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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS, later Norwegian HNorMS ST ALBANS (I 15), also Russian DOSTOINY - ex-US Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

 HMS Churchill, Sister-ship  (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Ex-USS THOMAS (Type C) built by Newport News SB Company and laid down for the US Navy on 23rd March 1918. The ship was launched on 4th July 1918 and she commissioned for service on 24th April 1918. This destroyer was held in Reserve in 1939 and transferred to the RN under the UK/US Lend-Lease Agreement on 3rd September 1940. She commissioned for RN service as HMS ST ALBANS at Halifax on 23rd September 1940 and was the 6th RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1687 for a 4th Rate, The name was last used in 1764 for a 3rd Rate which was broken up in 1814. This name is associated with the Charles Beauclerk, First Duke of St Albans who was son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn. In common with other ships loaned by the USA the name was common to towns in both countries, in this case the city in Herefordshire and two towns in the USA.

 

B a t t l e† †H o n o u r s

 

BARFLEUR 1892 - LAGOS 1759 - ST LUCIA 1778 - ST KITTS 1782 - THE SAINTES 1782 - ATLANTIC 1941-43 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942 - ARCTIC 1942 - NORTH SEA 1943

 

H e r a l d i c† †D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue a saltire couped White, 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

 

Prepared for transfer from US Navy and passage to Halifax under US Navy command.

 

23rd - Commissioned for RN service as HMS ST ALBANS.

 

On completion of trials took passage to Plymouth via St Johns, Newfoundland.

 

October

 

Arrived at Plymouth.

 

11th - Taken in hand for refit and modification for RN service by HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

Nominated for service with 1st Minelaying Squadron based at Kyle of Lochalsh. (Note: This ship was to be detached for convoy defence as required by C in C Western Approaches.)

 

November

 

On completion of post refit trials took passage to join Squadron.

 

18th - Detached for escort of military convoy in NW Approaches. Joined convoy WS4B with sister destroyers HMS BATH and HMS ST MARY'S as part of Local escort from Clyde. (Note: HM Destroyers HIGHLANDER, OTTAWA (RCN), SAGUENAY (RCN), SKEENA (RCN), ST LAURENT (RCN), HM Cruiser CAIRO were also deployed.)

 

19th - Detached from WS4B and resumed Squadron duties.

 

26th - Deployed with HM Destroyers CHARLESTOWN, BATH and ST MARY'S as escort for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay in Northern Barrage (Operation SN11 - See Naval Staff History (Mining).)

 

December

 

8th - Deployed with HM Destroyers BATH, KEPPEL and DOUGLAS as escort for minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in Northern Barrage covered by HM Cruiser ARETHUSA and HM Battlecruiser HOOD (Operation SN10A).

 

18th - Deployed for escort of military convoy WS5A with HMS BATH as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches

 

20th - Detached from WS5A after HM Destroyer HARVESTER, HIGHLANDER and VESPER took over Local Escort duties.

 

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

 

Deployed with Squadron for escort of minelayers.

 

February

 

Passage to Sheerness for repair.

 

11th - Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Chatham

 

March

 

Under repair. Nominated for transfer to Royal Norwegian Navy.

 

 

 W a r   S e r v i c e   a s   H  N o r  M S   S T   A L B A N S

 

April

 

Norwegian ship's company joined for turnover.

 

14th - Refit work completed.

 

22nd - Transferred to Royal Norwegian Navy for loan service. (Note: Name was unchanged.)

 

Passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet.

 

May

 

Nominated for Atlantic convoy defence with 7th Escort Group

 

3rd - Collided off Scapa Flow with HM Trawler ALBERNI which sank. Work-up suspended and ship under repair.

 

June

 

4th - Joined Group at Liverpool for Atlantic service. (Note: Ships in Group included HM Destroyers WANDERER, NEWPORT, BEAGLE, CAMPBELTOWN, WESTCOTT and six Flower Class Corvettes.)

 

18th - Rescued survivors from ss EMPIRE DEW which had been sunk by a U-Boat on 12th June.

 

July

 

Atlantic convoy escort with Group in continuation.

 

August

 

Deployed as escort for Convoy SL81 with ships of Group.

