Naval History Homepage - and Site Search

 

SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

 

HMS ZETLAND (L 59) - Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

ORP Krakowiak, Type II sister-ship  (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

Type II HUNT Class Escort Destroyer built by Yarrow under 1940 War Emergency Programme as Job Number J1854. The ship was ordered with 16 others of this Class on 20th December 1939 and laid down on 2nd October 1940. Launched on 7th March 1942. She was the 2nd RN ship to bear this name. that of a Wiltshire fox-hunt and previously used for a WW1 minesweeper sold in 1923. Build completed on 27th June 1942. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Barnard Castle, County Durham. The foxhunt is named after the Marquess of Zetland; Zetland being the Shetland Islands.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1942-43 - MALTA† CONVOYS 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943-44 - AEGEAN† 1944† - ADRIATIC† 1944 - SOUTH FRANCE†† 1944

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black. within a horseshoe inverted

White, a lion's face 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

 

June                        Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service.

                27th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

 

July                         Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of trials.

                                Worked up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

 

August                  Joined Londonderry Special Escort Force and nominated for detached service.

                3rd          Part of the escort of Convoy WS21S taking relief supplies to Malta.

                                Took passage to Gibraltar (Operation PEDESTAL).

                10th        Deployed in destroyer screen for HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, HM Aircraft Carriers

                                EAGLE, INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers PHOEBE, SIRIUS and CHARYBDIS

                                with HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, LOOKOUT, QUENTIN, TARTAR,

                                ESKIMO, SOMALI, WISHART, ANTELOPE, VANSITTART and ITHURIEL as Force Z.

                                (Note: Force Z provided cover for convoy transit from Gibraltar to the Sicilian Narrows.

                                For details see PEDESTAL by Peter C. Smith, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman and Naval Staff

                                History).

                11th        Subjected to heavy and sustained air attack in Western Mediterranean.

                12th        On arrival at Sicilian Narrows returned to Gibraltar with Force Z.

                14th        Detached to join escort for HM Battleship RODNEY during passage to Gibraltar.

                16th        After arrival at Gibraltar sailed to join escort of Convoy SL118 (Freetown - UK).

                19th        Convoy under heavy U-Boat attack by BLUCHER Group.

                                (See U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR

                                by C Blair.

                21st         Detached from SL118 escort with Polish destroyer ORP BLYSKAWICA to escort HM Armed

                                Merchant Cruiser CHESHIRE to Belfast for repair

                                Rejoined Londonderry Escort Force on completion.

                28th        Joined military convoy WS22 in Clyde with H M Destroyers BICESTER, BULLDOG and

                                KEPPEL as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

 

September

                1st           Detached from WS22 and took passage to join escort for Convoy SL119.

                                Escorted rms QUEEN ELIZABETH in NW Approaches.

                                Returned to Londonderry and continued convoy defence in NW Approaches

 

October

                4th          Joined military convoy WS23 in Clyde with HM Destroyers BICESTER and WRESTLER as

                                Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                10th        Detached from WS23 with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                                Deployed for screening duties during passage of Home Fleet units in NW Approaches.

                                Sustained damage to Asdic Dome and withdrawn for repair at Greenock.

                                Nominated for detached duty for support of planned allied landings in North Africa.

                                (Operation TORCH - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, Naval Staff

                                History and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser for information about all ships

                                involved.

 

                28th        After repair took passage from Londonderry for duty with 57th Destroyer Division at Gibraltar.

 

November              Joined Eastern Task Force for escort of  C Fast convoys to Algiers.

                8th          Provided naval gunfire support during landings at Algiers.

                                Extinguished searchlight at fort on Cape Mafita.

                                Took HM Destroyer BROKE in tow after damage when attempting to break through the Boom

                                at Algiers.

                                During towing operation to Gibraltar collided with HMS BROKE and sustained further

                                significant damage to the destroyer which was sunk later that day.

                                Rescued crew of HMS BROKE.

 

December              Gibraltar deployment in continuation.

                12th        Deployed for escort of North African coastal convoys.

                                to

                31st

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  North African coastal convoy escort in continuation.

                                Part of escort for Convoy TE14.

                30th        Rescued four of ship's company of HM Corvette SAMPHIRE which was sunk 30 miles NE

                                of Bougie, Algeria by torpedo from U596.

                                (Note: These were the only survivors. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.)

 

February                North African coastal convoy escort in continuation.

to                            Under air attacks and sustained slight damage

April

 

May                        Deployed with HM Escort Destroyers LAMERTON, ALDENHAM, HURSLEY, DULVERTON,

                                BICESTER, LAUDERDALE, WILTON and Greek KANARIS (Ex HATHERLEIGH) in blockade

                                of Cape Bon area to intercept craft evacuating enemy forces.

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

                9th          Sank small enemy vessel 30 miles NE of Cape Bon during patrol with HMS BICESTER.

                                Came under attack by Spitfire aircraft during which HMS BICESTER was badly damaged.

                                (For details see FRIEND OR FOE by P Kemp).

                                On completion of RETRIBUTION withdrawn from operational duties due to extent of

                                repair needed to damage sustained in recent service

 

June                        Passage to UK for repair in commercial shipyard.

                7th          Arrived in Tyne at Palmers shipyard in Jarrow.

 

July                         Under repair.

                                Nominated for service with 59th Destroyer Division in Malta on completion.

 

August                  Carried out post repair trials.

                16th        Took passage for work-up at Tobermory.

 

September             Work-up in continuation.

                20th        Passage to Mediterranean.

 

October                  Joined Division and deployed for convoy defence and patrol duties.

                                Deployed for convoy escort to and from Bari and for interception patrols off Dalmatia.

 

November              Convoy defence and patrol in continuation.

                                Deployed for interception patrols off Dalmatia and supported military shore operations.

