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

HMS FORESTER (H 74) -  F-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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F-Class Fleet Destroyer built by J S White at Cowes under 1932 Programme and laid down on 15th May1933. The ship was launched on 28th June 1934 as the 10th RN warship to carry the name, previously used by a destroyer sold in 1921 and introduced in 1657, The ship was completed on 19th April 1935. The Tender price for build which excludes Admiralty supplied equipment such the armament and signal equipment was £284,898. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of the Municipal Borough of Morley, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire.


B a t t l e    H o n o u r s


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green crossed woodman’s axe Proper



Audax potentes caedo: 'Boldly I cut down the mighty'



S u m m a r y   o f   P r e – W a r   S e r v i c e


1 9 3 5


April                       Contractors Trials and Commissioned for Service in 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet

                19th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials from Cowes.


May                        On completion of Trials and storing deployed at Portland to work-up for operational Service and

                                complete trials and calibration of anti-submarine equipment.


June                        Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla and Completion Dates in Chronological order were:


                                Ship                        Completion            Builder                                   Notes


                FEARLESS            19/12/34                 Cammell Laird,                      War Loss 7/41

                                                                                                   Birkenhead                           Name Carried Forward


                FAME                    26/ 4/35                  Vickers Armstrong               Contractor            

                                                                                                  Newcastle                               Parsons Steam Turbine Co

                                                                                                                                                   Sold Dominica 1949


                                FORTUNE             27/ 4/35                  John Brown                           Transferred to RCN 1943

                                                                                                  Clydebank                             HMCS SASKATCHEWAN


                FORESIGHT          15/ 5/35                  Cammell Laird                       War Loss 8/42



                FURY                     18/ 5/35                  J S White, Cowes                  Constructive Total Loss 6/44


                FAULKNOR         24/ 5/35                  Yarrow, Scotstoun                Flotilla Leader


                FIREDRAKE         30/ 5/35                  Vickers Armstrong               Contractor

                                                                                                   Newcastle                              Parsons Steam Turbine Co.

                                                                                                                                                   War Loss 12/42


                FOXHOUND         21/ 6/35                  John Brown                           Transferred to RCN 1944

                                                                                                  Clydebank                             HMCS QU’APPELLE


               (Note: These dates establish the sequence of joining the Flotilla.  For further details see

               BRITISH DESTROYERS by E March.)




July                         Flotilla deployment in Home waters. Nominated for detached service in Mediterranean.


August                  Nominated for detached service in the Mediterranean


September             Deployed in Mediterranean as reinforcement during Abyssinian crisis,

to                            (Note: HMS FAME of Flotilla was also detached.)



1 9 3 6


January                  Mediterranean Fleet deployment in continuation.

to                            Took part in Joint Annual exercises with Home Fleet ships.



March                    Resumed service with Flotilla in Home Fleet

                                (Note Ship may have returned to UK with Home Fleet ships after Exercises completed


April                       Deployed with Flotilla in Home waters for Home Fleet Exercise and visits Programme.)

to December          (Note: Ship will almost certainly have had a docking and refit in this period.)


1 9 3 7


January                  Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla.

to May                   (Note: Flotilla will have taken part in Annual Joint exercises based at Gibraltar.)


June                        Took part in Royal Review at Spithead.


July                         Home waters deployment in continuation,

to August.             Nominated for detached service at Gibraltar

                                (Note: May have relieved HMS FAME.)


September             Deployed at Gibraltar.


October                  Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla

to December          (Note: The ship almost certainly re-commissioned during this period.)


1 9 3 8


January                  Flotilla deployment in Home Fleet and took part in Annual exercises at Gibraltar.

to March


April                       Deployed with Flotilla in Home waters including precautionary deployment during

to December          the Munich crisis.


Special Note on Pre-War Service


Details of ship movements as recorded in the Deck Log are held at the Public Record Office at Kew. Information is also available in the Naval Historical Branch Library, the RN Museum at Portsmouth and Chatham Historic Dockyard about warship deployments before WW2. Details are also recorded in the TIMES Newspaper Indices held at Local Reference Libraries.


