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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 IMPULSIVE (D 11) -  I-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Ilex, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham,  click to enlarge)

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I-Class Fleet Destroyer built by J. S. White at Cowes ordered in October 1935 under the 1935 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 29th January 1936 and launched on 1st March 1937. Build was completed on 29 January 1938 at a build cost of £258,965, which excluded Admiralty supplied items such ass guns and communications equipment. .After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by Hornsey, Essex. No previous RN warship had carried the name. This Class of destroyer was designed for use as a minelayer (See BRITISH DESTROYERS by E. March).

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

NORWAY   1940 - DUNKIRK 1940 - ARCTIC  1941-44  - ATLANTIC  1942-43 - NORMANDY  1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL  1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a mountain gold erupting proper

upon waves blue and white.

 

M o t t o

Cor unum,  Via una :   ' One heart,  one way'

 

 

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             Serving with 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Pleat.

                3rd          Nominated for transfer to Home Fleet with flotilla.

                14th        On arrival at Plymouth deployed on anti-submarine patrol and convoy escort duties in SW

                                Approaches.

                17th        Searched for survivors from HM Aircraft Carrier COURAGEOUS in English Channel.

 

October                  Transferred to Home Fleet..

                25th        Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

 

November              Deployed with Home Fleet major units as screen during convoy cover and interception

                                patrols,

                                For details of naval activities in Home Waters during 1939 - 1940 see ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett..

 

December              Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated to join 20th Destroyer Flotilla for minelaying duties.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January

                4th          Escorted HM Battleship NELSON to Portsmouth from Loch Ewe for repair after detonating

                                magnetic mine.

                8th          Resumed duty with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                17th        Towed HM Destroyer DUNCAN, escorted by HM Destroyer EXMOUTH to Rosyth after

                                collision during escort of Convoy ON8.

                24th        Converted for use in minelaying role at Portsmouth.

                27th        Joined new Flotilla at Immingham.

                                (For details of all minelaying activities see Naval Staff History (Mining). ).

 

February                Deployed with Flotilla at Immingham.

 

March

                3rd          Took part in minelay with HM Destroyers EXPRESS, ESK and ICARUS in Heligoland

                                Bight (Operation IE1 Ė This was first Flotilla operational deployment.).

                5th          Detached for anti-submarine duty in Moray Firth.

                27th        Diverted to load mines at Immingham for minelay off Norway.

 

April

                3rd          Joined Force WV at Scapa Flow for minelaying with Flotilla off Norway.

                                (Operation WILFRED/R4 )

                5th          Laid minefield in Vest Fjord with HM Destroyers ESK, ICARUS and IVANHOE.

                                On completion of lay joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and Fleet units.

                                Lost contact due to weather during the engagement off Norway with the German battleship

                                SCHARNHORST.

                                Returned to patrol limits of mined area but later detached far repair.

                17th        Under repair.

                23rd        Provided cover during landings at Andalsnes (Operation SICKLE).

                29th        Laid minefield off Trondheim with HMS ICARUS and HMS IVANHOE

                                (Operation ZMA).

 

May

                15th        During passage for minelay off Dutch coast developed boiler defects and returned to

                                Immingham (Operation CBX2)

                18th        Laid minefield in East Coast Barrier with Flotilla and HM Auxiliary Minelayer PRINCESS

                                VICTORIA (Operation BS5).

                                Detached on completion and not present when HMS PRINCESS VICTORIA was mined in

                                Humber estuary.

                20th        Deployed for series of minelays with Flotilla in East Coast Barrier.

                21st         Operation BS6

                23rd        Operation BS7

                25th        Operation BS8.

                27th        Despatched to assist in evacuation of BEF from Dunkirk and took passage to Dover.

                                (Operation DYNAMO

                28th        First trip to Dunkirk and embarked troops for passage to Dover.

                29th        Second trip to Dunkirk and returned to Dover

                31st         Made two trips to Dunkirk and returned to Dover.

                                (Note: Total number of troops embarked was 2,917.)

                                For details see Naval Staff History (HMSO, 2002) and BEF SHIPS by J de S

                                Winser.)

