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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 LIDDLESDALE (L 100) - Type I, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Liddesdale (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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Type I HUNT Class Escort Destroyer (but see Addendum) built by Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle under the 1939 War Emergency Programme and ordered with 17 other ships of this Class on 4th September 1939. The ship was laid down on 22nd November 1939 as Job No J4136 and was the first RN warship to bear the name. that of a Scottish fox-hunt. She was launched on 19th August 1940 and build was completed on 3rd March 1941. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Nelson, Lancashire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

NORTH SEA 1941-43 - NORTH AFRICA 1942 - ATLANTIC 1943 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - SOUTH FRANCE 1944 - AEGEAN 1944  - MEDITERRANEAN 1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue in front of a candle White inflamed Gold.

two spears in saltire, suspended therefrom a bugle horn

stringed also Gold, the whole enfiled with a mural crown also 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 1

 

February                Contractors trials.

 

March                    Commissioned for service

                3rd          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                Passage to Scapa Flow to work-up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet on

                                completion of trials and storing.

 

April                       On completion of work-up joined Rosyth Escort Force for convoy defence in North Sea and

                                NW Approaches.

                                (Note: Fire control radar Type 285 was fitted for use with main armament.

                                For details of development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).

 

May                        Deployed with Rosyth Escort Force for convoy escort and patrol duties.

to                            (Note: Ships were deployed also for anti-invasion patrol during this period.)

December

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Escort and patrol in continuation.

to                            (Note: Fitted with 2pdr pom-pom mounting in bows for close range defence against E-Boat

March                    attacks. This was a common fit in many East Coast convoy escorts.

 

April                       Detached for Local Escort of military convoy

                15th        Joined HM Destroyers BADSWORTH, LANCASTER, GEORGETOWN, ST MARY'S,

                                BOADICEA, VOLUNTEER and SALISBURY in Clyde as Local Escort for military Convoy

                                WS18 during passage in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: This convoy was destined for Egypt and Bombay with troops.)

                19th        Detached from WS18 with HM Destroyers BADSWORTH, GEORGETOWN, LANCASTER

                                and ST MARY'S.

                                Resumed duties at Rosyth.

 

May                        Rosyth escort and patrol duties in continuation.

to

July

 

August                  Sustained minor damage by collision with Jetty at Rosyth.

 

July                         (Note: Some sources suggest the period with Rosyth Escort Force her availability was

                                restricted by periods under repair.

 

September             North Sea duties in continuation.

 

October                  Detached for service in support of allied landings in North Africa.

                                Escorted military convoy to Gibraltar prior to planned allied landings. in North Africa

                                (Operation TORCH - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett,

                                Naval Staff History and for information on all ships involved BRITISH INVASION FLEETS.).

                                (Note: Did not join Eastern Task Force for support of TORCH).

 

November              Passage to UK from Gibraltar

                                Resumed escort and patrol duties at Rosyth.

 

December              East Coast convoy defence duties in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy defence in North Sea in continuation.

to

March                    Nominated for transfer to Gibraltar

                                Prepared for foreign service in Mediterranean.

 

April                       Passage to join military convoy in Clyde as escort during passage to Gibraltar,

                16th        Joined HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE, HM Destroyers VENOMOUS, RAPID, HM Sloops

                                WELLINGTON, WESTON, HM Cutters GORLESTON, TOTLAND, HM Frigates EXE,

                                and NESS as escort for Convoy WS29.

                20th        Detached from WS29 with escorts on passage to Gibraltar.

                                (Note: HMS NEWCASTLE and HMS RAPID remained with WS18 as escort for passage to

                                Freetown)

                                Joined Destroyer Division 56 at Gibraltar for convoy escort and patrol based at Gibraltar.

 

May                        Deployed at Gibraltar for convoy defence.

 

June                        Nominated for duty with Support Force East in support of planned allied landings in Sicily.

                                (Operation HUSKY - For details see above references)

                                Escorted military convoys during preparatory phase.

 

July                         Deployed with Escort Group T as part of Support Force East and took passage to Bizerta

                                (Note: Major warships of Support Force included HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND,

                                UGANDA,  ORION and MAURITIUS with AA Cruisers HMS CARLISLE and HMS

                                COLOMBO.

                7th          Sailed from Bizerta as part of escort for Assault Convoy KMS18.

                8th          Detached from KMS18 to refuel and rejoined convoy on completion.

                9th          Detached and took passage to Tunis before arrival at Beach Head.

                10th        Deployed for support and convoy escort during HUSKY landings

                                (Note: Provided naval gunfire support and carried out defensive patrols.

 

August                  Resumed convoy defence and anti-submarine patrol with Division.

                                Nominated for support of allied landings on Italian mainland

                                (Operation AVALANCHE for details see above references.)

 

September             Transferred to 46th Escort Group at Algiers.

