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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 CROOME (L 62) -  Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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Type II  HUNT Class Escort Destroyer ordered under the 1939 Emergency War Programme from Stephens of Govan on 4th September 1939. The ship was laid down as J1477 on 7th June 1940 and was launched on 30th January 1941 as the 2nd RN warship to carry the name, previously used by a minesweeper in 1917. Her completion date was 29th June 1941 and after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1941-42 - LIBYA 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN 1942 - AEGEAN 1943

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field White, on a horse's shoe inverted red

a cock also Red wattled and legged 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 1

 

June                        Contractors trials and commissioned for service.

                29th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

 

July                         Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of trials and storing.

                                Worked-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet for operational service.

 

August                  Joined 12th Escort Group based at Londonderry for Atlantic convoy escort.

 

September             Part of escort for Convoy HG72.

                8th          Sank Italian submarine BARACCA by gunfire and ramming in position 40.15N 20.55W

                                NE of Azores.

                                Sustained structural damage.

                12th        Taken in hand for repair.

 

October

                4th          On completion of repair resumed convoy escort duty.

                11th        Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE to Gibraltar for final stage of passage from Freetown

                                with French Corvette COMMANDANTE DUBOC

 

November              Part of Atlantic escort for military convoy WS14 on passage to Middle East.

 

December              Deployed at Gibraltar for Atlantic convoy defence.

                                Part of escort for Convoy WS14 with HM Destroyer EXMOOR until relieved off West African

                                coast by HM Destroyer WILD SWAN.

                14th        Took part in hunt and sinking of U 127 in position 36.38 N 09.12W off Cape St. Vincent

                                with HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, GURKHA and NESTOR (RAN).

                                There were no survivors.

                                For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Atlantic convoy defence duty in continuation.

                                (For details of convoy defence and changes in tactics see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann

                                and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO)).

 

February

                27th        Part of escort for HM Aircraft Carriers ARGUS and EAGLE during aircraft delivery to Malta with

                                HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTING, ACTIVE, ANTHONY, WHITEHALL, WISHART,

                                BLANKNEY and EXMOOR (Operation SPOTTER I)

                                (Note: Cover was provided by HM Battleship MALAYA and HM cruiser HERMIONE.

                                For details of naval activities in the Mediterranean during 1942 see THE BATTLE FOR

                                THE MEDITERRANEAN by D. MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by C. Barnett and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001).

                28th        Operation abandoned after defects discovered in aircraft fuel tanks.

 

March

                6th          Repeated SPOTTER I successfully with same escorts and cover.

                                (Operation SPOTTER II)

                20th        Escorted HMS ARGUS and HMS EAGLE for Malta aircraft delivery with HM Destroyers

                                LAFOREY, DUNCAN, ACTIVE, ANTHONY, WHITEHALL, WISHART, BLANKNEY and

                                EXMOOR.

                                (Note: Cover was provided by Force H major ships as SPOTTER II (Operation PICKET I).

                27th        Repeated PICKET I escort duty with same escorts and cover.

 

April                       Deployed on escort of convoys on UK-Gibraltar route.

                11th        Part of the escort for military convoy WS17B with HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE and HM

                                Destroyers WILD SWAN, EXMOOR and FLOWER Class Corvettes.

                                Nominated for service in Mediterranean.

                                Sailed from Gibraltar

 

May                        On passage to Alexandria via Cape of Good Hope

.                               Transferred to 5th Destroyer Flotilla on arrival.

 

June                        Joined HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, BELVOIR, DERWENT, DULVERTON,

.                               EXMOOR, HAYDON, HOLCOMBE, HURSLEY, HURWORTH, ROCKWOOD and

                                TETCOTT in 5th Flotilla for convoy escort and patrol in Eastern Mediterranean.

                11th        Part of escort of Convoy MW 11 to Malta (Operation VIGOROUS).

                15th        Returned to Alexandria after major air and E-Boat attacks as well as surface threat.

                                (Note: For full details of this ill conceived and disastrous operation see THE BATTLE FOR

                                THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, Naval Staff History and MALTA CONVOYS by R

                                Woodman.).

 

July                         Eastern Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla for anti-submarine patrol and support of

                                Tobruk garrison.