1 9 3 9



January                  Flotilla duties in continuation including Annual exercises at Gibraltar

to March


April                       Transferred with Flotilla to 8th Destroyer Flotilla as part of re-numbering of RN Destroyer Flotillas


May                        Home waters deployment in Exercise and Visits Programme.

to August              Took up war station at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet screening and convoy defence.



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             Serving with 8th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

                3rd          Deployed with Flotilla for on fleet escort and convoy defence in NW Approaches and

                                North Sea.

                14th        Deployed with screen for Home Fleet units in North Sea.

                                (HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL unsuccessfully attacked by U-Boat)

.               20th        Participated in sinking of U27 with HM Destroyer FORTUNE in NW Approaches.

                                (For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by. P Kemp.)

                25th        Deployed with Flotilla in North Sea as screen for Home Fleet major units covering

                                return of the damaged submarine HMS SPEARFISH from patrol.


October                  Deployment with Home Fleet for patrol and screening in continuation.

                                (For details of naval activities in Home waters during 1939 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Bamett and Naval Staff History)


November              Fleet screening duty with Flotilla during Home Fleet search for German battleships

                                SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU after sinking of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser



 December             Deployed in NW Approaches for anti-submarine patrol and Fleet escort duties


1 9 4 0


January                  Home Fleet screening and convoy defence duty in continuation.



                11th        Towed British tanker IMPERIAL TRANSPORT with Tug BUCCANEER from position

                                150 miles off Butt of Lewis.

                                Escorted military convoy including mv ORION and ss DUCHESS OF BEDFORD.

                                (Note: These ships were bringing RCAF personnel to UK.


March                    Home Fleet screening and convoy defence in continuation.


April                       Nominated for escort of Convoy NP1 taking troops for planned landing in Norway.

                                (Operation R4).

                7th          Joined HM Cruiser AURORA with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND and

                                DELIGHT in Clyde for escort of Convoy NP1 taking troops to Norway.

                9th          After German invasion of Norway diverted to join Fleet for operations off Norway.

                                (Operation RUPERT)

                13th        Participated in 2nd Battle of Narvik.

                                (For details see NARVIK by D MacIntyre and Naval Staff History, 2001.) )

                                Escorted COSSACK to Skjelfjord for repair.

                15th        Deployed on fleet protection, convoy escort and military support off Norway.

                                (For details of the disastrous naval operations off Norway see above references, THE

                                DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams, CARRIER GLORIOUS by John Winton

                                and the Naval Staff History (2001) ).


May                        Deployed for Fleet screening and patrol based at Scapa Flow with major units of Home Fleet.

                                (Note: Heavy units were retained at Scapa Flow for interception of German ships on passage

                                to attack Atlantic shipping and because of the lack of air cover available off Norway.)


June                        Fleet deployment in support of Norwegian operations.

                7th          Part of screen for HM Battlecruisers RENOWN and REPULSE, HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE

                                and SUSSEX with HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, KELVIN, MAORI and ZULU during

                                search for two unknown vessels reported on passage in Faeroes-Iceland gap.

                                (Note: A possible German landing in Iceland was also considered a possibility.)

                8th          Search abandoned. Ships returned to Scapa Flow.

                17th        Embarked survivors from HM Armed Merchant Cruiser ANDANIA who had been rescued by

                                Icelandic trawler SKALLAGRIMUR and landed them at Scapa Flow.

                20th        Transferred with ships of Flotilla to Mediterranean for service with Force H.

                                Passage to Gibraltar.

                28th        Joined Force H on formation with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FURY,

                                FORESIGHT and FOXHOUND for escort of major units.



                2nd         Deployed with destroyers of 8th and 13th Flotillas as screen for HM Battlecruiser

                                HOOD, HM Battleships VALIANT and RESOLUTION, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK

                                ROYAL, HM Cruisers ARETHUSA and ENTERPRISE for an attempt to negotiate

                                future deployment of Vichy French warships at Oran (Operation CATAPULT).

                3rd          Took part in attack on French warships at Mers-el-Kebir when negotiations failed.

