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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 OAKLEY (ii) (L 98) - Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Oakley (Navy Photos/George Knight, click to enlarge)

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Type II HUNT-Class Escort Destroyer ordered from Yarrow, Scotstoun, Glasgow under the 1939 War Emergency Programme on 20th December 1939. The ship was laid down on 19th August 1940 as Job No 1853 and was to have been named TICKHAM. However in June 1941 after a sister ship launched as HMS OAKLEY had been transferred to Poland she was launched as the third HMS OAKLEY on 15th Jan. 1942. It was first used for a minesweeper in 1917 sold in 1923. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this Escort Destroyer was adopted by the civil community of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Completion was delayed until 7th May 1942 due to bombing of the shipyard before the hull was launched.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ARCTIC 1942 - SICILY 1943 - SOUTH FRANCE 1944 - NORTH SEA 1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red, a bugle horn erect and an annulet interlaced 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

 

May                        Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service.

                5th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                Repair of defects found on trials and storing.

 

June

                22nd       Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of repairs and storing.

                23rd        Joined HM Auxiliary Minelayers MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON and SOUTHERN

                                PRINCE with HM Destroyers CASTLETON and ST MARY'S.

                                (Operation ES - See Naval Staff History (MINING).)

                                Returned to Scapa Flow on completion of Operation ES and began work-up.

                                On release from ES deployed as part of escort for Dummy Convoy sailed as a diversion for

                                passage of Russian Convoy PQ17.                

                             

July

                2nd         Commenced work-up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                                On completion deployed for escort of UK-Faroes convoys with Orkney and Shetland

                                Command.

 

August                  Orkney and Shetland Command convoy escort in continuation.

 

September

                10th        Deployed with HM Destroyers COWDRAY, WINDSOR and WORCESTER as

                                escort for Royal Fleet Auxiliaries BLUE RANGER and OLIGARCH to provide fuel

                                for escorts of Convoys PQ18 and return Convoy QP14..

                                (For details see ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

                21st         On completion of refuelling took passage to Iceland with RFA BLUE RANGER escorted by

                                HM Destroyer ONSLAUGHT and ships of Force P

                26th        On return to Iceland took passage to resumed convoy defence in NW Approaches.

 

October                  Deployed in NW Approaches or convoy escort.

 

November

                23rd        Joined Ocean Escort for returning Russian Convoy OP15 in Iceland for passage to Loch Ewe.

                27th        Resumed convoy defence role after release from OP15.

 

December              Convoy escort duty in NW Approaches in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy escort duty In continuation.

                                Nominated for escort duty in Mediterranean

 

February                Deployed as part of escort for Convoy KMF9 from Milford Haven to Algiers.

                16th        Joined Destroyer Division 59 at Oran.

 

March                    Deployed for Escort and patrol duty in Western and Central Mediterranean.

to April

 

May                        Took part in blockade of Cape Bon area to intercept evacuation craft which were

                                taking troops from Cape Bon area.

                                Operation RETRIBUTION. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).

                9th          During deployment with HM Escort Destroyer BICESTER came under attack by  friendly

                                SPITFIRE aircraft.

                                (Note: HMS BICESTER sustained very severe damage.)

 

June                        Resumed convoy escort and patrol duty.

                                Nominated for service with Support Force East for planned allied landings in Sicily as part of

                                Escort Group W

                                (Operation HUSKY - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

                                Escorted coastal supply convoys to and from North African ports.

 

July                         Joined Support Force East.

                                For details of HUSKY see Naval Staff History and for information about all ships taking part

                                BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser

                                Passage to Sfax.

                8th          Part of escort for military convoy SBM1 from Sfax to beachhead                              

                10th        Detached from SBM1 on arrival at BARK SOUTH beachhead.

                                Deployed for naval gunfire support and interception patrol during assault.

                                Escorted Follow-up convoys from Sousse to beachhead.

 

August                  Resumed escort and patrol duties in Central and Western Mediterranean.

 

September

                6th          Part of escort for military convoy NSM1 from Oran to Salerno

                9th          Detached from NSM1

                                (Note: As Salerno 1943 Battle Honour was not awarded it is assumed ship then reverted

                                to routine mercantile convoy defence.)

 

October                  Mediterranean convoy defence and anti-submarine patrol in continuation.

to

November

 

December

                12th        Sustained major structural damage to hull after striking submerged rock at entrance to harbour

                                at Taranto.

