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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 BLEASDALE (L 50) -  Type III, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Bleasdale (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Type III HUNT-Class Escort Destroyer built by Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle under the 1940 War Emergency Programme and ordered as Job No J4283 on 19th July 1940. The ship was laid down on 31st October 1940 and was the first RN warship to bear the Name. She was launched on 23rd July 1941 and build was completed on 16th April 1942. Following a successful. WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 HMS BLEASDALE was adopted by the civil community of Garstang in Lancashire.

 

B a t t l e     H o n o u r s

 

ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942-44 - DIEPPE  1942 - NORTH SEA  1943-45 - NORMANDY 1944 - ATLANTIC 1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red,  a hunting horn and crozier in saltire, both 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

 

April                       Acceptance Trials and commissioning.

                16th        Build completion and commissioned for service.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Portsmouth.

 

May                        Joined 1st Destroyer Flotilla for convoy defence and patrol duties in Channel.

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were:

                                HM Destroyers ALBRIGHTON, BERKELEY, BROCKLESBY, CALPE, FERNIE, GARTH

                                and Polish destroyer ORP SLAZAK.)

 

June                        Channel deployment in continuation.

 

July                         Took part in preparatory exercises for amphibious landing operation,

                                Nominated for support, of Dieppe commando landings (Operation JUBILEE)

                18th        Escorted assault craft to Dieppe.

                19th        Remained off beaches during landings and sustained minor damage.

                                Provided defence during return passage of landing craft.

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

                                Staff History.

 

August                  Resumed convoy defence and patrol in English Channel.

                                Channel duty in continuation.

 

September             Detached for interception and patrol in Bay of Biscay off French coast based at Plymouth during

                                this period.

                                Resumed convoy defence with Flotilla at Portsmouth on release from detached duty.

 

October

                10th        Mined off Nab Tower causing structural damage.

                12th        Taken in hand for repair in HM Dockyard. Portsmouth.

 

November              On completion rejoined Flotilla.

                30th        Detached for escort duty with military Convoy to Gibraltar for allied landings in North Africa

                                (Operation TORCH).

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.)

 

December

                8th          Took passage to Portsmouth to resume Flotilla duties.

                                Resumed Channel convoy defence duties.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Deployed in English Channel for convoy defence and the support of Light Coastal Forces

to                            craft during offensive operations against enemy convoys.

June

 

July                         Detached with HM Escort Destroyer STEVENSTONE to cover return of Light Coastal Forces

                                Steam Gunboats which had been in action with enemy minesweepers off Pointe Barfleur.

 

August                  Channel convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

to                            (For details of convoy operations and naval activities in Channel area see HOLD THE NARROW

December              SEA by P Smith, THE BATTLE OF THE NARROW SEAS by P Scott and ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY)

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Channel convoy escort and support of offensive operations.

to                            (Note: Additional HUNT Class escort destroyers joined Flotilla.)
March                    Deployed as Leader of Flotilla.

 

April                       Involved in collision with a trawler off Portland when escorting military convoy from

                                Spithead to take part in amphibious exercise in Lyme Bay.

                                Sustained structural damage to bows and returned to Portsmouth for repair.

                                On completion of repair resumed escort and patrol duties with Flotilla

 

May                        Nominated for attachment to Assault Force J during allied landings in Normandy.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                On release from support duties returned to Portsmouth.

                                On release from support duties returned to Portsmouth.

                                (For details of Operation NEPTUNE see Naval Staff History LANDINGS IN NORMANDY

                                (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and D DAY SHIPS by J de Winser.)

                2nd         Took part in final rehearsal for Forces O, S, J and G (Exercise FABIUS)

                                Landings for Force J made at Bracklesham Bay, Sussex.

                18th        Took part in defence exercise with same Forces off Brighton with simulated air,

                                E Boat and submersible craft attacks.

 

June

                4th          Deployed with Force J craft in Solent.

                5th          Joined escort for Headquarters Ship for Force J2 and assault craft for passage to beach

                                head with HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT and GLAISDALE (Norway) as Convoy J10

                6th          Deployed with Support Force E for JUNO Beach Head.

