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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 BRILLIANT (H 84) -  B-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Brilliant (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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B-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Swan Hunter at Wallsend on 22nd March 1929 under the 1928 Build Programme and laid down on 8th July that year as Yard No 1409. Launched on 9th October 1930 she was the 8th RN ship to carry the name. It was first used for a Prize taken in 1696 and lastly for an 1891 cruiser expended as a blockship at Ostend in April 1918. The build was completed on 21st February 1931 at a cost of £221,638, which excluded items supplied by the Admiralty, such as guns and communications equipment. For the following five years she served in the Mediterranean and then was transferred to the Home Fleet. When this Class of destroyer was replaced by the new TRIBAL Class between 1938 and 1939 she was deployed for local port duties. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings Campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

ELLIOTS ACTION 1760 - ZEEBRUGGE AND OSTEND 1918 - ATLANTIC 1941-43 - NORTH AFRICA 1942 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1940-45 - FALKLAND ISLANDS 1982*

(* See Post War Notes)

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, a† twelve pointed star gold

 

M o t t o

Ea nostra vocamus: 'We claim the deeds of our ancestors'

 

 

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 with 19th Destroyer Flotilla at Dover for Anti-submarine convoy escort

                                in English Channel and North Sea. Escorted BEF Convoys to French ports.

                12th        Damaged in collision with harbour wall at Dover.

                13th        Taken in hand for repair.

 

October                  Under repair.

 

November              On completion of post repair trials rejoined Flotilla in continuation.

 

December              Convoy escort and patrol in English Channel and North Sea.

                                (For details of 1939 naval activities in Hone waters see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by Corelli Bamett).

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  English Channel and North Sea deployment in continuation. (See HOLD THE NARROW

to                            SEA by P Smith).

April

 

May

                5th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer HAMPTON with HM Destroyers KEITH, BOREAS

                                and VERITY during minelay in Thames Estuary (Operation DML9).

                10th        Deployed for demolition of port facilities in Dutch ports and the evacuation of allied

                                personnel (Operation XD - See above references).

                12th        Returned to Dover with over 200 refugees embarked.

                15th        Collided with HM Destroyer BOREAS when on passage to Hook of Holland.

                16th        Taken on hand for repair at HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

 

June                        Under repair

                17th        Joined 1st Destroyer Flotilla based at Dover.

                                Deployed for Channel convoy defence and interception patrol in English Channel.

                                (Note: Destroyer Flotillas had been re-organised because of heavy losses during

                                evacuation operations - references as above).

 

July                         Channel deployment in continuation.

                25th        In action with E-Boats attacking convoy in Straits of Dover.

                                Came under air attack by Ju87 aircraft off South Foreland after being ordered to

                                withdraw. Near missed in initial attacks but then hit aft by two bombs which did

                                not explode.

                                Ship settled by the stern and lost way.

                                Vessel lightened by jettison of X and Y guns as well as Depth Charges.

                                No casualties on board and two aircraft were destroyed.

                                Initially towed into Dover.

                27th        Towed to HM Dockyard Chatham.

 

August                  Under repair.

to                            Nominated for duty with Home Fleet. September

October                  Post repair trials and prepared for operational service.

                15th        On completion took passage to join Home Fleet.

                16th        Escorted newly completed battleship, HMS KING GEORGE V from the Tyne to

                                Rosyth.

                18th        Joined Home Fleet for screening of major units and patrol in NW Approaches.

 

November              Home Fleet duties in continuation.

                18th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC,

                                MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER and PORT QUEBEC of 1st Minelaying

                                Squadron with HM Destroyers BEAGLE and BULLDOG during minelay in

                                Northern Barrage (Operation SN3).

                                (For details of all minelaying activities see Naval Staff History (Mining).

 

December              Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                                (Note: Deployment in Irish Sea as escort for military convoy WS5B on 12th

                                to be confirmed.).

 

February

                6th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC.,

                                MENESTHEUS and SOUTHERN PRINCE during minelay in Northern Barrage

                                with HM Destroyers ECHO, ELECTRA and INGLEFIELD (Operation SN7A).

 

March                    Under refit at Southampton.

                                (Work done included:

                                3in mounting fitted for defence against aircraft in place of one set of torpedo

                                tubes.

                                Depth Charge outfit increased to 60 and two Oerlikons fitted.

                                Radar Type 286M (Modified RAF Air-Surface Vessel equipment) installed.

                                (These were interim modifications for use of a Fleet Destroyer as an anti

                                ≠submarine escort

 

April                       Under refit

                                Nominated for Atlantic convoy escort duty based at Freetown.

 

May                        On completion of post refit trials rejoined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                12th        Part of escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS and HM Cruiser LONDON for

                                passage to Gibraltar.

                19th        Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FURY

                                and HESPERUS as screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft

                                Carriers ARK ROYAL and FURIOUS during cover for Malta aircraft delivery.

                                (Operation SPLICE).