                15th        Taken in hand for repair at Taranto

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair

to                            Refit work to be completed in Malta

April                       Passage to Malta.

 

May                        Refit completion in hand by HM Dockyard, Malta.

 

June                        On completion of post refit trials rejoined Division for escort and patrol duty based in Malta.

 

July                         Escort and patrol duty In continuation.

                                Nominated for support of planned allied landings in South France under US Navy overall

                                command

                                (Operation DRAGOON. See INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO) and

                                BRITISH INVASION FLEETS.).

 

August                  Passage to Naples to Join escorts for landings.

                12th        Sailed from Naples with four US Navy Patrol Vessels (PC) and four US Submarine Chasers (SC)

                                as escort for Convoy SF2C

                                (Note Convoy included HM Fighter Direction Ship ULSTER QUEEN and 47 Landing Craft,

                                Infantry.)

                14th        Arrived at Night Retirement Area (Position AL).

                15th        Detached from SFC2 and deployed for escort of Follow-up convoys.

 

September             Convoy escort for DRAGOON in continuation.

                25th        Reverted to RN control on completion of DRAGOON.

 

October                  Resumed duty with 59th Division.

                                Deployed in Eastern Mediterranean to cover minesweeping operations in Gulf of Athens.

                                (Note: Support for Operation MANNA to re-occupy Greek mainland.)

 

November              Retained in Greek sea area or support of MANNA..

                                Present at re-occupation of Athens.

 

December              Nominated for duty in East Indies after refit for service in Indian Ocean.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Passage to Chatham.

                                Temporarily attached to 21st Destroyer Flotilla on arrival.

                                (Note: During the early part of 1945 there had been a great increase in enemy activity by

                                E-Boats and submarines in Nore area and additional destroyers were deployed to

                                counter these threats to convoys to the continent).

 

February                Deployed in Nore Command for patrol and escort duties.

 

March

                3rd          Taken in hand for refit and modifications at Portsmouth prior to service in East Indies.

                                Refit work suspended.

 

April                       Worked-up for service if required during passage.

                                Took passage to Taranto to complete refit.

 

May                        Taken in hand for completion of modifications and further refit work.

to

August

  

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS OAKLEY did not complete refit at Taranto until October 1945 and then returned to UK. She was Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth during December that year. Whilst in Reserve the ship was kept in a high state of readiness for Service (Category A). Placed on the Disposal List and later the Sales List she was sold in November 1957 to the Federal German Republic. On 2nd October 1958 she was renamed GNEISENAU  and entered service as a Gunnery Training Ship on 18th of that month. Stricken from the Active List in 1977 she was sold for demolition on 12th January 1978.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS OAKLEY (ii)

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

 

 

 

 

 

02/09/42

10/09/42

PQ 018

10/09/42

21/09/42

13/09/42

unknown

QP 014

20/09/42

26/09/42

17/11/42

23/11/42

QP 015

30/11/42

30/11/42

08/02/43

09/02/43

KMF 009

16/02/43

16/02/43

17/02/43

17/02/43

MKF 009

19/02/43

24/02/43

26/02/43

26/02/43

GUF 005

26/02/43

11/03/43

25/02/43

03/03/43

KMF 010A

04/03/43

04/03/43

26/02/43

08/03/43

KMS 010G

11/03/43

11/03/43

24/03/43

24/03/43

KMF 011X

25/03/43

25/03/43

25/03/43

26/03/43

MKF 011

26/03/43

05/04/43

28/03/43

28/03/43

ET 016

30/03/43

01/04/43

07/04/43

07/04/43

TE 020B

08/04/43

08/04/43

10/04/43

10/04/43

MKS 011

14/04/43

16/04/43

22/04/43

22/04/43

MKS 012

26/04/43

04/05/43

31/05/43

04/06/43

KMS 015

08/06/43

14/06/43

03/06/43

09/06/43

XTG 001

17/06/43

17/06/43

21/06/43

21/06/43

GTX 003

unknown

04/07/43

29/06/43

29/06/43

MKS 016A

06/07/43

09/07/43

12/08/44

12/08/44

SF 002B

14/08/44

14/08/44

01/11/44

01/11/44

XIF 024

05/11/44

04/11/44

06/11/44

06/11/44

IXF 024

10/11/44

10/11/44

16/11/44

16/11/44

MKF 036

23/11/44

30/11/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 13/8/11
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