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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 LANCASTER (G 05) - ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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Ex USS PHILIP (Type B - MONTGOMERY-Class) built by Bath Iron Works and launched 25th July 1919. Build was completed on 25th August 1918 for US naval service. In 1939 the ship was held in Reserve and the ship was was transferred on loan to the Royal Navy under the 1940 USAK Lease/Lend Agreement. She commissioned at Halifax into RN-service on 23 October 1940 as HMS LANCASTER. Names for the Ex US Navy destroyer had been decided and this ship was the sixth RN warship to bear this name which was introduced in  1694 for a 2nd Rate. The last ship to carry the name was an armoured cruiser launched in 1902 and sold in 1920. All Ex USN destroyers transferred in 1940 were given names of towns common to towns in the USA and in the UK or British Commonwealth. In this case the name of several towns in the USA and the city of Lancaster. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Lancaster, Lancashire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

MINORCA 1756 - LOUISBURG  1758 - CAMPERDOWN 1797 - BUENOS AIRES 1807 - ATLANTIC  1941 - ARCTIC  1942 - NORTH SEA 1942-43

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

 

Badge: On a Field Red, a  rose red barbed proper thereon a lion's face

ducally crowned gold,  the crown 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

 

September             Prepared for transfer to RN

                10th        Ex US Navy destroyers on loan to be named after towns common to USA and UK or British

                                Commonwealth communities

October                  Passage to Halifax Nova Scotia,

                23rd        Commissioned into RN service as HMS LANCASTER.

 

November              Passage to UK with call at St Johns Newfoundland.

                                (Note: Ship was to refit at Portsmouth.)

                26th        Arrived at Portsmouth and taken in hand for refit and modification at Portsmouth.

                                (Note: Changes made to suit RN deployment as a convoy escort.)

 

December              Under refit by HM Dockyard.

                                (Note: only a limited number of changes required were completed.)

                                Nominated for duty with 1st Minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh on completion.

                                (Note: To be deployed as escort for minelaying operations and detached when required for

                                for escort of mercantile convoys in NW Approaches to and from Iceland.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

                11th        Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of post refit trials.

                                Worked -up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet before Joining Squadron as part of 17th

                                Destroyer Division.

                19th        Escorted HM Cruiser Minelayer ADVENTURE and Auxiliary minelayers for minelay in

                                Northern Barrage off Cape Wrath covered by Home Fleet ships (Operation SN15B).

 

February

                5th          Escorted ships of ML1 for minelaying Operations in Northern Barrage.

                                (Operation SN7A).

                6th          Detached after weather damage and returned to harbour.

                17th        Escorted Auxiliary Minelayers for Northern Barrage lays in Faeroes Gap covered by Home Fleet

                                ships. (Operations SN7B and 68A).

 

March

                19th        Escorted Auxiliary minelayers for further minelay in Northern Barrage. (Operation SN69).

                26th        Escorted Auxiliary Minelayers for continuation of Northern Barrage minelay covered ships of

                                Home Fleet (Operation SN4).

 

April

                6th          Escorted Auxiliary Minelayers for continuation minelay as SN4. (Operation SN8).

 

May                        Detached for Iceland convoy escort.

 

June                        Taken in hand for completion of changes needed to meet RN requirements

                                (Note: Stage 2 of refit including fit of radar and close range AA guns.

                                For details of development and use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

 

July                         Under refit in commercial shipyards in Humber shipyard.

 

August

                28th        On completion of post refit trials worked-up at Scapa Flow.

 

September             Detached from Squadron after work-up and deployed for Iceland route convoy escort.

                27th        Nominated for escort of military convoy and took passage to Clyde.:

 

October

                1st           Joined HM Destroyers BADSWORTH, BRADFORD, BRIGHTON and NEWARK in Clyde as

                                Local Escort for military convoy WS12 during passage in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: HM Destroyers ASSINIBOINE (RCN), SIKH, SAGUENAY (RCN), VERITY,

                                WHITEHALL, BLANKNEY and STANLEY, HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Armed Merchant

                                Cruiser CATHAY, HM Auxiliary Minelayer AGAMEMNON also sailed as escorts

                                from Clyde.

