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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 KRAKOWIAK (L 115), ex-HMS SILVERTON - Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

ORP Krakowiak (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Type II HUNT Class Escort Destroyer ordered from J S White, Cowes IoW under 1939 War Emergency Programme on 4th September 1939. She was laid down on 5th December 1939 as Job No J6583 and was launched on 4th December 1940 as HMS SILVERTON and was the first RN warship to carry the name, that of a fox-hunt in Devonshire. The ship was transferred  to Poland with sister ship HMS OAKLEY (i) renamed ORP KUJAWIAK This ship commissioned for Polish naval service as ORP KRAKOWIAK on 3rd April 1941 in place of the Free French destroyer OURAGAN manned by Poles. Build was completed on 28th May 1941.

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

(As HMS  SILVERTON)

Badge: On a Field White, on a pomme a hunting horn erect gold

thereon two spurs linked rowels uppermost White.

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 1 9 4 1

 

April

 

Transferred to Poland and renamed. Allocated for service with 15th Destroyer Flotilla.

 

May

 

Contractor's trials.

 

28th - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trial

 

June

 

Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of trials and storing. Worked-up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet at Scapa Flow

 

July

 

Joined 15th Destroyer Flotilla at Plymouth and deployed for convoy defence and patrol duties in SW Approaches and Irish Sea.

 

August to September

 

Flotilla duties in continuation.

 

October

 

26th - Escorted HM Cruiser TRINIDAD for passage to Clyde for acceptance trials after completion of build in HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

November

 

Convoy defence based at Plymouth in continuation.

 

December

 

Transferred to Home Fleet for temporary duty.

 

22nd - Deployed as part of escort for Landing Ships taking Commando troops for raids on Lofoten Islands (Operation ANKLET and ARCHERY- See THE WATERY MAZE by B Fergusson).

 

 

1 9 4 2

 

January to May

 

Resumed convoy defence and patrol duties based at Devonport. Reinforced escorts in Western Approaches Command for UK - Gibraltar convoys. (For details of Atlantic convoy defence see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre).

 

June

 

17th - Deployed with HM Destroyers WILD SWAN, BEAGLE and HM Frigate SPEY to support Convoy HG 84 in SW Approaches. Came under heavy air attacks during which HMS WILD SWAN was sunk. (See HMS WILD SWAN by P Smith).

 

July to September

 

Deployed on convoy defence and offensive patrols in SW Approaches and in French coastal waters against shipping (Operation TUNNEL Series - See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett.)

 

October

 

13th - Joined HM Destroyers BROCKLESBY, FERNIE and TYNEDALE and formed Force B for interception of German supply ship and commerce raider KOMET known to be making an attempt to pass into the Atlantic from Germany. Following the interception of KOMET by other destroyers of Force A, engaged E-Boats which had been used as her escort (For details see BATTLE OF THE NARROW SEAS by Peter Scott).

 

November to December

 

Convoy defence and interception duties in English Channel in continuation. Included engagement with Light Coastal Forces MTB's against coastal convoy near Douvres.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January to February

 

Channel convoy defence and patrol duties in continuation.

 

March

 

5th - In action against E-Boats in defence of convoy off Start Point and drove them off.

 

April to May

 

Flotilla duties in continuation. Nominated for service in Mediterranean with 60th Destroyer Division based at Gibraltar.

 

June

 

Passage to join Gibraltar Escort Force for defence of convoys in the Atlantic and western Mediterranean. On arrival at Gibraltar joined 60th Division of Allied Naval Command for local escort of convoys in Atlantic and western Mediterranean.

 

July

 

Nominated for service Support Force East during planned allied landings in Sicily of British 1st Airborne Division SW as part of Escort Group S. (Operation HUSKY For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, Naval. Staff History and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser for information about all ships taking part.)

 

Passage to Algiers.

 

5th - Sailed from Algiers as part of escort for military convoy KMS18.

 

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

 

10th - Detached from KMS18 on arrival at BARK WEST Beach Head and provided naval gunfire support during initial landing in Sicily. Carried out patrols to intercept enemy craft attempting to interfere with landings and for Follow-up convoy escort.

 

August

 

HUSKY support in continuation.

 

September

 

Joined 48th Escort Group based in Malta for support of planned allied landings in Bay of Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE - See above references).

 

9th to 16th - Deployed as part of screen for Support Carrier Task Force (TF88) during provision of cover to by air operations by carrier aircraft. (Note: TG88 consisting of HM Escort Carriers BATTLER, ATTACKER, HUNTER and STALKER screened by destroyers from HUNT Flotilla in Malta.)

