Naval History Homepage and Site Search

 

SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1996

HMS HIGHLANDER (H 44) -  ex-Brazilian H-type Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

sister ship HMS Hesperus (Navy Photos/Mike Pocock, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

Variant of H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston for the Brazilian Navy and laid down on 28th September 1938 to be named JAGUARIBE. The ship was requisitioned by the Admiralty for RN service on 5th September 1939 and renamed HMS HIGHLANDER when launched on 17th October 1939. This name was introduced in 1856 for a Steam Gunboat and later used for two Tugs. Modifications to suit RN requirements for anti-submarine duty were carried our during build which was completed on 18th March 1940. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in May 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Perthshire, Scotland.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

NORWAY  1940 - ATLANTIC  1940-45

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: Per fess  wavy Blue and White a  set of bagpipes

with the Stewart hunting tartan.

 

 

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 4 0

 

March                    Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service.

                18th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Portland

                                Carried out brief work-up at Portland.

 

April                       On completion took passage to Scapa Flow.

                11th        Joined 9th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet and deployed for support of the allied

                                landings in Norway

                12th        Joined Troop Convoy NP1 as escort during passage from Clyde to Vest Fjord with HM

                                Cruisers CAIRO, MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, CAIRO, HM Destroyers

                                WITHERINGTON, VANOC, VOLUNTEER, WHIRLWIND and HM Netlayer

                                PROTECTOR (Operation R4/WILFRED).

                14th        After it was decided to make a landing at Namsos, detached with HMS MANCHESTER,

                                HMS BIRMINGHAM, HMS CAIRO, HM Destroyers VANOC and WHIRLWIND to

                                escort rms EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and Polish liner CHOBRY for passage to

                                Namsos (Operation MAURICE).

                15th        Diverted with convoy to Liliesjona.

                                Under air attacks.

                                On release took passage to return to UK for further escort duty.

                17th        Grounded in Shetland during passage to Scapa.

                                Sustained damage to machinery and under water fitting for ASDIC equipment.

                20th        Taken in hand for repair in Hull shipyard.

 

May                        Under repair

                19th        On completion escorted HM Battlecruiser RENOWN from Tyne to Scapa Flow with

                                HM Destroyers BULLDOG and ASHANTI during passage to Scapa Flow

                                (Note: HMS RENOWN had been under repair).

                24th        Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier GLORIOUS from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers ARROW

                                and WREN for passage to continue air operations off Norway.

                28th        Escorted HMS GLORIOUS from Norway to Scapa Flow and delayed by fog.

                31st         Joined HMS GLORIOUS and HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL with HM Destroyers

                                ACASTA, ARDENT, ACHERON and DIANA as escort during passage to Bardufoss

                                from Clyde to provide air cover during evacuation of allied forces from Norway

                                (Operation ALPHABET).

 

June

                2nd         On arrival remained as escort to HMS GLORIOUS which had been detached to seaward

                                until required to re-embark aircraft from shore.

                5th          Detached to refuel at Harstad and rejoined HMS GLORIOUS on completion.

                                Remained as escort for HMS GLORIOUS until 8th June.

                8th          Detached as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL with HM Destroyers DIANA and ACHERON.

                9th          Escorted HMS ARK ROYAL with same ships to provide air and anti-submarine defence

                                for ss ARANDORA STAR and other ships of evacuation convoy Group II during passage

                                to UK.

                                (For details of the disastrous naval operations off Norway see CARRIER GLORIOUS

                                by J Winton, NARVIK by D Macintyre and Naval Staff History ).

                12th        Transferred to Western Approaches and redeployed in English Channel for support of

                                evacuation operations from Bay of Biscay.

                13th        On passage rescued survivors from HM Armed Merchant Cruiser SCOTSTOUN in NW

                                Approaches.

                                Landed passengers at Greenock

                16th        Evacuated BEF troops from St. Nazaire (Operation ARIAL)

                25th        Evacuated BEF troops and refugees from St Jean de Luz

                29th        Joined military convoy WS1 in Clyde with HM Destroyers HARVESTER, VOLUNTEER and

                                WHIRLWIND as Local escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: This convoy comprised rms AQUITANIA, rms MAURETANIA and rms QUEEN

                                MARY taking reinforcements to Egypt.)

