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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS HAVOCK (H 43) -  H-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Hero, sister-ship (David Sutherland,  click to enlarge)

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H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Denny's at Dumbarton under the 1934 Programme on 13th December 1934. The ship was laid down on 15th May 1935 and launched on 7th July 1936 as the sixth Royal Navy warship to carry this name dating from 1796 when used for a Dutch Prize (HAVEC). The last us was for the first Torpedo Boat Destroyer in 1893-Build was completed on 116th January 1937 at a cost of 248,470 excluding Admiralty supplied items such as guns and signalling outfits. Her service prior to WW2 was with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean. Before her tragic loss in April 1942 she was awarded 11 Battle Honour including that for the Battle of Matapan.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

BALTIC 1853 - PEI-HO FORTS 1859 - KAGOSHIMA 1863 - ATLANTIC 1939 - NARVIK 1940 - NORWAY 1940 - SPADA 1940 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41 - MATAPAN 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - LIBYA 1941-42 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42  SIRTE 1942

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red,  forked lightning Silver issuing from a cloud Black.

(Note: Dutch "HAVIK" means Hawk.

 

M o t t o

Fiat justitia raut coelum: 'Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

 

 

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

                3rd          On passage to Freetown for duty in Atlantic

                4th          Arrived at Freetown. Transferred to Force K with HM Destroyers HASTY and HOSTILE

                                to intercept surface raiders and blockade runners.

 

October                  Atlantic patrol and interception duty in continuation

 

November              Transferred to Home waters and took passage to UK for refit.

                                (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett for details of interception

                                and patrol activities).

 

December              Preparation for refit.

                18th        Taken in hand for refit at HM Dockyard, Sheerness

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Under refit

to

February

 

March                    Carried out post refit trials.

                23rd        On completion took passage to Scapa Flow

                27th        Rejoined Flotilla for Home Fleet deployment based at Scapa Flow.

                31st         Detached with HM Destroyers HARDY, HOTSPUR and HUNTER as Force WV to

                                escort HM Destroyers ESK, IMPULSIVE, ICARUS and IVANHOE during minelay in

                                Vest Fjord, Norway (Operation WILFRED).

                                (For details of all minelaying in WW2 see Naval Staff History (MINING).

 

April

                3rd          Sailed for minelaying operation.

                8th          After German invasion of Norway and completion of minelay rejoined Home Fleet for

                                screening duty and support of operations at Narvik (Operation RUPERT).

                9th          Arrived off Narvik.

                10th        Took part in attack on German destroyers in Narvik Fjord

                                (1st Battle of Narvik)

                                Forced ammunition ship RAUENFELS ashore where it blew up.

                                Sustained some slight damage.

                                Escorted damaged HMS HOTSPUR with HOSTILE to Skjael Fjord.

                11th        Deployed on Patrol at entrance to Narvik Fjord with ships of Flotilla.

                12th        Deployed in support of military operations and escort of convoys.

                24th        Deployed as screen for HM Battleship WARSPITE during bombardment of Narvik

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

                                CARRIER GLORIOUS by John Winton and Naval Staff History).

 

May                        Norwegian support and escort duties in continuation.

                                Resumed Hone Fleet duties.

                10th        Deployed in Nore Command in support of military operations in Holland

                                Bombarded German troops at Waalhaven airfield with HM Destroyer HYPERION.

                11th        Carried out patrol off Dutch coast and bombarded Rotterdam area.

                                Took survivors from Dutch Ferry PRINSES JULIANA to Hook of Holland and embarked

                                demolition parties for passage to UK.

                                (Note: Secret documents were recovered from PRINSES JULIANA which had been

                                badly damaged in an air attack and later sank.)

                14th        Assisted with evacuation of refugees from Imjuiden.

                                (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P

                                Smith).

                16th        Transferred to Mediterranean and took passage to Malta.

                22nd       Rejoined Flotilla for Fleet screening duties and patrol duties.

                                (Note: Extensive exercises were carried out by major Mediterranean Fleet units in

                                anticipation of war with Italy.

 

June                        Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                28th        Sailed from Alexandria as part of Force B to provide cover for convoys on passage in

                                eastern Mediterranean (Operation MA3)

                                Deployed with ships of Flotilla as screen for HM Battleships RAMILLIES, ROYAL

                                SOVEREIGN and HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE.

                                (Note: During this operation ships of Force A comprising HM Cruisers ORION,

                                NEPTUNE, SYDNEY (RAN), LIVERPOOL and GLOUCESTER OF 7th Cruiser

                                Squadron engaged three enemy destroyers, one of which ESPERO was sunk.

                                This engagement was not considered satisfactory in view of the very significant

                                expenditure of ammunition. See Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001).)

