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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006

HMCS RESTIGOUCHE (H 00), ex-HMS COMET - D-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMCS Restigouche (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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C-Class Destroyer HMS COMET was ordered with sister destroyer HMS CRUSADER from HM Dockyard Portsmouth on 15th July 1930 under the 1929 Build Programme. This programme was intended to include a full Flotilla of eight ships with a Flotilla Leader but on 30th January 1930 it was announced that only four destroyers and a Flotilla Leader would be built under the estimates as part of the economies being made during the depressed economy of that period. The ship was laid down on 12th September 1930 with the CRUSADER and launched on 30th September 1931, the same day as CRUSADER. This destroyer was the 13th to bear the name, introduced in 1695 for a Bomb Ship, and last borne by a destroyer built in 1910 and sunk by an Italian submarine in the Mediterranean on 6th August 1918. It was also used by a tug lost by grounding in Tigris on 1st December 1915 and by a hired vessel used as a decoy during WW2 and sunk by a mine off Falmouth on 30th September 1940. Build of this ship was completed on 2nd June 1932 and she was renamed HMCS RESTIGOUCHE on 15th June 1938 after transfer to the Royal Canadian Navy.

 

B a t t l e  H o n o u r s   a s   H M S   C O M E T

 

GLORIOUS 1st OF JUNE 1794 - SYLPHE Action 1806 - MESOPOTAMIA 1914-15

 

H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, a Comet Silver.

 

M o t t o

'Follow the Light'

 

S u m m a r y o f P r e W a r S e r v i c e  a s   H M S   C O M E T

 

 

1 9 3 2

 

May

 

Contractors trials.

 

June

 

2nd - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials. Commissioned for service in 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

 

On completion of Acceptance Trials worked-up in Home waters.

 

July

 

21st - Damaged in collision with sister destroyer HMS CRESCENT at Chatham.

 

28th - Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Chatham for repair to propellers.

 

August

 

20th - Resumed duties with Flotilla in Home Fleet on completion of repair work and post repair trials.

 

September to December

 

Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties.

 

 

1 9 3 3

 

 Home Fleet exercises and visits programme with normal leave periods.

 

 

1 9 3 4

 

January to June

 

Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation

 

July

 

20th - Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Chatham for routine docking and refit.

 

August

 

Under refit

 

September

 

3rd - Carried out post refit trials on completion of dockyard work before resuming Flotilla duties.

 

 

October to December

 

Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties.

 

 

1 9 3 5

 

January to July

 

Home Fleet deployment in continuation. Nominated for detached service in Mediterranean. (Note: Following the Italian invasion of Abyssinia ships of the Home Fleet were despatched to reinforce the fleet in the Mediterranean at Alexandria.)

 

August

 

Passage to Alexandria. Nominated for surveillance of Italian warship movements in Red Sea

 

September to December

 

Deployed with sister ships of 2nd Flotilla in Red Sea.

 

 

1 9 3 6

 

January to March

 

Red Sea deployment in continuation.

 

April

 

Nominated for return to Home Fleet duties and took passage to Sheerness.

 

23rd - Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

 

May

 

Under Refit

 

June

 

29th - Carried out post refit trials before resuming Flotilla duties in Home Fleet.

 

July

 

Nominated for deployment with ships of Flotilla for patrol duties off Spanish Coast in Bay of Biscay and took passage for this duty. (Note: Non-intervention patrols were carried out to intercept shipping carrying contraband goods into Spain and to protect British flagged shipping.)

 

August to October

 

Home Fleet duties including patrol periods in Bay of Biscay. (Note: Transfer to Royal Canadian Navy of ships of this Class of destroyer was under consideration by the Admiralty as the deployment of a Flotilla made up of only four ships was presenting administrative difficulties.)

 

November

 

Reduced to Special complement pending result of current transfer discussions. (Note: Sister ship HMS CRUSADER was also subject to this reduction.)

 

December

 

Nominated for special detached RN service in Mediterranean. Passage to Malta to act as plane guard attached to HM Aircraft Carrier GLORIOUS.

 

26th - Commenced duties with HMS GLORIOUS.

 

 

1 9 3 7

 

January to February

 

Plane Guard duties with HMS GLORIOUS in continuation. (Note: This duty was primarily concerned with providing rescue facilities in the event of an aircraft crashing into the sea during take-off or landing procedures.)