 

October

 

Transferred to Alexandria for support of military operations in defence of the Aegean Islands. Deployed on offensive patrols to intercept German craft carrying troops to replace Italian garrisons. Under heavy air attacks and without consistent air cover. For details see WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith and E Walker).

 

27th - Escorted HM Cruiser AURORA for passage to Aegean.

 

November

 

Support of military operations in Aegean islands in continuation.

 

10th - Carried out search and inspection of west coast of Kalymnos with HM Destroyers PETARD and ROCKWOOD. On completion bombarded the harbour at Kalymnos. During return passage under air attack by glider bombs.

 

11th - After HMS ROCKWOOD was hit by weapon which failed to explode provided cover for tow to Turkish waters by HMS PETARD.

 

15th - Embarked ammunition and stores at Famagusta, Cyprus for transit to Leros but recalled on passage when island surrendered.

 

29th - Escorted HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM during passage to Alexandria after being hit by torpedo off Cyrenaica.

 

December

 

Deployed for convoy escort and patrol based in Malta.

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January to March

 

Central Mediterranean convoy defence and patrol in continuation based in Malta. Nominated for return to UK for support of planned allied landings in Normandy. (Operation NEPTUNE)

 

April

 

Passage to UK.

 

May

 

Nominated for duty in Force G of Eastern Task Force. Took part in preparatory exercises for NEPTUNE. (For details see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and D DAY SHIPS by J de Winser for information about all ships taking part.)

 

June

 

Deployed with HM Destroyer CATTISTOCK in Solent for escort of Convoy G1 to the assault area.

 

4th - Departure delayed 24 hours.

 

5th - Escorted G1 convoy with HMS CATTISTOCK, four Motor Launches and MTB's of the 55th Flotilla. (Note: Convoy G1 comprised 6th Minesweeping Flotilla, four Danlayers and other minesweepers.)

 

6th - After arrival in Assault area deployed for gunfire support for landings on GOLD Beach.

 

7th - Deployed for patrol off beaches to prevent submarines or surface craft attack.

 

10th - During patrol with HM Destroyers URSA and GLAISDALE off Le Havre intercepted and drove off attacks by German torpedo boats T28, JAGUAR and MOWE.

 

11th - Continued patrol and convoy defence role in support of invasion operations,
 to 26th

 

27th - Retained in Channel area for convoy defence. patrol and support of military operations.

 

July

 

Channel deployment in continuation.

 

August to December

 

Transferred to 16th Destroyer Flotilla based in Harwich for North Sea convoy defence and interception patrol (Note: Extensive minelaying by surface craft, submersibles and U-Boats were in progress. Schnorkel-fitted submarines and E-Boats were also active to attack mercantile traffic and escorts. See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.)

 

 

1 9 4 5

 

January to February

 

Convoy defence and patrol. (Note: Enemy mining and increased threat of German torpedo craft especially in Thames area were continuing. Atlantic convoys to East Coast ports had been diverted through Channel since air attacks were no longer possible from French bases. (See HOLD THE NARROW SEA).)

 

March

 

22nd - Drove off German minelaying E-Boats during lay of mines on convoy route between Thames and Dutch coast.

 

April

 

Deployed defence role in North Sea and Channel.

 

May to June

 

Remained with Home Fleet after VE Day and Polish manning continued. (Note: Ship was not intended for deployment in Far East.)

 

Deployed in support of military re-occupation of German territory.

 

July

 

23rd - Loan to Poland terminated and ship Paid-off at Harwich. Reduced to Reserve status

 

August

 

Laid-up in Reserve at Harwich.

 

25th - Reverted to Royal Navy as HMS SILVERTON.

 

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS SILVERTON remained in Reserve, initially at Harwich and was later transferred to Sheerness. During 1953 she was prepared for attendance at the Coronation Review after which she was kept in the Chatham Division, Reserve Fleet until 1958., Placed on the Disposal List the ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward at Grays, Essex on 3rd March that year, She arrived at the breaker's yard a year later and her scrap value realised 17,400.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of ORP KRAKOWIAK

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

 

 

 

 

 

