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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 LEDBURY (L 90) - Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Farndale, Type II sister-ship   (Navy Photos/George Knight, click to enlarge)

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Type II HUNT Class Escort Destroyer ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston under the 1939 War Emergency Programme on 5th September 1939. The ship was laid down as Job No 6606on 24th January 1940 and was launched on 27th September 1941. She was the first RN warship to carry the name and following a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during December 1941 was  adopted by the civil community of Ledbury, then in Worcestershire. Her completion date was delayed by repair of damage to shipyard facilities in air raids on Southampton until 11th February 1942.

 

B a t t l e     H o n o u r s

MALTA  CONVOYS 1942 - ARCTIC 1942-43 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - ADRIATIC  1944 - AEGEAN 1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

On a Field per fess wavy and red. seal erect in front of two hunting horns in saltire White.

 

 

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

                27th        Commissioned.

 

February                Contractors sea trials

                                Vibration in turbines investigated and clearances increased.

                11th        Accepted into service.

                                On completion worked up with 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

 

March

                1st           Deployed as screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF York, HM

                                Battlecruiser RENOWN and HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers BERWICK

                                and KENYA with 19 other destroyers to provide Distant Cover for passage of Russian Convoy

                                PQ12 and returning Convoy QP8.

                                For details of all Russian Convoys including names of mercantiles and warship escorts

                                see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield,

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp and RUSSIAN CONVOYS by R Woodman.

                15th        Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during lay of section of the Northern Barrage

                                covered by HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS (Operation SN81).

                                (For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History (MINING)).

                20th        Deployed with screen for Home Fleet ships providing Distant Cover for passage

                                of Russian Convoy PQ13 and returning Convoy QP9

 

April

                8th          Deployed as screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK. HMS

                                RENOWN, HM Cruisers EDINBURGH and KENT with 15 other destroyers to give

                                Distant Cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ14 and returning Convoy QP10.

                26th        Escorted RFA Oiler GRAY RANGER for part of passage to Iceland prior to use by

                                destroyers escorting Russian Convoy PQ15. Returned to Lerwick on completion.

 

May

                23rd        Deployed as Force Q for escort of RFA Oiler BLACK RANGER from Iceland after

                                completion of refuelling for destroyers escorting Russian Convoy PQ16.

 

June

                30th        Joined Russian Convoy PQ17 with HM Destroyers FURY, KEPPEL, LEAMINGTON,

                                OFFA and WILTON for Ocean Escort.

 

July

                4th          After convoy was scattered by Admiralty order prepared for engagement with the

                                German warships believed to be intent on attacking the merchant ships.

                                (For full details of this misconceived instruction and the fate of ships which

                                dispersed see above references).

                                On return to Scapa Flow nominated for escort of Malta relief convoy (WS21S).

 

August

                2nd         Convoy sailed from Clyde and joined Ocean Escort with Home Fleet ships..

                9th          Deployed with HM Destroyers ASHANTI, BRAMHAM, FURY, ICARUS, INTREPID,

                                PATHFINDER, PENN, WESTCOTT, WRESTLER and VIDETTE as screen for HM

                                Cruisers NIGERIA, KENYA, MANCHESTER and CAIRO as Force X, the Close Escort

                                for WS21S throughout passage to Malta (Operation PEDESTAL).

                                (For full details of this dramatic operation see PEDESTAL by P Smith, THE BATTLE

                                FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN BY D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by C. Barnett and MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.

                13th        Rescued survivors from mv WAIMARAMA. Assisted damaged OHIO to enter harbour.

                15th        In Malta

                19th        Took passage to Gibraltar.

                23rd        Passage from Gibraltar to resume Home Fleet service.

 

September             Under repair in Grimsby.

 

October                  On completion rejoined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                18th        Escorted ships 1st Minelaying Squadron during lay of section of Northern Mine

                                Barrage (Operation SN3E).

 

November              Passage to join Returning Russian Convoy QP15 with HM Destroyer MIDDLETON.

                22nd       Joined Ocean Escort for QP15.

                30th        Detached from QP15 and resumed Home Fleet duties.

 

December

                15th        Deployed as Western Local Escort for Russian Convoy JW51B with HM Destroyers

                                BLANKNEY and CHIDDINGFOLD.

                18th        Detached from escort when 66th Northern Parallel was reached and resumed Home

                                Fleet duties.

                22nd       Repeated duty as Western Local Escort for Convoy JW51B with same ships.

                25th        Detached from JW51B.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January

                9th          Joined returning Russian Convoy RA51 with HMS BLANKNEY as Western Local Escort.

                10th        Detached from RA51.

                13th        Carried out joint exercise with HM Destroyers WALPOLE and EASTON at Scapa Flow.

                17th        Repeated Western Local Escort for outward Russian Convoy JW52 with HM Destroyers

                                BLANKNEY and MIDDLETON.

                21st         Detached from JW52.

 

February                Deployed with Hone Fleet as escort for UK-Iceland convoys.

 

March

                9th          Joined return convoy RA53 with HM Destroyers VIVACIOUS, MEYNELL and PYTCHLEY

                                as Western Local Escort.

                10th        Detached from RA53-

                                Nominated for service in Mediterranean and taken in hand for refit at Sheerness.

