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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 CHARLESTOWN (I 21) - ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Broadway, Type A close sister-ship (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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Ex USS ABBOT (Type C - NEWPORT-Class) built by Newport News SB Co. and launched 4 July 1918. The ship was transferred under the 1940 UK/USA Lease Lend Agreement and commissioned at Halifax into the RN on 23rd September 1940.  She was the second RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1780. The name was selected because it is shared by a number of places in UK as well as in the USA. All TOWN-Class destroyers were given similar appropriate names common to both countries. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Darlaston, then part of the County of Staffordshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC  1941-43 - NORTH SEA  1943-44

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a rose and thistle slipped and leaved in

saltire Gold, in chief 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

 

September

                23rd        Transferred to the Royal Navy at Halifax, NS and commissioned as HMS ABBOT.

                                (Note: Six other ships were also transferred and were the second batch to be given

                                the US Navy name.)

                                Passage to UK and called at St Johns Newfoundland.

 

October

                2nd         Renamed HMS CHARLESTOWN.

                8th          Arrived at Plymouth with four other ships taken over from the USN.

                                Taken in hand for refit and modifications by HM Dockyard Devonport to suit RN convoy

                                defence deployment.

 

November              Nominated for service with 1st minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh for escort of

                                minelayers and to be available for escort of UK-Iceland convoys as required.

                4th          Dockyard work completed.

                                Further defect work necessary after trials and taken in hand by HM Dockyard Devonport

 

December              Under repair..

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Carried out post refit trials and took passage to Kyle of Lochalsh.

                6th          Arrived at Kyle of Lochalsh (Port ZA) for minelaying escort duty.

                                For full details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History MINING).

 

February

                6th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS, SOUTHERN PRINCE and

                                PORT QUEBEC with HM Destroyers BRIGHTON, LANCASTER and ST ALBANS, covered

                                by ships of Home Fleet for minelay in Northern Barrage (Operation SN7A).

                                (Note: HMS MENESTHEUS detonated a mine soon after departure and was towed to Kyle of

                                Lochalsh by HMS AGAMEMNON.

                                Remained with HMS SOUTHERN PRINCE and PORT QUEBEC for minelay.

                13th        Attached to 17th Destroyer Division of Squadron.

                17th        Joined HM Destroyers ECHO, BRIGHTON and LANCASTER for escort of HMS SOUTHERN

                                PRINCE and HMS PORT QUEBEC for minelay in Northern Barrage

                                (Operations SN7B & 68A).

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

 

March

                19th        Joined HM Destroyers LANCASTER, ST MARY'S and CASTLETON for escort of HM

                                Auxiliary Minelayers PORT QUEBEC, AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS and SOUTHERN

                                PRINCE during minelay in Northern Barrage covered by Home Fleet (Operation SN69).

                26th        Escorted same minelayers with same destroyers for further Northern Barrage lay

                                (Operation SN4).

 

April                       Under refit at commercial shipyard in Hebburn on Tyne.

to

May

 

July                         Deployed on convoy escort duty from Clyde.

to

July

 

August                  Resumed duty with Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.

                25th        Escorted HMS SOUTHERN PRINCE, HMS PORT QUEBEC and HM Minelaying Cruiser

                                ADVENTURE for minelay off Iceland (Operation SN70A)

                                (Note: HMS SOUTHERN PRINCE was damaged in torpedo attack).

 

September             Deployed on convoy escort duty.

to

October

 

November

                9th          Escorted HMS MENESTHEUS and HMS PORT QUEBEC for Northern Barrage minelay

                                in the Faeroes Gap (Operation SN83B).

                20th        Under refit at Grimsby commercial shipyard.

 

December              Under refit.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Rammed by ss MARPLE whilst under repair and completion delayed.

 

February                Under refit and repair.

                21st         Resumed duties with Squadron on completion of post refit trials.

 

March                    Deployed at Kyle of Lochalsh.

                14th        Detached for convoy defence in NW Approaches..

                30th        Escorted HMS MENESTHEUS, HMS AGAMEMNON, HMS PORT QUEBEC and HMS

                                SOUTHERN PRINCE with HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS screened by HM Destroyers

                                LANCASTER and WELLS for minelaying operation north of Faeroes in Northern Barrage.

                                (Operation SN87).

