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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 SERAPIS (G 94) -  S-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Saumarez, sister-ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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S or SAVAGE-Class Destroyer ordered from Scotts of Greenock with 5th Emergency Flotilla on 9th January 1941. The ship was laid down on l4th August 1941 but not launched until 25th March 1943 due to serious design problems and the late delivery of armament and fire-control equipment. She was the fifth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1779 and last used by a WW1 destroyer, sold in 1934. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Prescot, Lancashire. Build was completed on 23rd December 1943.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

NORMANDY 1944 - ARCTIC 1944-45

 

He r a l d i c    D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black, the head of Serapis Gold with

              Blue coif and silver disc

 

M o t to

Cornua cave: 'Beware my horns'

 

 

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

 

December           Commissioned for trials

23rd                    Accepted into service with 23rd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January              Worked up at Scapa Flow with Hone Fleet.

 

February           Deployed with Flotilla for Fleet screening duties in NW Approaches.

     22nd             Joined Russian Convoy JW57 for escort duties with HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE

                           and HM Destroyers MAHRATTA, OFFA, MATCHLESS, METEOR, MILNE, OBEDIENT,

                           ONSLAUGHT, ORIBI, SAVAGE, SWIFT, VIGILANT and VERULAM.

                           (For details of this and all other Russian Convoy operations see CONVOY! by P. Kemp,

                           CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE

                           RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield)

     28th              Detached from JW57on arrival at Kola Inlet.

 

March

       1st               Joined escort for return Convoy RA57 with HM Destroyer IMPULSIVE and Home Fleet

                           warships which escorted JW57.

       8th               Detached from RA57 after arrival of Local Escort

       9th               Resumed Home Fleet duties in NW Approaches with Flotilla.

     29th               Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW58 with HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Aircraft

                           Carriers ACTIVITY and TRACKER and Home Fleet destroyers OBEDIENT, OFFA,

                           ONSLOW, OPPORTUNE, ORIBI, ORWELL, SAUMAREZ, SCORPION, VENUS and

                           Norwegian destroyer STORD.

 

April

        4th              Detached from JW58 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

        7th              Joined escort for return Convoy RA58 with same ships as used for JW58.

      13th              Detached from RA58 with HIS DIADEM, HM Destroyers OFFA, ONSLOW

                           OPPORTUNE, ORWELL, SAUMAREZ and Norwegian STORD before arrival at Loch

                           Ewe.

 

May                   Transferred with ships of 23rd Destroyer Flotilla for support of the landings in Normandy

                           (Operation NEPTUNE).

                           (For details of all NEPTUNE see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and

                           LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO).

                           To be deployed in Force S. Allocated target in Pre-Arranged Plan, Lion-sur-Mer

                           Took part in preliminary exercises with Force S ships.

 

June

         3rd             Deployed in Solent with Force S.

         4th             Operation delayed 24 hours.

         5th              Sailed as escort for Convey S2 comprising 15th Minesweeper Flotilla, four Danlayers, two

                            Minesweeping Motor Launches and a Harbour Defence Motor Launch.

                            Escorted with HMS SCOURGE and five Motor Torpedo Boats.

         6th              After arrival took up bombardment position and provided support.

         7th              Remained in Eastern Task Force area for gunfire support, patrol and defence of the Assault

                            area until released from NEPTUNE.

 

July                      Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

to                          Deployed for escort of major units

August

 

September

       29th               Nominated for escort of minelayers during minelay off Norway.

                             (Operation TENABLE - Operation cancelled).

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

 

October

       14th              Escorted HM Cruiser EURYALUS, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers TRUMPETER and

                            FENCER with HM Destroyers MYNGS, VOLAGE, SCORPION, ALGONQUIN (RCN),

                            and SIOUX (RCN) as Force 9 for aircraft minelay and shipping strikes off Norway.

                            (Operation LYCIDAS)

        24th             Deployed as escort for HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Aircraft Carriers CAMPANIA

                            and TRUMPETER with HM Destroyer SAUMAREZ as Force 2 for aircraft minelay off

                            Norway (Operation HARDY).