 

December

                2nd         Sustained major damage during major air raid at Bari, Italy.

                                (Note: 17 mercantiles were sunk including an ammunition ship which blew up and caused

                                extensive damage).

                                Later towed to Taranto by HM Destroyer BICESTER. Taken in hand for repair.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair.

                16th        Rejoined Division on completion of post repair trials and resumed Adriatic convoy defence,

                                support and patrol duties.

 

February                Adriatic deployment in continuation.

 

March                    Deployed in support of military operations.

                12th        Bombardment searchlight position at Dubrovnik with HM Destroyer LAUDERDALE.

 

April                       Adriatic convoy defence and military support deployment in continuation.

to

June

 

July                         Nominated for escort of military convoy during planned assault on South of France under U S

                                Navy overall command with HM Escort Destroyer OAKLEY of Division.

                                (Operation DRAGOON. For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY,

                                INVASION OF SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO) and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de

                                Winser for information about all ships involved.).

                                Passage to Naples.

                                Prepared for DRAGOON escort duty with CAMEL Assault Force.

 

August

                9th          Joined escort for Convoy SS1 and took passage from Naples for Ajaccio.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised eight troopships, HM Landing Ship STUART PRINCE, 40 Landing

                                Craft (Infantry), two Landing Craft (Flak), one Landing Craft (Gun), 14 Landing Craft

                                (Rocket) and three other miscellaneous craft.

                                Other escorts were minesweepers, patrol craft and Motor Launches.

                13th        Sailed for CAMEL Sector from Ajaccio.

                15th        Deployed off beachhead during landings.

 

September             After release from DRAGOON reverted to RN control and rejoined Division.

                                Resumed normal escort and support duty in Adriatic and central Mediterranean.

                24th        Transferred to British Aegean Force in support of re-occupation of Aegean islands and Greek

                                mainland.

                                Joined HM Escort Destroyers BRECON, CALPE, CATTERICK, CLEVELAND and

                                LIDDESDALE.

                28th        Entered Pagadia Bay, Scarpanto with HM Escort Destroyers BRECON and LIDDESDALE.

                                Sank caique and silenced enemy shore batteries.

 

October                  Deployment for support of Aegean Operations in continuation.

 

November              Deployed for convoy escort and support of mainland operations.

to December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated for transfer to Home waters for convoy defence and took passage to Harwich.

                                (Note: The increase in attacks by SCHNORKEL fitted submarines on coastal convoy traffic

                                and in minelaying by submarines and E-Boats had made necessary an increase in

                                the number of escorts deployed in the Channel and southern North Sea.

                                See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by

                                P Smith).

 

February

                4th          Arrived Harwich and attached to 16th Destroyer Flotilla.

                                Nominated for transfer to Eastern Fleet after refit.

                                Deployed on convoy defence and patrol in North Sea and English Channel.

                                In action with E-Boats in North Sea.

March                    Escort and patrol duties in continuation.

to                            (Note: Enemy activities in Nore Command increased during this period and attack

April                       against convoys in Dutch and Belgian ports was threatened).

 

May                        After VE Day remained in Flotilla for support of re-occupation forces.

                                Refit arranged in Alexandria.

 

June                        Passage to Alexandria to refit for service in Eastern Fleet.

 

July                         Under refit at Alexandria.

 

August                  Requirement for Eastern Fleet cancelled after VJ Day Refit work was continued.

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS ZETLAND completed refit in October 1945 and returned to UK for service with Portsmouth Local Flotilla. The ship was used for training and port duties until 1946 when she was Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status in the Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth. At the end of 1952 this destroyer was loaned to the Royal Norwegian Navy for four years. Renamed KNM TROMSO she was sold outright to Norway in July 1956. Modifications made later included fit of Lattice Mast and replacement of X mounting by two SQUID Anti-submarine mortars. Pennant No during Norwegian service was initially D311 but changed to F311 after ship was classified as a Frigate. She remained in service until being sold for breaking up in 1965.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS ZETLAND

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

 

 

 

 

 

04/08/42

19/08/42

SL 118

21/08/42

26/08/42

26/10/42

06/11/42

KMF 001

08/11/42

08/11/42

12/11/42

12/11/42

MKF 001

unknown

15/11/42

27/11/42

06/12/42

KMF 004

07/12/42

07/12/42

13/12/42

16/12/42

TE 009

18/12/42

18/12/42

18/12/42

18/12/42

ET 006

20/12/42

22/12/42

05/01/43

05/01/43

MKF 006

06/01/43

14/01/43

11/01/43

11/01/43

ET 009

13/01/43

16/01/43

26/01/43

29/01/43

TE 014

30/01/43

30/01/43

21/01/43

07/02/43

KMS 008G

08/02/43

10/02/43

09/02/43

09/02/43

ET 011

11/02/43

13/02/43

09/02/43

11/02/43

TE 015

13/02/43

13/02/43

17/02/43

17/02/43

MKS 008

23/02/43

01/03/43

25/02/43

03/03/43

KMF 010A

04/03/43

04/03/43

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

01/04/43

03/04/43

TE 020

04/04/43

04/04/43

04/04/43

04/04/43

ET 017

06/04/43

09/04/43

15/04/43

15/04/43

ET 018

17/04/43

20/04/43

15/09/43

18/09/43

KMF 024

22/09/43

29/09/43

14/02/44

14/02/44

VN 021

15/02/44

15/02/44

24/02/44

24/02/44

VN 023

25/02/44

25/02/44

24/11/44

24/11/44

XIF 025

28/11/44

28/11/44

31/01/45

31/01/45

MKS 080G

02/02/45

07/02/45

         

(Note on Convoys)

 

back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 13/8/11
further editing and formatting is required


 

if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net