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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

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

HMS MARTIN (G 44) -  M-class Destroyer
Including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Martin (Tom Meaden, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

M or MATCHLESS-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle on 3rd September 1939 under the 1939 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 23rd October 1039 and was launched on 12th December 1940 as the twelfth ship to carry this name first used in 1651. Build was completed on 4th April 1942 at a cost of £457,512. In March 1942 this destroyer had been adopted in March 1942 by the civil community of Bury, Lancashire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

DOVER 1592 - PORTLAND 1653 - GABBARD 1653  - LOWESTOFT 1665 - CAMPERDOWN 1797 - ARCTIC 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a field Blue, three mullets gold with a crescent white

in chief all conjoined

 

 

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 2

 

March                    Contractors trials

 

April                       Commissioned for service.

                4th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                On completion of trials and storing took .passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with Home

                Fleet before joining the 17th Destroyer Flotilla.

                28th        Deployed with destroyer screen for Home Fleet ships providing Distant Cover for Russian

                Convoy PQ15 and the returning Convoy from Murmansk.

                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg,

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

 

May

                7th          Detached from QP11 after arrival at Reykjavik and deployed with Home Fleet in NW Approaches.

                23rd        Joined Russian Convoy PQ16 with HM Destroyers ACHATES, ASHANTI, VOLUNTEER and

                                Polish ORP GARLAND as Ocean Escort during passage Murmansk.

                26th        Convoy under air and submarine attacks. Sustained damage from near misses.

                30th        Detached from PQ16 on arrival at Kola Inlet

 

June                        Independent passage to UK for repair.

                6th          Under repair.

                On completion rejoined Home Fleet and deployed as part of destroyer screen for the

                major Fleet units including US battleship WASHINGTON providing 'Distant Cover' for

                passage of Russian Convoy PQ17.

 

July

                4th          Remained in area with Fleet units after PQ17 scattered in order to provide cover for passage

                                of the return Convoy QP13.

                                (For details of this disastrous decision see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).

                7th          Resumed Home Fleet duties in NW Approaches after arrival of QP13 at Reykjavik.

                20th        Detached with HM Destroyers MARNE, MIDDLETON and BLANKNEY to take aranunition and

                essential stores to replenish stocks in Escorts from Convoy PQ17 which were needed before return

                passage. Sailed from Scapa Flow via Seidisfjord, Iceland. Refuelled on passage from Royal Fleet

                Auxiliary tanker BLACK RANGER.

                24th        Arrived at Kola Inlet and returned independently.

 

August                  Deployment in NW Approaches in continuation.

                13th        Detached with HM Destroyer MARNE to meet US cruiser USS TUSCALOOSA and two US Navy

                destroyers USS RODMAN and USS EMMONS which were taking RAF personnel and medical

                stores to Archangel (Operation EASY UNIT)

                15th        Escorted US Navy ships to Archangel for remaining 800 miles of journey.

                17th        On arrival ships were not allowed to disembark personnel and stores.

                                Returned to resume Home Fleet duties.

 

September

                9th          Joined Fighting Escort for Russian Convoy PQ18 as destroyer screen for HM Cruiser

                                SCYLLA with other Home Fleet destroyers.

                12th        Detached from PQ18 with HM Destroyers MARNE, METEOR and MILNE to refuel

                at Lowe Sound, Spitzbergen .

                (Note: HMS SCYLLA also detached with destroyers.)

                13th        Rejoined PQ18 with same ships.

                17th        Joined returning Convoy QP14 to provide Fighting Escort for passage to Loch Ewe.

                25th        Detached from OP14 and resumed Home Fleet deployment in NW Approaches.

 

October                  Nominated for duty in support of allied landings in North Africa (0peration TORCH).

                                Took passage to Gibraltar to reinforce Force H.

 

November

                1st           On arrival deployed with HM Battleships DUKE OF YORK, NELSON and RODNEY,

                HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, H M Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, AVENGER, BITER and

                DASHER, HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD and ARGONAUT.

                6th          Part of screen for major units in Eastern Task Force to provide cover against any attack by

                                Vichy French warships and to give naval gunfire support during landings.

                7th          Present during assault phase of landings at Algiers.

                                (For details of allied landings at Algiers see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by

                                C. Barnett and the Naval Staff History)

                8th          Deployment with screen for protection of major units in continuation.

                10th        Deployed as escort for military convoy during Build-up Phase of TORCH.

                Hit by three torpedoes and sunk by U431, 85 miles north east of Algiers in position 37.53N

                03.57E. Only 63 of the shipís company were rescued.

                See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS MARTIN

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

29/04/42

05/05/42

PQ 015

10/04/42

05/05/42

29/04/42

05/05/42

QP 011

28/04/42

07/05/42

23/05/42

30/05/42

PQ 016

21/05/42

30/05/42

29/06/42

04/07/42

PQ 017

27/06/42

04/07/42

29/06/42

08/07/42

QP 013

26/06/42

07/07/42

09/09/42

17/09/42

PQ 018

02/09/42

21/09/42

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


 

HMS MARTIN, G44 - click for INTERNET SITE

by Tom Meaden

nephew of Thomas Cusack, lost in her sinking

 

 

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revised 5/8/11
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