 

August                  Sank U372 in position SW of Haifa (32.28N 34.37E) with SUCH, ZULU, TETCOTT and

                                Wellington aircraft from 221 Squadron RAF.

                                Some of the submarine's crew survived.

                                For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

                27th        Took part in Bombardment of Data in support of military operation.

 

September             Participated with Fleet units, including ships of Flotilla in the failed assault of Tobruk during

                                which HM Cruiser COVENTRY and HM Destroyers SIKH and ZULU were sunk as well as

                                many casualties (Operation AGREEMENT)

                                (For full details see MASSACRE AT TOBRUK by P Smith and Naval Staff History.)

 

October.                 Eastern Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

 

November

                17th        Part of escort for first westbound Malta relief convoys since lifting of siege.

                                (Operation STONEAGE - See above references).

 

December              Deployed with Flotilla for convoy escort and patrol in Eastern Mediterranean.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy defence and patrol duty in Eastern Mediterranean.

to

February

 

March                    Transferred to 22nd Destroyer Flotilla based at Algiers for convoy escort, patrol and support

to                            of military operations in Tunisia.

April                       (Note: HM Destroyers EXMOOR, HURSLEY and Greek THEMISTOCLES were part of this

                                Flotilla and were sister ships.

 

May                        Deployed on blockade of Cape Bon area to intercept craft evacuating enemy troops from Cape

                                Bon area (Operation RETRIBUTION).

 

June                        Convoy defence and patrol in central Mediterranean in continuation.

to                            Escorted military convoys on passage for landings at Salerno.

August                  (Operation AVALANCHE - See Naval Staff History and above references).

 

September             Military convoy escort in continuation.

                14th        Whilst escorting convoy MKS24 in Eastern Mediterranean detached and diverted to

                                Haifa to support military operations in Aegean following the Italian surrender.

                16th        Joined HM Destroyer HURWORTH at Haifa to embark troops of Royal Irish Fusiliers

                                for passage to Leros.

                17th        Landed troops at Leros.

                                Deployed for patrol to intercept craft bring German troops to replace the Italian garrisons in

                                Aegean Islands.

 

October                  Deployed in support of Aegean defence by patrol, supply of stores and personnel

                                and supplementing AA defences.

 

November              Deployed with Flotilla in eastern Mediterranean. for support of Aegean Islands defence.

 

December

                12th        Resumed Flotilla duties after the defence operations ended.

                                (For details of this disastrous fiasco see WAR IN THE AEGEAN by Peter Smith and

                                Edwin Walker, NAVAL OPERATIONS, AEGEAN (London Gazette) and ENGAGE

                                THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

                                Nominated for support of planned allied landings at Anzio.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Passage to Naples.

                21st         Sailed from Naples with Southern Attack Force (US) as part of Task Force 81 with

                                Greek Destroyers THEMISTOCLES and KRITI. deployed as Task Unit 81.6.

                                (Operation SHINGLE - See Naval Staff History, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS.).

                22nd       Provided gunfire support and AA defence during landings at Anzio.

                                Deployed for interception patrol off beach head,

 

February                After release from SHINGLE deployed for convoy escort.

 

March                    Central and western Mediterranean convoy defence and patrol duties with Flotilla

to                            in continuation.

July

 

August                  Nominated for return to UK and transferred to 21st Destroyer Flotilla.

 

September             Passage to Sheerness.

 

October                  Joined Flotilla and deployed on Coastal patrol and convoy defence in North Sea

                                and English Channel.

 

November              Coastal convoy defence and patrol duties in continuation.

to                            (For details of naval activities in 1944 see HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Staith).

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Nominated for service with Eastern Fleet based in Ceylon after refit

to                            Under refit and prepared for foreign service.

February

 

March                    Part of escort for HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carriers VENERABLE, VENGEANCE and

                                COLOSSUS during passage to Mediterranean.

 

April                       Retained in Mediterranean as Reserve for Eastern Fleet.

                                Deployed for convoy escort and patrol duties.

