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

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Zambesi (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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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)

 

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