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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 FAME (H 78) -  F-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Firedrake, sister ship (Navy Photos,  click to enlarge)

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F-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered on 17th March 1933 from Parsons Marine Turbine Company under the 1932 Programme. The ship was built by Vickers-Armstrong at Newcastle and laid down on 5th July 1933 at The same time, as sister ship HMS FIREDRAKE in the same shipyard.  She was launched on 28th July  1934 with HMS FIREDRAKE. She was the13th RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1655 and previously carried by a destroyer launched in 1896 and  sold in 1921. Build was completed on 30th May 1935 at a cost of 244,216 excluding Admiralty supplied equipment. She was serving in the Home Fleet in August 1939. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in February 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Stratford-on-Avon.

 

B a t t 1 e   H o n o u r s

 

LOWESTOFT 1663 -  BREST 1778 - GRENADA 1779 - THE SAINTES 1782 - CHINA 1900 - NORWAY 1940 - ATLANTIC 1942-44 - NORMANDY 1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, crossed trumpets Silver,

in the centre a torch Gold

 

M o t t o

Fama si merita:  'Fame comes if deserved'

 

 

 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             Part of 8th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

                3rd          Deployed for fleet screening and anti-submarine duties in Western Approaches.

                                (Note: Ships of Flotilla sank U39 which attacked HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL

                                on 14th.)

 

October                  Home Fleet duties in continuation with Flotilla based at Scapa Flow.

to                            (For details of naval activities in Home waters see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

December              Corelli Barnett and Naval Staff History).

 

1 9 4 0

 

January

                4th          Part of escort for HM Battleship NELSON on passage to Portsmouth from Loch Ewe.

                                (Note: HMS NELSON was damaged by a magnetic mine.)

                                Returned to rejoin Flotilla for Home Fleet duties after arrival at Portsmouth.

 

February                Home Fleet duties based at Scapa Flow with Flotilla duties in continuation.

                                (Note: Home Fleet ships were deployed for escort or cover of convoys to and from Norway

                                and for interception of German warships in North Sea and in the NW Approaches.)

 

March                    Under repair at Grimsby

 

April

                10th        On completion of repairs and trials took passage to Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet

                                Flotilla duties.

                13th        Damaged by return fire from shore at Narvik.

                18th        Escorted French troopships taking Chasseurs to Namsos.

 

May                        Deployed for convoy defence and Fleet support off Norway.

                12th        Deployed with HM Destroyer HAVELOCK in support of landings by French troops

                                at Bjerkvik.

                21st         Landed 150 French troops at Lilleberg near Narvik supported by HM Cruiser CAIRO and

                                French destroyer MILAN.

                27th        Deployed with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, HAVELOCK and WALKER in support of crossing

                                of Rombaksfjord by French troops.

                30th        Evacuated Irish Guards, Independent Companies

                                and military police units from Bodo with HM Destroyer FIREDRAKE.

                                (Note: Main engines had been at continuous notice for steam since 10th May.)

 

June                        Deployed for cover of allied evacuation operations from Norway.

                                (Operation ALPHABET - For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see the

                                above references and THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams. )

                                Resumed Flotilla duties in Home Fleet on release from escort of returning ships.

                4th          Escorted Group II of evacuation convoys with HM Cruisers COVENTRY,

                                SOUTHAMPTON, HM Destroyers HAVELOCK, BEAGLE, FIREDRAKE and DELIGHT.

                10th        Deployed with Flotilla with Home Fleet.

 

July                         Home Fleet Flotilla duties in continuation

                6th          Deployed for screening of Home Fleet major units during search for H M Submarine

                                SHARK in North Sea.

                                Under air attack and sustained splinter damage.

                                (Note: HMS SHARK had been sunk in air attack off Skudesnes, Norway on 6th.)

                                After return of Home Fleet took passage to Robb's shipyard, Leith for repair.

 

August                  Under repair at Leith.

 

September             Completion of repair work arranged at Rosyth.                             

                                Passage to Rosyth.

 

October                  Under repair by HM Dockyard.

                11th        Rejoined Home Fleet on completion of post repair trials.

                16th        Deployed with HM Destroyer ASHANTI for escort of HM Battleship KING GEORGE V from

                                mouth of River Tyne to Rosyth after build completion.

                                Sustained major damage in collision with HMS ASHANTI and caught fire.

                                Ship subsequently ran aground

                                (Note: Some reports state that the ships were carrying out high speed operations intended to

                                actuate mines known to have been laid in area.)

                19th        Salvage of ship arranged.

 

November              Salvage work in hand to lighten vessel prior to tow for repair.

                1st           Ship refloated and taken to Sunderland.

                3rd          Taken in hand for temporary repair at commercial shipyard.

 

December              Under temporary repair

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Temporary repair in continuation.

 

February                Towed to Chatham for permanent repair and conversion for use as escort.

                                Paid off into Dockyard Control.