 

June

                1st           Sustained damage to propeller and withdrawn from DYNAMO.

                2nd         Passage to Thames for repair.

                3rd          Taken in hand at Green & Silley Weir shipyard in Blackwall, London.

                24th        Rejoined Flotilla at Immingham to resume minelaying operations in East Coast Barrier with

                                Flotilla and auxiliary minelayers.

                25th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer TEVIOT BANK, HM Minelayer PLOVER, HM Destroyers

                                INTREPID and ICARUS with HM Destroyer ESK (Operation BS18)

 

July

                17th        Carried out trial lay of Mark XX Mine with HMS EXPRESS (Operation BS24).

                18th        Operation BS25 with HMS EXPRESS.

                21st         Operation BS26 with Flotilla, except HMS IVANHOE.

                24th        Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK with HMS ICARUS and HMS INTREPID (Operation BS27).

                                Remained in area alone to confirm satisfactory lay and remove Danbuoys.

                27th        Carried out minelay with Flotilla, except HMS IVANHOE (Operation BS28).

 

August

                2nd         Carried out minelay with HMS PLOVER, Dutch minelayer VAN DER ZAAN and Flotilla

                                except HMS IVANHOE (Operation BS30).

                6th          Diverted to lay minefield off Dutch coast near Thornton Bank with Flotilla and an escort of

                                Motor Torpedo Boats (Operation C3X4).

                13th        Although nominated for anti-invasion patrol duties continued minelaying in East Coast Barrier

.                               Escorted HMS PLOVER and HNethMS VAN DER ZAAN with HMS INTREPID.

                               (Operation BS3D.

                16th        Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK with HMS INTREPID (Operation BS32).

                20th        Escorted HMS PLOVER and HNethMS VAN DER ZAAN with HMS ICARUS

                                (Operation BS33).

                25th        Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK, HMS PLOVER and HNethMS. VAN DER ZAAN with

                                HMS ESK and HMS ICARUS (Operation BS34)

                26th        In hand for Boiler cleaning at Swan Hunter shipyard, Newcastle.

                                (Note: Ship not therefore available for deployment during the disastrous minelay off Dutch

                                coast when HMS IVANHOE and HMS ESK were lost and HMS EXPRESS received

                                serious structural damage.

                               (Operation CBX5 - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff

                               History (Mining) )..

 

September

               3rd          Transferred to Dover Command for anti-invasion minelaying In Dover Strait .

                               First stage of lay (Operation MSI A).

               6th          Second stage of lay (Operation MS1A).

                7th          Reverted to A/S role and deployed on anti-invasion patrol and escort duties.

 

October                  Escort and patrol duty In North Sea in continuation

                10th        Re-deployed as minelayer with Flotilla at Immingham.

                                Continued Operation BS Series in East Coast Barrier.

                22nd       Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK and HMS PLOVER with HMS ICARUS

                                (Operation BS4O)

                21st         Repeated BS40 (Operation BS42).

 

November

                6th          Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK with HMS ICARUS (Operation BSU5)

                7th          Docked in Hull for investigation of excess vibration and refit

 

December              Under refit.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                 Under refit

               16th        Rejoined Flotilla after post refit trials.

                                Escorted HMS TEVIOT BANK but unable to commence lay because of weather.

                                Diverted to Rosyth to await suitable opportunity.

                                (Operation BS50)

                20th        Deployed with HMS INTREPID for Home Fleet minelaying operation off Fro Havet, Norway.

                                (Operation EA)

 

February

                2nd         Operation cancelled on passage due to inclement weather for minelaying.

                                Transferred to Plymouth for series of minelays in French coastal waters.

                18th        Arrived at Plymouth with HMS ICARUS and HMS INTREPID.

                20th        Laid minefield off Brest with HMS ICARUS and HMS INTREPID escorted by ships of 5th

                                Destroyer Flotilla and Light Coastal Forces craft (Operation GS).

                24th        Laid field with same ships near lie de Baa from Dartmouth (Operation GT).

                26th        Laid magnetic mines off Cap d'Antifer (Operation JL).