                30th        Detached from WS1 with Local Escort

 

July                         Western Approaches duties in continuation for convoy defence and patrol

                16th        3in High Angle Gun fitted at Devonport for defence against aircraft

                24th        On completion rejoined Flotilla In continuation.

 

August

                5th          Joined military convoy WS2 at Liverpool with HM Destroyers HARVESTER, HAVELOCK and

                                HURRICANE as Local Escort for passage in NW Approaches.

                7th          Detached from WS2 with Local Escort and returned to Liverpool.

 

September             Carried out anti-invasion patrols based at Devonport.

                15th        Bombarded Cherbourg with HM Destroyers HARVESTER, BULLDOG and BEAGLE.

                                Transferred with Flotilla to Liverpool for Atlantic convoy defence.

 

October

                3rd          Joined military convoy WS3 Slow on departure from Liverpool with HM Destroyers

                                HARVESTER, HAVELOCK, HURRICANE, VERSATILE, VISCOUNT and

                                WITHERINGTON as Local Escort during passage In NW Approaches.

                5th          On release from WS3 Slow returned to Liverpool.

                                Convoy escort and patrol in NW Approaches in continuation.

                30th        Participated in sinking of U32 with HM Destroyer HARVESTER afters ss EMPRESS OF

                                AUSTRALIA was torpedoed.

                                Submarine sunk in position 55.37N 12.20W and some survivors were rescued.

 

November

                18th        Joined military convoy WS4B in Clyde with HM Canadian Destroyers OTTAWA, SKEENA,

                                SAGUENAY and ST LAURENT for Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                20th        Detached from WS4B with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

 

December              Part of escort for Convoy OG4? to Gibraltar.

                1st           Escorted HM Canadian Destroyer SAGUENAY to Barrow from NW Approaches after damage

                                from submarine torpedo during convoy defence.

                19th        Joined Local Escort for military convoy WS5A with H M Destroyers HARVESTER and

                                VESPER during passage in NW Approaches.

                21st         Detached from WS5A and returned to Clyde with same ships.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

                8th          Provided anti-submarine defence to ships of military convoy WS5B during assembly

                                in Molfre Bay with HM Destroyer HARVESTER and HM Sloop WELLINGTON.

                12th        Joined Local Escort for WS5B on departure with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, FEARLESS,

                                HARVESTER, JACKAL, LEAMINGTON, LINCOLN, VANSITTART and WATCHMAN for

                                passage in NW Approaches.

                16th        Detached from WS5B with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                30th        Taken in hand for refit at Vickers shipyard, Hebburn on Tyne.

 

February                Under refit.

 

March                    Post refit trials.

                23rd        On completion rejoined Group

                26th        Transferred with Group for duty at Gibraltar and sailed as escort convoy to Gibraltar.

 

April                       Deployed on Atlantic convoy defence.

                6th          Took part in search for German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU with ships

                                of Force H in Bay of Biscay

                                Transferred to Freetown for convoy escort duty in South Atlantic with the 18th Destroyer Flotilla.

                                Took passage to Freetown.

                26th        Joined HM Destroyers DUNCAN and WISHART as Local Escort for military convoy WS8A

                                with HM Destroyers BOREAS during Atlantic passage.

 

May

                9th          Detached from WS8A on arrival at Freetown with Local Escort.

                14th        Sailed from Freetown as Local Escort for WS8A with HM Destroyers DUNCAN, BOREAS

                                and WISHART.

                16th        Detached from WS8A with HMS BOREAS.

 

June                        South Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

                5th          Sailed from Freetown as Local Escort for military convoy WS8B with HM Destroyers

                                BOREAS and DUNCAN.

                8th          Detached from WS8B with Local Escort and returned to Freetown.

                16th        Joined HM Destroyers VANSITTART and WILD SWAN as escort for military convoy

                                WS9A with HM Destroyers BOREAS, BRILLIANT and VELOX during Atlantic passage.

                18th        Detached from WS9A on arrival at Freetown with Local Escort.

