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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

 

HMS EASTON (L 09) -  Type III, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Easton (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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Type III HUNT Class Escort Destroyer ordered from J S White of Cowes on 19th July 1940 under the 1940 War Emergency Programme and laid down on 25th March 1941. The ship was launched on 11th July 1942 and  build was completed on 7th December that year. This destroyer was Ďadoptedí by the civil community of Deben and Woodbridge, Suffolk following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942.

 

 B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1943 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943 - SICILY 1943 - AEGEAN 1943 - NORTH SEA 1945

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a field Green a storkís head erased White

holding in the beak a sprig of oak Gold.

 

 

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

 

December              Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 22nd Destroyer Flotilla.

                                (Note: Flotilla was deployed in western Mediterranean)

                7th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up for

                                operational service with ships of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                                (Note: Whilst on passage was deployed as part of escort for Channel convoy.

                                Award of Battle Honour suggests the ship was involved in defence

                                against enemy attack, possibly during transit of Dover Strait. To be

                                further investigated.

                                For details of naval activities in Home waters in 1942-43 see ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett. HOLD THE NARROW SEA by

                                P Smith and Naval Staff History.)

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Deployed at Scapa Flow for working-up

                13th        Took part in major Home Fleet exercise with HM Destroyers WALPOLE and LEDBURY

                                during work-up.

                                On completion of work-up took passage to Gibraltar to join Flotilla for convoy defence and

                                patrol based at Gibraltar.

                                (Note: Following allied landings in North Africa military build-up was maintained

                                by sea and extensive escort of convoys was essential.

                                For details of operations in the Mediterranean in 1943-44 see THE BATTLE FOR

                                THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY.

 

February

                17th        Sank Italian submarine ASTERIA off Bougie with HM Escort Destroyer WHEATLAND

                20th        Despatched from Algiers to carry out anti-submarine search with HM Escort Destroyers

                                WHEATLAND, LAMERTON and BICESTER.

                                (Note: Submarine had been detected by shore radar.)

                                Carried out joint search operations lasting three days

                23rd        U443 located during persistent searches by the three ships and sunk by depth charges attacks.

                                in position 26.35N, 11.56E off Algiers. There were no survivors from U443.

 

March                    Deployment on Mediterranean convoy defence in continuation.

                4th          Attacked U83 of Cartagena.

                                (Note: This submarine was later sighted on the surface by an RAF aircraft which

                                then attacked and sank it by depth charges..

 

April                       Convoy escort and patrol in continuation.

 

May                        Carried out interception patrols to prevent evacuation of German troops from Cape

                                Bon area (Operation RETRIBUTION - See above references and Naval Staff History.)

 

June                        Preparation for Sicilian landing and convoy defence duties (Operation HUSKY).

                                (For details of HUSKY see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, BRITISH

                                INVASION FLEETS and Naval Staff History).

 

July                         Transferred to eastern Mediterranean for escort of assault convoys to Sicily.

                                Deployed as part of Escort Group R

                5th          Escorted Assault Convoy MWF36 from Port Said during passage to beach head.

                7th          Escorted Follow-up Convoy MWF37.

                13th        Deployed at Syracuse after detaching from MWF37.

                                Provided anti-submarine and AA protection in beach head area.

 

August                  Central Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                23rd        During escort of military Convoy MKF22 after obtaining contact by sonar carried

                                out two depth charge attacks on U548 south of Pantellaria.

                                Joined by Greek destroyer PINDOS which carried out further attack which forced

                                submarine to surface.

                                Engaged submarine and then made ramming attack sinking U548 in position

                                36.25N, 12.39E.

                                Sustained serious damage to bow structure and propeller shafts which disabled

                                Taken in tow to Malta by PINDOS.

 

September             Under temporary repair by HM Dockyard, Malta to enable permanent repair in

                                Gibraltar.

                                (Note: This damage to hull structure was such that her value future service was put

                                in doubt and her overall operational capabilities became suspect).

 

October                  Passage to Gibraltar

 

November              Under repair in HM Dockyard, Gibraltar

to December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair

to

August

 

September             Carried out post repair trials and prepared for operational service.

                18th        On completion allocated for service with 59th Destroyer Division in Malta.

                                Took passage to Malta for convoy escort and patrol in eastern Mediterranean

 

October                  Deployed in support of military operations to re-occupy Aegean Islands.

                                Carried out patrols to intercept craft evacuating German troops.

 

November              Continued support duties during allied re-occupation of Greek mainland.

 

December

                5th          Provided naval gunfire support by bombardment of Greek Communist positions near

                                Piraeus during allied military operations until 9th December.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployed in support of military operations off Greek and Albanian coasts.

 

February                Transferred to Home waters to supplement coastal convoy defence against attacks by

                                German Schnorkel1-fitted submarines.

                                Took passage to Sheerness to join the 21st Destroyer Flotilla.

 

March                    Joined Flotilla and deployed on defence of coastal convoys and patrol duty in Nore

to                            Command

April                       Nominated for refit in commercial shipyard and took passage to Southampton

 

 

May                        Under refit at Southampton

to

August

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS EASTON paid off and was reduced to Reserve on 29th October 1945 after post refit trials had been completed. In 1946 she was brought forward for service in the 3rd Escort Group at Portsmouth. However, during service, a series of defects made her operational availability unacceptable and the ship was withdrawn from service in November 1947. During a later refit in 1949 whilst in Reserve her structural condition was found to be beyond economic repair and all work was stopped. After being de-equipped this destroyer was used as a training hulk at Rosyth until 1952 when placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO on 4th December that year for demolition by Metal Industries she was towed to the Breakers Yard at Charlestown near Rosyth on 15th January 1953.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS EASTON

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

 

 

 

 

 

08/02/43

09/02/43

KMF 009

16/02/43

16/02/43

06/02/43

18/02/43

KMS 009G

20/02/43

20/02/43

25/02/43

25/02/43

ET 012

27/02/43

02/03/43

14/04/43

14/04/43

ME 023

unknown

20/04/43

29/04/43

29/04/43

MW 027

unknown

04/05/43

17/05/43

22/05/43

KMS 014X

26/05/43

26/05/43

31/05/43

10/06/43

KMS 015

14/06/43

14/06/43

24/06/43

24/06/43

MKS 016

29/06/43

29/06/43

05/07/43

05/07/43

MWF 036

10/07/43

10/07/43

10/07/43

10/07/43

MWF 037

13/07/43

13/07/43

13/07/43

13/07/43

MEF 037

17/07/43

17/07/43

20/07/43

20/07/43

MWF 038

24/07/43

24/07/43

24/07/43

24/07/43

MEF 038

28/07/43

28/07/43

03/08/43

03/08/43

MWF 039

07/08/43

10/08/43

24/11/44

24/11/44

XIF 025

28/11/44

28/11/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 12/8/11
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