 

March

 

Took part with HMS GLORIOUS in exercises by combined Home and Mediterranean Fleets held annually and based at Gibraltar. (Note: Because of the civil war in Spain all serials of the exercises were conducted in the Atlantic with none in the western Mediterranean. Special precautions were taken to ensure ships were clearly identified. See CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton.)

 

April

 

Deployed at Gibraltar with HMS GLORIOUS. Nominated for attendance at the Coronation Review of the Fleet by HM King George VI at Spithead.

 

May

 

Passage to Portsmouth with HMS GLORIOUS.

 

9th - Arrived at Portsmouth to prepare for ceremonial duties at Review.

 

20th - Took part in Review with 141 other RN ships including eight battleships, two battle cruisers, 16 cruisers, five aircraft carriers, a seaplane carrier, 60 destroyers 22 submarines, five escort sloops, 20 minor warships and auxiliaries including a Fleet oiler.

 

24th - Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth for repairs

 

June

 

Under repair.

 

18th - Resumed operational duties.

 

26th - Deployed with HMS GLORIOUS at Falmouth. Took part in briefing for series of Trade Defence exercises in Western Approaches.

 

July

 

Deployed for exercises as Plane Guard for HMS GLORIOUS. For details see above reference.

 

11th - Passage to Malta with HMS GLORIOUS on completion of exercises.

 

16th - Arrived in Malta to resume Mediterranean Fleet duties.

 

August

 

Deployed with HMS GLORIOUS for major Fleet exercise as part of Force F.

 

September

 

17th - On completion of Fleet exercise nominated for special duty with HMS GLORIOUS to provide anti-submarine protection for British shipping following Italian submarine deployments in support of Nationalist forces. (Note: Several ships had been attacked by these submarines which wore Spanish Nationalist colours.)

 

Took passage to Gibraltar with HMS GLORIOUS. (Note: Following Nyon conference HMS GLORIOUS was to be deployed based at Oran to provide air patrols for defence against submarines.)

 

22nd - Deployed at Oran with HMS GLORIOUS. (Note: Air patrols were carried out.)

 

October

 

Returned to Malta with HMS GLORIOUS.

 

18th - Arrived in Malta.

 

25th - Took passage from Malta with HMS GLORIOUS which was to re-commission.

 

30th - Returned to Chatham.

 

November to December

 

Deployed in Home waters during period whilst HMS GLORIOUS was at Devonport.

 

 

1 9 3 8

 

January

 

Resumed Plane Guard duties for HMS GLORIOUS.

 

17th - Sailed from Southampton with HMS GLORIOUS to resume duties in Mediterranean.

 

24th - Arrived in Malta.

 

February to April

 

Carried out Plane Guard duties during major exercises in Mediterranean. (Note: These included joint exercises with Home Fleet ships at Gibraltar.)  Nominated for return to UK to pay off from RN service after agreement with RCN for transfer.

 

May

 

Passage to Chatham. Paid off prior to being taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Chatham.

 

26th - Taken in hand for refit. (Note: Ship became responsibility of RCN during refit.)

 

 

June

 

Under refit

 

15th - Commissioned for RCN service and renamed HMCS RESTIGOUCHE.

 

 

S e r v i c e   a s   H M C S   R E S T I G O U C H E

 

July

 

Under refit.

 

August

 

Harbour trials.

 

20th - Carried out post refit sea trials in Nore Command.

 

September

 

On completion of trials carried out work-up with RN ships at Portland and in Home waters.

 

October

 

Took passage to Halifax with HM Canadian Destroyer OTTAWA (i). (Note: It may be assumed that ship's complement was brought to required standard after arrival.)

 

Continued passage in Atlantic to Panama with HMCS OTTAWA (i).

 

November

 

Passage to Esquimalt after transit of Panama Canal.

 

7th - Arrived at Esquimalt with HMCS OTTAWA (i) to begin RCN service in Pacific.

 

December

 

Deployed at Esquimalt

 

 

1 9 3 9

 

January to August

 

Carried out training and patrol duties in Pacific. (Note: RCN ships based at Esquimalt carried out exercises with those based at Halifax. During this period RCN destroyers were involved in escort and Guardship duties during the visit to Canada by HM King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.)

 

 

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)

 

 

September

 

Prepared to take-up war station.

 

October

 

Deployed at Esquimalt.

 

November

 

Nominated for Atlantic convoy defence and took passage to Halifax.

 

December

 

Deployed for Atlantic convoy defence between Halifax and Newfoundland.

 

15th - Took passage via Panama to Halifax.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January to April

 

Atlantic convoy defence in continuation. Nominated for transfer to Western Approaches Command in UK for convoy escort duties.