 

May                        After VE Day retained in Mediterranean for Eastern Fleet service if required.

to                            Deployed in Malta for Mediterranean Fleet duties including support of garrisons and

August                  for exercises.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS CROOME returned to UK in October 1945 and paid off into Reserve at Plymouth. The ship reduced to Category C Reserve and transferred to Cardiff in 1954. She was placed on the Disposal List as part of the Defence Review and sold in 1957 to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward.. The ship arrived at the breakerís yard at Briton Ferry under tow on 13th August 1957.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS CROOME

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

 

 

 

 

 

21/07/41

27/07/41

TC 012

27/07/41

29/07/41

19/08/41

20/08/41

OG 072

27/08/41

01/09/41

05/10/41

22/10/41

SL 089

unknown

26/10/41

30/10/41

30/10/41

CT 005

02/11/41

08/11/41

25/10/41

02/11/41

CARGO

04/11/41

04/11/41

06/11/41

24/11/41

SL 092

29/11/41

01/12/41

11/01/42

12/01/42

SL 097G

17/01/42

24/01/42

23/05/42

23/05/42

TA 044/M

25/05/42

25/05/42

11/06/42

11/06/42

MW 011

12/06/42

16/06/42

01/12/42

01/12/42

MW 014

05/12/42

05/12/42

07/12/42

07/12/42

ME 011

09/12/42

11/12/42

06/12/42

09/12/42

MW 015

10/12/42

09/12/42

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

10/01/42

23/01/43

OG 078

24/01/42

24/01/42

21/01/43

24/01/43

MH 003/M

26/01/43

26/01/43

27/01/43

27/01/43

ME 016

28/01/43

01/02/43

08/06/43

14/06/43

GTX 002

unknown

19/06/43

24/06/43

24/06/43

MKS 016

29/06/43

29/06/43

28/07/43

30/07/43

GUS 011

08/08/43

26/08/43

03/08/43

07/08/43

MWF 039

10/08/43

10/08/43

06/08/43

30/08/43

UGS 014

01/09/43

02/09/43

30/08/43

30/08/43

GUS 014

01/09/43

26/09/43

20/09/43

21/09/43

XIF 001

24/09/43

24/09/43

17/09/43

25/09/43

MKF 024

29/09/43

07/10/43

17/10/43

23/10/43

MKF 025

26/10/43

04/11/43

24/10/43

31/10/43

MKS 029

03/11/43

03/11/43

27/10/43

06/11/43

KMF 025A

06/11/43

11/11/43

03/12/43

unknown

XIF 005

unknown

09/12/43

06/12/43

09/12/43

GUS 024

10/12/43

03/01/44

16/12/43

16/12/43

MKF 027

unknown

04/01/44

16/12/43

26/12/43

KMF 027

30/12/43

30/12/43

14/01/44

07/02/44

UGS 030

09/02/44

10/02/44

07/02/44

12/02/44

KMS 040

18/02/44

18/02/44

23/02/44

unknown

IXF 010

unknown

26/02/44

23/03/44

unknown

XIF 012

unknown

28/03/44

28/03/44

28/03/44

SNF 018

31/03/44

31/03/44

13/04/44

30/04/44

UGS 039

01/05/44

09/05/44

05/05/44

13/05/44

KMF 031

19/05/44

19/05/44

22/05/44

23/05/44

XIF 015

28/05/44

28/05/44

28/05/44

unknown

IXF 015

unknown

01/06/44

05/06/44

05/06/44

XIF 016

10/06/44

10/06/44

11/06/44

unknown

IXF 016

unknown

15/06/44

21/06/44

21/06/44

MKF 032

27/06/44

04/07/44

01/07/44

01/07/44

NSF 026

03/07/44

03/07/44

04/07/44

04/07/44

SNF 026

06/07/44

06/07/44

12/07/44

12/07/44

NSF 027

16/07/44

16/07/44

17/07/44

17/07/44

SNF 027

21/07/44

21/07/44

18/07/44

28/07/44

KMF 033

30/07/44

31/07/44

19/08/44

19/08/44

XIF 020

23/08/44

23/08/44

24/08/44

unknown

IXF 020

unknown

28/08/44

03/09/44

03/09/44

MKF 034

10/09/44

14/09/44

24/10/44

unknown

IXF 023

unknown

27/10/44

16/11/44

16/11/44

MKF 036

23/11/44

30/11/44

 

 

 

 

 

 (Note on Convoys)

 

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