Naval History Homepage - and Site Search




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

HMS SAUMAREZ (G 12) - S-class Flotilla Leader
including Convoy Escort Movements 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Saumarez (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 


SAVAGE or S-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Hawthorne Leslie at Newcastle in January 1941 with the 5th Emergency Flotilla. The ship was launched on 20th November 1942 as the 2nd R N ship to carry the name, previously used for a Flotilla Leader sold in 1930. Completion was delayed until 1st July 1943 due to design and production difficulties that affected delivery of the guns and the associated fire -control units. The ship then worked up at Scapa Flow before to joining the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. In March 1942 after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign she had been adopted by the civil community of Twickenham, than in Middlesex, now in the London Borough of Richmond on Thames.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ARCTIC 1943-44 - NORTH CAPE 1943 - NORMANDY 1944  - MALAYA 1945 - BURMA 1945


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, within a crescent Red a leopard's

face black.



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 3


July                         Commissioned for service in Home Fleet

                1st           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                On completion of trials and calibrations took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships

                                of Home Fleet.


August                  Deployed with 3rd Destroyer Flotilla for Home Fleet screening and patrol duties in NW

                                Approaches and North Sea.


September             Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.


October                  Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet screening and convoy defence.

                20th        Passage to Kola Inlet with HM Destroyers MAHRATTA, MATCHLESS. MILNE,

                                MUSKETEER, SAVAGE, SCOURGE, SCORPION and WESTCOTT

                                (Operation FR) - These ships ware to be used as escort for ships returning from ports in North

                                Russia which had been delayed during summer months. During their outward passage they

                                escorted five minesweepers and six motor launches which had been transferred to Russia under

                                Lease/Lend). HM Cruiser LONDON and US Cruiser AUGUSTA provided cover for the transit

                                of these ships.



3rd          Joined Ocean Escort for return Convoy RA54A with above Home Fleet destroyers, the

                                Norwegian corvette EGLANTINE, HM Minesweepers HARRIER and SEAGULL.

                10th        Detached from RA54 after arrival of western Local Escort.

                                (For details of all Russian convoy operations with names of mercantiles and escorts, see

                                CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY ! by P Kemp, ARCTIC CONVOYS by

                                R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield.)

                23rd        Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW54B with HM Destroyers HARDY, SAVAGE,

                                SCORPION, SCOURGE, VENUS, VIGILANT and Norwegian STORD.


December              Joined 26th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet on formation.

3rd          Detached from JW54B on arrival at approaches to Archangel and took independent passage

                                with other Home Fleet destroyers to Scapa Flow.

                                (Note: Home Fleet ships provided cover for passage of this convoy that arrived unscathed

                                without detection).

                15th        Part of screen for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK and HM Cruiser JAMAICA with HM

                                Destroyers SAVAGE, SCORPION and Norwegian destroyer STORD to provide distant cover for

                                the passage of Russian Convoys JW55A to Kola Inlet and return Convoy RA55A.

                20th        After convoy sighted by aircraft proceeded to Kola Inlet for discussions between CinC Home

                                Fleet and Russian Admiral Golovko of Northern Fleet to discuss joint action in case of surface

                                attacks. on Convoy JW55B.

22nd       Convoy arrived without surface interception

                23rd        Deployed as screen for HMS DUKE OF YORK and HMS JAMAICA to provide cover for passage

                24th        Detached to carry out exercised night attacks against all ships of convoy

                                Rejoined screen on completion. See ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.

                25th        Convoy sighted by aircraft and German surface action initiated.

                26th        In action against German battleship SCHARNHORST with HIS DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers

                                SHEFFIELD and NORFOLK (Battle of North Cape).

                                Made torpedo attacks on SCHARNHORST with other Fleet destroyers. These stopped the enemy

                                ship which was later sunk in a surface action

                                (Note: Despite receiving two hits by return 11in gunfire completed her torpedo attack).

                                For full details see THE KOLA RUN by I Campbell aid D Macintyre)

                27th        At Kola Inlet with HMS DUKE OF YORK


1 9 4 4


January                  Returned to Scapa Flow as part of destroyer screen for HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS NORFOLK

                                and HMS SHEFFIELD.

                                Taken in hand for repair of action damage.


February                Under repair to action damage.

                                Rejoined Flotilla in Home Fleet on completion.