05/10/41

23/10/41

SL 089

24/10/41

26/10/41

02/04/42

02/04/42

PW 135

04/04/42

04/04/42

12/04/42

12/04/42

WP 140

14/04/42

14/04/42

13/04/42

14/04/42

PW 140

15/04/42

15/04/42

16/04/42

16/04/42

WP 142

18/04/42

18/04/42

19/04/42

19/04/42

PW 143

21/04/42

21/04/42

27/04/42

27/04/42

PW 147

29/04/42

29/04/42

29/04/42

29/04/42

PW 148

01/05/42

01/05/42

03/05/42

03/05/42

PW 150

05/05/42

05/05/42

05/05/42

05/05/42

PW 151

07/05/42

07/05/42

06/05/42

06/05/42

WP 152

08/05/42

08/05/42

09/05/42

09/05/42

PW 153

11/05/42

11/05/42

13/05/42

13/05/42

PW 155

15/05/42

15/05/42

03/06/42

03/06/42

WP 166

05/06/42

05/06/42

10/06/42

10/06/42

PW 169

12/06/42

12/06/42

13/06/42

13/06/42

WP 171

15/06/42

15/06/42

09/06/42

16/06/42

HG 084

19/06/42

20/06/42

16/06/42

16/06/42

PW 172

18/06/42

18/06/42

23/06/42

23/06/42

WP 176

25/06/42

25/06/42

30/06/42

01/07/42

PW 179

02/07/42

02/07/42

03/07/42

03/07/42

WP 181

05/07/42

05/07/42

06/07/42

06/07/42

PW 182

08/07/42

08/07/42

20/07/42

20/07/42

PW 189

22/07/42

22/07/42

23/07/42

23/07/42

WP 191

24/07/42

25/07/42

28/07/42

29/07/42

PW 193

30/07/42

30/07/42

03/10/42

05/10/42

PW 227

07/10/42

07/10/42

08/10/42

08/10/42

WP 230

11/10/42

11/10/42

09/10/42

10/10/42

PW 230

12/10/42

12/10/42

18/10/42

18/10/42

WP 235

21/10/42

21/10/42

19/10/42

19/10/42

PW 235

22/10/42

22/10/42

04/11/42

04/11/42

PW 243

07/11/42

07/11/42

12/11/42

12/11/42

PW 247

14/11/42

14/11/42

15/11/42

15/11/42

WP 249

17/11/42

17/11/42

21/11/42

22/11/42

WP 252

23/11/42

23/11/42

24/11/42

24/11/42

PW 253

26/11/42

26/11/42

30/11/42

30/11/42

KX 007

08/12/42

08/12/4

06/12/42

13/12/42

MKS 003Y

23/12/42

23/12/42

24/12/42

25/12/42

PW 268

26/12/42

26/12/42

27/12/42

27/12/42

WP 270

29/12/42

29/12/42

28/12/42

28/12/42

PW 270

30/12/42

30/12/42

31/12/42

31/12/42

WP 272

01/01/43

02/01/43

04/02/43

04/02/43

PW 289

05/02/43

06/02/43

08/02/43

12/02/43

KMF 009

16/02/43

16/02/43

17/02/43

17/02/43

MKF 009

19/02/43

24/02/43

03/03/43

04/03/43

WP 303

05/03/43

05/03/43

05/03/43

06/03/43

WP 304

07/03/43

07/03/43

15/03/43

15/03/43

KMF 011

23/03/43

23/03/43

25/03/43

26/03/43

MKF 011

01/04/43

05/04/43

05/04/43

05/04/43

MKF 011A

12/04/43

12/04/43

06/05/43

06/05/43

WP 335

08/05/43

08/05/43

15/05/43

15/05/43

PW 339

16/05/43

16/05/43

26/05/43

26/05/43

WP 345

28/05/43

28/05/43

31/05/43

31/05/43

PW 347

02/06/43

02/06/43

03/06/43

03/06/43

WP 349

05/06/43

05/06/43

06/06/43

06/06/43

PW 350

07/06/43

08/06/43

12/06/43

12/06/43

PW 353

14/06/43

14/06/43

24/06/43

05/07/43

KMS 018B

10/07/43

10/07/43

10/07/43

10/07/43

MKF 018

17/07/43

23/07/43

14/07/43

14/07/43

KMF 019Y

unknown

unknown

20/07/43

20/07/43

MKF 019Y

23/07/43

23/07/43

14/07/43

21/07/43

MKF 019

23/07/43

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

16/12/43

18/12/43

MKF 027

20/12/43

04/01/44

12/01/44

12/01/44

SNF 012

16/01/44

16/01/44

15/01/44

26/01/44

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

02/03/44

02/03/44

MKF 029

09/03/44

16/03/44

11/03/44

13/03/44

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

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 5/6/11
further editing  is required