 

May

 

Prepared for service in UK.

 

24th - Took passage from Halifax to Plymouth.

 

31st - Arrived at Plymouth.

 

June

 

Taken in hand for modifications by HM Dockyard, Devonport. (Note: After bank of torpedo tubes were removed and 3in AA gun fitted, 2pdr Pom-pom replaced by 0.5in machine guns.)  On completion deployed to support evacuation operations from French ports in Bay of Biscay.

 

25th - Rescued survivors from HM Canadian Destroyer FRASER which had sunk after a collision with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA in the Gironde River.

 

July

 

On release from Bay of Biscay operations deployed for convoy defence in Western Approaches based at Liverpool.

 

August

 

Nominated for refit at Halifax.

 

31st - Took passage from Liverpool to Halifax.

 

September

 

Taken in hand for refit at Halifax in RCN dockyard.

 

October to November

 

Under refit.

 

December

 

On completion of post refit trials deployed in Canadian waters. Nominated for return to UK for convoy defence.

 

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

 

Passage to Liverpool to resume duties in Western Approaches.

 

February to May

 

Deployed for escort of Atlantic convoys. (Note: Convoys to eastern Atlantic were escorted to a dispersal point in NW Approaches from whence escorts transferred to west bound convoys to UK.)

 

June

 

Transferred to Newfoundland Escort Force based at St Johns and took passage from UK.

 

July

 

Deployed for escort of Atlantic convoys for passage in Atlantic.

 

August

 

4th - During escort deployment grounded in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland and sustained damage to propellers and underwater fittings.

 

Taken in hand for repair at St Johns.

 

September

 

Repair transferred to Halifax. Completion of repair commenced on arrival.

 

October

 

Resumed operational service at St Johns on completion of repair.

 

November

 

Deployed for Atlantic convoy escort in Newfoundland Command.

 

December

 

13th - Sustained serious weather damage during passage to join westbound convoy ON44.

 

14th - Took passage to Clyde for repair.

 

20th - Repair arranged in Clyde commercial shipyard after arrival

 

 

1 9 4 2

 

January to February

 

Under repair.

 

March

 

Worked-up at Tobermory. (Note: See SEEK and STRIKE by W Hackmann, BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by J Terraine and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY BY C Barnett for details additional training of RCN escorts.)

 

Nominated for service in 4th Canadian Escort Group EG4 at St Johns. (Note: This Group was also identified as Task Unit 24.1.14 to suit US Navy system of identities used for other warships deployed jointly.)

 

April

 

Joined Group in Home waters. (Note: Other ships in Group were: HM Destroyer CHURCHILL, HM Canadian Destroyer OTTAWA (i), HM Canadian Corvettes* BRANDON, AMHERST, COLLINGWOOD, SHERBROOKE, WETASKIWIN (Ex BANFF), PICTOU, GALT and HM Corvette CELANDINE. * Canadian-built entering service during 1942 and deployed in Canadian Groups before transfer.)

 

May

 

15th - Group joined eastbound Convoy ON95 in Liverpool as escort during Atlantic passage.

 

29th - Deployed at St Johns and Group joined eastbound Convoy SC85 as escort during passage to Clyde.

 

June

 

Detached from SC85 and took passage to support of defence of eastbound Convoy ONS102 by US Navy Escort Group A3. (Note: EG A3 included US Coastguard Cutters USS CAMPBELL, DUANE, INGHAM and US destroyer USS LEARY.)

 

16th - Under attack by HECHT U-Boat Group and carried out A/S operations. (For details see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

18th - HECHT Group attacks renewed and carried out depth charge attacks. (Note: One mercantile was sunk by U124. See reference.). On release Group ships and deployed as escort for westbound Convoy ON 105 during passage from Liverpool.

 

30th - Group detached from and deployed in eastern Atlantic.

 

July

 

6th - Group deployed as escort for eastbound Convoy HX197 during passage to Clyde.

 

17th - Group detached and convoy arrived at Liverpool.

 

25th - Group joined westbound Convoy ONS116 as escort for Atlantic passage.

 

August

 

Group detached from ONS116 and took passage to join eastbound Convoy SC95. (Note: Convoy ONS116 arrived off Boston on 12th.)

 

19th - Detached on arrival of SC95 at Liverpool.

 

September

 

4th - Group deployed as escort for westbound Convoy ON 127 during Atlantic passage.