                                Joined HM Escort Destroyers CLEVELAND, HOLCOMBE, ATHERSTONE, FARNDALE,

                                CALPE, HAYDON, Polish HUNT Class ORP KRAKOWIAK (EX SILVERTON) and ORP

                                SLAZAK

                                (Ex BEDALE) in Support Carrier Force (Task Force 88) for escort duties.

                9th          Deployed with destroyer screen for HM Cruisers EURYALUS, SCYLLA, CHARYBDIS, HM

                                Escort Carriers BATTLER, ATTACKER, HUNTER, STALKER and Light Fleet Carrier HMS

                                UNICORN during provision of cover during assault landings at Salerno.

 

October                  On release from Task Force 88 resumed convoy defence and patrol duty with Group.

 

November              Transferred to Malta and deployed with HM Escort Destroyers ATHERSTONE, CALPE,

                                CATTERICK, CLEVELAND, HAYDON, FARNDALE, ORP SLAZAK and ORP KRAKOWIAK

                                for convoy defence and support of military operations in central Mediterranean, central

                                Mediterranean.

 

December              Convoy defence, support and patrol based in Malta in continuation,

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Convoy defence and patrol based in Malta in continuation.

to

April

 

May                        Deployed for convoy defence and patrol in central Mediterranean.

                20th        Despatched with H M Destroyers TENACIOUS and TERMAGANT to assist in search for

                                submarine NW of Cape Spartivento which had attacked Convoy HA43.

                                (Note: Convoy was being escorted by three Italian co-belligerent ships.)

                                On arrival submarine was detected and attacks by depth charges were made.

                                Contact maintained after nightfall

                21st         U453 surfaced and was sunk by gunfire of the three RN ships in position 38.13N 16.36E.

                                50 of the submarine crew survived 34 of whom were taken by the ship to Palermo.

                                For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

 

June                        Deployment in defence of Mediterranean convoys in continuation based in Malta.

to

July

 

August                  Nominated for support of allied landings in South France (Operation DRAGOON).

                                (See above references.)

                                Passage to Naples to join DRAGOON which was under US Navy overall command.

                                Joined US Minesweepers SWAY and SYMBOL for escort for Convoy SM1A to DELTA area.

                12th        Sailed from Naples with Convoys SM1, SM1A and SM1B.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised US HQ Ship USS BISCAYNE, British Landing Ship ENNERDALE

                                US Tugs NARRAGANSETT and PINTO, British LST 13 (Converted for use as a Fighter

                                Direction Tender, British Tanker EMPIRE FAY and 23 Landing Ships (Tank).

                                Escort also included 5 Minesweepers, 4 US Navy Patrol Craft and a US Navy ATA.

                14th        Arrived in Approach area AM

 

September             Returned to RN control after release from DRAGOON escort duties.

                                Transferred to British Aegean Force based at Alexandria.

                24th        Deployed with HM Escort Destroyers BRECON, CALPE, CATTERICK, CLEVELAND,

                                ZETLAND, Greek PINDOS, KANARIS and MIAOULIS for support of re-occupation of islands

                                and Greek mainland.

                                (Note: Other major warships in Force included HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX, ROYALIST,

                                BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT, AURORA and COLOMBO with Fleet destroyers of the 24th

                                Flotilla.

                                Air cover was provided by HM Escort Carriers HUNTER, STALKER, EMPEROR,

                                ATTACKER, SEARCHER, PURSUER and KHEDIVE).

                                Provided naval gunfire support and carried out offensive patrols in Aegean for interception

                                of craft evacuating enemy troops to mainland.

                28th        Deployed with HM Escort Destroyers BRECON and ZETLAND in attack on shipping at

                                Scarpanto.

                                Under fire from shore batteries in Pegadia Bay, Scarpanto and hit by three shells.

                                Sustained structural damage.

                                Passage to Malta

 

October                  Under repair in HM Dockyard Malta.

                15th        Took passage to resume duties in eastern Mediterranean.

 

November              Aegean and Greek coast operations in continuation

                                (Operation MANNA - For details see MILITARY HISTORY OF WAR IN THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN (HMSO).)

 

December              Transferred to 22nd Destroyer Flotilla based in Malta.

                                Joined HM Escort Destroyers EXMOOR, CATTERICK, LEDBURY, TETCOTT,       

                                CHIDDINGFOLD and WHEATLAND for convoy defence, support and patrol duties.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Mediterranean convoy defence and support of military operations in continuation.

to

February

 

March

                2nd         Deployed for support of landings at Piskopi  (Tilos) in Aegean.

 

April                       Flotilla duties in continuation.

 

May                        Deployed for Mediterranean Fleet duties with Flotilla after VE Day

                                (Note:  Guardships were provide to support re-occupation and exercises carried out for work-

                                up of warships on passage join East Indies and British Pacific Fleets.)

 

June                        Deployed with Flotilla for Fleet duties.