                3rd          Detached from WS12 and resumed convoy defence in NW Approaches.

                                Resumed Squadron escort duty during Northern Barrage minelays.

                13th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer PORT QUEBEC for minelay in Butt of Lewis.

                                (Operation SN24B),

 

November

                28th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer MENESTHEU5 during minelay in NW Approaches.

                                (Operation SN25B).

 

December              Deployed with Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh

                                Detached for escort of military convoy in NW Approaches.

:              9th          Joined military convoy WS14 in Clyde with H M Destroyers BEVERLEY, CROOME, NEWARK,

                                SHERWOOD, WESTCOTT, WITHERINGTON and HM Auxiliary AA Ship ULSTER QUEEN

                                as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                                (Note: HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, GURKHA and NESTOR also sailed as part of escort)

                12th        Detached from WS14 and resumed Squadron duties.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Detached for Iceland convoy escort. Resumed Squadron duties.

 

February

                9th          Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers MENESTHEUS and AGAMEMNON during Northern

                                Barrage minelay in Faeroes area (Operation SN56).

                16th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers MENESTHEUS, HMS AGAMEMNON and PORT

                                QUEBEC for minelay in Faeroes-Iceland Gap with HM Destroyer SOMALI from Home Fleet

                                (Operation SN85).

                28th        Escorted same ships as SN84 in continuation with HM Destroyers MIDDLETON, WELLS and

                                SKATE (Operation SN85).

 

March

                15th        Escorted same ships as SN84 in continuation with HM Destroyers WELLS, ST MARY'S and

                                LEDBURY covered by Home Fleet ships (Operation SN 81).

                30th        Deployed in continuation of SN81 with HM Destroyers WELLS and CHARLESTOWN covered

                                by Home Fleet ships.

                                Detached on passage to land injured officer but rejoined escort (Operation SN87).

 

April                       Nominated for escort of military convoy and took passage to Clyde.

                15th        Joined Convoy WS18 with HM Destroyers BADWORTH, GEORGETOWN, LAUDERDALE

                                and ST MARYS as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.

                19th        Detached from WS18 and took passage to Newport, Man. for refit.

 

May                        Under refit.

 

June                        On completion of post refit trials deployed for convoy escort.

 

July

                29th        Rejoined Squadron for Northern Barrage minelay escort.

                31st         Escorted auxiliary minelayers for continuation of minelay in Faeroes - Iceland Gap with HM

                                Destroyers BRIGHTON, CASTLETON and NEWARK covered by Home Fleet ships.

.                               (Operation SN82).

 

August

                3rd          Detached for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

 

September             Resumed Squadron escort duty.

                2nd         Escorted auxiliary minelayers for minelay in Denmark Straits with HM Destroyers BRIGHTON,

                                NEWARK and CHARLESTOWN covered by Home Fleet ships (Operation SN89).

                15th        Escorted auxiliary minelayers for minelay south of Faeroes with HM Destroyers CHARLESTOWN

                                NEWARK and PUCKERIDGE (Operation SN65A).

                                (Note: Operation had been delay due to submarine threat.)

                18th        On completion detached for escort of UK-Gibraltar convoys prior to planned allied invasion of

                                North Africa (Operation TORCH).

 

October                  Deployment for Gibraltar convoy escort in continuation.

                30th        Rejoined Squadron for minelaying escort.

 

November              Escorted all auxiliary minelayers and HMS ADVENTURE for minelay off Faeroes Bank with HM

                                Destroyers BRIGHTON, WELLS and CASTLETON (Operation SN3F).

                                On completion detached for Atlantic convoy escort duty

 

December              Convoy defence in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Taken in hand for refit in Belfast.

 

February                Under refit

to

April

 

May                        Post refit trials and work-up at Tobermory.

                23rd        On completion of work-up rejoined Squadron for minelaying duties.