                27th        Boiler cleaning at Portsmouth.

 

March                    On completion resumed Channel minelaying operations

                19th        Laid field near Ile de Bas from Dartmouth (Operation GU).

                22nd       Laid field between Le Havre and Cherbourg. Operation GT).

                28th        Laid field off Brest (Operation GX).

                31st         Laid field off Brest (Operation GZ).

 

April                       Passage to Immingham for boiler cleaning.

                18th        On completion took passage to Join Flotilla at Plymouth.

                21st         Laid mines off Lea Triages, north of Brittany (Operation HB).

                22nd       Returned to Immingham to embark torpedo tubes and revert to destroyer role.

 

May                       Joined Home Fleet for A/S duties on completion.

                6th          Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron for minelay in Faeroes-Iceland field of Northern

                                Barrage, with (MS INTREPID covered by Home Fleet cruisers.

                               (Operation SN9A).

                19th        Landed 278 survivors of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser SALOPIAN at Greenock.

                                20th Destroyer Flotilla disbanded.

 

June                       Deployed with Home Fleet.

                10th        Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HM Destroyer ANTHONY during lay of two

                                minefields in Northern Barrage covered by HM Cruiser NIGERIA.

                               (Operations SN64A and 64B).

                18th        Taken in hand for repair to boilers in Hull shipyard

 

July                        Under repair.

 

August                  Carried out post-repair trials and took passage to Scapa Flow.

                8th          Joined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in Home Fleet for A/S escort of Fleet Unite and convoy defence

                                in NW Approaches.

 

September             Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                29th        Escorted Russian Convoy PQ1 from Iceland to Murmansk.

                               For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R Ruegg,

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B. Schoefield and ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman).

 

October

                10th        Arrived at Murmansk with PQ1.

                18th        Escorted HM Cruiser SUFFOLK with HM Destroyer ESCAPADE from Archangel to UK.

 

November             Deployed with Flotilla in Home Fleet.

 

December              Home Fleet deployment in continuation but availability reduced by a succession of defects.

                                Withdrawn for refit.

30th        Taken in hand for refit at Woolston, Southampton by Thornycroft shipyard.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Under refit

to

June

 

July

                27th        On completion carried out post refit trials.

 

August                  Rejoined 6th Destroyer Flotilla, Hone Fleet for Russian Convoy and Fleet escort duty after

                                completing work-up.

 

September             Part of Fighting Escort for Russian Convoy PQ 18

                16th        Sank U457 in position 72.05N 43.15E during defence of PQ18.

                                (Note: There were no survivors.

                17th        Detached from PQ18 and joined return convoy QP14 with Fighting Escort.

                18th        Detached from QP14 with HM Destroyer FURY and took passage to Spitzbergen to

                                collect RFA OLIGARCH on completion of refuelling escorts.

                19th        Rejoined QP18 with HMS FURY and RFA OLIGARCH.

                25th        Remained with QP14 as Western Local escort during passage to Loch Ewe and joined by

                                HM Destroyer WORCESTER.

 

October                 Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                20th        Joined escort for returning Russian Convoy QP1.

                26th        Detached from QP15 escort and returned to Scapa Flow..

 

November

                22nd       Escorted HM Battleship ANSON during provision of Distant Cover by Home Fleet major

                                warships for passage of Russian Convoy JW51B.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

 

February

                21st         Escorted HM Cruiser SCYLLA during passage of Russian Convoy JW53.

                27th        Detached from JW53 with HMS SCYLLA and screen on arrival at Kola Inlet.

 

March

                1st           Joined return Convoy RA53 with HMS SCYLLA and other screening destroyers on

                                departure from Kola Inlet as escort during passage to Home waters.

                12th        Detached from RA53 with four other destroyers of Ocean Escort.

                                (Note HMS SCYLLA had detached on 10th March.)

                15th        Transferred for temporary duty in Western Approaches Command to reinforce support for

                                Atlantic convoys which were being subject to increasing attacks by U-boats.

                                Joined 3rd Support Group with HM Destroyers OFFA, PENN and PANTHER.

