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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 BELVOIR (L 32) -  Type III, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Belvoir (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Type III HUNT-Class Escort Destroyer ordered from Cammell Laird, Birkenhead on 4th July 1940 in the 1940 War Emergency Programme and laid down as Job No 3964 on 14th October 1940. The ship was launched on 18th November 1941 as the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, previously used for a 1917 minesweeper sold in 1922. Build was completed on 29 March 1942. The ship is named after a Foxhunt in Leicestershire. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - AEGEAN 1943 - SOUTH FRANCE 1944 - ADRIATIC 1944

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

 

Badge: On a Field White, a Peacock's head erased Proper enfiled with

a ducal coronet.

 

 

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 2

 

January                  Contractor's trials and commissioned for service

                29th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

 

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

to March               Worked-up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet.

 

April                       During work up at Scapa Flow diverted for escort of Home Fleet ships providing Distant Cover

                                for passage of Russian Convoy PQ14 and return Convoy QP10.

                                Part of screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK, HM Aircraft

                                Carrier VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers NIGERIA and KENT with HM Destroyer BEDOUIN,

                                OFFA, ESCAPADE, ESKIMO, FAULKNOR, MATCHLESS. ONSLOW, SOMALI, HM Escort

                                Destroyers LEDBURY, MIDDLETON and WHEATLAND.

                                (For full details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

                                CONVOY! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B. Schoefield and and ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman).            

 

May                       Remained with screen for Home Fleet units covering Russian Convoy PQ15 and return Convoy

                                QP12.

                                Home Fleet screening duty in continuation

                                (Note: Covering force included US battleship USS WASHINGTON, US cruisers USS

                                WICHITA and TUSCALOOSA screened by four US Navy destroyers

                                RN major units included HMS KING GEORGE V and HMS VICTORIOUS and

                                COLONY Class cruiser HMS KENYA.

                                Destroyer screen included seven Fleet Destroyers and four HUNT Class Escort Destroyers

                                (See above references).

                                Nominated for service with 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Eastern Fleet.

                11th        Joined HM Cruiser MAURITIUS, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CARNARVON CASTLE and

                                HM Destroyer HURSLEY in NW Approaches as Ocean Escort during Atlantic passage for

                                military convoy WS19.

                22nd       Detached from WS19 on arrival at Freetown.

                25th        Deployed with m Cruiser MAURITIUS, HM Sloop MITFORD and HM Destroyer HURSLEY

                                for escort of WS19 during passage from Freetown to Cape of Good Hope.

 

June

                5th          Detached with escort on arrival of W519 at Capetown.

                14th        Joined HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CHESHIRE as escort

                                for WS19 during passage from Capetown to Durban.

                23rd        Detached from WS19 and took passage to Mombasa to refuel.

                                Transferred on loan to 5th Destroyer Flotilla in Mediterranean.

                                (Note: This change in deployment was made following heavy losses and damage to ships of

                                Mediterranean Fleet in defence of Greece and Crete.)

                                Passage to Durban for escort of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser MORETON BAY.

 

July                         Escorted HMS MORTON BAY to Kilindini.

                8th          Arrived at Kilindini.

                                Took passage to Join Fleet at Alexandria.

                20th        Deployed at Alexandria for Fleet duties.

                23rd        Bombarded Mersa Matru with HM Cruiser DIDO.

                25th        Detached to escort damaged submarine HMS PORPOISE to Port Said.

 

 

July                         Passage to Alexandria.

                8th          Arrived at Kilindini as escort to HM Armed Merchant Cruiser MORETON BAY.

                                Made independent passage to join Fleet at Alexandria.

                23rd        Bombarded Mersa Matru with HM Cruiser DIDO.

                25th        Detached to escort damaged submarine HMS PORPOISE to Port Said.

 

August

                15th        On arrival at Alexandria joined 5th Destroyer Flotilla

                                Deployed with Flotilla for Tobruk convoy defence and support of military operations..

 

September             Flotilla deployment in continuation.

                14th        Escorted Tug BRIGAND from Alexandria with HM Escort Destroyer ALDENHAM to meet

                                damaged cruiser HMS COVENTRY and damaged destroyer ZULU on passage from Tobruk.

                                (Note: These ships had been damaged during the disastrous raid on Tobruk but both ships sank

                                before BRIGAND arrived

                                See MASSACRE AT TOBRUK by P Smith)

 

October                  Carried out two diversionary operations in support of Army advance.