March                    Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties

                29th        Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW58as screen for HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort

                                Carriers ACTIVITY and TRACKER with HM Destroyers OBEDIENT, OFFA, ONSLOW,

                                OPPORTUNE, ORIBI, ORWELL, SERAPIS, SCORPION and Norwegian destroyer STORD.

                                (Note: Additional anti-submarine defence was also provided by Sloops of 2nd Escort Group and

                                Distant Cover was provided by ships of Home Fleet).



                4th          Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet after air and surface attacks.

                7th          Part of screen for HMS DIADEM with HM Destroyers ONSLOW, OFFA, OPPORTUNE,

                                ORWELL, SERAPIS and Norwegian STORD providing escort for return Convoy RA58. 13th

                13th        Detached from RA58 with HMS DIADEM and screen before arrival in Loch Ewe.


May                        Allocated to Assault Force S as part of Bombarding Force D with H M Destroyers SWIFT,

                                STORD (Nor) and SVENNER (Nor).

                                (Operation NEPTUNE: For details of naval activities prior to and during landings see

                                OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944


                                Took part in bombardment exercises with Force D.

                                Passage to Clyde for assembly of Bombarding Force D .



                2nd         Part of escort for HM Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT, HM Cruisers MAURITIUS,

                ARETHUSA, DANAE, FROBISHER and Polish cruiser ORP DRAGON to Solent with

                HM Destroyers SWIFT, Norwegian destroyers STORD and SVENNER, HM Frigates

                ROWLEY and HOLMES as Bombarding Force D .

                4th          Operation postponed for 24 hours.

                5th          Passage through swept Channel with above ships and HM Monitor ROBERTS that had

                                joined Force D at Portsmouth.

                6th          On arrival in bombardment position carried out firing in accordance with pre-arranged

                                fire plan on beach defences.

                                On completion of bombardment duties joined Force S and deployed in Eastern Task

                                Force area for interception patrol and defence of convoys.

                8th          Deployed with HM Destroyers VIRAGO and ISIS, Norwegian STORD for interception patrol.

                                Failed to prevent attack en Convoy ECM1 by E-Boats of 4th German Flotilla

                                which sank LST314 and LST376.

                25th        Retained in Eastern Task Force Area after completion of NEPTUNE.


July                         Patrol and escort duty in Channel In continuation.



                11th        Patrol and escort duty in Channel in continuation.

                                In action against German minesweeping flotilla with HM Destroyer ONSLAUGHT,

                                US Frigate USS BORUM and US Navy PT boats.

                14th        Under repair to action damage.


September             Rejoined Home Fleet for Russian Convoy escort duties with ships of Flotilla.

                17th        Joined screen for HM Battleship RODNEY, HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carriers

                                CAMPANIA and STRIKER with HM Destroyers MARNE, METEOR, MILNE,

                                MUSKETEER, SCORPION. VENUS, VERULAM, VIRAGO, VOLAGE, Canadian

                                destroyers ALGONQUIN and SIOUX as escort for Russian Convoy JW60.

                23rd        Detached from JW60 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                28th        Joined return Convoy RA60 on departure from Kola Inlet as escort during passage with

                                same ships.



                3rd          Detached from RA60 before arrival at Loch Ewe.

                24th        Part of screen for HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escorts Carriers TRUMPETER and

                                CAMPANIA with HMS SERAPIS and two other Home Fleet Destroyers as Force 2 to

                carry out air minelay and air attacks on shipping off Alesund, Norway.

                (Operation HARDY – For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History




                2nd         Deployed as escort for Convoy JW61A comprising mercantiles ss EMPRESS OF

                                AUSTRALIA and ss SCYTHIA as Convoy JW61 with HM Cruiser BERWICK,


                (Note: These two ships were carrying Russian nationals who had been captured in Normandy

                during the allied advance (Operation OVERLORD).

                11th        Returned as escort for Convoy RA61A with HMS SAVAGE, HMS SCORPION and

                (Note: RA61 comprised same two mercantiles.)

                17th        Detached on arrival on RA61A in Clyde and resumed Flotilla duties at Scapa Flow.


December              Home Fleet duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                                Nominated for service in Eastern Fleet with 26th Destroyer Flotilla.


1 9 4 5


January                  Under refit and preparation for foreign service in Tyne commercial shipyard

                15th        Took passage to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers VIGILANT and VIRAGO.