 

3rd - Took part in sinking of U401 with HMS WANDERER and HM Corvette HYDRANGEA during attack on SL81. (For details see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

 

September

 

Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation.

 

October

 

Deployed with Group for escort of Convoy ONS22.

 

7th - Sustained damage during escort of ONS22 and took passage to Iceland for temporary repair.

 

November

 

Passage from Iceland to Thames for permanent repair. Taken in hand for repair in London.

 

December

 

On completion returned to Liverpool top rejoin Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

 

 

1 9 4 2

 

January to March

 

Atlantic convoy defence with Group in continuation (Note: During this period Group provided escort for Convoys HX171 and SC68 which arrived with loss of merchant ships.)

 

April

 

Under refit in Liverpool during which Radar Type 271 for surface warning was fitted. (See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse for details of development and use of radar in RN.)

 

On completion resumed convoy defence in Western Approaches.

 

28th - Deployed with HM Destroyers BADSWORTH, BOADICEA, MATCHLESS. SOMALI, VENOMOUS, HM Auxiliary AA Ship ULSTER QUEEN, HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE, LEDA and SEAGULL as Ocean Escort for Convoy PQ15 during passage from Iceland to Kola Inlet. (Note: For details of all Russian Convoys see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY ! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schofield and ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

 

May

 

2nd - Carried out attacks on submarine with HM Minesweeper SEAGULL in defence of PQ12. Submarine which was then found to be Polish JASTRZAB was badly damaged and forced to surface. Crew were taken off and submarine sunk by gunfire. (Note: ORP JASTRZAB had been out of station. See CONVOY! by P Kemp.)

 

21st - Deployed with HM Destroyers BOADICEA, ESCAPADE, INGLEFIELD, BADSWORTH, VENOMOUS, HM Auxiliary AA Ship ULSTER QUEEN, as escort of return convoy QP12 from Kola Inlet to Iceland. (Note: Local Escort was provided from Kola Inlet by HM Minesweeper BRAMBLE, GOSSAMER. LEDA and SEAGULL.)

 

June

 

Resumed duties with 1st Minelaying Squadron on release from QP12. Nominated for return to RN manning after refit.

 

July

 

Passage to Falmouth for refit.

 

2nd - Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard at Falmouth.

 

August to September

 

Under refit. Norwegian personnel replaced by RN. Nominated for service in Western Approaches Command for convoy escort.

 

 

S e r v i c e   a s   H M S   S T   A L B A N S

 

October

 

Commissioned for RN service.

 

29th - Refit completion and passage to Tobermory for work-up after post refit trials.

 

November

 

8th - Took passage to join Western Approaches Command for operational use.

 

Deployed as part of escort for Convoy ON 144. Detached from ON 144 and took passage to Plymouth for repair.

 

16th - Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

 

December

 

Transferred to Portsmouth for completion of repairs. Nominated for use as an Air Target Ship at Rosyth on completion.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January to March

 

Deployed in Rosyth Command as a Target Ship for training of aircrew. Nominated for service with Western Local Escort Force based at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

April

 

Under repair at Portsmouth prior to passage to Halifax. Part of escort for Convoy ON 177 during Atlantic passage.

 

May to November

 

Deployed with Western Local Escort Force for defence of coastal traffic between ports in USA and Canada as well as during passage to Mid Ocean Meeting Point where escort transferred to ships of Western Approaches.

 

December

 

Nominated for reduction to Reserve status and took passage to UK.

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

January

 

Paid-off and laid up in Reserve.

 

February to May

 

Laid-up. Nominated for transfer on loan to Soviet Navy after refit.

 

 

T r a n s f e r   t o   R u s s i a n    N a v y

 

June

 

Passage to Tyne

 

2nd - Taken in hand for refit at Palmers shipyard, Hebburn.

 

July

 

Russian ship's company joined ship.

 

16th - Formally transferred to Soviet Northern Fleet and renamed DOSTOINY.