 

November

          2nd            Deployed as screen for HM Cruiser BERWICK and HMS CAMPANIA with H M Destroyers

                            CAMBRIAN, CAPRICE, CASSANDRA, SAUMAREZ and SCOURGE as Ocean Escort of

                            Convoy JW61A comprising ss EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and ss SCYTHIA during passage

                            to Murmansk.

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

         17th            Detached from ss EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and ss SCYTHIA after return passage and

                             resumed duties in Flotilla.

 

December

           7th            Escorted HM Aircraft Carriers IMPLACABLE, PREMIER and TRUMPETER, HM Cruiser

                            DIADEM with HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, ZAMBESI, VIGILANT, SAVAGE, ALGONQUIN

                            (RCN), SIOUX (RCN) and Norwegian STORD as Force 1 for shipping strike and aircraft

                            minelay off the Norwegian coast (Operation URBANE).

         14th            Escorted HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMS TRUMPETER with HM Destroyers ZEALOUS,

                            ZEPHYR, SIOUX (RCN), ALGONQUIN and SAVAGE as Force 2 for aircraft minelay off

                            Norway. (Operation LACERATE).

 

 1 9 4 5

 

January

           1st            Joined DIADEM and VINDEX with HM Destroyers MYNGS, SAVAGE, SCOURGE,

                            ZAMBESI, ZEBRA, ALGONQUIN, SIOUX and Norwegian STORD as Escort for Russian

                            Convoy JW63. 8th    Detached from JW63 on arrival at Kola Inlet after undetected passage.

         11th            Joined escort for return Convoy RA63 with same ships as JW63.

         21st             Detached from RA63 after stormy passage

 

 February

            6th           Joined Russian Convoy JW64 with HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Aircraft Escort Aircraft

                            Carriers NAIRANA and CAMPANIA, 20th Escort Group and H M Destroyers ONSLAUGHT,

                            ONSLOW, OPPORTUNE, ORWELL, ZAMBESI, ZEALOUS, ZEST and SIOUX (RCN) as

                            Escort.

          15th           Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet.

          17th           Joined return Convoy RA64 as escort with same ships as JW64.

         27th           Detached from RA64 after exceptionally stormy passage during which convoy had to be

                             re-assembled.

 

March                  Home Fleet duties in continuation.

          19th           Escorted H M Aircraft Carriers SEARCHER and QUEEN, HM Cruiser BELLONA with

                            HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ZEST, HAIDA (RAN) and IROQUOIS (RCN) as Force 1 for

                            an aircraft minelay and shipping strike off Norway (Operation CUPOLA).

 

April                    Home Fleet duties with Flotilla in continuation.

 

:May                    Nominated for refit and took passage to Humber.

                            Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard.

 

June                     On completion carried out post refit trials and resumed Home Fleet duties with

                             Flotilla at Scapa Flow

 

July                       Flotilla duties in continuation

to

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS SERAPIS was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy at HM Dockyard, Chatham on 2nd October 1945 and renamed PIET HEIN. She was converted for use as an Anti­submarine Frigate in 1957-58 and remained in service until 16th October 1961. The ship was placed on me Disposal List and scrapped during 1962.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS SERAPIS

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

 

 

 

 

 

20/02/44

22/02/44

JW 057

28/02/44

28/02/44

02/03/44

02/03/44

RA 057

08/03/44

10/03/44

27/03/44

29/03/44

JW 058

04/04/44

04/04/44

07/04/44

07/04/44

RA 058

13/04/44

14/04/44

31/10/44

02/11/44

JW 061A

06/11/44

06/11/44

11/11/44

11/11/44

RA 061A

17/11/44

17/11/44

30/12/44

01/01/45

JW 063

08/01/45

08/01/45

11/01/45

11/01/45

RA 063

18/01/45

21/01/45

03/02/45

06/02/45

JW 064

15/02/45

15/02/45

17/02/45

17/02/45

RA 064

27/02/45

28/02/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 11/8/11
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