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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 STEVENSTONE (L 16) - Type III, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Stevenstone (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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Type III HUNT Class Escort Destroyer ordered on 23rd August 1940 from J. S. White of Cowes under the 1940 War Emergency Programme and laid down on 2nd September 1941 as Job No J6056. The ship was launched on 23rd November 1942 as the first RN warship to carry the name, that of a Devonshire fox-hunt. In December 1942 it was proposed that she be transferred to the Free French navy but this was cancelled early the next year. She was adopted by the civil community of Barnstaple, Devonshire following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942. After completion on 18th March 1943 she entered RN service.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ENGLISH CHANNEL 1943-44 - NORTH SEA 1944 - NORMANDY 1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field per fess wavy Blue and White a cubit arm

vested blue charged with a fesse indented and double

cotised Gold, the hand proper grasping a horn also 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

 

December              Proposal made to transfer to Free French Navy.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Transfer arrangements cancelled.

 

February                Fitting out and build in continuation.

 

March                    Contractors trials and commissioned for service with 1st Destroyer Flotilla

                18th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                Passage to work-up on completion of trials and storing.

 

April                       Worked-up for operational service

                                (Note: Work-up at Tobermory to be confirmed.

                                Most ships of this Class worked-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet)

 

May                        Joined Flotilla based at Portsmouth for convoy defence and patrol duties in English Channel.

 

June                        Deployed in English Channel and detached as required for special operations to intercept

to                            convoys or blockade runners attempting to pass through English Channel

September             (For details o naval activities in Channel see HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and THE

                                BATTLE OF THE NARROW SEAS by P Scott).

 

October                  Detached for offensive patrols off French coast based at Plymouth.

                                (Operation TUNNEL- Attacks on coastal shipping and blockade runners).

                23rd        Deployed with HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS and H M Destroyers GRENVILLE, .LIMBOURNE,

                                ROCKET, TALYBONT and WENSLEYDALE to intercept the German blockade runner

                                MUNSTERLAND.

                                (Note: This was a badly planned and poorly executed disastrous operation.

                                HMS CHARYBDIS and HMS LIMBOURNE were lost in action with warships escorting

                                a coastal convoy off the North Brittany.

                                For full details see HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P. Smith and ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).

                                On release resumed deployment with Flotilla for convoy escort and patrol duties in Channel

 

November              Flotilla deployment for convoy defence and patrol.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Channel and North Sea convoy escort and patrol with Flotilla in continuation.

to

March

 

April

                24th        In action against E-Boats of the 9th German MTB Flotilla attacking coastal convoy off

                                Hastings with HM Destroyers BERKELEY, VOLUNTEER, Free French Destroyer LA

                                COMBATTANTE and Light Coastal Forces.

 

May                        Transferred to Force J for support of Normandy landings (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                (For details of naval activities prior to and during the landings see OPERATION NEPTUNE by

                                K Edwards, LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO) and D DAY SHIPS by J de

                                Winser for information relating to all ships involved.)

                2nd         Loading and Sailing Exercise, Full Rehearsal (Exercise FABIUS)

                to            Landings made at Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex.

                6th

                18th        Took part in Defence exercise in Channel off Brighton with Forces G, J and S

                                See references.

                                On completion deployed in Solent to prepare for NEPTUNE.

                                Allocated target in Pre-Arranged Fire Plan - Beaches at Beny-sur-Mer.

 

June                        Joined HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT, FAULKNOR, VENUS, FURY, VIGILANT,

                                BLEASDALE, SIOUX (RCN), ALGONQUIN (RCN), GLAISDALE and French LA

                                COMBATTANTE for Force J support during assault..

                3rd          Deployed with HMS VENUS and French LA COMBATTANTE as escort for Convoy J9

                                to JUNO Beach Head.

                4th          Operation postponed 24 hours.

                5th          Escorted Convoy J9 comprising HM Frigate LAWFORD, 10 Landing Ships (Infantry), three

                                Motor Gunboats and two US Navy Coastguard Cutters through Swept Channel.

                6th          On arrival in area took up bombardment position.

                                Provided preliminary bombardment prior to landings.

                                Deployed in Eastern Task Force area during assault for naval gunfire support.

                7th          Deployed for defensive patrol to prevent access by enemy naval forces and to give gunfire

                               support.  (For details see references.)

                12th        In action against E-Boats off Le Havre during patrol with HM Destroyers ISIS and Norwegian

                                GLAISDALE.

                                Inflicted damage on enemy craft of 4th Flotilla.

               27th        On release from NEPTUNE resumed duties with Flotilla at Portsmouth.

 

July                         Patrol and escort duties in English Channel in continuation.

                6th          Assisted in rescue work and with wounded after HM Frigate TROLLOPE was torpedoed during

                                action against E-Boats in Seine Bay off Le Havre.