 

April

                18th        Escort of same ships with HM Cruiser KENYA, HMS WELLS. HM Destroyers SARDONYX

                                and SALADIN North of Faeroes for minelay (Operation SN88).

                20th        Detached for A/S Escort duty.

 

May

                8th          Escort of same ships of Squadron and HM Minelaying Cruiser ADVENTURE with HMS

                                BRIGHTON, CASTLETON and WELLS for minelay off Faeroes Bank

                                (Operation SN3A).

                                (Note: US Navy officers embarked in HMS ADVENTURE as observers).

                11th        Detached for A/S Escort duties.

 

June                        Deployed for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

to

July

 

August                  Rejoined Squadron for minelaying escort

                21st         Escorted same ships as for Operation SN3A for minelay in Northern Barrage with HM Cruiser

                                AURORA, HM Destroyers BRIGHTON, CASTLETON and NEWARK.

                                (Operation SN73).

 

September

                2nd         Escorted same ships as for SN3A with HMS JAMAICA, HM Destroyers BRIGHTON,

                                LANCASTER and NEWARK for minelay in Denmark Strait

                                (Operation SN89).

                4th          Detached for convoy escort in NW Approaches

                15th        Escorted same ships as SN3A with HM Destroyers LANCASTER, NEWARK and

                                PUCKERIDGE for minelay in Faeroes Gap (Operation SN 65A).

 

October                  Escorted same ships as SN3A for minelay in NW Approaches with HM Destroyers

                                WELLS and LEDBURY (Operation SN3E).

 

November              Under refit at commercial shipyard in Newport, Mon.

to

December

 

1 9 4 3

 

 

January                  After completion of dockyard work damaged by hitting dockside.

                                Transferred to Cardiff for repair.

February                Under repair.

 

March                    On completion of post repair trails worked-up for operational service service at Tobermory.

                                Transferred to Orkney and Shetland Command after work-up.

 

April                       Deployed on convoy escort duty.

to

July

 

August                  Under repair at Belfast.

to                            (Note: 1st Minelaying Squadron disbanded in August).

September

 

October                  Transferred to Rosyth Escort Force for escort of North Sea convoys.

 

November              Deployed on East Coast Convoy defence.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

 

January                  East Coast convoy escort duty in continuation.

to                            (Note: Not deployed in support of allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

November

 

December

                10th        In collision with HM Minesweeper FLORIZEL off Harwich.

                                Taken in hand for survey of extensive damage.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Declared Beyond economic repair

                                (Note: More new Escorts had been commissioned and crew could be used for other warships).

                                Paid off and de-stored.

 

February                Laid up at Grangemouth.

to

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS  CHARLESTOWN was not returned to the US Navy and was placed on the Disposal List after the end of hostilities. The ship was sold to BISCO on 4th March 1947 for demolition by T Young at Sunderland. She arrived in tow at the breakerís yard in the Tyne on 3rd December 1948.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS CHARLESTOWN

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

 

 

 

 

 

20/06/41

20/06/41

DS 006

22/06/41

22/06/41

25/06/41

25/06/41

SD 006

27/06/41

27/06/41

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

06/09/41

06/09/41

DS 011

09/09/41

09/09/41

09/09/41

09/09/41

SD 011

13/09/41

13/09/41

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

30/10/41

30/10/41

CT 005

02/11/41

08/11/41

25/10/41

02/11/41

CARGO

04/11/41

04/11/41

11/02/42

11/02/42

DS 022

15/02/42

15/02/42

16/02/42

16/02/42

SD 022

19/02/42

19/02/42

25/02/42

25/02/42

DS 023

28/02/42

28/02/42

03/03/42

03/03/42

SD 023

07/03/42

07/03/42

11/03/42

11/03/42

DS 024

15/03/42

15/03/42

17/03/42

17/03/42

SD 024

19/03/42

19/03/42

01/05/42

01/05/42

DS 026

03/05/42

03/05/42

13/05/42

13/05/42

SD 026A

14/05/42

14/05/42

24/05/42

24/05/42

DS 027

26/05/42

26/05/42

27/05/42

27/05/42

SD 027

29/05/42

29/05/42

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

23/07/42

23/07/42

DS 030A

25/07/42

25/07/42

26/07/42

26/07/42

SD 030A

28/07/42

28/07/42

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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