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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

Polish ORP SLAZAK (L 26), ex-HMS BEDALE -  Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer  
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Blankney, Type II sister-ship  (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Type II HUNT Class Escort destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie , Newcastle under the 1939 War  Emergency Programme on 12th December 1939 with 16 others of this Type. The ship was laid down as Job Number J4202 on 25th May 1940 and launched on 23rd July 1941 as the first RN ship to carry the name, that of a fox-hunt in the North Riding of Yorkshire. She was transferred on loan to Poland in April 1942 before the completion date on 9th May 1942 and was renamed ORP SLAZAK. As the ship was part of the Polish navy she was not adopted by a British civil community following a National Savings WARSHIP WEEK campaign during 1941-42.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

No British Battle Honours were awarded.

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a  a s   H M S   B e d a l e

Badge: On a Field White, within a horseshoe inverted Red

arising swan Black.

 

 

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e   a s   O R P   S L A Z A K

  

(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search

 

 

1 9 4 2

 

April

 

Transferred to Polish Navy. Contractors trials.

 

May

 

Commissioned for Polish naval service as ORP SLAZAK.

 

9th - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

 

Nominated for service in 15th Destroyer Flotilla. On completion of trials and storing took passage for work-up.

 

June

 

Took passage to join Flotilla at Plymouth Joined Flotilla for convoy defence and patrol in Channel and SW Approaches

 

July

 

Channel deployment in continuation. Nominated for support of planned landings at Dieppe (Operation JUBILEE - For details see THE WATERY MAZE by B Fergusson and the Naval Staff History).

 

Prepared for support of amphibious operation.

 

August

 

 

18th - Part of escort for assault craft during passage to Dieppe.

 

20th - Took part in Dieppe Assault (Operation JUBILEE). Sustained minor damage

 

September to December

 

Resumed convoy escort and patrol duties with Flotilla in Channel an d SW Approaches

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January

 

Sustained structural damage by extreme weather during convoy defence. Passage to Liverpool for repair in commercial shipyard.

 

February

 

Under repair in commercial shipyard at Liverpool.

 

March

 

Resumed duties with Flotilla based in Plymouth.

 

April

 

Convoy defence duties in continuation.

 

May

 

Nominated for service with Gibraltar Escort Force. Passage to Gibraltar.

 

June

 

Deployed at Gibraltar for convoy defence. Nominated for support of allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY) (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, Naval Staff History and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.).

 

Part of escort for military convoys in western Mediterranean during preparation for allied landings in Sicily

 

July

 

Military convoy defence in continuation. Joined Support Force East with sister Polish Escort Destroyer ORP KRAKOWIAK (Ex HMS SILVERTON) and ships of Gibraltar Escort Force.

 

9th - Passage to beachhead area with ships of Support Force East.

 

10th - Provided support for initial landings.

 

11th - Deployed in support, patrol for interception of E-Boats off beachhead and convoy defence duties in central Mediterranean.

 

August

 

Central Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

 

September

 

Transferred to 59 Destroyer Division in Malta. Nominated for support of allied landings at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE. (See above references). Joined Support Carrier Force (TF88) for screening duties.

 

8th - Deployed with ORP KRAKOWIAK, CLEVELAND, HOLCOMBE, FARNDALE, ATHERSTONE, LIDDESDALE, CALPE and HAYDON as screen for HM Cruisers EURYALUS, SCYLLA, CHARYBDIS, HM Escort Carriers UNICORN, ATTACKER, BATTLER, HUNTER and STALKER during assault operations. Took part in defence operations off Salerno during landings. On release from AVALANCHE transferred to 48th Escort Group for convoy defence in Mediterranean.

 

October to November

 

Convoy defence duties in continuation.

 

December

 

Transferred to Mediterranean HUNT Flotilla based in Malta. Joined HM Escort Destroyers ATHERSTONE, CALPE, CATTERICK, CLEVELAND, HAYDON, LIDDESDALE and ORP KRAKOWIAK for convoy defence, patrol and support of military operations in Italy.

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January to March

 

Flotilla deployment based at Malta in continuation.

 

April

 

Transferred to 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Malta in continuation. Nominated for transfer to UK for support of planned landings in Normandy. (Operation NEPTUNE For details see above references, D-DAY SHIPS by J de Winser, LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.) Passage to Plymouth to rejoin 15th Destroyer Flotilla.

 

May

 

Detached for duty with Force S based at Portsmouth. Took part in preliminary exercises by Force S ships. (Note: Final Rehearsal for Forces O, S, J and G (Exercise FABIUS was carried out in Channel between 2nd and 6th May).

 

18th - Took part in Defence Exercise off Brighton with Forces S, G and J. (Note: This exercise included simulated attacks by E-Boats, midget submarines and by aircraft minelaying).

 

On completion of Defence Exercise deployed at Portsmouth for final preparations. Nominated with HM Escort Destroyer MIDDLETON to provide gunfire support for beach clearance operations on SWORD beach head during Assault Phase

 

June

 

Deployed at Portsmouth.

 

4th - Operation delayed 24 hours.

 

5th - Carried out patrol in English Channel during Channel 10 minesweeping operations. Joined HM Destroyers SCOURGE and SERAPIS with HMS MIDDLETON as escort for Convoy S2 during passage through swept channel from Isle of Wight to SWORD beach head. (Note: Convoy comprised ships of 15th Minesweeping Flotilla, four Danlayers and three Motor Launches. Five Motor Torpedo Boats had escorted convoy from Dover).