 

July                         Atlantic convoy defence based at Freetown in continuation.

 

August                  Transferred to Londonderry and took passage from Freetown.

                                Deployed with Escort Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

                31st         Joined military convoy WS11 in Clyde with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers LIVELY,

                                COSSACK, LEGION, WINCHELSEA, ZULU, Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS, Polish

                                ORP PIORUN and ORP GARLAND.

 

September

                3rd          When released from WS11 detached with Local Escort and returned to Londonderry.

 

October                 Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to

November

 

December

                13th        Deployed as escort for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR.

                                FORESIGHT, LIGHTNING and HARVESTER

                                (Note: HMS DUKE OF YORK was taking Prime Minister to meet the President of the USA

                                at Argentia, Newfoundland for discussions and signing of the Atlantic Charter.

                17th        Detached from HMS DUKE OF YORK with other destroyers and returned to Scapa Flow.                  

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence in continuation

 

February                Taken in hand for refit at Green and Silley Weir shipyard at Tilbury.

 

March                    Under refit including installation of surface warning radar Type 271

.                               For details of the development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).

                18th        On completion of post refit trials Joined 4th Escort Group as Senior Officer's ship. Deployed

                                with HM Destroyer WINCHELSEA, HM Corvettes ANEMONE, ASPHODEL and

                                PENNYWORT for Atlantic convoy escort.

 

April                       Escorted Convoy SC82 with ships of Group.

 

May                        Atlantic deployments included escort of Convoys OMS99, SC and HX209 with ships of

to                            Group.

October

 

November              Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

                22nd       Taken in hand for refit at Humber shipyard.

 

December              Under refit.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Carried out post refit trials.

                6th          Rejoined Group in continuation of Atlantic duties.

                                Deployed with m Destroyers BEVERLEY and WINCHELSEA, HM Corvettes ABELIA,.

                                ANEMONE, ASPHODEL, CLOVER, PENNYWORT and SNOWFLAKE for convoy escort

                                in Atlantic.

 

February                Escorted convoys HX220, ON161 and ONS169 in North Atlantic.

 

March                    Docking at St Johns Newfoundland.

                18th        Joined convoy HX229 which was under heavy attack from u-Boat Packs.

                                Missed by two salvoes of torpedoes from U441 and U608

                                (For details of this most significant convoy battle see CONVOY by M Middlebrook and

                                HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.

 

April

                10th        Attached to 6th British Escort Group for escort of convoy ON176 and came under series of

                                of attacks by ADLER Group of U-Boats during which HM Destroyer BEVERLEY was sunk..

                21st         Escorted convoy HX234 with ships of own Group and under attack from MEISEM U-Boat

                                Group.

 

May                        Escorted Convoy ON 183 with ships of Group.

                                (Note: The period between February 1943 and May 1943 was the turning point in the Battle

                                of the Atlantic.

                                The increasing number of escorts available and the provision of air cover from escort

                                aircraft carriers as well as the use of Ahead Throwing anti-submarine mortar

                                weapons enabled U-Boat attacks to be effectively countered. This resulted in the

                                withdrawal of U-Boats from North Atlantic convoy routes pending the availability of

                                new weapons including acoustic

                                torpedoes and new design U-Boats)

 

June                        Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to                            For details of introduction of new weapons used in convoy defence and for attacks see SEEK

July                         AND STRIKE by W Hackmann).

 

August                  Nominated for escort of military convoys to Mediterranean.

 

September             Mediterranean Military convoy escort in continuation.

to                            Deployed with m Destroyers WALKER, WESTCOTT and WINCHELSEA, HM Corvettes

October                  ABELIA, ASPHODEL, CLOVER and PENNYWORT.

 

November              Escorted convoys KMS30 and OG95 from UK to Gibraltar.

 

December

                28th        Taken in hand for refit at Troon.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under refit and conversion for use as anti-submarine escort.

to                            HEDGEHOG Ahead Throwing Mortar fitted. (See SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann)

March

 

April                       Completion of post refit trials delayed by collision with tug.

                12th        On completion deployed with 6th British Escort Group for escort of Convoy ON176.