                                (Operations LIGHTFOOT and SUPERCHARGE - See OFFICIAL MILITARY

                                HISTORY, MEDITERRANEAN (HMSO)

 

November

                17th        Deployed with HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, CROOME, DULVERTON,

                                EXMOOR, HURSLEY, HURWORTH, TETCOTT and Greek PINDOS as Close Escort for Malta

                                relief Convoy MW13 (Operation STONEAGE).

                18th        Under air attack during which HM Cruiser ARETHUSA was torpedoed and returned in tow to

                                Alexandria.

                19th        Detached from MW13 on arrival In Malta and returned to Alexandria with the other ships of Close

                                Escort.

 

December

                1st           Deployed with HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, CROOME, EXMOOR, HURSLEY, TETCOTT

                                and Greek PINDOS as escort for further relief convoy MW14 to Malta.

                                (Operation MH1 /PORTCULLIS - Cover was provided by HM Cruiser ORION, HM Destroyers

                                PAKENHAM, PETARD and Greek VASILISSA OLGA.)

                4th          Force K ships from Malta joined MW14.

                5th          Detached from MW14 on arrival in Malta.

                7th          Deployed with HMS ORION, HM Destroyers PAKENHAM, PETARD, ALDENHAM, EXMOOR,

                                DULVERTON, EXMOOR, HURSLEY, TETCOTT, Greek PINDOS and Greek VASILISSA

                                OLGA as escort for Convoy ME11 from Malta to Egypt

                                (Operation MH2 - This was the return of empty mercantiles held in Malta.)

                11th        Detached from ME11 on arrival at Port Said.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy defence duties in continuation.

                                (Note: Convoys escorted from Malta included MS11, ME12 and ME17 with Convoys

                                MW14, 16 and 20B from Alexandria).

 

February

                1st           Rescue of 117 survivors from HM Minelaying Cruiser WELSHMAN which had been sunk

                                by a U-Boat off Egyptian coast in position 32.12N 24.52E.

                                (For details see Naval Staff History (Mining) (HMSO).)

 

March                    Deployed with Flotilla for escort and patrol in Eastern Mediterranean.

to

April

 

 May                       Took part in patrol and interception of enemy troops attempting escape from Cape Bon area

                                (Operation RETRIBUTION See Naval Staff History) .

 

June                        Nominated for Support Force East during planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Bamett and Naval Staff

                                History)

 

July                         Deployed as part of Escort Group Q with sister destroyer HMS DULVERTON.

                                For details see BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.)

                3rd          Sailed from Alexandria as part of escort for military Convoy MWS36 during passage to Sicily.

                6th          Carried out ant-submarine operations.

                                Took passage to Benghazi.

                8th          Rejoined escort for MWS36

                10th        Detached on arrival at Beach Head SW of Syracuse.

                                Deployed for support including patrol to intercept E-Boats attempting to interfere

                                with landings.

 

August                  HUSKY support and patrol in continuation

                                For details see above references

                                Nominated for escort and support of planned landings at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE)

                                See above reference.

 

September

                9th          Deployed for escort of assault convoy to Salerno

                                See above reference

                                On arrival detached from escort and carried out support and patrol duties.

                                Deployed for AVALANCHE convoy escort, gunfire support and patrol.

 

October                  Transferred to Alexandria with Flotilla for defence of Aegean Islands against landings by German

                                troops after Italy surrender.

                15th        Embarked troops and stores

                16th        Deployed on anti-invasion patrols to intercept German transports.

                                Under sustained air attacks.

                18th        Provided naval gunfire support for military shore operations.

                30th        Under air attack and sustained damage when bomb penetrated Stabiliser compartment but did not

                                detonate and was jettisoned.

                                (Medal awarded to rating for this outstanding feat.)

 

November              Aegean defence deployment in continuation and under heavy air attacks.

                12th        Carried out search with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, BEAUFORT, DULVERTON, ECHO and

                                Greek destroyer PINDOS for invasion craft attempting landings on Leros.

                13th        Rescued 109 survivors from HM Escort Destroyer DULVERTON which had sustained extensive

                                damage in an attack by glider bomb during defence of Leros.

                                Torpedoed disabled hulk of DULVERTON in position 36.50N 27-30E.

                                (See WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith and E Walker for details of these operations) .

                24th        Took part in support of diversionary operation (RUMBLE BUMBLE)

 

December              After operations in Aegean terminated transferred to Algiers with Flotilla for escort and patrol

                                duties.

                                Passage to Algiers.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed for convoy defence and patrol in Western and Central Mediterranean.

to

May

 

June                        Offered on loan to Free French Naval Forces but not accepted.