                                (For details of Malta aircraft deliveries see THE BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by C Barnett and MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.).

                23rd        On completion of Operation SPLICE deployed with HM Cruiser LONDON in

                                search for German supply ships in Atlantic.

                                (Note: This operation was based on ULTRA information. See BRITISH

                                INTELLIGENCE IN WW2 (HMSO) and BREAKING THE ENIGMA by

                                D Kahn).

 

June

                4th          Intercepted ESSO HAMBURG in South Atlantic which was scuttled.

                5th          Intercepted EGERLAND in same area which was also scuttled by ner crew.

                10th        Joined 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence and

                                interception patrol.

                16th        Joined military convoy WS9A with HM Destroyers BOREAS and HIGHLANDER off

                                African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

                18th        Detached from WS9A on arrival.

 

July                         Freetown deployment in continuation.

                10th        Joined military convoy WS9B with HM Destroyers WILD SWAN and WIVERN, HM

                                Corvette ASPHODEL off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

                13th        Detached on arrival at Freetown.

 

August                  Deployment as Senior Officer's ship of 18th Flotilla in continuation.

                27th        Joined military convoy WS10X with HM Destroyers VELOX and WRESTLER, HM

                                Corvettes CLEMATIS and CROCUS off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

                28th        Detached from WS10X on arrival at Freetown.

 

September             Freetown deployment in continuation.

to

November

 

December

                18th        Joined military convoy WS14 with HM Destroyer HURWORTH off African coast as

                                Local Escort into Freetown.

                21st         Detached from WS14 on arrival at Freetown.

                25th        Sailed with WS14 for Local Escort from Freetown.

                26th        Detached from WE14 with mv ABOSSO for escort to Takoradi.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Deployment at Freetown with Flotilla in continuation

 

February

                26th        Joined military convoy WS16 with HM Destroyers BOREAS AND WILD SWAN off

                                African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

 

March

                1st           Detached from WS16 on arrival at Freetown.

                6th          Sailed with WS16 from Freetown with HM Destroyer WILD SWAN, HM Corvettes

                                JASMINE, NIGELLA and HM Sloop Bridgewater as Local Escort.

                8th          Detached from WS16 with HMS WILD SWAN and returned to Freetown.

 

April                       Under refit.

to                            (Note: Work included:

May                        After 4.7in gun in Y position landed an two additional 20mm guns fitted.

 

June                        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Freetown to resume Atlantic convoy

                                escort duties.

                26th        Joined military convoy WS20 with HM Destroyer BLACKMORE off W. African coast

                                for Local Escort to Freetown.

                                Part of Ocean Escort of Military WS Convoy to Durban.

 

July

                2nd         Detached from W520 on arrival at Freetown.

                6th          Sailed with WS20 with HM Destroyers BLACKMORE and WIVERN as escort for

                                passage to Durban. Ocean.

                                (Note: Escort for passage was provided also by HM Battleship MALAYA.)

                17th        Remained with VJS20 when HMS MALAYA and HMS BLACKMORE detached for

                                escort of part of convoy into Capetown.

                                HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE joined escort.

                20th        Detached from W320 on arrival at Durban.

 

August                  Passage to Freetown to resume Atlantic convoy escort deployment

 

September             Convoy defence duties in continuation.

                                Nominated for support of allied landings in North Africa.

 

October                  Passage to join Force H for Operation TORCH.

                                For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY CLOSELY, RELUCTANT ENEMIES by A

                                Tute and Naval Staff History).

 

November              Deployed at Gibraltar and prepared for support duties.

                8th          Part of escort for Assault Convoy.

                                Provided naval gunfire fire support during landings on Beach Y at Oran.

                                Sank Vichy French Sloop LA SURPRISE that attempted to interfere with

                                TORCH landings.

                                Rescued 21 survivors from French WARSHIP. See above references).

                14th        Transferred to 61st Escort Group at Gibraltar for anti-submarine defence of the

                                Follow-up convoys and patrol in Western Mediterranean.

 

December              Convoy defence with Group in continuation.

                                Nominated for full conversion to A/S Escort Destroyer.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Passage to Portsmouth.

 

February                Taken in hand for Full Conversion by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.

 

March                    Under conversion.

to                            Work done included

May                        Ahead Throwing Anti-Submarine Mortar (HEDGEHOG) fitted in place

                                of forward 4.7in gun mounting (A).

                                Centimetric surface warning radar (Type 271) installed.

                                Depth Charge allowance increased to 125.

                                3in AA gun removed and after set of torpedo tubes replaced.

                                (For details of development of anti-submarine tactics and new weapons

                                see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann).

 

June                        Post refit trials and prepared for operational service.

 

July                         Nominated for service with 13th Destroyer- Flotilla based at Gibraltar.

                                Carried out Work-up in Clyde area.

 

August                  Passage to Mediterranean to join Flotilla.