 

July                         Transferred to 3rd Destroyer Flotilla based in Malta.

 

August                  Retained in Mediterranean after VJ Day.

 

P o s t   W a r  N o t e s

 

HMS LIDDESDALE continued deployment with Flotilla on Fleet duties including support of occupying allied forces in Trieste and patrols to intercept illegal immigrant traffic to Palestine until being nominated for Reserve status in UK. She Paid-off at Chatham, reduced to Reserve status and entered the Reserve Fleet at Chatham on 11th December 1945.The ship was transferred the Reserve Fleet at Harwich in 194? and the next year was placed on the Disposal List. In 1948 due to the poor condition of her hull she was placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO on 1st October for demolition by J J King later that month the ship was towed to the breakerís yard at Gateshead .

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LIDDESDALE

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

 

 

 

 

 

04/12/41

04/12/41

EN 015

05/12/41

07/12/41

17/05/42

18/05/42

WN 284

19/05/42

19/05/42

14/02/43

22/02/43

OS 043

23/02/43

04/03/43

26/02/43

26/02/43

TE 016

27/02/43

01/03/43

06/03/43

06/03/43

ET 013

09/03/43

09/03/43

10/03/43

10/03/43

TE 018

12/03/43

12/03/43

13/03/43

13/03/43

ET 014

unknown

17/03/43

18/03/43

18/03/43

ET 015

22/03/43

22/03/43

14/03/43

24/03/43

KMS 011G

28/03/43

28/03/43

23/03/44

unknown

XIF 012

unknown

28/03/44

01/04/43

01/04/43

TE 020

04/04/43

04/04/43

04/04/43

04/04/43

ET 017

09/04/43

09/04/43

02/04/43

11/04/43

UGF 007

13/04/43

12/04/43

18/04/43

18/04/43

GUF 007

20/04/43

30/04/43

17/05/43

17/05/43

KMS 014X

22/05/43

26/05/43

28/04/43

18/05/43

UGS 008

21/05/43

21/05/43

17/05/43

18/05/43

KMS 014

21/05/43

21/05/43

21/06/43

21/06/43

GTX 003

24/06/43

04/07/43

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

23/07/43

23/07/43

GTX 004

29/07/43

03/08/43

09/08/43

11/08/43

KMS 022

20/08/43

20/08/43

25/08/43

25/08/43

MKS 023

04/09/43

03/09/43

15/12/43

15/12/43

VN 012

16/12/43

16/12/44

27/12/43

27/12/43

VN 014

28/12/43

28/12/43

17/01/44

17/01/44

VN 016

18/01/44

18/01/44

28/01/44

28/01/44

VN 018

29/01/44

29/01/44

28/03/44

30/03/44

SNF 018

31/03/44

31/03/44

29/03/44

07/04/44

KMF 030

07/04/44

12/04/44

12/08/44

12/08/44

SM 001B

14/08/44

14/08/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


(Editors Notes:

 

1. HMS BLENCATHRA, BROCKLESBY and LIDDESDALE are usually found grouped together. BLENCATHRA was listed as a Type I by Lt Cdr Mason, and the other two as Type II's, but have since been changed to Type I's.

 

2. "Conways All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-46" lists the three as Type I; Lenton's "British and Empire Warships of the Second World War" includes them in the Type I section but prefaces their names with Type II, and then lists their details under Type II!)

 


HMS BLENCATHRA, BROCKLESBY and LIDDESDALE - "ONE-OFF" TYPE II HUNTs?

by Jon Summers

 

Blencathra (Cammel Laird), Brocklesby (Cammel Laird) and Liddesdale (VA, Tyne) were all Type II Hunts, and were among the earlier builds, so the "two mount" layout in these ships is possibly either a "left over" from the Type I layout or the result of supply problems - one of the three mounts intended to be fitted on the Type I in the original Admiralty design was removed by the time the Type I's entered service, due to stability problems. The "beamier" hull of the Type II was no doubt part of the response to this problem. After the bulk of the Type II's had been completed with three 4in mounts, the Type III Hunts then returned to a "two mount" layout, but this is rather later, so is presumably a separate development (to enable them to carry a pair of torpedo tubes, not fitted in the earlier Types).

 

As for BLENCATHRA:

Hull dimensions were those of the slightly beamier Type II:

(Type I, 264.25 (pp), 280 (oa) x 29 x 7.75')

(Type II, 264.25 (pp), 282.5 (oa) x 31.5 x 7.75')

 

However, she is listed as having the Type I main armament:

(Type I, 2 x twin 4"; Type II, 3 x twin 4").

 

The lack of a third turret reduced her standard displacement to 1,000 tons

(Type I, 907 tons; Type II, 1,050 tons)

 

and also reduced standard complement to 146

(Type I, 146; Type II, 168)

 

(above data from Lenton & Colledge, "Warships of World War II")

 

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