Naval History Homepage - and Site Search

 

 

SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

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

HMS ZAMBESI (R 66) -  Z-class Destroyer
Including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Zambesi (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

ZAMBESI or Z-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Cammell Laird of Birkenhead on 12th February 1942 with the 10th Emergency Flotilla and laid down on 21st December 1942 as Yard No  1117. She was launched on 21st November 1943 as the first RN warship to bear this name. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in 1942 she had been adopted by the Municipal Borough of Bromley, Kent. Build was completed on 18th July 1944.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

NORWAY 1944 - ARCTIC  1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Barry wavy, a crocodile.

 

 

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 4

 

July                  Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service in 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet

            18th      Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                         On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

 

August            Worked-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.

                         Deployed as part of screen for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK, HM Aircraft Carriers

                         INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE and FURIOUS with HM Destroyers MYNGS,

                         VIGILANT, SIOUX (RCN), ALGONQUIN (RCN), KEMPENFELT and Norwegian STORD

                         during series of air strikes on the German battleship TIRPITZ in Kaafjord.

                         (For details see CONVOY! by P Kemp).

 

September        Home Fleet screening and patrol duties in NW Approaches in continuation.

 

October

            23rd      Deployed as part of screen for HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE, HM Cruiser BELLONA

                         with HM Destroyers VENUS, SCOURGE, SAVAGE, VERULAM, CAPRICE, CASSANDRA

                         and CAMBRIAN during air operations against targets in Sorreisa and Bardufossas well as

                          photo- reconnaissance on German battleship TIRPITZ anchored near Tromso.

                          (See CONVOY! by P Kemp).

            24th       Deployed with HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ, SERAPIS, SCORPION, SAVAGE and ZEPHYR

                           as screen for HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Carriers TRUMPETER and CAMPANIA

                           in Force 2 during air attacks and air minelay south of Lepsoy and in Harhamsund.

                           (Operation HARDY).

                           (For details of all minelaying operations see the Naval Staff History (MINING)).

 

November

            12th        Deployed as screen for  HM Cruisers KENT and BELLONA with HM Destroyers MYNGS,

                           VERULAM and ALGONQUIN (RCN) during attack on German Convoy KS357 off Norway.

                           Two freighters and five of the six escorting warships are sunk. (See above reference).

 

December

              7th        Part of screen for HMS IMPLACABLE, HM Aircraft Carriers TRUMPETER and PREMIER

                           with HM Destroyers SAVAGE, VIGILANT, ZEALOUS, SERAPIS, SIOUX, ALGONQUIN

                           (RCN) and Norwegian STORD during shipping air strikes and air minelay in Kara Sound.

                           (Operation URBANE - For details see The Naval Staff History (MINING)).

 

1 9 4 5

 

January

              1st       Joined Russian Convoy JW63 as screen for Ocean Escort, HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort

                          Aircraft Carrier VINDEX with HM Destroyers MYNGS, SAVAGE, SCOURGE, SERAPIS,

                          ZEBRA, Canadian destroyers ALGONQUIN, SIOUX and Norwegian STORD.

             8th         Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet after uninterrupted passage.

            11th        Joined return Convoy RA63 as screen for Ocean Escort with same ships and also HM

                           Destroyer SCORPION.

            21st         Detached on arrival of convoy at Loch Ewe after stormy passage during which convoy

                            had to be re-assembled.

                           (For details of all Russian convoy operations including names of major warships involved

                           see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B. Schoefield,

                           ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and CONVOY ! by P Kemp).

 

February

             8th         Part of screen for HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort Carriers CAMPANIA and NAIRANA

                           with HM Destroyers ONSLAUGHT, OPPORTUNE, ONSLOW, ORWELL, SERAPIS,

                           ZEALOUS, ZEST, SIOUX, HM Sloop LAPWING, HM Corvette DENBIGH Castle and HM

                           Trawler OKSOY as Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW64.

            14th        Detached with HMCS SIOUX, HMS ZEALOUS and HMS ZEST to evacuate population of the

                            island of Soroy off North Norway which was under German attack.

                            Took passengers to Murmansk for later transport to UK.

            17th         Joined screen for same ships for Close Escort of return Convoy RA64.

            27th         Detached with Home Fleet snips after stormy passage during which many escorts were

                            damaged and convoy had to be reformed after scattering.

 

March

            12th         Part of screen for HM Cruiser DIADEM and HMS CAMPANIA with HM Destroyers

                            SCORPION, ORWELL, OPPORTUNE, ONSLAUGHT and SIOUX as Close Escort for

                            Russian Convoy JW65.

            20th         Under submarine attacks during which HMS LAPWING was sunk by a Homing Torpedo.

            23rd         Joined screen for Close Escort of return Convoy RA65 including H M Escort Carrier

                             TRUMPETER, HM Destroyers MYNGS, SAVAGE, SCOURGE, Norwegian STORD and

                             same ships as for inward JW65 to Kola Inlet.

            30th          Detached from RA65 with Home Fleet ships before arrival at Scapa Flow and after an

                             uninterrupted passage.

 

April                     Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

 

May

              4th          Part of screen for HM Escort Carriers SEARCHER, QUEEN and TRUMPETER, HM Cruisers

                              NORFOLK and DIADEM with HM Destroyers CARYSFORT, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE,

                              SCORPION, ORWELL and OBEDIENT during air attacks on shipping west of Narvik.

                             (Note: German Depot Ship BLACK WATCH and U711 were sunk).

                             (Operation JUDGEMENT - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett.).

              8th          Deployed with Home Fleet in support of re-occupation.

 

June                      Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

to

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS ZAMBESI joined 4th Destroyer Flotilla Home Fleet after VJ Day and was reduced to Reserve status in 1946 at Devonport. She refitted at Gibraltar in 1948 before being re-commissioned for service at Rothesay as a target ship for training submarine crews of 3rd Submarine Flotilla. Before being again put in Reserve at Cardiff, the ship refitted at Penarth in 1959. The ship was then placed on the Disposal List for demolition by T W Ward at Penarth and arrived in tow at the breakersí yard on 12 February 1959.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS ZAMBESI

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

 

 

 

 

 

11/09/44

11/09/44

TA 146

12/09/44

17/09/44

07/09/44

12/09/44

AT 148A

14/09/44

14/09/44

10/12/44

15/12/44

AT 173

16/12/44

16/12/44

18/12/44

18/12/44

TA 172

19/12/44

25/12/44

21/12/44

21/12/44

TA 173

22/12/44

27/12/44

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

13/02/45

15/02/45

17/02/45

17/02/45

RA 064

27/02/45

28/02/45

11/03/45

14/03/45

JW 065

21/03/45

21/03/45

23/03/45

23/03/45

RA 065

30/03/45

01/04/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

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