 

May                        Worked-up at Tobermory.

 

June                        Rejoined 4th Escort Group for North Atlantic convoy defence.

                                Deployed with HM Frigates BAYNTUN, FOLEY and HELMSDALE, HM Corvettes

                                KENILWORTH CASTLE, PEVENSEY CASTLE and PORTCHESTER CAStLE for escort

                                of Atlantic convoys.

 

July                         Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

to                            (Note: Not used for support of allied landings in Normandy).

August

 

September             Transferred to 2nd British Escort Group for mid-ocean escort duty in Atlantic.

                                Deployed with HM Frigate MANNERS, HM Corvettes ACANTHUS, MORPETH CASTLE,

                                COLUMBINE, SWEETBRIAR and ANEMONE for Atlantic mid-Ocean convoy escort

                                (For details of activities of this Group see RELENTLESS PURSUIT by D E G Weymss).

 

October                  North Atlantic deployment for convoy defence with Group in continuation.

to

November

 

December              Escorted convoys to and from Newfoundland.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Atlantic convoy escort with Group in continuation.

to                            (Note: During this period U-Boats were concentrating their attacks on coastal convoys

March                    around UK but a high level of escort was still required for all convoys)

 

April

                15th        During escort of Atlantic convoy sustained major damage from collision with ice.

                                Forward structure below waterline carried away completely for over 20 feet and ship

                                disabled.

                                HM Corvette MORPETH CASTLE provided assistance until tug TENACITY arrived to tow

                                ship stern first into RCN base at Bay of Bulls, Newfoundland with escort provided by HM

                                Canadian Corvette MEDICINE HAT

 

April

                17th        Taken in hand for repair at Bay of Bulls.

 

May                        Under repair.

to                            Transferred to St Johns, Newfoundland to complete repair

June

 

July                         Under repair at St John's, Newfoundland.

                24th        On completion took passage to Portsmouth.

                29th        Arrived at Portsmouth.

 

August                  Nominated for service as an Air Target Ship.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS HIGHLANDER was deployed for training of aircrew in North Sea until January 1946 when she was reduced to Reserve status and placed on the Disposal List the next month. The ship was sold to BISCO on 27th May 1946 for demolition by Metal Industries  at Charlestown, Fife where she arrived in tow at the breakersí yard  during  May 1947 .

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS HIGHLANDER

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

 

 

 

 

 