 

July

                2nd         Returned to Alexandria with ships of Force B

                19th        During offensive sweep with HMAS SYDNEY and HM Destroyers HASTY, HYPERION,

                                ILEX and HERO north of Crete in action against two Italian cruisers.

                                (Note: One of these, BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI was sunk (Battle of Spada).

                                For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History

                                (HMSO - 2001).

                                Came under heavy air attack when on return passage and sustained damage which flooded

                                Boiler Room.

                29th        Taken in hand for repair at Suez.

 

August                  Under repair.

 

September

                15th        Resumed Flotilla duties on completion of post repair trials.

 

October                  Deployed with HMS HASTY for patrol in eastern Mediterranean.

                2nd         In action off North African coast against Italian submarine BERILLO with HMS HASTY.

                                Enemy force to surfaced by depth charge attacks and scuttled when engaged by main

                                armament.

                                Seven officers and 40 ratings were taken prisoner.

 

November              Deployed with Flotilla for Fleet screening duties.

                6th          Part of destroyer screen for HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleships

                                MALAYA, RAMILLIES, VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER,

                                ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) during provision of Distant Cover for passage of Malta

                                Convoy MW3. (Operation MB8).

                10th        Screening duties continued during passage of HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Cruisers

                                BERWICK and YORK with destroyers (Force F) which were joining Mediterranean Fleet

                                (Operation COLLAR).

                11th        Deployed with same ships to cover HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during air attack on Italian

                                Fleet at Taranto (Operation JUDGEMENT).

                12th        Deployed with Fleet screen for passage to Alexandria covering transit of Convoy ME3 from

                                Malta.

                25th        Part of destroyer screen for major units covering passage of reinforcements for

                                Mediterranean Fleet and Malta Convoys MW/ME4 convoys (Operation COLLAR).

 

December              Part of Fleet screen for major units covering passage of Malta Convoy MW5 and transfer of

                                warships (Operation MC2 and Operation HIDE).

                                (For details of Malta convoy operations and transfer of warships in 1940 after Italian entry

                                into WW2 see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, Naval Staff

                                History (HMSO -2001), ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and MALTA

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman).

                23rd        Involved in collision with HM Battleship VALIANT and sustained damage forward.

                22nd       Taken in hand for refit and repair in Malta.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under refit

 

February                Carried out post refit harbour and sea trials.

                20th        On completion resumed Fleet screening and convoy defence duties. with Flotilla.

                23rd        Deployed with HM Destroyer HOTSPUR as escort for HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE

                                and ss CLAN MACAULAY to Malta during return passage to Alexandria.

 

March

                19th        Deployed with HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE with HM Destroyers GRIFFIN and

                                HOTSPUR to escort Convoy MW6A from Alexandria (Operation MC9).

                20th        Convoy joined by ss CLAN FERGUSON escorted by H M Cruisers CALCUTTA,

                                COVENTRY and CARLISLE.

                                Part of escort for passage to Malta as Convoy MW6.

                25th        Returned to Alexandria after arrival of MW6 in Malta.

                27th        Deployed with screen for HM Battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, BARHAM and HM

                                Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE to intercept Italian Fleet reported to be on passage for an

                                offensive sweep in Eastern Mediterranean.

                28th        Took part in Battle of Matapan and took part in sinking of Italian destroyer.

                                (For details of this engagement see MATAPAN by SW Pack and Naval Staff History)

                                (HMSO- 2001.)

April

                18th        Part of screen for HMS WARSPITE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT, HMS

                                ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers AJAX, CALCUTTA, GLOUCESTER, ORION and

                                PHOEBE with Fleet destroyers to cover passage of Convoy ME7 to Malta.

                                (Operation MD3)

                20th        Joined Force B (HMS WARSPITE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT and HMS

                                GLOUCESTER) with HM Destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD, HOTSPUR, HERO,

                                JAGUAR and JUNO as screen.

                21st         Took part in bombardment of Tripoli with Force B ships.

                22nd       Passage to Alexandria with Fleet screen to cover return Malta Convoy ME7-

                24th        Assisted with evacuation of British troops from Greece

                25th        Deployed at Megara with HMS COVENTRY, HM Destroyers HASTY, DECOY,

                                WATERHEN ,VENDETTA and mercantile THURLAND CASTLE

                                Under air attacks

                30th        Deployed at Raphina and under air attacks.

 

May

                1st           On completion of evacuation resumed Fleet screening duties with Flotilla.

                6th          Part of destroyer screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT,

                                HMS WARSPITE, HMS AJAX, HMS ORION, HMS PERTH (RAN) and HM Supply Ship

                                BRECONSHIRE to provide cover for passage of Malta relief convoys and for a military

                                convoy from Gibraltar.

                                (Operations MD6 and TIGER - See above references).

                7th          Detached with HMS AJAX, HMS HOTSPUR and HMS IMPERIAL to carry out a

                                bombardment of Benghazi overnight.