                                Provided AA and A/S defence as well as naval gunfire support for the assault on JUNO

                                landing beaches.

                                Escorted return convoy to Portsmouth and replenished ammunition.

                7th          Part of escort for HM Battleship RODNEY with HM Cruiser SIRIUS and HM Canadian

                                Frigate RIOU during passage to beach head.

                8th          Deployed off beach head for support and patrol duties.

                9th          Part of escort for HMS RODNEY for passage from beach head to Milford Haven.

                11th        Return passage from Milford Haven to Portsmouth.

                12th        Withdrawn from operational duty for removal of wire from propeller shafting.

                                Replaced by HM Destroyer FURY for transport of Army personnel to beachhead.

                15th        Resumed support duties and took passage to beach head for patrol duties.

                16th        Escorted Motor Torpedo Boats during minelaying operation off Le Havre to protect ships

                                lying off assault beaches from submarine attack (Operation KN29).

 

July                         In dock at Portsmouth for examination of shafts.

                5th          On completion deployed for patrol off French coast in support of Light Coastal Force craft

                                operations against E-Boats.

                6th          Deployed with HM Destroyer CATTISTOCK in support of MTB operations.

                                (Note: HM Frigate TROLLOPE deployed as a control ship was sunk by torpedo from an E-Boat.)

                9th          Returned to Portsmouth to replenish.

                                Resumed patrol duties in support of coastal force craft and patrol off France.

 

August                  Channel patrol in continuation.

                24th        In action with enemy craft evacuating personnel from Le Havre.

 

September             Convoy interception and patrol duty off French NW coast.

 

October                  Transferred to 21st Destroyer Flotilla based at Sheerness for escort and patrol duties in North

                                Sea with support of military operations in Low countries.

 

November              Defence of Atlantic convoys in North Sea and Channel as well as interception of submarines

                                and surface minelaying craft in Thames estuary and North Sea.

                                (Note: During this period Schnorkel fitted submarines were attacking convoys in focal

                                points in SW Approaches and English Channel.

                                Atlantic convoys had then been re-routed and A/S defences were reinforced.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Convoy defence and patrol based at Sheerness in continuation.

                                Deployed off east coast for convoy escort.

 

February                Nominated for foreign service with 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Trincomalee.

                                Taken in hand for refit and modification prior to departure.

                                Passage to London for refit in commercial shipyard.

March                    Under refit.

to

April

 

May                        On completion of post refit trials and storing took passage to Mediterranean.

 

June                        Carried out work up in Malta with ships of Mediterranean Fleet, Destroyer Command.

 

July                         Passage to Trincomalee to join Flotilla

 

August                  Prepared with Flotilla for Malayan coast landings

                                (Operation ZIPPER) - Assault landings planned before VJ Day and cancelled before

                                VJ Day at US insistence and delayed by implementation of PYTHON release Scheme for

                                long serving personnel in SEAC. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR

                                WITH JAPAN (HMSO).

 

September

                4th          Sailed from Trincomalee with Eastern Fleet aircraft carriers for ZIPPER landings.

                                See BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.

                6th          Joined escort for assault convoy JME1F in Malacca Straits

                9th          Arrived in Assault area.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS BLEASDALE was at Port Swettenham for Japanese surrender ceremony and then returned with ships of the Flotilla to Trincomalee. Deployed briefly in Ceylon, the ship visited Madras and Calcutta before she returned to pay off into Reserve at Chatham. Iri February 1946 she was brought forward for duty in the Nore Local Flotilla and re-commissioned. During April 1947 she participated in destruction of the German fortifications at Heligoland. The ship remained in this Flotilla until 1952 when Paid-off an reduced to Reserve status at Sheerness. Transferred  to Portsmouth in 1953 her Reserve Category was reduced and the ship was placed on the Disposal List. .She was sold on 12th September 1956 to BISCO for demolition by Hughes Bolcow at Blyth and arrived in tow at the Breakersí yard three days later.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BLEASDALE