                                (For details see RELUCTANT ENEMIES and THE DEADLY STROKE by W Tute).

                6th          Part of screen for HMS HOOD, HMS VALIANT, HMS ARK ROYAL, HM Cruisers

                                ARETHUSA and ENTERPRISE with destroyers during 2nd series of air attacks on

                                French battleship DUNKERQUE (Operation LEVER).

                8th          Part of screen for same ships and HM Cruiser DELHI with destroyers for planned air

                                attack on Cagliari.

                                Under air attacks and operation abandoned.

                11th        Towed destroyer HMS ESCORT after being hit by torpedo from the Italian submarine

                                MARCONI north of Algiers.

                                Towing operation failed when HMS ESCORT foundered.

                22nd       Deployed with Force H for a planned air attack by HMS ARK ROYAL on Bordeaux.

                25th        Operation cancelled because of weather conditions in Bay of Biscay.

                31st         Joined Group 1 with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT and FOXHOUND as

                                screen for HMS HOOD, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS ENTERPRISE to cover Malta

                                aircraft delivery by HMS ARGUS and attacks on Cagliari by HMS ARK ROYAL in

                                Group 2 (Operations HURRY and CRUSH)

.                               (For details of all Mediterranean operations see THE BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY)



                4th          Escorted HMS VALIANT and HMS ARGUS to Liverpool with HMS FAULKNOR

.               20th        Part of screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser

                                SHEFFIELD with ships of 8th Flotilla for passage to Gibraltar to rejoin Force "H".

                30th        Joined Force B as screen for HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD

                                with H M Destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE, FORESIGHT and

                                ENCOUNTER covering passage of reinforcement warships (Force F) to join Mediterranean

                                Fleet and an attack Cagliari by HMS ARK ROYAL.

                                (Operations HATS/MB and SMASH and GRAB)

                                (Note: Force F comprised H M Battleship VALIANT, H M Aircraft Carrier

                                ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers COVENTRY and CALCUTTA screened by eight

                                destroyers in Force A)



                6th          Detached with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FORTUNE, FORESIGHT and

                                GREYHOUND for escort of HM Battleship BARHAM on passage to join Force M for

                                support of attack on Dakar by Free French military forces (Operation MENACE).

                13th        Joined Force M.

                22nd       Sailed from Freetown for proposed landings.

                24th        Bombardment commenced when negotiations failed.

                25th        Operation abandoned.

                                Took passage to Gibraltar with HMS FORTUNE and HMS GREYHOUND.

                                For details see MENACE by Arthur Marder.

                                (Note: Force F comprised HM Battleship VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carrier

                                ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers COVENTRY and CALCUTTA screened by eight

                                destroyers in Force A)

                30th        Escorted HMS ARK ROYAL to Liverpool with



                8th          Arrived at Liverpool.

                20th        Passage to Gibraltar to rejoin Force H.

                31st         Escorted HMS RENOWN with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, GALLANT

                                and GREYHOUND for patrol off West Africa for surveillance of Vichy French naval




                7th          Deployed in Force B as screen for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD with HM

                                Destroyers DUNCAN, FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE, FURY

                                and ISIS to cover passage of reinforcement warships to join Mediterranean Fleet (Force F)

                                and air attack on Cagliari (Operations COAT and CRACK).

                                (Note: Force F comprised HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Cruisers BERWICK and


                15th        Joined Force B with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE and

                                FOXHOUND for escort of HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD to

                                cover delivery of aircraft to Malta and diversionary attack on Algerho airfield

                                (Operation WHITE) .

                25th        Joined Force B with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FURY, WISHART,

                                ENCOUNTER, KELVIN and JAGUAR as screen for HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK

                                ROYAL, HMS SHEFFIELD and HM Cruiser DESPATCH to cover passage of

                                reinforcement warships to join Mediterranean Fleet (Force F) and troop convoy

                                (Operation COLLAR - (Force F comprised HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and

                                SOUTHAMPTON with screen of 3 Fleet Destroyers and 4 Corvettes).