 

April                       Under refit and prepared for foreign service.

 

May

                25th        Passage to Gibraltar to join Destroyer Division 57 on completion of trials.

 

June                        Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)

                21st         Joined joint outward Convoy WS31/KMF17 as part of Ocean Escort during passage in

                                Atlantic with HM Cruiser UGANDA and Home Fleet destroyers.

                26th        Remained with Convoy KMS17 when WS31 detached for passage to Freetown.

 

July                         Transferred to Destroyer Division 58 in continuation of escort duties.

                5th          Sailed as escort for military convoy KMS8 from Gibraltar as part of Escort Group S.

                9th          Arrived at Bark West beachhead with Convoy SBF1.

                10th        Joined Support Force East for escort, gunfire support and patrol during landings

                                of XXX Corps SW of Syracuse (Operation HUSKY).

                                (For details of HUSKY operation see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and the

                                Naval Staff History).

 

August                  On release from HUSKY continued escort duty in Mediterranean.

                                Nominated for support of allied landings at Salerno.

 

September             Transferred to Destroyer Division 59.

                                Joined Northern Attack Force (TF85) for Salerno landings (Operation AVALANCHE)

                8th          Sailed from Palermo as part of escort for Assault Convoy TSF1X.

                9th          Arrived at beachhead and deployed for naval gunfire support during landings.

                                On release deployed on patrol and convoy escort during landing operations.

                                (For details of AVALANCHE operation see above references).

 

October                  Patrol and escort duty in Central Mediterranean and Adriatic.

to                            See THE LAST DESTROYER by FA Mason for details of this type of deployment.

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed in Adriatic for convoy defence, patrol and support of operations by the

                                partisan forces.

                15th        Bombarded Durrazzo, Albania with HM Destroyer BLACKMORE.

 

February                Adriatic support and Mediterranean convoy defence duties in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Transferred to British Aegean Force for support of military during re-occupation

                                of islands and Greek mainland. Part of escort for convoys to Piraeus for landings.

                                (Operation MANNA)

                                (Note: Further information is available in Military Staff History.)

 

November              Support of military operations and convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Mediterranean and Adriatic convoy defence and support duties in continuation.

to

April

 

May                        Passage to UK.

                                Nominated for refit at Gibraltar prior to further service.

 

June                        Passage to Gibraltar.

 

July                         Under refit by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.

to

August

 

Special Note

 

Donald Kindell, Ohio USA provided details of WS series military convoys from an unpublished Source. This is gratefully acknowledged.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS LEDBURY returned to UK in January 1946 on completion of refit and Paid-off before being reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth during March. The ship remained in Reserve at Portsmouth until 1958 when placed on the Disposal List. She was sold to BISCO for breaking up by Shipbreaking Industries at Charlestown, near Rosyth and arrived in tow at the breakerís yard in May that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LEDBURY

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

 

 

 

 

 

01/03/42

10/03/42

PQ 012

10/03/42

12/03/42

10/03/42

22/03/42

PQ 013

24/03/42

31/03/42

21/03/42

22/03/42

QP 009

28/03/42

03/04/42

26/03/42

12/04/42

PQ 014

18/04/42

19/04/42

10/04/42

12/04/42

QP 010

18/04/42

21/04/42

10/04/42

26/04/42

PQ 015

27/05/42

05/05/42

21/05/42

23/05/42

PQ 016

30/05/42

30/05/42

27/06/42

30/06/42

PQ 017

04/07/42

04/07/42

17/11/42

22/11/42

QP 015

30/11/42

30/11/42

15/12/42

15/12/42

JW 051A

18/12/42

25/12/42

22/12/42

22/12/42

JW 051B

30/12/42

04/01/43

30/12/42

06/01/43

RA 051

10/01/43

11/01/43

17/01/43

17/01/43

JW 052

21/01/43

27/01/43

01/03/43

09/03/43

RA 053

10/03/43

14/03/43

18/06/43

26/06/43

KMF 017

27/06/43

27/06/43

30/06/43

02/07/43

KMS 017

07/07/43

06/07/43

28/06/43

07/07/43

KMF 018

unknown

11/07/43

10/07/43

12/07/43

MKF 018

17/07/43

23/07/43

24/04/44

24/04/44

VN 035

25/04/44

25/04/44

02/05/44

02/05/44

VN 037

03/05/44

03/05/44

05/05/44

13/05/44

KMF 031

19/05/44

19/05/44

22/05/44

23/05/44

XIF 015

26/05/44

28/05/44

12/07/44

13/07/44

XIF 018

18/07/44

18/07/44

28/05/44

unknown

IXF 015

unknown

01/06/44

17/07/44

17/07/44

SNF 027

21/07/44

21/07/44

18/07/44

28/07/44

KMF 033

20/07/44

31/07/44

28/07/44

unknown

XIF 019

unknown

03/08/44

07/08/44

07/08/44

XIF 019A

12/08/44

12/08/44

11/08/44

11/08/44

IXF 019

15/08/44

15/08/44

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

07/09/44

14/09/44

08/09/44

08/09/44

TSF 001X

09/09/44

09/09/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 13/8/11
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