                9th          Deployed with Fleet screen for cover of TIGER Convoy to Alexandria.

                                (Note: This convoy was not intercepted by an Italian cruiser squadron which had been

                                too late when it sailed from Palermo).

                20th        Deployed with Fleet to support military operations in defence of Crete.

                22nd       Carried out interception patrols off NW coast and subject to heavy air attack.

                23rd        Damaged in air attack during patrol off Heraklion.

                                15 killed and 10 wounded.

                24th        Taken in hand for repair at Alexandria.

 

June                        Under repair.

                16th        Rejoined Flotilla on completion and deployed off Syria in support of military

                                operations (Operation EXPORTER).

                                Carried out anti-submarine patrols off coast and convoy defence duties.

 

July                         On release from EXPORTER redeployed with Inshore Squadron in support of Tobruk

                                garrison.

 

August                  Inshore Squadron deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: Made eight supply trips to Tobruk and subjected to many air attacks.)

September

 

October                  Inshore Squadron duties in continuation.

                21st         Taken in hand for repair to both shafts and propellers at Alexandria.

 

November              Under repair.

 

December

                4th          On completion of post refit trials rejoined Flotilla for Fleet screening duty.

                15th        Deployed as screen for HM Cruisers NAIAD, EURYALUS and CARLISLE with seven

                                other destroyers for escort of HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE.

                17th        In action with Italian warships which retired from the area.

                                (1st Battle of Sirte - See above references).

                18th        After arrival in Malta deployed with HM Destroyers KANDAHAR, LANCE and LIVELY

                                as escort for HM Cruisers AURORA, PENELOPE, NEPTUNE as Force K to intercept an

                                enemy convoy off Libyan coast.

                19th        Avoided disaster when Force "K" ran into minefield.

                                Returned to Malta.

                                Sustained damage during air raid on Malta and required repair

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Under repair.

                7th          Returned to Alexandria escorting HMS BRECONSHIRE (Operation MF1).

                16th        Part of escort for convoy Mrf3 from Alexandria to Malta.

                                Subjected to heavy air attack.

                19th        Detached to escort damaged transport THERMOPYLAE back to Alexandria.

                                After further air attacks during which THERMOPYLAE received more damaged

                                Embarked survivors before ship sank.

                                Resumed Fleet duties with Flotilla and deployed with Fleet units covering Malta convoy

 

February                Deployed with Fleet units covering Malta convoy.

                2nd         Transferred to 22nd Destroyer Flotilla as part of re-organisation of Fleet.

                12th        Part of covering force for passage of Malta convoy (MW9).

                14th        Under heavy air attack with mercantiles sunk or disabled.

                                Operation abandoned and escorts returned to Alexandria.

 

March

                20th        Joined covering force for passage of Malta convoy MW10.

                21st         Subjected to heavy torpedo and bombing attacks.

                22nd       In action with Italian battleship and supporting units.

                                Hit by 15in shell and sustained significant damage.

                                Withdrawn from action and rejoined convoy.

                                Flooding in Boiler Room and damage to machinery.

                                (2nd Battle of Sirte - See above references).

                23rd        Taken in hand for repair at Malta.

 

April

                3rd          Damaged in air raid whilst in dock.

                                Repair to be completed in Gibraltar.

                5th          Embarked passengers and took independent passage to Gibraltar.

                6th          Ran aground on coast of Tunisia near Kelebia Lighthouse (Position 36.52N 11.08E).

                                Equipment destroyed by crew.

                                (Note: One fatal casualty,)

                                Ship's company and passengers were interned by Vichy French authorities and

                                were not freed until after allied invasion operations in late 1942.

                                Some accounts indicate their detention was in horrendous conditions..

                                A report that the wreck was later destroyed by Italian submarine ARADAM cannot

                                be confirmed.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS HAVOCK

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

 

 

 

 

 

16/11/39

16/11/39

SL 009

25/11/39

02/12/39

08/12/39

08/12/39

HG 010

10/12/39

16/12/39

05/12/39

10/12/39

OG 009

11/12/39

11/12/39

18/03/40

28/03/40

HX 028

unknown

02/04/40

03/10/40

03/10/40

WS 003A

unknown

27/10/40

04/11/40

09/11/40

MW 003

unknown

10/11/40

23/11/40

23/11/40

MW 004

26/11/40

26/11/40

04/03/41

04/03/41

AS 016/1

08/03/41

08/03/41

07/03/41

07/03/41

AN 018

11/03/41

11/03/41

08/04/41

08/04/41

ASF 024

11/04/41

11/04/41

02/03/42

02/03/42

AT 032/M

04/03/42

04/03/42

04/03/42

04/03/42

TA 025/M

06/03/42

06/03/42

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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