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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS BRIGHTON (I 08), later Russian ZHARKIY -  ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Castleton,Type B close sister-ship, then in USN service (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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Ex USS COWELL (Type C - NEWPORT-Class) built by Bethlehem Steel Works, Fore River and launched on 23rd November 1918. Transferred under Lease Lend Agreement and commissioned at Halifax into the RN on 23rd September 1940.This ship was the 4th RN warship to carry the name, and first introduced in 1795. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil communities of Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton in Essex. In common with other snips of the Class lent to the Royal Navy the name was shared by a town in Sussex and one in Colorado.


B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

None were awarded


H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

No Badge is recorded in the Official List



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)



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                23rd        Commissioned into RN service as HMS BRIGHTON and prepared for passage to UK.



                12th        On arrival at Plymouth taken in hand for refit and modification for RN use at HM Dockyard,


                                Nominated for deployment with 1st Minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.


November              Under refit




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January                  On completion took passage to Kyle of Lochalsh to join Squadron.

                                Deployment was for escort of minelayers during operations in NW Approaches and for Iceland-

                                UK convoys when not required with Squadron.

                                (For full details of all minelaying operations by Squadron see the Naval Staff History (Mining).



                6th          Escorted HM Auxiliary minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE and PORT QUEBEC for lay in the

                                Northern Barrage with HM Destroyers LANCASTER, ST ALBANS and CHARLESTOWN

                                covered by HM Cruiser NIGERIA (Operation SN7A)

                17th        Escorted minelayers for Operations SN7B and SN68A with Home Fleet cover.



                                Deployment at Kyle of Lochalsh in continuation.



                24th        Escorted H M Auxiliary Minelayers MENESTHEUS and SOUTHERN PRINCE for minelay in

                                Denmark Strait covered by Hone Fleet (Operation SN7D.




                7th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer AGAM3tOi for minelay in Faeroes Gap with cover by Home

                                Fleet (Operation SN9A).

                13th        When Rear Admiral (Minelayers) took over Squadron transferred to 17th Destroyer Division with

                                HM Destroyers LANCASTER, WELLS, CHARLESTON, NEWARK, ST MARY'S and

                                CASTLETON (all Ex USN destroyers).

                18th        Deployed for escort of military convoys DS1 and SD1 en Iceland route.

                31st         Joined escort for military convoy WS8X during passage in NW Approaches with HM Destroyers


                                WIVERN and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN.

                                (Not: Cover was provided by HM Cruiser NORFOLK.)



                3rd          Detached from WS8X with Local Escort and returned to Clyde.

                                Resumed mercantile convoy defence in continuation.

                8th          Required for Squadron duties at Kyle of Lochalsh.

                10th        Escorted HMS AGAMEMNON and HMS MENESTHEUS with H M Destroyers IMPULSIVE

                                and ST MARY'S for minelay in Faeroes Gap covered by Home Fleet ships.

                                (Operations SN64A and 64B)

                16th        Escorted same ships as SN64 with HM Destroyers ST MARY'S and WELLS for minelay to

                                the north of Faeroes covered by Home Fleet. (Operation SN66).

                25th        Escorted HMS AGAMEMNON and HMS MENESTHEUS with HMS ST MARY'S and HM

                                Destroyer CASTLETON for minelay off Iceland with cover from Horns Fleet

                                (Operation SN70B).

                                Collided with HM Cruiser KENYA in fog in Faeroes and sustained major damage to forward

                                structure which later parted from after section.

                27th        Towed to Iceland for temporary repair.

                30th        Took passage in towed to Clyde



                2nd         Taken in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard.


August                  Under repair.




October                  On completion of post repair trials worked up for operational duty.

                30th        Rejoined 1st Minelaying Squadron.

                31st         Joined escort for HM Minelaying Cruiser WELSHMAN, HMS MENESTHEUS and HMS

                                PORT QUEBEC with HM Destroyers OFFA, ORIBI and ONSLOW covered by HM Cruiser

                                SHEFFIELD for minelay in northern part of Faeroes Gap

                                (Operation SN83A).



                9th          Escorted HMS MENESTHEUS and HMS PORT QUEBEC for continuation of minelay north

                                of Faeroes Gap with HM Destroyers NEWARK, CHARLESTON and MONTROSE covered by HM

                                Cruiser KENYA.

                                (Operation SN83B).

                10th        Detached after structural damage with Machinery defects in heavy weather.

                                Deployed for convoy defence with Iceland convoys.



                8th          Taken in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard.