 

August

 

Passage to North Russia

 

 

P o s t†† T r a ns f e r†† N o t e s

 

This destroyer served with the Northern Fleet until 1948 and was returned to Britain at Rosyth on 28th February 1949. Renamed HMS ST ALBANS the ship was de-stored and placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO on 4th April that year for demolition by Metal Industries she arrived in tow at the breakerís yard in Charlestown near Rosyth on 18th May 1949.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HNorMS ST ALBANS

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

 

 

 

 

 

30/06/41

01/07/41

OB 341

05/07/41

06/07/41

24/06/41

05/07/41

HG 066

09/07/41

09/07/41

14/07/41

15/07/41

OB 346

18/07/41

01/08/41

08/07/41

19/07/41

HG 067

24/07/41

24/07/41

30/07/41

01/08/41

OG 070

01/08/41

12/08/41

13/07/41

03/08/41

SL 081

08/08/41

08/08/41

13/08/41

13/08/41

OS 003

18/08/41

01/09/41

29/08/41

29/08/41

OG 073

02/09/41

13/09/41

15/08/41

02/09/41

SL 084

08/09/41

08/09/41

12/09/41

13/09/41

OS 006

17/09/41

03/10/41

05/09/41

18/09/41

SC 043

20/09/41

20/09/41

02/10/41

02/10/41

ON 022

07/10/41

15/10/41

23/12/41

23/12/41

CT 008

24/12/41

01/01/42

31/12/41

01/01/42

ON 052

05/01/42

11/01/42

27/12/41

09/01/42

SC 062

12/01/42

12/01/42

20/01/42

21/01/42

ON 058

21/01/42

21/01/42

20/01/42

30/01/42

HX 171

31/01/42

01/02/42

07/02/42

07/02/42

ON 064

11/02/42

24/02/42

07/02/42

17/02/42

HX 174

21/02/42

21/02/42

11/04/42

11/04/42

UR 019

15/04/42

15/04/42

18/04/42

18/04/42

RU 019

22/04/42

22/04/42

10/04/42

28/04/42

PQ 015

05/05/42

05/05/42

21/05/42

21/05/42

QP 012

29/05/42

29/05/42

15/06/42

28/06/42

SL 113

03/07/42

05/07/42

         

as HMS ST ALBANS

         

07/11/42

08/11/42

ON 144

13/11/42

27/11/42

04/12/42

05/12/42

PW 258

06/12/42

06/12/42

07/12/42

07/12/42

WP 260

09/12/42

09/12/42

15/12/42

15/12/42

WP 264

19/12/42

19/12/42

26/12/42

26/12/42

PW 269

27/12/42

28/12/42

30/01/42

11/02/43

SC 067

13/02/42

15/02/42

06/04/43

10/04/43

ON 177

17/04/43

23/04/43

12/04/43

25/04/43

ON 178

29/04/43

02/05/43

01/05/43

04/05/43

HX 237

07/05/43

17/05/43

30/04/43

12/05/43

ON 181

18/05/43

18/05/43

25/05/43

25/05/43

HX 241

28/05/43

10/06/43

31/05/43

03/06/43

HX 242

06/06/43

15/06/43

01/06/43

10/06/43

ON 187

13/06/43

15/06/43

16/06/43

27/06/43

ON 189

01/07/43

01/07/43

08/07/43

08/07/43

HX 247

14/07/43

22/07/43

09/07/43

18/07/43

ON 192

21/07/43

22/07/43

23/07/43

25/07/43

HX 249

26/07/43

06/08/43

24/07/43

04/08/43

ON 194

07/08/43

07/08/43

20/08/43

20/08/43

HX 253

25/08/43

04/09/43

21/08/43

28/08/43

ON 198

01/09/43

04/09/43

01/09/43

12/09/43

EN 200

15/09/43

18/09/43

16/09/43

18/09/43

HX 257

19/09/43

30/09/43

22/09/43

24/09/43

HX 258

28/09/43

06/10/43

22/09/43

03/10/43

ON 203

07/10/43

10/10/43

05/10/43

07/10/43

HX 260

08/10/43

20/10/43

08/10/43

09/10/43

UT 003

10/10/43

17/10/43

18/10/43

21/10/43

HX 262

22/10/43

02/11/43

09/10/43

26/10/43

ONS 020

26/10/43

26/10/43

26/10/43

26/10/43

XB 080

28/10/43

29/10/43

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys) 

 

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