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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 CASTLETON (I 23) - ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Castleton, then in USN service (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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Ex USS AARON WARD (Type B  MONTGOMERY-Class) built by Bath Iron Works and launched on 10th April 1919. Transferred under Lease Land Agreement and commissioned at Halifax for RN service as HMS CASTLETON on 9th September 1940. She was the first RN warship bearing this name, which, as for those carried by other TOW N Class, are shared by towns in the UK and USA. After a WARSHIP WEEK national Savings campaign in March 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Clithero, Lancashire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC  1940-42 - NORTH SEA  1942-44.

 

H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a castle White, maenad Black charged with

a hurt thereon a Mullet  also 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

 

September

                8th          Commissioned at Halifax into RN service as HMS AARON WARD.

                                Took passage to UK via Newfoundland.

                26th        Arrived at Plymouth

                                Taken in hand for refit and modification by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

                                (Note: Ship refit was not extensive.)

 

October                  Nominated for convoy escort in Western Approaches

                2nd         Renamed HMS CASTLETON

 

 

November              On completion of refit joined 17th Flotilla, West Approaches Command at Liverpool.

                5th          Atlantic convoys suspended due to attack on convoy by German battleship ADMIRAL SHEER.

                17th        Deployed as part of escort for outward convoy OB244.

                                (Note: This was the first convoy to sail from Liverpool when suspension was lifted.)

                18th        OB 244 sighted by U 137.

                21st         Convoy under attacks by U103 which sank two mercantiles (ss DAY DAWN (British) and

                                Greek VICTORIA. See ALLIED CONVOYS SYSTEM IN WW2 by A Hague and HITLERíS

                                U- BOAT WAR.

                                Rescued survivors from these two ships.

                22nd       Took passage to Plymouth when convoy dispersed.

                                (Note: This convoy was heavily attacked after dispersal by U123 which sank another six ships.

                                See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.)

 

December

                1st           Sustained damage in collision

                3rd          Sustained damage in another collision

                                Repair arranged in Portsmouth including first Stage modifications.

                                Taken in hand by HM dockyard Portsmouth

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under repair and refit

                18th        Damaged during air raid at Portsmouth which extended time in dockyard hands.

 

February                Under repair.

                                Allocated for service in 17th Division of 1st Minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh on

                                completion of post refit trials and work-up.

 

March                    Worked-up for operational service at Dartmouth.

                7th          Passage to join Squadron for escort during minelaying operations.

                                For details of all minelaying operation see Naval Staff History (Mining)

                                (Note: To be deployed for convoy defence in NW Approaches when required.).

                19th        Escorted ships of Squadron during minelay in Northern Barrage covered by ships of Home Fleet.

                                (Operation SN69).

                26th        Deployed as escort during further Squadron minelay

                                (Operation SN4)

                                Under air attack on approach to lay.

                27th        Damaged in collision with HM Auxiliary Minelayer AGAMEMNON after completion of SN4.

 

April.                      Passage to Clyde for repair in commercial shipyard.

to

May

 

June                        Rejoined Squadron on completion of repair.

                16th        Deployed with escort for ships of Squadron for minelay Northern Barrage covered by Home Fleet

                                ships (Operation SW66).

                25th        Deployed with escort for further minelay (Operation SN70B).

 

July

                9th          Further minelay escort for Squadron (Operation SN67).

                15th        Deployed as escort for HM Auxiliary Minelayer TEVIOT BANK during minelay NW of Sulisker.

                                {Operation SN12A

                17th        Detached for escort of convoys in NW Approaches.

 

August                  Convoy escort in continuation.

                20th        Rejoined Squadron for minelaying operations

                25th        Escorted ships of Squadron for minelay (Operation SN70OA)

                                (Note: HM Auxiliary Minelayer SOUTHERN PRINCE was damaged by U-Boat torpedo.

 

September

                7th          Escorted ships of Squadron for minelay between North Rona and Faeroes.

                                (Operation SN61).

                12th        Detached for convoy escort duty with Iceland ferries

 

October                  Convoy escort in continuation.

 

November              Damaged by accidental explosion of on-board scuttling charge.

                                Taken in hand for repair at Newport, Monmouth..

 

December              Under repair.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Under repair.

to

March

 

April                       Rejoined Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.

 

May

                8th          Escorted ships of Squadron and HM Cruiser Minelayer ADVENTURE for Minelay on

                                Faeroes Bank (Operation SN3A).

                10th        Detached for Icelandic convoy escort.

 

June                        Convoy escort in continuation.

                10th        Escorted ships of Squadron for further minelay on Faeroes Bank.

                                (Operation SN3B).

                20th        Met HM Auxiliary Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS

                                with HM Destroyer ST. MARY'S to form Dummy Convoy as decoy during passage of Russian

                                Convoy PQ17 (Home Fleet Operation ES)

 

July

                2nd         Returned to Squadron minelay escort duty.

                31st         Escorted ships of Squadron for further minelay in Faeroes -Iceland section of the Northern

                                Barrage (Operation SN82).

 

August                  Detached for convoy escort of Iceland convoys.

                14th        Returned to minelay escort duty.

                20th        Escorted ships of Squadron during extension of minefield in Denmark Strait.

                                (Operation SN73).

                22nd       Diverted during minelay with HM Destroyer NEWARK to intercept an Icelandic trawler

                                taken over by crew of U654 after it had bean under attack by US aircraft and than been scuttled.

 

September             Provided A/S defence for HM Minesweeper TEDWORTH during salvage of HM Boom Defence

                                Vessel BARRANCA.