 

March                    Under repair and conversion by HM Dockyard, Chatham.

to

December

 

 1 9 4 2

 

January                  Repair and conversion in continuation.

to                            Note: Radar Type 271 for surface warning and Oerlikons for close range defence fitted.

August                  For details of weapons and radar used in Battle of the Atlantic see RADAR AT SEA

                                by D Howse, SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann and U-BOAT WAR IN THE

                                ATLANTIC (HMSO).

                                Nominated for service in 6th British Escort Group.

 

September             Recommissioned and carried out post refit trials.

                                Worked-up for Atlantic convoy defence at Tobermory

 

October                  On completion joined Group.

                11th        Escorted Convoy SC104 with HM Destroyer VISCOUNT, HM Norwegian Corvettes

                                ACANTHUS, MONTBRETIA, POLYANTHUS and EGLANTINE

                                Under threat of attacks by WOTAN Group of U-Boats.

                15th        During sustained attacks by WOTAN Group took part in anti-submarine operations.

                                (Note: U661 was rammed and sunk by HM Destroyer VISCOUNT.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P. Kemp and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR,

                                Volume 2 by C Blair.)

                16th        After radar detection carried out depth charge attack on U353 which was forced to surface.

                                During further attack and ramming manoeuvre hit submarine which caused major structural

                                damage.

                                Boarding party unable to recover any significant material as scuttling procedures had been

                                initiated. See above references.

                                Submarine sank in position 53-54N 29-30W. Some survivors were rescued by escort ships.

                                (Note: Eight ships of SC104 were sunk during transit.)

                17th        Detached from convoy and made passage to UK for repair

                                Taken in hand for repair on arrival.

 

November              Under repair.

 

December              On completion rejoined Group and resumed Atlantic convoy escort duties.

                8th          Escorted Convoy HX127 which came under attacks by DRAUFGANGER U-Boat Group.

                                (See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR Volume 2.)

                                (Note: Group included Polish destroyer ORP BURZA.)

                28th        Part of escort for Convoy ONS155 with Group.

                30th        Detached from ONS155 to reinforce Canadian 1st Escort Group in defence of Convoy

                                ONS154 which was under heavy attacks by SPITZ U-Boat Group.

                                (Note: On arrival relieved HM Destroyer ST LAURENT as Senior Officer.

                                14 ships were lost from this Convoy. See above reference.)

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

                                (Note: Group escorted Convoy SC1l6 without loss).

 

February                Joined Convoy ONS165 as escort with ships of Group.

                17th        Under heavy and sustained attacks by group of U-boats which located ONS165.

                                Carried cut attacks on U69 with HMS VISCOUNT after wireless signals intercepted.

                                (Note: U69 was sunk by HMS VISCOUNT in position 50.50N 40.50W.

                                There were no survivors.)

                                Sank U201 by depth charge attacks in position 50.36N 40.50W with no survivors.

                                (See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR Volume 2.)

                26th        Part of escort for Convoy HX227 with ships of Group.

                27th        Carried out attacks on submarines of NEPTUN Group which had located convoy.

                                (Note: One ship of convoy was sunk in the attacks. See above reference.

 

March                    Deployment with 6th British Escort Group in continuation.

                18th        Joined Convoy ONS1 as escort with ships of Group.

                                (Note: Convoy arrived without loss. It was first of redesignated ONS series.)

                31st         Joined Convoy SC125 at Halifax with ships of Group as escort for eastward passage to UK.

 

April                       Detached from Convoy SC125 on arrival without loss.

 

May                        Group escorted Convoy ONSS6 and Convoy SC131 without loss in either.

                                (Note: For details of this significant phase of the Battle of the Atlantic see above references.

June                        Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to                            (Note: Information about weapons and tactics in the Battle are available in SEEK

September             and STRIKE by W Hackmann.)

 

October                  Part of escort for Convoy ON206 with HM Destroyer VANQUISHER and HM Nor. Corvettes

                                POTENTILLA and ROSE.

                                Passage of this convoy was supported by 7th Escort Group.

                                (Note: HM Destroyers VANQUISHER, DUNCAN, VIDETTE, HM Frigate DEVERON and

                                seven corvettes were also involved in defence of this convoy. See references.)

                15th        ONS206 sighted by U844.

                16th        Under attacks by U-boats during which U844, U663 and U84l were sunk by escorts of other

                to            Groups. See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR and U-BOATS DESTROYED.)

                20th

                28th        Part of escort for Convoy SC145 with HM Escort Carrier FENCER, Polish destroyers

                                ORP BURZA, ORP GARLAND and HM Destroyer INCONSTANT of 8th Support Group.

                                Attempted attacks by SIEGFRIED U- Boat Group were driven off.

 

November              Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

 

February                Part of escort to Convoy ON29 with HM Destroyers VANQUISHER and VESPER, HM Frigate

                                DEVERON, HM Corvettes KINGCUP, VERVAIN, EGLANTINE, ROSE and ACANTHUS.