                27th        After force of major Italian warships sighted deployed with screen for HMS RENOWN

                                and HM Battleship RAMILLIES which had joined Force F from Mediterranean Fleet

                                for passage to Gibraltar.

                                Present during brief engagement during which Italian ships withdrew in haste.

                                (Battle of Cape Spartivento - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by

                                C. Barnett and THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN).

                                (Note: The conduct of this battle was criticised by a later enquiry exonerated the Admiral

                                who had considered his primary duty was the safety of the convoy. See references.)

                28th        Passage to Gibraltar with Force H ships, HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruiser BERWICK and

                                HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE.



                20th        Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE and FORTUNE

                                as screen for HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD in Group 1

                                to cover passage of HM Battleship MALAYA and Convoy MG1 from Malta to Gibraltar

                                (Operation HIDE).


1 9 4 1



                7th          Part of screen for HMS RENOWN, HM Battleship MALAYA, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS

                                SHEFFIELD with HMS DUNCAN and destroyers of 8th Flotilla to cover passage of supply

                                ships to Sicilian Narrows (Operation EXCESS).

                                (Note: HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE and HM Destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD, HERO

                                and JAGUAR were also taking passage to join the Fleet at Alexandria and formed

                                Force F).

                11th        Returned to Gibraltar with ships of Force H

                                Nominated for service at Freetown.

                                Passage to Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence.

                29th        Joined military convoy WS5B with HM Destroyer FAULKNOR, HM Sloop

                                MILFORD, HM Corvettes CLEMATIS and CYCLAMEN as escort for initial

                                stage of passage from Freetown to Cape of Good Hope..



                1st           Detached from WS5B with other Freetown based escorts and took return passage.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort was provided by HM Cruisers AUSTRALIA (RAN) and

                                EMERALD. WS5B comprised 20 troopships on passage to Middle East.


March                    Freetown escort duty in continuation.

                10th        Escorted Convoy SL67 with HM Battleship MALAYA, HMS FAULKNOR and HM

                                Trawler CELIA.

                                (Note: Additional defence for convoy provided by Force H major units because of a threat

                                from German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU.

                                See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY for details of this encounter).

                                Took passage to Gibraltar with HMS MALAYA and HMS FORTUNE after HMS

                                RENOWN and HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL joined convoy.

                30th        Deployed with HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD and destroyers of Flotilla to intercept a Vichy

                                French convoy.

                                Attack by Vichy French aircraft unsuccessful (Operation RATION).


April                       Deployed at Gibraltar.



                6th          Joined Force F with ships of Flotilla as screen for m Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, HM

                                Cruisers GLOUCESTER, FIJI and NAIAD on passage to join Fleet in the eastern Mediterranean.

                                (Operation TIGER - This also included passage of military convoy taking tanks from

                                UK for Middle East army).

                9th          On arrival of reinforcement ships in Malta refuelled and returned to rejoin ships of Force H for

                                return passage.

                19th        Part of screen for m Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and FURIOUS, HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK

                                ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD during Malta aircraft delivery (Operation SPLICE).

                24th        Deployed with HM Destroyers FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT and FURY as screen for

                                HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS SHEFFIELD to cover passage of

                                Atlantic military convoy from possible attack by German battleship BISMARCK.

                25th        Detached from Force H major units ordered to join Home Fleet search for BISMARCK.

.                               (Note: This was due heavy expenditure of fuel during high speeds involved.)

                30th        Deployed with HM Destroyer FURY, HM Corvette FLEUR-DE-LYS as escort for Atlantic


                31st         Escort reinforced because of increased U-Boat threat.

                                Carried out unsuccessful hunt for U-boat.



                5th          Joined Group 1 with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR and FORESIGHT as screen for HI Aircraft

                                Carrier FURIOUS and HMS RENOWN during Malta aircraft delivery (Operation ROCKET).

                8th          Deployed with Flotilla as screen for Force H units escorting H M Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS

                                and HM Cruiser HERMIONE into Gibraltar after passage from UK.

                13th        Escorted HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS VICTORIOUS with ships of Flotilla for further Malta

                                aircraft delivery (Operation TRACER).