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January                  Under repair and modification to improve facilities for RN convoy defence service





                30th        On completion of post repair trials resumed deployment as escort on Iceland route.


April                       Convoy defence in continuation.


May                        Resumed duty with Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.

                8th          Escorted HMS SOUTHERN PRINCE, HMS PORT QUEBEC, HMS AGAMEMNON

                                HMS MENESTHEUS and HM Minelaying Cruiser ADVENTURE with HMS CASTLETON,

                                HMS CHARLESTOWN and HMS WELLS for minelay on Faeroes Bank.

                                (Note: Operation SN3A -Positioning of the minefield (Operation SN3A).

                10th        Detached for Iceland convoy escort.


June                        Rejoined Squadron for escort of minelayers.

                11th        Escorted all ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HMS CASTLETON, HMS NEWARK and

                                HMS WELLS in continuation of lay of Faeroes Bank minefield.

                                (Note: HMS SCOTT was also deployed as navigational aid).

                                (Operation SN3B).

                20th        Escorted HMS SOUTHERN PRINCE for minelay in Butt of Lewis (Operation SN27B).

                21st         Detached for special duty with Home Fleet.

                                Formed part of Force X - a Decoy Convoy covering passage of Russian Convoy PQ17 with


                                and HMS ST MARY'S.

                                (Home Fleet Operation ES).


July                         Resumed duty with Squadron for minelaying.

                10th        Escorted all ships of Squadron including HMS ADVENTURE with HMS ST MARY'S and HMS

                                SALISBURY, HM Destroyer SARDONYX and HMS SCOTT for continuation of Faeroes Bank

                                minelaying Operations in Northern Barrage (Operation SN3C).

                                (Note: Cover was provided by Home Fleet ships.)

                31st         Escorted all ships of Squadron including HMS ADVENTURE with HMS CASTLETON

.                               HMS NEWARK and HMS LANCASTER for minelay in Faeroes - Iceland Gap

.                               (Note: HMS SCOTT was deployed to ensure accuracy of minelay and operation was covered by

                                HMS DELHI. (Operation SN82).



                21st         Escorted all ships of Squadron and HMS ADVENTURE with HMS CASTLETON, HMS NEWARK

                                and HMS CHARLESTON for minelay in Denmark Strait

.                               (Note: Home Fleet cover provided by HM Cruiser AURORA and three Fleet Destroyers

                                (Operation SN73).


                2nd         Repeated escort duty for minelay by same ships in Denmark with HMS LANCASTER, HMS

                                NEWARK and HMS CHARLESTOWN covered by HM Cruiser JAMAICA

                                (Operation SN89)

                5th          Deployed in escort role in NW Approaches.


October                  Convoy defence duty in continuation

                                Future use of 1st Minelaying Squadron under consideration by Admiralty

                                Resumed escort duty with Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.



                1st           Escorted ships Squadron and HMS ADVENTURE for minelaying Operation in Northern Barrage

                                with HMS LANCASTER, HMS WELLS and HMS CASTLETON after being delayed by weather

                                conditions in laving area (Operation SN3F).

                                Under refit at Rosyth


December              Nominated for future use as Air Target Ship


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January                  Withdrawn from 17th Destroyer Division of 1st Minelaying Squadron.

to                            Converted for use as Air Target Ship.

April                       Paid-off

                                Trials and preparation for new duties.


May                        Deployed in Irish Sea and Clyde area as Air Target Ship.

to                            Nominated for transfer to North Sea in continuation.



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January                  Transferred to North Sea.

                13th        In collision with trawler STAR OF THE WAVE and went to Invergordon for repair.


February                After survey, repair work stopped and ship transferred to Reserve.

                                Passage to Tyne to lay-up.


March                    Reduced to Reserve status.


April                       Selected for transfer to Russian Northern Fleet. after refit


May                        Under refit in Tyne shipyard.





                16th        Transferred to Soviet Navy and renamed  ZHARKIY or ZHARKE


August                  Took passage to Kola Inlet with other warships also being transferred.

                17th        Joined Convoy JV69 for passage to Kola Inlet.

                                (For details see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY by P. Kemp), and ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS. by R Woodman.)


P o s t†† R N†† S e r v i c e


This ship served with the Northern Fleet as an escort for Convoys and after August 1945 remained in Russian naval service until being returned to the Royal Navy at Rosyth on 4th March 1949. She was found unfit for further use and placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by MacLellan the ship arrived in tow at the breakerís yard in† Bo'ness on 18th May 1949.






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








SL 065





DS 017





SD 017








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 15/8/11
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