 

October                  Rejoined Squadron for escort of minelaying In Northern Barrage.

                10th        Escorted ships of Squadron for Faeroes Bank minelay (Operation SN36)

 

November

                1st           Repeat escort on Faeroes Bank (Operation SN3F).

                5th          Detached for convoy escort duty

 

December              .Taken in hand for refit at Cardiff.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Under refit.

to

February

 

 

March                    Transferred to Rosyth Command in continuation of minelay and escort duties

.                               On completion of post refit trials resumed escort duties.

 

April                       Deployed in NW Approaches for convoy defence..

 

 

May

                5th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers MENESTHEUS, PORT QUEBEC and AGAMEMNON for

                                lay of Deep Anti-submarine minefields in NW Approaches (Operation SN111A)

                                (Note: Home Fleet cover was provided.)

                15th        Further deep minefield lays (Operations SN 123A)

.               26th        Continuation escort for minelayers in NW Approaches field (Operation SN123B).

 

June

                11th        Escorted HMS MENESTHEUS, HMS PORT QUEBEC and HMS AGAMEMNON for

                                continuation of lay of Deep A/S minefields in NW Approaches (Operation SN123C).

                29th        Escort of same minelayers for final minelay (Operation SN222A).

 

July                         Reverted to convoy escort in NW Approaches.

 

August

                4th          Rescued survivors of U489 sunk by RCAF aircraft NE of Iceland.

 

September             NW Approaches convoy escort duty in continuation.

                                Nominated for duty as an Air Target Ship.

 

October                  Under conversion for new role.

 

November              Deployed as Air Target Ship.

to                            (Note: Conversion usually included removal of armament.)

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Transferred to Rosyth Escort Force for East Coast convoy escort duty.

                                (Note: Ship must have been have had armament refitted if weapons were removed. See above.)

 

February                Deployed for escort of East coast convoys.

to

September

 

October                  Reverted to Air Target Ship role when more modern escorts became available.

 

November              Air Target Ship duty.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Air Target Ship duty in continuation.

to

February

 

March                    Nominated for reduction to Reserve.

                13th        Paid off and de-stored

                                Laid-up in Forth at Grangemouth..

 

P o s t   W a r  N o t e s

 

HMS CASTLETON remained in Reserve at Grangemouth until Placed in the Disposal List after VJ Day She was sold to BISCO on 4th March 1947 for demolition by P W MacLellan. Taken in tow on 2nd January 1948 the ship arrived at the breakerís yard at Bo'ness lower down the Forth Estuary.  The Ship's bell was  given to the town of Castleton in Vermont, USA by the Admiralty. A TON-Class Coastal Minesweepers was given this name in 1957 but changed to JOHANNESBURGH when that ship was transferred to the South African Navy.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS CASTLETON

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

 

 

 

 

 

29/09/40

19/10/40

OB 221

23/10/40

03/10/40

12/10/40

23/10/40

HX 080

27/10/40

27/10/40

02/11/40

02/11/40

OB 238

05/11/40

05/11/40

22/10/40

06/11/40

SL 052F

10/11/40

10/11/40

17/11/40

17/11/40

OB 244

21/11/40

22/11/40

11/11/40

22/11/40

HX 086

26/11/40

26/11/40

10/06/41

10/06/41

SD 005

12/06/41

12/06/41

17/08/41

17/08/41

DS 010

18/08/41

18/08/42

19/08/41

19/08/41

SD 010

21/08/41

21/08/41

23/08/41

23/08/41

OS 004

28/08/41

11/09/41

18/08/41

30/08/41

HG 071

01/09/41

02/09/41

19/09/41

19/09/41

DS 012

21/09/41

21/09/41

23/09/41

23/09/41

SD 012

25/09/41

25/09/41

01/10/41

01/10/41

DS 012B

04/10/41

04/10/41

06/10/41

06/10/41

SD 012B

08/10/41

08/10/41

16/10/41

16/10/41

DS 014

18/10/41

18/10/41

19/10/41

20/10/41

SD 014

21/10/41

21/10/41

30/10/41

30/10/41

DS 015

02/11/41

02/11/41

03/11/41

03/11/41

SD 015

05/11/41

05/11/41

12/11/41

12/11/41

DS 016

15/11/41

14/11/41

17/11/41

17/11/41

SD 016

20/11/41

20/11/41

25/06/42

25/06/42

DS 029

26/06/42

26/06/42

28/06/42

28/06/42

SD 029

29/06/42

29/06/42

09/07/42

09/07/42

DS 030

11/07/42

11/07/42

12/07/42

12/07/42

SD 030

14/07/42

14/07/42

31/07/42

09/08/42

SC 094

12/08/42

13/08/42

30/08/42

05/09/42

AT 021

05/09/42

05/09/42

08/09/42

08/09/42

TA 021

09/09/42

14/09/42

05/09/42

10/09/42

AT 022

11/09/42

11/09/42

14/09/42

14/09/42

TA 022

15/09/42

19/09/42

16/09/42

16/09/42

DS 032

19/09/42

19/09/42

20/09/42

20/09/42

SD 032

23/09/42

23/09/42

28/11/42

28/11/42

DS 034

01/12/42

01/12/42

03/12/42

03/12/42

SD 034

05/12/42

05/12/42

01/08/43

01/08/43

DS 043

03/08/43

03/08/43

06/08/43

06/08/43

SD 043

08/08/43

08/08/43

27/01/44

27/01/44

CE 240

28/01/44

28/01/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 15/8/11
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