 

Group detached from ON 127 after arrival in Home waters.

 

19th - Group deployed as escort for eastbound Convoy SC101 during Atlantic passage.

 

October

 

5th - Detached from SC101 on arrival at Liverpool.

 

9th - Group deployed as escort for westbound convoy ON137 during Atlantic passage.

 

Group detached from ON137 and took passage to St Johns. Deployed with ships of Group as escort for eastbound convoy SCI07 during passage to Liverpool.

 

29th - SC107 sighted by U522 and reported to Bdu. VEILCHEN Group formed

 

November

 

 2nd to 4th - Convoy under sustained attacks by VEILCHEN Group, during which 15 mercantiles were sunk. (Note: This was the fourth most successful of all U-Boat attacks made on North Atlantic convoys during WW2. For full details see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

10th - Group detached from SCI07 on arrival at Liverpool.

 

17th - Group deployed as escort for westbound Convoy ON 147 during Atlantic passage.

 

December

 

Group detached from ON147 and took passage to St Johns. Group deployed as escort for eastbound Convoy SC112 during passage to Liverpool.

 

25th - Group detached from SC112 on arrival.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January to December

 

Atlantic convoy defence in continuation

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January to March

 

Atlantic convoy defence in continuation. Nominated for transfer to 12th Escort Group and deployed in Home waters.

 

April

 

Joined HM Canadian Destroyer QU'APPELLE, SASKATCHEWAN and SKEENA in EG 12 which was deployed for convoy defence and patrol in Western Approaches. Nominated for anti-submarine support of planned allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

 

May

 

Detached with Group for deployment in Plymouth Command.

 

June

 

Took up station in SW Approaches with Group to carry out anti-submarine patrol to prevent any access by U-Boats for attacks on invasion convoys.

 

6th - Deployed in assigned area.

 

7th - Transferred to an area north of Ushant and came under attacks by acoustic torpedoes from U-Boats against ships of Group, all of which were unsuccessful! Took part in anti-submarine attacks on detected submarines.

 

July

 

Deployed with Group for offensive patrols to attack traffic off French coast (Operation DREDGER).

 

5th - Took part in attack on convoy off Brest during which three patrol boats were attacked and V717 was sunk. (Note: Ships of Group sustained damage from small calibre return fire.)

 

8th - Rescued survivors from 0243 (?) which had been in air attack that day.

 

August

 

Channel deployment in continuation.

 

12th - Engaged three trawlers during interception operation with ships of Group and HM Escort Destroyer ALBRIGHTON.

 

18th - Deployed with HM Canadian Destroyers KOOTENAY and CHAUDIERE of 11th Escort Group and took part in sinking of U621 in Bay of Biscay position 45.52N 02.36W. (See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

September

 

Nominated for refit and took passage to St Johns.

 

October

 

Under refit.

 

November

 

Transferred to Halifax for completion of refit.

 

December

 

Refit in continuation at HM Canadian Dockyard, Halifax.

 

 

1 9 4 5

 

January

 

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

 

February

 

Work-up at Bermuda.

 

14th - Returned to Halifax and deployed for Local Escort of convoys.

 

March to April

 

Halifax deployment in continuation.

 

May to August

 

Nominated for trooping duties after VE Day and took passage to UK to collect Canadian servicemen for return to Canada. (Note: Three trips were made.)

 

September

 

Nominated for Paying-off.

 

October

 

Paid-off and de-stored.

 

 

P o s t W a r N o t e s

 

HMCS RESTIGOUCHE was placed on the Disposal List later in 1945 and sold to Foundation Maritime for demolition. She was broken-up in Halifax later that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMCS RESTIGOUCHE

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

 

 

 

 

 