                14th        Convoy sighted by aircraft.

                16th        HM Escort Carrier STRIKER, HM Frigates SPEY, ROTHER, FINDHORN and LOSSIE

                                provided additional support in view of threat of attacks by HAI U-Boat Group.

                18th        Attacks avoided by diversion of route.

 

March                    Part of escort for Convoy HX281 with H M Frigates DEVERON, ANTIGUA, HM Corvettes

                                KINGCUP, VERVAIN, EGLANTINA, ROSE and ACANTHUS.

                10th        Convoy avoided known U-Boat assemblies.

 

April                       Transferred to 14th Escort Group and joined HM Destroyers HAVELOCK, HOTSPUR,

                                ICARUS and INCONSTANT for Atlantic convoy defence in Western Approaches.

 

May                        Western Approaches convoy defence in continuation.

                                Nominated for detached service in support of planned allied landings in Normandy.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE. - For details of naval activities prior to and during landings see

                                OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, JUNE1944

                                (HMSO).)

 

June                        Deployed in Plymouth Command for anti-submarine operations in Western Approaches.

                                (Note: These operations were made to prevent access by submarines into Channel.)

                4th          Carried out patrols in SW Approaches.

                18th        After detection of wireless transmissions carried out search for submarine. Made ASDIC

                                contact and attacked U767 with HEDGEHOG and depth charges.

                                Came under shore fire and continued attacks with ships of Group during which one survivor

                                from U767 was rescued.

                                (Note: U767 was sunk in position 49.03N 03-13 W, SW of Guernsey.)

 

July                         On release from detached service in Plymouth Command resumed Atlantic duties with 14th

                                Escort Group.

 

August                  Deployed for convoy defence.

 

1 9 4 5.

 

January                  Convoy defence in continuation

                                (Note: SCHNORKEL fitted submarines were concentrating their attacks focal points for

                                convoy assembly in SW and NW Approaches as well as on convoys in the coastal

                                waters. Escorts were transferred to those areas to reinforce the existing convoy escort

                                ships. Atlantic convoys were also routed through the English Channel and Irish Sea

                                after air threat from French bases was removed by allied advance.

 

May                        Withdrawn from service for refit at Leith.

 

June                        Under refit

to                            Nominated for service in Training Flotilla.

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS FAME joined 3rd Training Flotilla at Londonderry as Senior Officer's ship on completion of refit and trials she carried out duties at Portland, Rosyth and Londonderry until 1947 when nominated for reduction to Reserve status. After entering Reserve she was placed on the Disposal List and in February 1949 after refit FAME transferred to the Dominican Republic Navy and renamed GENERALISIMO. Later in 1962 the ship was again renamed as SANCHEZ and served until 1968 when scrapped.

                           

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS FAME

by Don Kindell

 

This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

26/10/39

26/10/39

NARVIK 1

31/10/39

31/10/39

04/11/39

04/11/39

ON 001/1

05/11/39

07/11/39

30/01/40

05/02/40

TC 003

07/02/40

07/02/40

10/03/40

11/03/40

HN 018

13/03/40

13/03/40

24/04/40

24/04/40

FP 002

27/04/40

27/04/40

19/09/42

20/09/42

ON 132

03/10/42

08/10/42

03/10/42

10/10/42

SC 104

16/10/42

21/10/42

27/11/42

04/12/42

HX 217

13/12/42

14/12/42

19/12/42

20/12/42

ON 155

29/12/42

06/01/43

18/12/42

31/12/42

ON 154

02/01/43

12/01/43

04/01/43

12/01/43

SC 116

27/01/43

29/01/43

02/02/43

08/02/43

ON 165

20/02/43

01/03/43

18/02/43

24/02/43

HX 227

05/03/43

06/03/43

15/03/43

22/03/43

ONS 001

31/03/43

04/04/43

31/03/43

04/04/43

SC 125

15/04/43

15/04/43

24/07/43

25/07/43

ON 194

02/08/43

07/08/43

08/08/43

13/08/43

HX 251

22/08/43

23/08/43

31/08/43

02/09/43

ONS 017

12/09/43

16/09/43

16/09/43

22/09/43

HX 257

29/09/43

30/09/43

11/10/43

12/10/43

ON 206

21/10/43

27/10/43

24/10/43

28/10/43

SC 145

06/11/43

07/11/43

19/11/43

20/11/43

ON 212

29/11/43

05/12/43

02/12/43

06/12/43

SC 148

15/12/43

16/12/43

31/12/43

01/01/44

ON 218

11/01/44

18/01/44

14/01/44

18/01/44

SC 151

30/01/44

31/01/44

12/02/44

13/02/44

ONS 029

25/02/44

29/02/44

27/02/44

05/03/44

HX 281

14/03/44

15/03/44

23/03/44

24/03/44

ON 229

01/04/44

07/04/44

05/04/44

09/04/44

HX 286

21/04/44

20/04/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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