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

 

 

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

         

22/11/42

22/11/42

PW 252

24/11/42

24/11/42


23/11/42

24/11/42

WP 253

25/11/42

25/11/42


26/11/42

26/11/42

PW 254

28/11/42

28/11/42


30/11/42

30/11/42

KX 007

08/12/42

08/12/42


06/12/42

13/12/42

MKS 003Y

23/12/42

23/12/42


23/12/42

23/12/42

WP 268

25/12/42

25/12/42


10/01/43

11/01/43

WP 277

12/01/43

12/01/43


14/01/43

14/01/43

WP 279

16/01/43

16/01/43


17/01/43

17/01/43

PW 280

18/01/43

19/01/43


18/01/43

19/01/43

WP 281

20/01/43

20/01/43


17/02/43

17/02/43

WP 296

19/02/43

19/02/43


27/02/43

27/02/43

WP 301

01/03/43

01/03/43


01/03/43

02/03/43

WP 302

03/03/43

03/03/43


04/03/43

04/03/43

PW 303

05/03/43

06/03/43


04/06/43

04/06/43

CE 181

05/06/43

05/06/43


01/07/43

01/07/43

WP 363

03/07/43

03/07/43


05/07/43

05/07/43

WP 365

06/07/43

07/07/43


31/07/43

31/07/43

WP 378

02/08/43

02/08/43


28/08/43

28/08/43

WP 392

30/08/43

30/08/43


13/09/43

13/09/43

WP 400

14/09/43

14/09/43


17/09/43

17/09/43

WP 402

19/09/43

19/09/43


01/10/43

01/10/43

WP 409

03/10/43

03/10/43


07/10/43

07/10/43

WP 412

09/10/43

09/10/43


10/12/43

10/12/43

CE 228

11/12/43

11/12/43


22/12/43

22/12/43

WP 450

24/12/43

24/12/43


26/12/43

26/12/43

CE 232

27/12/43

27/12/43


29/12/43

29/12/43

CW 235

30/12/43

30/12/43


30/12/43

30/12/43

WP 454

01/01/44

01/01/44


05/01/44

05/01/44

WP 457

07/01/44

07/01/44


07/01/44

07/01/44

CE 235

08/01/44

08/01/44


10/01/44

10/01/44

CW 238

11/01/44

11/01/44


29/01/44

29/01/44

WP 469

31/01/44

31/01/44


31/01/44

31/01/44

CE 241

01/02/44

01/02/44


03/02/44

03/02/44

CW 244

04/02/44

04/02/44


18/02/44

19/02/44

WP 479

20/02/44

20/02/44


20/02/44

21/02/44

WP 480

23/02/44

23/02/44


22/02/44

23/02/44

WP 481

24/02/44

24/02/44


01/03/44

02/03/44

WP 485

03/03/44

03/03/44


07/03/44

07/03/44

CE 250

08/03/44

08/03/44


10/03/44

10/03/44

CW 253

11/03/44

11/03/44


15/03/44

15/03/44

CE 252

16/03/44

16/03/44


19/03/44

19/03/44

CW 255

20/03/44

20/03/44


19/03/44

20/03/44

WP 494

21/03/44

21/03/44


29/03/44

29/03/44

WP 499

31/03/44

31/03/44


04/04/44

05/04/44

WP 502

06/04/44

06/04/44


12/04/44

13/04/44

WP 506

14/04/44

14/04/44


16/04/44

17/04/44

WP 508

18/04/44

18/04/44


22/04/44

23/04/44

WP 511

24/04/44

24/04/44


12/10/44

12/10/44

ON 259

unknown

29/10/44

29/10/44

29/10/44

ON 263

01/11/44

15/11/44


20/10/44

02/11/44

HX 315

04/11/44

03/11/44


06/12/44

07/12/44

TAM 010

07/12/44

07/12/44


15/12/44

15/12/44

TAM 019

17/12/44

17/12/44


23/12/44

23/12/44

ATM 019

24/12/44

24/12/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 12/8/11
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