

25/11/41

10/11/41

22/11/41

SC 054

26/11/41

26/11/41

15/06/42

28/06/42

SL 113

03/07/42

05/07/42

05/07/42

21/07/42

SL 115

25/07/42

26/07/42

23/01/43

23/01/43

CG 008

24/01/43

24/01/43

17/05/43

17/05/43

TS 040F

21/05/43

21/05/43

13/08/43

13/08/43

CF 013A

22/08/43

24/08/43

26/09/43

04/10/43

CF 014

10/10/43

10/10/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

SR 008

21/12/43

21/12/43

26/12/43

26/12/43

RS 013

02/01/44

02/01/44

02/01/44

07/01/44

OS 062

12/01/44

11/01/44

20/01/44

20/01/44

STL 010

24/01/44

24/01/44

11/02/44

11/02/44

TS 057

15/02/44

15/02/44

21/02/44

21/02/44

SL 150

24/02/44

03/03/44

19/03/44

19/03/44

TS 058

22/03/44

22/03/44

11/04/44

11/04/44

STL 018

15/04/44

15/04/44

27/04/44

27/04/44

LTS 018

01/05/44

01/05/44

04/05/44

04/05/44

SR 013

11/05/44

11/05/44

14/05/44

14/05/44

RS 017

17/05/44

21/05/44

22/05/44

22/05/44

STL 023

26/05/44

27/05/44

10/06/44

10/06/44

SR 014

17/06/44

17/06/44

23/08/44

23/08/44

KMS 060

02/09/44

02/09/44

12/09/44

13/09/44

GUS 052

19/09/44

08/10/44

25/11/44

25/11/44

MKS 068G

26/11/44

26/11/44

26/11/44

26/11/44

SL 177MK

05/12/44

05/12/44

21/12/44

23/12/44

MKS 072G

28/12/44

30/12/44

26/12/44

28/12/44

MKS 073G

04/01/45

04/01/45

14/02/45

14/02/45

MKF 039

16/02/45

20/02/45

25/03/45

25/03/45

MKF 041

26/03/45

30/03/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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