                15th        Deployed with screen for Force H major units during search for two German warships reported

                                sailing from Brest.

                17th        Detached for anti-submarine patrol west of Gibraltar with Flotilla.

                18th        Participated in sinking of U138 during offensive A/S sweep West of Gibraltar with

                                HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT and FOXHOUND in position

                                36.04N 07.29W. 28 survivors from submarine were rescued.

                22nd       Deployed with HM Destroyers FEARLESS, FOXHOUND and FURY to intercept German supply

                                ships reported by aircraft as being on passage to French coast.

                23rd        Intercepted German ss ALSTERTOR in position 11.12N 13.10W.

                                Ship scuttled on approach and 78 British seamen held as POW from ships sunk were rescued.

                28th        Part of screen for HMS RENOWN, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE with HM

                                Destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, LANCE and LEGION during Malta aircraft delivery.

                                (Operation RAILWAY I)

                30th        Joined Group B with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY and LANCE as screen for HMS

                                RENOWN and HMS ARK ROYAL during repeat Malta aircraft delivery (Operation RAILWAY II)



                21st         Escorted HMS RENOWN, HM Battleship NELSON, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE

                                with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FURY, DUNCAN and LIGHTNING to cover

                                passage of a Malta supply convoy to Sicilian Narrows (Operation SUBSTANCE)

                                (Note: Force X which escorted convoy through to Malta included HM Cruisers ARETHUSA

                                EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER and MANXMAN with screen of 10 destroyers).

                23rd        Under attacks by torpedo aircraft which damaged HMS MANCHESTER and HMS FEARLESS.

                                Rescued survivors from HMS FEARLESS and sank this ship which was set on fire.

                                (Note: HMS MANCHESTER had to return to Gibraltar - See above references for details).

                31st         Joined screen for HMS NELSON, HIS RENOWN and HMS ARK ROYAL with ships of Flotilla

                                and HM Destroyers MAORI, COSSACK, NESTOR, ENCOUNTER and BRIDGE to cover passage

                                of Force X taking troops to Malta (Operation STYLE)

                                (Note: Troops were embarked in HM Cruisers HERMIONE, ARETHUSA and MANXMAN).



                4th          Returned to Gibraltar with HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS HERMIONE, HM Destroyers SIKH

                                ENCOUNTER and LIGHTNING as Group 1.

                21st         Part of screen for HMS NELSON, HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE with HM

                                Destroyers NESTOR (RAN), FURY, FORESIGHT and ENCOUNTER during air attacks on

                                Tempio, Sardinia and diversionary sweep off Valencia whilst HM Minelayer MANXMAN laid

                                a minefield off Leghorn. (Operation MINCEMEAT).



                8th          Joined screen for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE with HM Destroyers GURKHA,

                                LIVELY and LANCE (Operation STATUS I)

                11th        Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS and HMS HERMIONE with HM Destroyers

                                LEGION and FORESIGHT in Force A for repeat Malta aircraft delivery.

                                (Operation STATUS II)

                24th        Joined Force X with HM Destroyers COSSACK, ZULU, FORESIGHT, FARNDALE,

                                HEYTHROP, ORIBI, LAFOREY and LIGHTNING as screen for HM Cruisers KENYA,

                                EDINBURGH, SHEFFIELD, HERMIONE and EURYALUS for escort of supply convoy

                                through to Malta (Operation HALBERD).

                27th        Under air attacks during which HMS NELSON was hit by a torpedo and had to return.


October                  Nominated for conversion to Escort Destroyer after refit in UK.

                16th        Escorted HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS RODNEY and HMS HERMIONE with HM Destroyers

                                COSSACK, FURY, FORESIGHT, LEGION, SIKH and ZULU during Malta aircraft delivery

                                (Operation CALLBOY - Passage of two merchant ships and HM Cruiser PENELOPE, HM

                                Destroyer LANCE and HM Destroyer LIVELY to Malta were also covered by this operation).

                21st         Passage to UK.

