U-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered under a War Emergency Programme in April 1941 from Swan Hunter, Wallsend, Newcastle. The ship was laid down on 1st November 1941 and launched on 12th October 1942 as the 3rd RN warship to carry this name. It was introduced in 1763 in commemoration of the famous victory by Sir Richard Grenville against a Spanish Fleet off the Azores in August 1591. The last ship to bear the name was sunk by a mine in 1940. Build completed on 27th May 1943 and the design included additional accommodation to allow use as a Flotilla Leader. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during March 1942 she had been 'adopted' by the civil community of Paisley, Renfrewshire, now part of Strathclyde.
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
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1 9 4 3
May Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service in 25th Destroyer Flotilla.
27th Build completion and commenced Accepted Trials.
On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up for operational
duties with Hone Fleet.
June During work-up deployed with destroyer screen for major Home Fleet which included US Navy
battleships on loan service at Scapa Flow.
July Part of screen for H M Battleships ANSON, DUKE CF YORK and MALAYA, US battleships
SOUTH DAKOTA and ALABAMA during diversionary sweep off Norway as a Diversionary
operation during allied landings in Sicily.
31st Transferred to English Channel based at Plymouth.
August Deployed for anti-submarine operations in Bay of Biscay with HM Destroyer ULSTER and
HM Sloop CRANE to intercept U-Boats on passage to and for attacks on enemy coastal convoys.
(For details see HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and CONFLICT OVER THE BAY by N Franks).
26th Despatched with HM Canadian Destroyer ATHABASKAN, HM Sloop EGRET, HM Frigates
ROTHER and JED to reinforce ships of 5th and 40th Support Groups after increase of air
attacks by Glider Bombs off Spanish coast.
(Note: HM Cruiser PHOEBE provided cover.)
(Operation PERCUSSION -To intercept U-Boats using coastal waters for passage to and from
Atlantic convoy routes)
. 28th Under attack by Do217 aircraft using He293 Glider Bombs.
(Note: HMS EGRET was sunk and HMCS ATHABASKAN damaged in these attacks
September Channel deployment in continuation.
October Channel deployment in continuation.
16th Deployed with HM Destroyers ULSTER, LIMBOURNE, TANTASIDE and WENSLEYDALE
for an interception operation in Bay of Biscay.
In action against German destroyers off Les Triages Light.
Torpedo attack by RN destroyers and unsuccessful.
Caught fire after being hit during exchange of fire and withdrew from action.
Came under friendly fire from other ships in company.
Enemy ships were able to disengage (See FRIEND CF FOE by P Kemp).
(Note: This was an example of the poor execution of TUNNEL operations)
18th Under repair.
22nd Deployed with HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS, HM Destroyers ROCKET, TALYBONT,
STEVENSTONE, LIMBOURNE and WENSLEYDALE to intercept German blockade runner
MUNSTERLAND off the coast of Brittany .
(Operation TUNNEL Series).
23rd Under attack by German torpedo boats during which HMS CHARYBDIS and HMS
LIMBOURNE were sunk.
(For details of this disastrous, ill-planned and poorly executed operation see HOLD THE
NARROW SEA by Peter C Smith and TWO HONORABLE YEARS by Craig Leith.
(Note TWO HONORABLE YEARS was privately published).
November Transferred for duty in Mediterranean and took passage to Gibraltar..
8th Carried out bombardment of Volturno.
December Deployed in Adriatic based at Brindisi for patrol duties and support for military operations.
1 9 4 4
January Adriatic support in continuation.
Carried out bombardment of Revigno.
Nominated for support of planned allied landings at Anzio.
Passage to join Assault Force at Naples.,
21st Deployed in support of landings as part of screen for major units and for gunfire support.
(Operation SHINGLE - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff
24th Deployed with HM Destroyer LAFOREY for interception patrol against E-Boats.
February On release from SHINGLE deployed in central Mediterranean and Adriatic.
April Transferred to rejoin Home Fleet for support of planned allied landings in Normandy.
Passage to Scapa Flow.
May Nominated for duty in Force G to support assault landings on GOLD BEACH with HM
Destroyers URSA, ULSTER, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE and URCHIN of Flotilla.
Joined HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX, ARGONAUT and EMERALD with HMS UNDINE
as part of BOMBARDING Force K (Operation NEPTUNE).
Carried out bombardment exercise with Force K in NW Approaches.
(For details of naval activities prior to and during landings and of major ships in Force G
see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY JUNE 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by
June Assembled with Force K ships in Clyde.
3rd Sailed from Clyde with Force K.
4th Operation delayed for 24 hours.
5th Dutch Gunboat FLORES joined Force K on arrival in Solent.
Passage through Swept Channel with Force K as Convoy G12.
6th Provided naval gunfire support for landings on GOLD Beach.
8th Deployed in Eastern Task Force Area for gunfire support and defensive patrols to intercept
enemy surface craft and submarines attacking ships off beachhead.
25th Retained with Flotilla in English Channel after termination of NEPTUNE.
August Channel deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
Nominated for service in Pacific with Flotilla.
September Refit and preparation for service with British Pacific Fleet.
October On completion of post refit trials and shakedown took passage to Mediterranean.
November Retained in Mediterranean for support of military operations.
10th Carried out bombardment of Civitanova and Pedaso.
On release from support duties took passage to Ceylon.
22nd Joined British Pacific Fleet on formation.
December After arrival detached with Flotilla for screening of Eastern Fleet major ships and patrol in
1 9 4 5
January Detached service with Eastern Fleet in continuation.
4th Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS and
INDEFATIGABLE, HM Cruisers SUFFOLK, CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK
PRINCE with HM Destroyers UNDINE, UNDAUNTED, URANIA, URSA, KEMPENFELT,
WHELP and WAGER as Task Force 63.
