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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS UNDINE (ii) (R 42) -  U-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Grenville, U-class leader (Navy Photos/George Knight, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

U-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered under the War Emergency Programme in April 1941 for build by John I. Thornycroft at Woolston. The ship was laid down as Job No 4023 on 18th March 1942 and launched on 1st June 1943 as the 6th RN ship to carry the name, introduced in 184?. It was last used for a submarine lost in the Heligoland Bight on 15th January 1940. Build was completed 23rd December 1943. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK in March 1942 the ship and been adopted by Windermere, then in the county of Westmoreland, now in Cumbria.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

MEDITERRANEAN 1944 - ADRIATIC 1944 - NORMANDY 1944 - OKINAWA  1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue a mermaid diving into water in base

barry wavy White and Blue.

 

 

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            Contractors trials.

            6th           Commissioned for service in 25th Destroyer Flotilla.

          23rd           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                On completion of trials and storing took passage for work-up with ships

                              of Home Fleet.

            6th            Dragged anchor in Clyde and collided with HM Destroyer URANIA

          30th            Took passage to Mediterranean for duty with Flotilla.

 

February               On arrival at Gibraltar deployed with Flotilla in Mediterranean

to                           (Note: Service in support of landings at Anzio to be confirmed

March                                No Battle Honour for ANZIO is recorded.)

 

April

            1st              Carried out bombardment in support of operations to be confirmed

           28th             Routine docking and maintenance at Malta.

 

May                       Nominated for service in support of planned allied invasion of Normandy with ships of 25th

                               Destroyer Flotilla (Operation NEPTUNE).

            4th              Passage to UK to rejoin Home Fleet with calls at Algiers and Gibraltar.

           13th             Arrived at Scapa Flow and prepared for NEPTUNE duties.

           16th             Carried out bombardment exercises before joining Force G in Eastern Task Force.

                               (Note : Other destroyers in Force G destroyers were: -

                                            HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA, ULSTER, UNDAUNTED, URCHIN, JERVIS

                                           and H M Escort Destroyers PYTCHLEY, CATTISTOCK and COTTESMORE and Polish

                                            ORP KRAKOWIAK.

           30th             Arrived at Greenock for Operation NEPTUNE.

                               For details of activities prior to and during Normandy landings see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY,

                               June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards).

 

June

            3rd              Part of escort for Convoy G12 to Solent with HM Destroyer GRENVILLE.

                               (Note: This comprised HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX, ARGONAUT and EMERALD forming

                                           Bombarding Force K)

            4th              Operation NEPTUNE postponed for 24 hours.

            5th              Netherlands Gunboat FLORES joined Convoy G12.

                               Passage from Solent with Force K.

            6th              Provided naval gunfire support off GOLD Beach.

            to

            8th

            9th              Joined Eastern Task Force for patrol and support duty.

          11th              Released from NEPTUNE

          12th              Deployed for defence of convoy to Gibraltar.

          19th              Passage to Plymouth from Gibraltar.

          30th              Transferred to Mediterranean for support of military operations.

 

July                        Passage to Naples to join operations with calls at Gibraltar, Algiers and Malta.

           16th            Provided cover during allied re-occupation of Corsica.

           19th            Deployed in support of military operations on west coast of Italy.

           to

           21st

           26th            Taken in hand for repair in Malta.

 

August                  Nominated for support of military operations in Adriatic.

           11th             On completion of repair took passage to Taranto.

           26th             Commenced support and patrol operations in Adriatic.

                                Deployed with HM Destroyers URCHIN, LOYAL and KIMBERLEY, HM  River Gunboats

                                APHIS and SCARAB.

           30th             Bombarded Pesaro.

 

September            Nominated for duty in Eastern Fleet after return to UK to give leave and prepare for further

                              foreign service.

            1st             Bombarded Gothic Line.

            6th             Bombarded shore batteries at Rimini in NW Adriatic.

                              (For details of Adriatic operations see THE LAST DESTROYER by K. Mason,  ENGAGE

                              THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

                              (HMSO) and Naval Staff History,).

           10th           Carried out further bombardment of shore batteries.

           15th           Took passage to Chatham from Bari with call at Gibraltar.

           23rd           Arrived at Chatham.

 

October                 At Chatham for leave and preparation for service with Eastern Fleet.

 

November

            18th           Took passage to Indian Ocean for duty with Flotilla with calls at Algiers, Port Said

                              and Aden.

            22nd          Transferred to British Pacific Fleet with Flotilla on formation..

 

December

            11th           Joined British Pacific Fleet at Trincomalee.