                26th        Transferred to Freetown Escort Force for Atlantic convoy defence.


November              Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

                16th        Joined military convoy WS12Z with HM Destroyers FORESIGHT, FURY, DULVERTON and

                                SOUTHWOLD during passage in Atlantic to Freetown as relief’s for Local Escort by HM

                                Destroyers BADSWORTH, EXMOOR, VANQUISHER, WHITEHALL and WITCH.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort was provided by HM Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN.

                19th        Detached from WS12Z with HMS FORESIGHT and HMS FURY and took return passage to


                                Released from Western Approaches Command and resumed Home Fleet duties.

                                Nominated for refit and modification for deployment as Anti-submarine Escort.

                                Taken in hand for refit and conversion for use as an A/S Escort Destroyer.


December              Under refit


1 9 4 2


January                  Under refit.


February                Post Refit trials.


March                    Worked-up for service in Home Fleet.

                                On completion of work-up nominated for escort of Russian Convoys.

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOY ! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN

                                CONVOYS by B Schoefield, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R. Woodman and CONVOYS

                                TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).



                11th        Escorted HM Cruiser EDINBURGH with HM Destroyer FORESIGHT to provide Close Cover

                                during passage of Russian Convoy PQ14 to Murmansk.

                                (Note: HMS EDINBURGH was carrying steel plate for repair to damaged cruiser HMS

                                TRINIDAD under repair in Murmansk.)

                18th        Detached from PQ14 to intercept possible attack on convoy by German destroyers Z24, Z25 and

                                HERMANN SCHOEMANN. Enemy ships did not approach.

                28th        Joined HM Destroyers AMAZON, BEAGLE, BEVERLEY, BULLDOG and four corvettes with

                                HM Destroyer FORESIGHT for escort of return convoy QP11 from Murmansk.

                30th        After HMS EDINBURGH was torpedoed assisted in attempt to save cruiser.

                                Detached to carry out anti-submarine attacks and returned.



                1st           Salvage and anti-submarine protection of HMS EDINBURGH in continuation.

                                In action with German destroyers Z24, Z25 and HERMANN SCHOEMANN

                                Disabled by 3 direct hits from Z25 whilst making torpedo attack.

                                Sustained serious damage in Boiler Room, Forward B Gun and After X Gun mountings.

                                12 killed including Captain and 9 wounded.

                2nd         HMS EDINBURGH abandoned and sunk by HMS FORESIGHT.

                                Took passage to Kola Inlet.

                                (For full details see ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and Naval Staff History.

                4th          Under temporary repair at Murmansk to allow passage to UK.

                13th        Sailed as escort for HM Cruiser TRINIDAD during return passage with HM Destroyers

                                SOMALI, FORESIGHT and MATCHLESS.

                14th        Under heavy air attack and took off wounded and other survivors from HMS TRINIDAD.

                                (Note: HMS TRINIDAD was sunk by HM Destroyer MATCHLESS).

                18th        Arrived at Scapa and immediately took passage to Tyne shipyard for repair.


June                        Under repair




September             Post refit trials.


October                  Rejoined Flotilla in Home Fleet for further deployment with Russian convoys.


November              Escorted HM Cruisers LONDON and SUFFOLK with HM Destroyers OBDURATE and

                                ONSLAUGHT to provide cover west of Bear Island for returning Convoy QP15.



                22nd       Joined screen for HM Battleship ANSON and HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND with HM

                                Destroyers BLANKNEY, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE and CHIDDINGFOLD to cover the

                                passage of Russian Convoy JW51B.


1 9 4 3



                2nd         Detached for passage to Kola Inlet.

                29th        Joined HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BULLDOG, ICARUS, MATCHLESS, MUSKETEER,

                                ONSLAUGHT, OFFA, ONSLOW and Polish PIORUN as Ocean Escort of returning Russian

                                Convoy RA52.



                4th          Detached from RA52 and resumed Home Fleet duties.



                1st           Escorted HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE with HM Cruiser GLASGOW and

                                Fleet Destroyers ICARUS, MUSKETEER, OFFA, ONSLAUGHT and Polish PIORUN to

                                provide Distant Cover for returning Russian Convoy RA53.


