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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS HOTSPUR (H 01) -  H-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

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H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Scotts at Greenock under 1934 Programme on 13th December 1934.The ship was laid down on 27th February 1935 on the same day as her sister ship HMS HOSTILE She was launched on 23rd March 1936 as the fourth Royal Navy warship to carry this name, last used for a Turret Ship sold in 1904 and introduced in 1810. Build was completed on 29th December 1936 at a cost of 253,037. Her service before the outbreak of war was In the Mediterranean with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Tottenham in Greater London.

 

B a t t l e H o n o u r s

 

EGYPT 1801 - ATLANTIC 1940-41 - NARVIK 1940 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940 - MATAPAN 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - LIBYA 1941-42 - NORMANDY 1944

 

He r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Gold, a Lion rampant Blue and langued Red.

 

M o t t o

 Fortiter in re: Bravely in action.

 

 

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 from Sheerness to rejoin 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean after refit was

                                curtailed.

                6th          Transferred to Freetown on arrival at Gibraltar.

                                On arrival deployed in South Atlantic in search for surface raiders and German blockade

                                runners.

 

October

                22nd       Re-deployed in West Indies area for convoy defence and patrol duty.

 

November              Carried out Trade defence and interception duty in West Indies.

to

December

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Returned to UK for refit and took passage to Sheerness.

                18th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

 

February                Under refit.

 

March                    On completion of Post Refit Trials took passage to Scapa Flow.

                6th          Re-joined 2nd Destroyer Flotilla for duty with Home Fleet.

                                Deployed for convoy escort and Fleet screening in NW Approaches.

                31st         Nominated to Join Force WV as escort for minelay in Vest Fjord, Norway.

                                (Operation WILFRED/R4).

 

April

                6th          Sailed from Sullom Voe and met minelayers on passage to Norway.

                7th          Detached with Force WV with HM Destroyers HARDY, HAVOCK and HUNTER as escort

                                for HM Destroyers ESK. IMPULSIVE, ICARUS and IVANHOE during minelay.

                8th          On completion of operation rejoined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and present during first part

                                of engagement with German battleship SCHARNHORST, until isolated by bad weather.

                                Joined 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in patrol off Vest Fjord.

                9th          Entered Ofotfjord with ships of 2nd Destroyer Flotilla and attacked German destroyers.

                                Sustained several direct hits which caused structural damage making ship unseaworthy

.                               No.2 Boiler out of action and electrical supplies were disrupted.

                                Soon afterwards in collision with HM Destroyer HUNTER and the two ships locked together

                                under fire.

                                13 of ship's company were killed during this action.

                                (Note: HMS HUNTER subsequently sank. 1st Battle of Narvik.)

.               10th        Towed to Lofotens by HM Destroyer HOSTILE.

                12th        Under temporary repair at Skelfjord.

                19th        Passage to Chatham under own power.

 

May

                2nd         Taken in hand for repair in HM Dockyard.

 

June                        Under repair.

                                Nominated for transferred to 13th Destroyer Flotilla at Gibraltar for defence of Atlantic

                                convoy and screening duty with Force H.

 

July                         Under refit

                16th        On completion carried out post refit trials and preparation for foreign service

                24th        Passage to Gibraltar with HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS, HM Destroyers ENCOUNTER and

                                GREYHOUND as escort for ss REINA DEL PACIFICO and SS CLAN FERGUSON on

                                passage to Cape of of Good Hope.

                30th        Deployed with destroyer screen for Fleet units covering delivery of aircraft to Malta by HMS

                                ARGUS (Operation HURRY).

 

August

                2nd         On completion of HURRY screened Fleet units covering air attacks on Cagliari by HM Aircraft

                                Carrier ARK ROYAL (Operation CRUSH).

                30th        Deployed with screen for Force H units covering the passage of HM Battleship VALIANT,

                                HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY to

                                reinforce Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria

                                (Operation HATS).

                                (Note: For details of all Force H operations see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by

                                C Barnett, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIintyre and Naval

                                Staff History (HMSO 2002)).