                                (For details of Atlantic convoy defence during 1943 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY, THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre, U-BOAT WAR IN THE

                                ATLANTIC (HMSO) , CONVOY by M Middlebrook, and CONVOY ESCORT

                                COMMANDER by P Gretton and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.).

 

April                       Deployed with Group in support of Atlantic convoy defence

                25th        Took passage from Newfoundland to support escort for Convoys ONS5 and SC128 under

                                threat from U-Boats of FINK and AMSEL U-Boat Groups.

 

May                        Deployment in support of SC128 in continuation.

                4th          Detached and took passage to Iceland to refuel,

                                Returned to Clyde.

 

June                        Under refit at Hull in Amos & Smith shipyard

 

July

                27th        Carried out post refit trials before resuming Home Fleet duties in Flotilla.

                                (Note: Ship may have worked-up before operational service.)

 

August                  Deployed with Home Fleet for escort and anti-submarine patrol duty.

                16th        Relieved escort for 1st Minelaying Squadron ships during lay of minefield in Denmark Strait

                                for part of Northern Barrage, with HM Escort Destroyer MIDDLETON

                                (Operation SN74).

                                Returned to Scapa Flow when original escorts had refuelled.

 

September             Home Fleet Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to October

 

November

                18th        Deployed as part of Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW54A.

                24th        Detached from JW54A on arrival at Kola Inlet,

                28th        Joined return Convoy RA54B to relieve Local Escort and part of Ocean Escort for passage

                                to Home waters.

 

December

                5th          Detached from RA54B on relief by Local Escort in NW Approaches,

                22nd       Joined Russian Convoy JW55B as Ocean Escort with eight Home Fleet destroyers.

                29th        Detached from JW55B before arrival at Kola Inlet.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January

1st           Joined returning Convoy RA55Bl to Ocean Escort and relieved Local Escort.

                7th          Detached from RA55B with Ocean Escort before arrival at Loch Ewe and resumed Fleet

                                duties.

 

February                Deployed with screen for Hone Fleet major units during an anti-shipping strike off Norway

                                (Operation POSTHORN)

                                (Note: The Home units also covered transit of Russian Convoy JW57 to Kola Inlet.

                25th        Rescued the only 2 survivors from HM Destroyer MAHRATTA, sunk by U990 during

                                defence of JW57.

 

March

                29th        Joined Russian Convoy JW58 during passage from Loch Ewe as relief for Local Escort/

                                (Note: Ocean Escort included two Escort Aircraft Carriers and anti-submarine defence was

                                augmented by Sloops of 2nd Escort Group with separate destroyer screen.)

 

April

                4th          Detached from JW58 with ships of escort on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                7th          Joined return Convoy RA58 with escort on departure from Kola Inlet.

                12th        Detached from RA58 on arrival at Loch Ewe and resumed Hone Fleet duties.

                                (Note: Details of all warships and escorts are recorded in CONVOYS TO RUSSIA and

                                THE ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM by A Hague, which includes losses.)

 

May                        Deployed with Flotilla in preparation for assault.

                2nd         Final Joint exercise with Forces S, G and J in Channel (Exercise FABIUS).

                4th          Took part in landings exercises west of Littlehampton.

                18th        Took part in Defence exercise with Force S off Brighton.

                                Nominated for duty with in support of Normandy landings with the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla.

                                Joined Force S in Solent with Flotilla.

                                (Note: For details of Normandy landings see Naval Staff History LANDINGS IN

                                NORMANDY, June 1944 and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K. Edwards).

 

June                        Assembled at Portsmouth with Force S ships and craft.

                6th          Provided naval gunfire support on SWORD Beaches during landings.

                                Subsequently deployed in Eastern Task Force area on convoy escort and patrol as required

                                by Eastern Task Fore Commander.

                27th        Remained in Channel area after termination of NEPTUNE

 

July                         Released from Channel duties and return to Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet duties.

                26th        Taken in hand for refit at Immingham.

 

August                  Under refit.

 

September             On completion carried out post refit trials..