April                       Taken in hand for refit at Leith. Increased close range AA armament added.


May                        Under refit.


June                        Joined 1st Canadian Escort Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

                                Part of escort for Convoy ONS219.

                                (Note: After the end of this year the ship claimed to be the first destroyer to

                                complete 200,000 miles steaming since September 1939)


July                         Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to                            Searched for survivors from US Liberty Ship SUMNER J KIMBALL which had

December              been hit by torpedo from U960 after straggling from convoy

                                Stern section found but without any survivors. See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair

                                (Note: After the end of this year the ship claimed to be the first destroyer to

                                complete 200,000 miles steaming since September 1939).


1 9 4 4


January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.




March                    Deployed as Leader of 1st Canadian Escort Group.

                                (Note: Other ships in Group: HM Canadian Destroyers ST LAURENT and

                                ASSINIBOINE, HM Canadian Frigates SWANSEA, VALLEYFIELD,

                                HM Canadian Corvette OWEN SOUND and three other Canadian corvettes.)

                10th        Participated in the sinking of U845 with HM Canadian Destroyer ST LAURENT, HM

                                HM Frigate OWEN SOUND (RCN) and HM Frigate SWANSEA (RCN) during

                                passage of Convoy SC154 in position 48.20N 20.33W.

                                45 survivors were rescued from submarine. See U-BOAT'S DESTROYED.)


April                       Nominated for escort of convoys during Normandy landings (Operation NEPTUNE)

                                (For details of naval activities before and during landings see OPERATION NEPTUNE

                                by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY JUNE 1944 (HMSO)).

May                        Deployed on coastal convoy defence in English Channel.


June                        Joined HM Sloop KITE, HM Destroyer QUORN, HM Frigate TYLER and HM Frigate

                                SEYMOUR in 115th Escort Group.

                5th          Deployed in Nore.

                6th          Escorted Convoy ETP1 with Group from Thames Estuary.

                7th          Arrived in Eastern Task Force area with convoy.

                                (Note: Convoy ETP1 comprised 8 Personnel ships, 3 Troopships, an Accommodation Ship

                                HMS AMBITIOUS and two Hospital Carriers).

                8th          Deployed at Portsmouth for planned NEPTUNE convoy escort.

                27th        On release from NEPTUNE deployed on Channel coastal convoy defence and patrol.



                23rd        In action against R-Boats with HM Frigate STAYNER off Cap D'Antifer.


August                  Convoy defence and patrol in Channel.

                20th        Participated in sinking of U413 with HM Escort Destroyers WENSLEYDALE and VIDETTE

                                during convoy defence off Beachy Head (50.21N 00.01W). Only one officer survived.

                21st         Engaged E-Boats in defence of Channel coastal convoy with HM Destroyers MELBREAK

                                and WATCHMAN.


October                  Deployed with Group for convoy defence based at Londonderry

to                            Withdrawn for repair.




                1st           Taken in hand for repair at Liverpool.


1 9 4 5


January                  Under repair.

to                            Nominated for service in Rosyth Escort Force for convoy defence in North Sea

March                    (Note: U-Boats included some fitted with SCHNORKEL apparatus


April                       Carried out post refit trials were making attacks on North Sea convoys.)


May                        Joined Rosyth Escort Force for convoy defence.


June                        Deployed with Home Fleet for support of re-occupation operations




August                  Nominated for reduction to Reserve status at Dartmouth


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS FORESTER paid off in September 1945 and reduced to Reserve at Dartmouth on 2nd November. She was placed on the Disposal List and sold for breaking up in January 1946. The ship arrived at Rosyth for breaking-up on 26th February that year.






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








SL 067










OG 066










HG 074





OG 075





SL 092





PQ 014





QP 011





QP 015





JW 051B





RA 052





RA 053





ON 195





HX 252





ON 201





HX 259





ON 207





HX 264





ON 213





HX 270





ON 219





HX 276





ON 224





SC 154





ONS 032





ETP 001








(Note on Convoys)


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