 

September

                3rd          Returned to Gibraltar with Force H on completion of HATS.

                11th        During patrol off Gibraltar sighted Vichy French cruisers on passage to Dakar.

 

October                  Force H deployment in continuation.

                18th        In company with HM Destroyers GALLANT and GRIFFIN of 13th Destroyer Flotilla rammed

                                and sank Italian submarine LAFOLE , SE of Alboran Island in the western Mediterranean.

                                Sustained major damage to forward hull structure.

                22nd       Taken in hand for repair.

 

November              Under repair.

                20th.       To be transferred to Malta for completion of work.

                25th        Joined Screen for Fleet units covering passage of H M Cruisers MANCHESTER and

                                SOUTHAMPTON to reinforce Fleet at Alexandria and Malta convoy.

                                (Operation COLLAR).

                27th        Present with screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL,

                                HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD and DESPATCH during brief engagement with two Italian

                                battleships, seven cruisers and destroyer screen.

                                When Italian force withdrew British covering force remained with convoy to ensure safety

                                and did not pursue enemy ships (Battle of Cape Spartivento).

                                (Note: This decision was questioned later by the Admiralty but the subsequent Board of

                                Enquiry concluded that the action taken was correct.

                                For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and

                                Naval Staff History.)

                29th        Taken in hand for permanent repair in Malta.

 

December              Under repair.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under repair.

 

February

                20th        On completion transferred to 2nd Destroyer Flotilla for duty with Fleet in the Eastern

                                Mediterranean and took passage to Alexandria.

 

March

                15th        Part of escort for HM Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM and VALIANT, HM Aircraft

                                Carrier FORMIDABLE from Alexandria to Join Cruiser force based at Suda Bay, Crete

                                in anticipation of action against Italian Fleet believed to be making offensive sweep in

                                Aegean Sea.

                17th        Participated in Battle of Matapan.

                                (For details see MATAPAN by SW Pack, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and

                                Naval Staff History).

April                       Deployed on escort of convoys between Alexandria and Piraeus (Operation LUSTRE).

                24th        Assisted in evacuation of British troops from Nauphlia with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA,

                                HM Destroyers DIAMOND and ISIS.

                                In all 1,000 troops were embarked. (See above references and THE BATTLE OF THE WINE

                                DARK SEA by L Lind.)

 

May

                1st           Resumed Fleet duties on completion of evacuation duties.

                6th          Deployed with Fleet units to cover transit of convoys and Force F, HM Battleship QUEEN

                                ELIZABETH, HM Cruisers NAIAD, FIJI, GLOUCESTER joining Fleet in Eastern

                                Mediterranean

                                (Operation TIGER).

                7th          Detached on passage to escort HM Cruiser AJAX with HM Destroyers IMPERIAL and

                                HAVOCK for bombardment of Benghazi.

                12th        Returned with Fleet to Alexandria.

                20th        Deployed off Crete to intercept German invasion craft.

                24th        Searched unsuccessfully for invasion convoys with HM Cruisers AJAX and DIDO, HM

                                Destroyers ISIS and IMPERIAL.

                25th        Assisted in support of military operations in defence of Crete.

                28th        Part of Force B for evacuation of 4,000 troops from Heraklion.

                29th        Detached on return passage to rescue ship's company and embarked troops from HM

                                Destroyer IMPERIAL whose steering gear had been disabled after being near-missed

                                during air attacks.

                                Sank HMS IMPERIAL with two torpedoes.

                31st         Deployed with HM Cruisers PHOEBE and MANXMAN to evacuate remaining troops from

                                Spakhia, Crete.

                                In action against aircraft during outward and return passages but without major damage.

 

June                        Deployed with HM Destroyer JANUS in support of military operations in Syria.

                                Engaged and drove off two French destroyers bombarding Australian troops.

                                (Operation EXPORTER).

 

July                         Transferred for duty with Inshore Squadron for supply and support of the Tobruk garrison.

                                Carried stores and personnel.