10/12/39

10/12/39

TC 001

12/12/39

17/12/39

22/12/39

22/12/39

TC 002

24/12/39

30/12/39

04/01/40

04/01/40

HXF 015

06/01/40

15/01/40

06/01/40

06/01/40

HX 015

07/01/40

19/01/40

20/01/40

20/01/40

HXF 017

21/01/40

01/02/40

22/01/40

22/01/40

HX 017

23/01/40

07/02/40

30/01/40

30/01/40

TC 003

01/02/40

07/02/40

07/02/40

07/02/40

HX 019

08/02/40

22/02/40

22/02/40

22/02/40

HX 022

23/02/40

09/03/40

05/03/40

05/03/40

HX 025

06/03/40

20/03/40

13/03/40

13/03/40

HX 027

14/03/40

28/03/40

25/03/40

25/03/40

HX 030

26/03/40

09/04/40

02/04/40

02/04/40

HX 032

03/04/40

17/04/40

06/04/40

06/04/40

HX 033

07/04/40

20/04/40

10/04/40

10/04/40

HX 034

11/04/40

26/04/40

14/04/40

14/04/40

HX 035

15/04/40

29/04/40

22/04/40

22/04/40

HX 037

23/04/40

07/05/40

30/04/40

30/04/40

HX 039

10/05/40

15/05/40

08/05/40

08/05/40

HX 041

09/05/40

23/05/40

12/05/40

12/05/40

HX 042

13/05/40

28/05/40

16/05/40

16/05/40

HX 043

17/05/40

31/05/40

24/05/40

24/05/40

HX 045

25/05/40

08/06/40

11/06/40

18/06/40

TC 005

21/06/40

21/06/40

20/07/40

22/07/40

OA 187

25/07/40

unknown

08/07/40

25/07/40

SL 039

29/07/40

29/07/40

03/08/40

03/08/40

OA 193

07/08/40

07/08/40

27/07/40

08/08/40

HX 061

11/08/40

11/08/40

11/08/40

22/08/40

HG 041

24/08/40

26/08/40

11/11/40

11/11/40

HX 086

11/11/40

26/11/40

29/11/40

29/11/40

HX 092

30/11/40

12/12/40

10/12/40

10/12/40

HX 095

11/12/40

27/12/40

16/12/40

16/12/40

TC 008

21/12/40

25/12/40

22/12/40

22/12/40

HX 098

23/12/40

29/12/40

15/01/41

15/01/41

HX 103

16/01/41

01/02/41

17/02/41

24/02/41

TC 009

26/02/41

27/02/41

28/03/41

01/04/41

OB 303

unknown

03/04/41

06/04/41

16/04/41

HX 119A

21/04/41

22/04/41

30/04/41

30/04/41

SA 1

03/05/41

03/05/41

09/05/41

09/05/41

HP

12/05/41

24/05/41

22/05/41

22/05/41

WS 008B

26/05/41

04/06/41

16/05/41

28/05/41

HX 127

01/06/41

02/06/41

10/06/41

15/06/41

SC 034

18/06/41

29/06/41

10/06/41

16/06/41

HX 132

18/06/41

28/06/41

21/07/41

21/07/41

TC 012

26/07/41

29/07/41

09/10/41

09/10/41

TC 014

15/10/41

17/10/41

17/10/41

25/10/41

SC 050

31/10/41

04/11/41

01/11/41

06/11/41

ON 032

13/11/41

16/11/41

22/11/41

24/11/41

SC 056

05/12/41

10/12/41

07/12/41

12/12/41

ON 044

14/12/41

15/12/41

15/03/42

16/03/42

ON 076

28/03/43

31/03/42

05/04/42

09/04/42

SC 078

21/04/42

22/04/42

09/06/42

12/06/42

ON 102

21/06/42

25/06/42

19/09/42

23/09/42

SC 101

03/10/42

05/10/42

11/10/42

12/10/42

ON 137

22/10/42

29/10/42

24/10/42

30/10/42

SC 107

10/11/42

10/11/42

17/11/42

18/11/42

ON 147

28/11/42

04/12/42

04/12/42

11/12/42

SC 112

25/12/42

25/12/42

02/01/43

05/01/43

ON 158

17/01/43

23/01/43

22/01/43

27/01/43

HX 224

04/02/43

05/02/43

02/03/43

02/03/43

KMF 010B

09/03/43

09/03/43

10/03/43

10/03/43

MKF 010B

17/03/43

17/03/43

06/04/43

07/04/43

ON 177

17/04/43

23/04/43

18/04/43

24/04/43

HX 235

03/05/43

05/05/43

17/05/43

18/05/43

ONS 008

29/05/43

01/06/43

05/06/43

08/06/43

SC 133

19/06/43

19/06/43

03/07/43

04/07/43

ONS 012

15/07/43

18/07/43

19/07/43

23/07/43

SC 137

03/08/43

03/08/43

15/01/44

16/01/44

ON 220

28/01/44

04/02/44

13/02/44

17/02/44

HX 279

28/02/44

29/02/44

27/02/44

02/03/44

ONS 030

10/03/44

13/03/44

13/03/44

19/03/44

HX 283

28/03/44

29/03/44

13/03/45

13/03/45

TA 193

14/03/45

19/03/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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