                                as part of escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE.

                                (Note: HMS FORMIDABLE was joining the Fleet at Trincomalee.)


February                Carried out series of exercises in Mediterranean to prepare for operations

                                with Eastern Fleet.


March                    Passage in Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

                10th        Arrived at Trincomalee and joined HM Destroyers VERULAM, VOLAGE and VENUS in 26th

                                Destroyer Flotilla.

                                (For details of Eastern Fleet activities see OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray).

                12th        Deployed as Part of Force 70 for operations against shipping off Sumatra.

                14th        Bombarded Singli, Sumatra with HM Destroyers VOLAGE and RAPID.

                18th        Carried out reconnaissance of Nicobars.

                19th        Took part in attack on Port Blair, Andamans with ships of Force 70.

                Towed damaged Destroyer HMS RAPID to Akyab.

                (Note: HMS RAPID had been damaged by shore fire during attack.)

                (Operation TRANSPORT).

                20th        Joined by HMS VIRAGO and HMS VIGILANT.

                26th        Carried out shipping sweep between Andamans and coast of Malaya.

                                (Operation ON BOARD)

                27th        Carried out attack against convoy in Malacca Straits.

                Freighter and Submarine Chaser were sunk but heavy expenditure of ammunition and

                of 18 torpedoes was later criticised.



                6th          Joined escort for HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French battleship RICHELIEU,

                HM Cruisers LONDON and CUMBERLAND with HM Destroyers VERULAM,

                VIGILANT, VIRAGO and VENUS (Operation SUNFISH).

                11th        Carried out bombardment of Sabang, Sumatra with other Eastern Fleet ships.

                30th        Sailed from Kyaukpyo, Burma with Eastern Fleet ships to provide support during

                planned landings at Rangoon



                1st           Escorted HM Cruisers PHOEBE and ROYALIST, HM Escort Carriers EMPEROR.

                KHEDIVE, HUNTER and STALKED with HM Destroyers VERULAM, VENUS,

                VIRAGO and VIGILANT to provide support during Rangoon landings.

                (Operation DRACULA).

                6th          Joined Task Force 63 (HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, FS RICHELIEU, HM Escort

                Carriers SHAH and EMPRESS) with HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND, SUFFOLK,

                Netherlands cruiser TROMP and HM Cruiser CEYLON for bombardment of

                Car Nicobar and Port Blair (Operation BISHOP).

                9th          Joined Task Force 51 (Task Force 63 plus 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron) with

                Eastern Fleet destroyers to intercept Japanese warships sighted in the entrance to the

                Malacca Straits. Operation DUKEDOM)

                14th        Detached with HM Destroyers VERULAM, VIGILANT, VENUS and VIRAGO to

                search for these ships north of Sumatra (Operation MITRE).

                15th        Took part in torpedo attack on Japanese cruiser HAGURO and destroyer KAMIKAZE.

                16th        HAGURO sunk SW of Penang in position 5.00N 5.99E).

                Sustained major damage from three hits by 8in shells during action.

                (For full details of this action see SINK THE HAGURO by John Winton and the

                Naval Staff History.)

                Under temporary repair.

                Passage to Durban for permanent repair.


June                        Passage to Simonstown for permanent repair

                6th          Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Simonstown.


July                         Under repair.


August                  On completion of post repair trials took passage to rejoin Flotilla

                                Called at Durban.


September             Rejoined Eastern Fleet

                4th          Sailed from Trincomalee with aircraft carriers to provide air cover for passage

                                of military convoy

                6th          Joined Convoy JME1F

                                See BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS SAUMAREZ returned to UK with ships of 26th Flotilla in December 1945. During 1946 she joined the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet in Malta. On 22nd October that year whilst on passage in the Corfu Channel with HMS VOLAGE both ships struck mines. HMS SAUMAREZ sustained major damage and was towed clear of the area by the damaged HMS VOLAGE. There were 43 fatal casualties. After survey in Malta in 1947 the ship has declared beyond economic repair and placed on the Disposal List. The hulk was towed to UK and sold to BISCO on 8th September 1950 for breaking up at Charlestown, Fife where she arrived in October 1950.






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








RA 054A





JW 054B





JW 055A





JW 055B





RA 055A





JW 058





RA 058





JW 060





RA 060





JW 061A





RA 061A








(Note on Convoys)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

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


if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net