 

August                  Inshore Squadron deployment in continuation.

to October

 

November

                24th        Part of destroyer screen for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM and

                                VALIANT in search for Italian warships covering passage of convoys in Eastern

                                Mediterranean.

                25th        Took part in rescue of survivors after HMS BARHAM was torpedoed by U331.

                29th        In action against Italian torpedo carrying aircraft but escaped damage.

                                Escorted HM Cruiser NAIAD with HM Destroyer GRIFFIN for bombardment of Derna.

 

December              Deployed with Fleet screen during searches for Italian convoys.

                23rd        Whilst escorting Convoy AT5 with HM Destroyer HASTY carried out attack on ASDIC

                                contact for over 3 hours forcing U79 to surface.

                                44 survivors were rescued after submarine was abandoned and sunk in position 32.15N

                                25.19E. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

                                (Note: This was the first German submarine to be sunk in Eastern Mediterranean.)

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Deployed with Fleet to cover passage of Malta support convoy MF3.

 

February                Nominated for transfer to Eastern Fleet.

                                Malta convoy cover duties with Fleet until reorganisation of Mediterranean Fleet Destroyer

                                Flotillas.

                23rd        Detached for duty with Eastern Fleet and took passage to Ceylon.

 

March                    Deployed with Fleet units in Indian Ocean but still part of 2nd Flotilla.

                31st         Joined HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE and FORMIDABLE, H M Cruisers

                                CORNWALL, DORSETSHIRE, ENTERPRISE and EMERALD in Force A as screen

                                with five other Fleet destroyers.

 

April

                1st           Sailed with Force A from Colombo prior to Japanese air attack and carried out unsuccessful

                                search for Japanese naval force reported on passage towards Ceylon.

                                (For details of operations in Indian Ocean after the loss of HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES and

                                HM Cruiser DORSETSHIRE see OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Grey and WAR WITH

                                JAPAN (HMSO)

 

May                        Deployed in Indian Ocean for convoy defence and patrol.

 

June                        Recalled to Mediterranean to rejoin 2nd Destroyer Flotilla.

                                Passage to Alexandria.

                12th        Joined escort for Malta relief convoy with Fleet units (Operation VIGOROUS).

                14th        Under sustained air attacks on convoy and threat of surface action by units of the

                                Italian Fleet known to been passage to attack Aegean convoys.

                15th        In action against E-Boats during which HM Destroyer HASTY was torpedoed.

                                Sank HMS HASTY by torpedo after rescue of her ship's company.

                                Returned with the convoy to Alexandria when it was recalled and Operation abandoned.

                                (For full details of this disastrous and ill directed operation see ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by

                                Donald MacIntyre and Naval Staff History.

 

July                         Passage to Aden to rejoined Eastern Fleet for convoy defence and Fleet screening in Indian

                                Ocean.

 

August                  Deployed in Indian Ocean on escort and patrol duties.

to

December

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Transferred to South Atlantic in continuation of trade defence role.

 

February                Nominated for refit and conversion for use as A/S Escort Destroyer.

                14th        Passage to Freetown.

                                On arrival Joined escort for convoy to UK.

                27th        Arrived at Plymouth.

                                Took passage to Sheerness for refit.

 

March                    Under refit in HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

to                            (Note: Work done included ;

May                        Fit of HEDGEHOG Ahead Throwing Mortar anti-submarine weapon.

                                Surface warning Radar Type 271 and HF D/F Outfit fitted for detection of wireless

                                transmissions.

                                See SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann and THE TORPEDOMEN by Poland).

 

June

                1st           On completion of poet refit trials took passage to Tobermory to work-up.

 

July                         Joined 4th Escort Group based at Greenock for convoy defence in North Atlantic.

 

August.                 Deployed on convoy escort with Group.

 

September

                27th        In action with other escorts against submarine attacks on Convoy ONS19.

 

October                  Atlantic convoy escort duty in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Atlantic convoy escort duty in continuation.

to

May

 

June                        Transferred to 14th Escort Group and based at Plymouth.