 

October                 Joined 14th Escort Group for convoy defence in Western Approaches.

 

November              Deployed for convoy defence duty in SW Approaches

to December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployment in Western Approaches in continuation.

to February

 

March                    Transferred to 8th Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth for convoy defence in English Channel

                                (Note: Increased attacks by SCHNORKEL fitted submarines and re-routing of convoys

                                via English Channel required additional escorts.) See ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.)

 

April                       Deployment in Channel In continuation.

 

May

                14th        Visited St. Peter Port, Guernsey after reoccupation of Channel Islands.

 

June

                7th          Escorted HM Cruiser JAMAICA with HM King George VI embarked to visit Channel

                                Islands.

                17th        Reduced to Reserve at Harwich.

 

P o s t   W a r    N o t e s

 

HMS IMPULSIVE remained in Reserve Fleet at Harwich until placed on the Disposal List later in 1945. The ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Young at Sunderland in 1946 and arrived in tow at the breakerís yard on 22nd January 1946.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS IMPULSIVE

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

 

 

 

 

 

12/11/39

12/11/39

ON 002/1

14/11/39

15/11/39

15/11/39

15/11/39

HN 002

18/11/39

18/11/39

22/12/39

28/12/39

TC 002

30/12/39

30/12/39

15/01/40

15/01/40

ON 008/1

19/01/40

19/01/40

19/01/40

19/01/40

HN 008

22/01/40

22/01/40

12/08/41

16/08/41

DERVISH

29/08/41

31/08/41

29/09/41

29/09/41

PQ 001

11/10/41

11/10/41

02/09/42

09/09/42

PQ 018

18/09/42

21/09/42

13/09/42

unknown

QP 014

25/09/42

26/0942

17/11/42

20/11/42

QP 015

26/11/42

30/11/42

22/12/42

26/12/42

JW 051B

30/12/42

04/01/43

15/02/43

21/02/43

JW 053

27/02/43

27/02/43

01/03/43

01/03/43

RA 053

12/03/43

14/03/43

14/03/43

27/03/43

SC 123

28/03/43

03/04/43

18/03/43

29/03/43

HX 230

31/03/43

02/04/43

06/04/43

17/04/43

HX 233

18/04/43

21/04/43

08/04/43

19/04/43

SC 126

21/04/43

23/04/43

21/04/43

02/05/43

ONS 005

03/05/43

12/05/43

29/04/43

09/05/43

ONS 006

11/05/43

17/05/43

06/05/43

12/05/43

ON 182

14/05/43

22/05/43

13/05/43

21/05/43

HX 239

24/05/43

28/05/43

15/11/43

18/11/43

JW 054A

24/11/43

24/11/43

26/11/43

28/11/43

RA 054B

05/12/43

09/12/43

20/12/43

22/12/43

JW 055B

29/12/43

30/12/43

31/12/43

31/12/43

RA 055B

07/01/44

08/01/44

02/03/44

02/03/44

RA 057

07/03/44

10/03/44

27/03/44

02/04/44

JW 058

04/04/44

04/04/44

07/04/44

07/04/44

RA 058

14/04/44

14/04/44

26/07/44

26/07/44

FTM 049

26/07/44

27/07/44

04/12/44

11/12/44

AT 172

12/12/44

12/12/44

13/12/44

13/12/44

TA 170

14/12/44

21/12/44

28/12/44

28/12/44

BTC 021

31/12/44

31/12/44

30/01/45

07/02/45

AT 187A

08/02/45

08/02/45

03/02/45

10/02/45

AT 188

11/02/45

11/02/45

13/02/45

13/02/45

TA 187

14/02/45

19/02/45

07/02/45

14/02/45

AT 189A

15/02/45

15/02/45

11/02/45

17/02/45

AT 189

18/02/45

18/02/45

21/03/45

21/03/45

VWP 101

22/03/45

22/03/45

23/03/45

23/03/45

VWP 103

24/03/45

24/03/45

25/03/45

25/03/45

VWP 105

26/03/45

26/03/45

31/05/45

31/05/45

TA 208A

01/06/45

06/06/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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