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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS BURWELL (H 94) -  ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Burwell (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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Ex USS LAUB (Type A - BELMONT-Class) built by Bethlehem Steel at Squantun was laid down on 20th April 1918 and launched on 25th August 1918. Commissioned on 17th March 1919 for US naval service she was held in Reserve in 1939. The ship transferred to the RN under the Lease Agreement en 3rd September 1940 and commissioned as HMS BURWELL at Halifax, Canada. This name, not previously used for an RN ship was common to towns in Nebraska, USA and Cambridgeshire. After a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community of Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC   1941-43

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

 

Badge: On a  Field barry wavy of six White and Blue, a thistle slipped and

leaved proper charged with a hurt thereon a mullet White.

 

 

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 0

October

                9th          Commissioned as HMS BURWELL at Halifax.

                                Prepared for Atlantic passage via Newfoundland.

 

November              Passage to Plymouth

                5th          On arrival taken In hand by HM Dockyard Devonport for modifications to suit RN service

                                as a convoy escort

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under refit.

 

February                Nominated for service with 12th Escort Group.

                13th        Involved in collision with sister destroyer HM Destroyer RIPLEY at Devonport.

                24th        Passage to Clyde on completion of post refit trials.

 

March                    Joined Group.

                23rd        Part of escort with ships of Group for convoy on passage in NW Approaches.

 

April                       Convoy escort duty with Group in continuation.

                                Nominated for transfer with Group for escort duty based in Iceland.

 

May                        Passage to Iceland.

                                Deployed for mid Atlantic convoy defence.

 

June                        Atlantic convoy escort with Group in continuation based in Iceland.

                                Nominated for transfer to newly formed Newfoundland Escort Group

 

July                         Passage to St Johns for escort of convoys to and from Mid Ocean Meeting Point.

 

August                  Part of escort for Convoy HX145.

                27th        Detached from HX145 to assist in capture of U570 which had surrendered to an

                                RAF HUDSON aircraft near Iceland.

                                Submarine had been depth charged when it was surfacing in position 61 15N 18,35W.

                                (For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

                28th        On arrival joined HM Trawler WINDERMERE in an attempt to tow U570 which was

                                unsuccessful.

                                Resumed convoy escort duty after HM Trawler KINGSTON AGATE had established a

                                tow for passage to Thorlakshafn, Iceland.

                                (Note: Crew of U570 was taken off by HM Destroyer NIAGARA.

                                U570 was later taken to UK and eventually commissioned as HM Submarine GRAPH

 

September             Transferred to 15th Escort Group in continuation of service at Newfoundland.

 

October                  Deployed with 4th Canadian Escort Group.

 

November              Taken in hand for refit at Boston.

 

December              Under refit

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Under refit.

 

February                Carried out post refit trials.

                3rd          On completion took passage to St Johns to resume duty with Group.

 

March                    Atlantic convoy escort in continuation.

 

April                       After providing defence for three convoys since refit was withdrawn for repair and took
                                passage to Londonderry.

 

May                        During repair at Londonderry transferred to Liverpool to complete repairs.

to

December

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Under repair at Liverpool.

 

February                On completion of post repair trials took passage to Tobermory.

                                Worked-up for operational service at Tobermory.

 

March                    Resumed Atlantic convoy defence based at Londonderry.

                                Part of escort for convoy to Gibraltar

 

April                       Passage from Gibraltar to Azores and returned to Clyde with one mercantile.

                                Withdraw from operational use for further work-up at Tobermory.

                                (Note: This suggests change of ship's company.)

 

May                        Resumed North Atlantic convoy escort after completion of work-up.

 

June                        Atlantic Convoy escort duty in continuation.

to                            Future deployment under consideration.

September

 

October                  Reduced to Reserve status and paid-off in Clyde.

                                Nominated for service as an Air Target Ship.

 

November              Under conversion for new role.

                                (Note: Ship was disarmed and modified.)

 

December              On completion deployed at station in Clyde area for training of aircrew for attacks

                                on shipping.

 

1 9 4 4

 

                                Air Target Ship duties in Clyde area in continuation.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Withdrawn for Air Target Ship duty.

                                Passage to Milford Haven to de-store

 

February                Reduced to un-maintained Reserve status and laid up at Milford Haven.

 

March                    Laid-up at Milford Haven.

to

August

 

P o s t    W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS BURWELL was placed on the Disposal List after VJ Day and sold to BISCO on 4th March 1947 for demolition by T W Ward.. The ship was towed later to the breakerís yard locally.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BURWELL

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

 

 

 

 

 

23/03/41

23/03/41

OB 301

27/03/41

27/03/41

15/03/41

27/03/41

HG 056

31/03/41

02/04/41

06/04/41

06/04/41

OG 058

12/04/41

21/04/41

19/04/41

30/04/41

SC 029

04/05/41

08/05/41

30/04/41

12/05/41

HX 124

14/05/41

20/05/41

29/04/41

18/05/41

SC 030

20/05/41

20/05/41

12/05/41

18/05/41

OB 322

20/05/41

20/05/41

10/05/41

21/05/41

HX 126

26/05/41

28/05/41

20/05/41

30/05/41

HX 128

05/06/41

06/06/41

26/06/41

04/07/41

OB 339

09/07/41

12/07/41

12/07/41

15/07/41

SC 037

23/07/41

28/07/41

11/07/41

16/07/41

HX 138

23/07/41

27/07/41

26/07/41

31/07/41

ON 001

01/08/41

09/08/41

27/07/41

02/08/41

ON 002

08/08/41

08/08/41

10/08/41

13/08/41

HX 144

22/08/41

30/08/41

30/08/41

04/09/41

ON 011

11/09/41

11/09/41

24/09/41

27/09/41

SC 046

05/10/41

10/10/41

04/10/41

10/10/41

ON 023

18/10/41

19/10/41

29/10/41

02/11/41

SC 052

03/11/41

05/11/41

04/02/42

07/02/42

SC 068

16/02/42

20/02/42

26/02/42

04/03/42

ON 071

07/03/42

08/03/42

21/03/42

25/03/42

HX 181

02/04/42

02/04/42

26/02/43

28/02/43

KMS 010G

08/03/43

11/03/43

15/05/43

16/05/43

ON 184

25/05/43

31/05/43

31/05/43

06/06/43

HX 242

14/06/43

15/06/43

24/06/43

25/06/43

ON 190

03/07/43

09/07/43

08/07/43

14/07/43

HX 247

21/07/43

22/07/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 15/8/11
further editing and formatting is required