11/04/40

11/04/40

NP 001

15/04/40

15/04/40

13/06/40

17/06/40

HG 034F

19/06/40

19/06/40

29/06/40

29/06/40

WS 001

30/06/40

29/07/40

07/07/40

10/07/40

OB 180

10/07/40

10/07/40

23/07/40

29/07/40

TC 006

01/08/40

01/08/40

05/08/40

05/08/40

WS 002

07/08/40

08/08/40

16/08/40

27/08/40

HX 066

27/08/40

31/08/40

10/09/40

10/09/40

AP 003/1

12/09/40

22/10/40

20/09/40

20/09/40

OG 043

25/09/40

03/10/40

10/09/40

26/09/40

SL 047

28/09/40

28/09/40

03/10/40

03/10/40

WS 003A

unknown

27/10/40

13/10/40

13/10/40

OL 007

16/10/40

16/10/40

15/10/40

27/10/40

SC 008

31/10/40

31/10/40

20/11/40

30/11/40

HG 047

01/12/40

04/12/40

21/11/40

09/12/40

SL 056

12/12/40

12/12/40

07/12/40

29/12/40

SL 058S

29/12/40

02/01/41

03/07/41

03/07/41

SL 080

08/07/41

29/07/41

06/08/41

06/08/41

HG 034FA

14/08/41

14/08/41

17/09/41

22/09/41

HG 073

26/09/41

01/10/41

09/10/41

14/10/41

TC 014

16/10/41

17/10/41

05/10/41

16/10/41

SC 048

20/10/41

22/10/41

15/11/41

15/11/41

CT 006

18/11/41

24/11/41

13/11/41

18/11/41

TC 015

21/11/41

21/11/41

25/11/41

09/12/41

OG 077

13/12/41

13/12/41

10/04/42

10/04/42

ON 085

20/04/42

23/04/42

30/04/42

04/05/42

SC 082

15/05/42

16/05/42

29/05/42

30/05/42

ON 099

07/06/42

12/06/42

12/06/42

15/06/42

SC 087

25/06/42

27/06/42

03/07/42

04/07/42

ON 109

11/07/42

18/07/42

19/07/42

23/07/42

HX 199

29/07/42

30/07/42

09/08/42

10/08/42

ON 120

21/08/42

27/08/42

23/08/42

26/08/42

HX 204

03/09/42

04/09/42

12/09/42

16/09/42

ON 130

24/09/42

30/09/42

24/09/42

29/09/42

HX 209

07/10/42

09/10/42

18/10/42

19/10/42

ON 140

30/10/42

07/11/42

03/11/42

08/11/42

HX 214

17/11/42

18/11/42

12/01/43

13/01/43

ON 161

24/01/43

31/01/43

22/01/43

27/01/43

HX 224

04/02/43

05/02/43

22/02/43

23/02/43

ON 169

09/03/43

21/03/43

08/03/43

18/03/43

HX 229

22/03/43

23/03/43

31/03/43

01/04/43

ON 176

13/04/43

20/04/43

12/04/43

18/04/43

HX 234

28/04/43

29/04/43

10/05/43

11/05/43

ON 183

20/05/43

25/05/43

25/05/43

31/05/43

HX 241

09/06/43

10/06/43

19/06/43

20/06/43

ONS 011

01/07/43

05/07/43

08/07/43

12/07/43

SC 136

22/07/43

23/07/43

28/07/43

28/07/43

KMS 022G

09/08/43

09/08/43

09/08/43

09/08/43

KMS 022

11/08/43

20/08/43

14/08/43

14/08/43

MKS 021G

27/08/43

25/08/43

05/09/43

05/09/43

KMS 026G

18/09/43

18/09/43

25/09/43

25/09/43

MKS 025G

08/10/43

08/10/43

17/10/43

17/10/43

KMS 030G

01/11/43

01/11/43

03/11/43

03/11/43

MKS 029G

16/11/43

18/11/43

25/11/43

26/11/43

OS 060KM

07/12/43

07/12/43

07/12/43

07/12/43

KMS 034G

09/12/43

09/12/43

13/12/43

13/12/43

MKS 033G

14/12/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

14/12/43

SL 142MK

27/12/43

28/12/43

02/05/44

02/05/44

OS 076KM

13/05/44

13/05/44

13/05/44

13/05/44

KMS 050G

15/05/44

15/05/44

20/05/44

20/05/44

MKS 049G

21/05/44

21/05/44

21/05/44

21/05/44

SL 158MK

31/05/44

04/06/44

11/06/44

12/06/44

OS 080KM

21/06/44

21/06/44

22/06/44

22/06/44

KMS 054G

23/06/44

23/06/44

29/06/44

29/06/44

MKS 053G

30/06/44

30/06/44

30/06/44

30/06/44

SL 162MK

12/07/44

12/07/44

21/07/44

22/07/44

OS 084KM

01/08/44

01/08/44

01/08/44

01/08/44

KMS 058G

02/08/44

02/08/44

08/08/44

08/08/44

MKS 057G

09/08/44

09/08/44

09/08/44

09/08/44

SL 166MK

18/08/44

20/08/44

07/09/44

08/09/44

ON 252

17/09/44

22/09/44

21/09/44

26/09/44

HX 310

05/10/44

05/10/44

15/10/44

17/10/44

ON 260

27/10/44

30/10/44

02/11/44

06/11/44

SC 160

16/11/44

17/11/44

07/01/45

08/01/45

ON 277

17/01/45

23/01/45

23/01/45

28/01/45

HX 334

06/02/45

06/02/45

16/02/45

17/02/45

ON 285

27/02/45

05/03/45

07/03/45

11/03/45

SC 169

21/03/45

21/03/45

01/04/45

03/04/45

ON 294

14/04/45

20/04/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 1/8/11
further editing and formatting is required