 

6th - Provided naval gunfire support at SWORD beach head as required by Fire Plan.

 

7th - Deployed in Eastern Task Force Area on completion of Assault Phase.

 

Carried out defence patrols and provided gunfire support as required during the build-up phase of NEPTUNE.

 

July to September

 

On release from NEPTUNE resumed Flotilla duties in English Channel for defence of convoys and anti-submarine patrols. (Note: An increase in submarine attacks and minelaying in eastern Channel and Thames Estuary made necessary a redeployment of escorts. See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by Peter C Smith) .

 

October to December

 

Transferred to 16th Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich. Deployed for convoy defence and patrol in North Sea and Channel. (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were HM Escort Destroyers COTSWOLD, FARNDALE, EGLINTON, HAMBLEDON, STEVENSTONE, Norwegian ARENDAL (Ex HMS BADSWORTH) and Polish ORP KRAKOWIAK)

 

 

1 9 4 5

 

January to April

 

Flotilla deployment for convoy defence, patrol and interception in continuation (For details of activities in Thames Estuary and North Sea, see above references). (Note: Despite a serious increase in enemy minelaying and the concentration of Schnorkel fitted submarine attacks on convoys, the availability of more Escorts provided Nore Command with the necessary resources to ensure the safe passage of military convoys to ports in Europe. Atlantic convoys had been re-routed through English Channel during this period because of removal of air threat from bases in France).

 

May to August

 

Transferred to Nore Local Flotilla based at Chatham. Deployed with HM Escort Destroyers GARTH, EGLINTON, HAMBLEDON, HOLDERNESS, MENDIP and ORP KRAKOWIAK for escort of military convoys in Nore Command and the support of re-occupation operations in NW Europe.

 

 

Post  War  Notes

 

ORP SLAZAK remained under Polish Command and was deployed in the Nore Local Flotilla after VJ Day. Her loan period was terminated on 27th July 1946 and ship reverted to RN control as HMS BEDALE.  Placed in Reserve at Harwich on 28th September she formed part of the Reserve Fleet for the next five years. In 1952 the transfer of the ship on loan to India after refit by the Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead was announced. Renamed IS GODAVARI on 27th November that year she commissioned for service on 27th April 1953. The loan period was extended and finally in April 1959 IS GODAVARI was sold outright to India. She was deployed as a training ship until April 1979 when removed from the Active List and sold for breaking-up.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of ORP SLAZAK

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

 

 

 

 

 

08/07/42

09/07/42

PW 183

10/07/42

10/07/42

11/07/42

11/07/42

WP 185

13/07/42

13/07/42

19/07/42

19/07/42

WP 189

21/07/42

21/07/42

22/07/42

22/07/42

PW 190

24/07/42

24/07/42

25/07/42

25/07/42

WP 192

27/07/42

27/07/42

01/11/42

01/11/42

WP 242

04/11/42

04/11/42

07/11/42

07/11/42

WP 245

10/11/42

10/11/42

10/11/42

10/11/42

PW 246

13/11/42

13/11/42

20/12/42

20/12/42

KX 007A

29/12/42

29/12/42

01/01/43

01/01/43

MKS 004Y

09/01/43

09/01/43

18/01/43

19/01/43

WP 281

20/01/43

20/01/43

26/01/43

26/01/43

PW 284

27/01/43

28/01/43

21/01/43

21/02/43

WP 283

22/01/43

24/01/43

21/01/43

21/02/43

PW 282

23/01/43

23/01/43

19/05/43

25/05/43

KMF 015

28/05/43

27/05/43

08/06/43

09/06/43

GTX 002

14/06/43

19/06/43

30/06/43

30/06/43

KMS 017

02/07/43

06/07/43

01/07/43

11/07/43

KMF 019

13/07/43

11/07/43

14/07/43

14/07/43

MKF 019

18/07/43

30/07/43

12/07/43

07/08/43

UGS 012

09/08/43

10/08/43

29/07/43

07/08/43

KMS 021

09/08/43

10/08/43

15/08/43

16/08/43

MKS 022

25/08/43

25/08/43

16/10/43

25/10/43

KMF 025

29/10/43

30/10/43

02/11/43

03/11/43

XIF 003

06/11/43

06/11/43

31/10/43

12/11/43

MKF 025A

14/11/43

24/11/43

15/11/43

25/11/43

KMF 026

30/11/43

30/11/43

16/12/43

18/12/43

MKF 027

20/12/43

04/01/44

15/01/44

25/01/44

KMF 028

29/01/44

29/01/44

03/02/44

03/02/44

XIF 009

08/02/44

08/02/44

09/02/44

09/02/44

IXF 009

13/02/44

13/02/44

23/02/44

unknown

IXF 010

unknown

26/02/44

02/03/44

02/03/44

MKF 029

09/03/44

16/03/44

11/03/44

11/03/44

NSF 017

14/03/44

14/03/44

15/03/44

15/03/44

SNF 017

18/03/44

18/03/44

08/04/44

08/04/44

MKF 029B

10/04/44

17/04/44

02/07/44

02/07/44

ETM 024

03/07/44

03/07/44

         

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 12/8/11
further editing is required