  

1 9 4 5

 

January

              4th           Escorted ships of Task Force 65 for air attacks on oil refineries at Pankalan Brandan, Sumatra

                              (Operation LENTIL  - Part of Operation OUTFLANK Series attacks on Sumatran oil installations.)

                              (Note: Force 65 comprised:

                                          HM Aircraft Carriers IMPLACABLE, VICTORIOUS INDEFATIGABLE, HM Cruisers

                                          SUFFOLK, CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE, HM Destroyers

                                          KEMPENFELT, WHELP, WAGER, GRENVILLE, URANIA, UNDAUNTED and  URSA

                                          (For details of operations in Indian Ocean see OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray, THE

                                          FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and

                                         WAR WITH JAPAN, Volume VI (HMSO).

            16th .        Passage to SUMATRA with the ships of BPF. Joined m Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM

                              Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, ILLUSTRIOUS, VICTORIOUS and INDEFATIGABLE, HM

                              Cruisers ARGONAUT, BLACK PRINCE and EURYALUS with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE,

                              URSA, UNDAUNTED, KEMPENFELT, WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND, WAGER and WHELP.

            20th          Refuelled from Task Force 69.

            24th          Deployed with TF63 during air attacks by carriers on an oil refinery at Pladjoe, Sumatra after delay

                             due to adverse weather (Operation MERIDIAN ONE).

            26th          Deployed with screen for TF63 during further series of attacks on the refinery at Soengi-Gerong,

                             Sumatra near Palembang

                             (Operation MERIDIAN TWO).

                             Under retaliatory air attacks (For details see above references).

            29th          Carried out rescue of aircrew from two aircraft from carriers.

            30th          Replenished and took passage to Sydney with call at Fremantle.

 

February

            10th          Arrived at Sydney.

            11th          Prepared for service with US Navy Task Force in Pacific.

             to             Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D26 to conform with US Navy

            27th          identity used for destroyers.

                             (Note: Exercises carried out included US Navy signalling procedures and manoeuvring

                                        See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET, OPERATION PACIFIC) and WAR WITH JAPAN

                                        (HMSO.).

            28th          Took passage to Manus with snips of BPF designatad as Task Force 113.

 

March                   Exercised on passage to Manus.

             7th            On arrival future deployment undecided by internal US wrangling. See above references.

                              Waited for decision by US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

           15th            Allocated for service with 5th US Fleet and given new identity -Task Force 57.

           18th            Sailed for Ulithi as part of screen for ships of Task Force 57-

                              (Note: TF57 comprised:

                                                   HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE, HM Aircraft Carriers

                                                   INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, ILLUSTRIOUS, INDEFATIGABLE, HM

                                                   Cruisers SWIFTSURE, GAMBIA (RNZN), BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT,

                                                   EURYALUS, HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, ULSTER, URANIA, UNDINE,

                                                   UNDAUNTED,  QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, QUEENBOROUGH,

                                                   KEMPENFELT, WHIRLWIND and WAGER.

           20th            Joined 5th US Fleet at Ulithi.

           23rd            Sailed from Ulithi with TF57 to operational area off Sakishima Gunto

           26th            Part of screen during air attacks on airfields in Sakishima Gunto Group.

                              (Note: Provision in support during Okinawa landings Operation ICEBERG ONE)

           27th            Rescued crew from crashed aircraft.

 

April                      Screening duties with TF57 in continuation.

                               Carried out radar picket duties.

           21st             Took passage to Leyte with TF57 on completion of 6th strike period.

           23rd            Arrived at Leyte for repair and replenishment.

                               Future deployment of TF57 under consideration

           27th            Proposal to transfer BPF to SW Pacific area cancelled. BPF to remain with 5th Fleet as Task

                               Force 57-

 

May

             1st            Took passage to operational area from Leyte with TF57 for continuation of attacks on

                              Sakishima Gunto Group (Operation ICEBERG TWO).

                              (Note: Other ships in Task Force 57 were: -

                                                 HM Battleships KING GEORGE V, HOWE. HM Aircraft Carriers

                                                 INDOMITABLE, INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE, VICTORIOUS, HM

                                                 Cruisers SWIFTSURE, UGANDA (RCN), GAMBIA (RNZN), EURYALUS and

                                                 BLACK PRINCE with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA, URCHIN,

                                                 UNDAUNTED ,URANIA, QUILLIAM , QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH,

                                                 QUEENBOROUGH, QUALITY, KEMPENFELT, WHIRLWIND and WESSEX.

             4th            After arrival in area detached with ships of 25th Destroyer Flotilla to screen HMS KING

                              GEORGE V, HMS HOWE, HMS SWIFTSURE, HMS BLACK PRINCE, HMS

                              EURYALUS, HMS GAMBIA and HMS UGANDA during bombardment of airfields on

                              Miyako Shima.