(Operation LENTIL - Air attacks on oil refineries at Pangkalan Erandan, Sumatra).
(See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
13th Took part in rehearsal of planned operation during passage to Sydney of BPF.
16th Sailed from Ceylon as Task Force 63 (HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft
Carriers INDOMITABLE, ILLUSTRIOUS, VICTORIOUS and INDEFATIGABLE, HM
Cruisers BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT and EURYALUS, HM Destroyers UNDAUNTED
UNDINE, URSA, KEMPENFELT, WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND, WAGER, WESSEX and
WHELP for passage to Sydney.
20th Refuelled at sea from Task Force 69.
24th Part of screen for TF63 during air attacks on oil refinery at Pladjoe, North of Palembang,
Sumatra (0peration MERIDIAN I).
28th Part of screen for TF63 during attacks on refinery at Soengi-Cerong, Sumatra.
(Operation MERIDIAN II).
30th Replenished and took passage to Fremantle.
10th Arrived at Sydney.
11th Prepared for service with US Navy in SW Pacific
. to Carried out exercises using US Navy procedures.
28th Designated as part of Task Force 113 with ships of BPF.
Took passage to Manus
7th Arrived at Manus.
8th Delayed at Manus whilst US Approval was received for BPF ships to join operations
to in SW Pacific.
15th Approval given by US CinC for Task Force 113 to deployed with US 5th Fleet.
18th Sailed for Ulithi with ships of 25th, 4th and 27th Destroyer Flotillas.
22nd Re-designated as Task Group 57.8 and took passage from Ulithi for operational area off
Sakishima Gunto as part of screen for
BPF ship (Task Force 57).
(Operation ICEBERG I - Support for Okinawa landings).
26th Deployed in operational area with TF57.
(For details of naval operations by TF57 see TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith, OPERATION
PACIFIC by E Gray, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN
Nominated for detached service with US ships for joint air attacks on airfields.
9th Task Force 57 diverted to carry out air attacks on airfields in Formosa.
(Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).
11th Deployed with screen for TF57 ships during air operations off Formosa.
16th On completion of Formosa strikes and refuelling resumed operations off Sakishima Gunto.
20th Took passage to Leyte for rest period after 6th strike period.
1st Sailed from Leyte as part of screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE, HM
Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, FORMIDABLE and INDEFATIGABLE,
HM Cruisers SWIFTSURE, BLACK PRINCE, UGANDA (RCN), GAMBIA (RNZN) and
EURYALUS with destroyers of 4th, 25th and 27th Destroyer Flotillas to continue attacks on
airfields in the Sakishima Group by Task Force 57
(Operation ICEBERG II)
4th Resumed screening duties during air operations after replenishment.
Detached with ships of Flotilla to screen HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS HOWE, HM Cruisers
SWIFTSURE, BLACK PRINCE, EURYALUS, GAMBIA and UGANDA during
bombardment of airfield on Miyako.
Withdrew soon after start of bombardment when signal received to say aircraft carriers were
under heavy and sustained air attacks.
5th Deployed with screen of TF57 during air operations.
to Under sustained air attacks.
26th Passage to Sydney via Manus as screen for TF57 ships.
27th British ships transferred to 3rd US Fleet and re-designated Task Force 37.
June Maintenance and rest period at Sydney.
Re-designated as Leader of 4th RN Destroyer Flotilla with ships of 25th Flotilla.
28th Took passage to Manus with BPF ships for joint operations with US 3rd Fleet off Japan.
6th Sailed from Manus with BPF ships.
17th Passage to Japan with TF37 for joint RN and USN operations.
Deployed with HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH, QUALITY, QUADRANT,
TROUBRIDGE, TENACIOUS, TERMAGANT, TEAZER, TERPSICHORE, UNDAUNTED,
UNDINE, URANIA, URCHIN and ULYSSES to screen HM Battleship KING GEORGE V,
HM Aircraft Carriers FORMIDABLE, VICTORIOUS and HMS IMPLACABLE, HM Cruisers
NEWFOUNDLAND, ACHILLES (RNZN), UGANDA (RCN), EURYALUS, GAMBIA
(RNZN) and BLACK PRINCE.
(Note: TF37 carriers joined US TF38 attacks on targets in Tokyo and Yokohama.
18th Bombarded targets in South Honshu with TF37. In action against surface suicide craft.
August Deployed in operational area with TF37.
9th Part of screen TF37 ships during combined air attacks and surface bombardment of targets in
North Honshu and Hokkaido with US Task Groups.
12th Escorted ships of TF37 to Manus after reduction of British element due to lack of fuel from
British sources (See above references)
20th Passage to Sydney with HM Destroyers URCHIN and URSA as escort for HM Aircraft
Post War Notes
HMS GRENVILLE returned to UK after VJ Day to reduce to Reserve status at Portsmouth and then was laid up at Harwich. In 1951 she re-commissioned for service with the Plymouth Local Flotilla and on 1st October that year was involved in a collision off Start Point. Three men were killed, 5 injured and the ship seriously damaged. After repair in August 1952 she resumed service and was converted into a Type 15 Anti-submarine Frigate, completing in 1954. Her service as a frigate lasted until 1969 when she was placed in Reserve at Gibraltar. The ship returned to UK and was refitted for use as a Trials Ship for Weapons and Radio equipment. This service which included first trials of a Satellite Communications System lasted until 1972 when she was placed on the Disposal and laid up at Portsmouth. Sold to BISCO in 1983 for demolition by Romamet she was towed to the breakers yard at Rochester later that year.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS GRENVILLE
by Don Kindell
This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)