                                (Note:  Some contemporary records suggest ship returned to UK for support duty during

                                Normandy landings (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                This is not supported by the Naval Staff History on NORMANDY (HMSO).

                                It is therefore considered that when the offer of loan to France was turned down this

                                destroyer remained in the Mediterranean).

 

July                         Prepared for support of planned allied landings in South of France (Operation DRAGOON)

                                Transferred to US Navy overall command and took passage to Naples for escort of convoy.

                13th        Joined Stores Convoy SM2. at Naples with HM Escort Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT,

                                WHADDON, BLACKMORE, EGGESFORD, LAUDERDALE and Greek Escort Destroyer

                                PINDOS.

                15th        Arrived in Assault Area.

                23rd        Released from DRAGOON duty and returned to control of CinC Mediterranean.

 

September             Deployed on convoy defence, patrol and support of shore operations in Central Mediterranean

                                and Adriatic.

                20th        In action against German E-Boats in Adriatic with HMS WHADDON.

 

 

October

                4th          Carried out unsuccessful attack on U-Boat in position 40.38N 13.21E.

 

November              Escort and support duty in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Escort and support of Adriatic operations and escort of convoys to Greek ports in continuation.

to

May

 

June                        Remained in Mediterranean based at Malta for Fleet duties.

 

July                         Took passage to UK for paying off.

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS BELVOIR Paid-off and was reduced to Reserve at Portsmouth. The ship remained there until 1950 when transferred to Harwich. Two years later she returned to Portsmouth and went into Extended Reserve in 1955. Placed on the Disposal List in 1957 she was sold to BISCO for demolition by P & W MacLellan at Boíness near Edinburgh. The ship arrived at the breakerís yard in tow on 21st Oct.1957.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BELVOIR

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

 

 

 

 

 

26/03/42

12/04/42

PQ 014

13/04/42

19/04/42

10/04/42

12/04/42

QP 010

13/04/42

21/04/42

10/04/42

28/04/42

PQ 015

28/04/42

05/05/42

28/04/42

28/04/42

QP 011

28/04/42

07/05/42

01/12/42

01/12/42

MW 014

05/12/42

05/12/42

07/12/42

07/12/42

ME 011

11/12/42

11/12/42

09/12/42

11/12/42

MW 016

12/12/42

12/12/42

17/12/42

17/12/42

ME 012

20/12/42

20/12/42

07/01/43

07/01/43

MW 019

11/01/43

11/01/43

13/01/43

13/01/43

ME 015

18/01/43

18/01/43

21/01/43

21/01/43

MH 003/M

26/01/43

26/01/43

13/02/43

13/02/43

ME 017

15/02/43

18/02/43

01/04/43

01/04/43

ME 022

06/04/43

06/04/43

24/05/43

30/05/43

GTX 001

unknown

04/06/43

16/06/43

23/06/43

KMS 016

28/06/43

28/06/43

20/07/43

20/07/43

MES 037

26/07/43

26/07/43

03/08/43

03/08/43

MWF 039

07/08/43

10/08/43

19/08/43

19/08/43

MKF 022

25/08/43

09/09/43

06/09/43

06/09/43

TSF 001

09/09/43

09/09/43

16/11/43

unknown

XIF 004

unknown

20/11/43

17/11/43

17/11/43

MKF 026

21/11/43

09/12/43

20/12/43

20/12/43

XT 012

26/12/43

26/12/43

03/01/44

03/01/44

XIF 007

08/01/44

08/01/44

09/01/44

unknown

IXF 007

unknown

17/01/44

20/01/44

20/01/44

SNF 013

22/01/44

22/01/44

20/01/44

20/01/44

XIF 008

25/01/44

25/01/44

20/01/44

22/01/44

MKF 028

29/01/44

07/02/44

07/02/44

07/02/44

SNF 014

11/02/44

11/02/44

29/03/44

30/03/44

IXF 012

02/04/44

02/04/44

08/04/44

08/04/44

MKF 030

15/04/44

21/04/44

17/04/44

17/04/44

NSF 020

20/04/44

20/04/44

21/04/44

21/04/44

SNF 020

24/04/44

24/04/44

25/04/44

25/04/44

KMS 048

04/05/44

05/05/44

30/04/44

30/04/44

NSF 021

03/05/44

03/05/44

04/05/44

04/05/44

SNF 021

07/05/44

07/05/44

11/06/44

19/06/44

KMF 032

24/06/44

24/06/44

28/07/44

29/07/44

MKF 033

31/07/44

11/08/44

18/07/44

30/07/44

KMF 033

31/07/44

31/07/44

13/08/44

13/08/44

SM 002A

15/08/44

15/08/44

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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