 

September             Deployed with Flotilla for Local Escort and anti-submarine search duties.

to                            (Note: During this period increased A/S patrols in conjunction with RAF aircraft

November              were carried out in Gibraltar Command area. See U-BOAT WAR IN THE

                                ATLANTIC (HMSO) and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

December

                12th        Took part in search with US Destroyers EDISON, TRIPPE and WOOLSEY for

                                U73 which had torpedoed a ship in Convoy GUS24 off the coast of Algeria.

                                (Note: U73 was sunk later by US Destroyers by surface gunfire after attacks by

                                Depth Charges forced the submarine to surface.)

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Convoy defence and A/S duties at Gibraltar in continuation.

to

August

 

September             Passage to UK for refit

 

October                  Under refit at Portsmouth.

                                Nominated for service with 1st Destroyer Flotilla.

November              Joined Flotilla at Portsmouth and deployed in English Channel and SW

                                Approaches for convoy defence.

 

December              Convoy defence duty with Flotilla in continuation.

                24th        Deployed as escort for troopship LEOPOLDVILLE during passage to Cherbourg

                                with HM Destroyer ANTHONY and two other escorts.

                                After troopship was hit by acoustic torpedo fired by U486 took part in rescue of

                                survivors with other escorts. Embarked 20 soldiers before ship sank.

                                (Note: Ship was carrying 2,237 men of US 66th Division and crew of 237.

                                1,673 men were rescued and 821 lost their lives.

                                For details see HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Channel deployment in continuation

                                Sustained major structural damage in collision with HM Canadian Corvette

                                LINDSAY during fog in English Channel.

 

February                Under temporary repair at Portsmouth.

to                            Transferred to Antwerp for completion.

March

 

April                       Nominated for service as an Air Target Ship.

                23rd        On completion of repair at Antwerp took passage to Portsmouth for conversion.

 

May                        Under conversion.

 

June                        Deployed at Portsmouth.

                7th          Escorted HM Cruiser JAMAICA during passage to Jersey with HM King George

                                VI for visit to Channel Islands.

                13th        Passage to Clyde for Air Target duty.

 

July                         Nominated for detached duty as required for collection of surrendered U-Boats.

                                (Operation DEADLIGHT).

                                (Note: No evidence has been found for use as an Air Target ship for aircrew

                                training during WW2).

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS BRILLIANT was deployed for escort of surrendered U-Boats to Lisahally and Loch Ryan but did not take part in their destruction later. During November 1945 she Paid-off and was placed in Reserve. After she had been de-equipped the ship was used for target trials and placed on the Disposal List in 1947. Sold for to BISCO for demolition by West of Scotland Shipbreakers on 21st February 1948 the ship arrived in tow at the breakerís yard at Troon in April 1948.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BRILLIANT

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

 

 

 

 

 

05/08/41

05/08/41

SL 083

11/08/41

28/08/41

15/08/41

15/08/41

SL 084

19/08/41

08/09/41

03/08/41

19/08/41

OS 002

22/08/41

22/08/41

14/09/41

14/09/41

SL 087

16/09/41

06/10/41

02/09/41

17/09/41

OS 005

18/09/41

21/09/41

12/09/41

03/10/41

OS 006

03/10/41

03/10/41

05/10/41

05/10/41

SL 089

08/10/41

26/10/41

23/09/41

10/10/41

OS 007

14/10/41

14/10/41

15/10/41

15/10/41

SL 090

18/10/41

06/11/41

27/10/41

27/10/41

SL 091

31/10/41

08/11/41

13/10/41

01/11/41

OS 009

05/11/41

05/11/41

18/11/41

18/11/41

SL 093

23/11/41

10/12/41

07/11/41

24/11/41

OS 011

28/11/41

28/11/41

04/01/42

04/01/42

SL 097

06/01/42

24/01/42

23/12/41

09/01/42

OS 015

13/01/42

13/01/42

27/01/42

27/01/42

SL 099

30/01/42

16/02/42

18/01/42

05/02/42

OS 017

07/02/42

07/02/42

14/03/42

14/03/42

SL 103

02/04/42

02/04/42

18/09/42

18/09/42

TS 019

23/09/42

23/09/42

09/10/42

09/10/42

ST 038

09/10/42

14/10/42

01/12/42

01/12/42

ET 003

04/12/42

04/12/42

11/12/42

16/12/42

MKF 004Y

19/12/42

24/12/42

22/12/42

26/12/42

MKS 004

27/12/42

06/01/43

12/12/42

31/12/42

UGS 003

31/12/42

01/01/43

19/01/43

19/01/43

MKS 006

23/01/43

01/02/43

14/01/43

24/01/43

UGF 004

27/01/43

25/01/43

03/02/43

03/02/43

WP 289

05/02/43

05/02/43

25/08/43

26/08/43

CF 013B

31/08/43

31/08/43

28/09/43

28/09/43

KMS 027G

29/09/43

29/09/43

17/10/43

27/10/43

KMS 030G

01/11/43

01/11/43

16/12/43

25/12/43

KMF 027

25/12/43

30/12/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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