                26th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayers PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS and AGAMEMNON with

                                HM Destroyers CASTLETON, ST MARY'S and NEWARK for minelaying operations in Faeroes

                                Iceland Gap.

                                (Note: Home Fleet additional escort provided by HMS BELFAST (Operation SN111B).

 

June

                5th          Deployed in continuation of Faeroes-Iceland minelay as escort for same ships as SN111B.

                                (Operation SN111C).

                29th        Deployed for escort of Squadron minelayers during further minelay in NW Approaches with

                                Squadron destroyers during minelayers in NW Approaches

                                (Note: Additional cruiser escort provided by HMS GLASGOW (Operation SN222A).)

 

July                         Deployed with Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh.

to

August

 

September             Transferred to Rosyth Command in anticipation of disbandment of Squadron.

                4th          Provided escort for HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS and PORT QUEBEC

                                during final Northern Barrage minelay in Faeroes-Iceland Gap with HM Destroyers SARDONYX,

                                METEOR and SCIMITAR (Operation SN222B).

                8th          Transferred to East Coast convoy defence.

 

October                  Deployment for East Coast convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  East coast convoy defence in continuation.

                25th        Involved in collision with Swedish merchant ship HEDERA.

 

February                East Coast convoy defence in continuation

to

August

 

September

                27th        Rescued survivors from sister destroyer HMS ROCKINGHAM which sank after being mined

                                off Aberdeen.

 

October                  East coast convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  East coast convoy defence in continuation.

 

February                Deployed for East Coast convoy defence

                                Nominated for duty as Air Target Ship after refit.

 

March                    Remained deployed for convoy defence in North Sea pending conversion for new role.

to

April

 

May                        Requirement for conversion cancelled.

                                Paid-off and de-stored

 

June                        Reduced to Reserve status and laid-up

                                (Note: Laying-up in Forth to be confirmed.)

  

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS LANCASTER was placed on the Disposal List after VJ Day and later placed on the Disposal List  Sold to BISCO for demolition by Hughes Bolcow at Blyth the ship arrived at the breakerís yard in tow on 20th May 1947.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LANCASTER

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

         

10/04/41

10/04/41

DS 001

11/04/41

11/04/41

14/04/41

14/04/41

SD 001

16/04/41

16/04/41

23/04/41

23/04/41

DS 002

27/04/41

27/04/41

28/04/41

28/04/41

SD 002

01/05/41

01/05/41

10/05/41

10/05/41

DS 003

13/05/41

13/05/41

15/05/41

15/05/41

SD 003

17/05/41

17/05/41

21/05/41

21/05/41

DS 004

24/05/41

24/05/41

27/05/41

27/05/41

SD 004

29/05/41

29/05/41

05/06/41

05/06/41

DS 005

09/06/41

09/06/41

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

28/12/41

28/12/41

DS 019

30/12/41

30/12/41

01/01/42

01/01/42

SD 019

04/01/42

04/01/42

01/03/42

unknown

PQ 012

unknown

12/03/42

02/08/42

06/08/42

AT 019

07/08/42

07/08/42

16/08/42

16/08/42

DS 031

18/08/42

18/08/42

22/08/42

22/08/42

SD 031

24/08/42

24/08/42

16/10/42

16/10/42

DS 033

21/10/42

21/10/42

25/10/42

25/10/42

SD 033

27/10/42

27/10/42

08/11/42

08/11/42

KX 006

17/11/42

17/11/42

18/11/42

19/11/42

TE 005

21/11/42

20/11/42

21/11/42

21/11/42

MKS 002

22/11/42

03/12/42

23/11/42

27/11/42

MKF 003

01/12/42

03/12/42

12/12/42

12/12/42

DS 035

16/12/42

16/12/42

16/12/42

16/12/42

SD 035

22/12/42

22/12/42

03/01/43

03/01/43

KX 008

13/01/43

21/01/43

14/01/43

15/01/43

MKS 005X

17/01/43

25/01/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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