                              (Note: During this bombardment the aircraft carriers of TF57 came under sustained attack

                                          by bombing including KAMIKAZE aircraft.)

                              Bombardment curtailed and force returned to rejoin aircraft carriers).

             5th            Deployment with screen for Task Force in continuation

             to              (For details see above references and Naval Staff History).

            25th

            26th           Passage to Sydney BPF ships via Manus.

                              (Note: HMS KING GEORGE V with HMS TROUBRIDGE, HMS TENACIOUS and

                                         HMS TERMAGANT were detached for passage to Guam).

 

June

             5th            Arrived at Sydney for rest and recuperation period.

                              (Note: Ships of BPF were transferred to US 3rd Fleet during this period owing to a

                                         re-organisation of US Navy command structure in Pacific and were re-designated

                                         Task Force 37.

           28th            Sailed with Task Force 37 from Sydney for Manus.

                              (Note: Task Force 37 comprised: -

                                         HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft Carriers FORMIDABLE,

                                         VICTORIOUS, IMPLACABLE, HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, ACHILLES

                                         (RNZN), UGANDA (RCN), EURYALUS, GAMBIA (RNZN) and BLACK PRINCE

                                         with HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUADRANT, QUALITY., QUICKMATCH,

                                         TROUBRIDGE, TENACIOUS, TERMAGANT, TEAZER, TERPSICHORE,

                                         GRENVILLE, UNDAUNTED, URANIA, URCHIN. UNDINE and ULYSSES.

 

July

            4th             Arrived at Manus with BPF.

            6th             Sailed for operational area with TF37.

                              (Note: HMS IMPLACABLE  detached because of machinery defect and joined later)

          17th             Part of Task Group 37.1.2 as escort for TF37 carriers during combined attacks on targets in

                              Tokyo and Yokohama.

          18th             Deployment with screen for major ships of Task Force 37 in continuation off Japan,

          to                 (See above references,  HMS INDEFATIGABLE  joined TF37 with HM Destroyers

          28th             WAKEFUL, WRANGLER and BARFLEUR on 20th July).

                              (Operation OLYMPIC - Initial Phase)

          29th             Bombarded factories and other targets near Hamamitsu, South Honshu with HMS KING

                              GEORGE V, HMS ULYSSES and HMS URANIA.

          30th             Engaged surface craft after radar detection.

 

August

            1st             Deployment off Japan with 3rd US fleet in continuation for series of Joint RN/USN

            to               air attacks and bombardments of targets in North Honshu and Hokkaido.

          11th

          12th             Withdrawn from forward area with BPF ships not transferred to Task Force 38 as new

                              Task Group 38.5

                              (Note: TG36.5 comprised:

                                           HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS INDEFATIGABLE, HMNZS GAMBIA, HMS

                                           NEWFOUNDLAND, HM Destroyers BARFLEUR, NAPIER (RAN), NIZAM (RAN),

                                           WAKEFUL, WRANGLER, TROUBRIDGE, TERMAGANT, TENACIOUS and

                                           TEAZER.)

                                           (For details of an BPF operations in Pacific see OPERATION PACIFIC by E

.                                          Gray, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by John Winton, TF57 by Peter Smith, Naval Staff

                                           Staff History and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).

                              Passage to Sydney via Manus.

          24th            Arrived Sydney.

                              Reverted to RN control.

                              (Note: Ship had been 50 days at sea since leaving Sydney on 6tn July)

 

Statistical Data

 

                              Total miles steamed from commissioning: -  128,928 miles.

                              Days at sea since commissioning               -   427 out of 664 days.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS UNDINE refitted in Melbourne before rejoining the Flotilla in the BPF. She remained in far East and was deployed mainly in Japanese waters for support of the allied occupation forces until return to Australia early in 1946. The ship sailed from Sydney to UK in January 1946. calls were made during passage to Harwich at Melbourne, Fremantle, Colombo, Bombay and Aden., After arrival on 29th March the ship reduced to Reserve and was laid-up in the Reserve Fleet until 1952. Selected for conversion as an A/S Frigate by a commercial shipyard in the Clyde, on completion she re-commissioned for service in the Mediterranean .In 1960 this ship was again placed in Reserve and put on the Disposal List in 1965. She was de-equipped before tow and sold for breaking up at a breaker's yard in Newport during November 1965.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS UNDINE

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

 

 

 

 

 

01/02/44

01/02/44

KMF 028A

08/02/44

08/02/44

03/02/44

13/02/44

MKF 028A

16/02/44

20/02/44

21/02/44

27/02/44

KMF 029

02/03/44

05/03/44

18/02/44

01/03/44

UGS 033A

03/03/44

29/02/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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