                                (Note: Others Ships in Group:

                                HM Destroyers FAME, ICARUS, HAVELOCK, INCONSTANT.)

                6th          Deployed in SW Approaches for offensive patrol to prevent access by U-Boats into English

                                Channel for attacks on convoys for 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).

                14th        Group operational area moved eastwards after more A/S Support Groups available for this

                                task.

                18th        Took part in sinking of U767 by ships of Group after detection of wireless transmissions.

                                Submarine was sunk in position 29.03N 12.03W after HEDGEHOG attacks.

                                Only one of crew was rescued.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair).

 

July                         Resumed Atlantic convoy defence duties with 14th Escort Group.

 

August                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Withdrawn for refit.

                31st         Taken in hand for refit at Vickers shipyard in Barrow.

 

November              Under refit for use as an A/S Escort.

to                            (Note: Armament changed. Only three 4.7in guns fitted, two mountings forward and 1 aft.

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Under refit

to

February

 

March

                9th          On completion of post refit trials and work-up deployed in Irish Sea.

                                Convoy escort and patrol duty against increased threat to coastal convoy traffic by

                                SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats.

 

April                       Carried out anti submarine operations In Irish Sea and SW Approaches

 

May                        Transferred to Rosyth Escort Force for patrol and escort in North Sea.

 

June                        Deployed in North Sea in support of re-occupation operations.

to

August

 

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

 

HMS HOTSPUR was transferred to the Londonderry Training Squadron in August 1945 and remained on training duties until June 1946. She then served with the 4th Escort Group until February 1947 when refitted at Portsmouth. Later that year the ship joined the 3rd Training Flotilla based Portland before entering Reserve at Portsmouth in 1946. Sale negotiations with the Republic of Dominica were completed by November that year when she was renamed TRUJILLO. After over 25 years in the Dominican Navy the ship was renamed DUARTE and scrapped after 1970.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS HOTSPUR

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

 

 

 

 

 

09/10/40

09/10/40

HG 045

15/10/40

27/10/40

20/11/40

20/11/40

HG 047

unknown

04/12/40

25/11/40

25/11/40

COLLAR

28/11/40

28/11/40

04/03/41

04/03/41

AS 016/1

08/03/41

08/03/41

14/03/41

14/03/41

AS 019/1

19/03/41

19/03/41

08/04/41

08/04/41

ASF 024

11/04/41

11/04/41

23/12/41

23/12/41

TA 005/M

25/12/41

25/12/41

03/01/42

03/01/42

AT 011/M

07/01/42

07/01/42

11/06/42

12/06/42

MW 011

16/06/42

16/06/42

04/08/42

04/08/42

RT 001

06/08/42

13/08/42

10/01/43

20/01/43

MC 003

23/01/43

23/01/43

25/01/43

25/01/43

CF 011

27/01/43

27/01/43

30/01/43

30/01/43

CF 011A

11/02/43

11/02/43

14/02/43

14/02/43

CF 011B

24/02/43

25/02/43

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

14/08/43

15/08/43

ON 197

22/08/43

28/08/43

27/08/43

02/09/43

HX 254

09/09/43

12/09/43

22/09/43

23/09/43

ON 203

03/10/43

10/10/43

05/10/43

11/10/43

HX 260

18/10/43

20/10/43

31/10/43

01/11/43

ON 209

10/11/43

17/11/43

13/11/43

18/11/43

HX 266

26/11/43

27/11/43

09/12/43

10/12/43

ON 215

22/12/43

28/12/43

22/12/43

27/12/43

HX 272

05/02/44

06/01/44

15/01/44

16/01/44

ON 220

28/01/44

04/02/44

29/01/44

02/02/44

SC 152

14/02/44

15/02/44

27/02/44

28/02/44

ONS 030

10/03/44

13/03/44

13/03/44

19/03/44

HX 283

28/03/44

29/03/44

08/04/44

15/04/44

MKF 029B

17/04/44

17/04/44

12/04/45

15/04/45

MKF 042

17/04/45

17/04/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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