                                (Note: HMS TROLLOPE was badly damaged and later beached later at Arromanches).

                27th        During patrol with HM Destroyer BLEASDALE embarked casualties from HM Steam Gunboats

                                GREY SHARK and GREY SEAL which had been in action against a German convoy and its

                                escorts off Pointe de Barfleur

                                (For details see THE BATTLE OF THE NARROW SEAS by Peter Scott).

 

August                  Patrol and convoy escort duty in English Channel with Flotilla in continuation.

 

September             Transferred to 16th Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich for convoy defence in North Sea.

                                (Note: An Increased E-Boat and minelaying activities were threatening passage of convoys to

                                ports in Belgium and France.

                                In addition U-Boats with 'Schnorkel1 device were being deployed in all UK coastal waters).

 

October

                31st         Sank German E-Boat off  Nieuport during patrol.

 

November

                30th        Detonated mine during patrol with HM Frigate STAYNER off Ostend.

                                Major damage was sustained to forward structure abreast 4in magazine causing some flooding.

                                Forward 4in mounting disabled.

                                Ship took on list and fire broke out due to fuel and coolant leakages.

                                There were 32 casualties including 14 killed.

                                Took passage stern first to Thames Estuary under own power escorted by Salvage Vessel

                                LINCOLN SALVOR and Tug EUSTON CROSS.

 

December

                1st           Examination on arrival at Sheerness revealed extensive buckling of keel plate and a hole 12 feet

                                wide and 11 feet long.

                                Taken in hand for repair in Thames shipyard.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Under repair.

to

May

 

June                        Nominated for foreign service and to be held as Reserve for deployment in the Far East if

                                required.

                28th        On completion carried out post refit trials in Thames Estuary area.

 

July                         Prepared for foreign service.

 

August                  Passage to Mediterranean and worked-up for operational deployment.

  

P o s t    W a r    N o t e s

 

HMS STEVENSTONE joined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet after working-up. During March 1946 she collided with HM Frigate BRISSENDEN in March 1946. On return to UK next year she Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status at Harwich. Subsequently she transferred to lay-up in Chatham and to Hartlepool later. Placed on the Disposal List in November 1958 she was sold to BISCO for demolition by Clayton in 1959 and arrived at the breakerís yard in Dunston on 2nd September that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of  HMS STEVENSTONE

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

 

 

 

 

 

20/03/43

20/03/43

PW 311

22/03/43

22/03/43

19/05/43

19/05/43

PW 341

21/05/43

21/05/43

07/06/43

07/06/43

WP 351

09/06/43

09/06/43

16/06/43

16/06/43

PW 355

18/06/43

18/06/43

17/07/43

17/07/43

WP 371

19/07/43

19/07/43

23/07/43

23/07/43

WP 374

25/07/43

25/07/43

10/08/43

11/08/43

WP 383

12/08/43

12/08/43

19/09/43

19/09/43

WP 403

21/09/43

21/09/43

29/09/43

29/09/43

WP 408

02/10/43

02/10/43

05/10/43

05/10/43

WP 411

07/10/43

07/10/43

09/10/43

09/10/43

WP 413

11/10/43

11/10/43

27/10/43

28/10/43

WP 422

29/10/43

29/10/43

07/11/43

07/11/43

CE 220

08/11/43

08/11/43

14/11/43

14/11/43

WP 431

16/11/43

16/11/43

25/11/43

25/11/43

CE 224

26/11/43

26/11/43

26/11/43

26/11/43

CW 227

27/11/43

27/11/43

28/11/43

28/11/43

WP 438

30/11/43

30/11/43

30/11/43

30/11/43

WP 439

02/12/43

02/12/43

05/12/43

05/12/43

CE 227

06/12/43

06/12/43

18/12/43

18/12/43

WP 448

20/12/43

20/12/43

23/12/43

23/12/43

CE 231

24/12/43

24/12/43

25/12/43

25/12/43

CW 234

26/12/43

26/12/43

03/01/44

03/01/44

CE 234

04/01/44

04/01/44

07/01/44

08/01/44

WP 458

09/01/44

09/01/44

09/01/44

10/01/44

WP 459

11/01/44

11/01/44

15/01/44

16/01/44

WP 462

17/01/44

17/01/44

19/01/44

19/01/44

CE 238

20/01/44

20/01/44

02/02/44

02/02/44

WP 471

05/02/44

05/02/44

20/03/44

20/03/44

CE 253

21/03/44

21/03/44

29/03/44

29/03/44

WP 499

31/03/44

31/03/44

02/04/44

02/04/44

WP 501

04/04/44

04/04/44

18/04/44

19/04/44

WP 509

20/04/44

20/04/44

16/06/44

16/06/44

FTM 009

16/06/44

17/06/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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